I make it a point to go to at least 2 life-changing events per year. Something that will stretch my limits and help me be an even better version of myself.
Several years ago, I was on a super-ultra personal development kick. Then, my life-changing events were "extreme" things like: Skydiving, a 10-day silent meditation retreat, and walking across hot coals.
This past year, I've taken a kinder, gentler approach. What if my personal growth "stretches" could also be nurturing and fun?
Cue: Summer Camp for adults!
This is where I was this past weekend for four days, out in the redwoods with other adult campers being in nature, taking workshops, and most importantly, connecting with lots of people.
I'd show you a picture, but...
No pictures! We were technology free (devices were taken away at entrance and given back at exit).
There was also no "W" talk (w= work).
And no talking about time!
I have to admit all of these things were strangely liberating.
Here are some tidbits you can use, to infuse a little bit of summer camp playfulness into your everyday life and work.
Disconnect to Reconnect
This is the camp's tagline (pretty good, ain't it?) and such a great reminder to all of us. We MUST disconnect. No matter how much you love "what you do" - as I do - we all need breaks to recharge and renew, so we can put our best self out there.
If you are anything like me, you also spend quite a bit of your workday on the computer. The computer is an amazing piece of technology that helps us in so many ways AND we were not built to be behind a screen for 5-10 hours a day, every day.
When can you disconnect? It might feel funny at first, but then it will feel a-ma-zing. I promise.
Connect Authentically, Listen Deeply
One of the reasons we weren't allowed to talk about work on this particular retreat, is sometimes going straight into networking or a business transaction can prevent us from really getting to know each other.
What if the next time you meet someone, instead of diving straight into "What do you do" talk, you asked a non-work related question. "What are you passionate about?" "What do you think of this event?" "What's your favorite hobby?" What if your goal was to simply connect and listen FIRST and then see what the possibilities were? The result could very well be a great client, power partner, or maybe even just a great new friend.
"You are exactly where you are meant to be"
This was a mantra repeated many times over the weekend, and something a bit different from summer camp as a kid! Though there was a schedule of activities and classes, everything you did was totally optional. If you decided you wanted to take a different workshop, or ditch the workshop and take a nap instead, it was perfect and welcomed. "You are exactly where you are meant to be," was what we were told so we could listen to ourselves.
When was the last time you asked yourself what you really wanted?
Sure, as a service provider you cannot do "whatever you want" all of the time- you've got a schedule, clients, and other responsibilities. But what if you asked yourself on a regular basis, what YOU wanted? And then what if you honored that as much as possible? And what you cannot honor right now, what if you committed to creating some space in your life and business so you can honor that sometime in the future too? All the while thinking...
I am exactly where I am meant to be.
Under the redwoods, with time suspended, I felt a renewed sense of wellness, connection, and purpose. The best part was, there was a sense of enjoying every moment. And I know- because I experienced it- that this feeling of enjoyment is something we can incorporate more and more into our busy lives.
How can you infuse your daily life with the spirit of summer camp- trust, joy and a little bit more playfulness?
I look forward to seeing your presence in the comments below.