Not your same old New Year’s resolution

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Do you ever allow yourself to step back from your life for a little while? I mean really step back. I recall having been on a few retreats in my life—the memories of which are still vivid. But it’s been a very long time. When I heard that friend Leah had been creating her own retreat—without going anywhere—I was intrigued.

I asked her if there were any insights or observations she’d like to share with SWWAN readers about her 3-day hiatus from all electronics and outside communications. Gulp, I started getting a little freaked just thinking about not being able to pick up the phone. Anyway, here’s what Leah Young reports out from her experience:

My 2011 Reboot…
For more than a few years now I have wanted to spend the time between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day in reflection, on retreat.  Up until this year, that yearning had gone unfulfilled, often overtaken with glittery but forced holiday festivities.

This time I decided to seize the opportunity for solitude.
“RETREAT IN SESSION 12/29-1/1.  NO ENTRY.”  The sign I created declared this truth to all who darkened my doorstep during my three day hiatus time.  A few close friends and family had been forewarned that I would not be available.

This was my “me” time, well me and my little four-legged companion that is.  His Royal Highness Prince Jazz never left my side for long.  I successfully managed to maintain my meditations amidst his trying to engage me in some serious play.  He survived my Chakra Toning with several curious glances and failed attempts to get me to cease disturbing his rest with my, uh, noise.

I allowed myself to flow through the time, journaling periodically and taking consistent breaks to move my body to the rhythmic sounds of Mediterranean & Flamenco influenced music.  I accompanied the movement (my iteration of uninhibited dance) with tapping and Tai Chi routines that I’ve learned from my teacher this past year.

No cell phones, landlines, Internet, or texting for 20-22 hours a day.  I did check in with my mother who is travelling and called a friend on her birthday.  No Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Overall, it was bliss.  I slowed the axis of my world long enough to become clear about my intentions for this newly dawning year and my continued journey of transformation.  No empty resolutions, just clear intention.

  1. I am allowing myself to co-create my life more mindfully.  I will use my words and actions to support my desired end results.  I will waste no time, energy or focus on that which I do not wish to experience.
  2. I forgive myself for all my transgressions & I forgive all others theirs against me.  I move forward open wide to love, joy and peace.
  3. I surrender the how and focus instead on gratitude for all that is mine now.
  4. I will continue to challenge myself to step into and embody the unique gifts divinely bestowed upon me.

In other words, I intend to move forward embracing life with zeal and vigor.  Three short days away from the hustle & bustle allowed me to recharge and reboot.  If you haven’t taken some quiet time for yourself, I encourage you to do so now.  Whether it is an hour, a day, a week or more, YOU are worth every minute.  Happy New Year!

Think about it. What would you do with even one day free of outside “stuff”? Here’s a little retreat checklist from A Woman’s Field Guide on how to craft your  own retreat. Is it harder for a single woman to do this than for a woman in a relationship with a kid or two? What about for single moms? Who knows. There are obstacles for all of us in taking personal time out; it’s a challenge to get past them, perhaps especially the interior, mental barriers we often erect.

I’m scared, but I’m moving this idea up to number one on my to-do list. Thanks, Leah. Happy new year to all.

Leah Young, a relationship expert with more than 20 years experience is the Confidante™ at, founder of ClubC4 a community for singles, relationship examiner for the Las Vegas Examiner online and publisher of the LightVision™ Post.  Contact Leah at

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