I looked at the year ahead and I thought: "Do I want a year that looks like a hard walk uphill, or a nice path to somewhere I actually want to go? What could I do to make my goals fun and my path nicer to walk whether I got to the 'goals' or not?
I had this idea to take 4 days in personal retreat, on my own, in Baja, to just think it through. And on Wednesday, off I drove...
But the real reason I went on my self-imposed personal retreat is that I just had this very strong feeling. Something inside that I couldn’t ignore just said ‘do this’. Now, that to me is amazing: not the experience of knowing something, but the fact I actually listened to it. I talk a lot about listening to inner guidance, but if I’m honest I can look back on my life and see many, many times I have not.
In fact, there have been so many moments when I knew not to say yes to that second date with someone, when I realized that what was about to come out of my mouth was going to get me in big trouble, or when I withheld support from someone or judged a passerby and knew I could be less cruel. I realize, much to my horror that I know what is right for me and what is not – but that I also have an ‘override’ button. In fact, I am much more practiced at overriding my gut direction than I am at following it.
So I am particularly grateful to be able to say that 2009 was a year of paying attention to my inner compass, and learning to follow the pointy arrow.
As for my retreat, that was also a success. I reviewed the old and said farewell. I welcomed the new and created space for it. I came to my desk this morning with an invigorated sense of possibility and some new commitments. I don’t have the year mapped out, and there are no ‘shoulds’ or ‘to do’ lists. But I have created a map for 2010 that will be fun to explore.
It won’t be news to anyone to know that if I intend to explore new territory, I’ll need not just my new map, but also a few new tools. For me, that means some new habits (creating more, writing more) and some renewed commitments (making the radio show more meaningful and more helpful in serving people). It involves planned giving for the first time. This is probably where the whole exercise of going on a retreat has been most useful, because I was able to spend 4 days not only thinking “What would I like to create next year?” but also to look at “…and how would that look; what would I need to change if I were to do that?” It was an exercise in imagination that I would not have engaged in quite the same way if I’d stayed home.
Four days alone over New Year proved to be one of the best things I’ve ever done and there were a couple additional keys to this being so fruitful for me. Here’s what I took with me:
- Jacob Glass’s “2010 Miraculous booklet”. A complete spiritual review of your year and setting a plan for the next. Available to download for free on his site www.jacobglass.com
- Jinny Ditzler’s Best Year Yet - build your12-month personal plan online at www.bestyearyet.com. A fantastic review tool!
- Barbara Sher's book, I Could Do Anything If Only I Knew What It Was. In case I ran out of ideas on what to do. This proved invaluable! www.barbarasher.com
- A Course in Miracles (on Kindle for iPhone) To continue the daily practice of the workbook.
- Debbie Ford’s powerful questions from her newsletter 2010: Destination of Your Dreams from The Light & The Dark weekly newsletter (You will find more in her book Best Year of Your Life). Here's the link those questions, also published in her article in the Huffington Post
- Three years of notes from my coaching and apprenticeship with Michael Neill. What can I say? Simply, OMG. www.geniuscatalyst.com
- One stuffed-to-the-gills notebook with all my life learning and notes from my training in What One Person Can Do (see my coaching site www.newmindsetcoaching.com for more on One Person)
- All the notes from my radio shows
Not invited were: email inbox, Facebook, Twitter. My iPhone was for Kindle only (Is now a good time to apologize for being AWOL all last week?)
End result: Wow.