by Kathi Szabo
Greetings from St Croix! We are on our first Destination Retreat as Eclectic Well-Being so what better topic for Eclectic Thoughts than Retreats!
I love traveling. But traveling is not the same as going on Retreat! Retreats are different. They are magical. Life-changing. They are Travel, but with a Purpose!
Retreats are much more than vacations. Although they include sightseeing, it’s not the only focus.
Many retreats include Yoga, but a retreat does not have to be centered around it.
I define a retreat as “intentionally withdrawing from everyday activities to a safe space in order to reflect on one’s Self and connect to one’s surroundings.”
Notice the capital Self. This is about our higher Being, the Self that is more than our thoughts and body. And I’ve added connecting to one’s surroundings because I cannot imagine a retreat where I didn’t explore the natural beauty of the world around me, including the local culture and food.
Retreats are something I have been doing my entire life and something I want to share with others! It’s why retreats are an integral part of Eclectic Well-Being.
Here’s a bit of history about my life and retreats.
Summer camp as a child was a time for me to journal, try new things, and discover myself. Camp Tocanja was my first sleep-away camp. It was a Girl Scout camp in Michigan about 3 hours away from home. That may be when my love for Michigan started.
The first year was a generic experience. We slept in raised tents and explored all the camp had to offer including hiking, swimming, boating, arts and I’m sure more
In my second year I landed up doing a primitive camping experience. We pitched our own tents, made food over a fire, and even made our own toilet. Of course, many of us waited until we went to the dining hall or for showers, but if you had to go, you had to go!
In the third year, I chose sailing. I loved the water, still do! When I look at photos of the lake now, man it was a small lake! But at the time, it felt huge! And I loved exploring it with my little Sunfish!
In middle school I went to leadership after being elected to student council. I learned so much about myself at this camp. We not only did the normal outdoor camp things, but we experimented with leadership. Learning to take charge of ourselves and lead our schools.
Why do I recall these summercamps as Retreats? Well, I withdrew from family and friends. They were both safe spaces. I journaled, questioned my beliefs, expanded my thoughts, and explored life in ways I could never have done at home.
As an adult, I prided myself on taking vacations. But not all vacations are retreats. Some vacations are active, like my honeymoon in 2002. We went scuba diving every day. Toured the island of St Croix. We tasted new food. But I didn’t withdraw and discover more about myself. I had tons of fun, but it was more an active vacation filled with doing, not being.
But then there are the vacations when we are exploring our likes and dislikes. We spend time with our thoughts. We may still be busy doing, but we also slow down and “chill.” We may read or journal. Maybe immerse ourselves in local culture and food.
Our trip in 2015 to Guatemala was a retreat. We stayed at Lake Atitlan, surrounded by Mayan Culture and far removed from civilization. We immersed ourselves in the culture, made local food and discovered their history. This was a retreat. I came home feeling more in touch with my true Self. I found deeper meaning in life.
Another example was a trip to St Anne Canada, near Quebec. Mark and I were having some marital issues and we used this trip to reconnect with each other. To let go of our daily responsibilities and explore our surroundings while also exploring our relationship. It was our own couple’s retreat. We came home feeling a renewed sense of commitment.
Yoga and Personal Development Retreats
The best part of owning a yoga studio was the opportunity to go on and host yoga retreats! Our good friend Katie, owner of Yoga Bohemia was my mentor when it came to hosting a retreat! If you know Katie, you know she is an expert on Retreats! She knows exactly how to create a safe space. How to encourage one to let go and explore not just their Yoga practice, but their surroundings. I recall my first retreat with Katie. It was just down the shore on LBI here in NJ, only an hour from home. But I felt I was away from everything. This retreat was the start of my mindset journey.
Then there were Tony Robbins’ Retreats! We went to Florida and experienced Date with Destiny. And then to Amsterdam for Life and Wealth Mastery. At each event, I discovered more and more about myself. About who I am now and who I want to become.
Well-Being Retreats – Vacation with a Purpose
Over the last 18 months or so, Mark and I have better defined Eclectic Well-Being. It is more than health and mindset. It is truly about helping others live their best lives. Helping them consciously create a life and body they love.
Retreats are a part of that mission because retreats offer support and guidance in creating you. By providing a safe space to explore your Self. To define the life you want. The things you want to do in the body you desire!
This week we are on our first Destination Well-Being Retreat. Our DREAM retreat to St Croix. This retreat is focused on helping our guests use proven mindset tools to make their dreams into reality. I’ve spent almost a year manifesting this retreat and I’m looking forward to withdrawing from my daily activities, creating a safe space and seeing each of our guests explore there wishes and connect with the beauty of the island.
In August, we are planning a mini-retreat to the Poconos. Connecting with the mountains and rafting on the river. More than activity, we will take time to reflect and enjoy the healing aspects of our natural surroundings.
And in 2023, Greece is on the horizon. May 29 through June 5 we will be in Amorogos Greece, with a few days before or after to spend in Athens. This retreat will focus on Yoga and Mindfulness, creating capacity in our lives to live more fully, while we also immerse ourselves in the culture of the Greek Islands. Official registration and announcement coming in our May Newsletter!
Why are we planning these retreats?
Because we believe retreats are life-changing! When we leave our responsibilities at home and we live each day utilizing our zest and connection, we create opportunities to become more of who we are meant to be.
“Travel, at its best, transforms us in ways that aren’t always apparent until we’re back home.” – Eric Weiner
If you want to discover a vacation with a purpose. To explore your desires and reconnect with your soul. Be sure to be part of our community and not miss any information!