From Engage the Fox to Zero Fox Given: Lessons from a Retreat

This weekend, I was at a yoga retreat in Collingwood. As some of you know I've been hemming and hawing about finishing my novel and the time away helped me make that decision. I made a lot of other decisions too. Time away can give one much-needed perspective.

I wrote about that all in my latest piece, How to Never Hate Your Life, at 1010 Park Place.

The super healthy vegan, gluten-free food at the retreat was amazing. Like ridiculously tasty and filling. But I also learned that I really really really like cheese and carbs and a good steak after a day of physical activity. I've moved in and out of vegetarianism and, at one point, was a gluten-free, alcohol-free, sugar-free, caffeine-free vegan (friends just love having you over for dinner when you tell them you are that...) but I really love having, say, jerk chicken poutine as a treat. On the drive home, I may or may not have stopped for a fresh chocolate chip cookie. And then I may or may not have gone to a Super Bowl party where I hung out beside the pulled pork. It's good to know one's self...

While I was at the retreat, I finished The Desire Map. My Core Desired Feelings for 2017 are:

If something does not evoke one of those five feelings, it ain't gonna happen this year. No more Yeses out of guilt and obligation. This will free up time to give what Cheryl Richardson calls an Absolute Yes to those things that matter.

One of the topics of conversation up north was how many women - now that we are in our 40s and early 50s - are becoming homebodies. Part of it is an energy thing. Part of it is a reluctance to engage in BS.  This year, I plan to stay home a lot, hanging with my family and close friends, doing a lot of writing on my new project, and readying the Lunenburg house. As Mike on The Middle says, "Nothing good ever happens when you leave the house." I think that can be sage advice. I won't be a hermit, but I will be a lot more careful with my time and my energy than I've been in the past. It feels like a sea change. My first book, about critical thinking, was called Engage the Fox: A Business Fable about Thinking Critically and Motivating Your Team. The working title for this next book is Zero Fox Given: Changing it all in Midlife. Because I think in midlife, we learn to give zero fox...

I hope y'all had a good weekend. It's getting increasingly difficult to not get sucked into the mire that is the news (or fake news depending on your bent!) but I'm trying to keep my head above the clouds. 

Stay strong, my friends.


  1. I feel less guilt in being social or anti-social. The joke is i am either at my house or in my local area or abroad - i rarely cross town! but that is just the way it is...But it is tiresome bc one does gets questioned a lot - it isn't easy to say no as now is the fashion!

    1. I suppose if one says no enough, one stops being asked? That's my strategy this year! I do plan to be more social on the coast this summer, where I know basically nobody lol. People can come visit me there...


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