Personal Retreat

Now that the boys are back in school, it’s time for my Fall personal retreat day!

I generally try to block one day near the beginning of each semester for this important practice. My routine is simple but effective and soul-satisfying for me: after getting the boys off to school, I start the day with a mind- and body-cleansing run. I then head out to my local Barnes & Noble for a focused time of prayer, listening to God, reviewing projects and commitments for the months ahead, and setting goals — putting all of this in writing in my journal, calendar and Evernote, as appropriate.¬†After a late lunch at whichever restaurant sounds good that day, I usually continue my reflection and planning at home in the company of a sleeping puppy, wrapping up with enough time for my mind to re-enter the present before the boys re-enter the house.

I always look forward to my retreat days, and today is no exception. For me, it marks the changing of the seasons: not just from the heat of summer to the coolness of fall, but from a more relaxed pace at both home and work, to a new focus and energy on projects that have been percolating in my mind and heart the last few months. I am thankful for the season of rest, but by the fall I am recharged and ready to go, truly itching to get back t work.

If you take a personal retreat, what practice(s) have you found to work for you?

Powering Down

When is the last time you shut off all the electronic devices around you? I’m talking TV, cell phone, computer, iPad, all of it.

All Off
I’ve realized that I need to power down more often; certainly earlier in the evening than has become my habit. I’m trying to read, journal, and listen more. I always want to make sure I am getting enough sleep each night, and powering down the electronics helps my mind and body power down as well, leading to more and better rest.

Do you need to power down?