4 Life-Changing Things That Happened When I Attended a Silent Retreat
When is the last time you found yourself in complete and utter silence?
No chatter of friends and family…
No conversations in the online world…
No music playing in the background...
Just you alone with yourself and your thoughts.
Many people find this task intimidating and daunting. Even when you are in physical silence, it’s hard to get away from things like social media, email, and texting.
But consider what structured silence might do for you… It can allow you to...
- Uncover new insights about yourself and your future
- Rejuvenate your tired body, mind, and spirit
- Finally find peace from your racing thoughts
And so much more.
These are just a few of the things that I experienced on a silent retreat, and it honestly changed my life.
I learned so much from using my energy to focus inward instead of outward.
This experience was so important to me, that I just have to share some of the benefits that I got from taking time in the peace and quiet.
If you’ve ever considered going on a silent retreat, then I hope this article can be the catalyst that finally gets you there. And if you’ve never thought about it before, I hope this article can convince you of all the wonderful things that silence can help you experience.
Those of you who have never been on a silent retreat may be wondering what it’s like… what you do with all that time in the quiet…
Silence Lets You Discover Yourself...
Every silent retreat is different… which is a wonderful thing because we as human beings are all a little different, so this allows you to find a retreat that works for you.
You’ll find that there are silent retreats that are very structured, while others give you more free time to yourself. Some allow for solo activities like reading and journaling, and others include physical activities like yoga or hiking.
These retreats can be any length of time, from one day, to three days, or even seven or ten days long. I recommend going for at least three days because it will take your mind and body about 24 hours to adjust to the silence.
If you don’t already have a regular meditation practice in place, jumping into a longer period of silence may be difficult. For those just starting out, a one day retreat may be more appropriate.
Or, if you’d like some help jumping into a meditation practice, I invite you to try my Reiki Meditations. They are an easy way to get you into the practice and strengthen your Reiki energy, all at the same time.
Click here to learn more about these easy-to-follow meditations that will bring you peace and cleanse your energy.
Another great thing about silent retreats is that they typically have structured time for meditation. Some have themes for you to focus on, such as developing your creativity, gaining clarity on an important life decision, or getting in touch with your inner feelings, while others just leave it to you to explore your own thoughts.
Diving into silence is a chance for you to escape the outer world and explore inside yourself. With the hectic world we live in today, we don’t often get a break from outside stimuli, and our brains are constantly whirring and buzzing with thoughts.
There are so many benefits that you can experience when you embark on a silent retreat. The list is exhaustive, but here are four things that I experienced while spending time in the quiet that will also benefit YOU…
1. I Finally Settled My ‘Monkey Brain’
In your normal, everyday life, your mind is probably running a mile a minute, jumping from one thought to another before you can even finish the first one. This is often called your “Monkey Brain” because it acts like a crazy primate who just can’t sit still.
And your monkey brain gets even worse when you try to be quiet. The act of meditation or intending to slow your thoughts can trigger your monkey brain to go into overdrive.
This can be discouraging, especially if you’re new to the practice. But keep in mind, this happens to almost all of us, and it’s simply part of the process. Even those who have a strong meditation practice will find that the monkey brain can get out of control.
It may seem like your thoughts will never settle, but here’s a secret:
After about 24 hours something magical will happen…
Your mind will start to adjust…
Your thoughts will begin to quiet down…
You’ll start to feel a sense of peace unlike any other…
This uncomfortable period of time when the mind is racing is still an important part of the process. It can give you insights into what your mind focuses on, where your thought patterns come from, or which parts of your life seem off balance.
Instead of beating yourself up about the constant chatter in your mind, take an inquisitive look at your thoughts, and have faith in the process.
The process of surrendering to silence can also do wonders for your energy…
2. I Recharged My Energy
Even when you’re not running around, you’re expending energy. Your brain takes energy to work, your emotions can drain your energy, and even simple everyday tasks can take a toll on your energy.
A huge benefit of meditation is that it allows your body, mind, and spirit time to recharge. Taking quiet time to be with yourself allows you to conserve energy and leaves you feeling rejuvenated when you rejoin the outside world.
