• Barbara Murphy-Shannon

Why do Women go on Retreats?

Updated: Feb 17

I was recently asked, why do women go on retreats? And all I could think was "why not" but then I realized I've had the opportunity to host and attend many retreats over the past five years and maybe women just didn't know what to expect. When Tina Mahoney was invited to her first women’s retreat, she jumped at the chance to connect with other women. “This retreat offered me the opportunity to learn about and expand my understanding of ways in which I can explore and feed my mind, body and soul in a quest for balance and vision towards the future”, says Mahoney, a nurse who has two grown daughters and married for 30 years. She spent time kayaking, learning to meditate and yoga alongside five other women, ranging in age from late 30s to late 50s. Perhaps women are attracted to retreat experiences because they are finally in a place where they can re-examine and reflect their lives. And many of them are wanting a change. “What an amazing retreat of personal reflection & meeting new friends! Having gone through many life changes this past year and personal struggles, this was the perfect solution to my need for "me time," Stacie from Cedar Rapids, Iowa and Women’s Wanderlust past attendee. It could be that they are considering what is next in their career or when they find themselves empty nesters. In early mid-life, relationships and jobs can shift and now, a retreat can be a path to something new during a time of transition. The reality is that our world can be incredibly challenging for women. We are determined to be educated, professionally and personally successful, sexy, and available to everyone in our lives. We are as they say, “doing it all”. If we ever stop to catch our breath and look around, we may find ourselves in a place where we can question it all. And that is often when we become women who retreat into retreats. Retreats are about going deeper and creates an opportunity for us to explore new ways of being and to consider changes we might want to bring into our lives. When women go on retreat they are often seeking a new perspective. Sure, we can get some of this while on vacation, perhaps even a cruise (not a chance, I just got back from one and it totally stressed me out with the crowds and lines. I'll never get that time back).  When women go on retreats they are making a statement about investing in themselves. Women are retreating to places that often support them in places of questioning their life's purpose, or an aspect of their life – like their spirituality or wellness. Some go on retreat to get a fresh view on their career paths, let go of habits or self -limiting beliefs or even seeking answers to heal life's challenges. Women are retreating for so many reasons, but the trend in women taking retreats is certainly a sign that we are finally learning to give back to ourselves in real and meaningful ways. TIRED OF COOKIE CUTTER BUSINESS ADVICE THAT DOESN'T HONOR YOU AND YOUR UNIQUENESS? Click here.

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Barbara Murphy-Shannon is a Mindset Business Coach for Women Entrepreneurs. She puts out a weekly blog, offers workshops and retreats. Barbara@barbaramurphyshannon.com

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