Church in Sicily

This past weekend, I was unexpectedly without internet access or my computer. So I had all this time on my hands with no work to do.

Every now and then my spirit guides urge me to take some time off from work to nurture myself—sort of a “spiritual retreat.” In other words, they say, turn off my computer and phone, don’t answer the doorbell, etc. Preferably get out of town and away from my usual work routine.

Last weekend I didn’t know what to do with myself. I’m not used to having all that time with nothing to do. So I decided to just do some reading. Reading is very relaxing for me, although I don’t often get to read anything not related to my work. But I did last weekend, and I loved it. It was very nurturing. It really was a spiritual retreat.

Here are some of Spirit’s thoughts on the benefits of spiritual retreats:

  • Do not think of a spiritual retreat as a vacation. You often find your “vacations” are more stressful than your daily life.
  • A spiritual retreat is an opportunity to nourish yourself in body, mind, and spirit—to tune in more intimately to your body and spirit, and to leave behind the demands of your mind.
  • You’ll find peace and a closer bond with who you really are.
  • You’ll get clearer on how you can live the life you really want, and have more fun with it all.
  • Spiritual retreats can be as short or long as suits you. They could be simply taking a few deep conscious breaths, a15-minute meditation, a relaxing walk in the woods, a week-long time away from your normal routine, a trip to the other side of the world. You get the idea.
  • Leave behind all the distractions—your cell phones, computers, your work, etc.
  • Immerse yourself as much as possible in stillness, in silence.
  • You’ll be able to sort out what’s working and what’s not working in your life. Then let go of what’s not working.
  • There is power in the stillness, the silence. Regular retreats will enable to you stay in that stillness, that silence more and more often, even in the midst of your often-hectic daily routine.
  • You need not only outer silence, as when you are in a natural environment. You also need inner silence—a time when your thoughts are not racing and driving you nuts.
  • To feel peace in the world “out there,” you need to first create peace “in here”—within yourself.
  • Spiritual retreats empower you to create and sustain that peace within. The solitude will nurture you.
  • We’re not saying to become a hermit. But you do need time apart from other people and the distractions of your modern world.
  • You will learn to be comfortable with silence, stillness, and solitude. These are the “lost arts” of your modern world.

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This short video was filmed in Assisi, Italy, the home of St. Francis of Assisi. Francis was a great advocate and practitioner of retreats, prayer, and meditation. Enjoy the video.

 

Related links:
Stillness on the Prairie
Sounds of Silence
Solitude: A Lost Art

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Do you take time out of your busy life to nurture yourself? What specific ways work best for you? What are the ways you can nurture yourself even more? Please share your thoughts and comments with us below.

What other subjects would you like us to talk about in these posts? Please email me.