Create your own Couples Retreat

CoupleHoldHandsBeachIn the spirit of LOVE week I want to offer you some additional ideas on making this week of love special. If you missed my other ideas check back in the archive on creating a couples bucket list, putting a little love in all you do (little ideas to share love & some great connection questions for all the people you love), Valentine ideas for those you love and so much more…I have tried to fill the last couple weeks with lots of LOVE.

Here are some ideas to make tomorrow night memorable…

How to create your own couples retreat

“To LOVE is to place our happiness in the happiness of another.”  -Gottfried Von Leibnitz

To retreat is to step away from the daily noise, to relax into another element of who you are, to look at your life with a new perspective, and to see your world through different lenses. You may approach a retreat with resistence for the time it takes, the questions, the necessary relaxation, but shift your thoughts to wonderment and necessity.

These retreat ideas are meant to bring you together as a couple, to help you reach beyond the daily and replenish your soul. It is time to be quiet, time to think, to communicate, to nurture one another.

Plan your night to include quiet time, a relaxing/fun activity, some yummy food and time for reflection.

Here are some activity ideas:

Create vision boards together (directions for this are in my archive) or write down a fun couples bucket list of activities to try together in the upcoming year.

You could have a night of Q & A to learn more about one another.

You could create a PLAY retreat, where you plan activities that would have you playing from morning to night.

You could create an evening of nothing but relaxation by giving one another a gentle massage or lying together in quiet meditation.

You could create an evening of romance

The activities are endless, but here are some ideas to help you plan a great activity…go on a walk together, practice mindful eating as you enjoy a delicious dinner you create together, write down ten things you appreciate in one another and then go out to dinner and share them over your favorite dessert, have a romantic movie night, take a moment and sway to the music, go to a flea market or thrift store and give each other $5 to buy the best present for the other, go to a wishing well and make wishes for your future together, plan to watch the sunrise/sunset, create a dessert night and make all your favorites, visit a museum or gallery and learn something new, have an evening of milk and cookies by candlelight, have breakfast in bed (morning or night), take the evening and reminisce about special moments like your first kiss, first date, when you met, etc. Take the evening and lay beneath the stars, Say I love you in a foreign language, go golfing with a fun lunch planned on the 9th hole, go to a amusement park and ride the ferris wheel, learn a new game together, cuddle…the ideas are limitless. You just need to plan it together, so both of you have an enjoyable time.

The food: After you plan a fun activity make sure you plan something yummy to eat. Food is a must in any type of retreat, it soothes the soul, it helps you to slow down and savor the moment. You could get take out for two, head to your favorite restaurant, create something from scratch or take a trip together to the store to find the right ingredients of a quiet meal at home. You decide. Are you in the mood for fondu, a picnic in the park, an outdoor bistro or a steak dinner by candlelight. It is your evening together, so take the time to plan something special.

Don’t forget the music. Your retreat should be a time of togetherness, so make sure your music selections (whether your driving in the car or lying by a fire) are in harmony with everyone. Music can break or make the special moments together. Music has a beautiful calming quality, so play it softly and definitely take a moment to pause in each others arms and sway to the quiet melody.

Time for reflection: No matter what you do together take some time at the end of the evening to reflect on the day, the moments that connected you, the close feelings you shared. Express your love to one another and be grateful for the relationship you have. Talk about what you are grateful for and share the things you appreciate most about your life together.

“Love really is the answer. We’re here only to teach love. When we’re doing that, our souls are singing and dancing.”  -Gerald Jampolsky, MD

Best wishes for a beautiful Valentines day. Enjoy those you love. -Heather
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Fun ideas for a Couples Bucket List

Wow, Valentines is just a couple weeks away, so I thought the next little while I will post things like couple bucket lists, great information on love languages and fun ideas on how to spoil those you LOVE! Cheers to LOVE WEEK(s)!!

I am going to start with a fun idea that can bring any couple together…a COUPLES BUCKET LIST!! What a great time of year to sit down with the one you love and create a fun list of things you want to do together…for valentines, for the month, week or year.

Take the time to connect. This is a great opportunity to see where your other half desires to be—where they want to go, what they want to do, what aspirations they hold. Sharing hopes and dreams will bring you closer, it will help you focus on one another and the future you would like to create. This is your life together, so take the time to create it, to include those things that matter most and make it a life you will LOVE together.

Here are some ideas I came across in my search…

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Here are a bunch of ideas I found…enjoy! Take a nap together, Couples Massage, Go on a spontaneous road trip together, Write one another a love letter, Walk the beach under the stars, Take a bubble bath, Cook a fun meal together, Make pasta from scratch, Swim at night, Fly a kite together, Travel to exotic places together (you decide where), Share random gifts, Go on a cruise, Visit a piano bar, Go to the symphony or ballet, Make a homemade Thanksgiving dinner together, Make a special dessert like Creme Brûlée, Watch an entire television series together (you decide), Hike the Grand Canyon, Train for a sports event together (Marathon, Triathlon, etc), Ride in a hot air balloon, Read a book together, Get a couples massage, Have a picnic on Lake Louise (or another Lake of your choice), Hug a Redwood Tree, Dance under a palm tree in Hawaii, Learn to surf together, Dress up for Halloween in themed costumes, See a live concert together, Build a fort, Take a specific class together, Release floating lanterns, Let go of a balloon with a wish attached to it, Kiss under mistletoe, Spend a day in cuddling, Make snow angels, Kiss at midnight on New Years, Write our own love story, Drive route 66, Visit a rainforest, Make a video montage of our life together, Sleep under the stars, Learn a new language, Adopt a pet, Take photos in a photo booth, Participate in a flashmob, Color a coloring book, Ride a tandem bike, Go to a music festival, Create nicknames for each other, Stay up all night, Go on a specific roller coaster, Kiss at the top of the Ferris Wheel, Take a tram ride, Have a pillow fight, Hike every National Park, Have special couple kisses, Sing together, Skinny dip, Learn to Tango or Ballroom Dance, Go on a motorcycle adventure together, Ride in a sailboat, See whales or dolphins in the wild, Kiss under the Eiffel Tower, Sleep in a hammock together, Learn to truly LOVE…

The list of ideas is endless, so take the time to create your own list with the one you LOVE.

