Outside my hotel window is a little porch that ends in a middle-sized patch of well-tended lawn. A flowerpot filled with purple lobelia and white-and-yellow pansies hangs from the beam above the porch. Beyond the flowers, I can see the columns of spruce climbing up the side of Mt. Crested Butte. There's a light breeze blowing, and the thickening clouds promise rain. Or at least a sprinkle.
Just about every year I attend a conference called Consultants' Camp. It's a group of consultants, IT specialists, and process experts who meet annually in Mt. Crested Butte, Colorado, for a week of self-organized collegiality and fun. In some ways, it's a conference like any other — there's a continental breakfast, days full of sessions, and there is a program. By the end of the conference many of us feel tired and full. Learning is everywhere.
In other ways Camp is unique. The setting, the Colorado Rockies, is inspirational. Attendees give all sessions. There is no sponsor. Every day, there's a long break in mid-afternoon, which today I'm using to write this essay. Lunch isn't provided, but most of us ante up and share soup and sandwiches and stimulating conversation. For me, and I think for all of us, there's a feeling of belonging.
Renewal is a time
to step out of
the usual routine
and re-energizeI am experiencing renewal.
Renewal is a time to step out of the usual routine and re-energize. I feel good to be here, with these people — colleagues and friends. Renewal can be a large block of time, as Consultants' Camp is, or it can be a few minutes. We find renewal in weekends, vacations, days off, even in a special evening or hour in the midst of routine.
Here are some ideas for making the most of renewal.
- Celebrate your renewing
- Choose a place or time that marks the beginning of your renewal. If you're leaving home, perhaps that event is locking your front door as you leave. When you do, pause. Breathe. Celebrate the beginning of your Renewal. Do something similar to mark your return.
- Eat something new
- Eat something you've never tried before, or something you love but rarely allow yourself. Wake up your Nutritional part.
- Sleep a little too much
- If you normally use an alarm, try a day without it. If you normally jump out of bed upon awaking, try lying there for a while. Who knows, you might sleep a little more.
- Notice Nature
- Nature is everywhere, but we can get so caught up in our daily pattern that we don't notice it. Step off your usual path and notice a tree or a flower or a snowdrift or a rock.
- Connect with colleagues
- Connecting with colleagues, especially without an agenda, stirs things up. You can exchange ideas, and create new ideas together.
Renewal can be exhilarating. It can be a climb to the mountaintop for another point of view — for new perspectives and possibilities. Renewal can give you the energy you need for change, or to appreciate the purple lobelia. Top Next Issue
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