Homesong Rest Retreat | Week One: Restoring Rhythms

 

We are home sweet home and I am gratefully getting back into the swing of things as we enter a fresh new week after the holidays! I want to thank you all for your patience about the short delay—I truly appreciate your grace and kindness because I know many of you were eagerly awaiting Week One content in your inbox. Now that we are sinking back into more familiar and comforting rhythms, I am rejuvenated with New Year energy, and feel myself more clear-minded and ready to dig deeper in this Rest Retreat with you all, so let’s begin! I finished a couple of books I have started recently while traveling with Andrew (plane rides sans kids, I tell ya!) and each of them gave me so many nuggets of wisdom to pass along here with you. Mid-flight I came across this sentence from The Little Book of Lykke:

 

“Every day, we each get 1,440 minutes, and every week, we each get 168 hours.”

 

It’s fascinating to me seeing our days quantified like this, like you can almost reach out and grab each minute as if it were a little present waiting to be opened. I don’t know about you, but this way of perceiving time gives me so much energy and hope. Writer Meik Wiking expands on these ideas regarding the relationship between pleasure and time throughout the chapter titled “Freedom” in his book, and further examines topics that tend impact the hours that make up our days. It’s an excellent read on the philosophies and factors responsible for happiness across the world if you are into that kind of thing, which I am! Anyway, what I want to talk about with you is one word found sandwiched between those numbers I mentioned above. I want to talk about the word get. I want to bold it, italicize it, and underline it for you, because it’s important that I make it clear that it’s one’s mindset that sets the tone for everything we are going to do together from here on out.

 

“Alas, your mind is a garden. Your thoughts are the seeds. You can grow flowers, or you can grow weeds.”

 

So let’s think about all the things you have to do today before bedtime. Go on—make a mental or tangible list. It’s pretty long, right? I know mine is, especially as we are all sinking into finding our groove while laundry piles and new toys are scattered all over our home.

Now, let’s do an exercise together. I want you to open your mind, focusing it on your trailing list of things you have to-do, and replace the word have, with the word get. Take a moment to see how your perspective changes. This simple change of swapping the word have to get turns our time, or opportunity, or task, into something given to us, a gift rather, instead of letting the things we must complete (or even the hours in our day) become obligations. Flowers, not weeds! The power of positive thinking is a really wonderful tool to get in the habit of centering on. Getting to wash the dishes, or getting to spend an hour bathing your kids, or getting to walk to the grocery store (even with crazy kiddos in tow) becomes a privilege interwoven with gratitude when we refocus and think of our days in this way.

  • With this in mind, JOURNAL how you want to grow more flowers rather than weeds in your own garden, and write about what you can do to set your mind on the right path of positivity each morning. Perhaps start by reading a quote or piece of scripture? Maybe a song or poem will get you there? Write about what you feel your soul telling you.

Next, I want to share with you another piece of insight I read near the end of the book aptly titled Rhythms of Rest for this week’s content written by the leader of the Sabbath Society, Shelly Miller. In the chapter titled “Preparation is Everything” she writes:

 

“More than managing time, I want to pay more attention to the minutes I am given…when we see time as a generous gift of invitation instead of something we hoard selfishly, we are more generous with the hours given to us free from the tyranny of the urgent.”

 

So motivating right?! And get this, I finished both of these inspiring books on the very same flight to LA, each of them echoing similar thoughts on how we are given time and the goodness that such positive mindsets and modes of thought can give our days. I just really loved these connecting points and wanted to share my sweet, little moment of serendipity with you!

Now onto one of my favorite things—planning. Honestly without it, there’s little room for rhythm, structure, or solitude to thoughtfully transpire throughout our days. Planning with intention paves the way for so many rich opportunities to take place, and I really believe that a little preparation goes a long, long way towards having more time to do the things that we value and enjoy in life. Before I give you some ideas on how you can better plan and restore the rhythms in your life, reflect on the following questions and practices below:

  • JOURNAL how your day currently unfolds and the tone you feel pulsing throughout. What do you feel you could do to make your hours flow more smoothly, and thereby respectively, make you feel more present and nourished? Next, READ my post on Creating A Daily Rhythm for yourself, and better map out your existing day to best balance areas of your life so feel as though you are thriving and not merely surviving this season.

