Inside: My experience at the Flea Retreat and how I have found clarity
It’s taken me all week to process my weekend away in Aberystwyth for this year’s Flea Retreat. I went last year (wrote about it here) and this year lived up to expectations! In fact, I’d go as far as saying it exceeded them.
You may not be a blogger, but read on anyway as the lessons I learned apply to us all. But if you are a blogger, make sure you are on the mailing list to find about future events because honestly, they are awesome!
What is the retreat all about?
In a nutshell, it is a chance for bloggers to come together, have fun and learn a tonne of stuff! But for me, it has always meant more than that – it has been a chance to remove myself from my everyday surroundings and reflect on what exactly it is I want from my life.
Because that is what normal life is lacking – time to look inward. Time to think about what you need. Time to work out who you want to be.
What did I get up to?
I left home on Friday morning, making the 5-hour drive over to Aberystwyth in Wales. It was a long way to go but I looked at the drive as part of my holiday – time to turn the radio up loud and sing at the top of my voice!
I arrived at the venue, Tyn Rhyd, as the sunshine decided to make an appearance and settled myself into my room in the farmhouse. It was so nice knowing the weekend was my own and I only had to think about myself.
We were able to choose from a selection of activities over the weekend and unlike last year where I focused on learning-based sessions, I decided that this year would be all about doing things to help me grow as a person.
First up, canoeing.
I’d never done it before – have you? If you haven’t then go give it a go! Sitting out on a reservoir in the middle of a valley was amazing. We paddled our way along as the sun began to set and it brought me back to a calm and relaxed state after the long drive – leaving me with an inner peace that I rarely get.
Saturday brought a few sessions, the first being about brand identity with Tony Hindhaugh which was fascinating. It has given me a lot to think about and I will be making sure that all content I put out has a purpose and is in line with my ultimate goal.
The next session was Bushcraft Cookery with Adventure Beyond – again, something fun rather than blog related but that left me with real-life life skills! I can now start a fire from scratch! It will definitely come in handy when we go camping later this year!
The rest of the day was spent relaxing in the hot tub and chatting with other bloggers. It was so nice to spend time with people who get me. It is so hard to find a group of likeminded people and so being given the opportunity to spend time with people who share the same interests is amazing!
Sunday morning brought another chance to get outdoors with a walk to Devil’s Bridge Waterfalls. It was led by the lovely Naomi Campbell and she showed us all of the best spots for taking gorgeous photos. In all honesty, I just took the chance to be outside in the sunshine with nature around me.
I had another chance to attend a session with Naomi in the afternoon though, with her showing us the best ways to take photos of children. I take a lot of photos of my kids so I loved learning how my camera can achieve great results while they tear around like maniacs.
One of the only ‘learning’ sessions I attended was the creative writing session with Kirstie Pelling. I am not great at using creative language within my writing but I learned a lot from Kirstie and it will hopefully begin to shine through in my words moving forwards.
What did I take away?
Ok, so besides the learning sessions that gave me lots to think about, the main thing I took away was the desire to be more me. I don’t know if it was being at one with nature with the reservoir and waterfalls or just having the time to reflect on my life, but I came away feeling some sort of clarity.
Why we all need alone time?
Motherhood and everything that comes along with it doesn’t leave much time for reflection. It leaves you feeling drained and ready to collapse into bed each night, without any time to focus on your own dreams and life direction.
When you have time to sit in silence, suddenly your brain can focus on what you want. This is why I do my Miracle Morning routine every day – it gives me an hour to focus on how I want to live my life. But a whole weekend of uninterrupted time? That never happens!
Alone time gives you…
- chance to clear your mind, focus, and think more clearly
- discover yourself and find your own voice.
- time for you to think deeply
How can you take time for yourself?
If you can’t get away for a weekend due to childcare or cost, there are plenty of other ways to find solitude.
- Schedule time for yourself and do nothing.
- Unplug from social media
- Go for a walk and be one with nature
- Get up early and sit in silence
- Go to bed early and sit in silence
You owe it to yourself to be more you, so make the time to find out who exactly that person is.