Local author urges taking time for personal retreats

Laurie Guest
Laurie Guest

DeKALB – “Enjoy the stillness.”

That’s a greeting Laurie Guest often extends, either in person or in writing.

It’s also the theme of the DeKalb woman’s first book, “Wrapped in Stillness: A Personal Retreat Guide,” which was published in October by Windy City Publishing.

“Focusing on self is not selfish,” Guest writes. “Taking care of you is the foundation of being able to care for others.”

Divided into small chapters that examine and offer advice on various aspects of a person’s life, the 154-page soft-bound book is filled with anecdotes. Each chapter ends with questions and exercises, all designed to address the stress in one’s life.

“This is to jump start your thinking and give you some direction,” Guest said. “I don’t have your answers, but I do have the right questions. ...People look to other people to tell them what to do. You are the only one who can answer that. This is whatever you choose to make it.”

A graduate of Palmer College, Guest is a professional speaker who began her career in the health care industry. She spent 17 years in marketing and public relations at Hauser-Ross Eye Institute, which is where she first began addressing audiences.

“My job was to represent Hauser-Ross in the community and I loved it,” she said. “I started doing more and more of it.”

Guest said it took her 10 years of working on and off to write the book based on her experiences of hosting retreats, first on the corporate and then on the personal level. As more people asked her about retreats, Guest looked for a book she could refer them to, but couldn’t find one.

“So I figured if there wasn’t one, I should write one,” she said. “It’s not a vacation day. It’s a time to get away and declutter your mind and reboot.”

'Wrapped in Stillness: A Personal Retreat Guide'

$14.95 softcover, available through, and

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