When I think of the word “retreat”, I can’t help but going back to the history classes earlier in my life and remember what teachers would tell us about the greatest retreats in history, such as “The Ten Thousand” retreat, the one of Sir John Moore to Corunna in the Peninsula Way in the 1800’s and the famous Battle of Dunkirk.

Retreating is defined as the act of withdrawing from enemy forces and doing so at the right time, which has saved entire armies in many occasions throughout human history. 

Retreating assisted those in charge to try alternative tactics and strategies in order to impede the enemy's progress. Even though in modern times, we use the word “retreat” as a synonym of refreshing and revitalising, the benefits of retreating can be compared to those from the battles of the past.

When we are feeling exhausted and wondering how we are going to sustain our energy over the coming months, then, it is possibly a good time to retreat. ‘Retreating’ as a practice is making a come-back because withdrawing from our day to day activities is something that has the power to make us ‘sustainable’ as leaders (and human beings).

This can be done by:

  1. Getting closer to nature to regain a sense of rhythm and pace.
  2. Practising activities we enjoy doing, which are usually abandoned with busy schedules (yep! the enemy forces of today)
  3. And finally allowing time to self-reflect so that our brains can be better positioned to plan and strategise about the future.

In the times we are living, it has become an imperative to give our brains an opportunity to experience some ‘down time’ in order to feel healthier, more innovative, inspired and rewired. Creating the space to recharge is key to develop an improved version of ourselves so we can take on life’s daily challenges with joy and courage.

The i4 Live Retreat is our ‘down time’ from ‘business life’ and ‘busyness’. This Program is about spending four days with people and experts from all walks of life (neuroscientists, sleep scientists, gut specialists, design thinkers, systems thinkers). This retreat is a good reminder about the importance of slowing down, in doing so, we can explore our intuition, personal goals and vision.

This program is open to business leaders, consultants, coaches and anyone who wants to learn more about their leadership, brains, hearts and guts so that they can take these new insights back into their lives. Not only do we explore fascinating new science-based concepts, but we also strive to create belonging and a new understanding of what we need to do as humans to feel expansive and fulfilled.

Check out our Showreels for 2015 & 2016



Teachers from the 2016 i4 live retreat

i4 Live Retreat

Every year, we select expert presenters who run in-depth sessions around the abilities and skills that make up the i4 Neuroleader Methodology and Curriculum. They are true teachers who speak from their heart and with great knowledge, willing to share their secrets of how to achieve leadership effectiveness and personal transformation.

To learn more about i4 Live, visit our website!

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Originally posted on: 14 September 2015
Last updated on: 25 February 2024
Silvia Damiano

Silvia Damiano

Founder & CEO
About my Brain Institute

Scientist, educator, author, speaker, coach, award-winning leadership specialist, filmmaker and creator of the i4 Neuroleader Model & Methodology.

Silvia's scientific background and curiosity about the human brain led her to a decade long journey of research into optimal brain functioning and the application of neuroscience in leadership and daily life. Her past and current roles have uniquely prepared her for the current undertaking, that of leadership activist & change agent.

Silvia Damiano founded The About my Brain Institute in 2009, with the purpose of democratising leadership & neuroscience. She has a passionately held belief, that leaders in our 21st century global economy and their organisations must radically change long-held ideas of what constitutes effective leadership

In her ground-breaking books ‘Leadership is Upside Down’, ‘Brain-Friendly Leadership’ and the 2018 documentary ‘Make Me A Leader’, Silvia provides both compelling evidence and explores the importance of leadership in our personal and professional lives and what it takes to develop the human behind the leader.

Silvia has worked in different countries, across many industries, helping teams and organisations improve business performance. Silvia’s clients have described her as a passionate, dynamic, a highly experienced speaker and master facilitator on the topics of Emotional Intelligence, Cultural Change, Neuroleadership & Engagement.

Silvia is passionate about leaving a legacy of well-rounded leaders who can act and decide in a way that better serves humanity. Her clients include Microsoft, Australian Stock Exchange, NSW Government, VISA, Fuji Xerox and Manpower amongst many other global companies.

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