It’s winter in the northern hemisphere, a time of short days and long nights. If we didn’t live in an artificially lit world, we would be turning inward, inclined to slow down and reflect, quietly sipping something warm before a fire.

Instead, though, I hear myself and others around me talk about how much busier this season is, more social, outward-facing.

Wherever you find yourself on the busyness, outward-inward spectrum, taking any length of time for introspection and reflection reaps you rewards in energy.  And the best way to take that time is to do so with intentionality and presence.  By investing attentiveness to the space you do it in. Taking yourself out of your ordinary reality.

I am leading a Renewal Retreat in Colombia, on a farm in the mountains covered with native cloud forest, where replenishment and soul connection abound. And that’s the most delicious and expansive way to do this. Join me there, if you are yearning to connect deeply with nature and with your Self.

You can also make space for expanded awareness in this moment, in the midst of all that you have signed up for and need to attend, in the very space you now occupy.

Now You

Take this invitation and the sacred space that we create together, joining your attentiveness and these words, and give yourself a short, but new experience of being in the world.

It doesn’t matter where you are located, alone at your computer or sitting at a coffee shop. Take a few deep, clearing breaths and give yourself permission to quiet down, to still your body and your emotions, as well as your mind. 

Clearly state to yourself the intention of taking a few precious minutes to slow down and expand your awareness.  

Now, granting yourself a comforting stillness, notice what you feel in your body. Don’t judge, don’t question, just notice as you scan your body with your mind.

Next, notice the space directly around you. What does it smell like? Does it have a temperature? What physical things or beings occupy it?

Without moving, let your awareness encompass the room you are in and what stands out to you about it. When you are ready, expand your awareness beyond the room, to the building, the block, the city.  What do you notice as you try this? You can keep going into infinity, as far as you like!

Now, come back to noticing your body. What is it expressing now? What has changed?

This, in itself, may be your moment of pause, and you can end with a simple, consciously taken breath. But if you want to, you could gift yourself the time to journal about the experience and let deeper connections and reflections arise in your mind. 

Either way, take whatever comes from this exercise and let it continue to inform you as your day continues. Perhaps you will notice your awareness shifting, perhaps exciting connections come into focus. Be open and curious. And share what comes up with me, please!

Create a Mini-Retreat Amidst Daily Life
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