480: Relisten: 10 Reasons Why Retreats Are Important (144) 

Carla Naumburg

Why are retreats important?

There are many reasons: they allow you to pull back, get inspired, become spacious, detox, and find your people. Besides which, you get away from your children, have someone else cook you dinner, and have uninterrupted adult conversations!

In this episode, regular guest Carla Naumburg and I talk about why we all need to retreat now and then.

Relisten: 10 Reasons Why Retreats Are Important (144) - Carla Naumburg [480]

Read the Transcript 🡮

*This is an auto-generated transcript*

[00:00:00] Hunter: Hey there, it's Hunter, and welcome to Throwback Thursday. Most Thursdays, we are going to re release one of my favorite episodes from the archives. So unless you're a longtime listener of the show, there's a good chance you haven't heard this one yet. And even if you had, chances are that you are going to get something new listening to it this time around.

A retreat is a place where we pull back from the world and you know, there are so many reasons why we want to do retreats. They allow us to take that step back from our lives, get perspective. To get inspired, to become spacious, you know, to kind of detox from the go, go, go busy ness of our life.

You're listening to the Mindful Mama podcast, episode 144. Today we're talking about 10 reasons why retreats are important with Carla Nombark.

Welcome to the Mindful Parenting podcast. Here it's about becoming a less irritable, more joyful parent. I'm Mindful Parenting. We know that you cannot give what you do not have, and when you have calm and peace within, then you can give it to your children. I'm your host, Hunter Clark Fields. I help smart, thoughtful parents stay calm so they can have strong, connected relationships with their children.

I've been practicing mindfulness for over 25 years, I'm the creator of the Mindful Parenting course, and I'm the author of the international bestseller, Raising Good Humans, and now, Raising Good Humans Every Day, 50 Simple Ways to Rest Pause, Stay Present, and Connect with Your Kids. Welcome! I am so glad you are here today.

This is a conversation that you will get to join me with my good friend, Carla Nomberg, and we're going to be talking about retreats and why are retreats important. You know, there's a lot of reasons. How they allowed you to pull back and get inspired. And as you join me in this conversation, you're going to hear how retreats can actually are helpful to your family as well.

And you're going to hear why exactly retreats might be even helpful to your partner. And it includes, but goes beyond the need to have other people cook your meals for you and to take that time and space. But we talk about, you're going to hear about, hear us talk about how. You get that time to sort of step back from who you are away from your role.

So I can't wait for you to join me in this conversation with my friend, Carla Namburg.

Carla, welcome back to the Mindful Mama podcast. Hunter, I'm so happy to be here and I am so excited about today's topic. Yay! Today we are talking about 10 reasons why retreats are important and you're here to talk about this with me because. You and I are holding a retreat. This is

[00:03:06] Carla: our second time

[00:03:07] Hunter: doing this together.

And the

[00:03:08] Carla: third time was told third. Isn't it our third time doing it? We did. Didn't we do two before? Blame the children. They stole our brain cells. I don't know, but I love doing retreats with you. So it's our fifth time. Let's just say fifth, as long as we're just making up numbers. It's our eighth time doing a retreat together.

[00:03:29] Hunter: But today we're going to be talking about retreats and why they are so important. And Carla, my dear friend, is on to talk about them with me. And as you know, if you're a listener, regular listener, that Carla has been on the Mindful Mama podcast the most. You're like the queen guest. Yes.

[00:03:49] Carla: Nailed it. I'm like Steve Martin, who's done like 27, you know, hosting appearances on Saturday Night Live.

I'm like him of Mindful Parenting podcasts.

[00:03:59] Hunter: You are, you're that, you're that for me, you're that for me. So tell us, tell the listener, please, who you are, my dear. The listeners, you mean? Well, we're talking to one person in one person's ear right now. You only have one listener, Hunter, we kind of went on this podcast.

[00:04:14] Carla: Oh, sorry. Okay. Dear listener. Hi. Um, my name is Karla and I have poor self regulation. No, that's not what I'm saying. I'm So I'm a clinical social worker, and I also am a parent coach, and I write books about parenting. And I'm working on my third book right now, which is called How to Stop Losing Your Peep with Your Kids.

But the title actually has the real word. I just don't want to say it on Hunter's podcast. And that book is going to be out this summer. And I live in Massachusetts with my husband and two daughters and two crazy cats.

[00:04:45] Hunter: Yay. I have two crazy cats, too. And you have two daughters. Carla, I didn't tell you this, so I'm going to tell you and the listener at the same time, which is kind of exciting.

And what made me think of it was your cats was a little off topic on retreats, but it's kind of, anyway, my family and I are doing a home exchange. next summer with a family in France. We're trading our house for four weeks. We're trading houses. And the funny thing is, is that we're also kind of like trading cats because obviously the cats aren't going with us.

So they have a cat and we have two cats. And some of my cats are going to be like, what happened to my humans in New York? Who are you? It's so random. But anyway, it's neat that we can trade cats too. Don't you think? I'll tell you more. That's super neat,

[00:05:31] Carla: but now you're going to France for a month, so we can't be friends anymore.

I'm sorry. That's just my rule. I can't be friends with people who go to France for a month. You can come visit me. Well, my kids are going to sleep away camp

[00:05:42] Hunter: next summer. What, what? So maybe

[00:05:43] Carla: I could come visit

[00:05:44] Hunter: you. There you go. There you go. But today we are talking about retreats. We will talk about home exchange in France another time, but.

No, I'm never talking about that with you again,

[00:05:54] Carla: ever. Don't ever. We'll

[00:05:57] Hunter: be fine.

And today we're talking about 10 reasons why we think retreats are important. And Carla and I obviously both agree that they are important and these are some of the, we've put together some of the reasons why, but you know, first, what is a retreat, right? A retreat is, it really comes from Retreat comes from the Latin verb to pull back.

