Casa Republica – The Perfect Place for a Self Guided Retreat

Beach near the apartment
Going on retreat is a special time . A retreat gets you outside of your comfort zone and allows you to explore yourself and interact with your spiritual guides. Retreats help you to focus and intensify your practice of prayer, meditation, and journaling.
For some – retreats at a retreat center  maybe too daunting- myself included. Sometimes you just want to get away from your routine and surroundings and to have time alone to self discover, pray and meditate but you also want to geta massage, practice yoga or qi gong, go for a run, kayak, stand up paddle, catch up on sleep or just read a book uninterrupted.
Casa Republica may just be the perfect place for your own self guided retreat.  It has all the basics – simple accommodations to unclutter your mind and a peaceful and happy vibe to put you at ease.  Nearby beaches and the Malecon provide access to lovely walks and  amazing sunsets. Granted it is Mexico so sometimes one hears dogs barking, roosters crowing or music in the streets – which only help you  to build your practice of letting go! Plus if you want to walk to a restaurant for a simple meal there are many to choose from within 5 minutes for the apartmen.t

So what is a self guided retreat?
Self-guided retreats are exactly what they sound like: you lead your own retreat, just yourself, on your own schedule. It is a great way to engage in a practice that suits you best because you designed it.
To really engage in a self-guided retreat you must be committed and motivated. There is no one to keep you accountable, so it is all up to you. You plan it, set the rules, and follow them. Before trying a self-guided retreat, I strongly recommend preparing. Start by writing down your intentions for the retreat and what you wish to accomplish. This is your time so it can be anything you that you want or need or wish to discover The purpose of my last retreat at Casa Republica was to focus on me knowing that I am loved just the way I am and for me to appreciate my body and to respect it by caring for it in a loving manner. At the end of this post I will give you a brief day by say summary of my activities and what it discovered. First some guidelines that can help your retreat be success.
Once you set your intention set some rules for yourself a few examples are:

No intoxicants. No television. No internet. No phone. This includes texting.No hanging out with friends.No video games. No talking. Restricted diet.

Next make a list of scheduled activities that will support your intentions
Times to meditate, exercise, journal, eat and sleep should be outlined This is just a rough guideline as during the retreat you may find you need more time certain activities than others.

If you have a spiritual director or teacher include them in your plans and set up sessions to skype or online chat during the retreat.
The rules and schedule you set should not be a burden, it should be freeing. Your activities should assist you manifest your intentions strengthen your practice and refresh you! Remember this is your time.
So what was my retreat like at Casa Republica? I arrived to the apartment around 8:30pm exhausted after traveling all day – delayed take off and missing scheduled shuttle to La Paz. Delays are great as it gives extra time to pray and meditate… The apartment was clean and the air conditioner was running so it was nice and cool. I had a schedule of activities but that was daunted by the delay – my body told me to drink water then go to sleep.
Waking refreshed spent time practicing qi gong then meditation and prayer followed by breakfast and a walk on the Malecon. Severe thunder storms arrived and I returned to the apartment just in time. More time in meditation and journaling – Nap. Then a walk to see the most amazing sunset. I rarely spoke and ate simple dinners at the apartment (I didn’t want to spend time preparing meals so I cut up cucumbers, tomatoes, avocados and homemade corn tortillas- there are plenty of restaurants to choose from – (check the page -dining in La Paz) but I wanted to spend more time in silence. I followed this routine daily for 3 days. So what discoveries did I make about myself? Lots!!!! The most important is that I am loved for who I am and because of that I can feel safe in growing to be a better version of myself. By knowing that your are loved for who you are you have the ability to love others for who they are and not what you want them to be….I have know this but now it vibrates in my body.
What would I have done differently? First of all I would have discussed my plans with my spiritual director – this opportunity for the retreat came up suddenly and that is why it didn’t occur… Secondly, I would schedule more time at the beach as there are amazing beaches in the area (the daily thunder showers discouraged me from exploring the beaches) .
If you wish to try a self directed retreat and want to contact me feel free to do so.

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