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.