Time to supplement the Book of Me with some ideas about taking time off. Well, not just taking time off, actually going on a retreat, i.e., getting out of my environment and away from my role as primary caregiver/partner in crime for my creative genius mother (with great hair) for more than a few hours.
Not just a retreat, a CrazySexyRetreat!
Why CrazySexy? It’s psychological. It is one thing to skulk away and collapse in utter exhaustion for a day or two. And, frankly, I’m not opposed to doing that every once in a while. But I would prefer to see my “retreat” time as an opportunity to not only rest, but to get back in touch with my life. To reclaim the juiciness and color and oomph! of my life, of me. To recharge physically and emotionally. To recharge my creativity.
Read This Before You Embark on your CrazySexyRetreat!
Oh, sweetie, you’re thinking about running away and going on retreat? Is it an emergency? If so, skip this part and go straight to the Woo-Hoo! section. And have a good time.
If it is not an emergency, Yay! No Emergency! You aren’t waiting until you’re on the brink of a breakdown to take care of yourself! Progress!
Here are some thoughts about preparing for your CrazySexyRetreat:
- Give yourself permission to take time off. Write it down.
- Plan ahead as much as you can. Minimize expenses.
- Don’t leave any big projects hanging.
- Don’t schedule anything involving a lot of interaction immediately after you get home.
- Don’t get all stressed about packing, you will be fine.
- If you’re taking electronics, take a power strip!
- Art supplies are almost always a good idea.
- If you’re taking food, try to make healthy choices. And chocolate.
- Take your journal.
- Make sure you tell someone where you’re going.
- Leave already.
Woo-Hoo! You’re on a CrazySexyRetreat!
- You didn’t run away, you’re taking time off. You’re recharging.
- Did you bring your permission slip? If not, prepare another one and put it somewhere you will see it.
- Give yourself permission to not “accomplish” anything while you’re on retreat. Write it down.
- This is not a conditional retreat, you don’t have to accomplish anything to justify taking it.
- Read that last sentence again. It’s true.
- It is a good idea to have some kind of ritual to signify the beginning of your retreat. Practice a few minutes of yoga/meditation, light a candle, do a few minutes of journalling, listen to some soothing music.
- Try to stay mindful of your choices of food/drink. Do they support your intention to recharge?
- Protect your retreat experience! Avoid the news, set limits on internet use, turn off your phone ringer.
- Set up a force field!
- Create intentions for your experience, what qualities would you like? Peace, safety, courage, playfulness, hope, compassion, laughter, ease, flow, lightness….
- Look around you, feel your feet on the ground, notice that you are present.
- Appreciate the alone-ness. You need it. Period.
- Don’t have an agenda.
- Everything you do is part of your process and therefore nothing is wasted.
- Listen to your body.
- Make time for Shiva Nata!
- Write. It always helps. Always. Especially when you don’t want to write. Just do it.
- Have a ritual to signify the end of your retreat. Thank the space for holding you and your experience.
Preparing for Re-Entry.
- Force field!
- Remember that you don’t have to justify taking a break to anyone.
- You don’t have to tell anyone what you did or didn’t do.
- Try not to look ahead for things to stress about.
- Don’t immerse yourself in the noisy world all at once. Protect your experience.
- Try to time your arrival home so you don’t have to immediately interact with anyone.
- What qualities do you want for re-entry? Ease, flow, gentleness, compassion, strength, renewed compassion, confidence, playfulness, sovereignty.
- Do some journalling as soon as possible.
- See your home in a new light. See your Mom in a new light.
- Remember gratitude for having the opportunity to go on retreat, and for having a home and Mom to come back to.