#ShowingUp with Anese Cavanaugh

Soul Vacationing and Restorative Insight

This past weekend was one of the best weekends of my life. Did I go anywhere? Hang out on a beach? Unplug? Do nothing? Party with friends? Get ten massages? No.

Forty-eight hours that were so restorative I felt like I'd gone on a two-week vacation. When the weekend completed I was clear and awake to questions I'd been percolating on for months and not been able to access answers to.

My body was rested. I was fueled. I was caught up. And I was clear.

What magical thing did I do? What resort did I hit? What ship did I set sail on?

Me. I stayed home and intentionally created space to hear myself think. After finishing the book and doing a lot of deep work over the last year, I've been aware that things are shifting, for me and in this work. However, I haven't been able to catalyze them. They've been very much in the luminal stage.

I'll share more about what's to come in the coming months, and for now, I wanted to offer this framework for you should you wish to create your own soul vacation and hear yourself think.

Creating space and time.

I originally thought maybe I needed to go lay on a beach, hike a big mountain, or get away for a couple of weeks. Any of these would have been lovely I'm sure, and right now any of these adventures would feel forced and require more effort to make so. (Plus, kids, dog, business, book, training, life, and most importantly, choice -- I didn't actually WANT to do any of these things. They were "shoulds.") So I created a "soul vacation" at home.

Interested? Here's how I did it, I've converted my experience into a "to do" list. Make it work for you.

In advance of your weekend (or days "away").

  1. Decide that it is YOURS and you are doing this thing. Block it on the calendar. Do not leave any space for something or someone else to hijack it.
  2. Make sure kids are taken care of with their own adventures for the weekend (or whatever version of this is for you). Clear your space as if you are going to be gone.
  3. Set an intention for the weekend and let it percolate.

Friday.

  • Friday, shut down at 3pm. And then it's on.
  • Great food stocked for the weekend.
  • Unplug TV. (Yes, you.) Unplug TV and any media that will allow you to "check out" and lose presence with yourself. Make a promise that you will NOT participate in activities you know dumb you down or kill your brain cells. (You are going to want them all for this process.)
  • Have a list of inquiries you are pondering and wanting answers to bubble up for.
  • Friday from 3pm-6pm(ish) organize house, office, kitchen, food, anything that could possibly distract you from doing your deep work. (For me this was do a load of laundry -- and put it away, clean a spot on the carpet that has bugged me for 2 weeks every time I've passed it, organize my fridge, clear off that stack of papers in my office, and close loose ends from business I knew would "beckon" me when I wanted to procrastinate or avoid hard questions.)
  • Friday night, eat an awesome nourishing meal. No alcohol. Sit down and BE with yourself. Sit at your table. Or outside. Or wherever you can BE with you and your food. Then, look at those inquiries. Journal. Do whatever you sense to do to support your inquiry. (If you're present to this process, you will know.)
  • Take a hot soak and go to bed. (Soak is optional, bed is not.)

Saturday.

  • Get up with the sun and your body's natural clock (no alarm).
  • Do your morning ritual (if you don't have one, now is a great time to start one).
  • Grab those inquiries, see what's come up since yesterday. Journal, add, answer, refine as appropriate and life-giving.
  • Self-care of some kind. Get out for a walk or hike. Go exercise. Eat well. Anything that will nourish your system.
  • Read. Listen to podcasts. Do "soul homework" -- whatever that maybe for you to support you in your inquiry and exploration.
  • Think. Be. Notice. And let yourself be BORED. This is crucial.
  • Journal, capture thoughts, ahas, whispers, anything counts. You may never look at it again, just let it flow and process it.
  • Saturday night is similar to Friday.
  • Set an intention before you go to bed for what you want to know when you wake up.
  • Sleep.

Sunday.

  • Repeat of Saturday. AND, now you're going to start capturing learning.
  • You will have new information. Capture it.
  • Journal, make lists, draw, whatever will help you capture your learning and new wisdom.
  • Rest. Be bored. Sit and do nothing. See what comes in.
  • Sunday afternoon, make a list of any core learning or new awareness, next steps, and how you make this all real.
  • Sunday night, gratitude for the weekend and for gifting yourself this time, an excellent meal, soak, and early bedtime.

Monday.

Get after it. Peacefully. Go gently into your next chapter of life.

Back to NOW. If you're thinking, "oh, that's nice, I don't have time" -- I get it. Neither did I. And I sensed it was really important to create it.

We do have to make space for ourselves -- we do have to create the time. If it's important to us. This does mean saying "no" to other things. This does mean holding self-care as a priority. And if you're feeling overwhelmed right now, or tired, or burned out, or confused, this may be the most valuable thing you can do for yourself right now.

Create the space.

Outcomes.

In the process of this for myself this weekend, not only did I crystallize some queries and regain some space I'd felt getting away from me, I came up with a new offering to support people in their leadership in a different way.

It's an "accelerator" of sorts. It integrates a deep dive with me (private) with a 30-day practice to get clear on intentions, identify where you're at now and who you're becoming, and make things happen (no kidding) over those 30 days (with rigor and grace). I think I'm big time onto something and I'm going to test it out.

If you're interested in this, email me. I'm doing 7 sessions/packages to try this offering out at a special rate (for now). If it is as powerful as I believe it's going to be, and I feel like it's a good use of me, I'll make it a regular offering. Want to play? Let's climb!

X/Anese