Why do we wait so long?
Maybe it's partly because the word retreat has an association, in our culture, with a shameful admission of defeat.
But retreat also means a period of withdrawal for prayer, meditation, or study.
Does that sound good to your soul? A period of time to withdraw from the world, and turn attention to your soul, to your heart.
I've just been on Bowen Island on retreat. From day one, tears of release flowed down my cheeks at random times, catching me by surprise. Have you felt that before? That sense of your roles and responsibilities dropping away, and your own quiet heart opening to you again? Did it make you cry or shout, or go take a nap? Why do we wait so long? Money, yes. Work schedule, yes. Maybe it's about the resistance you fear you'd face from your partner, your kids, your boss. Easier, we might think, to just skip that uncomfortable conversation and carry on.
But I'm here to remind you, and my future self, that the reasons are never going to go away. There will only ever be more reasons, if we are stacking them against our own retreat, blocking our own doors and exits.
I'm here to remind you, and my future self, that the relief is intense, immediate - like, as soon as you drive out of your neighbourhood, past the city limits.
That empty space, with no plan, no schedule - it is waiting for you just on the other side of that un
comfortable conversation, that reservation you need to make, that 4 day weekend you need to book off.
And maybe even 4 days away is just NOT going to happen. Not now. Not in the next few years. Okay. I hear you.
What pocket of time can you retreat into? 15 minutes before everyone else gets up? 10 minutes in your car before you pick up the kids? 20 minutes right after work, before anyone expects you home?
What refuge in your house can you use as sanctuary? A corner of a closet? There's gotta be somewhere.
And if you're arguing that there just isn't, question that thought. Retreat. Run for the hills. Do it sooner than later. It feels so good. So necessary. It will feed you and return you to yourself.