Research from the University of Colorado at Boulder and Cornell University shows that spending money on a life experience produces longer-lasting happiness than spending money on material things; in fact, the impact of a new material thing only lasts about nine months.
This information arrives in my email box by way of my colleague Retreat Coach Margie Scott. I pause to read it. I read it again.
I know this. Actually, I live it and have been living it for a long time. For the past 15 years..since my children were late ‘tweens, my husband and I have intentionally “made memories” rather than give “more stuff” to our children for birthdays and celebrations. We unhooked from giving them costlier items including as they got older, including deliberately not giving them cars when they hit their 16 year birthdays (even though most of our friends did give their teens cars, must to our chagrin).
So this brings me to retreats. I’m in the business of leading retreats primarily for women and I know the value that women get from taking time away for themselves. A retreat with me is not a rush-rush vacation experience although it may include the feeling of being “on vacation”, but in the best of senses. Because my retreats are Colorado based, a retreatant will have a mountain experience and the many gifts that such an experience brings. If you join me in February, you just may experience a silent snowfall as we take an gentle hike or snowshoe. If you come in August, be ready for an evening walk under the full moon with stars that are so close you may just reach out and touch them. What I give to my clients on retreat is the adventure of real living, and the possibility that she will experience something that a regular vacation at a resort or theme park will not likely give. In turn, almost always my clients report to me that their lives are changed, transformed, and forever enhanced for having been on a retreat. Now that’s what I call the kind of lasting happiness that money cannot buy.
Coach Helene Van Manen, MCC | Founder, Retreat Coach Network