The new year marks typical rituals of ambitious goal setting, ignoring the past for the sake of the future and striking an accelerated tempo to kick off the year strong. We chose to rebel. We joined forces with Ben and Micole Messner to design a weekend away—a retreat—nestled in the rolling hills in the Hudson Valley in upstate New York. No stranger to short term adventures, Ben is a mastermind of planning, logistics, organizing, sourcing and especially, vision for nurturing community. After months and months of nonstop travel, Jen and I were thrilled at the notion of a weekend to pause with old friends, and new.
In a world the rewards feverish activity and busyness, we often fall victim to the tyranny of chaos. Throughout our journey we continue to tighten our aim on a sense of mindfulness to develop stronger contemplation in our lives—holistically across our work, life and relationships. Over the weekend we relaxed, laughed, strolled, studied, cooked and much more. Whether shopping at the grocery, preparing meals, cleaning the dishes, warming by the fire, or playing games, we found ourselves lost in the moment.
It is always amazing what we can learn when thirteen people work their way out to the country via cars and trains for a weekend away to connect and contemplate our work and life. We spent the weekend eating well, getting to know new friends, catching up with old friends, and throughout it all working together to reflect on the year past and the path forward. We spent time as individuals lumbering through a structured workshop to reminisce and highlight the best and worst moments of last year. Then in smaller groups we took time to learn of each others experiences, challenges, fears, failures and successes—reflecting on what we’ve learned. To look forward we spent time talking of the ambition for our lives, each articulating key obstacles yet more importantly the desired outcomes of a thoughtful and balanced life rising on the horizon.
A few short days can refresh one to the core. It can be so easy to underestimate the value of taking time to retreat, to draw in deep breaths of the moment at hand. We had a wonderful time and are already planning a spring retreat with Ben and Micole again. Many friends and colleagues were simply not able to join us at the turn of the year due to travel and other commitments. Therefore, we are excited to host another retreat in the coming months. If you are interested in learning more about our retreats, please don't hesitate to reach out directly.
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