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EP.06: DIY Meditation Retreat for Clarity

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Help. I don’t know how to start this episode saying I’m in lockdown is going to get real old real fast, so here we go. If you’re listening between March, 2020 and March, 2021 I’ve been sheltering in place with my PJs, may or may not have been brushing my teeth every day. How’s that?

Anyways, we’re going to get into a really fun, I don’t know if I should say fun, it’s informative. Podcast episode today about DIY meditation retreats. Yes. Do it yourself. Meditation retreats, so you can’t go away. You can’t go camping right now or hop on a plane to Bali, but you’re needing some kind of self care experience. I’m going to share what I did for a few days to help me reset.

I took this well deserved break from creating and producing. I wasn’t burned out. I was in a really good place. I just felt fertile with creativity, but I had a little bit of blurriness around clarity of where I was going with certain things. Didn’t want to waste my time and I knew that if I kept going at the rate of production I was going at, even though it was in flow, that I may be missing something.

Another realization I probably had at this time was that I have a sense of humor very similar to my dad, so that makes me have dad humor very, very clear during this time meditating. So if you’re new to the podcast, then I don’t know the dad jokes will come out, but it’s something that I’m more honest with myself at this time. 

So there’s a lot of opportunity flowing my way prior to Covid-19 and most of those experiences were for in-person and so when the pandemic hit, I had to pivot my business and took a little bit for opportunity to start to flow again because I need to readjust my sails and figure out how I was going to navigate the storm.

There’s actually a quote floating around out there on the internet that were in the same storm, but in different ships, someone says it in an opposite way, but this is the quote that I resonate most too, is that we’re in the same storm but were in different ships, meaning the storm is going to hit us in unique. There’s someone who has a canoe and then there’s someone who a kayak. There’s another one with a yacht. The storm is hitting us in a way where some people might have felt more prepared. 

They might have an online business. Someone else might be working from home, another person may have just lost their job and they have kids and they’re need to homeschool them. There’s all these different scenarios and we can’t really compare what’s going on in our storm, right? Because it’s like, it is, even though it’s the same storm, we’re all in it together. I should say we’re in these different ships. We can’t compare our ships. We’re in the ships that we have were sheltered in place within the ship that we created up until this moment. And I recognized during this period, especially in the beginning that there was a little bit of comparison and I knew I needed to go inward. That there, that separation was a result of me not wanting to focus on something or accept something and I decided I was going to do this DYI meditation retreat and I would totally do it again. 

I highly recommend creating a meditation retreat at home. The intention behind it was to release this outer stimulus of comparison and input so it can go more deeply inward and sustain those opportunities that were starting to come my way because my ship and what I’ve been working on for many years is going to sustain this storm and I know it. I feel like I’ve been primed and ready for this experience. Other days you might ask me and I would say something totally different, but here’s the thing. Yes, it’s hard if there’s challenging moments, but I don’t see it as a bad thing. I sense there are experiences that I’m having that are showing me more of my truth. I’m unable to hide or Baskin blind spots like the old days. I’m more aware of how I need to take responsibility and appropriate action in certain situations. So the fact that the world has slowed down, I’ve been able to see a lot more. Yes, but there’s a curiosity to go deeper than that to slow down in my own routine and my own schedule. And that was enjoying working with clients remotely in projects. But like I said before, there was a lack of clarity, a little bit of a haze. 

There’s something that I couldn’t see because there were remnants of momentum that I was allowing myself to be in. Another word for that. As inertia, I think I talked about this on the first podcast episode. When you’re going through motions and you have a certain way of creating, it can keep you stuck in a certain place of your life. It could be the same in relationship dynamics or limiting your financial flow. Where is that limit in your life? Where is their inertia? Perhaps you think of inertia as just being stuck, but it’s also about being stuck in a certain cycle, certain way of going about and doing something. So for many entrepreneurs like myself who are needing to pivot and don’t have an online business, it is an interesting time. If most of what you do is in person, there is a redirection and a lot of time can be put into trying to figure it out mentally. 

So if you’re an entrepreneur out there, I feel for you, maybe even really scary to say to yourself, I’m going to take a few days off when I’m in a flow during a time like this. It’s like what? It’s not like you’re burnt out. I wasn’t burnt out, right? But when you get to a certain limit and you can only really create in a certain way, that’s a sign, it’s time to expand as time to grow and you don’t have to wait necessarily for a rock bottom to hit.

So in this episode, I’m going to help you set yourself up successfully for a DIY meditation retreat at home. And I understand there are some people listening who have children who are caretakers, who may not be in a situation where you can go in this a hundred percent yet there are ways you can modify and that’s just the thing is we can’t compare ourselves to other people’s experiences. 

So take what you want from this episode. Maybe it will just inspire you to incorporate a few hours into your day.

#1: CLEAR YOUR CALENDAR

Number one, clear your calendar on this DUI meditation retreat. I highly, highly, highly, highly recommend that you don’t have any commitments. I get it. There’s going to be some of you who are like, that’s not possible. If you live with family, there’s something going on. You’ve got responsibilities at home, totally get it. But if you can take, which ideally you know if you work for yourself, if you’re an entrepreneur, you can do this. If you work for someone else, it might have to be a weekend, but figure out where can you take a whole day off, two days off, three days off, what? How many days do you need? That’s something good to start with and then where is it in your calendar and your schedule that you can do that you can block off those times. 

I gave myself five days. I knew that I wasn’t going to be on the meditation retreat the whole time, but that I was going to have a little bit of space between just coming back to my typical schedule, seeing clients and recording podcasts and doing all the things that need to get done when you run and own a business. I gave myself that time.

