A Silent Retreat for Self-Care and Well-Being!
Dear Precious Being,
I spent today with my friend Ellen, we were spending the day together on a silent retreat. After light breakfast, we prepared our offerings to the Great Feminine. We sat in the womblike dome, with Amma’s bhajans playing in the background.
Preparation for the Silent Retreat
We set out the altar, incense for the spirit of wind, in the east. Water for the spirit of the west, sage and stone for the spirit of earth and a candle covered in cinnamon leaf oil, chosen intuitively for the spirit of the south. In the centre a white candle to honour the great Spirit of love.
My intention during this retreat was to be open to guidance that would support my well-being, my relationships and my work. I noticed a ladybird, God’s cow as we used to call them as children, settle in on the soft pink fabric on our altar.
We meditated, and danced to ancient rhythms, and meditated again, we sang and did walking meditation and rested in silence. The pleasure of silence!
Later I wrote in my journal “I need to hold the reverence of what I am saying. Do not minimize, laugh, attack, ridicule, shame, interpret or mock what I say as it is important to me, if you do I may move away from you, I may not say this again, thus, we miss an opportunity to connect on a deeper more meaningful level. Listen to me please, I would like you to hear me…I am sharing a part of myself, it takes courage to honestly express and expose my fears and vulnerabilities, my gifts of vulnerability as Brene Brown calls it. I haven’t shared these aspects of myself often, in fact very few people know me really.
It is time to voice my truth, and to hold with reverence and respect permission to ask for and express my needs in a loving respectful way, the way of my heart. I am not responsible for your response. Hopefully I am met with understanding and kindness or maybe it will be anger, resentment, annoyance – I have no control over this outcome. We can have a conversation and resolve it. I trust myself and I trust you.”
After a light lunch and a rest, our time together consisted of sitting in meditation followed by mindful movements, as taught by Thich Nhat Hanh. I reflected in my journal “I need to focus on my part. What am I doing or not doing that is dishonouring me. I need to say – I cannot do this! and not feel like I’ve failed in some-way or that I am inadequate and of course not worry what others say.
My old pattern of behaviour is to try harder, become even more invested and committed, more contentious and conscientious, leave no stone unturned, take full responsibility, determined to make it work. Oh, the struggle, the drive required to push and make things happen.
It is so much easier to let go, to do the best I can at any given moment. To rest in the certainty of uncertainty. To take care of self is not a luxury for me, it is a necessity. Taking time out to contemplate gives me perspective and an opportunity to centre myself and align myself with my inner wisdom. This feels good.”
As the sun set, we went for a walk down Bunny Lane. We walked in comfortable silence and I was keenly aware of the evening birdsong that surrounded us. We then enjoyed and mindfully ate a delicious supper of fresh vegetables, couscous, fruits, bread and homemade strawberry jam, a gift from my dear neighbours.
Dear Precious Being, I hope you enjoy a retreat this week, for a day, an hour or pausing for a moment to connect with your breath and the ground of your being. Take care of yourself!
Join Christine for a 1 day Meditation and Silent Retreat at New Beginnings