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Julia James

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The Mini-Retreat Solution
by Julia James   

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Publisher:  SPARK Publishing Type: 


Copyright:  March 1, 2010 ISBN-13:  9780981334301

The Mini-Retreat Solution
The Mini-Retreat Solution

With over 80 different ways to relax yourself and refresh your energy,
The Mini-Retreat Solution will show you how to weave moments of deep relaxation into your daily life - no matter how busy you are.

Improve your quality of life… in just moments a day!

Frazzled and rushed?

Struggling with daily pressures?

Craving more downtime?

Many of us are! Yet you may not have the luxury of a weekend at the spa or a trip to the mountains to decompress.

Fortunately, you can relax yourself deeply - several times a day if you like! - without taking any extra time out of your life.

If you’re marching toward anxiety and burnout, Julia James
offers some wise advice: Retreat! A 60-second Mini-Retreat can
spell the difference between stress and success!

Phil Bolsta, author of Sixty Seconds – One Moment Changes Everything

The Mini-Retreat Solution will teach you how to:


  • Improve your health, performance & happiness in minutes a day
  • Completely relax and refresh in minutes, no matter where you are
  • Create a supportive environment for a more relaxed way of life

With over 80 different ways to relax yourself and refresh your energy,
The Mini-Retreat Solution
will show you how to weave moments of deep relaxation into your daily life - no matter how busy you are.

Mini-Retreats have helped thousands of people reduce stress, increase productivity and develop peace of mind. This is your chance to join them… what are you waiting for?

An Easy Way to Stay Healthy, Happy and Creative

I used to work in a very busy office where people worked 12- to 14-hour days. Nobody took breaks, not even for lunch.

For me, this was a new experience. Before I came to North America I lived in Europe, where my colleagues and I went to lunch at noon every day and returned an hour later. Now my
colleagues and I were eating in front of our computer screens, silently responding to e-mails or working on our projects.

One day, as I got up from my chair and made my way to the washroom, I noticed that my greatest ideas occurred during
these short pauses in my otherwise frenetic workday.

It dawned on me that short breaks in a busy day are vitally important to our inspiration and creativity. The more I thought about it, the more I realized how much my work performance and creative ability depended on them.

Whenever I felt rested and energized, I could easily focus on my work. New ideas came easily. When I came upon obstacles, I faced them with calm resolve. I had a happy, can-do attitude and worked well with those around me.

But when I pushed through an intense day, denying myself breaks for the sake of getting things done, I felt very different –increasingly frazzled and drained. My tension grew and my
patience diminished. Challenges felt more challenging, and so did the people around me.

Once I recognized the connection between short breaks and
the quality of my day, I was excited and wanted to make this a regular part of my life. To remind myself to relax and recharge periodically, I posted a sign above my desk:
“Take more breaks.”

It seemed like an effortless goal, but I knew it would take time to retrain myself–especially amidst the culture of non-stop action around me. Fortunately, my reminder note worked.

I started experimenting with different ways to quickly renew my energy and focus. How could I recharge myself on the way to the washroom? How could I recharge during my commute home from work? How could I relax in the evening to get a good night’s sleep?
I explored a lot of different ways to relax, from visualizations to deep breathing and movement.

In my mind, I called these relaxation sessions “Mini-Retreats.”

Professional Reviews

Julia James and The Mini-Retreat Solution
When Julia James was working on her Masters Thesis in Physical Geography at UBC, she noticed that most of her best ideas came to her when she got up to use the washroom. A different quality of thought was available when she wasn’t trying to think at all. She was aware of “the bigger picture, concepts, a shift in perspective.”

Later, when she became a life coach, she noticed that her clients—busy professionals—almost never took breaks.

“They didn’t relax at all—they were so restless,” she says. “They were highly educated, excited and passionate about their careers, constantly going, and they’d lose their sense of direction—where they were headed in all this going.”

Which is often why they hired James as their coach in the first place.

Along with helping her clients to set and reach their goals, James began to suggest ways in which they could renew their energy right on the job.

She developed and produced a series of CDs to help her clients to relax, but, she says, “the step to actually using the tool was too big—so a how to book was needed to coach them through the steps to take that space and time to retreat in their day.”

And so The Mini-Retreat Solution was born. The book’s subtitle says it all: How to Relax & Refresh Anytime, Anywhere.

Even in traffic.

One of her personal favorite mini-retreats is called “Red Light Relaxation.” Instead of feeling stressed about wasted time, James invites us to recognize our stops at a red light as “a quick time-out to relax.”

Then there’s “Sing at the Top of Your Lungs.” I love this one. Imagine a summer’s day, car windows open, no more oppressive boom box beat, but, Cole Porter, Ethel Merman, and rousing songs from the International Workers of the World Songbook … Well that’s what I imagine, but I guess it could turn out to be most anything.

“It’s the feeling of freedom that you can use your voice,” says James.

Another useful feature of the book is a Stress Test in the beginning. Not quite a fortnight after my own extended retreat over Christmas, and already my score indicates that my “warning lights are flashing.” Time for a mini-retreat!

“Most of us don’t know how stressed we are,” says James. “When people are diagnosed with serious illness, it’s often a surprise—they didn’t see it coming. The Stress Test is a way to check back in to see how your stress level has actually shifted. It’s a great tool for evaluation and a gage for the impact of mini retreats.”

Julia James’ best hope for the book?

“That the book will be used a lot and look really used.” And for readers to come up with their own mini-retreats.

For more information about mini-retreats or to order a copy visit Julia James’ website:

Review by Alfred DePew published in The Vancouver Observer, Just Between Us section

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