So a retreat is a place where we pull back from the world. And you know, there are so many reasons why we want to do retreats. They, they allow us to take that step back from our lives, get perspective, to get inspired, to become spacious, you know, to, to kind of detox from the go, go, go busyness of our life.

But I put together these 10 reasons and we're going to. We're going to talk about some of those reasons and that's what this conversation is going to be about today. Carla, do you have anything to add to that?

[00:06:55] Carla: Yeah. So I would like to say that Hunter put together an incredibly thoughtful and rich and really inspiring list of reasons to go on retreat.

And I read it and I was like, Oh, she's right. I just go to get away from my kids and have someone else cook me dinner. Like, I just want to sleep through the night and wake up and not have to feed anyone. But no, having said that, like all of, also you can have like uninterrupted adult conversations, which is amazing.

But yes. We are going to go through this list. It's all true. I had never been on a retreat until my daughters were little and I knew that I needed a break. And if I, you know, just went to a hotel for a night, I would just sit and binge on TV all night long. And that's not what I wanted for myself. So I hadn't thought through why retreats are so amazing as clearly as Hunter had.

And then when I read her list, I was like, Oh yeah, that happened. And that, so this was a great list. And if anything it inspires you, it probably comes from Hunter, unless you are super inspired by someone else having you make, make you dinner, in which case that's, that's all me. That's enough. That

[00:07:58] Hunter: part is so great too, actually, because a lot of retreats have great dinner.

But I was

[00:08:04] Carla: surprised because I was really scared it was going to be just all green stuff, like just lots of greens and like really uber healthy, like quinoa and greens. And it was delicious.

[00:08:16] Hunter: Mm hmm. And it's delicious. And dinner is one of those questions to ask about on a retreat because, you know, people have different dietary needs and things like that.

But yeah, there, there can be amazing dinners. And in fact, we'll, I'll, we'll tell you about the, you know, I'm doing a retreat in Costa Rica later and that dinner, oh, I know the chef, Javier. He's so good. He's so good. But dinner, I don't have dinner on the list, so we can't talk about Javier. And he cooks with his daughter, his 19 year old daughter, Hilary.

Hilary and Javier. They're so cute. That's adorable. Okay. We're, we're really getting off topic. Okay. Let's dive into number, okay. Let's dive into number one. Number one reason to go on retreat is to pull back. And this is, the idea on this is that is strategic. You're withdrawing from your regular life.

Pulling in all that energy that's otherwise fanned out and thinned out in a bazillion different directions. And you gather your forces and you either just let that retreat be about gathering your forces and just resting or maybe focusing on something you love, right? And so, this idea of pulling back is a place to really You know, when we think about pulling back our viewpoint, we're getting a perspective, right?

We're pressing pause on all the different things we're doing in life. And we, we regroup and re energize, right? It's, it's about thinking about. What is important to you? What inspires you? And taking that perspective on your life to really say, when I take this space back, then I can come back more fully energized.

But it's that idea of just retreat, retreat, you know, like get right away. Oh, sorry. I'm done.

[00:10:04] Carla: Sorry.

[00:10:04] Hunter: I'm going to be showing my kids Monty Python soon. I'm so excited for anyone who didn't get Carlos reference. That's Monty Python. And is it like Quest for the Holy Grail? Possibly. Or People, Life of Brian? I don't know.

I can't remember. Say it all at once. Oh, okay. About parenting? Yes. So it's about taking that time to, to strategically pull back. And for me, I think I need that time. I need that time pretty regularly. Like I need a little bit of time to pull back on a regular basis. And then, you You know, maybe once or twice a year, I need some more time to just kind of pull back and take stock.

Uh, what do you think, Carol? Absolutely.

[00:10:45] Carla: I mean, I think for me, a big part of it is getting perspective. Like I can get so caught up in the tiny little details of daily life and get so easily frustrated by or worried about, you know, things that really, You know, they're important, but they're not the most important or, you know, I don't have to get so sucked into them and literally stepping away from all of that really helps me get some perspective, helps me be sort of calmer and more grounded and less crazy, neurotic for lack of a better word, so yeah, I love this idea of You know, intentionally kind of stepping away from daily life for a period of time.

[00:11:27] Hunter: And I think, you know, daily life, it seems like, I don't know, I feel like daily life is filled with a bunch of, I think, I feel like it's built with a bunch of, like, if you look at things kind of from the perspective of, you know, Well, we're either in love or we're in fear. Like daily life is filled with a bunch of little fears, right?

Like we're, we're scared we said the wrong thing, or we're scared we're going to be late, or, you know, we're worried about this and worried about that. And then we've got the news and all of those things. And we build this muscle of worry and fear in our lives just by kind of practicing it all the time.

And we don't realize that this sort of toll this takes on us. And I think it can kind of Eat away at us bit by bit. And the idea of pulling back is for me, it's this idea of like kind of pulling back and, and give yourself permission to just rest, giving yourself permission. I guess this dives into number two, like kind of which number two is become spacious, but this idea of pulling back from all those worries and just saying, you know what, right now I don't have to, I give myself permission not to engage in all the worries of the world for like this.

You know, weekend or this week or this day or whatever it is. And that rest from all the little being in that place of fear and sitting with all those worries that I find that part like is one of the biggest rejuvenators.

Stay tuned for more Mindful Mama podcast right after this break.

[00:13:05] Carla: Absolutely. And I think that number two, where we talk about sort of becoming more spacious and just feeling like. You can breathe again. You can think again. You, you can kind of just get into a different, more open headspace. I think that and, and getting inspired, which is really our number three reason for going on retreat.

Both of those take time. And this is why a retreat, even if it's just, you know, two days, it's important to give yourself the time because, you know, like I took a mindfulness based stress reduction course many years ago and it was two hours once a week and I would be in the car, drive, drive, driving in traffic and I'd get there and then it felt like as soon as I had finally just started to calm down and get regrounded, I had to turn around and get in the car and race home and pick up the girls and do dinner, whatever.

