Do you often get overwhelmed with all the to-do’s? Especially after you return home from vacation or a yoga retreat 🙂

One of the questions I receive from women who have just been on retreat is…

“I miss being at the retreat center.  I feel like my life is so hectic and busy and I wanted to bring more peace and calm into my life when I returned and I just don’t know how. How do I integrate what I have learned into my life?”

I am coming in to your inbox today to share with you my response.

My immediate answer is that it won’t be peaceful and calm and spacious when you return home because your email is calling your attention and your boss needs something.  Your kids want dinner and your husband needs his dry cleaning picked up.

You have created some change while on retreat. You slowed down, you went inward.  You took breaths. You were able to relax because nothing was calling your attention.

Retreats make it easy for us to slow down, just like watching the sunset with a loved one or visiting a well manicured garden.

These places and events are created to help us remember what it means to slow down and take in the moments of our lives. They remind us to be more present. They force us to create space in our bodies and in our minds so that we can connect to what is truly important. They help us remember.

Eckhart Tolle, who is one of my favorite spiritual teachers once said, “Imagine a tree growing in a greenhouse.  It is fed the perfect amount of food, given the perfect amount of water and light. It grows so beautifully. It is perfect and happy.”

It is a metaphor for the person who lives in an ashram or goes to the mountaintop by herself to meditate.  She is calm and peaceful, perfect and beautiful.  She has created the surroundings to support her.

Then he says, “There is the tree that lives in nature. It endures wind and rain and droughts and heat.  It’s surroundings are not perfect and yet, it is beautiful and it is a stronger tree than the tree that lives in the greenhouse.”

This is a metaphor for the life we have chosen. One that is involved in relationships and work and all the things that come with being an active participant in the world.

There is nothing wrong with the woman who decides to meditate at the ashram, that is what she decides and it serves a great purpose that holds the energetic field of presence and peace.  I want to be that woman often. I want to take myself to a cabin in the woods away from it all.

And yet, I also love my life. I live a good life with good relationships.  I love my family and my home.  It give me challenges, yes, but that is what builds my strength and I know that I have chosen this way of living for a reason.

I give myself time to get away and then I come back into my life without expectation that it will change instantly, I know that building a peaceful, calm and easy life is a journey.  It’s not instant.

Your life will not change instantly. It will gradually change.  I invite you to give yourself space.

The best way to bring home retreat is to create space in your life for the things that exist on retreat.

Things like:
Sitting down for a home cooked meal.
Exercising in nature.
Tending to the garden.
Practicing yoga.
Breathing. Meditating.
Enjoying your family and friends.
Having deep conversations.
Dancing (because we always dance on retreat!)
Drawing.
Journaling.
Insert your own here.

These things bring us joy. They makes us happy because they connect us to what is truly important. They help us remember.

And when you have to respond to your emails, tend to your boss, make dinner for your kiddos, and pick up your husbands dry cleaning remember those things are important but they are less important than creating space for joy. I can promise you that!

With Love + SO much Appreciation,

Shauna

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