My July Retreat

Today I arrived at the retreat centre. It is a lovely day. I can hear people as they walk around the lake. There is a labyrinth on the premises too. Breathe. AlloIMG_4559w. Open to the divine. I am your vessel, enter and guide me. Show me what I need to see.

Did a brief meditation to get connected & grounded. I am here in nature, near water, in quiet, what is it I seek? What truths will I discover, what revelations and insights lie waiting to be unearthed? My soul is the only focus for the next five days. What does it need? How do I nurture and care for it? Honour and celebrate it? How do I feed my soul? What does it hunger for?

I begin by offering it silence and stillness and breath and space. These are the first steps. Dear soul let me know what you require. Show me in my thoughts and dreams. Let me feel it so I know beyond a doubt. I am new at this. I may stumble and lose my way, but be patient I will see you and hear you. These five days belong to you. So come and be my companion, stay with me, be near me. I long for your presence and have waited too long for this time. Be with me in the stillness. Be near my heart. Find me.

I walk to the Labyrinth. Before I enter to follow the circular pattern of stones that weave back and forth, I stand at the entrance and ask for the Spirit to reveal itself and to let me know it is with me and that I am not alone.  I ask for signs that I can understand to remind me it is with me. I start walking, slowly, deliberately one step after the other, focusing only on my breath, clearing my mind of all thoughts.

After only a few steps, I suddenly know and understand:  Spirit is always with me and not separate from me; my actions are its actions – my joy is its joy, and I feel a huge wave of emotion come over me and  overwhelm me as tears come to my eyes – my heart is flung wide open and is raw.  This tsunami of unleashed emotion, of such depth of connection and what I had always interpreted as loneliness, I now understand is actually what pure love of Spirit feels like. I have felt this same sensation many times, but had misinterpreted it to mean sadness and isolation, but in fact it was the total opposite: the heart opening to connect with Spirit and all that is!

Tears keep flowing as I continue to walk and I breathe into the emotion and it passes. I am in sheer and utter gratitude for this answer, I now know. Thank you. I then ask for Spirit to send signs that I can understand to remind me of this unity from day to day and to guide and show love and mercy to those I love. I ask for it to show the same tenderness and kindnesses it has shown me in my life.

And so my soul journey begins.

The next morning I woke up before dawn, probably around 3 am but tried to fall asleep as it was still dark out. At 5 am I got up and went for a walk in the labyrinth. This time I asked for help with my writing project and a wind blew through the treetops and I understood the answer– writing is like the wind blowing through the leaves and trees – it is spirit moving through the heart.  Time to begin.

Went to meditation in the chapel at 7:30 am. Five women were there already seated in chairs in silence. As I walked in, one said quietly: “Be still and know”. And then silence. How profound – not to be still and ask or be still and wonder, but it was with absolute certainty: Be still and KNOW. Sat in silence for 30 minutes. Allowing the knowing to begin.

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