Personal Retreat, Introspection, Gathering Strength

birds over glacier rivers
“Who in the world am I? Ah, that’s the great puzzle.”
| Lewis Carroll , Alice in Wonderland

In this blog post, I address the importance for me to end an old year quietly, to go into myself, introspect, to gather strength and to connect with myself. I believe that only standing in our power are we able to do really good and creative work.

These are the weeks of rest. While like every year before Christmas the big stress breaks out, everybody tries to clear his desk, to get presents, to do the last shopping, we often rush into Christmas Eve with our last strength. Not that Christmas comes as a surprise, but every year the hamster wheel seems to turn a little faster. What is the reason for this?

In the professional sector, there are usually a lot of year-end closings coming up. But the most important reason for this annual stress seems to me to lie within ourselves. Deep down, we have developed the awareness that it is valuable to start a new year “fresh”. With clear structures. Starting ahead. Developing resolutions. Developing goals. Strategies to achieve the goals. Everything that could get in the way in the new year has to go. We therefore sacrifice a lot of energy in the old year for this tidy desk in the following year. And tumble with last strength into Christmas. As many do this, few people are well connected with themselves when the feast starts. They could not prepare or tune in to this day. Then the nerves are on edge and the smallest disagreements lead to a quarrel in the families. How could you change this? How could you change this?

For me, I have realized the importance of going into myself, introspection, gathering strength and connecting with myself. I start this at the beginning of December. In doing so, I try to finish my annual review early, clean up my physical as well as virtual desk, do backups. At the same time I dedicate time to meditation in daily routines. Then, in the week before Christmas, I try to put all tasks aside, put the computers into hibernation, go for a lot of walks, pick up pencil and my journal, and intensify the journey to myself.

Gratitude plays a big role for me here. This year I spoke a little text message to all the people who inspired me on their text boxes, told them why they are special to me and I am grateful to know them. This was also a wonderful moment I gave to myself.

Usually, ideas for new photography projects, book projects or other creative outlets come from these notes. I write the core ideas down on index cards and pin them to the wall next to my desk so that I am regularly exposed to my ideas and they can work subconsciously. I move them around according to their priority and urgency for me. I then take these ideas in without a camera after Christmas, let them flourish and develop. Excited to see what journey lies ahead.

I wish you all a blessed holiday, merriment, ease in connection with yourself, and a good start to what I hope will be a healthy and happy 2022. After all, there is nothing we can do about circumstances, but we can make new choices every day about how we want to deal with them and where we can find happiness for ourselves in small ways. In this sense, a good journey to yourself and thank you for the wonderful support, interest, conversations and inspiration in the last year.