And so I think that's one of the joys of a retreat. And even if you can just go for a full day. That's better than the hour or two, is that. When you let yourself be fully present for a day or two or four or however long, you are really giving yourself time to sort of step away, find that space to think and breathe and notice and not feel constantly sort of jammed in by everything that needs to get done or the pile of library books that needs to get returned or the Legos all over the floor, the dishes that need to be done.

And yes, I am looking around my house right now and that's what's going on here. You finally can sort of open up a little bit, but it takes time. And that's one of the key differences between just sort of a class or a podcast or, or something like that. And really giving yourself a couple of days to step away.

[00:14:37] Hunter: Oh yeah. I mean, in our lives, like, yeah, the Legos, right. But everything's vying for our attention, like our cell phone. When our kids, the dinner, you know, the, the bills, our partner, all that stuff, all the time is taken up, like all that time. And that's, that's really why that, yeah, like taking that time, like number two is really there becomes spacious because there seems like there's hardly any free time in most people's lives.

I'm really conscious of trying to not be in time poverty in my own life, but there's still like time is taken up. Like there's so many things to do and things to fit in and all of those things. And it's like, but then when you go on retreat, You're just like, in the best retreats, you arrive, and you're just kind of taken care of from there on in.

Like, you put your things down, you find your room, you put your things down, you make your little space, and then you wander out, and you don't have anything to do right away. You have a more fluid sense of time. You don't have to rush. Everything is there in the same place, right? You can, instead of like putting your attention outward constantly and giving attention to all those worries, like I said, you can give, start to kind of feel into yourself and this takes some time, like feel into your own kind of heart space, right?

Like what is important to you right now? What is, what are your, Priorities and your cares and, and your most important things and your, your interests and what fills you up right now and, and who are you right now too? Because like, we just like our kids, we see it so much more clearly with our kids that like, they are A different person from one day to the next, right?

They're like a river, right? Which is, you never step into the same river twice. And our kids are constantly changing and that's just the truth of life. And we can see it so much, especially with our kids, but it's true with us too. Like, who are you right now? Like, it's so beautiful to take time to stop rushing and say, Oh, hello, me, like, get to know myself again.

Who am I right now? How do I want to feel? How do I want to live my life? That perspective stuff. And I think that sort of

[00:16:51] Carla: sense of checking in with yourself and taking perspective really does for me lead to number three, which I mentioned our number three reason to go on a retreat is to get inspired. So my favorite retreats are mindful parenting and writing retreats because I do a lot of writing and also I like ones with yoga because I like yoga.

I do find that I'm often deeply inspired at retreats. Either, you know, I have some idea for some writing or I'm inspired to pick up a habit that I've been struggling with, you know. It wasn't until I went on a retreat that mindfulness and meditation really became a consistent part of my life. And so there is this, this ability to, again, it goes with a sense of expansion and openness where you start to think more creatively.

And sometimes that creatively is about a creative work you're doing, whether you're writing or painting or sculpting or something like that. And sometimes it's just creative thinking about a problem you've been struggling with, a different way to manage a sticky parenting dynamic or a situation with your parenting partner.

Or something like that. Like sometimes you just go away and then you think, Oh, why didn't I do it this way? And it could make life easier. So I really do find that for me, you know, getting that time and space is a huge source of inspiration in my life and really helpful. And then Hunter, I love what you said.

Number four is just to listen. You know, we get this space to just listen, to listen to. Ourselves, our own thoughts, our own dreams and wishes to listen to the wisdom of the teachers on retreats, which I don't even know if this is on our list, but one of the things I love about retreats is you get to learn from really wise and thoughtful and kind people.

And I, I love that. I'm so grateful for that. And also listening to the supportive ideas and suggestions of the other people on the retreat, but. Listening to the quiet outside, you know, at Copper Beach in West Hartford, Connecticut, where Hunter and I do our 27, I think we've done 27 of these retreats together at Copper Beach.

They have this beautiful, so almost all retreat spaces. I think this is true, at least that I've ever been to. I have a beautiful outdoor space because part of it is just having that place to be outside and breathe and be in nature. And at Copper Beach, they also have a labyrinth, which I had never walked a labyrinth before.

And when I first went, I was like, this is weird and I'm not doing it because that's my gut reaction to everything new because I'm a nine year old at heart. I remember this moment. I'm like, what the hell are we doing here? Walking in circles? Why would I do that? And then I have these like super deep thoughts about like how the labyrinth is such an amazing metaphor for life and change and growth.

It was extremely deep thoughts, which are, were, would be super impressive if I could remember them now. And there is this way in which just being outside and listening to the sounds around you is so calming. And I forget to do that in daily life.

[00:19:47] Hunter: So part of the reason why I'm doing the retreat in Costa Rica is in April is because I went to this house and on a retreat at this place in Costa Rica last April, and it was amazing.

And one of the things that was so healing for, for me in this particular place were the sounds, that listening part, because the way this is situated, you can It's right above the jungle canopy, but you can hear the waves of the ocean, which is a short walk away, about 10 minutes away, and you can see it.

So you can see and hear the waves from every single space in the whole house. That base is, it's amazing. And so you hear this steady, cadence of the waves. And for me, I, especially the ocean is so soothing and healing for me because I grew up in Rhode Island near the ocean, but then there were these sounds of like howler monkeys and like the wind and, you know, listening to just having that quiet space to sort of listen to all the birds and, and just sitting there looking and listening that I love that listening.

I just wanted to. Jump in with that, you know, and then that, that sense of listening to ourselves, of course. Yeah. And

[00:21:03] Carla: one of the things, in addition to sort of being away from home that allows us to listen is not listening either with our ears or with our eyes to our smartphones. And this is a thing on retreat that's amazing is that most retreat centers have a very explicit rule that like, you know, No smartphones, certainly in the public spaces, and they really encourage you to not be on your phones when you're in your room.

