In my business I work with hundreds of people throughout the world. I found that no matter where people are from, the first thing they drop when they get busy is time for themselves. Does this sound familiar? Yet this is the most important source of real personal renewal. It is the time that we spend taking care of ourselves that helps us truly regenerate and renew. Once renewed, we can take our replenished energy to contribute and be of service to others.

This spring I was traveling through Europe giving corporate life-balance seminars. Though most of my travel was for business purposes, I took two days of personal renewal time in Venice. Two days entirely for me. Doing whatever I felt inspired to in the moment. After letting go of my initial expectation of seeing all the tourist sights, I realized that the
Venice I loved was hidden in paths, quiet streets and bridges far away from Saint Marc’s Square. I walked for hours. With every step I took, I embraced the simplicity and peacefulness of the place and this way of life. I came away filled with wonderful memories, energized and feeling refreshed. My feet were sore but my heart felt alive and rejuvenated. This summer I will take a personal renewal retreat on one of Vancouver’s beautiful coastal islands. I look forward to walks on the beach and in the forest, writing and meditating.

For your summer vacation this year, make sure that you plan some time for personal renewal. After all, the true meaning of vacation is emptiness. We too often try to cram as much as possible into this empty space. Your personal vacation, your “empty time,” can be a day, a week, or simply an hour every day. Make sure that you schedule this time for yourself and stick to it.

Not sure what to do on your retreat?

Five Tips On How To Approach Your Personal Renewal Retreat:

1. Leave any expectations to “produce” or “achieve” something useful behind. The sole purpose of this time is renewal.

2. Spend time doing what you love. Be wild. Be experimental. Remember it’s not about doing it right or doing it perfectly.

3. Do whatever feels right in the moment. Go for walks, have an afternoon nap, have a luxurious bath with bubbles, music and candle light.

4. Discover or create an environment that is not associated with your work, chores, or other commitments.

5. Unplug. Leave your cell-phone and laptop behind or shut them off. Don’t panic, the world can live without you for a few hours.

Enjoy your personal renewal retreat!