As a Spiritual Director, I walk with folks on their faith journey. We notice where God shows up in our lives. I do not define God for them, they do that in their own way. I just walk along holding the lamp. When we hit unsure footing, I shine the light a little closer. Nothing is ever as scary as it seems when you put some light on it. The best Ah Ha moments happen upon illumination of thoughts, and shadows, deep stirrings of the soul. Yes, it can all be quite spiritual. But sometimes it is not.
Sometimes the noise of the world is too loud and we cannot hear our own longings. The shoulds and must do's and please please please, takes over, and we find ourselves taking on just one more thing.We hold up the world. We do it for great causes. We do it because it needs to be done and we are the ones to do it. I lived by that code for a very long time.
It is hard to wrestle with the guilt of trying to find a moment of solitude for yourself. I know, it is a constant battle that I used to lose regularly. And by lose, I mean, I wouldn't even fight back. I just grind on until, well, I drop. Seriously, I just shut down exhausted. It wasn't until I discovered the idea of Retreat...The act of giving myself back to myself in directed solitude; a bit grander than Me Time. Real untethered time, from people, places and things. Purposeful time to rejuvenate, tap within, and replenish the spirit.
This is self-care beyond the spa, and drinks with Sister-friends. (Although that is necessary too!). I am talking about contemplative time... Quietness and prayer and meditation. Being with yourself deeply and truthfully. I have spent a great deal of time searching for answers outside of myself and finding none. Retreat time allows me to go inward and listen and explore the longings of my heart. To listen... God is still speaking. To tune out the world and tune into my inner rhythms, my breathing in and breathing out.
The gift of retreat requires that you chose yourself for a period of time. It calls you to make a plan and then go and BE HERE NOW. It is a way to reconnect yourself to every living thing on the planet and the universe.
Give yourself back to yourself. Retreat with purpose and direction. You will feel holy. Hold yourself sacred. Be still. Be quiet. And bask in the sound of your own heartbeat.