And so if you can make that commitment to really not look at your smartphone, and I understand, you know, if you need to call your family to check in, fine, but if you can really make a commitment to yourself to not be on your phone, just that space from technology is, it's a game changer. It's amazing. And it makes us realize how much.

Our phones kind of mess with our minds when we're home and using them all the time and it increase our anxiety and increase our stress and fill us full of information that we really don't need at every waking minute. And so I think that in some ways, if nothing else, having that space where the expectation is that you are not on your phone is really a gift.

It's an amazing gift that many of us never get in our lives.

[00:22:12] Hunter: And I think that's for number five detox. For me, I think detox. You know, maybe you're having some other kind of detox, right? Where maybe there's a nutritional thing, but I think it's really that detox from that, I mean, for me, I think of the phone and the technology really, because, you know, we are now addicted, right?

So many of us to some degree or another, like we have these things in our pockets all the time that have all this information and all these things to show us and to tell us. And we know that it's there constantly, right? Like it's hard, it's beckoning us to open it and see what is going on. Who is connecting with me?

What is reaching out? And so it's this thing that is pulling us away from being in the present moment. And, and I'm just as, you know, I'm just as bad as the rest of us. I have my screen free Sunday. Thank goodness. That kind of saves my life a little bit, but it's hard to, to create those boundaries with our phone.

And so taking that time to detox from that, you might find that you sleep better. You might find you dream really vividly, you know, it's about kind of, um, Retreat can be a time to kind of clean out and empty your mental desktop, right? And, and you leave a little lighter, a little less, a little less addicted, right?

A little clearer, a little more refreshed, a little more, Present, right? You can kind of get that perspective on your own habits with technology and things like that a little bit more. It gives you a space to be able to choose. Okay, you know, I'm gonna make some boundaries and now that I've had some boundaries, maybe for three days, seven days, whatever.

I can stick to them a little bit more easily.

[00:23:59] Carla: So there's one thing I have to say about the detox. I totally agree with everything you've said. I have been to a retreat center, which will go unnamed, not Copper Beach, that was like no coffee. And this was a huge problem for me. I mean, let's not get crazy about the detox here, people.

Calm down. Also, I would like to point out that like two days isn't really enough time to detox from coffee. It's just enough time to get a really bad headache. Yeah. So I would just, one thing I would say is if you do have. A lovely, delightful, healthy, continuous relationship with caffeine. I'm not going to call it an addiction.

Just, you know, if this is a thing for you, check with your, check with the place you're going and just make sure they have some kind of caffeinated beverage that is acceptable to you. Tea is not acceptable to me. The other thing I would say is that there is really an assumption. That when you are on retreat, you're not engaging in sexual activity or drinking alcohol or using other drugs.

And so, you know, for me, it just makes sense. And it's just another part of making a very sort of clean and clear and open and safe dynamic. But it's something you should know that hopefully you will see as a gift. But I, I just think it's a part of retreat that people should know about that I actually really appreciate.

That there's no confusion or complications or messiness on retreats. It just feels very clean and simple.

[00:25:17] Hunter: Yeah. On my retreat, we have a Costa Rican coffee in the morning. They're very into their coffee. Just for the record

[00:25:23] Carla: folks. No taking away the coffee. And in case any of you are wondering, this retreat in Costa Rica is going to be insane and out of this world.

And if my schedule allowed it, I would be there. So if there is even a glimmer in your eye that maybe you could go to this retreat, you should definitely look into it because it's going to be incredible. Aw,

[00:25:40] Hunter: thanks Carla. It will be. I'm really excited for it. Definitely something I'm doing kind of once in my life and we'll see how it goes.

I'm really excited. And that, that leads us actually into number six, because number six, I think I, I talked about it a little bit before, it was like, lose the fear, right? But you know, this, I think it's this idea of, when I think of it, I guess specifically about that retreat in Costa Rica, like, part of it is, you, you have to kind of, um, take There is like a hump to get over, right?

Like we have to get over our own comfort and our own habits to, to reach out, to, to make the reservation, whether you're going to Costa Rica or whether you're going locally or whatever, you know, you have to get out of your comfort zone. You might be with people you don't know. You know, you might be in a place you don't know.

You might have to get a passport. There's things that come up for us. That we can kind of, that retreats can allow us to overcome these humps and then find a safe sort of landing place too. And then also when you get to a retreat, often very sort of, just like you talked about with the detox, Retreats are generally a safe place, like pretty literally and kind of figuratively, right?

Like generally, you know, you often don't have to lock your door. You don't have to really have to worry about people breaking in or, you know, literally or figuratively stealing your stuff or taking your piece. It's just, it's, it's about retreats are created. to create a really safe space where you are taken care of, where it's a place where you can be comfortable and let go and relax and, and soften all of the diligence that we kind of carry around with us on a daily basis.

[00:27:18] Carla: I just want to say to folks that if you are feeling, you know, ambivalent, like part of you would love to go on a retreat and part of you is feeling fear, anxiety. How do I, you know, how do I make the arrangements, you know, the logistical issues of who's going to take care of the kids or do. Drop off and pick up or walk the dog or whatever it may be.

That's part of the deal. Like that anxiety or concern, that's very, very normal. I have to tell you, every single time I go on retreat, I epically freak out at some point in the process and decide I'm not going to go. Literally every time. I remember the first time it was about, I had just arrived at the retreat center in Western Massachusetts.

And I freaked out because I didn't bring a travel coffee mug with me. And I decided that I couldn't last the five days I was going to be there without a travel coffee mug. And I was like, I have to drive into town. And I'm like hiding in the car, nappily Googling on my phone, like places where I could buy a travel coffee mug.