 

Read This Blog Post

 

  • JOURNAL some ways you can be a better planner for and in your life? How can you better prepare for the day or week ahead by doing some things upfront to help the minutes and hours you are given flow more effortlessly. Try to come up with five ways you better plan your time, and try incorporating all or one of these ideas this month during the retreat. Here are the five I have written on the chalkboard in our kitchen, five things our family has talked about and are going to implement together as best we can:
  1. Plan to meal plan each week and get all the grocery shopping done on the weekend. Sundays, Mondays, and Wednesdays are going to be slow-cooker or quick meals because those are busier days for us, while Tuesdays and Thursdays will be something that takes more time in the kitchen, and Friday and Saturday will either date night, pizza, left overs, or dinner out.
  2. Plan to follow my daily cleaning rhythm and make sure to ask for help when I need it.
  3. Plan to set out the kid’s clothes and make everyone’s lunches before bed to help mornings run more smoothly.
  4. Plan to do a quick family pick up before bed so the house is tidy when we wake.
  5. Plan to run errands only one day a week, preferably on the weekend when Andrew can help with the kids.

 

  • For a little sensory shake up, LISTEN to the podcast below about What Matters in the End, Atul Gawande’s talk with Krista Tippet on the On Being podcast highlighting segments of his book called Being Mortal centered on what dying as to do with living and what a good day looks like. I feel that despite it being about death, Gawande words are very connected to the idea of slowing down enough to figure out what it is that is important to us, and thereby, how we want to structure our day around those values. The episode is quite thought provoking, and I encourage you to JOURNAL your reaction to it afterward. I will be giving it another listen, this not in the car with a toddler in the back yelling for more Goldfish, so hopefully I’ll have another aha moment or two this time around as well.

 

Listen To this Podcast

 

  • Hopefully you were able to watch the TED talk about why our screens make us less happy, and then came up with several intentional ways to add more mindful pauses and boundary lines throughout your day to create more space between you and your phone. Throughout the week you will practice putting your new “stopping cues” into place, trying them on to see how they fit. JOURNAL how it feels when implementing these stops and if you feel they add value to your days. Reflect on whether or not these stops make you feel more present and connected, and if you want to continue trying them throughout the retreat. Here are my three, and feel free to share yours below so others can gain inspiration from what you are trying:
    1. No phone during meals either at home our out and for dinner.
    2. One night a week our family will be screen free – we choose to do this on Wednesdays because that is our busiest day of the week and it helps break things up with a fresh evening.
    3. No phone to bed or right away when we wake up. It’s home will be the bowl in our bedroom charging for the next day.
  • Lastly, we will visit how you feel you are at setting boundaries in your life. JOURNAL where or when is it hard for you to draw the line between hours of work, play, and rest? What parts of your life need a better boundary system in place, and what are some ideas you have about making those life-giving changes? WATCH the video by Brené Brown below and journal about how you can be a more intentional boundary setter both individually and for your family. Then, WRITE yourself a permission slip to say “no, thank you” and hang it somewhere you can be easily reminded. Next time you feel like saying “no” but your people pleasing tendencies start to take over, think of your permission slip and what is actually in your (or your family’s) best interest.

 

Watch this Video

 

And lastly, JOURNAL how this week off social media is going for you. You can be more general or specific, but do try and write something down for each day. Do you feel lighter and free from your phone and the apps you scrolled on throughout the day, or do you feel less connected and anxious? Has it been a rough start, or do you feel maybe the latter part of the month will be most challenging? We are all at different stages here, so no judgment whatsoever. I personally am on an energy high right now and can feel my creativity buzzing. It’s quite electric! Enjoy this week’s material and speak soon!

With Care,

Amanda

 

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  • Ashley Antkowiak

    I’m loving the format of these posts! Thanks so much for putting this together for us. I spent more time thinking about what my perfect day would look like, and I realized I’d really like to be able to have my hot tea in bed before coming downstairs. I’m going to get myself an electric kettle so I can do just that. I’m loving the encouragement to step back and look at our minutes and hours as gifts to be used. All of your words are echoing my urge to slow down and simplify as we ease into the new year. Can’t wait to dive into this post tomorrow during my quiet time.ReplyCancel

  • Betsy

    This week is going to be the most challenging for me. According to Myers-Briggs, I am an ENFP and Type 7 (Enthusiast) on the Enneagram. In light of that, it is difficult for me to even type or say the words: planning, structure or routine without cringing! As I was reading your post, I realized that I approach each day like I am at an amusement park. All of the possibilities to be discovered each day are exciting and make me feel so alive! The more spontaneous and unexpected the day is, the better it is for me! Still, I am doing this Rest Retreat to stretch and challenge myself. I turn 38 this month and have been a Mom for 10 years now. Mothering has been my greatest adventure as there is never a dull moment. Again, something that I have thrived on. I look forward to seeing how this week goes. I will be true to myself (spontaneity gives me life), but will consider how to establish more rhythm for my kids.ReplyCancel

