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The Need for Retreat

"No problem can be solved using the same level of consciousness that created it." -Albert Einstein

My meditation teacher talks about how we live in decadent times. The speed of life is exceptionally fast. Technology is a force that yes, is important, yet we waste hours of life consumed by it, hardly picking up our heads. We have more things than we've ever wanted, yet we still feel unsatisfied.

One of the things I find most beneficial about retreating in a new place is that it offers a much needed jolt in our decadent lives. Leaving for solace creates a change of scenery and pace, both internally and externally.

I often get so caught up in my day to day, rarely thinking about my quality of awareness in daily life. I believe myself to be tuned in to what I really want, self-reflective and fairly conscious about the choices I make. And still, moments, days and weeks pass where I am left pounded from my grind.

Don’t get me wrong, it is a grind I love. One that I’ve played a major hand in creating. But only in occasional leaving do I find the space to come home and steer my own, and my family’s ship more intentionally.

This does not mean leaving for retreat is easy. The idea of it is exciting, yes. But the leaving is never easy. And there are a million reasons why taking a retreat for just myself feels selfish. What about my kids? I don’t have the money…I don’t have the time…and on and on and on.

We take trips for work, for professional development never thinking twice about it. We show up for family gatherings because of tradition and because we should, we attend endless birthday parties, social gatherings, sporting events and more. But when it comes to something purely for ourselves, we believe it to be a luxury, something that maybe we “shouldn’t” do.

But I ask you, what greater cause is there than personal evolution? How can we really love others if we don't first love ourselves? My aim is to carve this space and make room for it. It is my hope, that soon, gone will be the days where taking time for personal growth feels greedy. Every human needs room for this.

So, may we step away for ourselves and for our world. For our daily problems cannot be solved if we remain trapped in our cycles, never breaking away to allow for shifts that shape consciousness.

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