Or..When Corporate Retreat is no Retreat!
Thomas Moore, in ‘Care of the Soul’ said…..” Living artfully with time might only require something as simple as pausing.”
Are you racing through life by the seat of your pants?
Take 3 or 4 minutes to read this! Your pants will still be there!
As we approach year end I thought it time to pen some words that people have been nagging me to write. Too often these days I have people say to me how frenetically busy their lives are, and how little ‘time’ they have to just stop for a while, to really take stock and think and talk through things. to ‘get their heads around’ the challenges we are all dealing with , professionally, personally, and as a larger series of communities. Many of us find ourselves ‘transacting’ through our day to day lives with competing pressures , projects , meetings , workshops , deadlines , tasks and the list goes on – a life of just getting through until the next day, with more of the same . For many, this has a sense of being out of control, out of equilibrium. We are over stretched, tired, ‘doing’ , more than ‘living .
Is this you?
Is this OK for you?
There’s a beautifully apt African saying : “Pause, so that our souls can catch up with our bodies”.
We are, truly, in an era of unprecedented complexity. The daily ‘rules of engagement’ for us as leaders and influencers in our various contexts are shifting!! The chance to pause for a while, and have “Worthy Conversation, with and on Purpose” with others, and with our selves is vital !
Imagine the massive impact on you, your wellbeing, your relationships, your work , of consciously and deliberately creating time and space to stop, focus, reflect and re-group your thoughts, to rejuvenate yourself to move forward.
For a number of years now I have facilitated so many forms of intensive and experiential leadership and personal growth programs, both corporately, and within communities. Yet, it is Retreat – half day events through to longer more intense residentials , that surely has been some of the most graceful, yet powerful work I have had the privilege of directing.
But, there is an insidious self defeating decision process people struggle with to allow themselves to truly retreat. There is a tension between a/ (consciously) thinking that (time spent) should have tangible, measureable objectives, results and outcomes, coupled with a naïve belief that to retreat is a self indulgent navel gazing exercise, and b/ a gnawing (unconscious) awareness that you must, that it is simply necessary, it is time to Pause, that the body, mind and soul/ spirit/ (call it whatever you like) needs space to regroup and refresh.
Many people struggle with the concept of giving themselves permission to do something for themselves, particularly something without an overt series of outcomes, steps, tools, techniques, processes. Imagine what WOULD happen when you allow yourself?
What is Retreat?
Definition of Retreat: A place affording peace, quiet, privacy, or security; a period of seclusion, retirement, or solitude.
Not vacations, not workshops, training sessions, or seminars. They are not occasions to chill and watch TV or play golf or catch up on some novels, or Words with Friends.
True personal retreats are extended times of quiet and solitude where you can immerse yourself in the 3 powerful spaces of focus, dialogue and silent reflection, possibly with guided meditations, worthy, purposeful conversations with fellow retreaters, journaling and direction.
The Retreat experience is where you can devote extra and focussed attention to yourself, your internal dialogue, your emotional fitness. Time to listen to your inner wisdom. It is a context and environment for deeper self reflection on your overall psychological, physical and spiritual well being. Deep reflection opens up the internal dialogue between your conscious and unconscious mind, often resulting in significant clarity around issues and concerns, and even ‘Eureka’ style insights into new ways of moving forward. For many it is a time to choose a point of focus, and reflection simply to better appreciate and understand your ‘experience of yourself’ and find some equilibrium. This is where you truly become mindful of your relationship with yourself as a priority! It is certainly a time to regain your sense of vision, value, purpose & direction, your focus, your goals.
Ready to Retreat!
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A time, a space to pause and let your soul catch up with your body – to connect with your ‘soul compass’, your very core.
“It is time for you to give your mind a respite, a retreat from all the illusions of your Every Day. Do it. Do it now. You think you can’t afford the time or the money? I tell you, you can’t afford not to.” (Neale Donald Walsch)