A guest post by Stacie Whitney
A dear friend of mine went to Paris last week, alone.
She’s a fulltime mother, she has her own biz,, and she made it happen – she knew it was important.
“You should go away sometime,” my love said to me, on hearing about this. “It would be good for you.”
God, thank you for this man.
“Ok, how bout this weekend?” the response just blurted itself out of me.
So I very quickly booked (before any minds were changed – mine especially) a hotel about an hour away, in the mountains. It was non-refundable.
Granted, it’s not 5 days in Paris, but it’s a start. Let’s call it a trial, (or that’s what I’m building up in my mind, anyway).
So this busy self-employed, full-time mama, left her wee one waving at the door (too sweet), and boogied (literally, you would’ve loved to see me dancing with the steering wheel – only while stopped at a red light, I swear) herself into the mountains for a last-minute work retreat. A bit of space and time by myself, to both breathe and focus on my business.
Sounds like heaven to most parents who are entrepreneurs, right? Cuz we LOVE our businesses – it’s just that most of the time all the other stuff in life can make it feel a bit overwhelming.
Anyway, I discovered a few things about myself when I was holed up in my cozy mountain hotel..
Lesson number 1
I love walking alone in the woods – the first thing I wanted to do – even before I checked in – was go for a walk in the woods. Not sit in a café and read, or lay in bed starting at the ceiling (things many of us busy mamas often dream of), but just walk, quietly alone in the forest.
It’s not like I didn’t know this about myself already – it’s just that it’s been so long, I forgot how truly nourishing it is for me.
And I have a confession. For part of the time, I talked to myself. And for part of the time I sang. Out loud. Really loud. God it felt good.
Business take home: While I was walking (and talking and singing), I had some amazing clarity and ideas about my business. When there’s space to be me, it’s amazing what can come.
Lesson Number 2
I wasn’t very hungry. I had imagined whisking myself out to a nice restaurant for a special (and quiet!) meal, taking my time, lingering over my appetizer, before considering what I fancied next.
When it came down to it, I was so creatively inspired, that when hunger came, it felt like a distraction, so I packed my computer up, headed down to the bar, and ordered a (pretty fantastic) green salad with hot smoked salmon. I was really into my work, and I actually craved some food that would nourish me. I felt amazing afterwards.
(Oh, and the bar staff were super friendly and attentive. And they served everything, and took my plates. And someone else did the dishes so I could carry on working, undisturbed <heavenly sigh>.)
Business take home: If left to my own devices, I’ll choose what’s best for me (most of the time!). Hard work and healthy eating go hand-in-hand. If we are well-nourished on all levels, this can only seep through us into our work.
Lesson number 3
I didn’t mind the rain. When I woke the next morning to rain dancing on my roof, it didn’t phase me one bit. I’d planned on a morning walk, but I found that with all this gorgeous space and time to myself, it didn’t really matter WHAT I did. I was going to enjoy it, and therefore it would feel nurturing to me.
Me by myself. Hotel room. Hot shower. Computer. Music. Time. Writing.
The simple things can set us free.
Business/life take home: It’s not the rain that usually gets me down, it’s my lack of attention to myself and my needs.
In the same way, it’s not doing work that often feels stressful, it’s trying to do it when I’m also doing 86 other things, none of them with proper attention and focus.
A bit of space and time away is the perfect cure for both.
So I’d say my night away in a hotel was a grand success. It helped me to breathe, feel nourished, AND enjoy getting a load of work done.
Trial, success. Next time, Paris, here I come 😉
Now it’s your turn! Share with us in the comments below:
Have you had some time and space lately to re-discover who YOU really are? If not, how can you make some space to infuse some of your true magic back into your life, and your biz?
Stacie Whitney is a mother, wife, writer and entrepreneur. She inspires and empowers soulful mothers to get nourished, get clear and get on their purpose-filled path. You can find more of her musings and get inspired, empowered and on your path at www.staciewhitney.com.