I remember reading ‘The List Maker,’ when I was eight years old. That pretty much solidified it: I was a writer. Since being granted my pen license (simpler times), I’ve written down lists and notes for almost everything. Occasionally I’ll write a schedule for days, down to the quarter hour (whether or not I stick with it is a different matter!). I handwrite dreams to bring them to life; plans, to give them fuel; and feelings to give them a channel to flow.
HB doesn’t (yet) offer a specific retreat for writers, but here are some tips on how you can turn your visit into a writing retreat…
Your Personal Writing Retreat: Morning
Keeping your diary and pen by your bedside is something I highly recommend. Not only is it a great way to jot down interesting dreams before they float onwards, it also means that all juicy ideas that arise in that creative semi-awake state, can be brought down to earth.
Another great reason for a bedside journal, is so that day one of your writing retreat can begin with your intention. This could be anything from ‘today I’ll be the most open version of myself that I can,’ to ‘today I’ll take a nap.’ You do you – the point is, often having that extra smidge of written accountability will help.
There’s a difference between writing out an intention and an affirmation. With affirmations, we can speak to our subconscious, rather than our conscious mind. Writing out your affirmations can become a tool for (slowly but surely) rewriting your mental programming. Think of them as intentions, for under the surface – and try to create them as though they already are. For example: I trust the universe deeply, and I notice the signs that surround me.
Your to-do list
Onto a more pragmatic sphere, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less fun. Is there anything more satisfying than incrementally ticking off your to-do list? For ease with this one, I shift from paper to digital. The iPhone Notes app has a handy function for exactly this. While you’re retreating with us, the cool thing is this part of your day may just be non-existent (oh the amazingness of being cooked and planned for)! Here, you’ll simply have one box to tick off: flow, surrender and enjoy what comes.
Your DIY Writing Retreat: Evening
The power of journaling cannot be understated. This tool that allows us to familiarise ourselves with the details of our lives, and to be truly present with them. Journaling can offer insights, clarity and emotional release. Looking back on the day in retrospect, and connecting events with your feelings and thoughts – can offer you new ways to move forward.
Maybe this one part of your day, fleeting as it was – was amazing. That’s one to add to the to-do list. Perhaps when you slow down and consider this other thing that you said to, it actually gives you a sinking gut feeling. Excellent, you can backtrack tomorrow! I notice when I don’t have the space to reflect on my day’s unfolding. My actions and attitude become a little less grounded, and my focus a bit less clear. For these reason and more, I’ll add that journaling is an excellent root chakra practice.
Alongside journaling, reflection prompts can also be highly clarifying. Often, it’s the questions and perspectives outside us, that help to illuminate our own truths. I tend to think of reflection prompts as inner maintenance. They reveal areas and blind spots that I was perhaps otherwise not consciously aware of. Reflection prompts are also particularly useful when accompanying other themes of the year. For example, the ones we shared for: eclipses or New Year check ins.
I placed this here as an evening activity, but really… there’s no telling when inspiration can hit. For this reason, we love when guests carry their journals around. There are countless sit spots on the property; the grassy patches overlooking the mountains, your cosy room, the magical Zen Den, or the ethereal waterfall view – just to name a few. Importantly, with us, you’ll have all the time and space you need. Whether it’s a quick haiku, a song or the beginnings of a short story – the sky’s the limit. Plus, I do have a sneaking suspicion that something in the Blue Mountains catalyses creativity. Perhaps it’s the change in scenery, maybe there’s something in the water. Either way, enjoy!
PS. Each of our rooms has a desk! There are plenty of other spaces to get writing, including a hammock, a swing and if you don’t mind sitting on the earth – you could even nestle in the bushland and get inspired.
Nisha is a freelance writer and Vedic astrologer, based in the magical Byron Hinterlands. As well as running her candle business, her life and loves involve: yoga, gardening and all things esoteric. You’ll find her out in nature, or curled up at home with a good book. Happy Buddha is one of her most treasured places on earth (and indeed where she met her fiancé!).