  • Rachel

    All of this is simply amazing. It’s so well organized and so beautifully and thoughtfully put together. I just got done journaling + planning a new rhythm and I feel incredibly energized. Its as if an enormous weight has already been lifted from my shoulders. Thank you so much for this! I can’t wait to see how the rest of the month unfolds. ♥️

    Oh and do you have a cleaning rhythm that is customizable? I feel like you do, but I can’t seem to find it.ReplyCancel

  • Rachel

    Never mind! I found it. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Sarah

    Thank you so much for organizing all of this, Amanda! I am so enjoying the tone and content of these posts so far! What a wonderful way to welcome the new year. And that quote about the mind being a garden?! SO good.ReplyCancel

  • Erin

    It’s been kinda rough! Finding myself when my mind is still going to fill it and scroll through social media….nonetheless, I’ve been feeling a pull to write more. Having an 8 month old has also made finding quiet time difficult. Also, can you add me to your mailing list? Thanks so much for all your work do!ReplyCancel

  • Ashley

    I must say the first few days were difficult to not “check-in” on my feeds. It’s such a compulsive thing for me to quickly scroll for updates, which is exactly why I needed to step away. By yesterday, I was already feeling less anxious and lighter about not having the nagging need to know what was happening outside my world. My difficulty is in those in-between moments of mental rest throughout the day where your mind needs a break, but you don’t necessarily have enough time to read a book, where do you turn? I’m trying to better understand my intentions in these little moments- is it to escape, is it FOMO, is it just the easy option. Whatever it is, I’ve learned in these last few days it is not living in the present. Exploring this more this week!ReplyCancel

    • Carrie

      Ashley, I have also become aware that the “in between” moments are when I am/was inclined to scroll social media. Its an interesting thing to notice and explore. It feels really freeing to cut that habit.ReplyCancel

      • Angela

        Yes. This has been my issue too. What to do with the little moments, the downtime. Waiting for the pasta to boil, when I would normally spend 8 minutes scrolling instagram. What I’m finding is that not being able to grab my phone and divert myself means that my time feels more whole. Moments feel longer. There isn’t so much fracturing.ReplyCancel

        • Ashley

          Angela- the boiling water moment is the perfect example! “Time feels more whole” is also a great way to describe the change in experience throughout the day. It’s always nice to read that strangers are experiencing similar thoughts.ReplyCancel

        • Kathleen

          I have noticed this too. Yesterday when there was a little downtime in the kitchen, I just rested my elbows on the counter, drank some water, and stared off into space for a while. And it felt pretty good!ReplyCancel

        • Katie

          Yes! I am finding the most mundane things enjoyable too. Like standing in line at the grocery store, saying hi to the clerk entirely too loudly…little quirks that wouldn’t otherwise be enjoyed because I’m too busy scrolling?ReplyCancel

      • Andrea

        I have been trying to focus on being more present in these in between times too. For example, when you are out for a meal or coffee with someone and they get up to use the bathroom, and it feels kind of awkward to sit there by yourself, so you pull out your phone to kill time for a bit. I’m trying to just sit and enjoy the moment and look around me.

        I find it easier to avoid social media when I am out of my everyday stay-at-home-with-small-children setting. We were on vacation for Christmas and I brought “Out of Africa” by Karen Blixen with me to read. As I was reading I came to this paragraph, which resonated with me. Blixen is describing some of the ways of the local Kikuyu people in Kenya (in the 1920s, mind) and she says, “They are also on friendly terms with time, and the plan of beguiling it or killing it does not come into their heads. In fact the more time you give them the happier they are, and if you commission a Kikuyu to hold your horse while you make a visit, you can see by his face that he hopes you will be a long, long time about it. He does not try to pass the time then, but sits down and LIVES”.

        I love the concept that we GET so many minutes each day and we can choose to live them to the fullest. So far I am loving this rest retreat 🙂ReplyCancel

        • admin

          Andrea, oh how beautiful…”but sits down and LIVES.” So powerful because our culture is not one that looks favorably on those who just LIVE or even sit down for that matter – instead, we value doing and being productive, which means different things for everyone. I am learning so much about myself during this retreat and one of those things is that I’d rather do 5 things well and live in that moment deeply rather than doing 10 things half into it just to say that I or show that I did them. I am so glad you are enjoying this retreat! x AmandaReplyCancel

        • Kelly

          Ah! What a beautiful passage, thank you for sharing. I often find myself trying to kill time between my son’s naps, or before my husband gets home from work. But then, I suppose, I’m just wishing my life away. So much of my day, is a little moment here or there with just my son, me and no agenda. Rather than wishing away, I should be imprinting them deep in my mind.ReplyCancel

  • Ashton

    So excited for this week, Amanda! I love planning and organizing—-but admittedly I have yet to find a life giving rhythm for our family. It’s been a huge area of struggle during the past year and I am hoping this time away from social media will help clear my thoughts and emotions so I can clearly determine a functional plan.
    I’ve definitely felt lighter the last week and I am praying that I’ll continue to feel the fog clear in my head from all the mental clutter. Also, I love the “get to” analogy above. Such a needed reminder on those difficult days raising little ones.ReplyCancel

  • Nicola

    Hi Amanda,

    I was just wondering if you had done the Daily Rhythms PDF yet? I love the idea of it and think it would help me so much in creating my own personal daily rhythm.

