|Your Success Thought for the Week of April 1, 2009
|The Wisdom of Silent Retreats
I am often asked to revisit
the concept of 'silent retreats' as it is one of my clients' favorite
tools. Many claim it to be one of the
top ten things they've ever done.|
'Much Needed' Example:
Max's first silent retreat was
in 2000 after a tumultuous decade of divorce, surviving cancer, and being fired
from what he believed to be his dream job.
Positive aspects of his life
in 2000 included being in the best physical shape of his life, finding new love,
and soaring in his newest professional endeavor.
With colliding forces, both
positive and negative, Max needed a breather.
Each experience in the past decade brought with it tremendous learning. Yet Max was too busy for the type of such
soul searching that would make him the best he could be, building upon both
successes and perceived failures.
Martha is a driver, hugely
successful with everything she touches.
People say she's lucky. Some are envious of how well-balanced she seems
and that she has the ability to take time for herself when needed to avoid
What people don't know is
that this time-off ritual was a learned part of Martha's success. When I first met her, the only thing that
kept her away from work was stress-related illness. She mistakenly believed her company could not
run without her. Her personal life was nowhere near as rich as it is today.
The last thing Max or Martha
wanted was time away from work and family.
Common threads were: "They need me...if I take time off I need to spend it
with my family...what if something goes wrong in my absence...isn't this
selfish...what would I do with myself?"
Once convinced to experiment
with this concept, Max and Martha took two different routes.
- Max stole away for four days on his sailboat
and moored at his favorite secluded island.
He could hike, walk, fish, write and lounge.
- Martha pulled out a map of a neighboring state,
closed her eyes and pointed to a brand new location that she'd never
The goal of a silent retreat
is to spend time alone with no outer demands penetrating your mind, time or
energy. You have no outside
influences-no TV, radio, newspapers, or motivational CD's.
Listen only to the sounds of
nature and to yourself, to what has been buried underneath your myriad of responsibilities. Bring a journal to explore your thoughts in writing. Studies show we think 60,000 thoughts each
day and that 75% of those thoughts are negative. You can only stand so much negativity on
paper. Soon your creativity will flow, expand,
and even explode like the most amazing fireworks display you've ever seen.
Among the questions you
might ask yourself are:
- Who have I become?
- Is this what I envisioned - who I want to be?
- Am I the husband/wife/partner I want to be?
- Am I the leader I want to be? What would it be like to follow my lead?
- Am I the _______ (the list goes on, make it your
- What do I want...for my business, family, self?
- What do I want to learn and experience?
- What do I like about myself? My life?
- What do I want to improve about myself? My life?
- How do I think, behave, learn to be the best
that I can be?
- What will I change in order to become who and
what I desire?
Both Max and Martha were
forever changed after their first silent retreat. They now schedule these retreats in regular
intervals and insist on those closest to them doing the same. It is a win-win for everyone involved.
I encourage you to take
these suggestions to heart. Give
yourself the gift of a silent retreat in whatever form fits your budget,
schedule and style. Schedule it today.
If you know someone who
is in need of some refreshing, amazing silence please pass this 'success
thought' along to them. It will be your
gift to them.
Enjoy your discoveries and
have an insightful week.|
To see more of my
published articles, go to:GV&A, Coaching for Success and then click on Writing and Wisdom across the top.
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Permission is granted to either reproduce copy or distribute "Your Success Thought for the Week" for April 1, 2009 as long as this copyright notice and full information about contacting the author is attached. The author is Ann Golden Eglé, GV&A, Golden Visions & Associates, Coaching for Success, 541.385.8887, PO Box 1696, Bend, Or. 97709. www.GVAsuccess.com