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It's time for a solitary retreat — suzanne-mcrae.com

It’s time for a solitary retreat

It’s been almost a month since I began the Positively Creative Journaling class online. The class has given me a gentle nudge and opportunity to go look deeper within, while getting used to playing with paint again in a stress-free way. I’ve had a great time.

In the past week I was given an exercise to journal about what a perfect fantasy day would be for me. We had to include the what, where and when of such a day.

I couldn’t help but think back of my recent trip to Newfoundland with my husband as I worked on that day’s lesson. I remember feeling the need to be at the ocean often while we were there visiting. The thought of being quiet by the water never left me since we came back home. Within 24 hours of being back I remember telling my husband that I felt the need to go on a vacation by myself. Part of me couldn’t understand why I needed to do this when I had just had 10 wonderful days away. As I got busy in the days and weeks that followed, I forgot about going away on my own.

When I sat down to write about what my perfect fantasy day would look like… I wrote about these elements that I felt were important for me on such a day.

I could see myself by the water either an ocean or a lake, quiet solitary time, the birds, the sun warm and comforting… a nice chair or even a hammock, a yoga mat, a book to read, camera, journal, sketchpad, paints and pencils… while listening to the waves hitting the shores… enjoying the warm summer breeze I could get to see the sunrise and the sunset. It would be a day that was fun, relaxing, rejuvenating and enlightening all in one for me. A time to reflect, and do as I pleased and just be.

I remember thinking, how could this could ever take place? It felt impossible… but it sure felt good to write and dream about it. The next day I turned the page to my creative journal and went on to do the next exercise… never giving more thought to this perfect fantasy day.

This past week I had a Skype session with my Heilkunst practitioner Allyson McQuinn. After recently reading her book The Path to Cure, which is about her journey and how she solved the root cause of her son’s autistic spectrum issues. I knew I had to connect with her since we each had a son diagnosed with autism, she would fully understand where I was coming from. There was a reason that I felt strong about connecting with her and I felt ready to learn from her experiences. Allyson has since become my new Heilkunst practitioner and I couldn’t be any happier.

In my session with her this week she told me that she had just returned from a 10-day solitary retreat in the wilderness. As I sat there listening to her words I could feel myself melting into the chair imagining myself doing something similar for me. Well maybe not the wilderness part, but a retreat of some sort. She talked about the importance of having a space in our home that is sacred for me. A quiet place where I could have my daily mini-retreats. But I still couldn’t shake her words about what her retreat had done for her. I also knew that my Reiki/Meditation room is presently in the midst of a makeover… what I’ve wanted to create is coming. But yet it felt that I really needed to disconnect for a longer period of time.

Then it came to me that evening… I have a good friend who goes often to this heavenly little place on a river about an hour from our home. I remembered her telling me this a while back, so I called her to find out more. Before I knew it I had booked a 5-day get-away, in a nice little cottage facing the river. She told me that this place only tolerates peace and quiet for their guests. I can’t wait. I leave in 3 weeks.

I look forward to disconnecting from the everyday busy-ness and will take lots of time to sleep, and do as many or as few things that I had on my creative journal pages. I feel the need to reconnect with myself. I want to allow myself that quiet breathing space.

The next morning as I opened the email for my next Positively Creative Journaling exercise, I had to flip back through my journal to a previous exercise for something… and as I went through my journal I stopped to look at some of the pages, then something grabbed my attention… about a week ago I had written about my Perfect Fantasy Day without thinking more about it and here I was a week later and I had a 5-day retreat booked. Somehow in the midst of it all I had manifested this get-away without realizing what was coming my way.

A perfect fantasy day

I’m filled with gratitude to be able to have this wonderful opportunity. I look forward to coming back with a renewed energy… calmer… more peaceful… more patient… and most of all to be connected more deeply to what is inside of me.

What do you like to do for yourself that helps you re-energize?

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  1. I say this with a huge smile in my heart, Good for you!

  2. I am so looking forward to hearing about your 5 days once you have come home. Its going to be AWESOME!!!

  3. Thanks for the lovely mention Suzanne! I look forward to hearing all about your self-exploration. Warmly, Allyson

  4. AAAAAAAAAAHH! I”m so excited for you, Suzanne! What a great idea! I have been fantasizing about a 12-hour vacation (because only that much seems doable at the moment). I could just image what a 5-day retreat would bring you! So, so, so well deserved. Enjoy!

    • It all starts with little amounts at a time letting go with our kids. I hear you. It’s not as easy for some. It took me a very long time to be able to send my son away for a weekend. Now that he no longer goes away I do… this is only my 2nd time ever by myself. Consider yourself there in my thoughts on my retreat. I know that I’m very lucky. Thank you for commenting.


  1. […] I mention I’m going away for 5 days soon? I look forward so much to what I call my solitary retreat. Maybe I’ll learn in those 5 days how to let go, how to do less, and how to come up for that […]

  2. […] When I think back to early July when I was taking a class online called Positively Creative Journaling, one of the exercises was to journal about what a fantasy day might look like… a day I dreamed of having for myself. I had fun writing things down not fully expecting it to happen anytime soon. Little did I know that the next month I would be gone for a week and this month gone for 3 days with my husband. Many of the elements I wanted and wrote about in that exercise became a reality for me. I love how things have manifested in my life just from one simple exercise. You can read about it here. […]

  3. […] Park… and also The Greatest Adventure that Never Happened. And you can find 5 blog posts on a retreat I went on this […]

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