    I also just wanted to thank you so so much for this rest retreat. You have obviously put a LOT of work into it and I just wanted you to know that it certainly has not gone unnoticed.

    Thank You so much all the way from Australia.

    Nicola xoxoReplyCancel

  • The first few days were like a breath of fresh air. I felt like myself, warm and cozy in my life with my creativity at it’s highest. I have two children, 2 1/2 years old and an 11 month old. I’m finding that when I’ve had a hard mothering day is when I miss the (albeit false) connection of Instagram and Facebook. Used to, I would post something about our morning or a cute picture to share, feeling like I was part of a community, almost a “We’re in this together” type thing.
    But now, even though I knew this before, I’m realizing that the people I share with on social media are not my friends, much less my motherhood tribe. And that kind of makes me sad. I had a difficult morning this morning and I found myself with no one real to share it with. It felt alone.

    So I’m interested to see how the rest of my hard days pan out during this month. So far, it’s a longing sense of real connection that I’m left with. Real relationships, real face-to-face friends that I can call on when mommy-ing stinks.

    Side note- thank you for turning me on to Mary Oliver’s work! Her poetry is beautiful and I can’t get enough of it. I just finished “Long Life” and it was so great!ReplyCancel

    • Lisa

      Stacey this is something i’ve also been grappling with as a first time Mum who’s yet to find her tribe. While a lot of my social media use is a crutch for my anxiety – a way to avoid distressing thoughts, feelings and sensations instead of being mindful and allowing myself to feel them and then gently let them go – I also search for connection and community. I too have realised how much this is missing from my life and that one can find a really wonderful community online but it doesn’t and can’t replace real life face to face interaction. I’ll be exploring this more over the next few weeks. I’m joining a mothers group & a playgroup soon so hopefully this time next year I’ll have at least a few mamas in my life who I can call my community 😊ReplyCancel

    • Katie

      I have been missing the “connection” this week as well. I am finding it helpful to reach out via phone or text to a friend or family member whether near or far! I even text a mom that I had never text before to check-in. It was a bit uncomfortable, but really filled the yearning and opened up the lines of real, genuine connection.ReplyCancel

    • Kelly Williams

      I loved the way you put this Stacey. I had a nice little “community” of fellow first-time, stay-at-home moms that I regularly connected with on Instagram. I told my husband that those people would be the ones I missed most this month because they really did help me in the first dark motherhood days.
      But it’s also been really humbling to try and text them and connect off of Instagram, because they are not as responsive.
      Of course, I give them plenty of grace, because I can be the same way about responding to texts (i.e. sometimes I find it time consuming), but it has also shed a huge light.ReplyCancel

  • Amy

    Oh, I was jumping up and down on the inside when I got to the second paragraph about changing our perspective from HAVE to GET! Just early this morning I was on the couch with my kids and they were all crying and whining and all three fighting for my lap and inside I was feeling..
    “Again? Why do I have to deal with this fighting again? Why can’t it be easier?”
    and then suddenly I thought “no. I GET to do this. I GET to raise three kids. I GET to be challenged daily by motherhood.”
    And (at least for that moment – because I struggle with staying calm a whole lot more than I like to admit) I was able to give them the confident leader they need. hugs instead of exasperation.

    Thank you so much for the energy you’re putting into this, Amanda. I so appreciate it. It is already filling me with much needed l i f e.

    ❤️❤️❤️❤️ReplyCancel

  • Amanda

    Boundaries….soooo good. I have been working on this, and I’ve found some people take it personal, even if it’s not meant to be. I have been starting my day in the quiet before my kids are awake, and not picking up my phone. It took a few days to not have the urge to mindlessly check it, but I can’t say I miss facebook or instagram yet.ReplyCancel

  • Jackie

    I am loving this retreat so very much. Amanda, blessings on you for putting this together and for inspiring us! I’m also doing the 30 days of yoga with Adriene and am proud of myself for sticking to it for the 2 days so far, haha. 🙂 The social media fast has been crucial for me and I’m finding I want to set even more boundaries for myself around the phone — not texting so much and having times when I don’t check it or have it near at all. I’ve started keeping it out of the bedroom at night, which I love. Now if only I could get my husband on board! My hope is that he will see how well it’s going for me and want to join in some of the boundaries.