I was in the middle of nowhere. There was no freaking coffee mug. And for me, what that was, was. All of the anxiety I was holding about being away from my family and trying this new thing and being silent for a good part of every day and what was that going to be like, and I sort of powered through it. I let myself be anxious and the rest of the tree was amazing.

And I survived even without my travel coughing mug. And so if you are feeling some anxiety about going on retreat, just know that for many people, that's a normal, typical part of the process and letting go and realizing that you can let that go and be really present for this experience is one of the gifts of going on retreat.

[00:28:44] Hunter: Yeah. Yeah. It kind of, it takes you out of your normal sort of habit zone, comfort zones and puts you in this new place. And then that goes into like number seven, right? Remembering who you are, right? You're like, Oh, here I am in this new place. You get kind of a context and a perspective on yourself, right?

Like, you know, in our society wants us to be, you know, we're, we have to be this role, right? We, we're the mother, we're the, we're the sister, you know, whatever, we're the friend, we're the lover. You know, whatever. We're the good worker, right? We're the person who volunteers for this. But we actually need to remember that we're individuals.

We're human beings as opposed to human doings. Ooh,

[00:29:26] Carla: I like that.

[00:29:27] Hunter: Yes. About being. And so, you know, this is this idea on retreat, you can drop all those roles. And it might be the first time in decades that you are just you. Ah, right. And exhale.

[00:29:40] Carla: Yeah. And It's, it's amazing. It's really a gift I love and you can decide which parts of yourself you want to share with others and which parts you don't and how much you want to talk and how much you don't and if you go on a silent retreat, which is really a form of, you know, meditation, mindfulness retreat, you don't have to talk at all.

Which is, uh, freaky when you first think about it, and then amazing! So, it's just something to think about.

[00:30:05] Hunter: Hmm. Yeah, I'm actually going to be doing a silent retreat next year sometime, too. So, it'll be my first one. That'll be exciting.

[00:30:13] Carla: It's actually, and I'm obviously a chatty Kathy, in case our dear listener, who we only have one at DMR, in case our dear listener didn't figure that out, and I was like, how do you survive without talking?

Like, literally, what do you do? What? It's great. It's actually a gift. It's such a gift to be released from the need to talk. It's a gift I'd like to give my daughters. We're still working on that, but yes, assignment retreats are awesome. And not silent retreats are also awesome. So there's a range of awesomeness for one to choose from.

Oh, can I talk about the next one? I love this point. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I love this point. Okay. So point number eight, reason number eight, while retreats are amazing is because you find your people. And here's the thing. When, if your schtick is. Or one of your many schticks is mindfulness and meditation. You don't always know who your people are.

And there have been many times in like restaurants and stores and stuff where my daughters are like, my mommy meditates, and I'm like, and the person's looking at me like you are banana pants. Like, what is this person crazy? What's happening? Like, I definitely get that judgy McJudgers and snare. And obviously that's lessening as mindfulness and meditation are becoming sort of more generally understood and accepted.

But when, you know, you have chosen this retreat, whether it's a crocheting retreat, I would totally go to that. Whether it's, you know, retreat about writing or some sort of insight based or, I mean, there are a million different things you can go on retreat to learn and study and practice. And you've all chosen it for the same reason.

And so you can just show up and be who you are and the people there are going to be your people. You know, whether or not they're your BFFs, at least, you know. That they're folks who are, you have a shared interest and a shared desire to learn more. And it's just really lovely and relaxing to be around folks who are psyched about the same stuff you're psyched about.

[00:32:00] Hunter: Yeah, I agree completely. You know, you get there and you say, Oh my gosh, there's X number of other people who are into this. thing and you have this shared, shared experience and your types might be like wildly different and but you have this shared thing and that's exciting and it's fun to, it's fun to connect on the level of even the level of just, you know, I'm getting away from my world and I'm getting away from my roles and I'm getting away from my kids for a week.

Like to have someone say, yeah, I get that. I'm there with you is really healing to have just, it's that sense of like on a retreat where you are talking, where, you know, a retreat where you are sharing, you know, like in, in the retreats I do, we do a lot of sharing and connecting and connecting at a really deep level.

You know, it's, It's amazing to see these other people, see other moms, that people you may know or may not know, and that we often know at a kind of a superficial level of like, Hey, you do this, we do this. But oftentimes at a retreat, you can connect at a really, a much deeper level, at a deeper level of like sharing our, sharing some of our hopes and our fears and a little bit more vulnerably.

And that is, it's so healing. It's so healing just to be heard, to hear others, is, uh, to have that deep listening is a hugely healing experience.

[00:33:26] Carla: And the other beautiful thing about the people on retreat is that they're all there To support each other and find support. And whether it's writing or mindfulness or yoga or whatever you're going on retreat about, it's probably something that on some level is challenging to you.

And certainly it is hard for me to sustain my mindfulness practice without support, without things like coming on this podcast and talking about it with Hunter, without reading books or going to talks. And so a retreat is a very supportive way to sort of rejuvenate, re energize my mindfulness practice.

And they help me feel less alone and more connected in whatever it is I'm struggling with. So even if I don't always get a solution to a problem, often just being reminded I'm not the only person who struggles to remember X, Y, or Z is incredibly helpful. And I remember on one meditation mindfulness retreat I went to with a very well known teacher, and this teacher sent us out To do some mindful walking, and I was sort of roaming the halls, it was very cold, so I was roaming the halls, and I turned a corner, and I saw the teacher sitting there, scrolling through his or her cell phone, and you may think that I was like, what is going on here, but actually, it was a gift to me, because I remember thinking, oh, right, This teacher is just a person too.

This teacher has people they need to connect with. This teacher doesn't spend every single moment being perfectly 100 percent mindful, and maybe if they don't, then I don't need to either. And so for me, that moment of seeing this like sort of tiny peek behind the curtain of this person that I really revered and admired and continue to revere and admire was actually a beautiful gift because I was reminded that none of us are like.

