I’ve always loved this holiday quote from the late Wayne Dyer…
‘Tis the season when we really need a moment of silence. It’s also the season when we really have to work to make sure we get one. At a time we traditionally devote to loving, giving, and gratitude, the quiet and peace we need to appreciate our gifts seems all too elusive.
Everything that’s created comes out of silence. Your thoughts emerge from the nothingness of silence. Your words come out of this void. Your very essence emerged from emptiness. All creativity requires some stillness. Your sense of inner peace depends on spending some of your life energy in silence to recharge your battery, remove tension and anxiety, reacquaint you with the joy of knowing God, and feel closer to all of humanity.
– Wayne Dyer
On Thursday we observed the Winter Solstice, marking the longest night of the year and the return of the light in the Northern Hemisphere.
Our friends down under are celebrating the Summer Solstice instead.
This is a potent time to release what no longer serves. A time to plant the seeds of what we Desire to create in the next cycle.
And yet— in the hustling of the holidays… how often do we actually create the time and space for ourselves, despite our best intentions?
As Wayne so eloquently reminds us, quiet time and reflection are not luxuries. For the Feminine Magician especially, they’re requirements.
It’s imperative that we periodically break from our individual and collective routines and turn inward, because…
It’s in the silence and stillness that we are able to hear the true voice of our Desire.
It’s in the silence that we receive the guidance that we need to enter our next phase of creation.
It is out of silence that ALL that we create emerges.
One of my favorite ways to enjoy a sacred pause during the holidays is to create a mini-retreat.
So in honor of the sacred energy of the solstice and our next phase of collective creation, here’s my simple guide to create a winter retreat that recharges your body, mind and soul.
This structure can be used for a number of things… reflection, planning, rejuvenation or all of the above.
1. Decide upon the time.
Carve out a couple of hours, or a day, or even a long weekend if that serves you. And most importantly, let people know that you will be unavailable and don’t want to be disturbed. (This is a great opportunity to practice asking for what you want if you’re not used to doing that. 😉
2. Prepare for your retreat.
Gather the supplies that you need and prepare your space. A few of my favorite retreat supplies include:
- A journal or notebook
- A calendar or planner if you will be planning
- Fresh flowers
- Nourishing foods & snacks
- Your favorite beverages, especially water if you plan to include movement
- Any ritual supplies you like such as crystals or things to raise your vibration – essential oils are great for this
3. Purify and cleanse.
The simplest way to do this it to take a luxurious shower or bath, and visualize the water washing away all that no longer serves you. Or you may prefer to smudge yourself and your space with incense or sage.
It’s also important to empty and cleanse your mind at this point. Use your favorite sacred practice to release stray thoughts, nigglies, worries, to-do lists, or concerns.
My favorite way to empty is to close my eyes, breathe deeply and imagine all of those things simply draining away, safely knowing that I can pick up anything I release for the time being, when I so choose. And don’t forget to turn off your cell phone!
4. Formally open your retreat.
Once in your retreat space, allow yourself to fully arrive. Call back any parts of yourself that might still be hanging out elsewhere. Continue your emptying practice so you begin with an empty cup.
When you are ready to begin, light a candle as you make a simple statement of your intention for this sacred retreat time.
My intention always includes making contact and connection with my Essence and being open to receiving the guidance that it has for me. Or it might simply be a sense of rest and rejuvenation. Just be sure to be clear and specific as you make this powerful claim.
5. Engage in the activities that nourish you.
Perhaps you’ve decided to do some planning, or journaling reflection on the prior year. Or perhaps your retreat time includes movement or time in nature. A long, reflective walk can be extremely replenishing. I get some of my best insights and guidance in nature! Be sure to include nurturing, healing foods if you’ll be in retreat for longer than a few hours.
6. Formally close your retreat.
Once you’re complete, you’ll again want to delineate the transition. Express gratitude to yourself for the gift of this sacred time, and gratitude for the guidance and wisdom you’ve gleaned.
7. Allow some integration time.
This is a super-important step! Your being needs time to fully download your retreat experience, and rushing right back into the hustle and bustle and navigating everybody else’s priorities interferes with this process.
I recommend staying off the technology or simply keeping your schedule clear for another 24 hours or so. Whatever you do, just be sure to put some attention on honoring the integration process and allowing yourself to return to the present with grace.
So there’s a simple structure for your winter (or anytime) retreat. I hope you’ll carve out some time in the coming week to honor yourself and nurture the powerful Creatrix you are.
I’ll be doing it right alongside you and I’d love to know in the comments, how your retreat went… or better yet, post a photo over here in the Feminine Magic® Community on Facebook so we can celebrate along with you.
Wishing you love, magic & many blessings through the holiday season and beyond!