Wednesday, August 13th, 2008
I'm back home in Houston. I've spent most of the day traveling, and mulling over the events of the last four days in Oregon. Before I left for this little holiday, I told a friend that the time away was going to feel like a 'vacation from my life' -- that the days would feel so different from my normal life, without the people and scenery that make up my usual routine, I'd feel freer to relax and be myself.
As it happens, I was right. It was a truly restorative time.
Generally speaking, the 'retreat' was really a getaway for group of women who have creative lives at a cabin on the Oregon coast, and spending the time talking, sharing ideas, giving each other advice, and generally decompressing. The days were mostly without any sort of agenda; however, yesterday, we went through a coaching exercise led by Andrea. The exercise helped us define our 'core values.' Unlike the core values that corporations or politicians bandy around (or the types of things that your parents might have taught you when you were young), this exercise is designed to help you solidify those very personal, very individual values which you truly hold dear. In theory, once these values are solidified, they can serve as guideposts in helping live your most authentic life.
My guide for this exercise was the positively stunning Alex, of Gypsy Girl's Guide, shown above on the right. I don't feel comfortable detailing the actual steps of the exercise as they're really Andrea's; but for the purposes of accountability, I thought I'd share what, with Alex's gentle help, emerged as my core values:
When we reached the end of this exercise, and I read through the above list, and my immediate reaction was well, of course. The list feels like a roadmap, or as Alex said, 'a recipe.' We'll see how closely I follow my recipe, now that I've returned to my regularly scheduled life.
For those of you who are curious, the following are the twelve women with whom I spent the last four days. Each of them were instrumental in helping me focus what I want for myself and my career, and for this, I'll be forever grateful.
Andrea (more affectionately known as 'Hula')
And feel free to click here for my photographs from the weekend.
Song: All my friends, Amos Lee