What I Did This Summer, And A Few Lessons Learned

I spent a week in Kripalu doing a solo retreat.

I have been to Kripalu many times, but every time I’ve been I’ve either been teaching or taking a program with a teacher of mine. This June I went and spent 6 days there doing their R&R program and lead myself through a solo retreat. It was pretty amazing. I slept about 11-12 hours every night, ate the amazing food, went on long hikes by myself, did extra long meditation practices every morning, and worked on my upcoming podcast {!} and brand new in-person trainings {!!}. I came home feeling grounded, productive and rested.

Lesson Learned:
Do these solo retreats more often!! I plan to try to schedule one each year. If you have recommendations for other places to try out, let me know!

I pulled back on my activism work.

In January I got involved with two local organizations doing really great activism work, SURJ and Takoma Park Mobilization.  I organized and taught Google Docs trainings for the whole TP Mob group! It was energizing and challenging and seemed like a good place to put my extra anxious energy. These commitments also really quickly snowballed {there is SO. MUCH. WORK. to be done} until I was out at meetings until 9:30pm several nights a week. As someone who gets up at 5am, going to bed {realistically} after 11pm every night was killing me. When June hit, I decreased my involvement with both groups considerably.

Lesson learned:
Rest is key to longevity, and now I’m ready to recommit to both groups with my full heart and attention.

I slept 11-12 hours every night for two weeks.

You guys, it was crazy. When I was at Kripalu I decided not to set an alarm the first day and let myself sleep in. I decided to do the same thing the next day and the next. I kept thinking eventually I would be caught up on rest and would wake up on my own after 8 or so hours of sleep. It didn’t happen. I slept 11-12 hours every single night I was there.

Then, the week I came home, it just happened that most of my early morning clients were out of town. Normally I would get up early anyway, but I decided, as an experiment, to let myself wake up naturally for another whole week. I was SURE that after a few more days I would wake up on my own after 7-8 hours, but… nope. For two whole weeks I slept 11-12 hours Every. Single. Night. I know how incredibly privileged I am to have that freedom, and I will always be grateful for the experience because….

Lesson learned:
My physical and mental health changed drastically after those two weeks. Lots of lingering health issues {mostly digestive} and sometimes debilitating anxiety improved considerably. It showed me just how sleep deprived I was, and has helped me to try harder to get good rest during my normal life.

Taught an in-person training at the same time I was launching my online program at the same time I was preparing to launch my podcast.

I didn’t set out to do all those things at the same time, but that’s just how the schedule worked out best. All those projects went really well and were so much fun, but it was a little too much to take on at once. At the end of those 14 days, I was pretty beat.

Lesson learned:
Stop overbooking yourself, silly girl.

If I had to summarize what I learned this summer it is that I do my best work and enjoy that work the most when I am grounded and rested. Also, it is HARD for me to say “no” to things that sound interesting and exciting. I have to do it anyway. {Haven’t I learned this before? Why do I have to KEEP learning this over and over? 🙂 } 

What did you do this summer? And what will you be working on this fall? Comment below and let me know!


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