Silent retreats do the same thing but on a much larger level. The world demands a lot from you… your attention, your participation, your body has to work hard to keep up with everything that’s going on around you.
Just think about all the work that your ears do filtering through the many sounds that you’re bombarded with each and every day. Or your throat, mouth, and vocal chords that rarely get a break from speaking.
Allowing these parts of your body to rest and recharge can do wonders for both your physical and mental health, including better sleep and clearer thinking.
Not only are you allowing your physical body to rest, but also your mental body. A silent retreat is a time for you to leave the outside world behind you and focus on yourself.
There’s no dinner to cook for the kids, presentations to give to your boss, or emails to wade through. Giving yourself a break from worrying about others and your responsibilities will give you a chance to assess your feelings, your energy, and your thoughts.
Optimizing your energy is such an important part of self-care and healing. And many people forget that they also have to restore their mental, emotional, and spiritual energy…
But I have I have created an easy way to do that… With my Reiki Meditations, you’ll be able to deepen your connection to the healing energy of Reiki, balance your energy centers, and more.
Click here to learn about all the benefits of these guided meditations.
As you allow your mind, body, and spirit to rest and recharge, you’ll start to notice so much more than you ever have before…
3. I Experienced Increased Awareness
After your thoughts have begun to settle, you’ll discover that your other senses become heightened.
It’s kind of like when you’re trying to find your way in the dark. Although you can’t see, you notice that your hearing might become better… or you notice more tactile sensations…
The same thing happens on a silent retreat. With the absence of sound, you’ll start to notice more about both yourself and the world around you. Those little details like how vivid the colors are, or how a certain emotion affects the way you think.
There is so much to uncover that you miss on a day-to-day basis. You’ll be amazed at all the things you start to find out about yourself when the world becomes quiet.
It surprised me that spending so much time in silence shifted my thought patterns so that I no longer wanted to change things. Instead, I just got curious about everything… the smell of the trees, the colors of the birds outside, the feel of my clothing against my skin…
Silence is the ultimate tool for allowing yourself to come into the present moment… Removing the distraction of sound allows you to increase your attention to the here and now.
For a while your mind may still race to the future or dwell on the past, but once it settles you’ll be completely caught up in the present moment.
As with meditation, a silent retreat isn’t about forcing your brain to think only happy thoughts. The goal is exploration… taking in both the positive and negative to give yourself a new perspective on life...
4. I Uncovered New Perspectives
Because you have allowed your body to recharge, your mind to slow down, and your awareness to deepen, you’ll be better able to listen to your inner self. As you start to surrender and truly let go, you’ll be able dive into your true soul.
Attending a silent retreat will allow you to go on a journey deep inside yourself to uncover both your positive and negative thoughts. You can then invite more compassion for yourself as you come to accept the things about yourself that you may have formed opinions about because of an outside influence…
Without the pressures of society, your family, your peers, or anyone else, you’re able to hear YOUR voice and decide what you really think.
You may not even realize how many of your thoughts, opinions, or desires you’ve actually just absorbed from those around you.
Outside influences, especially from those we love, whether intentional or accidental, can play a huge role in your decision-making process. You may not even realize how much the opinion of your family or a certain friend means to you, but the truth is that happiness, joy, and contentment have to come from inside yourself.
Spending time alone in silence gives you to chance to uncover the true you… What really brings you joy? What makes your life meaningful? What are you doing on autopilot that you may need to reassess?
Taking the time to indulge in a silent retreat will give you a break from outer expectations. You don’t have to look or act a certain way, you’re 100% free to simply be yourself.
And part of listening to yourself is trusting your intuition, or your gut feelings, which, I’ll admit, can sometimes be a hard process.
With the help of my Reiki Meditations, you’ll be able to fine tune your attention to that inner voice inside you that acts as your guiding light. Your Third Eye Chakra is connected with your intuition, but these Reiki Meditations will bring balance to all seven of your energy centers.
Click here to check out one of the easiest ways to dive into all the benefits of meditation.