In times of great change, I have often engaged in an internal boxing match where I resist and struggle with accepting my normal life has been altered. That struggle is a boxing match I always lose. Why? Because change is inevitable. It’s always going to happen. In 2016, I gave a talk on how I used mindfulness to embrace change in the midst of career reinvention at the Nonprofit Technology Network’s annual conference in San Jose, California.
During my talk, I shared the four lessons I learned:
- Lesson #1: Ask for help.
- Lesson #2: Take great care of yourself.
- Lesson #3: Be a lifelong learner.
- Lesson #4: Be open to possibilities.
This year, I almost forgot these lessons as I struggled to deal with changes resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, social justice movements, economic instability, fake news, politics, and the national and local elections. I tried to ignore the changes by filling my time with serving others through the Thriving Mindfully Academy. That strategy lasted for about three months until I realized I was burning out in May. So I stepped back from many of my obligations, took a social media summer vacation, and changed the way I practiced self-care. I began giving myself more time and space for do-it yourself (DIY) personal retreats. My DIY personal retreats helped me recharge, reflect, and reconnect with my authentic self.
During my personal retreats, I looked at my full self in a mirror and came face-to-face with my vulnerabilities, challenges, wins, and losses. As a result, I gained new insights, brainstormed innovative solutions, participated in women’s healing circles, read inspirational books and magazines, and spent more time walking in nature. I also decided to change my pescatarian diet to a vegan diet, get more sleep, seek support from a therapist, join a virtual meditation community, deepen my study and practice of digital wellness, and move my body with more dance, Barre 3, yoga, walking, and bike riding. All of these efforts helped me set intentions and create shifts in how I choose to show up in my life, relationships, and career.
More on personal retreats …
The best thing about a personal retreat is you get to choose how long it will last and what you will focus on. Over the past several years, I have used several formats for my personal retreats. Here are several examples.
- A week: one to three hours per day starting on a Sunday and ending on a Saturday)
- A three-day weekend: several hours per day beginning on Friday evening, Saturday, and Sunday
- A full-day: two hours in the morning, two hours in the afternoon, and one hour in the evening
- A half-day: two or three hours
What changes occurred in your life and career this year?
Have you embraced or resisted the changes?
Do you need a personal retreat before 2020 ends?
Do you need help getting started on your personal retreat?
The Come Home to Yourself Retreat will be offered twice. You can choose to attend the virtual retreat on December 20th or December 27th. Consider giving the Come Home to Yourself Retreat as a holiday gift to your loved ones, friends, and colleagues. Register here for the December 20th retreat. Go here for the December 27th retreat.
During the virtual retreat, you will:
- Practice mindful self-care with deep breathing, meditation, affirmations, and gentle chair yoga
- Reflect on and journal about who you have been and the lessons you learned in 2020
- Identify who or what’s been getting in your way in 2020
- Release and practice forgiveness
- Explore who you want to be and how you want to show up in 2021
- Set intentions and identify the resources, action steps, and accountability support you need to manifest the person you want to be in 2021
- Create a self-celebration plan to appreciate your small, medium, and big wins in 2021
A Zoom video link will be emailed to you once you register for the online retreat.
Register for the December 20th retreat here.
Register for the December 27th retreat here.