Restorative retreat experience; aligning role and soul and I take a day off!

I had the good fortune to participate in a Circle of Trust retreat.  If you want to know more about these types of experiences, the Center for Courage and Renewal.  I took serious the task and intention of the retreat, to recall my committments to aligning my role (what I do) to my soul (who I am).  Before I left I was reading Parker Palmer’s book, Let your Life Speak and journaling.  I have a blog post draft from four months ago, about how Palmer’s work aligns with restorative justice.  To summarize this paragraph, I was prepared to go and have a transformative experience.  I’ve learned all that takes is a little extra intention.

I’ve been fortunate in my work travels, for the past 5 years, usually once or twice a year I am on a plane.  I take preparing and going as chapter heading in life.  I have a strong need to be at the gate waiting, tothe point it’s annoyed a travel partner.  I hurry up to wait.  Its out of character for me, in the larger context of how I operate.  I realized this trip, gate time is down time.  I am not good at down time, yet it is something we all need.  I realized I can slow down, I just need a ‘cover’ for it.  You know in case my Dad, who taught me how to be a workaholic, ever sees.  (How weird is blogging?  You tell everyone your secret cover for down time.)

See the paragraph above illustrates a nugget of understanding who I am and what I do.  That is just a small example of the many pieces of self-awareness I had on this trip.  Self-awareness is necessary for growth, and we are all growing, one way or the other.  I prefer to grow bigger, better and brighter, or at least I try. 

I feel so connected and confident about who I am and what I do.  As I waited to for my shuttle to get to the airport, I pulled out my calendar, 5 days of not being opened and it did not disintegrate.  No appointments Tuesday, called the office took the day off.  I have PLENTY of Paid Time Off right now.  For me to actually take a day off, WOW, that’s a real sign the retreat worked!  I took a day off for my birthday, and even though I was at the office in sweat pants [WAIT, need to stop right here].  See I rationalized that if I went to work, in sweats it wasn’t really working.  Sheesh.  Anyway . . . I go in the office on my day off, I took questions, had a meeting interupted for a question, did a task or two.  I was struck by no one shooing me away, it was as if, me working on a day off was now normal.  Point being I don’t disconnect much or very well.  I did it this trip.

I left the rush, buzz, thrill, busyness of SCVRJP for 5 days.  The retreat itself was one full day, with a half day on each side, then I vacationed for two days.  WOW, that is the way to go.  I actually and honestly let it go.  I enjoyed the company of a new friend, someone from the retreat and I hung out after.  Then I enjoyed the company of an old friend, 8 years of seeing each other once in awhile.  It was fantastic.  Absolutely fantastic.

Where can you get some self-awareness?  Have you thought about your role and soul lately? 

I thought I had all the answers, connecting in community gave me even more.  See what you can find out about yourself and the change you make may suprize you.