What’s the experience of a Pause Global retreat?

August 20, 2021
Danielle North

Are you interested to know what really happens on a Pause Global retreat?

Maybe you’ve felt curious about what it would feel like to fully surrender to a pause process? To radically change your pace of life and allow the time to process your own thoughts?

Having just returned from running the Transformational Pause, my first retreat in over a year due to the pandemic, the retreat process is flowing through me once again. I feel nourished and healed from this precious time, and want to share a bit about what it’s really like to retreat with Pause Global and the power it may hold for you in the future.  

Not just any retreat

The word ‘retreat’ tends to mean different things to different people. Some think of a juice diet and a secluded pool location in Portugal. Others may think about a week away in a UK cottage with fitness classes and talks on health. A Pause Global retreat is very different to many of the pre-conceived images of retreats that people have.

What we mean by retreat is a carefully curated process to help a person go deeply within themselves. Location, food, and the group dynamic all feed into this. But more importantly to us is how the energy of the retreat is held; how those that are running the show are in tune with their role in the process; and how every single detail is thought through to make up the whole of the process.  

You retreat from the second you arrive

When you first arrive at a Pause Global retreat, you are invited to step into retreat mode straight away – you're encouraged to let go of the less-than-perfect journey or frantic run-up you may have had to arrive at this point. Everything is as it should be.  

We aim to calm your nervous system within minutes of you stepping through the door. Our chef offers you a nourishing breakfast and there is no need to small talk if you just need to transition into yourself in this moment. We are accommodating of the pace change that we know many will experience on the first day, especially the busy professionals who have fought to put their out-of-office on and relinquish responsibility for a while.  

Detail, detail, detail

Once you’ve settled yourself, you open your eyes and look around. Depending on the retreat you are on, an array of spiritual books, candles and trinkets will start to catch your eye. When you go to your room, there are small surprises and treats laid out on your bed, a quote by your bedside reads “Can you wait without waiting?” along with a candle and some matches. You are already looking forward to your sleep this evening.  

With the privacy of your room you may instinctively reach for your phone – that habitual behaviour you often aren’t conscious of these days. But you pause. Firstly, chances are there is no wi-fi or signal, but you also allow yourself a moment to consider that you will consciously step away from the outside world for now. This is your time, and it’s really precious these few days...

Time starts to drop away

As you enter into the retreat’s process through a special opening ceremony and a deep sound meditation, you start to feel ever so present with your fellow retreaters and within your body, that soon your sense of time slips away. With no phone to check and no-where to be, you realise this freedom is a foreign liberated feeling. And you are able to acknowledge how much energy is used up by our life running hour-by-hour in continuous fashion.  

An upset for your reset

There is no prediction on the retreat when this will maybe happen to you, but at some point, chances are you will experience a profound upset. A jolt from the depth of a breathwork experience or a realisation during a meditation that something within you is off kilter. Perhaps it’s the sudden surfacing of all you have been pushing away to survive recently, of unresolved grief ready to be expressed. Whatever form your upset takes and whenever it occurs, you feel safe. Held by a container and with a deep knowing that this rupture is key to your personal retreat and reset process.

A conversation with nature

As you move through your retreat process in a way that is unique for you, there are an abundance of moments where nature catches you. A walk through a garden with an enquiry question allows you to see more of what the living world is trying to tell you in relation to your life. Wild sounds, soft scents and the day to evening light changes strike you at some of your most significant moments. When your busy thoughts, mind or desire to understand this as a process start to take over, nature comes in to reassure you that things are being taken care of.  

Nourishing food and connection at mealtimes

Where nature is in full force, your appreciation of wholesome and nourishing food is heightened. Every nutrient rich healthy mouthful is savoured. You feel pure joy at mealtimes; your body energised by eating all the colours of the rainbow. Mealtimes also bring about wellbeing in the shared connection with your fellow retreat companions. Where you’ve all experienced depths in a short space of time, the conversation flows easily but can also stop. Nothing feels forced or difficult.

A ‘what just happened’ moment

As the retreat comes to an end, reflections are shared and everyone is honoured for their part in the process. Space is given for you to journal, reflect and understand what shifts have occurred in you. What are you going to take back into the outside world? Who are you going to be? How are you going to embrace the power of the pause in a new way?

You realise you don’t want the retreat to end, but you also know you have cleared space and have more clarity now. There is so much for you to put into action that an excitement starts to bubble up. You feel rejuvenated from the inside out, a deep sense of calmness within you. Anything feels possible from this place. A confidence that you have the power within yourself to heal and find joy.  

As you leave the retreat and break gently into the world you know, you can’t fail to have a ‘what just happened’ moment. The questioning of all that was, and a deep gratitude that you allowed this for yourself. The ultimate self-care. The most powerful of pauses.

Now it’s time to allow your retreat ripples to spread out far and wide....


If you’d like to learn more about our retreats, visit www.pauseglobal.com and register your interest to be notified of upcoming locations and dates.  

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