I’ve shared before that I’ve got this great daily routine going: I write, draw, meditate, stretch, do a little professional development, and work out — all before I get to work each morning.
But last week all that went completely to hell.
Don’t worry, I was expecting it. In fact, it was by design.
Yes, I knowingly and intentionally wreaked havoc on my morning ritual!
My morning routine went to hell because I was in Florida at Heroic Public Speaking Live, a conference for speakers and aspiring speakers.
Each morning I had to get to the Broward Center for the Performing Arts by 8:30 am for the morning session, followed by a packed day of workshops, presentations, and conversations with the most amazing people (the good kind of networking 🙂 ).
(And yes, it was awesome! I’ve already signed up for the next one.)
This meant I had to choose between my lovely morning routine, and a good night’s sleep, and sleep won out.
Did I like that my carefully crafted morning routine went to hell? Of course not!
But sometimes extreme imbalance is worth it.
In fact, extreme imbalance is a necessary part of an overall balanced life.
It’s important to remember this, otherwise we might miss out on a lot of richness.
Last week my focus was 100% on speaking: learning, growing, building relationships to help me move forward with my dreams of bringing my message to live audiences and turning speaking into a profitable part of my business.
Everything else in my life and business had to be shelved (temporarily) to make this happen, and it was absolutely worth it!
Next week I’m throwing everything out of whack again, when I go to my beloved Spring Retreat with my calligraphy guild, the Friends of Calligraphy.
For 6 days, Tuesday afternoon through Sunday lunchtime, my focus will be 100% on creating: drawing? painting? writing?
I haven’t actually decided yet what I want to focus on, but next week will be sacred time for me to follow my heart and feed my creative hungers.
Everything else in my life and business will be shelved (termporarily) again, to make space for creative joy.
And it will absolutely be worth it. So much so that I count the days every year until the next retreat!
We need these out-of-balance moments of intense focus.
Don’t get me wrong: “Tiny-and-daily” is GREAT, and a necessary part of keeping myself creatively nourished.
Sometimes, though, it’s important to take a deep dive.
A few days at a conference, a week on retreat or at a workshop — these are the experiences that put fuel in your reserve tank.
Those periods of intensity are what help keep you powered when the going gets tough.
The reserve tank that gets you up that steep hill when everything feels cold and dark.
The one summer I DIDN’T go to Jazz Camp West, my annual week of musical immersion every June, it wasn’t the week when I was at home and I knew everyone else was at camp that got me down…
…it was deeper into the year when I felt the impact of not going.
Without that annual immersion experience, my musical fuel tank just didn’t have what I needed to propel me forward.
I learned my lesson that year, and now I make the last week of June permanently untouchable on my calendar.
I do this with a number of events each year — blocking off the time and saving money for them — because they feed me.
Create & Incubate
These immersion experiences are an important opportunity to create and incubate in a way that just doesn’t happen in day-to-day life.
Gathering together virtually is great. But gathering together in the flesh, in 3-D, takes it to a whole different level of great.
And next week, being surrounded by 29 other creators, and the sounds of their creativity at work (scratching pens, paint brushes swishing in tubs of water, scissors snipping, pages turning)…
…that charges my own creative batteries like nothing else!
That’s why I decided, four years ago, to host my own creativity retreat.
Six months from now, August 17-21, warm-hearted creatives will gather at a quiet, cozy spot in the hills above Silicon Valley, for five days of uninterrupted create time, at my fourth annual Create & Incubate Retreat.
It’s an intimate event, very different from the 300-person conference I attended last week.
It’s five days of spaciousness…
Five days of create time in our Incubator room, to do whatever you want, uninterrupted…
No laundry to deal with…
All meals taken care of for you…
A charming cottage to sleep in…
Hiking trails, a swimming pool, a pond…
A labyrinth… (a labyrinth!)
Laughter, games, creative catalyzing sessions (more laughter)…
You will leave with your shoulders two inches lower, all the stress of life effortlessly drained away.
I can’t wait!
I’d love for you to join me.
I’m accepting registrations now. Click here to secure your spot.
PS — Pssst! Know someone who might benefit from seeing this today? Pass it on!
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