Customs & Traditions

How to Plan Inspiring Retreats for Women

Retreats are a great way to relax, learn new things and meet new people. They can be any length of time but typically are at least a full day. The themes range from specific to very eclectic. If you pick a topic that appeal to you and that you have some knowledge of, chances are there will be other women who have the same interest. One option is to gather all the women writers or want-to-be writers that you know and host a writing retreat. Bring writing prompts, have the women sit in a circle and pen away. Encourage the group to share what they’ve written, but avoid critiquing new writing. Most writers love reading, so ask everyone to bring her favorite piece of literature to share. Begin writing exercises with some visualization or meditation in order to more deeply explore specific topics or themes.
Art Retreats
An art retreat is not just for artists. There are many art projects that require little experience and few supplies. You can have the group try a collage project, for which you bring old magazines, scissors, some glue and heavy-duty paper so that people can create a one-of-a-kind piece of work. Colored crayons and pencils, charcoal or pastels are also other mediums you can use for simple art creations. Bring a bowl of fruit to sketch or head outside to sketch a tree; even the simplest ideas can be fun and allow participants to exercise their creative muscles.
Retreats for Mothers
Motherhood is often a stressful job, so thank the mothers you know by inviting them to a special mother’s-only retreat. Invite new and seasoned mothers alike, so that everyone can benefit from each other’s experience. Encourage exploration of specific motherhood topics like isolation, lifestyle changes and relationship changes, and have women do journaling or guided visualization concerning these issues.
Nature Retreats
If you live in an area where you can get to a forest, beach or other natural area, then maybe a nature retreat is the way to go. Organized hikes, bike rides or swims are one way to experience the natural world. In the evening, sit around the campfire under the open sky and discuss the day’s activities. For serious outdoor enthusiasts, sleeping outside may be the perfect ending to a day filled with outdoor activities. Combine your nature retreat with an environmental cause such as cleaning up the beach or a stretch of highway for an even more meaningful retreat.

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