Updated: Oct 6, 2022
I usually take a retreat every year, but like for so many of us, it hadn’t happened for over 2 years and I could feel it in my bones. There’s a restlessness that sits under the surface, gently tugging at my mind and body asking for attention. It needs (demands!) to speak and be heard which can be so, well..... inconvenient.
The temptation of course is to push it aside, or put it down to ‘the pandemic, bad day, being busy, hormones, this next ‘thing’ I need to get through or just tired (always so tired). But deep down I know I need to stop. Like, really stop and pause and wait.
I’m a great believer in the power of ‘retreating’ – having the courage to put down our lives for a while so that we can check in at deeper level to see if everything’s really ok (the answer is usually yes and no). When I don’t take time to check in, I get pulled into the momentum of a life that insists I ‘check out’ – phones, emails, media, busy-ness, overcommitting, over-everything-ing!l
Even a short period of ‘retreat’ can be powerful, a stepping outside of busy daily routines and our ordinary identity. Released from the tyranny of time, we are invited back into the present which Mindfulness teacher Ajahn Chah calls ‘food for the heart’.
Find ways to take regular retreats—long ones, short ones, daily mini ones. Take five minutes to do nothing, walking under the trees outside work. Sit silently on the grass or the balcony or the porch, or on your cushion. First breathe with compassion for your busy self and then put down all your plans. Open yourself to wonder. Let your heart be fed and your spirit renewed. Then after, when you tend to all the loves in your life - your family, your community, the world - you can do it from a place that feels resourced, with a stronger, more peaceful heart.
Wishing that for you, because you deserve a peaceful heart 💛