    I am also a planner, I find planning super enjoyable. However – and this is where I would love some suggestions – I have a hard time sticking to the plans I make. Maybe I am trying to overhaul too much at once and should just focus on one thing a week?

    I really want to try waking up just 30 mins before the children so I can have that quiet time to read a little something positive, drink some warm water with lemon, and meditate just for a few minutes. I also want to have lunches prepared the night before, along with breakfast prep and the breakfast table simply but beautifully laid out to greet us in the morning. I have written and rewritten a daily rhythm over the years and just worked on a new one today inspired by your post, Amanda. In the past I tried scheduling in 30-min increments, which did feel a little factory-like and I never followed it anyway. Maybe with these 1.5/2-hour increments, it’ll be easier.

    I have long been trying to figure out a way to incorporate a family tidy time in the evening and having the children wash their own dinner plates so I want to incorporate that, too.
    I’ve resonated with cleanmama’s cleaning routine in the past and in reviewing my days, i think that should still work for me, but again – it’s actually sticking to it week to week that is my downfall.

    i teach a waldorf parent and child class 2x/week so i need time to prepare for class, do research, practice crafting, etc. i have to figure out when to fit this all in along with the other things i want to do for self care: reading, baths, knitting, and such.

    with meal planning, for the past several years i’ve been saying i need to simplify. i used to be a food writer and cookbook editor and love finding and trying new recipes. however, though i enjoy it, it’s very time-consuming and often my children don’t eat what i make. So I want to simplify and at the same time, try to cut out some major items in our current diet such as wheat and dairy and add in more probiotic foods to see if they help with my sons’ eczema and other gut issues.

    See? I’m trying to do way too many new things at once! But i’m not sure how to space it all out….ReplyCancel

    • Kathleen

      I am also doing Yoga with Adriene’s 30-day challenge. I am loving it so far. I’ve done her yoga videos intermittently but never regularly. I’ve been feeling very stiff with back and neck pain for the last month and didn’t manage to find a way to address it over the holidays. Now it feels so good to get my day started by moving my body. And with no social media in the evenings, I am trying to work in some stretching before bed too.ReplyCancel

      • Shannon

        Kathleen & Jackie,

        So happy to hear from ladies who are also partaking in Adriene’s 30 day yoga journey! This is my third year doing it, and on top of partaking in the Rest Retreat, it’s been a hell of a way to start the new year.
        Jackie, I totally feel you on the husband part! I’ve noticed that I would normally sit next to him in the “modern romance” bubble of scrolling side by side. Pretty eye opening and makes me want to continue this reset throughout the next couple months. I’m thinking the one night of no screens might be a good option for us.ReplyCancel

  • Erica

    I am SO enjoying this much-needed Instagram break! I actually made a New Year’s resolution last year to get off Facebook for all of 2017, and it was so wonderful that I haven’t had any desire to log back on!
    I think the most freeing thing about this so far was honestly just being given the “permission” to be off social media by yourself and other women/mothers who are all just trying to do their best. Social media is great because it has the ability to be both inspiring and relatable, but when it gets too “inspiring,” we feel pressured to do more and be better, and when it gets too “relatable,” we can sink into a rut of complacency, laziness, or even darkness. (Personally I often feel the pressure of seeing the highlight reel of someone else and then expecting my life to look like that all the time.)
    I loved your thoughts on planning and preparing for our days and hours. I HATE cooking, so meal planning is a real struggle for me, but today I tried a new recipe, and I grocery shopped with a few more meals in mind! It felt so great not to be panicking about what to make when school pickup time rolled around! I’ve also been making my daughter’s school lunches ahead of time simply because I HAVE more time now that social media isn’t the majority of my evening.
    All this to say, I’m so glad I’m doing this retreat with you all! Is it bad that I’m already dreading the end?ReplyCancel

  • Lisa

    Thank you for all the hard work you have put into this retreat and for offering it for free. I’m deeply grateful for your generosity.

