Embracing Change: What My Annual Solo Retreat in Sonoma Taught Me

After leaving my job a year ago, I rented a house in Sonoma for a solo “retreat.” It was magical. The time alone was priceless. I wrote, I thought, but mostly I just let myself sink into future possibilities, not knowing what would happen next in my “solopreneur” adventure.

That time away was so precious that I decided to do my solo retreat every year. Same little house with the cute porch and backyard, same season. But it was different this year. What I expected to be a magical, ethereal experience was more down to earth. I was busier with ongoing responsibilities. There were practical concerns, and the tending of all the seeds that I planted that are now bearing fruit – book, speaking, coaching, consulting.

When I did take time to think, doubt and uncertainty sat down next to me on the porch, prattling on about next steps and how to balance my commitments. At first this was distressing. What happened to the magic? Then I accepted it. Real life is not a dreamy state. Accepting my uninvited guests made room for another visitor on the porch – possibility. I left Sonoma with a strong sense of hope, both for myself and the new career I am building and for the possibilities of doing good in the world despite all the problems.

Also, I left with gratitude. To everyone in the professional and LinkedIn community who has supported me in the last year, either directly or by engaging with my writing and speaking – thank you. I believe that there is a lot of power for good in this collective, and can’t wait to see what the next year brings.

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