In the hurried and hectic world of the “new economy”, how does an organizational leader find his or her center and remain calm under sometimes intense pressure? The promise of a retreat to a restful state of being is what many of us as leaders truly desire.
May I suggest there are some beautiful ways to find this level of peace. One of my favorites is to “head to the hills” and connect with Our Creator in nature. For me, nature is a place where the pace slows down and I am in tune with the peace and stillness of God; a place of rest and peace.
Recently, I headed out of town to Glacier National Park on a kayak adventure. I had learned of a beautiful treasure of a lake named Bowman Lake and decided to kayak the seven mile length of the lake that ended in a cirque of glacial mountains of Glacier National Park. The morning was so still and the lake was “glassy” with a perfect mirror reflection of the majestic mountains in the lake.
My friend and I started out on an adventure neither of us had ever experienced. We had been told to start early and make it out and back by 1:00 pm because at that point the wind would be against us as a headwind and we would not want to fight our way back. Ergo, the peace and rest.
Being from Texas, my friend was not hip to the idea of hurrying. He informed me he would be at the quaint mercantile general store at Polebridge when it opened at 7:00 am, sipping coffee and eating a selection of delicacies from the renowned bakery. Okay, to align with peace I desired, I knew I would need to relax and “go with the flow”. So I did.
We launched our kayaks from shore at 10:00 am and ended up arriving at the back end of the lake at 1:30, just after the time the local park service outfitter had advised we be back…
The trip to the back end of the lake was nothing short of stunning. We only saw one other canoe way over on the other side of the lake which appeared to be a small speck in the distance. The scale of the mountains was so grand it enveloped our humanness. The water was so clear we could see fish swimming by and amazingly colorful stones.
As the other people passed and we were totally alone, the waves of peace started to overtake us and all our cares and concerns of the world began to recede and dissipate. We had entered the zone. We barely spoke as we felt the reverence for the vastness of nature and the presence of Our Creator.
How can it be that one trip like this can erase what seemed to be miles of worries and concerns? Isn’t this what you as a leader need? This kind of retreat is just good for the heart, soul and mind. I do not know how it is possible, but I do know it is truly a peace that the world does not give.
Oh, and going with the flow seemed to be the theme of the day. Instead of fighting the typical headwind to get back to our starting point, we had calm, still waters the whole way and at the very end a massive tail wind kicked up and whooshed us effortlessly into shore. Aaagghhhh…..
There is a bible verse that states, “My peace I give you, my peace I leave with you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” In the place of stillness within we find that peace.