4 Ways Writing Retreats Offer Soulful Renewal & Inspiration | By Lynda Monk


While our transformative work as coaches is very rewarding and meaningful, at times it can also be stressful and overwhelming. We juggle a lot of responsibilities such as wholeheartedly serving our clients, engaging in transformational work while simultaneously growing our coaching businesses and reach in the world.

We know taking time to de-stress, replenish, self-reflect and tend to balance in our lives is not only good for us personally, but also makes us better coaches. And one great way to do this is through expressive writing.

Did you know expressive writing is proven to improve your emotional, physical, psychological and spiritual health? It also helps you gain clarity, make decisions, cultivate life balance, reduce stress and overwhelm, tap into your inner knowing and increase feelings of calm and joy.

"Our own mindfulness or contemplative practice reminds us that in the stillness of a quiet mind all things are possible."
Janet Harvey, MCC, CMC

Self-care in the form of expressive writing and journaling is a proven antidote to stress, preventing burnout and cultivating balance in mind, body, and spirit. Writing retreats and journaling can offer us effective ways to pause, come home to ourselves and replenish from within.

"Writing asks us to settle into ourselves and be awake." Natalie Goldberg

Writing or journaling retreats are one of my favourite ways to re-charge - whether self-guided or facilitated by others. As a coach, entrepreneur, mother, wife, daughter, friend, and creative human being I love taking mini-retreats, blocking off an hour or an afternoon to unplug and listen within. I wonder how writing is or could be part of your renewal and reflective practice as a coach?

Here are 4 Reasons to "Go" on a Writing Retreat:

  • Writing retreats are a break from your day-to-day routine – offering you time away from the ordinary. This can help us to create openings for new energy, creativity and ideas to emerge. And you don't have to consider yourself a writer to benefit. Many of my clients have never written for themselves before, others are authors and are turning to personal, more expressive writing for their own self-care, growth and renewal.
  • Nourish your creativity and identity as a writer – writers are simply people who write. As coaches, many of us do a lot of writing for newsletters, blog posts, social media content, creating products, programs, ebooks and more! When we participate in a writing retreat we affirm ourselves as writers (whether we write for ourselves or others, or both). This invites an entire treasure chest of creative energy to unleash from within. Creativity loves to be honoured, validated, given time and space and support to unfurl onto the page and into the open.
  • Get inspired – writing (and being an entrepreneurial coach) are often solitary acts. A retreat offers connection, ideas, inspiration, prompts, perspective and energy for your writing - and for yourself! A writing retreat can leave you tapped into a whole new level of possibility for your writing, journaling and your life. There is an oasis of renewal gained through putting pen to paper where language, words and story ignite your vitality on and off the page.
  • Increase your coaching mastery – Janet Harvey, MCC, CMC says that coaching mastery requires "coaching from presence" which involves three key things: 1) be still, 2) be attentive and 3) be reflective. Journaling helps increase our confidence and competence with the "artful pause that generates professional mastery."

Your Self-Care and Renewal Matters

Take time for yourself to relax, reflect and replenish offers you the opportunity to fill your own emotional cup. Your sense of balance, well-being and joy is the ground for helping your clients to tap into these qualities within themselves. Your self-care is not only an investment in yourself, but also in your transformative coaching work in the world. You can literally write your way into your deepest sense of fulfillment and success as a coach and beyond.

My Recommendations for a Soulful Writing Retreat?

Have the following on hand:

  • Your journal
  • Fast moving pens
  • Relaxing music
  • Candles
  • Essential oils infusing the space
  • Coloured markers
  • A large 18 x 24 sketchpad for big ideas to take shape

Then answer these 5 reflective journaling prompts:

  1. When I slow down and replenish, what do I notice?
  2. When I take time for myself, how do I feel?
  3. What fills my emotional cup?
  4. How do I balance caring for myself with caring for others?
  5. What creative ideas and possibilities could I honour, validate, explore or unleash in my life?

If you're you drawn to take some time for yourself to create, write, reflect and replenish, nourish your mind, body and spirit on a guided "Renew You" Writing Retreat. Join Lynda on one of her many virtual retreats. Accessed by phone from the comfort of your own home you can wear your jammies, snuggle up with your favourite blanket, a cup of tea or coffee, your journal and favourite pen and be guided into the heart and art of transformational journaling and expressive writing: http://creativewellnessworks.com/workshops-and-retreats/

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Contributing Author:

Lynda Monk, MSW, RSW, CPCC is the Director of the International Association for Journal Writing. Lynda regularly writes, speaks, and teaches about the transformational and healing power of writing. She is the co-author of Writing Alone Together: Journalling in a Circle of Women for Creativity, Compassion and Connection (2014), and co-editor of Transformational Journaling for Coaches, Therapists, and Clients: A Complete Guide to the Benefits of Personal Writing (2021). Lynda is also co-editor of The Great Book of Journaling (2022). You can find her FREE gift for coaches here: Gratitude Journaling for Coaches & Clients Workbook.

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