A little bit of backstory:
My need for a personal retreat started when I walked away from my job as a Substance Abuse Therapist. I decided that I was going to head back home to California to make my dream a reality. I knew I wanted to have a more positive life, a more creative life, but I had absolutely NO idea how to make that happen. Where do I start? What do I do? What if people hate it? What if I hate it?!
It’s now been over two years since I made that leap of faith, and things are going pretty great!
- I’ve revamped my blog into what it is today! (And have been nominated for two whole blogger awards since)
- I went for a promotion at work, didn’t get it, and decided that God’s timing is perfect timing.
- I’m more at rest on my journey than ever, and was told by a therapist I didn’t need her – that I had all I needed.
But for several months right around the year and a half mark, I was feeling burned out. My mind was exhausted from all of the rewiring, pushing myself to the limit and out of my comfort zone, and just all of the shifting that had taken place over the past year. My spirit had gone from soaring high above the clouds to lying kinda flat and dormant. I felt stuck, and I knew I needed to find a way to reinvigorate my mind and soul, or all would be lost.
I decided a personal retreat was in order. I hadn’t planned for it, I didn’t book the hotel months in advance on some secluded mountaintop surrounded by scenic views, didn’t even really know what it was or how to do it. I literally woke up one morning and knew I needed it that very same weekend.
Leading into the weekend, though, I vacillated between making the investment, or just bypassing it to get some more work done so that I could “be productive.” I just didn’t know how beneficial taking this retreat would really be, and I didn’t want to risk wasting money I’d saved for other things – well, what I was telling myself were more important things. I still couldn’t make up my mind come Friday morning as I got ready to attend the Global Leadership Summit. But guess what a lot of the speakers highlighted that day? Yup! Most of them talked about taking time apart to regroup, rest, and reflect.
There was my confirmation! I knew I had to make this happen.
I booked the room that same night. And the next day, I drove to the hotel, parked at the valet, walked into my beautiful, newly remodeled hotel room, and had my personal retreat. Let me share some of the things I did (and what you can do) to make it a successful time away.
How to Take Your Personal Retreat
Decide on Your Stay
Since I practically do everything on impulse and didn’t take the time out to strategically plan this little hiatus, I went the kinda fancy route. The hoteltonight app called it “hip,” so, ya! It was a swanky, little, renovated hotel right on Colorado Boulevard in Old Town Pasadena called dusitD2 Hotel Constance. It worked out that the room was North-facing, and was right on the street, which surprisingly wasn’t noisy at all for a Saturday. I had a nice view of both the mountains in the distance and the street lights at night. Next year, though, I think I’ll opt for a more serene spot to truly detox and renew my mind.
Pack the essentials
Taking this personal retreat is sort of a journey; a peaceful journey. So, you’re gonna need all those things that bring you calm and a peace of mind. Here’s a list of the things I decided were essential on my own peaceful journey:
- The laptop
- My notebook
- A book
- Pens and highlighters
- My Bible
- My camera
- Snacks (really it was left over dessert that I was so happy I packed later)
- My comfiest pajamas and chill clothes for the next day
- The usual – toiletries and such
I was so excited about the retreat aspect that I admit, I forgot to pack clothes for the next day. Haha – wups!
Anyway, you might get a teeny bit bored bringing absolutely nothing. So, if your idea of a personal retreat is anything like mine, and you want to completely unplug, make sure to have a couple of books or a journal on hand to both inspire and allow for the free flow of those thoughts that will surely come in the complete silence.
Order room service
I turned my phone off for the majority of my stay, and it was soooo so hard. It’s really ridiculous how dependent we are on our mobile devices these days. I’ll say this: if you can do it, definitely make that effort to either turn it off, or keep it on airplane mode.
The time I did have my phone off, it felt pretty good to be liberated from checking social media, if the boo had text me or not, etc. You know how there’s absolutely no reason to be on your phone, but you find yourself on it for hours doing absolutely nothing? Got a crook in your neck from sitting in the same spot? Ya. Don’t squander this time on nothingness.
Simple as that. Most of us are overly busy, with our schedules moving from one appointment to the next event with hardly any time in between. We work full-time jobs, have kiddos, are taking classes, are building side hustles, so what is this sleep I speak of, right? And that’s exactly why this is the perfect time to pay up on that sleep debt.
When is the next time that you’ll have scheduled time away from any and everything?
Exactly. So, take full advantage of it, and get that rest.
If you haven’t had a personal retreat, go take one now!! It is by far one of the best experiences I have had in my adult life, and I strongly recommend investing in your own personal retreat to reboot, to re-energize, to refuel your passion. You and I both know your work will still be there when you get back. And, trust me, when you do get back to it, you’ll be better than ever. You’ll thank me later! I’ll be looking for ya in the comments.
Until then. Take care!