Thursday, October 30, 2014

A Recap on the Balance Retreat

Saturday was one of those wonderful, life affirming days. We had a large group of participants, so many participants!

There was a point during the day, when leading one of the sessions, that I felt so fully present and engaged. So in the moment, and so full of gratitude to be able to have the chance to be in the position I'm in. It was really cool when that moment hit me ... It's neat to be in the moment, but also have that same realization that you're totally digging what's going on and grateful to be doing it.

The day went really well, and as always, I feel like I get more than I give from leading a retreat. The big take aways for me were:
1. I should leave more room in my schedule. This is mostly around free time ... personal time, reflecting time, that kind of thing.
2. If I leave more time (and don't pack my schedule or my family's schedule completely full), it leaves moments to be present, to be fully aware with the people I love. It also leaves time for spontaneity.
3. I tend to get hung up on creating lists. When I created a list of "all of the things I'm balancing" I listed several similar things, but listed them all separately. (personal time, spiritual time, time to journal) After re-reviewing the list, it was obvious that I wanted more time to do quiet things, but I think I could consolidate those into "me time" and stop stressing that there are four things I wish I had more time for, when it's really all the same root desire.

I'll get back to making edits to my "Balance" e-course, because I think you guys will really love it, and that it will give you an interesting frame work to analyze, prioritize, embrace or abandon the things you're balancing. The participants loved it :) so I can't wait to share it!

Here are a few photos of the day.

It had rained during the morning, and San Damiano was looking lovely as we approached it:


Here is the courtyard at San Damiano Retreat in Danville, California:


And the fountain in the courtyard after lunch, when the sun had started shining.

Earl J. Rivard is a talented musician, and he provided music for our day. I'm so very honored to call him a friend, and to have been working with him over the last seven years. Brother Mike is also in this photo and I deeply appreciate his support and assistance in making it possible for our retreats to happen.


I hope you're having a great week!
Paula

Friday, October 24, 2014

Small Ways to Enforce Balance

The "Balance" retreat is just a couple of days away and I'm really enjoying immersing myself in the topic. It's been great meeting with my fellow leaders, Earl and Tammy, and we are super excited about the day.

Another thing that will be coming out of this retreat is my first e-offering. My idea at this point is to offer either an e-book that includes paired down version of the retreat itself, or to offer a week long series of emails that would send the equivalent of each session out daily for people to enjoy at their own pace. It's exciting to see how the content I've been creating can have a life in a blog-friendly format. I'm really thrilled to be able to do this! It's kind of like a Virtual Retreat!

I'm looking for a few people to review, comment, critique the content before it goes on to "Prime Time," so if you'd like to do that, please leave a comment. I have some ideas on a little present for folks that help out.

As a sneak peek, here are some ways that you can enforce balance in your daily life. This is a list of things I remind myself of as often as possible.


If you're unfamiliar with the idea of "No Toggle," here's a link to a podcast with Kristoffer Carter on The Lively Show. It's pretty much the best podcast I've heard in quite some time.

So happy Friday, and let me know if you would like preview of the Virtual Balance Retreat... :)

Monday, October 20, 2014

Morning iPhone Usage, This Time with Intention

Over the past few weeks, I've had a hard time getting out the door and getting to work in a reasonable amount of time. I can make excuses, but I know that  it has to do with my routine. And due to the fact that for a long time, I've used my iPhone as my alarm clock.

But that means that all that stuff - Facebook, email, Instagram, Pinterest, all of it, is sitting just a foot from my head all night. And, when the alarm goes off, I've taken to checking each of those accounts before I do anything else each day.

Here's the brutal truth: I spend 10-15 minutes checking these accounts every morning. And it delays me from getting start on doing things that matter.

Don't get me wrong. I love social media. I want to know if anyone's emailed me. I love checking in with each of my friends and seeing what's going on with Welcoming Spirit.

But, if I'm being efficient, and if I'm being intentional with how I spend my time, social media does not need to be the first thing that I check every day. I don't even really want it to be the first thing I check every day.

I'd rather hug my new husband. Or kiss my four year old, or meditate, or make a cup of coffee, or snooze for 10 minutes. Those are things that bring me joy. Those are things that set me up for a good day, that prepare me mentally for what I need to do later.

Instead, I'd gotten in this routine of habitually checking my phone.

So over the weekend, the phone got put out in another room and I found a new alarm clock to take it's place.  It's an ugly little thing, but it works fine and it's made me feel a little more peaceful about my mornings. Nevermind the fact that I'm getting to work about 20 minutes earlier...