The Importance of Committing to Your Own Afternoon Retreat

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I think most of us are guilty of running around our day-to-day life embracing our perfectionist tendencies and our desire to get it all done.

Lose that way of thinking! Instead, work on cutting out however many things you hate doing out of obligation and commit to creating your own afternoon retreat.

What Can a Retreat Look Like?

I think most of us think a retreat is more of a weekend thing or a once a year thing you do, but for me I have made it a commitment to do it once a week. I picked Monday’s. Why Monday’s? Easy.. it is the day we all talk about how much we don’t like it or how it makes us feel, and I was totally guilty of doing that, so I turned that negative thinking and unwanting, unpleasurable feelings into being excited for Monday’s to happen.

I started by simply thinking about what it is that works really well for me. What I know about myself is that I love to have something to look forward to. I also thought about what is it that I do for me that makes me feel good. Well, that was simple: a massage! And I love a lavender vanilla epsom salt bath. So now I block off that hour for the massage every Monday afternoon on my calendar.

After my massage, I come home and enjoy a lovely dinner. (I have a wonderful husband who understands when I say I need “me time.” So, he cooks for our family on Mondays.) My next treat after dinner is to soak in the bathtub.

I have written blogs and recorded podcasts about how important it is to stay connected with your girlfriends, but I also feel even stronger about cultivating time for you to reconnect with yourself and allow your soul to take in life at its own pace. Your life will not be remembered by what you got done. It will be remembered by how much you embraced each moment in front of you.

Giving ourselves time to think can also create wonders for our overall attitude. I think when you allow this space for yourself, it helps you work towards actually doing the stuff you say you want to do. It allows you to focus on growth not mastery. I have come to learn new things about myself since I have allowed for this time that I have gained a huge sense of fulfillment.

Considerations For Your Own Retreat

Here are just some of my thoughts on what to think about when creating your own personal retreat.

You need to incorporate things that inspire you. I created my own life soundtrack, and I often play it when I am relaxing in the tub.

Or you could create your very own personal mission statement. I think having one will keep you focused, and it also serves as a solid foundation being self-aware and feeling a greater sense of purpose. Now that to me is SO inspiring!

Incorporate Creativity and Color. When you are using your hands, it encourages a state of flow that leads to spontaneous joy and creative thought, so when you put pen to paper, you are better equipped to identify your dreams, passions, fears, and the things that need to change. You can boost your creativity in 2 seconds by gazing at one color which will get those creative juices flowing. Psst… Color me “green”.

The important thing is to prioritize something like this weekly (or even just monthly) and decide on what would be exciting or refreshing to you. Then, schedule it and make it happen! Let me know what you decide and how it goes for you!

Building Your Support System

You don’t have to hang with people that don’t make you feel good about yourself. I made a decision a long time ago to stop doing this.

We all have a choice so find people who resonate with you, who are positive, who show you support, who are grateful, and who reflect the quality that you want to have in your life.

It is so important for your success to seek out a great support system. It’s not only important for career success, but for success as an individual in general.

For a goal-oriented and highly driven person like myself, I was used to doing it all and making it happen. I think it is a mistake to think that you can do it alone. Let’s see it only took me 25+ years to figure that one out!

Having a strong support system will make you feel happier and also more fulfilled. I have been able to achieve more because of the support system I have built in my life.

I think it is important to prioritize your relationships. If you value your current relationships, you will want to strengthen them which should be very easy to do. But think carefully about each person you want to strengthen your relationship with. You may end up realizing you need to end some relationships. When I went through this process, I had several relationships that I ended. If you choose to end any, just remember that you are moving forward.

Being intentional will make your support system full of quality people. How does that old saying go? “Quality is much better than quantity.”

Think of it this way. You should make relationship goals just like you make goals for everything else in your life. I think it is important to have diversity in your relationships, too. This will allow for more support from different areas of your life. If you want to have a support system, then be a part of other people’s support system. In this article by Dr. Julie Connor asks you to consider questions as you contemplate finding or adding a new member into your tribe.

Be Grateful To People Who Make Us Happy

I try to focus on being grateful throughout every single day. It keeps my outlook positive. There are so many wonderful people in my life – those who push and challenge me, who support me and inspire me.

But it’s neat to think about the ones that really make me happy, those that make me smile or laugh out loud. They know to surprise me or just how to keep me in a positive, cheerful mood.

Let’s be grateful to those people who make us happy today. Save this quote as a desktop image for yourself for the month if you’d like!

Remarkable Resources for June

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Here are some recent online finds that I have benefitted from:

Respoken

Respoken celebrates women with an abundance of happiness and positivity. Respoken strongly encourages women to rise up as leaders and captivate the world’s attention by the power of their beautiful testimonies. I enjoy reading their articles around beauty, fashion, and life.

TEDTalk

This TEDTalk is a favorite for everyone. It’s one not to miss and even re-watch. Amy Cuddy shares how “Your body language shapes who you are.” It will make you think about your own posture and its connection to your impact and success.

GroupME

Instead of long group texts that may not work across all devices and carriers you are able to chat, you can use the GroupMe app and send photos and make plans all within a single chatroom.

Girl’s night has never been easier to plan! As an added bonus since it works over wifi you can use it when you’re traveling abroad to check in with family

Conference/Summit

The Virginia Women’s Business Conference is a great opportunity to discover new tools for success and network with other women in the community.

Do Things That Scare You

 

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Ever been told, “Do one thing every day that scares you?” I have. It has stuck like superglue into my brain. With my personality I have found not too much sticks unless it really resonates with me, and so of course I asked myself, why does this one thing continually keep coming into my thoughts?

I think it’s because I welcome challenges. I also welcome any opportunity that is going to make me grow even though those are the ones that typically scare me the most!

That statement is now my life challenge. I can understand how it could be very hard for others to take that statement on, so my advice would be to work toward your goal by knocking over a few small fears at a time.

I recently did my very first talk, and I can tell you it was not something I wanted to do. I would have never even thought to do it if I didn’t have a nudge of a great friends and great mentorship. I thought, “OK sure, put it on my website.” Then I got the submission of interest on one of the talks I offer.

My first feeling was excitement which lasted for a couple seconds because as fast as that feeling of excitement came, it was clouded over by fear and anxiety. Again, I went to the people in my life who encourage me and who I knew could help me through the process. This was very significant!

For months leading up to the day I tortured myself with all kinds of negative thoughts, and then because I can’t stand negativity, I thought, “I’m over this. Jennifer you know yourself. When the day comes, you will just handle it. Like everything else in life when you are put in a situation, it is just ‘go time.’” I don’t think, I just go after it.

So when I changed my thought process, it made a significant change in my attitude towards the talk!

I am happy to say even though I had those nagging negative thoughts, when the day arrived there was no fear. I was so calm. I couldn’t even believe how calm I was. I know it had everything to do with switching my thoughts, seeking out supportive people in my life, and knowing who I am. And well, let me be totally honest, I always wanted to “go into the arena” as Brene Brown says.

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I’m grateful to have people in my life who support me, challenge me and who are great mentors.
I think it is also really important to recognize and thank the people who come into your life that say those things to you and the people who help support you through the fear to make it happen.

DS

To Don and Sonya –

Thank you for allowing me to be both a masterpiece and a work in progress simultaneously.

To Tammy
You are the example of when women support each other, incredible things happen!