Life in London is what I would consider hectic. We rush everywhere, headphones in, mindlessly barging past others heading in the opposite direction. We go from one task to the next; train, work, lunch, work, gym, train, dinner, TV, bed. Repeat. 5 days a week. Like zombies we follow the crowd, heads buried, our minds overloaded – often with junk.
It is my belief we have a commitment to our mind, body and soul to feed them all with the right kind of energy and fuel. It’s living this way that allows us to function and share the best version of ourselves. I have always been active through sport and in the gym, whilst eating natural and often plant based foods, I feel I serve my body well. But for the majority of my life I totally neglected my mind, it was what it was, I was just getting on with what I had, with no understanding or intent of bettering the mindset I adopted.
The fact was, while my body looked relatively healthy on the outside, internally my mind was the equivalent of being unhealthily overweight. I was governed by limiting beliefs, my thoughts didn’t serve me with positive energy and I was disconnected with both my emotions and my purpose. In being that way I lived in autopilot, following the crowd, ticking boxes but never feeling truly alive.
As I grew older, I became more present to the fact I wasn’t living or feeling how I wanted and established that my mindset played a significant role in this. Since that realisation I have worked on my personal development and grown in many positive ways, but the energy of London can bring difficulties and it’s become important to me to keep checking in and reconnecting with who I am and the values I adhere to.
Last month I took the chance to attend a 5 day retreat in peaceful and natural surroundings in the North of England. I hadn’t been on a retreat before, but this one was run by Craig White, a man I knew, trusted and greatly respected. I am always looking for opportunities to keep expanding my emotional intelligence and personal growth, this retreat gave me a chance to experience some time in a different environment, away from the busy London life I spend most of my time.
The retreat would remove me from the electrical stimulants we become present to everyday, and instead immerse me back into the natural surroundings of the beautiful countryside. It would give me time to self reflect and reconnect with my purpose, to breathe, move, meditate and learn from a great leader. Having said this, I didn’t know exactly what to expect or how things would pan out, but I liked it that way, I could walk in with an open mind and let the 5 days take me to wherever they went. I was excited to go but also a little nervous, we become very used to our comforting daily habits.
5 days later I returned back to London more inspired than ever and more connected to myself. My mind was refreshed and educated, my batteries recharged. Time spent in an environment with 7 like minded men, self reflecting and openly sharing my deepest feelings gave me enhanced inner peace and more clarity around the direction I was heading. The time away has further energised my excitement around this blog and where I can take it from here.
I believe that the urban lifestyle of London and other towns and cities across the globe, can easily set us us up for a frantic and disconnected way of living. Whilst it can bring great excitement and opportunity, we must balance that by checking in with ourselves and reconnecting with our heart to make sure we are living with purpose and intention according to what really matters in our life. I do this in part through daily meditation and mindfulness, but from now on I will continue to regularly attend (and host FYI) retreats like Craig’s, it’s stimulates my mind and soul.
I urge you to try it sometime, there is nothing to be scared of and if you are scared, then I suggest there is even more reason to do it!