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Discover the groundbreaking new approach to designing and re-building your life with the creative ingenuity used in architecture for decades. 


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karen otis


As I am preparing for the 2016 “Be The Architect Of Your Life” Retreat scheduled for this coming weekend, I have been thinking about what “retreat” really means. As defined, a retreat is a quiet or secluded place in which one can rest and relax. It is a serene space of sanctuary and an emotionally healing haven.

And while it is so refreshing and rather exciting to get away from it all, to go to a resort, hotel, or hideaway…we really do need a “retreat space” right in our homes as well. Each day after work, school, or other activity…we return home.  And upon that return, it is vital that we refresh…that we replenish…and that we renew ourselves.

Whether your favorite sanctuary is a cozy couch, a Zen meditation room, or a quiet fireplace-lit space to read, it needs to be a space that speaks to you…that invites you in.   And by placing objects of comfort into that space, its invitation becomes even more irresistible. In my haven, I light candles, have a cozy throw, light the fireplace, display fresh flowers, and fill the room with wonderful scents.  In that way, my retreat literally awakens and enhances all my senses. Human beings have the innate need for protection and security, and that is just what our retreats provide. We may go to battle at work, or fight through traffic all day, or tough it out through adversity in one way or another…but at the end of the day, we naturally want to let down our guard, put away our defenses, be put at ease, and just be. We want to just be comforted, be secure, and be restored.

So what does your retreat look like? And if you are reading this, and suddenly realize that you don’t actually have a retreat, then make the commitment to create it.  And don’t feel that it has to be anything extravagant.  It just needs to be the kind of space, or tiny corner that invites you in and  nourishes your soul. 


From my retreat to yours…