Monday, June 16, 2014

Heart Retreat: A Slow Journaling Exercise Conclusion

Does it sound ridiculous to say that it takes several hours to get through the beginnings of a heart retreat? I have done this annually and it is different every time, but the one constant is that I need time at the beginning {usually about an hour} just to sit and breathe and listen and do nothing.

I usually have an idea of something that is on my heart or mind that I want to explore, but no real agenda. Too little planning is anti-climactic and too much is a set up for failure and doesn't allow for serendipity and listening. Go with what feels right for you. This time, I had less of an idea - but it was refreshing and a blessing just the same.

The point is this: just be still and let it come. Don't try to force your time - that sort of defeats the purpose you know?!

After walking through my slow thoughts, I was ready to process the blessings of slow. If you're joining me - just write a letter to God or jot down thoughts/phrases or whatever comes to mind about the blessings of slowing or another topic dear to your heart.

Sometimes when pursuing a lifestyle like this - it is helpful to consider all the blessings and benefits of staying the course. And, it is another great opportunity for praising and worshiping God as we realize all the blessings that come from following through.

After finishing this, I moved on to another word that has been on my mind. Enough. Did you see the Mom's Night Out movie? I really liked it - and my absolutely favorite part was when one of the moms was sitting and talking to a biker dude and just pouring out her heart about how she is not enough. This rough and tough guy says back to her, "Enough for who?"

That has really stuck with me because I frequently feel like not enough - but no one in my family is saying I'm not enough and God is not saying I'm not enough. I am saying I am not enough for me.

In light of all that, I had wanted to spend some time processing that idea of enough. I did a little journaling and then went for a walk and took photos {bet you're surprised - ha!}

That's it. It was not earth shattering yet very refreshing. It was peaceful, relaxing, intentional, quiet, reflective and slow. It was not perfect but it was just right.

For more thoughts on the why and how of taking a personal retreat read my post here.