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How to Create Your Own Spiritual Retreat
By:Claire Bush

When your spiritual battery gets low, life becomes dreary and commonplace. Recharging your energy through a period of time dedicated to contemplation and relaxation pays off in a higher energy level and renewed interest in the daily activities of life. Getting a new perspective doesn’t take lots of time and money, either. Even a half day away from the daily hustle and bustle can do wonders to renew a sagging spirit.

Retreats are solo activities, so go it alone.
Let bosses, family and friends know you're unavailable. Block out time on your calendar just as you would for a doctor appointment or a work commitment. A full day is great, but a half day works, too.

Decide if you’d be more comfortable staying in or venturing out.
If you choose to stay in, wear comfortable clothes and tuck your cell phone, Blackberry and other electronic leashes out of sight.

Head to the bedroom, porch or other private nook with some inspirational reading and a journal. Brew a cup of tea or have a snack and spend some time reading, ruminating and journaling if that appeals to you. Sketch, draw or listen to soothing music or try your hand at meditating if that seems to fit. Focus on the big picture and away from the minutiae of daily living.

If home isn’t private enough, plan a nearby retreat.
Think about locations that inspire and renew you. Peruse the classics or poetry while you sip a latte at your favorite bookstore, feed the ducks at the park, or watch the animals at play in the zoo.

Finish your retreat with a low-key afternoon or evening.
And at the end of the day recall what you liked best about your experience, and what parts you could eliminate next time.