At the start of the year, I promised myself at least four mini-retreats. Short wifi-less vacations at least every 3 months. Then, before I knew it, the year was half gone.
This week's post is a little late because I finally got around to taking one of those mini-retreats. Admittedly, it wasn't entirely wifi free. There were plenty of texts and Instagram stories. But that was it. No work. No routine.
Disconnecting from email and work wasn't difficult. I already have a healthy relationship with email: it doesn't exist on my phone, and I only check it once a day. I find having healthy email boundaries makes disconnecting from work easy.
However, I was fearful of breaking my routine. I've spent months designing the perfect day. Trying out new ideas and tweaking every aspect of my day to improve my prolific quality output . What if 5 days of randomness and spontaneity sent me back to the beginning? Would I return to London rested but struggling to get back into a routine?
Suddenly I realised that routine might be the problem. Unconsciously, we all create worlds of routine. Routines are comfortable. But routines can also be ruts. When you're in a routine the clock goes fast – wake up, take the train, work, take the train, eat dinner, binge on Netflix, sleep, repeat.
Before you know it, the time has gone by and you can no longer do the things you dreamed of doing.
I view my routine as positive. It's designed to keep me healthy and productive. But who am I kidding? It's still a routine. And if we don't stop to break our routines. To take mini-retreats and knock of items on our bucket list or disconnect from our electronic leashes. We risk waking up and to find we can't do the things we want to do anymore.
So I abandoned my routine and injected myself into other peoples lives. I watched my daughter bake cakes with our friend and vegan chef. I went to a photo shoot at the local stadium to watch my friend work on his craft, his lifelong purpose. We watched the sunset and talked about books and blogs and photography. And most evenings, I ended the day eating vegan gelato at midnight – where can you do that in London?
Breaking routine for 5 days put everything in perspective again. I feel energized and confident about my purpose, and my vision is clear: go out there and help people create businesses that support the lifestyles they want.
Yesterday evening, walking to the store, my daughter turned to me and said: 'Dad, if I weren't working, I'd suggest we move back to Italy.'
Immediately, two thoughts ran through my head:
- Teach her the importance of finding her purpose and supporting the lifestyle she desires;
- Keep your sights set on your goal, a home in Italy.
Sometimes it takes a little break in your routine to remind you why you do the things you do. To help you find perspective and reconnect with your goals and your vision.
And I'm happy to report that slipping back into my daily routine hasn't been a problem. I no longer feel like the woman in this weeks picture. I feel more focused, more energetic than I've been in a few months.
Purpose + Plants!
Photo credit: Chico de Luigi's kitchen wall Camerechiare