These amazing, perfect guru, you know, unbelievable people all the time. We're all just humans trying to figure this out. And so that was a gift I took with me from retreat.

[00:35:18] Hunter: That's beautiful because that's one of the big things too, is like, here we are, like we're you and I and the listener, right? Like we are connecting through this amazing technology, which is great, right?

The technology is neutral. It's doing what it does, but. Part of what happens with our world kind of saturated with this technology is that people are maybe not connecting as much in person as much as they could, right? Like, so we can take what's beautiful about you connecting with that teacher and seeing that real moment is that, you know, you're connecting in person in real space to a real human being.

And, and it's part of that, that sense of, like, I see you, I hear you, I know you is huge. Just that to create that person, make that person really part of your life. And like, you know, dear listener, Carla and I are part of your life. Yes, but wouldn't it be amazing to take us out of your earbuds and give me a hug?

You know, wouldn't it be amazing, right? To like have that connection in real time in real life and have a real Person to person, you know, physical touch, human to human experience to, to take it out of that, that digital realm and into, this is part of my real life. This is a person, you know, and, and whether that teacher was for you or, or whether, you know, we might be for you, the listener, like we're people you can connect with in real life and retreats can make that possible, right?

That real. Connection, you know, taking it out of, out of the earbuds and into a real space is, is very powerful. Stay

tuned for more Mindful Mama podcasts right after this break.

[00:37:08] Carla: Big deal. Which brings me to our number nine reason why routines are awesome. And this is a particularly, this is a very real reason in our family and you wrote help others. In our case, it's a gift to my husband because, because of our work schedules and our jobs and our careers and the way we set up our lives.

I am the default parent. So I drive the girls to school, I pick them up, I'm with them in the afternoons when they're sick, I'm the one who's with them. And my husband, when he's home in the evenings, the mornings, and the weekends, he is a very hands on involved father. But he doesn't get to be the default parent and I, I think he's ambivalent about that just as I am ambivalent about my role as well.

And so when I leave, he gets to be the default parent. And yes, there are some stressors associated with that in terms of balancing schedules and all that kinds of stuff, but he loves it because the girls don't come to me for stuff. They go to him. And often when I come home, they I find that he's figured out some new system or way to do something that I had been stuck in a rut with, or he just figured out a better way to do it.

And so, he will say to me, like, isn't it time for you to go away somewhere when he's ready for some more intensive time with the girls? And I'm like, yes, yes, it is time for me to go away. Let me do this immediately. And so, I think that In a very concrete way for our family, the retreat time is a gift to my husband and children.

It's also a gift because I am significantly less bitchy and reactive when I get back. And I, it's kind of amazing, but when I come back, especially for mindfulness and meditation retreats with a silent component, I come home and I am like the freaking Dolly Mama. Like nothing, like I, my goat is not capable of being gotten.

Is that a thing? Get my goat gotten? Yes. It's okay. I said that, right? I am not reactive. I am not agitated. And I am like super present. And then, you know, within a day or so, it really starts to, you know, as I'm looking at my phone and there's noise all around me and I'm constantly managing stuff that really tapers off, but it is a gift to my family when I take care of myself.

So, and that's a hard thing to remember. Yeah. Cause you know, there is a part of my brain that's like, I'm the martyr. You can't live without me. How will this place run if I'm not here to micromanage everything? And I have to let go of that part of my brain. And remember that I am a better, more present, and I, more enjoyable parent and wife to be around when I take care of myself.

[00:39:33] Hunter: Yeah, and, and for the listener who may be thinking, like, I could never leave my kids alone, you know, with my husband for a week, right? Or my partner for a week. It's like, I really want to push back against that, right? Because I think that part of that is our ego, right? Like our sense of a separate self that wants to feel important and gets a sense of worthiness and all of that things, all of those things out of our role as parents.

It's really, I invite you to kind of look at that. And, you know, push back on that a little bit. Like, is part of it ourselves who's saying, Oh, they would be lost without me. And that makes me feel good. Right. Is that, is that what's going on? Right. Or can we extend that trust and that ability to, you know, know that they've, they've got this, they love their kids and you've got support around you that that can support you leaving for the future.

For three days, for seven days, that's what, that's what mom is for. Your mother in law is, you know, maybe happy to jump in and spend that time. And you letting go does make you come back a better person. I mean, particularly if you come to a Mindful Parenting retreat or a Mindful Mama retreat like Carla's and I, where you're really consciously talking about and learning skills to help you become a better parent and sort of slow yourself down and get yourself off that red mill of doing, doing, doing.

But really, I think I invite you to kind of push deeper and say like, well, no, like, let me look at who am I when I take this role out, right? When I kind of step out of this role and, and how can I meet myself in this new place? And it, it does, it helps others, it helps others because you come back better and it helps others to give them this, you know, the, the positions they shift without you there to take up the space and, and they get closer.

It gives them a chance to get closer, which is

[00:41:25] Carla: really beautiful. Right. Totally agree.

[00:41:28] Hunter: And so finally, number 10 is just to simply establish a new routine or a practice, right? We can go on retreat like a You know, you might go on a mindfulness retreat or you might want to learn something new, et cetera. So, you know, we can make conditions in our life so that we can, you know, maybe make a creativity routine or yoga practice or mindfulness practice.

But, you know, if you feel like you're always trying to squeeze time into an already full schedule, it can take a really, really long time, like years to establish a mindfulness practice. So for instance, like You know, when you go on retreat to Costa Rica, there we're doing meditation every day and we're doing yoga every day and bringing in a teacher that I really love, Ms.

Mallory. Hey. And so you can take this, maybe you take seven days or maybe you take three days or whatever to establish a new practice or a new routine. And then, you know, then you're not having to fight through your routine to, you know, create this new thing. And you get encouraged by the example of others, right?

