Wellll, maybe not PERFECT, but darn close to it… I have been struggling with my mental health for a very long time, and I DO KNOW what works, at least some of the time. One of the things that works for me is time, time to hang around in my jammies, to play, to not have any pressure to DO, but rather to just BE.
Enter the one day self-care RETREAT (or an art making retreat, or a writing retreat, or a…). I tried one on the very first day of 2022 and it was perfect. I didn’t plan anything, though I had some ideas of how I wanted to spend MY day. I knew that having a meal plan was a good idea - so I promptly forgot to have one. I did write a mini list of desires for the day ahead of time and I tried several of them out.
First, I turned off all alarms and timers. I woke up when I felt rested - and I remember actually feeling a bit of excitement and really rested. I wrote in my journal, which is something I do most mornings. I added in the “raise my vibration” part a little list of possibilities, several of which I did during the day. I wrote “~maybe draw or paint, meditate, Life Book, stretch and go over my notes …” My ‘personal project’ was ME! The word I pulled was Expand, and I wrote “Today I expand my awareness into the many spheres of my aura and draw strength, knowledge, understanding and faith into my being. May I know the sacred in all things and may I touch it, especially in myself.” Throughout the day I stopped several times and just marvelled at how peaceful it felt and how I seemed to be full of wonder and joy. I remember meditating a few times both with guided meditations from YouTube, and just sitting in silence.
Full of Wonder
I asked Miss Lilly ahead of time to leave me be for the day, and to maybe have her own activities set up. She did her own creative project, using collage and an old picture frame. It is one of my favourite things in her room. A few days later I felt I should touch base about how she would feel if I regularly took time to have a retreat day - she shocked me with “when will we have the next one?” So now we plan one on the last Sunday of each month.
Let's Try That Again!
While we were planning for the next one I thought I had better get a clearer plan of what I want to do and be more prepared for it, so I googled and search Pinterest for ideas, wrote up a nice little schedule and then we had a snowstorm, making it so had to spend the first half of retreat day shovelling out. When we finally got to the point of starting our day, it was noon, but I persevered and began my ‘plan’. I had everything sorted (except the food - what the heck is up with that?) and diligently began to follow the schedule (I did skip the walk, as I felt the shovelling was enough). I enjoyed the day - but not nearly as much as the first retreat day.
I did enjoy making a collage on the front of an old sketchbook to create an art journal for myself, too bad that is as far as I have gotten with it.
Photo credit ~ Lilly Franklin
I appreciated the guideline, but not the schedule
So the February retreat was way less structured, I created an outline for myself and got a few art supplies at the ready - oh and I finally sorted out the food idea (though it still required me to prepare it on retreat day). I drew some more, and I allowed myself to float from one activity to the next as I felt called to it. I continued to journal first thing in the morning, and I took a few meditation sessions, I also … NAPPED. It was like being pampered in the summerland.
How about you?
So, I bring this idea to you, dear Kindreds, can you carve a whole day out of your schedule to bring yourself back home to your heart? What kinds of things would bring you joy? Would you like to spend your day in solitude, or with a friend? How can you create a little moment of heaven in your life?
Taking this time has been such a selfless act. My daughter, and my partner have both asked me if I need a retreat day recently, as I was in overwhelm and meltdown mode. And the truth is ~ YES - I do need to have a retreat day, I am really looking forward to the last Sunday in March so I can create this little haven, and truly come back home to me.