An athlete in training knows that periods of intense exercise must be followed by time for rest and recovery. The muscles are strengthened by this process of stress followed by rest, but muscles fail if they are strained for too long. Just like athlete’s muscles, our spirits and minds need periods of rest and recovery. I strongly advocate periodic breaks from the pounding daily routine of work and family responsibilities. The mind can recover by being exposed to new ideas in a different environment, but the spirit needs expansive, quiet time to rest and recover its zest.
Business conferences are good events for stimulating the mind. Going away from the daily work routine and hearing cutting-edge speakers and thinkers can be extraordinarily healing and inspiring to the mind. The spirit, on the other hand, needs to periodically experience quiet times, enjoy nature and take time for contemplation in order to rejuvenate.
I am experiencing both types of events in the course of two weeks this summer. I just returned from a fast-paced business conference that was at once highly stimulating and physically tiring. During the time out of the office, I was able to think new thoughts, see my business from different perspectives and consider new possibilities. I came away inspired and charged up, ready to apply some of the newly discovered insights and tips. Next, I turn to a quiet retreat time to restore my spirit. I will spend four days on retreat at Upaya Zen Center in New Mexico. During this time, I will meditate, journal, eat several meals in silence, enjoy the spirit-nourishing group activities and bathe my eyes and soul in beautiful mountain scenery.
It is so important that we give ourselves the gift of rejuvenation. We need daily, weekly, annual and once-in-a-lifetime rituals that feed our souls and spirits.
What are your plans for rejuvenating your mind and spirit?