Oh, Grace, I decided to participate in a self-directed silent retreat. I’ve always wanted to go on one and I was inspired to seek and find. I’m making the time to go on a three-day retreat at the Immaculate Heart Center for Spiritual Renewal in Montecito. Based on the website, the outdoors atmosphere is just what I enjoy—trees, trails, and gardens.
Some of my co-workers can’t imagine me silent. When the time is right, you can’t argue with it. And I’m ready to be silent, to open my ears, and listen to God’s voice. So wish me luck or should I be asking you to pray for me?
I love it! I am so excited even though I don’t equate silence with you – LOL! However, what a great gift you are giving yourself. Imagine what you’ll discover as you turn off all the distraction of the outer world and tune in to your internal world where God is waiting. I’ll be doing more than praying, I’ll be right there with you in silence.
The first thing about entering into this mystical and enchanting space is to clear your mind. You’re probably saying, “How the heck do you do that?” Well, it starts with your breath, of course! It’s the very thing that you have access every second of every day. God is the giver of each breath and each one is priceless. It’s the pathway to union with God where he breathes into you and you breathe out God’s spirit into the world around you.
You’re probably thinking, “If everyone is breathing in and out, then why is God’s spirit of love, peace, joy, etc. not felt and experienced more?” Well, you see, not everyone takes time for God’s breath to mean anything to them. God never ceases on trying to find an opening and space to pour his love into us. This can’t happen when we are rushing and not even aware of our breathing. As a Western society, researchers found that not many people actually take in a full breath. Shallow breathing is what people are used to. To take deep breaths requires mindfulness, stillness, and silence–it’s really waking up to life and taking it all in.
So go on your retreat and begin by breathing. Appreciating each breath. Allowing each one to help you arrive to God’s presence and abundance. Making space for him as you allow your breath to let go of all that holds you prison. Your breath is the key to silence, union, and abundance. Try it. You don’t lose anything but mere words that don’t need to be said in the presence of a True Lover – Your God.
Let it go, let it out, let it be . . . Be still and know that I am God.