The Importance of Retreat (and the story of how this channel began)

Question: In today’s fast-paced and hectic world, have you ever found yourself yearning for a break?

Intro: Welcome to The Importance of Retreat, a blog dedicated to exploring the significance of taking time for oneself. In this modern age, where stress and burnout seem to be the norm, finding solace and rejuvenation becomes paramount. This blog aims to delve into the myriad of benefits that retreating from the chaos of daily life can provide, whether it’s a secluded mountain cabin, a serene beachside getaway, or even a simple walk in nature. But before we delve into the depths of this topic, let’s take a moment to share the story of how this channel began and why it holds such personal importance to us.

The Importance of Retreat (and the story of how this channel began)

I’ve said it a lot on this channel before that I think all authentic art comes out of who we are as individuals and that means that getting to know ourselves is the only way that we can be deliberate about what we want to say and what we want to produce and put out into the world. And that getting to know ourselves takes an investment of time.

H2: Disconnecting from Ourselves

I think the way we live our lives today, it can be very easy to be disconnected from ourselves, and that will mean that our art will suffer and we’ll feel like there’s no direction to what we’re doing. Because if we’re chasing around trying to fulfill to-do lists or catch up on the bills that need to be paid, it’s really difficult to carve out space and time to take that step back to be able to see the bigger picture.

H2: Creating Mental Space

I learned this a while ago, and I try and get really deliberate about creating space to sit and do a lot of thinking, not necessarily with the agenda to have to create something, but sometimes just to read a book, just to sit and think about something. I really enjoy reading about psychology and anthropology and history as well because it situates me as an individual in the bigger context of who human beings are and what they’re trying to do.

I’ve also been to therapy on and off for years, and it’s not to respond to some crisis or because things are falling apart. It’s because I want to be a more deliberate artist and to know myself better. And I’ve found it really helpful to sit across a room from somebody who can act as an objective mirror, showing me the lies I’m telling about myself and helping me to dig a bit deeper and get to know who I am.

H2: Finding Direction and Vision

It’s in these times when I’m stepping out, when I’m trying to get a better picture of who I am, what I have to say, and what’s going on in the world, that I feel like I get more direction back from my work. That I again find my voice and what I really want to say. Everything flows from this space, which is why I try and get as deliberate as possible about creating as much of this space as I can in any given year. And one of the most deliberate ways I do that is to take retreats.

H2: The Story of How this Channel Began

Let me give you a really practical example, and it’s something you might be interested in because I got the direction for this channel from a retreat. If you’ve been following this channel for a while, you will know that I left my job as a pastor, priest, whatever you want to call it, about a decade ago.

H3: Speaking Honestly and Vulnerably

One of the things I absolutely loved about that job was being able to speak to people week in and week out, to encourage them on their journeys and to inspire them to better. And I also was very deliberate about not speaking like somebody normally would in a church. I wanted to be more honest and more vulnerable than was often acceptable. I would be very honest about the doubts that I had and I would share those.

H3: Unpopular Opinions

I would also be very honest about where I thought the institution of church was failing in society and really not doing the job it said itself it should be doing. Now, this obviously made me very unpopular with a lot of people. I would have emails every Monday morning after I spoke on a Sunday night from people in the church telling me that if I’m in leadership, I should not be talking about my doubts with people. That’s not okay to do.

I obviously disagreed, and the institution didn’t really have a lot of time for me because I was quite critical of the fact that the institution of church often made the wrong things important. But it did make me very popular amongst people who were honestly seeking some kind of true spirituality that didn’t have to turn a blind eye to all the inconsistencies. And I found that kind of communication really fulfilling.

H3: Getting Fired

So, I suppose it will come as no surprise to hear that I was eventually fired. I was told to stop saying the things I was saying or I had to leave. And I said I couldn’t because I believed in what I was saying, and so I was moved on. And the sad part about that for me was I lost my context to speak to inspire and to encourage others, and obviously, that made me sad.

H3: Shifting Focus

I then shifted all my energy and attention into photography and filmmaking, which was my next chosen career. I’d already been doing a little bit on the side, but I put in a lot of time to learn skills and to develop myself and build myself up to the point where I eventually started to get jobs in-house in companies and started to make some sort of success on this, with some freelance work as well.

