Geese uses thought-provoking questions as the main activity on all his solo retreats. As you might expect, the more relevant and personal the questions, the better insight that follows. But generic questions work as well. The key is to select questions that get right at the heart of the topic/issues that is most meaningful to you right now; questions that require some deeper thinking to address.
Below are some example thought-provoking questions to get you started. Geese uses his journal to record his responses to his questions. Use whatever works for you. But be aware, some of the answers may come to you when you least expect them, like on a hike or during a shower. For me, the answers that come unexpectedly are usually the most profound.
Example Questions: (These broader questions can help get the self-reflection juices flowing, but we also recommend posing very specific questions for yourself that you’d like to focus on)
- What have I learned about myself from all the positive and negative experiences in my life so far?
- What two or three defining moments have shaped my life the most…and how am I different as a result?
- What has surprised me the most about my life and why?
- What kind of legacy am I leaving about me and my life?
- What’s the biggest change I’ve had to make recently and how has it worked out?
- Am I still passionate about my work? If so, how would people know it?
- What has been the biggest challenge I’ve had to deal with lately? How am I dealing with it now?
- Who are the people that have the greatest impact on me? And who have I impacted?
- What, if any, regrets do I have about my life?
- Which friendship have meant the most to me lately and why?
- What still makes me afraid?
- If my kids were to describe me to a friend, what would they say?
- If I could re-live a special moment from life, which one would it be?
- From an “enjoying life” perspective, how would I rate myself right now and why?
- What have I done this past year to grow and develop myself both personally and professionally? Is it working?
- If I could change one thing right now, what would I change and why?
- What is one of the most meaningful compliments I’ve received that still sticks with me?
- What do I wish I was better at?
- What do I appreciate most about my husband/wife/partner?
- What are the three things I’m most grateful for right now and why?
- What am I doing to stay healthy? Is it working?
- What am I doing to play and have fun? Is it enough? Why or why not?
- What do I need to do more of in my relationships? What do I need to do less of?
- What’s missing in my life right now? How can I change that going forward?
You get the idea. The key is to identify what you want to reflect on during the retreat and, if possible, turn it into a question that you can answer during the solo.
And remember, Geese is available before, during, and after the retreat to help you get the most out of your solo time. All you have to do is ask.