I was not gifted this retreat to attend. Marion does offer a $50 referral fee for all participants for future use. If you use promo code: ModernMama when booking, I will receive a commission and you will receive $50 off your retreat. All opinions below are my own.
This past weekend I attended the Peace of Mind retreat at the Ravenstone Retreat in Sunshine Valley. I had never attended a retreat like this before. The retreat focused on “Peace of Mind.” We were asked to bring one thing that we feel guilty about and one thing that we hold a grievance about. For me, personally, I tend to focus on everyone’s needs before my own. I do monthly girls nights with my friends and spa days, which I felt like that was enough to take of my mental health needs but never realized how to check in with myself. The idea of going away for a weekend without my family and focusing on issues that I may have been bottling up didn’t sound like the most appealing idea but there was something about it that I couldn’t quite say no to.
The retreat is run by Marion Baker who has been practicing RTC for over eight years. She also wrote a book “The Lime Green Plastic Couch- Insight for Women Who Struggle To Find Lasting Love”. The retreat is offered in a remote area located in a beautiful gated community. Surrounded by mountains, tall pines and log cabins. I thought that the quiet would be deafening but I found it extremely calming. There is something comforting about being surrounded by things bigger than yourself– thousand year old trees and larger than life mountains.
I didn’t have many expectations going in to the weekend but decided that I was going all in for anything it offered. It was advised to us that we could opt out of any of the exercises. Marion also advised that some of the activities may feel uncomfortable but that if we spent a few moments getting through that discomfort that it would pass and we would feel more peaceful on the other side. The exercises were all meant to be gentle and nothing was meant to be hard or in your face.
We had two breakfasts and lunches and three dinners included in our weekend. The food was AH-MA-ZING. The menu was all organic and gluten-free foods. The first night we dined on chicken with avocado and tomatoes drizzled in a balsamic dressing. We also had an option of spinach salad and hot cross buns. Breakfast options included oatmeal and omelettes. We could also make our own toasts or yogurt with granola. Lunch included make-your-own salad bars with spinach, kale, nuts, seeds, beets, strawberries and more. We could also have curried cauliflower soups or hot cross buns. We also had unlimited access to coffees, teas and water.
At the beginning of every exercise, Marion wanted to know how we were feeling and give that feeling a number. It is such a simple thing that I still find myself doing. It is important to check in with ourselves. Where am I at mentally, why am I at that place and what is something I can do about it? She also guided us through meditation exercises which would be easy to download or do myself. I always thought of meditation as completely shutting my mind off which seemed impossible and found myself letting my thoughts guide me actually calming.
The Saturday started off with our group exercises on guilt. We advised the main issue we were holding on to, then proceeded to do some partner work where we faced the other person and talked about ourselves and guilt. It was five minutes of talking about anything that you could think of about those topics and at times I felt like I was rambling on. Each five minute turn made me dig a little deeper and by the end I felt 30lbs lighter. It is amazing how saying things out loud takes the power away from them. When we have problems or overanalyze ourselves we tend to think that we are the only ones who have had that thought or feeling. I was comforted at how similar the answer of the participants were.
The Saturday afternoon focused more on grievances we have. We advised the group of a person or thing that we had brought to discuss. All times that we shared it was as much as we felt comfortable with. There was the option presented to share more but there was never any pressure. We were presented a series of questions to journal about to help understand why we hold onto grievances and what purpose it really serves. We also had a group discussion on forgiveness and completed a similar exercise with partners but instead of guilt being our topic forgiveness was. It was surprising how much harder forgiveness was in comparison to releasing guilt.
I left the weekend happy that I had attended and like I had left physically lighter which I really was not expecting. I also met some fantastic ladies and would be way more open to attending a similar retreat in the future. I learned great tools on how to “check in” on myself as much as others and the desire to prioritize mediation and journaling. If you are interested in attending a “Peace of Mind” Retreat at Ravenstone please don’t hesitate to reach out to Marion at firstname.lastname@example.org.