H3: YouTube Channel Beginnings

But my love of communicating and storytelling and encouraging others and that skill set that I built up for myself over a decade of working for the church was now sitting unused on a dusty shelf. Fast forward now to January 2015, and I decided that maybe I wanted to give YouTube a try.

And at the time, I was working shooting furniture and large products in studios. And I realized from when I started that job, because I went on YouTube looking for tutorials about how to do this better, there was very little out there showing you how to do it. And there was loads on tabletop photography with just a couple of lights, but not much to show you, for example, how to shoot a massive sofa or dining set in a studio with multiple lights.

H3: Creating Tutorial Videos

So, I decided I would do a series of videos teaching you how to shoot, cut out, and drop shadows, recolor fabrics, all the stuff that jobbing ecommerce photographers need to know how to do. And so, I went about filming that little series, so I planted five years’ worth of knowledge and experience into these three videos, and I put them out into the world.

H3: Lack of Excitement

And they did okay. People passed them around, I think because they filled a hole and a gap that there was online because not many people were talking about how to shoot and edit larger products. But when I watched them back, they just felt like cold dry tutorials, and they just didn’t excite me.

H3: Channel Abandoned

Like a lot of people, I left those videos up but I just pretty much abandoned the channel altogether. It was a year later, in about May 2016, when I decided to take myself on a retreat. Because, as I said, I try and get deliberate about this sort of thing. And in my head, I thought, let’s go to Snowdonia. It’s beautiful, I’ve never been before, and I’ve seen pictures, I really want to go and just hang out there.

So, I booked a little eco cabin next to a river, and I decided that I’d try out…

FAQ – The Importance of Retreat (and the story of how this channel began)

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why is retreat important?

Retreats provide individuals with an opportunity to disconnect from their daily routines, immerse themselves in a new environment, and focus on personal growth and self-reflection. They allow for introspection, relaxation, and rejuvenation, leading to enhanced mental clarity, emotional balance, and overall well-being.

2. How can retreats contribute to personal development?

Retreats offer a conducive space to explore inner thoughts and feelings, gain new perspectives, and develop a deeper understanding of oneself. Through engaging in various mindfulness practices, workshops, and connecting with like-minded individuals, retreats foster personal growth, self-awareness, and provide valuable tools for self-improvement.

3. What inspired the creation of this channel?

This channel began as a passion project driven by our founder’s personal transformative experience during a retreat. Witnessing the profound impact it had on their life, they wanted to share this transformative journey with others. Thus, this channel emerged as a platform to educate, inspire, and encourage individuals to embark on their own retreat experiences for growth and self-discovery.

4. How can I benefit from this channel?

By following our channel, you will have access to valuable content, including informative videos, motivational stories, practical tips, and expert advice on retreats. We aim to empower and guide you towards choosing the right retreat, making the most out of your retreat experience, and utilizing the lessons learned in your everyday life for personal and spiritual development.

5. Are retreats suitable for everyone?

Yes, retreats cater to individuals from all walks of life, irrespective of age, gender, or background. Whether you are seeking solace, personal growth, or simply a break from the daily grind, there are retreats tailored to meet your unique needs and interests. It is essential to research and choose a retreat that aligns with your goals and intentions.

6. How can I find retreats that suit me?

Our channel provides comprehensive resources and recommendations to help you find the perfect retreat. We cover a wide range of retreat types, such as yoga retreats, meditation retreats, spiritual retreats, and wellness retreats. We also offer guidance on selecting retreats based on location, duration, budget, and specific focus areas, ensuring you find the retreat that resonates with you.

7. Can retreats be life-changing?

Absolutely, retreats have the potential to be profoundly transformative. The immersive nature of a retreat, coupled with dedicated time for introspection and personal growth, often leads to powerful insights and shifts in perspective. Many individuals have experienced life-changing outcomes, such as improved relationships, career advancements, increased self-confidence, and a deeper sense of purpose, through their retreat experiences.

8. How often should I attend retreats?

The frequency of attending retreats depends on your personal preferences, availability, and the desired level of retreat experience. Some individuals find value in attending retreats on a yearly basis, while others may choose to participate more frequently. It is essential to listen to your needs and allow yourself the time and space to retreat whenever you feel the call for self-reflection and rejuvenation.

I hope you find useful my article The Importance of Retreat (and the story of how this channel began), I also recommend you to read my other posts in my blog at this link.

If you need help with anything join the community or do not hesitate to contact me.

Best of luck! and follow your passion.

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