    I have really appreciated having some tangible ways to bring change to my life, even if small. My 3 stopping cues are:
    – no phone while breastfeeding
    – no screens during mealtimes (my husband had agreed to join me in this one)
    – phone stays in the living room on charge when we go to bed (I’m still breastfeeding overnight so this one really helps me to avoid late night scrolling which only makes it harder to get back to sleep!)
    The last 2 have been easy and wonderful. My husband and I chat at dinner now and feel so much more connected, and at night getting back to sleep is so much easier when there’s nothing to tempt me to stay awake.
    The first one is tough though. I find myself getting agitated and bored when breastfeeding. Anxious thoughts start to cloud my head and social media was my escape. It’s hard but i’m now ‘getting to’ (love this!) practice positive coping strategies and skills like mindfulness and belly breathing and connecting with my baby.ReplyCancel

    • Kathleen

      Lisa, can you read while breastfeeding? I remember reading A LOT of books when breastfeeding my kids. This was pre-smartphone for me so I didn’t have that option. Even something easy like a magazine that is light to hold. Or a kindle if you have one since you can use that one-handed. Just a thought!ReplyCancel

  • Kathleen

    So far, so good over here! My main social media channel is Instagram and it was a little scary but also exciting to delete it off my phone. Instead of checking Instagram in the morning, I’ve been reading my book, and in the evenings I’ve been reading, stretching, and checking some little to-do items off (writing thank-you cards for the holidays, organizing tasks, etc.). I am also glad to be barely on my phone at all while my kids are with me. I’ve taken the additional step of mostly keeping it on silent so text messages aren’t interrupting what I’m doing. I have to check in on Facebook for my job but I unfollowed everything that isn’t work related so it’s pretty minimal and feels much less distracting. I still need to go through this week’s materials – thank you for putting together so many wonderful resources. Also, I LOVE the mindshift of what we “get” to do versus what we “have” to do. I”m going to be chewing on that for a while.ReplyCancel

  • Chelsey

    Amanda, thank you for taking time to put together this retreat, it has been life changing for me. I never thought of myself of someone who is addicted to social media, but have quickly realized with two small children it’s something I have turned to when and if I have alone time or while breastfeeding my little one. Scrolling is easy and quiet, little did I know that it is really draining and the loudest voice in my head during the day. I might just have to make this a permanent change in my life!

    The video you linked to Brene Brown’s ruminations on boundaries struck a chord with me. I am a sufferer of “people pleasing” and think it can be linked back to the gender roles assigned pretty early in childhood. “Be nice” as innocent as it may sound to a child, can end up being paramount in dealing with other humans. And here is the kicker…I say it to my own daughter and often.

    The material has given me a lot to think about this week and I just wanted to thank you for helping me gain clarity and free time that’s filled with things that are uplifting! Peace be with you, friend.ReplyCancel

  • Shannon

    I am also buzzing with energy and excitement, and it’s only been a couple days. I have noticed a huge change in my mornings especially. I have wanted to create a mindful morning routine, but always struggled with the fact that I have to get to work by 7:15am and love sleep (I need at least 8-9 hours to feel my best). I normally hit snooze for more than 30 minutes, or check work emails/Instagram in bed half asleep. I’ve made it an intention to keep my phone out of my arm’s reach (I need it to track my BBT first thing in the morning), and not check any forms of Social Media or email until I’m on my first break at work. Helps when they’ve been deleted from my phone! This week, I’ve been up with my first alarm (I got an actual alarm clock for Christmas, and it doesn’t have a snooze option. Game changer.), and have been doing a quick meditation/journal session, along with Yoga with Adriene’s TRUST series. I can’t tell you how good this feels, and I am so proud of myself!
    My main concern with this retreat was missing out on political engagement and feeling like this act is total privilege that I can just “turn it off” whenever I want to, but I feel fine and it’s a nice break from negativity. I have to take care of myself if I’m going to make any sort of a difference, and this is a huge act of self care for me. I get emails from my representatives and organizations I care about, and I think that’s enough moving forward. Helps me feel like I’m aware of what’s going on, but not hearing what everyone around me thinks. Obviously I think this is an important aspect, but this week has made me realize I need to have those conversations in person, not reading comments and feeling that negative energy, or engaging in “false connection”, as Brene Brown would say. LOVE that we got to incorporate her work in this first week.
    Another concern I had was that I work in an office setting, so I am technically not screen free at all, and am constantly dealing with emails throughout the day. It is what it is, and I have noticed a huge difference in not using my phone to fill my breaks at work. As many have mentioned before me, it was our phone and social media that we first turn to in those small gaps during the day. Instead, I have taken a book with me outside during my lunch breaks, leaving my phone inside, and it is giving me so much inspiration. Speaking of books, I am already on my third book of the year. Looking forward to the weeks to come. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Melissa

    I just simply want to say Thank You ❤ReplyCancel

    • admin

      Melissa, you are so welcome. It’s encouraging and refreshing to me reading everyone’s positive response to this retreat – I feel it too and am so glad we are all taking this respite together! Happy weekending! x AmandaReplyCancel

