How often do you intentionally remove yourself from the noise of your busy life and sit quietly in solitude and notice what your body is drawing your attention to? Have you ever done it or are you, like most of us simply so busy much of the time that you don't even notice the chaos around you.
I am headed off tomorrow for a blissful 1 week silent retreat. I will enjoy the beautiful surroundings of the Bethlehem Retreat Center in Nanaimo and soak up the soul filling silence. There will be no cell phones, laptops, or phone calls to make. I will be left to listen to the whisperings of God and notice what absurd games my mind plays. I have done a 3 day silent retreat before and found it an interesting journey. For a while I just slept and soaked up the rest and then my mind woke up to the fact that I had lots of "things" I should have done and should be doing. My level of agitation rose and I began to think that the next 2 days would be torture. It was only a few hours, however, before my body and my mind gave in and gave up and the constant gremlin chit chat in my head began to subside. By the end of the weekend I felt inspired, rejuvenated and peaceful and could easily have stayed another week.
What will this week hold for me? I have no idea but am going with the energy of curious anticipation about what might unfold. I will ponder the book I am writing that is currently being edited, I will dream of what is next for me, I will likely hear more than few gremlin voices that would benefit from a little exploration, and I will rest. The last retreat offered a level of deep and peaceful rest unlike any I had ever experienced. I hope that I find the same gift this time.
So, what about you? Are you, like me, in need of a little deep and restorative rest? Are you so numbed over by the constant noise in your life that you find silence stressful? I challenge you to give silence a try. Walk in the woods on your own without your ipod and listen, instead, to the birds and your own heart. Create an afternoon of silence in the midst of your week where you turn off all the ringers, computers, and noisy reminders of your busy life and simply rest. Perhaps you, like me, might just find some internal voices of wisdom that have been trying for a long time to get your attention.