FOUR ELEMENTS COACHING

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Retreat

Over the years, I have discovered the value of creating Retreat as a frequent self care practice.

When I use this work with clients, sometimes they think creating retreat is impossible because it involves going away and planning a bunch of activities. But retreat is just about stepping back and creating some nurturing space and time for yourself. Retreat might be a couple of hours, a half-day or an entire week.

In the past, when I have needed immediate and extreme self care, I have engaged in a half day retreat created on the fly. On one occasion, I made a pot of hot tea, pulled out some favorite magazines, lit some scented candles and put on a calming music station on Pandora. I spent a couple of hours being mindful of my breathing and surrendered to the peaceful calm retreat space I had created on my couch.

You certainly can create a more formal retreat by arranging to stay somewhere outside of your home and engage in spa treatments, a weekend of reading, hiking or eating food prepared by someone else.

Whatever works for you in the moment is what you need.

Be aware that sometimes when we get caught up in the idea of creating an away from home retreat, we put it off because other things like work and family responsibilities get in the way. In a coaching session many years ago, I vowed to my coach that I was going to go on a retreat to a favorite cabin in the woods after I moved my mom from Florida to Mississippi. Little did I realize how much was involved in acclimating her to the new space. I found myself consumed with visiting her daily, along with meetings with her care team. Before I knew it, six months had gone by and the favorite cabin in the woods was now closed permanently.

I’ve learned that creating retreat space could happen almost instantly if I changed my view of what a retreat had to include.

So here’s the bare bones basics of creating a Retreat:

  • Create intentional time for yourself completely dedicated to self care in whatever form that takes in the moment.
  • Do that by listening to the voice of your soul.

That’s it!

from Cheryl Richardson’s Self-Care Card Deck

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of my favorite things to use for myself and my clients is a Self-Care card from a deck released by Cheryl Richardson. The Retreat card shown here is from that deck. I take a few deep breaths and pull a card for a client in a session or for myself once a week or so. Then I keep it propped up on my desk so that I am reminded of what I need to practice to achieve a greater sense of self care that week.

So today, start by thinking about what Retreat might look like for you. Pick a day or several days that you will devote to Retreat. Don’t wait too long!

Extra Credit –

You can create your own self care deck as well by thinking of those things that promote self care for you and creating a deck of cards. Or create a self care journal with lists of your favorite self care prompts and journaling entries when you need it most. You can continue to add to it as you begin to practice self care more often and add your favorites to the list.

I do believe that the words we hear often are the words we believe or that keep rattling around in our brain long enough that we take them in.

Words matter. Sometimes we speak to or about ourselves in ways that we would never speak to others.

Have you ever been the recipient of someone else’s kindness and been immediately uplifted? How about being the one delivering the RAK to someone else?

Kindness is something we all appreciate and sometimes we crave ways in which we can get out of our own heads and do something nice for others.

The act of delivering a kindness to someone spontaneously or anonymously – especially when we don’t know who will receive it – can be amazing.

My family sometimes laughs at me because I put together a bag of things whenever I am leaving home for the day, weekend or longer. I often over pack and take more things than I really need. When arriving to spend the day with my granddaughters, my son often teases me and asks, “how many bags did you bring today?” I often have a lunch bag, a work bag and a bag of things I wanted to have with me – a bag I call My Comfort Bag. 

We all have that unfinished project that needles at our thoughts whenever we think about it. Or that cluttered closet or bookcase we want to purge. These things that we have discussed in previous posts about tolerations or decluttering – maybe you couldn’t get to them yet and you need to schedule…

Accountability Day!!!

When was the last time you went to a museum? Or bought fresh flowers for your office or bedroom?

Today, we’re going to stimulate the senses by incorporating aesthetic pleasures. You can pick one of the easier prompts from the list and schedule another for the weekend.

Self care is health care, plain and simple. For those who are caregiving, basic personal health care is often ignored when facing all the things that need to be done for someone else. In fact, having a yearly check-up often gets put off during years of caregiving.

Or we just get busy and forget to refill a prescription, incorporate exercise or check blood sugar.

Knowing these numbers are in the normal range is important. If they are out of range, it’s important to incorporate changes in diet, exercise and medication as prescribed.

Yesterday, we talked about decluttering your physical spaces. Today, I want you to think about decluttering your mind through meditation.

Meditation is one of the best self care practices we can add to our day.  But for some reason, it is the one we most often fail to incorporate as a daily habit.

Decluttering takes consistent time and effort. It’s more of a self care activity than many people realize. Getting rid of clutter brings in space for things that will really serve you. However, I encourage you to be gentle with yourself. Acknowledge your feelings when you are sad about the connection you feel to a particular item.

What one thing can you do to create or get back into your natural rhythm or flow?

This is a self care question I ask a client when they are feeling overwhelmed.  The “What” they need to do is sometimes clear, but they are feeling like things are too out of control for them to be able to engage in normal or routine activities, leaving less time for self care. In other words, the “What” and “How” are interfering with the “Who.”