  • Franki

    I have to be honest, at first I didn’t think I would find my days so radically changed simply from taking a social media break and as a result being more present. I knew that I needed to take the hiatus from social media, because it had become sucking so much of my precious time away — but I didn’t quite realize how dramatically it would change the feeling of my days for myself and for my family. I have never accomplished so much throughout the hours I am given during the day, while also finding ample time to be present with my children and still having time at the end of the evening for time with my husband, a calming bedtime ritual, and devotional/meditation time. I love the way you described how you feel you are on an energy high at the moment — I feel much the same way!
    It is very apparent how much time I was spending scrolling mindlessly at my phone. Even those little snippets of time that I would sneak on social media add up, and those are the little moments where I could be learning more about myself, truly listening to my child, or finishing up a household task so I did not have to squeeze it in before I collapsed on the bed exhausted at the end of the night. It is truly making a huge difference in my life!
    I agree with those above that have mentioned finding those in between moments interesting to deal with. I really realize how I was living in such a distracted mindset. Never really just being. Now that I don’t have the option of automatically reaching for my phone, I notice those little moments I would have been missing otherwise. It is quite something!
    Thank you for hosting this and putting together the materials for this retreat – it was truly needed!ReplyCancel

  • Katie

    I have only in the last couple days started to enjoy the retreat because the first few days were wrenching. I was struggling with my thoughts and a bit of a cloud of anxiousness. But oh, now, much better. I am feeling much more balanced and whole. Thank you for this. I am loving the reflection and material.ReplyCancel

  • Lovelle

    Thank you very much for this Amanda! You truly are a gem!ReplyCancel

  • Annette

    I am an empty nester. This Rest Retreat had my name written ALL over it!
    I recently lost my mother who was 92 years old. My father, still living, is 95! The rythms of my life just changed radically. The empty nest life I was learning to embrace has now been replaced with 4 evenings a week spent at my dad’s house. Watching Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy. It is SUPER hard not to be on social media while I sit there for 3 hours, feeling like I’m spinning my wheels.
    But after reading that I GET to spend time with him, rather than HAVE to – well, it has changed my perspective immensely.
    Does this mean I embrace this new rhythm of my life -or interruption to my rhythms? Not yet, but I am working on it, thanks to this retreat.
    Anyone else on here that is an empty nester?ReplyCancel

  • Emily

    Loving all this material to mull over and process.

    The day I listened to the podcast about living and death was the same day I watched a movie based on the life of Robin Cavendish called Breathe. Now there was a man (along with the help of his wife) who knew how to seize his goals and perfect day despite all naysayers. Funny how timing is.ReplyCancel

  • Jenny W

    I expected to enjoy this retreat but I did not expect to implement change so quickly. This pause in use made our family realize we did not need to use our cellphones in the manner in which we were. We dropped our plans realizing we are always by landlines and our schedules are predictable. The bonus was that I get to text for free at home which lets me connect with friends and family daily but will help me maintain set check-in times as I was anxiously checking too much. Now the phones are mirroring our values.

    P.s. Loving the academic boost…missed while “at-home”ReplyCancel

  • Ciarra

    This first week has been rough for me! I have had withdrawals, and I most definitely was not expecting that. I did not realzie how often I turned to FB or IG, and frankly, I’m still learning not to go to my phone every 5-10 minutes to check things. I know I’m trying to fill that space still (like opening my weather app way more times than any decent person should, haha!) so I definitely need to work on that the upcoming week. That being said, I do miss being part of my friends everyday lives or seeing pictures of beautiful babies and delicious food! It was way easier to get inspired in the food department by having great recipes and pics just pop up in my feed. All in all, it has been good for me though. I am starting to see what I like about social media and what I do not. I am seeing where it brings me up or inspires me and where it leaves me feeling empty, less worthy, ugly, etc. I’m excited for the next few weeks…this is exactly what I’ve needed. Thank you Amanda!!ReplyCancel

    • admin

      Ciarra, I can 100% relate to the opening of the weather app more than one should! Haha. How revealing this week has been for us all! I love that this time is helping you figure out your why with social media – you are really going to enjoy this week’s content I think! x AmandaReplyCancel

  • Just popping in to say how much I’m enjoying this Retreat, Amanda. You’ve so thoughtfully and insightfully put these questions and resources together. I’m looking forward to the next few weeks. Thank you.ReplyCancel

    • admin

      Robin, hello dear friend! It’s so nice to hear from you! I am glad you are enjoying this little break away – I am too – and thank you for sharing that with me. It has been such a light, this time so far, and I am eager to see how it all plays out. Sending you and your family love up north. xx AmandaReplyCancel

  • Kate Whenham

    Tried getting added to the email list every way I can think of. Must admit to being a little frustrated – thought you might want to know in case it points to some glitch on your page.
    Thanks.ReplyCancel

    • admin

      Kate, so sorry to hear this! I will add you personally today. It appears the blog subscription is only offered on computers and not through the mobile app, so I apologize if that has been the issue! x AmandaReplyCancel

  • Katherine

    Hello! Popping in to say that I am so thankful for this retreat. It has been such a powerful force in my daily life, and I’m not sure I’ll ever get back on the social media blackhole.

