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6 Ways to Ease the Transition After Your Retreat: Supporting Your Re-Entry Process

Reentry after retreat is an important conversation and big reality for retreaters. For many, this period can be extremely challenging and when not done accurately, so much can be lost through a careless return to ordinary life.

Everybody loves a good plan when it comes to preparing for the retreat (or vacation) however for most people, endings are not our favorite so we tend to ignore that things end.

For many people that means that when we return home we enter into chaos, loneliness, disconnection, lack of structure - or even all of these things combined. Due to this we may lose the benefits of the retreat quickly or worst case scenario we may even convince ourselves it’s not worth leaving in the first place. Telling ourselves “It’s too challenging for my partner, too hard for my business, too much hassle to treat myself to a retreat.

Please don’t believe that. You just need a more mindful reentry plan! Here’s a few things for you to consider:

1. Honor your reentry desires

Spend a few moments recognizing what would make your return to ordinary life easier FOR YOU. Take time to create a quick desire list. Maybe that means you eat take out for the next few meals. Or that you need to call a friend to grab a few groceries for you. Maybe you wake a dinner date with your BFF to share pictures and stories? Or plan to reconnect with someone who you went on retreat with. Make clear requests from your kids or partner to clean up those first few days after your return. Be willing to ask for what you want to ease back into life. This is not to be underestimated!

2. Be greedy

What will keep the spirit of the retreat alive? A massage? A Saturday hike? Chatting with a friend you met on your trip? Rereading your notes? Extra relaxing morning time over tea and your photos? Feed the goodness, feed the life you really want to build. Focus on YOU, make time and space for YOU. Choose YOU.

3. Touch back into the experience of your retreat

Put your hand on your heart and savor a memory – what it felt like to be seen and loved, waking up to birds chirping, walking through nature, sharing a meal with all your friends, speaking a truth that you have been holding for far too long. I call these “memories of the heart.” Thirty seconds reliving them while breathing in and out of your heart resets your nervous system. Spend time daily with this practice. Remember, remember, remember - and you will integrate.

4. Reject The Need To Throw Yourself Back Into "Doing".

Basically what I am speaking to is this... “I did something fun for myself so now I will work 15 hours a day, eat only kale, exercise three hours starting at 4 am, launch a new offer, and do everybody's laundry.” Please do NOT try to take on the superhuman act - that is not REAL experience upon re-entry. Instead, you have to do the opposite. What can you cancel to create more space during the first week? When you first return you need time and space to settle back in. You need to integrate everything that shifted in you and give yourself time to emerge in your ordinary life as a new version of you. Less is best the first week back. Especially if you say, “But I can’t cancel anything!”. Cancel it.

5. Release your big plans for change

Start small. Don't try to make all the changes right when you return. Choose one or maybe two new things that you want to add and take your time doing so, allowing them to actually stick. One small change at a time. Maybe that is 5 minutes of meditation or 20 minutes of yoga. A short journaling session or gratitude in bed. Ease into it so you can be successful.

6. Protect what’s sacred.

Don't rush to share your experience because ultimately nobody can understand it, unless they took the journey with you. Many people in your world will be wanting you to share everything and you will discover that the more you try to explain it, the less it makes sense. You may also realize that those around you want to force you right back into the world you had stepped out of- don't let them take you from the sacred. Sometimes the best thing you can do is just share the pieces that they will understand - the food or the perfect weather.

Also understand that it is say to simply say “I’m not ready to talk about it yet but thank you so much for asking.” Protect what you created into life.



One last thing. Pay attention if you find yourself saying “not possible” when you read this, the more you proclaim that - the more real that becomes. If reentering with others, share this post and brainstorm (as a family or roommates or even a team retreat): what would be a great reentry for all of us?


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