I have been doing this for years. Raising four children mostly as a single parent, two of whom with major health challenges, caring for both my parents, suffering the terrible tragedy of my oldest daughter’s sudden death and leaving her three young children behind, creating and sustaining, ongoing, what I view as my life’s calling, Centering Tools . . . and of course, much more – they call this a “well lived” life – and I absolutely know I have had, and continue to have, so much in it to love and cherish – as well as ongoing challenges.I get away anywhere from several times a month to quarterly as I come to feel I have to. In the last three weeks I’ve had three self-designed retreats – two overnights and one all day, to give you an idea of how things have been going!I don’t know who else does this, which actually disturbs me given the accelerated, stress-ridden, unstable world we live in. Personal retreats clear, relax, inspire, transform, uplift, energize and empower. A classic example of a year long personal retreat is Thoreau’s autobiographical On Walden Pond.Here’s how:1. Go to nature, walk and commune2. Include woods and water, trails and grassy knolls, sunshine and expansive viewing3. Bring your journal – and do a lot of writing – how you feel, and your “no holds barred” thoughts4. Consider what and how much time you minimally need to experience the above benefits in your planning what, where and how5. “For the record” . . . this is a solo journey6. Look to be present throughout your retreat7, Go someplace you’ve never been, or go to a place if you’ve already been there that you’ve never seen8. Create your own prayer before or as you start to your sense of your higher power, revealing what you authentically need to receive in your retreat9. If beyond a day, stay in a place that presents to you as lovely, supportive, and in which you feel comfortable being alone – this could be a cabin, tent, bed and breakfast, hotel – what’s important is how it feels for you10, Bring one or more books that inspire, support and to you feel brings “magic”A Special, Sacred SecretI think of my personal retreats as an “unfolding” as well, as if I had secret wings that here can open up, spread, and take me far away to a special, secret, transcendent place of healing, higher power and new creation. It is your unique “breakaway” from which you will return changed – for the better.How? That is your journey of discovery and process.