Updated: Mar 1, 2020
Are you ready to retreat?
"The retreat is a powerful opportunity to explore the vulnerability and power of your blackness with tools, support and culture bring you right back home to yourself."
If this is your first retreat, here are ideas that can help you prepare and ensure that you get the most out of the experience. All the suggestions below are optional and we do not want you to stress if you are only able to do a few, or none of them. They are only suggestions that have worked for us in the past.
Cultivate Clean Eating Practice
We recommend that you either incorporate a day of intermittent fasting to prepare yourself mentally and physically for the process.
Intermittent Fasting (IF) is the term used to describe a cyclical pattern of eating and fasting. Although it sounds like a new trend, the truth is that is has been going on since the beginning of time, whether in the form of a religious practice or a forced fast due to a scarcity of food during the hunter-gatherer era.
Whether you know it or not you are actually practising some form of IF already every night when you go to sleep. However, if you want to receive all the incredible benefits of fasting it is important to set some structure to when you choose to eat and not eat. There are various ways you can do this but the most common is a 16 hour fast.
For example, you may stop eating at 6 pm and begin eating at 10 am, giving your body 16 hours where it is not digesting any food.
If you are unable to fast, we recommend you practice clean eating which may include eliminating red meat or all meats and try to increase your intake of fruit and vegetables.
Alternatively you can introduce a water or juice only day once a week in the lead up to the retreat.
Start to Reduce Your Screen Time
Most of us use screen time to distract ourselves from our daily life which means we are not present. To prepare for the retreat, we recommend that you reduce your screen time by half and spend this time either reading, listening to podcasts or journaling.
Some of the benefits of reducing screen time includes a fall in episodes of depression, a better night's sleep and an increase in social interactions.
Cultivate a Regular Meditation/Gratitude/Journaling Practice
A 5-day retreat can feel is like a marathon. You will be engaged in a lot more meditation, introspection, reflection, journaling and self analysis than you may be accustomed to.
In order to ensure you're ready, begin with doing all or just one of the above daily. At the very least spend 10-15 minutes in silence just listening to your thoughts. This will prepare your mind for contemplation and to better access your true thoughts and feelings.
Be Exceptionally Kind to Yourself
A 5-day wellness retreat can be confronting and is difficult. But it’s worse if you add harshness to it. we've found that being kind to oneself results in more rewarding retreats and less judgement of what new awareness emerges during the process.
The first few days of a retreat is always a jolt. You’re in a new place with strangers on an unfamiliar routine and it’s impractical to assume that you can adjust immediately. If you let your critical voice run rampant you’ll have a harder time acclimatising.
Prepare to Relinquish Control and Surrender to the Flow of the Process
Although there are a number of downtime sessions scheduled into the program, we will be working to a structured timetable, so you may find yourself becoming triggered because you cannot control things. We have designed the retreat with specific therapeutic guidelines to take you gently from one process into the next. At the time, things may not make sense to you so, we ask that you surrender and trust we have your well-being at the forefront for every part of this journey.
Let Go of Judgement and Expectations
It's difficult not to have expectations or projections of how the retreat will go or what your experience will be. We ask that you keep an open mind and heart to allow for the best outcome for you.
The Best Attitude to Cultivate in the Lead Up To and During the Retreat
Let go and Let God! Set your intention for the retreat and surrender the outcome. We will discuss our goals, desires and wishes on day 1 of the retreat and we will support you to achieve them as best as possible but keep in mind that the outcome you believe you want at the beginning of the process may change days in as you achieve more clarity and connection with true self.