A personal retreat

I’d been feeling restless. My job is just a job. I kept sensing there’s something more I could be doing that would bring more fulfillment or more … something. Partly, I knew I needed a vacation, so I scheduled two weeks off.

And then the idea came to me to take a short Personal Retreat. A time of focus, and questions, and maybe even some answers (if I got lucky).

The horse camp I went to as a kid has become a guest ranch for anyone, so I decided to take a trip back in time and spend three nights at Flying Horseshoe Ranch in Cle Elum, Washington.

I had a book I’d planned to work through (Something More by Sarah ban Breathnach). I brought a big blank sketchbook for notes, doodles, whatever. I brought simple food I could heat up in the in-room microwave so I didn’t have to worry about scrounging for food in town. Brought along CDs of a favorite poet/teacher to listen to in the car.

It was an interesting time. Peace and quiet. Heartache and joy. Physical pain (my bad hip didn’t care for horseback riding). I have a notebook now with lots of thoughts outlined for further reflection. I didn’t know when I started this process how many answers I’d have at the end of the Retreat, or if I’d just end up with further questions. Now looking back, I think it’s a little of both. I feel some sense of direction, but there are many details to figure out.

Coming home, I felt rejuvenated, but also exhausted. I took a good nap, hung out with my cats, and spent some time on my back deck working more in my notebook. I want to bring some of the Retreat habits back home with me. I don’t want to lose the momentum that started with this time away. It’ll be interesting to see what the long term effects are from this time of concentrated reflection and self-care.

Over the next week, I’m going to share more about the practical how-to steps I followed for my personal retreat, and I’ll also share a few of the insights and answers I received. Honestly, I hope it’s just the beginning of an on-going journey and exploration.