I used to take regular retreat days. I needed them. As a single mom living an intensely urban lifestyle my nature-loving soul needed a succession of unbroken hours of rustic solitude. Now, in a more balanced, rural life I have allowed the ritual of time set aside for soulful self-connection to slip away.
Today, Bob will be away and so I’ve decided to recreate a retreat day for myself. Since many of you, our farm share members, live a similar life I thought I would write about it and get some advice and feedback. I’d like to hear how you rejuvenate.
I’m going to make 5 commitments to myself during my retreat day:
1. Intention setting – what is it I want from today? I will begin my retreat by journaling about what’s missing in my daily routing and how to recapture it in today’s solitude. I will firmly place this intention in the patterns of the day by ritualizing it. Lighting candles, drawing images of the intention, listening to music that captures the mood of the intention…and such activities.
2. Walking meditation outdoors – I will take my intention(s) outdoors and walk in peaceful solitude on the grounds of the farm. We recently mowed the pasture so there is plenty of unfamiliar space to explore. I like looking for messages in nature, symbols of how to live a good and balanced life. Then, I’ll come in and journal and draw those insights.
3. Mindful consumption – I am pretty aware of my appetites: food, drink, reading, movies, music. But, today I will select things to consume that enhance my desire to disconnectfrom habbit and connect to a greater source of wisdom. How can my consumption support my intention: Which tea to drink? No meat today. No internet. Which book? Whose music?
4. Mindful effort – there is work that needs to be done. I will approach those necessary activities slowly and in silence. These Sunday activities bring me great joy! They include: soil making, deeply cleaning the kitchen, and tending to batches of kombucha. I will bring silence, and the rhythm of my own breath to these activities. I will notice minute details and seek a greater sense of spaciousness and ease in the midst of activity.
5. End the hours of solitude mindfully – I will return to ritual and journaling to bring to a close my day of soulful reflection and connection. I will seal off the time to keep it sacred. I will create a container for it that may be re-opened during busier days to nourish and restore balance.
It’s been a while since I’ve created a personal blog. I suppose this act of clarifying and sharing is the beginning of the intention setting process. Now off to make other preparation. Please leave any recommendations on how to best use this precious time below. Thanks!