I just returned last week from a 9 day spiritual retreat and vision quest in New Mexico, where my family spent a considerable portion of our 7-year odyssey ; time away is time well spent if you are interested in having perspective on your life.
It takes being outside of your daily grind to see the patterns and rhythms that you’ve created in your life. It takes a ‘stepping out’ to see what’s happening within. Our lives are so, so busy. Sometimes it’s like a merry-go-round…lots of going in circles, but not really getting anywhere. The essential inspiration of a spiritual retreat is rest and renewal in order to remember our True Nature. Once we remember who we really are, it changes us forever. Then we can go about transforming our lives to reflect our renewed understanding and our inspired creation in this universe. We are reborn.
I know about this concept of retreat and rebirth very deeply and personally. It came in 2003 with the Great Letting Go that I did when my husband, 2 children and I said goodbye to our nicely ensconced lives and stepped away from the larger culture in order to see how we’d identified so much with it. Our reality was to pursue the American Dream and to unconsciously perpetuate some of the patterns we’d learned from our families of origin. In a fierce moment of truth, we saw that we were becoming cogs in the wheel of a society that lives in separation from integrity, truth, personal responsibility, and divine purpose, and tends not to listen to the inner voice, respect the land, connect with each other in a meaningful way, and raise a family with consciousness. Once we saw this clearly, we had to do things differently.
It was hard. Letting go of all the things that we thought were important was a great challenge. It was as if we put our collective skin in a great fire, and watched as the unreal props, beliefs, attachments burned away in the cauldron of change. There were entire nail biting weeks that I had to affirm (over and over) that I would live through this transformation and come through to the other side. It was a time that I learned about faith and letting go, letting God. The reward of a sweet, purposeful, spirit-filled life has been my great earned blessing as well as my family’s.
It is difficult to know how off course we are if our sole source of information is outside of ourselves…if we are only following the outer prompts of society, it is easy to get lost in all the noise and forget the still, quiet voice within. Listening to that voice is essential to a happy life, in my experience. I believe that we each came in with unique purposes and certain things in life to experience, and that we can become lulled to the sleep of a mundane existence. It takes courage to go to the center of ourselves and ask questions, to rebel, to discern whether the life we are living is the one truly meant for us. “Why?” is a question that is not always met with patience or appreciation when the larger culture expects our obedience. It is so easy in the face of daily pressures to lose our center and go, unmoored, with the tide.
Thus the need for retreat, whether a few minutes, a long weekend, or in my family’s case, 7 years. Getting a fresh perspective on all the things you juggle (do you really need all of those balls in the air?) can mean the difference between a purpose-driven, engaged, connected, full-on life or one where you lay on your death bed regretting what you missed. I really want to be able to look back on my life and feel as though I was awake and aware of the FLOW of my life (rather than stuck in a rut)…and dancing with All Creation in a delighted way!
13 lucky women will join me on a spiritual retreat in New Mexico next year…are you ready to live your unique, full-on life? Stay posted…