The Benefit of Group Retreats
When faced with the prospect of a group retreat the natural inclination for many people is instead to ‘retreat’ into themselves. Exploring the depths of our own personality to seek meaning and inner peace can, naturally, feel like a deeply private journey that we are reluctant to share. However, if we can muster the courage to be open in front of others who are on a similar path to us, the rewards can be truly profound.
Part of the reason group work is so effective is the way in which it serves to activate our altruistic and external impulses; listening, seeing, and responding to the emotional stimuli of others. When we are surrounded by a small group of people who are present for the same reason as us and coming from a place of sincerity, the group dynamic takes on a life all its own.
Seeing Our Stories Reflected in the Mirror
In listening to others share their stories we not only offer ourselves in service to another, but we are given a mirror against which to read ourselves; a fresh perspective on our life, concerns and present situation. Responding to others with sincerity in the knowledge that they will do the same for you creates a great level of trust within a group, allowing us to let go of concerns and thoughts that have weighed us down the longer we have held onto them. When we realise that we’re all in this together our ability to listen to, and really hear, one another improves dramatically.
It’s remarkable how quickly people can ‘tune in’ to each other, noticing a person’s energy level dip as they touch on subjects that are uncomfortable or challenging for them when the person may not have even noticed it themselves. In this way, groups of people who had been strangers only a couple of days before can come to provide an entirely new framework for recognising ourselves as energy is reflected back between participants.
While the temptation to avoid stepping into big questions can be strong, choosing to do so as part of a group can in fact energise us more than we ever thought possible, opening up new solutions and perspectives thanks to the truly powerful learning medium of a group retreat.