Sixth Year Retreat

We would just like to acknowledge the wonderful work our sixth-year students did today at their Retreat. It was an absolute pleasure working with the boys. We loved their energy and enthusiasm and what a wonderful way to start our mid-term.

We started today at 12pm, we had a prayer and reflection from Mrs. O’Rourke as she lit the candle. We commenced Session 1 with Chat and Connect. This provided the opportunity for the boys to voice their worries and concerns. They did so with such respect for each other and we would like to commend these young men for the maturity they showed us as facilitators and the respect they showed each other.

We regrouped again after lunch. We started Session 2 with a conversation about stress. We spoke about the importance of a certain amount and the dangers of too much. We spoke about triggers and tools to help manage stress and anxiety in our lives.

We then moved to the Myers Briggs Personality Test. The boys enjoyed unlocking their personality type here. This exercise allows the boys to get tips and deep insights into personality types. The theory behind this is for them to understand the meaning and impact of different personality traits.

There are 16 different types that fit into four categories.

(1) Analysts are known for their rationality and intellectual excellence.

(2) Diplomats are known for their empathy, diplomatic skills and passionate idealism.

(3) Sentinels are known for their practicality, focus on order, security and stability.

(4) Explorers are known for their spontaneity, ingenuity and flexibility.

Our final session today was one where we embraced Mindfulness and Meditation to dissolve all the stresses and strains. We kept our ethos close to our hearts Insideat coelis animo sed corpore terris’ (Let the mind be in heaven while the body dwells upon the earth).

Mindfulness takes practice to overcome our mind’s tendency to dart around. So, boys next time you are faced with an uncomfortable emotion remind yourself that this is normal and something we all experience. Remind yourself that these thoughts may be inaccurate. Try and stand back from the thoughts and observe.

The breath is a natural tranquilizer for the nervous system. It sends a powerful signal to the brain to slow down the release of adrenalin.  Always breathe in through your nose, allow the air to flow into your abdomen and let the out-breath be longer than the in-breath. When thoughts intrude – let them be and return your attention to your breath. When the practice becomes habitual you have a wonderful tool to use when upsets happen. You are in charge of your own inner state and respond to situations appropriately instead of reacting.

We really had a wonderful day. Thank you for embracing it all. Mrs.O’Rourke and I are so grateful to the boys and we would both like to wish you all a lovely week at home. Stay safe and well done.

Ms. Sarah Brislane.