A retreat is often thought of in the context of a spiritual
journey but it can also be a powerful tool to rekindle passion, commitment and
energy in your business. In a busy schedule it’s a guaranteed way to slow down
and reflect. A client of mine made it a
habit to schedule a three day retreat every quarter. What an inspired thing to
In thinking about a retreat for myself, I pulled out one of
my favorite books; Synchronicity, The Inner Path of Leadership by Joseph Jaworski.
He recounts his story of creating the American Leadership Forum. He describes
the ease and synchronicity that happened when he was in the flow and connected
to his passion, what happened when he fell out of sync and then his journey
back. He describes two forms of commitment
necessary for success; the ground of action – as entrepreneurs we are very good
at this one, we know how to make things happen – and the ground of being. The
ground of being is about being a part of an “unfolding, generative process” –
deeply connected, aware on many levels and following your bliss as Joseph Campbell would say.
One of the traps that can get us disconnected from the
ground of being is the trap of overdoing. Like many entrepreneurs, I’d been doing
a lot of over-doing and my ground of being was getting ground down. I was
over-ripe for some down time and decided to give myself four days to slow down,
re-connect and renew. I didn’t go to a
fancy retreat center (although that’s a wonderful option) – I created the
experience in my home and you can too.
In many ways my retreat experience surprised me. Part of me wanted to “do” the retreat. I had a
whole list of things that required re-evaluation, decisions and direction. I originally envisioned doing values work,
brainstorming and mapping out the goals for the year ahead. It isn’t that those
things aren’t perfect for a retreat but they wouldn’t give me what I was most
hungry for. The simple guidelines that follow helped me get what I truly needed
– a reconnection to the ground of being.