The Power of Retreat

by | Apr 27, 2020 | Inner Work | 2 comments

It’s been many years since I went on a full-blown retreat. Taking a flight, attending an immersive event for 7-9 days, going all-in with a practice.

Being a full time musician in New York City, it’s debatable if such a thing would ever be practical again. I’m glad I took advantage of the times I did.

There is nothing quite like the momentum you can create, and the places you can go as far as your inner work is concerned when it is the focal point of your world for a period of time, even a relatively brief one.

I have no doubt that these intensive times resulted in some lasting shifts. It feels like there is a connection between those experiences and the bizarre, unexpected, unplanned path of people approaching me to facilitate.

In the forced semi-retirement of music work (thankfully it is 2020 and some things can be done online or remotely, albeit an extremely small fraction,) COVID-19 presented me with an opportunity to recreate this as best I could for a brief 2 days so far.

I immediately felt such a reaction from my body, mind and nervous system that I knew this was the right call, and long overdue. This may very well be the case for you.

I know those of you who are home-schooling kids, dealing with other intense issues might want to slap me through the screen for even talking about this subject.

However, there are enough people spending enough hours watching Netflix, the news and other things that could be transmuted into a mini immersion of sorts that I feel compelled to bring it up. It doesn’t have to be a literal all-day event to be quite profound.

What Made Me Retreat-at-Home

If you’ve read some of my other blogs here, or watched any of my free EFT calls, you will know I am a fan of, and influenced by, Brad Yates for many years now.

I’ve always wanted to attend a live workshop, but again, it’s a difficult thing to do as a musician who can be called for last minute work at any moment especially during weekends.

With the shutdown, his weekend workshop with Steve Wells changed from California to Zoom-from-Anywhere.

For me, and probably most, It’s very challenging to actually immerse without some kind of structure, event, and money commitment to keep you in there. It’s too easy otherwise to just “do this one thing first,” take that phone call and have a sudden change of plans or inspiration. No skin in the game.

With the workshop being 4 hours per day, Saturday and Sunday, I decided to give them more of a retreat mindset.

What Makes it a Retreat Mindset

This meant my normal life and activities, responding to people, thinking about various projects, musical endeavors, everything – is essentially on hold.

The day is 90% dedicated to actual meditation and inner work.

I don’t mean reading inspirational books, studying, thinking or listening. I mean actual eyes closed meditating, EFT tapping rounds, visualization, releasing.

Most of the other time is spent with a little bit of bass-playing to integrate it into that and keep the hands moving, or some physical exercise.

Checking messages, email, is a brief glance at the beginning and end of the day, and only responding to things that really warrant an immediate response (which very few things do.) Bare minimal exposure to anything else.

100% participating during the workshop time. Camera on. Phone off. Nothing else is open on the computer or around me.

In the mornings, I did about 2 to 2 and a half hours of straight meditation, followed by some breathing work. This alone was amazing and something that had been too long.

After that I would do some EFT, re-do a private session I had with the recording from it, and visualization of some goals followed by working with the feelings that would arise, which anyone who has done any type of coaching with me is familiar with.

I was in a very primed state to say the least, before the actual workshop part of the equation even began.

If you can carve out a morning or two during this time at home to do 2-3 consecutive hours, if you have not done such a thing before, I would encourage it. I was reminded of how powerful this was before the bulk of the immersion even began.

Workshop

Not surprisingly, the “Tap Into Yes” workshop was excellent. I already knew how effective working with Brad is, so to have an extended period of that was fantastic. I was not familiar with Steve, who has his own tapping methodology and phrases. These resonated very well with me, and I’m excited to have some new things in the toolbox that I can also use with clients.

As encouraged, I was literally tapping the entire 4 hours, save maybe 10 minutes or so of a break.

In case you were wondering if you can overdo EFT, I’m going to guess it’s really difficult, as I probably did 11-12 hours of it over the 48 hour span. While it could be intense at times, it mostly felt great and still does.

The workshop continues this coming weekend (May 2-3), 4 hours per day. If you’d like to hang out with me there, you can join here.

Immersion has Different Effects

Even only 2 days of this really tuned things in for me. Besides an undeniable change in how I feel around certain goals or subjects when I look at them, there is an overall different quality of awareness right now.

I’m very perceptive to the amount of energy drain and fatigue that a lot of my ‘normal’ activities are actually responsible for.

Screen time, even just looking at my phone at all, feels like it is to be minimized.

Overall body tightness and shallowness of breath is much improved, and much more obvious when it creeps in – a level that was ‘default’ to me before is now noticeable.

I started the day much earlier than I have been recently, and am about 12 hours in right now of markedly improved clarity and productivity.

There is clearer focus followed by clearer moments to pause, reset, and briefly meditate even for a few minutes. I have done this way more than usual, as a result of being more highly attuned to what is happening and what is needed.

Consider Trying It on Any Level

I know for some of you even taking a few hours is impractical right now –

However, there are many who believe they fall into that category but easily ‘waste’ more time than that per day. Please take an honest assessment if you do feel inspired to try a day of some more immersion but are convinced you don’t have the time.

An Idea

I am considering doing a multi-day online immersive type of class for 2-3 hours per day, as it is not something I normally would be able to do.

I have a small audience so I am curious if there is interest in this, as there may be others whose schedules have changed such that they would want to be able to dive-in a bit more right now. Please let me know in the comments or message me if so.

As I mentioned above, if you’d like to join me in Brad and Steve’s workshop, you can click here for that, and we could do some further work together during the off hours as well.

 

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Gilbert

Sounds fantastic!
I can’t do the Yates and Wells workshop right now, but certainly would be open for what you have in mind.
I’m sure that your twist on things would make it more valuable to me, anyways.
(No, not just brown-nosing.)
I’ve tried days like that, but find that I “run out of gas” mid-day.
Perhaps, too early–that’s why a structured and guided ‘home-retreat’ may be more productive.
Plus, you’d be giving me ‘permission’ to remain contemplative and not feeling guilty over
“what am I NOT doing today”?
I look forward to what you will offer.
Count me in!

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