Where is your happy place? Really, think of it. Close your eyes for a moment, and think of a place (real or imaginary) that when you picture it your heartbeat slows, your worries melt away, and your ideas and dreams become clear and present and achievable all at the same time. Now open your eyes. Nevermind, you’re not in your happy place. You’re here. In reality. Likely in your office, or your bed, thinking about all the things you have to do today. But wouldn’t it be nice to spend a little more time in that happy place?
Drive South out of my hometown in North Dakota, across the lake, and into farmland and in just 30 minutes, you’ll find yourself near my grandparents’ farm. There, to the left of the steel graineries is a small hill – a hill we rolled down in the summer as children, sled down in the winter, and looks out onto a pasture, trees, and if you turn your head back towards the farm, on the place my father grew up and the place that has always been home in my heart. That is my happy place, and when I’m stressed, I close my eyes and imagine myself there.
Wouldn’t it be amazing if I could spend even one day on that hill every now and again? Well, maybe I can’t spend a day there, but I can implement a personal retreat in my daily life and transport myself to that feeling, that place a little more often. So to get you to that place of retreat, I’m offering you a couple of amazing ideas/resources to create your own “all you” retreat this season and get yourself back in touch with your happy place.
- Recently, my dear friend Melissa Foster Cook (who you met last week with “2 Major Nuggets for Insane Productivity”) has embarked on a summer long retreat – one she is calling her “Low-Tide Retreat.” She blogged about this over on her website with “A Low-Tide Retreat: Why You Should Do It With Me + How To Make It Happen.” Melissa is spending her summer in Colorado with periods of meditation, reflection, and creativity. She’s slowing down her normally INSANELY productive schedule to take a retreat. Click here to learn more about Melissa’s journey, and to participate in a low-tide retreat right along with her. Here’s one piece of advice she offers to fellow-retreaters:
Start your day off in a soul-nourishing kind of way that feels good to you. It could be journaling, visualizations, mediation, praying, dancing… hell – whatever feels really good to you – even if it seems crazy!
- Another favorite resource, The Daily Muse, and writer Natalie Jesionka recently wrote “Get Away from It All: How a Personal Retreat Helped My Career.” Natalie applied for a grant from a professional personal retreat space, Turkey Land Foundation, and spent two weeks disconnecting from her hectic life and focusing on the future. And Natalie encourages all of us to commit to a few days – even just a weekend – doing exactly what she learned at her retreat. All of her advice is at the link above, but here’s one of my favorite tidbits:
I soon learned that the key was to set a schedule—but one that was simple, not jam-packed. I started with little things, like meditation, having tea by the water, biking, and yoga. After that, I found that I didn’t need a schedule—I was able to get started on the work I’d been wanting to do with an amazing clarity and focus. The more I let go of trying to squeeze to-dos into every minute of my day, the more quickly ideas came to me, and I was able to get real work done.