“Life is like a book – every day is a new page, every month is a new chapter, every year is a new series” – uk.
Take a look at who you are right now. Bring to mind your interests and the things you care most about at this point in your life. Bring to your mind the things that you are worried about and the things that you look forward to most in the future. Now go back 7 years in time. Remember who you were then, what were you interested in? What did you care most about then? What were your fears and worries, what were you looking forward to the most? Now try to go back 7 more years before that (if you can) and consider the same things, what were your interests, cares, fears and worries, hopes and aspirations?
The beautifully painful truth about the relationship between life and time was captured by the philosopher Heraclitus when he wrote: “The only constant thing in life is change”. There is a body of research which supports the notion that human beings, down to our very cells, change completely every 7 years. Yet despite it being engrained in our very DNA, change remains one of life’s greatest challenges. Change, of course, occurs far more frequently than every 7 years, it happens moment to moment and on various levels. A recent article by CNN Entertainment wrote about how Game of Thrones star, Kit Harrington, reacted to the conclusion of the 8-year running series. Immediately following the final take of the series, he was quoted saying “…It was this onslaught of relief and grief about not being able to do this again”. The article outlines that he subsequently checked himself into a health and wellness retreat to deal with ‘personal issues’.
At first glance, some may interpret Kit’s action to seek out a health retreat as suggestive that he must have some mental health issues, issues that he needs to resolve, issues that ‘normal’ people wouldn’t have. The term ‘checked himself in’ certainly implies such a notion in similarity to one checking themselves into a hospital or psychosis ward. The reality, however, is that change, adjustment, and transition have been long known to form one of the most fundamental times where our character, health and wellbeing are most tested and tried. The great psychologist Erik Erikson, in his model of the Stage of Psychosocial Development, highlighted that across time, we will all come to face clear, defined, conflicts at each transition of life.
In the book of our lives that we are all in the process of writing, change signifies the precise point where we complete one chapter and hold the pen over the blank pages of the next. It is the inevitable yet critically important moment we all reach where our decisions therein will determine whether we experience regret or pride, fear or excitement, despair or hope.
Therefore, make time for the points in your life where, in Kit Harrington’s words, “relief meets grief”, where life has presented you with a closing of one chapter and uncertainty lies over the next. Put aside time for yourself to learn from the past, to clarify what truly matters to you and recalibrate the direction for the next chapter before you start writing.
This is the greater sense of what a health retreat is really about. It isn’t just about getting your body in good shape, that’s just scratching the surface. At our health retreat, we have worked with thousands of people over 30 years of operation when they have reached one of these points in life. Whether it be a diagnosis, a broken relationship, the death of a loved one or a career transition, we meet each person where they are and in doing so, aim to provide an environment that facilitates clarity, tranquillity, and sets them on a path to move forward. The truth about this book of life is that every chapter will be written, and every chapter will come to an end. What is of greater importance than taking the time to ensure that your writing continues to adhere to your values throughout all the unwritten pages of your book! Our endeavour is to provide each person with exactly that opportunity.