In light of my dyslexic moment, or Freudian slip, or whatever it was, I started thinking what this Letting Go Retreat would look like for women who've felt bruised by another person or event. I came up with a few ideas that would help people let go and restore a sense of balance to life. Of course, my retreat would be a mix of several activities. It would involve a lot of doing, a lot of listening, and a lot of releasing of negative energy. It would be something I'd sign up for in a second. It would look something like this:
MIXED MARTIAL ARTS
Holding on to your past mistakes or regrets means you're carrying around some anger, so I'd like the retreat to include some Mixed Martial Arts. Wouldn't that be fun? We'd kick-box and punch that anger right out of our systems. Let's let that crap go.
I'm a writer, there would have to be writing. We'd take out journals or notebooks, colored pens and markers, and free write. The colors would help put a less stressful spin on our "letting go" subjects. The writing would be the coping tool we'd use to get that stuff out of our heads. I'd include writing prompts, such as, "If I could tell X what I'm really angry about, and not worry how X would respond, this is what I'd tell X." Then I'd set a timer for 10 minutes, and we'd write whatever comes to mind, about whoever we thought of first, non-stop for those 10 minutes. We'd break up the day or weekend, whatever the length of the retreat, with journal writing like this -- and different prompts to get the thoughts flowing.
You knew there would have to be bikes involved, didn't you? I'd create a mix tape of all the sappy love songs I could find, and we'd do a spinning class to that. The songs and the movement would help push those pent up feelings right out with the tears. Because, you know what? It's good to cry. We spend far too much time stuffing feelings. Let's just use this retreat to get them out. Because I like to make up songs from songs we all know, we could close this portion of the retreat with a version of that old Western song, "Goodbye Old Paint," changing the words to: "Goodbye, old flame, I'm leaving you now." Why? So it's us saying goodbye and not them, because when we feel like we can take back charge of our own lives, that's when we can begin to let go. The old flame could be an old lover, an old boss, an old anybody that you want to get out of your head.
We'd have a stage, and a mic, and everyone would get 10 minutes to tell their stories, without interruption. You'd just get to tell your story however you wanted to, with or without the drama, to help get it out of your head.
For anyone who didn't get their 10 minutes before, you'd have another option. You could write out your story in verse. Rhyme, no rhyme, simple prose. But no more than 20 lines. Then you could recite it out loud on the stage. We'd have a contest to see which poem fueled the most emotion. That means, you'd have to be honest. This would be your opportunity to dig deep into those feelings, so you could get them out in the open. Being able to face your hurt feelings is one of the best ways to begin to release them.
To wrap up the retreat, we could devise as many ridiculous ways in which we'd seek revenge, if it were allowed, as possible. Absolutely not to be acted upon, this portion of the retreat would involve the release of humor. To laugh about pain is a coping mechanism that can be very helpful. When you're able to look at the ridiculously absurd side of a life challenge, that's when you're able to see beyond it, and that's what letting go is all about.
No one would leave the retreat without painting or drawing the more serene side of what your life looks like now, or what you want your life to look like soon enough. This part of the retreat would be about goal-setting and aiming for a more positive look at your future.
If there were enough funds, the retreat would take place at a resort spa, and we'd end the event with an afternoon of massages, body wraps, manicures/pedicures, saunas, and a little wine & cheese. Since the whole point is about letting go, this would be an ideal way to release whatever stress might be left, so we could all head home relaxed and ready for renewal, that sense of unease replaced with a good, strong dose of balance.
What do you think? Would you attend a Letting Go Retreat like this? How would you make yours different?