A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of moderating a women’s retreat at Camp Robinhood in Freedom, New Hampshire. Over thirty five women, most of whom I had never met, came together to unwind, to play, to reflect, and to breathe. The natural beauty of the campgrounds added immeasurably to the experience, but it was more than that. It felt like a real break from the busyness of everyday life. And respites such as this — whether or not you get out of the physical confines of your daily life — are so important to partake in on the regular.

Here are my top takeaways from Breathe:

Make time to “play,” whatever play means to you. For me this involved physical activity I don’t usually get to do (biking, hiking, salsa dancing). For others it meant working on a puzzle or making jewelry in arts and crafts.

  • Go beyond small talk. In some of our guided discussions, we stopped to consider where we are in various buckets of our lives and then discussed where we could imagine going in a few months time. We went deep fast, and it felt good and refreshing to connect in a more meaningful way than is often typical in our daily interactions.
  • Get outdoors. As a busy entrepreneur with lots of desk time, this can easily fall by the wayside in my normal routine. Being basically outdoors for almost 72 hours did wonders for my body and my mind.
  • Consider limiting belief reframes. One of my favorite conversations of the weekend was when a fellow camper challenged the phrase so many of us were using, “empty nester.” This colloquialism is so common and has such a negative connotation. She suggested “open nester” instead, which connotes a sense of expansion and possibility.

Breathe will be happening again next September. Consider joining me for an