creative retreat with shaunna

Marian ParsonsRunning a Business14 Comments

Well, I made it back from Florida!  The trip there was a little eventful (lots of delays, maintenance issues with planes, etc.), but I got there and only lost a few hours in the process.  This is the second creative retreat I’ve done that wasn’t going to a planned/scheduled conference.  Of course, attending a conference has a lot of value, but I usually end up coming home tired, overstimulated and overwhelmed.  I come home from these personal retreats feeling like I’ve had the quiet thinking time I need and walking through the surf certainly helps me unwind.

This one was spent at Panama City, FL, where Shaunna’s parents own a condo right on the beach.  It was a beautiful setting and the perfect place for us to spend a long weekend together.

This retreat did have a purpose beyond just relaxing girl-time, though.  As I’ve shared on the creative business chats Shaunna and I have been hosting on Instagram, we’re working on a new project together.  We’ve been talking about it for years, but it’s now the right time, right place, and right idea.  So, we got together not only to have some time away from our normal work routines and enjoy the beach, but also to brainstorm and get some things solidified.

And, we got a massive amount of work done!  But, we also rested.  We went to bed early, we slept in, we went for walks on the beach, we sat out on the balcony when it wasn’t too hot, and we made a point to pause and watch the sunset each evening.

Instead of going out to eat, we stayed in and built pretty impressive grazing platters, so we could make the most of our time together.

When I woke up before Shaunna or when I was traveling, I spent time reading and journaling about my own business ventures and about myself as a creative and entrepreneur.  I finished reading the book Keep Going by Austin Kleon and also Essentialism by Greg McKeown.  I made a dent in Dare to Lead by Brené Brown and read some classic poetry, Mark Twain, Benjamin Franklin, and Marcus Aurelius.  In short, I spent a lot of time on quality input.

I took lots of notes, captured quotes, and recorded my thoughts.  I also spent some time just sitting and doing nothing but listening to the waves or soft music in noise-canceling headphones. (I’m loving bits of the War & Peace Soundtrack, specifically Andrei, track 17, and Natasha, track 5.)   I would just listen and think.  I have realized in the past couple of months that I am always doing something.  I rarely take intentional time to do nothing and give my mind the opportunity to wander.

I wish I had just one more day there, but I probably would’ve been saying that even if I did have one more day or two more days.  The timing was right for me to come home, though.  I’ve come home with a “stocked pantry” of ideas and with an excitement for some of the new projects I’m working on.

If you’re interested in taking a creative retreat of your own, I made a guide to help you with that!  You can find the Personal Retreat Guide for Creative Business Owners HERE.

creative retreat with shaunna

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14 Comments on “creative retreat with shaunna”

  1. Ahhhhh! Such a great reminder that we need to take time away from the daily routine to think, rest, and let inspiration bubble up. Thank you once again for your thoughtful and encouraging words!

  2. I was born and raised in Panama City, FL. Many great memories of growing up there and being around the beach. We use to ride our bikes from where we lived in the city, over the Hathaway Bridge, and out to the beach-something that would be much too dangerous today. The sound of the waves is truly one of the most relaxing sounds and I’m glad you had a chance to visit.

    My 90 year old mom and many of her friends and church family are still suffering greatly from the devastating hurricane that hit the city this past October but seemed to have left the beach basically untouched. There are still many homeless and they are trying to wait for help with construction, but the task is so great. Please remember these folks in your prayers.

    1. It was a beautiful beach. The building (and condo) we were in was still cleaning up and repairing damage from the hurricane, but I know there were areas that really took a beating.

  3. Marian, I just downloaded this Personal Retreat Guide and it looks so good!
    I am going set aside a day to do it next week.
    I can’t believe you are GIVING it to us! (Many would see it as an opportunity to make a profit. And that would be ok, too as it is worth it.)
    I love your generous soul.

  4. Isn’t that kind of time good for your soul?? Many years ago, a friend and I did something similar. We booked a small guesthouse in a mountain retreat for four days, then we loaded up the car with projects neither of us could manage to finish at home. Each day, we ate breakfast in the house, then listened to music while we worked on our individual projects (she completing photo albums … you know, back in the day when we actually put photos in albums! … and me doing some writing). We’d take a lunch break, work some more in early afternoon, then end mid-afternoon so we could walk around the little village, get a drink, have dinner, then turn in early. Ah, I still remember those days with such joy!

  5. Reading your post and enjoying PCBeach as I’m writing this. Such a beautiful place to recharge and refresh.

  6. Good for you, Marian! Glad you gave yourself that time. We all need it from time to time but it’s so easy to get caught up in the “doing” of our day to day lives. It’s always nice to take time away with a kindred soul, too. Sounds like you had a relaxing and yet productive time.

  7. Thank you Thank you Thank you! I’m going to get in my hammock today with my new “Guide”. I’m already so impressed with myself. I told my computer to print on both sides. Now all I need is a hole punch.

  8. My sister in law, three cousins and I started doing a girls long weekend every year! We represent Florida, Tennessee, Arkansas, Illinois and Minnesota! We always do some family research in the places we’ve been so far. Savannah, Myrtle Beach and our most recent was Hallendale Beach/ Ft Lauderdale area. Next year is the Keys! We talk and enjoy each other. We brainstorm and share! So much fun! I’m going to download your guide for next year. Thanks for sharing!

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