A Vision Retreat is a focussed period of self exploration and creativity, during which you access your deepest dreams for your life and write a personal Vision Story. This Vision Story then serves as the inspiration, guidance device and a key planning tool for your life (especially your work life). Vision Retreats are among the most proactive ways we can use our time because in them we are taking full responsibility for designing the future we want.
To create a personal Vision Retreat takes discipline. To use your time most effectively on a Vision Retreat, I recommend following these guidelines:
1. Create a retreat environment
Ideally, choose a location in the midst of natural beauty which is both comfortable and free from distractions (TV, computer, music, magazines, junk-food, phone etc.). Choose a setting that inspires you - do you prefer the mountains or the ocean? Do you have a special place that reliably transports you into an inspired frame of mind? If so, go there. Arrange to be there for 2-5 days to focus on your Vision Retreat. Make a conscious, committed choice about what activities you will (and will not) do during your retreat.
2. Design a daily schedule
Organized group retreats provide a structured use of time, so that all retreat participants are supporting one another by doing the same activity together. In a personal retreat, you must provide this structure yourself. And you know best the daily schedule that works for you. I recommend you set a daily schedule which includes time to get up, spiritual practices (meditation, yoga etc.) eating times, reading inspirational books and creative work. Find a way to honor the daily schedule without being overly harsh and strict with yourself. Find the blend of discipline and spontaneity which works best for you.
3. Plan your creative work
Your retreat schedule will have time slots allocated for creative work. To make the best use of your time, plan how you will use each time period, so that the retreat itself is a support to your creative process.
4. Enjoy Yourself
Ultimately what makes a Vision Retreat powerful is that you are spending time with yourself; discovering and expressing your deepest dreams and highest aspirations. Enjoy the process. Be inspired by your dreams. Even if you have no intention of manifesting them, you can marvel at how creative you are. And if you do decide to commit to your Vision, to dedicate yourself to manifesting it - well that is where the real adventure begins!