The importance of away time for women

Clew’s Miranda shows you Lëtzebuerg is creative in her monthly column LëtzCreate, but she’s also a creative coach, with her own inspiring blog Create & Connect. Clew borrows from her blog: 

It is quite normal to go on off-sites for work: companies offer away days for staff team
building and to clarify goals. It got me wondering, “Why don’t we take away days privately? And especially us women?”

Whether they work inside or outside the home (or both), women are busy juggling so many balls that they rarely have time for themselves. I’ve talked with many women who get to the point where they just feel like running away.  I believe that such thoughts of escapism can actually be healthy. They’re a sign that it’s time for a change.

In Escape and Other Essays, Arthur C. Benson writes: “All the best stories in the world are but one story in reality—the story of an escape. It is the only thing which interests us all and at all times—how to escape.” He goes on to say that “we have to keep moving, and if we will not run to the goal, we must at least flee, with backward glances at something which threatens us.”

This is the gift of preference. We go through life and, if we pay attention, we learn to differentiate what we prefer from what we don’t. The wider the range of experiences we have, the more material we have to work with in this classroom of life. Then we have the power to choose more of what we prefer.  Instead of running away, we can run toward. This is what leads to a happier and more meaningful life.

Photo credit: Shutterstock

Photo credit: Shutterstock

Feeling Stuck

Sometimes people have a hard time with preference. Often women don’t feel like they can really choose what they prefer because:

  • I don’t really know what I want. Maybe I’m being unreasonable, moody.
  • Someone else will feel upset by the changes I want to make.
  • I won’t be as available for others anymore, and they need me.
  • Doing what I want will change things for the people I love and I don’t want to put them through that.
  • It’s not the right time. I can wait.
  • There’s not enough money.
  • and on and on.

So we just keep doing the same things and feeling less energized, going through the motions and becoming resentful. To cope, we choose unhealthy escapism. We avoid, neglect, or obsess. Food, TV, internet, sleeping, alcohol, shopping, affairs, denial, numbness; these are all tools that temporarily soothe us.

After a while we start to feel powerless:

  • Letting life run by
  • Waiting for things to happen/change
  • Wishing the situation was better and wondering why it isn’t
  • Searching for fault elsewhere
  • Blaming ourselves.

That makes us want to escape even more – running away from the drudgery that threatens us – by seeking unhealthy escape routes. And the negative cycle keeps churning.

As Anthony Robbins puts it: “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.”

Sound familiar?

Time for Change

Decide to stop. In times like these, when you feel like you’re stuck, but somewhere deep inside you know there’s more, it’s helpful to get support to break the cycle. Escape in a proactive way that is moving toward your goals and passions by taking away days. Create the space to go on a retreat, perhaps where you can gain some new tools from a coach.

According to a study by the International Coach Federation, coaching can help in the following ways:

  • Help to move forward by creating action plans
  • Improved self esteem/self confidence
  • Clarity and prioritizing for life/work balance

It’s always inspiring to me what a weekend away can do for women. It’s a chance to just be your authentic self and to receive some pampering and camaraderie with like-minded women while you clarify your intentions and next steps. I feel honored to share in a spark that re-ignites women to create their life on purpose.

If this speaks to you, feel free to check out Miranda’s next Create Your Life Retreat. The retreat is for women only to help you CREATE your life anew, CONNECT with yourself and like minded women and GROW into a more powerful, on purpose YOU. 

Clew, August 2015. Originally posted on Create & Connect in October 2012

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