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RESTORE YOURSELF WITH RETREAT: Yes, I’m looking at you!

Making conscious space for retreat is essential to rejuvenate. Call it energy, mojo, juice, passion or productivity: We aren’t bottomless wells, we need to replenish our energy to survive.

A Small Retreat Has a Big Impact

When we hear “retreat,” we often respond “not me–I don’t have the time” (or the money, or the freedom).

I challenge you to re-think what a retreat can be. Maybe you’re thinking of a cabin in the woods for a few days–what a wonderful option! However, you can savor the benefits of retreat on a much smaller scale: Even a minute or two devoted to breathing deeply and clearing your mind can be a nourishing, potent retreat.

Every effective, successful leader I know has learned to dedicate time for renewal and restoration. I encourage my clients to cultivate a regular practice of retreat. These are some of the ways they rejuvenate themselves:

  • A daily walk in nature, a run, a bike ride
  • Turning off all technology at 8 PM
  • Visiting a retreat center for several days or a week
  • Turning off radio and technology for the commute to or from work
  • Daily quiet time: Meditation or faith practice

Retreat as a Means of Focus

You can even cultivate the practice of retreat to support your work life: Perhaps set aside a power hour (or even a half day) of uninterrupted work time each week, with closed door, phone and internet off, no meetings, no calls. You could schedule a quarterly check-in with yourself or a trusted accountability partner, to eclipse the day-to-day to-do list and evaluate the bigger picture.

Engaging in Retreat Will Make More of the Time You Have

It’s easy to resist the idea when your schedule is already complicated and demanding. However, that’s precisely why it’s essential to claim time for peace, quiet and solitude: in order to refuel and find balance in the face of urgency.

Retreats are essential to living a full life. We need to rest and revitalize ourselves physically and mentally: like sleep, it’s a physical necessity. Experiment with the different scales of retreat: I know you can commit to a ten-minute retreat daily, or even consider a whole day of personal retreat time each year. One way or another, you’ve got to refill your tank to keep the fires burning.

How will you claim time for restoration, refueling and rejuvenating this week?

Mary

Play to Your Strengths

You can be anything you want, if you just work hard enough.

Hmmm, really? Ballet dancer, opera singer, nuclear physicist–are those pursuits really available to anyone and everyone?

Not many people buy that cultural myth anymore BUT underdog stories of triumph over adversity are still captivating. The research in the field of Strengths Psychology suggests that the real triumph comes to those who capitalize on their strengths. Instead of employing superhuman effort to correct deficiencies and overcome shortcomings, how about putting attention and energy towards making the very most of your strengths?

Why labor upstream when you can glide downstream?

Correcting weaknesses is like trying to swim upstream: The fight against the current will wear you out, and you simply can’t make good progress. Try playing to your strengths, and you’ll know you’re swimming downstream, your efforts boosted with ease by your natural gifts. There’s no stopping you!

When you play to your strengths, it’s naturally easier to accomplish more

In the workplace, statistics indicate that only 20% of folks use their strengths daily. That lucky 20% are more efficient, effective and productive. Most importantly, they’re happy. When you know and play to your strengths, life bursts with ease and satisfaction!

Cultivating strengths takes less effort and brings far greater results

We’re bombarded with a societal message to be balanced; to be well-rounded; to labor at transcending our shortcomings. Let go of that mandate and cultivate your strengths:

  • Stop agonizing over what you don’t have: Celebrate what you DO have.
  • Discover the role you were born to play and realize the ease and zest fulfilling it.
  • Don’t strive for balance–it’s an illusion anyway. Strive for fullness. Intentionally imbalance your life towards what makes you feel strong.
  • Always sweat the small stuff: Know and act on the specific details of what invigorates you.

How will you play to your strengths today?

Mary

Slow Down & Savor Summer

Feet of a young woman lying in hammock in a garden

I love August. The daylight lingers just long enough that we can enjoy extra summer activities once the workday is over. We often sneak over to the beach around 7 PM for a quick swim to cool off on a hot summer night. And our usual 20 minute evening stroll around the block takes an hour and a half because we stop to visit with our neighbors who are out and about. We savor these dog days of summer. They nourish our soul for those long, cold, mid-western winter nights.

On the work front, this summer I’ve been developing my new product that could be released this month! It’s an audio learning program with workbook — designed to help you discover and use your Inner Champion. You know, that brilliant inner resource that believes in you and consistently guides you to success and satisfaction! Stay tuned for the latest on this project.