#2: CHOOSING GUIDELINES AND STRUCTURE

The second piece is choosing guidelines and a structure. I had to be really clear with myself on the expectations. What do I want to have included in this DYI meditation retreat and what do I want to exclude from my experience? In other words, I wrote a list. She can write a T chart on one hand, just say like, what is going to go down in this DUI meditation retreat? Only their hand on the other side of the chart on the right.

What do you want to quit for a few days? For me it was, I wanted to just let go of talking to people. I didn’t want to have any interactions. I didn’t want to use my phone. I was craving to go into my Emily cave. The things that I did want were having juice every morning, making sure I was drinking enough, using the meditation techniques that I have from my mystery school, training, my rituals, all the magic and the different kind of fun things that I haven’t done in a while like color and just go outside and be going outdoors as much as possible. That felt healthy given the quarantine. So that’s what I wanted in my retreat. You’re different than me. We’re not the same. So you need to decide what is going to feel most fulfilling for you. How do you want to spend this retreat if you were, you know, looking up or a treat online, you know what? 

What do you want to be included with that? This is fun. This can be exciting to design it and structure what you want and don’t want on your retreat. I’ll share that on my meditation retreat. I didn’t read any books. I didn’t listen to music and I had my technology off, computer, phone, iPad, you name it, TV. There was no Netflix and I personally loved it because I was able to come back to a sense of awe and wonder. Curiosity. It was, there were moments I didn’t really know what to do cause I was like, Oh, I don’t have my phone to just go grab right now. And I was like, all right, I’m just going to look out my window. And I allowed myself to immerse in my experiences even when I was, um, cutting a carrot, I was just like, wow, this is amazing. 

So it sounds like I was high. I was completely sober the whole time. I was very present to my experience because there wasn’t anything I could really hold on to or stimulate my mind with except for what was in front of me.

#3: MAKE THIS A MENU, NOT A CHECKLIST

Number three, this is going to be brief. I suggest to use this time as a menu rather than a checklist. You know what I mean? When you’re like, I’m going to do this and this and this and this today, and you’re putting all this pressure on yourself to have it be perfect and have it this you know, moment by moment experience that you have created in your mind. Let that go and just have a list of things that you can do when you’re reaching for your phone or your, um, getting distracted by other things that you have decided and that you’re not going to use. 

Whether that’s drugs or alcohol or your phone technology, reaching out to a person that dreams your energy, however it is that you’ve decided to structure your time. Don’t be so rigid. See if you can give some fluidity to your experience. If you need to sleep in longer, if you want to meditate, um, for different periods of the day and it doesn’t have to be like an hour in the morning, maybe it’s 10 minutes in the morning and then you go outside and come back and meditate longer. See how you just want to be let yourself be essentially is the point of this part of designing your meditation retreat. See the things that you have put on your design as suggestions and not from I have to get this done in a day or I am not worthy.

#4: COMMUNICATING YOU’LL BE UNAVAILABLE

Number four, I highly recommend to communicate with the people that you live with. 

Maybe it’s your family, maybe it’s a housemate or the people that you’re currently in communication with regularly. Also, that could be friends, family members and clients. Don’t just disappear.

I don’t recommend that it’s going to alarm people. If you just fall off the face of the earth and then you’re going to come back to like lots of texts of everyone like checking up. You know, why haven’t I heard from you for two, three days? You haven’t answered me back. You’re not on social media. We’re in sensitive times, so keep that in mind. You will want to reach out to those that you care about and let them know, Hey, I’m not going to be available. Set up your, you know, automated email that will help people know if they’re trying to reach out to work with you or a friend is reaching out. They just remember — oh right, they’re not available for these two days. 

So creating those boundaries, creating that fluid communication before you decide to cocoon. And if you live with someone, it could be a friend, it could be a partner, it could be a just you know, housemate. Let them know that you’re going to be going through a process, that you’re going to be taking care of yourself. You may decide to be in silence during this time and not communicating with them. Or you know, you may decide the certain hours of the day you need a bit of quiet time. So give them some notice so that there isn’t tension there. And you can have an experience that is as close to it is that you’re desiring to have, um, given some of the limitations and other people that you also need to honor that they, they also share the space. So this is a really good way to practice speaking your needs because you’ve designed what it is that you’re seeking and then you’re sharing that with other people in your life. Boundaries, not always easy to set, but like I said, this is good practice. 

#5: COMEBACK PLAN

Lastly, number five, creating a comeback plan. When you decide to transition from your stay at home retreat to going back into maybe a more structured experience, it’s helpful to have a friend to talk to, to debrief about what just went down and if it doesn’t have to be a friend, it can also be a therapist. It can be your healer, some kind of mentor for you so that you can commit through your words of how you want to move from what you just experienced to how you want to go about creating something different. The idea is you take a DIY meditation retreat at home to reset to find clarity and then being held accountable to make some changes. To do something different doesn’t always have to be about taking action, right? You can just have a nice experience and then just feel it out. But often when I’m meditating for longer periods of time or I am allowing some space between me and outside stimulus, there’s a connection I have with myself that desires to be expressed in a safe way, and so if you have someone that supports you, I just sense that that could be very helpful in your comeback experience. 

So there you have it, a DIY meditation retreat experience that you can create at home. If you eliminate these distractions and give yourself activities that allow you to express emotions, move through and transmute. There’s so much freedom in that newness and space for focusing on what matters. Taking time off really does give you more time and trust that if you create boundaries between work people and your overactive thoughts, clarity for next steps will come. I want to thank you for listening.

Thanks for being here and supporting this podcast. Hopefully this information is relevant and helpful. I would love some feedback about what you’re desiring for me to talk about in these episodes. Now that I’m doing them more regularly. Please review this podcast on iTunes if you can, and if there’s someone that you know that could benefit from creating a DIY meditation retreat, please go ahead and share this. I’ll talk to you soon. 

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