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Life has taught us that love does not consist in gazing at each other but in looking outward together in the same direction.  ~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry,Wind, Sand and Stars, 1939, translated from French by Lewis Galantière

Tap into the vision for your life

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IT IS A NEW YEAR! the energy, the timing, the need to organize, to begin again seems to play in the air. This year I had my little family sit down and create individual vision boards. Needless to say, they were very resistant and not very excited to begin such a creative process. I had to guilt my husband into the experience & my nine-year-old whined “noooo!” Yet, after begging and pleading, we all sat down and plowed through a large stack of a variety of magazines.

It was such a fun process to see my little girl get excited about all the animal pictures she could find. Rip, tear, cheers and big smiles, as she found pictures that resonated with her heart. She has always loved animals, but this year she made and sold bookmarks for the World Wildlife Fund, constantly makes wishes & prays for the animals safety, and whenever we visit a zoo gift shop she seeks out the stuffed animal that will make a donation to an animal cause. Her heart has been centered around giving & learning about animals, so it was fun to see her work for hours on a project that she ended up embracing and loving.

My husband sat quietly tearing, while I anxiously waited to see his creation. Every detail spoke of his innate loves—images of triathlons, cooking and flyfishing filled the board. His work has been very stressful, so it only made sense that his deep inner spirit yearns for play, for passion, for things he loves and enjoys.

My images ended up telling me of my need for change, adventure, my desire to be surrounded by nature, to travel, to be quiet.

I wouldn’t have pushed my family to do this activity if I didn’t whole-heartedly believe in the creative process of our subconscious minds. There is a magic, a knowing that seems to exist when we just allow our creative desires to come. The subconscious is a very powerful tool that we tend to overlook or think it may be a little “whoo-whoo.” There is so much that is unknown, something that no one talks about because of the unfamiliarity of the mere chance that someone will mis-interpret our view point or belief.

I have always thought about the depths and power of our mind, but never truly understood or experienced the potential guidance our subconscious holds. This is a great story that taps into how powerful the vision of your life truly is…

I was attending my first women’s retreat coach training in Colorado. There were about twenty women in attendance, none of whom I had ever met. For our first meeting together I was sitting near a beautiful, african-american women (the only one in the group). Our first assignment was to one by one got to a stack of pictures that were upside down on a nearby table, pick one and then sit down. I was curious to know what this had to do with retreating, but I followed along and selected my picture. None of us were to look at the images until everyone had chosen one. We were then broken into groups of five women and we each turned over our images. Well, before I turned my image over I sat in amazement as the beautiful women next to me had chosen a image of a african-american woman holding a small child. She got a little emotional and explained to me that she had one little daughter and the image touched her so. I was shocked by the seemingly beautiful magic that was happening. How else could this happen unless we have a innate, inner knowing of what our souls desire is–it longs to share a deep, inner knowing, a guidance.

Needless to say, I was eager to see my image. I slowly turned over my magazine page and there was a young, blonde boy flyfishing up on a rock. I began to weep. It was like a vision of my husband as a young boy. It looked just like him. I even have a similar picture of him up on a rock flyfishing. It was unbelievable. My husband had recently been struggling with some personal depression, so the image touched me. It was as if it was reading my heart, my love for him, but I did not understand why it was affecting me so much that I was sobbing uncontrollably. I thought for a minute and then it hit me with an even deeper surge of emotion. It was the very day that one year earlier my sweet husband had taken a gun, wrote me a goodbye letter and drove to the mountains to take his life. I wept. I wept at the very thought that my soul had such a spiritual connection. I wept knowing how different my life would be without this amazing man in my life. It was then that I realized the power and knowing of the subconscious mind. How else would I have been drawn to this image?

It was a very powerful personal lesson for me. One that will always stay with me and remind me of the innate gifts and powers that are given to us to help guide us in all we do.

CREATE YOUR OWN VISION BOARD

I wish for you at this time that you will gift yourself the opportunity to have a deeper understanding of what your soul needs and desires. Take the time to create your own vision board. Take the time to nurture your souls desires by taking the necessary steps to make this a beautiful experience. You may not understand some of the images and why you are drawn to them, but do not dismiss the message. There may be something within you that is trying to get your attention and longs for you to see it.

Get a variety of magazines—you can pick some up at thrift stores or buy a variety as a gift to yourself. Say a quiet prayer of inspiration and guidance. Go through each magazine and rip out ANY image that you are drawn to–words, colors, someone who looks fit, a couch cushion that you like, etc. Then go through them again to FEEL which ones you desire to include on your board. Then cut and arrange them on a piece of foam-core board. Put the vision board somewhere that will inspire you. Look at it often & seek any inspiration that it shares with you.

This exercise is to help you find a deeper understanding of your soul’s desire, your personal vision for your life, what is needed and essential for your personal growth. Take the time. Do the work. Create. Enjoy the gifts life has to offer.

-Love and Best Wishes. Heather