    Today was the first warm, blue sky, sunshine day in KC in foreverrrrrr and I was so eager to bundle up the babies and get outside to explore. Typically, I’d snap a pic and make some post about the weather and being happy to spend time outside. Instead, I was fully in the moment, BEING HAPPY to spend time outside.

    And then I thought, why do I make a post in the first place? I think sometimes it’s to feel heard. (Especially as mama home most days without another adult to converse with). So then I think, if I’m trying to feel heard, who is my audience? This is where I think we all tend to struggle, knowing that we DO have dear friends and family on the receiving end of our social media posts. But if THEY are my audience, and they are dear to me, there is certainly more direct, intention means to sharing our day with them. (ie, a phone call, a quick email to the grandparents with a snap of the kids, a text to a friend, a thank you note for a neighbor.) Too easily I think, my “audience” is vaguely directed, sending out some words into the instagram abyss, then checking back for likes as if it were an echo ‘yes, we hear you’.

    As I came inside, I had a few minutes to explore online and stumbled across this quote, written by a 27 year old girl who lost her battle with cancer. Another serendipitous moment of finding exactly the words that my heart was seeking to put into place. I will post below. The last sentence really did it for me.

    Looking forward to another week and another day set with intention and grace.

    Thank you, Amanda!

    “Try just enjoying and being in moments rather than capturing them through the screen of your phone. Life isn’t meant to be lived through a screen nor is it about getting the perfect photo.. enjoy the bloody moment, people! Stop trying to capture it for everyone else.”

    xo katieReplyCancel

    • admin

      Katie, hello love and happy sunny KC day! I am loving it here as well, it’s currently pouring into our home and giving us all a bit of of extra momentum to start the week. I wanted to comment and say that you questioning your WHY is exactly what this next week is ALL about. You are so intuitive to ask that in the first place, as I think it has become a nonexistent practice for many to disregard that component of social media. I love the quote you shared as well, and even more so your heart in being vulnerable enough to share your experience here with us. Cheers, girl! x AmandaReplyCancel

      • katie

        gah simon sinek is one of my faves. I actually led and oversaw a leadership development organization during my undergrad years at CU Boulder so we got a chance to read his book and watch some of his talks. He is great. 🙂 Loving the content, Brene Brown, etc you have as well!ReplyCancel

  • […] very necessary and healthy. You will hear more about this in Simon Sinek’s talk further down. Week One has reoriented me to the slow art of waiting, while giving me plenty to chew with regard to how I […]ReplyCancel

  • Erica M

    I’m a little behind on the material for the Retreat but even my husband reminded me that I am doing this for me & I can work through the material at my own pace. It’s felt really good to take my time reading the posts & journaling about the material each day. But also just taking my time!

    I’ve been so focused on the personal growth & changes happening in my life during this Retreat that I honestly rarely think about getting on social media. I never thought I could get to this point in my life. The biggest thing that I gained from Week One was creating a Daily Rhythmn! I work from home a few days a week & for months I’ve really struggled at feeling motivated to do anything but be on my phone or watch TV…. Then your post about your Daily Rhythmn reminded me that when I used to be a teacher, I would create daily schedules all the time for my classrooms but I’ve never done it for my personal time at home. I believe it’s exactly what I’ve been needing for so long to pull me out the rut I was in. I thrive in routines & structure & I can’t wait to keep my Daily Rhythmn going!ReplyCancel

  • […] mentioned last week that I’m participating in the Rest Retreat on Homesong Blog as part of my goal for 2018 of nourishing my soul. Part of the retreat includes logging off of all […]ReplyCancel

  • Crystal

    Wow!! Thankyou! I can see why simple and minimalism etc. and all of these things are so desperately craved these days so many of us are just exhausted and overwhelmed and crave a simple slower pace. As for me I feel so often im being dragged through life. THANK YOU for this much needed post! Im a hospice nurse and i am reminded often of one of life’s most precious commodity…time.ReplyCancel

  • […] soul—which is ultimately who you really are and are here to discover. Like we talked about in week one of the retreat, ““Alas, your mind is a garden. Your thoughts are the seeds. You can grow flowers, or you can […]ReplyCancel

  • […] someone I truly look up, Amanda Watters, known as “Mama Watters”, planned a four weekRest Retreat at her blog, Homesong, and that is exactly what I will be doing; I will be adding in other things […]ReplyCancel

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