Rest, Reflect, Rejuvenate—Why every new entrepreneur needs a solo working retreat.

After clicking confirm on the Tiny Home in Tacoma, I felt a rush of thoughts of everything I wanted to do on my first working retreat as a newish entrepreneur. I pulled out my bullet journal and started jotting down ideas,

“plan my 2021 by quarters”

“how am I going to structure my mindful marketing offerings and the mindful community over at Mother of the Mind?”

“polish the automation guide”

“oooh! restructure my offerings”

“do some practices from ‘Soul Over Matter'”

And then Wednesday finally rolled around and it was time to leave! I packed up my little blue car and gave myself plenty of time to arrive before my 4 p.m. meeting—or so I thought. A 48-minute drive turned into a 75-minute drive and I found myself a bit anxious. “I should’ve left earlier”, I thought. The planner in me never wants to be late to things. I’m one of those people that leave super early to the airport, just in case. I would rather sit bored at the terminal than full of anxiety about missing my flight. Anyway, as I found myself in some traffic my thoughts continued to race,

Wow, this is so cool. I’m driving to a tiny home! I’ve never been to a tiny home before. Wow, the car that I saved up for and bought just 9 months ago can now drive me to this tiny home. I love you little car!

A glimmer of gratitude shining through.

Traffic finally clears up, and I make it right on time to open up my computer at 3:50 pm. I turn on Slack and see that my meeting actually got canceled. Phew! Well, now I can unpack and check out all the 120 square feet of this place.

The first thing I did the next morning — I did not expect

Each morning I wake up and repeat my mantra. It’s a practice I’ve taken on after studying Vedic Mediation with James Brown. 20-minute effortless mental flossing. I climbed down the loft stairs to the kitchen, and started my concoction of Ceremonial Grade Cacao by Cacao Lab and coffee (no affiliation just really love their mission and Cacao). Best thing ever.

I then sat on my yoga mat, took a few deep breaths, stretched my arms back and interlace my hands and closed my eyes. I felt a deep letting go. And began to cry. Tears full stream down my face. Again, the thoughts racing,

Covid, election, BLM, so much death everywhere, is my business going to make it, am I even making an impact, what am I doing with my life.

And then the LOUDEST and clearest message,

I am so proud of you Brenda.

I am so proud of you Brenda.

I am so proud of you Brenda.

I began to ball and kept repeating those words.

The glimmer of gratitude I felt in my car, was now a big wave. Once again I envisioned my small journey in my blue car that can now drive me to this working retreat. The business I created has now generated enough revenue to pay off my debt, meet my basic needs while also paying this working retreat. It was only 5 months ago that I re-launched my website. I then cried for the partner I have at home that gives me the space and freedom to do this while also loving to cuddle on the couch.

And finally, cry for the bigger longer journey— if you knew me 10 years ago I was half a shell. Putting myself together after an 8-year abusive relationship and unable to understand how deep my wounds and trauma went. Living in a silent world as a child of immigrant parents striving to be the perfect everything. Thank goddess for yoga, truly. Yoga planted a seed inside me that sprouted within me to seek and find myself, of course with support and guidance from teachers, therapists, coaches, and more. That seed is still sprouting, will it ever fully grow? What’s after a sprout? Whatever that is, I feel like I’m in that.

For the first time, I acknowledged that no one is going to say those words to me. And even if they do, because I have heard it in some way, it so much more powerful when I can say it to myself.

If we can’t say and talk about how proud we are of ourselves, of our journey, how do we expect others to say it too? And how do we expect to receive it with open arms when they do?

This freedom and expression of the love and pride we feel for ourselves can be a double-edged sword, at least for me. “I don’t want to sound like I’m bragging”, “I don’t want to offend anyone,” says my limiting belief thoughts.

“Of all the thoughts in the world,” says my therapist “why do you choose those?”

Then, comes the practices

A big part of what I preach is mindful practices for life + business. I believe that any type of mindful and intentional practice supports the longevity of your business vision and purpose.

I was listening to the audiobook, “A Raw Journey to Self-Love” by Jonathan Van Ness and there’s a line that really stuck out to me— why couldn’t he take drugs like everyone else at the party and be ok afterward. Why did he go on a downward spiral while everyone else seemed fine the next day? And of course, he goes on to explain his trauma, his journey, and what it took to love himself and rise all the way to the top. He’s so fabulous.

There are some of us that carry more trauma, whether it’s from childhood, relationships, our identity, or past-lives. We need a little more support and for me, I just need a lot of these practices in my life to keep me steady and on track.

I’ve been reading this book called “Soul Over Matter” recommended by Veronica of Wealthy Goddess Movement.

We often hear the phrase mind over matter but what this book and philosophy share is that we can’t think our way through more money or financial abundance in our business. What I would add is it’s only helpful to an extent. It’s completely necessary to know or be financial literate, to save for retirement and a rainy day. In addition, everything has a soul and we need to get to the root or soul of money.

One way to think of it is, clearing out the money trauma that we may live with that we often don’t even realize we have. Was there a feeling like there wasn’t enough money growing up? Or the “we can’t afford it” response? Another way to think of this is, energetically thoughts/patterns/beliefs live in our soul. Our soul carries this from many lives, it’s called the theory of karma and in yoga, these patterns are known as samskaras. And that’s why mind, body, soul practices like yoga, meditation, and Taoism work on so many levels. We are (including our businesses) physical, spiritual, emotional, and mental beings. We can’t only tend to one. So, what does the soul or spiritual side of your business need right now?

The practices in the book are really simple, even the author says it, but I think the big thing is consistency. Consistency is hard. Showing up is challenging. This is another cool parallel about mindful practices in life + business. If you show up consistently in life, it will show up in your business. Consistency is subtle but over time dramatic and huge.

Lastly, the business owner comes out

It was obvious to me that I first had to let go, release and cry, do some of these practices in order to get those “quarterly goals” I had on my list or anything else that required my analytical mind. And it started to pour out. My offerings. The structure of the year. The course or direction of certain launches. Supporting new clients. Bringing someone on board to my business ventures!

And while I only scratched the surface on that initial list (next time I need a longer trip!), It was so nice to sit in silence, in this new tiny home that felt more like a safe cocoon for me to ideate and hopefully manifest and create later on.

What I wish I would’ve done

I didn’t get around to looking at everything I did in my business in 2020. Reflecting back now, I wish I would’ve spent a little more time doing that. So, if there’s one thing I can share with you if you decide to do your own working retreat is don’t forget to look back at everything you’ve done. To start with that practice “I am so proud of you [YOUR NAME]” and then think back on everything you’ve accomplished. All the lives you’ve changed. How much you’ve changed your own life.

Something about leaving the regularity of my day to day helped me to reflect, rest in a different way, and rejuvenate my love for my passions and business. I can see myself continuing with these types of working retreats on a yearly basis. What other tiny homes are out there?!

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One of the practices from Soul Over Matter….but get the book!

Love love love

Love love love

Peace peace peace

Peace peace peace

Forgiveness Forgiveness Forgiveness

Forgiveness Forgiveness Forgiveness

Success Success Success

Success Success Success

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