I have just returned from a 3 day writing retreat and I am reminded of the supreme power of getting away. To be perfectly honest, the reason I went at all was because of a change in a client plan and I happened to have 3 days totally free. I thought, “Maybe I should stil get away…”
But the “should” voice started telling me to stay home. “So many chores, lots of work to catch up on, family obligations, traveling alot this month already, and so on.” So many reasons NOT to go, right? Before I could takl myslef right out of it, I called my friend, Jeanne, the Conference Director at Peaceful Valley, a beautiful mountain guest ranch where I have facilitated many retreats in the past myself. And yes! There was room at the Inn.
I packed the bare minimum, which included plenty of snacks, (even thought they have fabulous meals), my laptop and a sweatshirt and off I went. It’s funny. Even though I have given and gone on numerous retreats, I forget (always) about the transition time. The time it takes to accommodate oneself and move into the pace and space of “retreat time”. Two hours into my retreat and my lovely cabin, I have consumed all of my snacks for the 3 days and haven’t written a word.
But just a couple of hours into Day two I experience the power of my retreat. It is such a valuable experience and time so well spent because it gives me:
Perspective. When you completely change up your environment, your routine, and your activity, you can’t help but change your perspective. You notice things you don’t normally pay attention to, you appreciate things you take for granted, and you realize how much you really needed to get away!
Flow. Without the normal distractions of the day to day phone calls, emails, voicemails, dogs, and children, there is real opportunity for the mind and body to find it’s own natural rhythm and flow. I eat when I’m hungry. I rest when I’m tired. I take a walk when I’m restless. I flow in my writing as well because I am in rhythm with myself.
Creativity. When you are surrounded by the beauty of whatever inspires you, the creative muse knows she is invited and shows up. The spacious beauty of the mountains, with the crisp, cool air, the spectacular views, and the golden fall color gives me the creative space in my writing I just can’t get at home.
Renewal. Even though I am always a little sad when my Retreat is over, I am also happy to get home and re-enter my wonderfully full and fortunate life. I feel totally refreshed and renewed with this gift I have given myself, and proud of myself for having done so.
As a bonus to all of this, I had real breakthroughs in the direction of my book! I am scheduling my next retreat already, before I forget it’s power, and I would like to challenge you to do the same. I know of a wonderful week long Costa Rica Retreat in January, but if you can’t get away for that long, or that far, schedule a weekend or even a day away. And let me know about your breakthroughs!