THE PURPOSE OF A RETREAT by Cate Mackenzie, Skyros

THE PURPOSE OF A RETREAT by Cate Mackenzie, Skyros


Do you find yourself stuck writing emails or looking at Facebook? Or do you find it hard to get off your “to do” list or create time to switch off and connect to yourself? If the answer is yes to any of this then you might want to consider booking a retreat! 


In therapy we often say if you book something for Saturday on Tuesday it may well happen on Saturday but if you wait till Saturday then you may have forgotten what you wanted to do or have lost the energy to do anything. Planning time for yourself takes commitment and if you are someone who is always on the run delivering for others it may well be worth thinking about committing to a weekend or week retreat just for you. 


I have a friend in Brighton who regularly gives herself a retreat by leaving her phone at home and taking herself to the beach or to Cookmere where she can switch off. She finds her body softens and relaxes, and she experiences all kinds of unexpected magical encounters.  Another friend took herself to Skyros in Greece for two weeks and experienced a much deeper and aware connection with herself.   This has lead her to make positive life changes like building her confidence and losing weight. Another friend took herself off the internet for three weeks as she went to two festivals and a retreat. On the fourth week she was feeling so good she chatted to a virtual stranger and he became her partner. The key was that she was committed to herself and she was relaxed about life and it made it easier to make a new friend with no expectations. 


Taking a retreat is saying to yourself “I care about you and I care about how you feel and I want you to feel good”. Once you have committed then you can start to see yourself feeling tranquil or swimming in the sea. Even visualizing yourself feeling peaceful has benefits for you and your body. 


Taking a retreat or a break is very important and quite holy, it creates a space where it may be possible to hear that still small voice inside you and make a deeper connection. This is where renewal and change can be easier.   


Retreat tips 

1. Plan a trip to an art gallery or the sea 

2. Arrange to go to a new class e.g. a dance class or Tai Chi 

3. Take yourself to a café and write about your dreams and wishes 

4. Take a day trip to the countryside 

5. Take a weekend to go on a workshop 

6. Book a week or two away on a retreat abroad


By Skyros facilitator, Cate Mackenzie: https://www.skyros.com/about/facilitators/Cate-Mackenzie/

Cate is teaching ‘How to Live a Joyful Life’ at The Skyros Centre in Greece in Summer 2019 and also at The Grange in the Isle of Wight. Her course is part of their Health & Wellbeing programme.

Find out more at The Mindful Living Show in March 2019, where Skyros will be exhibiting.