I’ve just come back from a retreat.

Not the spa kind.

Actually, I came back from the retreat the day before I found another woman’s underwear in my bedroom, but I’m just now getting to writing about it.

It was a spiritual retreat of sorts, but also a physical and emotional retreat from ‘everyday life’.

I’ve been going on the same retreat now for several years.

I’ll Be Away For A Few Days

When people ask where I am going, I am often amused by their reaction to my response:

Me: It’s a retreat. All Women.

The Sheriff: Enjoy your massage!

Me: It’s a retreat. All Women.

Woman-Hater Guy: Oh? Like a bunch of man-haters?

Me: It’s a retreat. All Women.

Predictable Guy: Ooooh. Can I come?

Me: It’s a retreat. All Women.

Chauvinist: What do you do? Exchange recipes?

Me: It’s a retreat. All Women.

Evolved Guy: My wife needs that.

Me: It’s a retreat. All Women.

My Mom: What do you do? Cry a lot?

What Kind Of Retreat?

Every year, the same 10-15 women gather at a beautiful secluded spot in the country. (photo)

We all have many reasons not to go. Most have ‘big’ jobs. And kids.

There are always conflicts, responsibilities and obligations.

But for 4 days we let them go.

Or we try.

What do you do?

Exactly what goes on, what we do and what is said, is unimportant.

The only thing that matters is that whatever each of us gets from the experience, it keeps us coming back.

Over the years, we have watched each other grow, age, suffer and celebrate.

I do not see most of the women at any other time of year but I look forward to seeing them each spring.

I learn from them. I am inspired by them. And I always leave better for having been with them…walking a slightly different path.

Why am I telling you this?

When I hear the word retreat, I think of going backwards.

I think of a group that decides to run away, rather than fight.

But, to me, retreating is not about going backwards or running away.

Retreating is going to a place where you can…

1. Reconnect with your intentions,
2. Relearn what you’ve forgotten,
3. Reconsider your options,
4. Reevaluate your plan,
5. Rekindle your spirit

…and move forward in a better direction.

What I Learned By Retreating

You don’t have to getaway to retreat.

You can retreat in the middle of the day. In the middle of a conversation.

Sometimes simply standing still will move you forward.

How do you retreat?

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