Last summer I sat at the beach fantasizing about my ideal life and one thing that rose to the surface was my desire to have mini solo retreats at the beach throughout the year. Just a few days to myself with warmth, sunshine, and the ocean.
“Maybe next year (that would be this year)” “Or maybe in 2017” I thought as we entered 2016. And then a friend reminded me that there’s a 3-day business conference in Miami this spring. Sounds perfect, right? It’s exactly what I want – a few days at the beach, a mini solo retreat.
Then a funny thing happened. I came up with a list of reason as to why I couldn’t go. The expense, child care arrangements, concern about asking my husband for too much help, and more. And then I began doubting the conference itself. “Maybe it won’t be that good, it’s probably not worth it, I really shouldn’t go” I told myself.
Wait, what?! I have the opportunity for a solo retreat and I’m considering NOT taking it?
I did what so many of us do, I doubted and second-guessed myself. I had an opportunity to move forward and instead leaned back. But I didn’t get stuck there.
First, I wrote about it. I’m in the habit of writing every night about whatever is in my head. Sometimes it helps the jumbled mess become clear and other times it releases the thoughts and anxieties so I don’t have to carry them. Here’s the actual journal excerpt that helped to clarify and propel me forward:
so i’m thinking about going to miami in may for a conference with xxxxxxx. xxxxxx is going so i’ll know someone there. but i’ll want to get my own room so i can have downtime and alone time. and it’s right before mother’s day. and my birthday so this will be like an early birthday present to myself. it’s sounded better and better the more i think about it. i say that i want to travel and also have extended time to myself. i say that i want personal retreats at the beach. isn’t this what i’ve been saying? and now i have an opportunity and i’m looking for ways for it not to happen. oh no, that right there is enough reason for me to book my ticket and make it happen! dear Lord thank You for these opportunities and thank You for putting people my path who are encouraging and want goodness for me
Excuse the mistakes as there’s no editing when journaling!
Then, I spoke about it. I didn’t keep my doubts and hesitations to myself. I talked about it with people. And I listened to what they had to say.
And now I’m listening. I listened to my husband tell me to take this opportunity for a mini solo retreat and to enjoy it. I may not always have the chance so why turn it down now. I listened to my friend tell me she’d be angry and upset with me if I didn’t take this trip. How’s that for accountability? My friend will be angry with me for not doing all that I can to feed my soul.
Finally, accountability is so important. Without it it’s easy to let our goals, dreams, and plans slip away. And with this post I am not only accountable to myself, my husband, and friend but now I’m accountable to everyone who reads this.
Here we are at the beginning of the year and some goals and resolutions are already fading away. Maybe they were unrealistic goals. Maybe they weren’t really your goals but what you thought you should do. Or maybe, like me, you got scared about how great your life could be and you started to lean back. This isn’t about resolutions or goals, it’s about taking the steps to live a life where you’re thriving and not just surviving. It’s about living the life you were meant to live.
Let’s be courageous. Share your wins and challenges. I want to hear from you so we can Learn. Change. Grow. together.