I used to feel guilty any time I took a break. I mean anytime. Sometimes I felt like I was wasting time that could have been spent on something more “worthwhile.” Other times I suffered from the “why wasn’t this money taken and given to the poor,” syndrome…though my vacations weren’t necessarily spendy. Getting away for a bit to replenish or spend time with the family was apparently fine for everyone else. Rationally, I knew it was OK for me, too. I just didn’t feel like it was OK.

Some of you know what I’m talking about.


One of the questions I’m asked whenever I talk about a personal retreat is, “What do you actually DO there?” Furthermore, some of you who might be interested in this might be wondering the same thing before you walk into your next elder’s meeting and ask for the time off.

You can structure your week/month in a way that fits where you are. For me, I’ve always used it holistically–as a time to pay attention to the personal, spiritual, and “professional” aspects of life. Here’s what it isn’t: