Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Art of Retreating

The word retreat often has a negative connotation in U.S. culture. We are focused on moving forward, not backward. Retreating when faced with a difficult situation may be seen as a sign of weakness or even cowardice. Retreating on one's formerly held viewpoint may result in being labeled a "flip-flopper". One who chooses to retreat from society and spend time in seclusion may be seen as eccentric or even downright weird.

Perhaps retreating should be considered a sign of strength and wisdom. Taking time to prepare for a situation, to contemplate a course of action or to evaluate other viewpoints can bring great insight. Resist the urge to act and allow the mind to settle into the quiet. Allow the answers from deep within to spring forth.

And so in this spirit, I am taking two months off for a personal retreat. The trip, at it's conception, was to be an art retreat. An opportunity to be by myself and create lots of art.  I set numerous lofty goals for my time. But now I've discovered that what I really need is time to contemplate bigger issues - where is my work going, how do I want to move forward, what kind of life do I want in the next 10 years?  I still plan to create art, but I've let go of some of those early goals.  I plan to indulge my whims and let the days unfold as they will.

I don't expect to be blogging during that time.  I'll have limited access to the internet (ahhhhh!) and little desire to keep up with blogs and social media.This is time for re-connecting - with nature, with my innermost desires, with my intuition and with my creativity. It is also a time for renewal (my word for 2013).

Wishing you all a happy and creative summer!  May you do some retreating of your own.


  1. A happy and creative retreat to you! I think you took a wise decision and that most of us should follow the example at least once a year. Have a sweet summer.

  2. You may already be retreating--may it be quiet and fruitful and may you find some answers and many more questions. I enjoy reading your blog and look forward to your words of wisdom when you return.


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