And then you can go back home and kind of look at your life with that perspective and, you know, decide on your, your priorities a little bit from there.

[00:42:40] Carla: And, you know, one of the things that you and I do, Hunter, on our retreats, uh, which I think we've done like 54 212, Carla. Okay, that's a bit excessive, Deb.

Huh Deb? Is that we work hard to help our participants come up with a doable realistic plan for when they get home. So I love that you walk us through not only extended yoga practices. But also really brief, like five minute yoga practices that we can then take home and do at a reasonable time. And the time I spend with you on retreat has been a huge driver in my yoga practice because I really came to believe that even if I can't do 45 minutes a day, I can do 10 minutes twice a day.

And that has been a game changer for me in terms of my feeling, you know, my body, my calming myself down, that I really came to understand how, what a brief yoga practice looks like and how powerful it can be. And, you know, we also talked to our participants about how does mindfulness inform your parenting in very concrete, specific ways?

Like, I'm not talking about, oh, it makes me calmer. Like how, what is the connection there and how can you support that connection in very specific ways? Are you going to sit in your car for five minutes before pick up and breathe deeply? Are you going to make time to meditate, you know, after your kids get on the bus to school?

Like, when is this going to happen and what's it going to look like? So not only. You know, just sort of a big disruption in your life, like going on retreat. It, it, that's a very, can be a very effective way to make change and start a new routine or practice, but also just getting some very specific strategies and ideas and skills for how to build this back into your busy life.

That's a real benefit. I mean, that makes a real difference and it's something that can only happen, I think, on retreat.

[00:44:28] Hunter: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. It's like a deep dive into what you're, what you're wanting to bring into your life. So this is, this is beautiful. So just to recap our 10 reasons, pull back, become spacious, get inspired, listen, detox, lose the fear, remember who you are, find your people, help others.

and establish a routine and practice as well as getting away from your kids, sleeping through the night and having someone else cook you dinner.

[00:45:00] Carla: I would also like to say that on many retreats, there's really time and space for going for Walks or exercising or swimming or yoga. Just like really moving your body in non stressful ways.

Like nobody's asking you to train for a marathon on the retreat. They're just like, Hey, here's some lovely, gentle way you could move your body that will feel really good. And that's nice. So you should do that. So Hunter, I'm thinking we should totally just do some shameless self promotion here. And I would love to tell our listener.

We'll have two next time, but this time Marge is our one dear listener. Um, I'm cracking myself up. I really am. I think I'm hilarious. About our retreat coming up in March and then maybe you could talk about your Costa Rica retreat. Does that sound good?

[00:45:37] Hunter: Sounds good. Why don't you kick it off with Mindful Mothering, right?

Yeah, I think the

[00:45:44] Carla: official title is Mindfulness for Mothers at the Copper Beach Institute in West Hartford, Connecticut. It's an amazing place. So even if you can't come to our retreat, check out their website. They've got a ton of options. And this retreat is really geared towards anyone who identifies as a mother and wants to learn more about mindfulness.

So whether you're very experienced in this or it's all kind of new to you, come check it out. You know, we're going to be there being hilarious and awesome. And we're going to talk about mindfulness and parenting, self awareness, self compassion, meditation. Hunter's going to lead us through some great yoga.

And the retreat center is just beautiful. They have this amazing labyrinth, which I've talked about. And it's just a really lovely space and we'll be psyched to have you. We always have fun at this. And, uh, the dates for this this year, it's going to be from March 1st to March 3rd, 2019. And again, you can read more on copperbeachinstitute.


[00:46:38] Hunter: Yeah. And when you go to this retreat, what you can expect is that you go on a Friday afternoon, we all get together, For we can, we have, we have all our meals together. So you get to like hang out with me and Carla and have breakfast, lunch, and dinner together, which is kind of fun. More fun than it sounds, actually.

Really, it is. And there's an evening session and then we have a morning and evening session in the Saturday. And there's also some spacious free time. They often have something on Saturday night, like. They have like a concert, right? One of those times, and then like, yeah, concerts and drumming and awesome stuff.

Cool stuff. And then we often have a morning session on Sunday and then we have a lunch together and that's how that, that works. Yeah. We'd love to have you join us there. And there is coffee. There's coffee. There's coffee.

[00:47:27] Carla: There's coffee. So while you talk about Costa Rica, I'm just going to sit here and silently weep.

Go ahead. So,

[00:47:34] Hunter: so yeah, so come to the Costa Rica retreat with me. And so with the Costa Rica retreat, it's It's April 13th through 20th, and you stay in a very luxurious home in Costa Rica that's on, that has a view of the water from every single room, which every single room has its own balcony with a view of the water, and There's you wake up every morning and we'll do some meditation and yoga, bringing in a yoga teacher I like on the yoga porch, which is open air to the rainforest canopy about the yoga porch.

And then after that, there's a beautiful breakfast every day by Javier who puts out like fresh fruits and all these wonderful things. And you can, and then the middle of the day it's open. You can spend time doing one of the many excursions that the concierge for the house gives us a whole book of excursions that you can do, like zip lining and all things like that.

You can make it very, you know, adventurous. You can learn to surf or you can relax by the infinity pool or take, there's like a little walk, 10 minute walk through the rain forest down to the beach. You can do that and just make that time relaxing. And then we gather together again in the afternoons where I will be leading a deep.

Relaxation form of yoga and then mindful parenting coaching on relationships and deepening our relationships so that you come back not only having had a bit of luxury and having relaxed and maybe a little tan or who knows, but also as a better mama, a better person. And it's moms only. And then in the evening there's dinner and there's probably going to be at least like one dance party, one night.

Because there are party lights at the house and I feel like Party lights? What are party lights? What is that? So I just like discovered, I saw them on the wall. I was like, it has a little marker that says party lights. And I was like, party lights? Party lights are so cool, Carla. Oh my God. Like, you put your, you connect your phone, the music, like via Bluetooth in that room.

