In Honor Of Women's History Month

Retreating is integral part of the history of women and the history of human culture. It is an archetype as old as human consciousness. Here Jennifer Louden offers tips and inspiration to help women reclaim both our personal rhythms and our majestic herstory.
by Jennifer Louden

Retreating is integral part of the history of women and the history of human culture. It is an archetype as old as human consciousness. Here Jennifer Louden offers tips and inspiration to help women reclaim both our personal rhythms and our majestic herstory.

Woman's Re·treat (rî-trêt¹) noun
1. Springs from and is guided by her inner knowing.
2. A place affording peace, quiet, privacy, or security. See synonyms at SHELTER.
3. a. A period of seclusion, retirement, or solitude.
    b. Running away from the external, the torrent of daily "have-to"s.
    c. Running toward yourself: toward seclusion, privacy, and contemplation.
4. Setting aside time to tend the heart of your inner life, feed your muse, reclaim your dreams.

Things to consider
What to bring
  • Enthusiasm
  • Authentic self
  • Journal
  • Art supplies
  • Inspiring music
  • Talisman of love
  • Courage
  • What not to bring

  • Work
  • Phone or beeper
  • Self-criticism
  • Noise
  • TV
  • Negative people
  • A watch
  • Take a retreat in a

  • Bathtub
  • Teacup
  • Bicycle
  • Mountaintop
  • Lake
  • B & B
  • Retreat center
  • Library carrel
  • Backyard
  • Corner table in a café
  • Bed
  • Book
  • A retreat, like an act of self-love, is a radical act. You retreat because you are yearning for contact with something. That yearning may be ineffable, impossible to name, a whisper tickling your imagination. It might be a desire to know your true self, to be at peace, to celebrate your strengths, to connect with other women, to find an answer, to bask in self-kindness. - From The Woman's Retreat Book



    History of women, history of retreat
    Retreating is integral part of the history of women and the history of human culture. It is an archetype as old as human consciousness. The first retreat took place when menstruating women separated from the rest of the tribe. The Thesmophoira in ancient Greece was a group retreat, a descent into mother earth. The Desert Mothers and Christian saints like Julian of Norwich lived their lives on retreat.

    Ponder the literary and artistic accomplishments of George Sand, Emily Dickinson, Georgia O'Keeffe, Louisa May Alcott, Willa Cather and you see these accomplishments were made possible partly because, going against the grain of society, these women often retreated, sometimes for months or years at a time. Solitude and retreat have always attracted women mightily, and for good reason. It is here we find ourselves again.

    How you can celebrate history, women, yourself
    Set aside two minutes or two days in honor of National Women's History Month. Find a sanctuary. Create a brief opening ceremony (light a candle, do a yoga stretch, read a poem aloud). Then ask yourself "What is the question of my life right now?" Let yourself listen to whatever occurs to you.

    Send this to as many women as you can. Encourage other women to reclaim their personal rhythms and our majestic herstory. Just think what would happen if thousands or even hundred of thousands of women went on retreat in the next month (and what if they read a little women's history while they were there?)PregnancyAndBaby.com


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