What is on your summer FUN list? There is still time to get out and enjoy the summer salad days! Come and play with me. Sign up for my free tele class on August 17th for some great tips and reasons to play every day.

Happily yours,
Mary

Mini Summer Vacation

Usually, I host The Growing Edge teleclass on the second Thursday of the month. But in July, I will be returning from our summer vacation so I won’t be hosting a teleclass.

Would you like to join me for SUMMER VACATION?
Since I can’t pack you in my suitcase for our trip to the tropics, it will have to be a virtual vacation.

Here’s how it works.

Sign up for a one hour vacation WITH YOURSELF on July 12 at 11:30 AM CT. That’s right – take a one hour break in the middle of the day. Step out of your usual routine and do something special that YOU really enjoy.

  • Spend time sitting in the sunshine in your favorite park.
  • Take yourself out to lunch at a new restaurant.
  • Visit that museum you have been meaning to get to.
  • Treat yourself to a meal with someone you haven’t seen in a long time.
  •  Go for a bike ride.
  • Take a historic walking tour.
  • Read a cheesy novel.
  • Rent a scooter or a Harley and roam around town.
  • Sun bathe (with sunscreen of course!)
  • Take a nap in the hammock.
  • Drive the scenic route on your way home.
  • Play backyard baseball or a pickup game of basketball.
  • See a movie….

So, will you do it? Will you join me and take a mini-vacation on July 12? If your answer is YES, I WILL, register below

for YOUR VERY OWN ONE-HOUR VACATION!

Happy Summer!

Mary

Gratitude: It Takes Practice

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.”
~Melodie Beattie

What are you grateful for today?

Sometimes it is as simple as that – taking a moment to notice. I have a gratitude journal that sits by my bed collecting dust most days because I forget that gratitude takes practice.

When I take the time to simply notice what I am grateful for and write it down, I become aware of the fullness of life. My attitude shifts. I am able to let go of the thoughts and habits that artificially stir up trouble. I feel more centered, more grounded which means when I bump into a real problem, I am able to respond with more grace and a sense of humor.

Today I renewed my commitment to a simple practice of gratitude. I started the day by writing down 3 things for which I am grateful and I am committed to do this simple practice for 40 days. Hopefully by then it will become a daily habit!

What simple practice of gratitude will you do?

THANK-FULLNESS: The Practice of Gratitude

November is a month full of giving thanks around my house. We celebrate Thanksgiving, our national holiday of appreciation for life’s bounty. I also celebrate my birthday and my wedding anniversary, too. My birthday gives me the chance to appreciate all the gifts in my life. My anniversary allows me to stop and appreciate my soul mate and the relationship we have been cultivating for over 20 years. I get a lot of practice being thankful in November!

Join me this month as I dive deeper into the PRACTICE OF GRATITUDE. Each of the Growing Edge blogs, the free teleclass and my special event: The Practice of Gratitude Virtual Retreat, all revolve around what gratitude is, what it means, how we can share and learn from the wisdom of others, and how to develop a daily gratitude practice.

  • Watch for my weekly gratitude blogs
  • Sign up for my Nov 11 free teleclass – The Wisdom of Retreat HERE
  • Join me for our first virtual retreat – The Practice of Gratitude hosted by myself and Retreat Coach Michelle Burns on Nov 21. Click HERE for more information

I invite you to take time this month to get grounded in the practice of gratitude, rejuvenate your spirit, and marvel at how this powerful practice can make your life rich, meaningful and magical!

Mary

Navigating Transitions with Grace

“Life is one transition after another” according to one of my wise friends who attended my free teleclass earlier this month. It is true. Some transitions we navigate are BIG – getting a new job or losing a job, becoming a parent or losing a parent, getting married or getting divorced!

When challenged by transitions, our natural human tendency is to RESIST change. We automatically tighten our grip on what is familiar when we face something new and unknown even when that unknown is something positive.

When we are unaware of this reaction, we struggle and make the transition even more challenging.

What helps everyone in any transition is to become aware –

How am I reacting to this change?

What are my options?

What do I want to retain?

What do I want to let go of?

What are my obstacles or challenges?

What obstacles am I creating?

How do I want to be in the midst of this change?

These are the kinds of questions that help my coaching clients successfully and powerfully navigate transitions. If you want more grace and less strain in your transitions, call me (952-939-0277). Let’s see if coaching is right for you.

Mary