And then the party lights pick up on the beat of the music. That would totally

[00:49:46] Carla: give me a seizure. I would be

[00:49:47] Hunter: seizing on

[00:49:48] Carla: the floor.

[00:49:48] Hunter: I'm like a cranky old lady. I'd be like, what is happening here? Turn out those lights. But, well, see, there you go. There's your reason that it doesn't work out for your schedule, but maybe you, dear listener, can dance with me and you can see the orchids on the trees bloom at night and so you smell the orchids and you can dance.

[00:50:07] Carla: I would even dance to the party lights if I could smell orchids while I was dancing. That's amazing. I love orchids.

[00:50:12] Hunter: But yeah, it's all about kind of being taken care of and, and whether you want it to be an adventure or whether you want it to be deeply relaxing, it's, it's kind of up to you. So you can learn more about that at mindfulmamamentor.

com slash Costa Rica. So check it out and then, you know, I'll probably hop on the phone with you if you're interested and we'll talk more about it.

[00:50:32] Carla: Yeah. And if anybody has questions about Copper Beach, it's in West Hartford, Connecticut, you can shoot me an email, Sheethunter an email, but I, and if, and if neither of these dates work for you.

You know, just Google retreat centers near me, find a place, go online, check out what they have to offer and give yourself this gift because it's a gift for you and for your entire family. When we take care of ourselves, we are, we are more skillful, more grounded, more present, happier parents.

[00:50:59] Hunter: Oh my God. So I was listening to a podcast earlier with Mark Nepo, who is the author of, uh, The Book of Awakening and 20 other books.

He's kind of a poet. Anyway, he was talking about how we are all, all humans are kind of cells in the body of the earth, right? Which is so cool and beautiful poetic way to think about it. Oh, I love that idea. He said that, oh my God, let me see if I can remember it. He said something like, if this is a time that is turning and looking maybe darker, it is.

are imperative to kind of keep the, the literacy of the heart. alive during that time. And I thought, Oh, how beautiful. And what a beautiful, I'm probably not saying it right, but what a beautiful call to action, right? To get ourselves out of just the regular doing, doing, doing, doing. And, and to say, you know, it's important for me to keep that literacy of my heart alive, to see who I am outside of all of my roles.

And then to even come back to these roles. As a more grounded, more fulfilled, more relaxed human being, you know, I think it's a beautiful, you know, reason to do that.

[00:52:08] Carla: That is gorgeous. Also on many retreats, you don't have to wash dishes.

[00:52:13] Hunter: No, you don't. On a lot of retreats, you don't have to wash dishes.


Amazing. Well, thank you, Carla, so much for coming on and talking about retreats with me. I really appreciate it. It was such a pleasure and I, I

[00:52:31] Carla: can't wait to see you at our retreat in March. And I hope you have just a truly amazing time in Costa Rica.

[00:52:38] Hunter: Thank you. Thank you, Carla. And thank you as always for coming on the Mindful Mama podcast.

I haven't asked you this yet, but I would love to have you come back on again before the new year, around the new year for us to talk about making changes from the year. Ellen. Oh my gosh, I'm so in because I have so many opinions about. All right, dear listener, listen for Carla to come back. We will, we will make it work in our schedules.

The kids aside and, and, uh, and come back and talk for the new year. So thank you so much, Carla. Thank you, Hunter.

Thank you so much for listening to the Mindful Mama podcast. I love talking to Carla. I hope you love talking to Carla too. I love what she said about how. Retreats help her family. Yes. Like we forget about that, right? It's not. Not just all relaxation, there's so much more. So I would love to hear your takeaways.

Please send me a line on Facebook or you can find me on Instagram, Mindful Mom Mentor. And that's it, my friend. I'm wishing you a beautiful week, whether you're listening to this now in December. As it is now, or in moving into the holiday season, or if you are in the future, hello! Hello, future person!

Wherever you are in the space time continuum, I wish you a beautiful week. I wish you peace and some joyful moments. And, uh, thank you so much for listening. Namaste.

[00:54:26] Speaker 4: I'd say definitely do it. It's really helpful. It will change your relationship with your kids for the better. It will help you communicate better. And just, I'd say communicate better as a person, as a wife, as a spouse. It's been really a positive influence in our lives. So definitely do it.

[00:54:42] Speaker 5: I'd say definitely do it.

It's so worth it. The money really is inconsequential when you get so much benefit from being a parent to your children. Connecting more with them and not feeling like you're yelling all the time or you're like, why isn't this working? I would say definitely do it. It's so, so worth it. It'll change you.

[00:55:05] Speaker 3: No matter what age someone's child is, it's a great opportunity for personal growth and it's great investment in someone's family. I'm very thankful I have this. You

[00:55:14] Speaker 6: can continue in your old habits that aren't working or you can learn some new tools and in something new. to shift everything in your parenting.

[00:55:30] Hunter: Are you frustrated by parenting? Do you listen to the experts and try all the tips and strategies, but you're just not seeing the results that you want? Or are you lost as to where to start? Does it all seem so overwhelming with too much to learn? Are you yearning for community people who get it, who also don't want to threaten and punish to create cooperation?

Hi, I'm Hunter Clark Fields, and if you answered yes to any of these questions, I want you to seriously consider the Mindful Parenting Membership. You will be joining Hundreds of members who have discovered the path of mindful parenting and now have confidence and clarity in their parenting. This isn't just another parenting class.

This is an opportunity to really discover your unique, lasting relationship, not only with your children, but with yourself. It will translate into lasting, connected relationships, not only with your children, but your partner too. Let me change your life. Go to mindfulparenting. org MindfulParentingCourse.

com to add your name to the waitlist so you will be the first to be notified when I open the membership for enrollment. I look forward to seeing you on the inside. MindfulParentingCourse.


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