Working as a Spiritual Coach has given me the opportunity to run (and go on) a LOT of retreats. And over the years I’ve developed my own foolproof way of creating the perfect itinerary every time.
I used this process to create the 3 retreats I’m running this year, and it was so much fun that I’m already planning next years!
So let’s share the love and begin creating yours..
1. Create the Container
This is the nuts and bolts part, where you get to decide on the length of the retreat, the price point, and where you’re going to hold it.
Depending on how the rest of the creative process goes this may change, but it’s good to start off with a general idea so you can create something transcendent, but that you know you can deliver. This isn’t the Fyre Festival people!! 😉
2. Focus on Feeling
In our busy lives we often focus on ‘doing’ and ‘having’ over feeling. We try to fit ourselves into the box of what we think we ‘should’ do, and it’s easy to forget why we’re doing it.
To live a truly aligned life, the key is to shift our focus back to being. And the easiest way to do this, is to focus on the feeling of what we’d like to create more of in our lives.
Retreats are wonderful pattern disruptors, and life changing retreats are those that bring the focus from doing and having, back to feeling and being. They are portals into a magical realm of living a life lit up, and of transforming the old into the miraculous new.
That’s why, when creating a truly soulful retreat, it’s important to anchor it in feeling.
To begin, set up your own sacred space (sage, candles, meditation and oracle cards welcome!). Then get some paper and tune into how you would like to make your guests and soul circle feel.
This will depend on the focus of your retreat, the people you are serving, and your unique way of showing up in the world. For example, for a yoga retreat you might like to help your guests feel grounded, strong, light, energized, or connected.
For a manifesting retreat you may focus on feelings of love, divine alignment, inspiration, excitement, or faith.
For a health retreat you might want to choose feelings around harmony, invigoration, high vibration, stability, or flow.
Write as many feelings down as you possibly can. Do so without judgement, and allow Spirit to flow through and guide you. Words may pop up that you don’t understand at this point – don’t overthink it! Just write it down.
These feelings will be different for everyone, and that’s what makes holding a soulful retreat so unique and exciting. No one can create the same scared space that you are creating!
3. Choose and Name Your 5 Key Areas
Once you’ve gone down every rabbit hole of feeling.. look over your notes and see if you can notice any patterns or groups forming. Is there a root word or sentence that can explain each group? Meditate on it for a while and take your time. This is the foundation of your retreat, so it can’t be rushed.
For example you may have written, “I want my soul circle to feel.. safe, grounded, being able to unplug, happy, healthy, like we are family, supported by Spirit, that they can trust in the Universe, like they can face anything, open, energized, loved and loving, excited, in harmony, invigorated, high vibe, stable, more flowing, grateful, lit up, relaxed, etc”
This looks like a crazy mix of feelings right?! But in this next step we’re going to ask Spirit for guidance to take us to the root of what’s actually asking to come through.
Look through your list and ask, what deeper areas are underneath your words?
For example.. the feelings of safety, groundedness, family, and stability, may speak to something deeper like a sense of Sacred Belonging.
Feelings of trust in the Universe, that they can face anything, love, and high vibes, could be translated into Active Faith.
Experiencing health, harmony and invigoration might reveal an underlining call of Connection to Mother Earth.
Feeling relaxed, being able to unplug, stability, and support, may highlight a deeper need to Restore and Replenish.
Diving into gratitude, feeling lit up, happy and flowing, could speak to Awakening Inspiration.
This is an extremely intuitive process, led by your unique connection with Spirit, so there are no wrong answers here. Try not to focus too much on the words themselves, or wrestling them into a box that ‘makes sense’. They are all just representations of something deeper.. and it is this sacred a-ha that we want to tease out.
So! From all those seemingly random feelings, we now have a list of 5 key areas to anchor this example of a soulful retreat in:
- Sacred Belonging
- Active Faith
- Connection to Mother Earth
- Restore and Replenish
- Awakening Inspiration
Sounds pretty cool huh?! And now in the next step we’re going to flesh out these ideas until they’re bursting at the seams with goodness!!
4. Brainstorm Ways to Facilitate each Sacred Focus
Now that you have your 5 sacred areas of focus it’s time to brainstorm some juiciness!
In this step we’re going to feel into all the ways we can facilitate, channel, and create space for each of our chosen areas.
To get started I’ve mapped out some examples for each area below, but yours might be totally different! Write as many ideas as you can for each area, and try to think outside the box; the more unique the better.
Also, during this process remember to tune in and really anchor yourself into each space. Think from the area rather than about it.
Connect with the soul and message of each area, and ask yourself and Spirit what’s trying to come through.
Here’s an example..
- Sacred Belonging – morning and evening rituals, sharing circles, ceremonies, deeper work in pairs, soul gazing, prayer, devotional meditation.
- Active Faith – mala making, gratitude journalling, intention setting, manifesting workshops, clearing blocks.
- Connection to Mother Earth – grounding, sound healing, altar building, walking or swimming in nature, local tours, working with the moon cycles.
- Restore and Replenish – meditation, breath work, yin yoga, qi gong, energy healing, traditional temescal, inspirational movies.
- Awakening Inspiration – crystal grids, money mindset workshop, 1-on-1 coaching, I Ching readings, oracle card practice, kundalini yoga, vision boarding.
This is just a very short list to get you started – but you get the idea! 🙂
And now we’re onto the final part of the creative process..
5. Map out Each Day
By this point you’ve done all the hard work, and now your soulful retreat can begin taking shape.
Use your 5 sacred areas to create a template for each day, and then simply swap and rotate your ideas from step 4 into each area.
Just make sure to create balance, and add in regular breaks, free time and meals 🙂
For example your template may look something like this; the areas can stay static, and be used as a template for each day, (while the ideas in the brackets can be swapped to mix things up);
- 8am – Breakfast
- 9am – Sacred Belonging (sharing circle)
- 10am – Awakening Inspiration (money mindset workshop)
- Short Break
- 11am – Connection to Mother Earth (sound healing)
- 12pm – Active Faith (mala making)
- 1pm – Lunch
- 2pm – Connection to Mother Earth (optional nature walk)
- 3pm – Awakening Inspiration (vision boarding)
- Short Break
- 4pm – Restore and Replenish (yin yoga)
- 5pm – Sacred Belonging (sharing ceremony)
- 6pm – Dinner
- 7pm – Restore and Replenish (guided meditation)
- Free Time
And there you have it! Your very own master template for your next soulful retreat 🙂
If you were inspired by this process and would like some 1-on-1 guidance, I still have a few spots left on my retreats this year.
Please feel free to check them out below, or get in touch to ask any questions!