July’s Treat Yo’Self Retreat

This title only makes sense if you have seen Parks and Rec. Two of the characters celebrate a day of treating themselves to things they enjoy like shopping etc. It has been fun to call my monthly 24 hr. silence and solitude retreat- Treat Yo’Self. This time is about freedom. Silence is important to cultivate in order to better hear the gentle whisper of God. But I still talk to myself;). I often leave a message or Marco Polo to a friend if it is on my heart. Sometimes I will listen to a song that I want to focus on the lyrics. It is just not a time of filling my space with distractions. So I am not binge watching Netflix or filling the silence with continual music. I feel music is very restorative so if I felt like my spirit needed this I would do it. This time is really trying to pay attention to the needs of my heart and body. Often in the evening hubby and I will enjoy an episode of LOST together(or whatever show we are working through like the Office, Parks and Rec, Prison Break etc). After a full day it feels nice to just morph into the couch and be entertained. We like to talk before hand. If it has been a tiring day sometimes talking seems to take too much energy and that is ok too as long as that does not become our norm. So on these monthly times away I am really trying to sense my deepest needs and not just a comfortable distraction. I’ve discovered that sugar and social media have been cheap substitutes for a greater needs like the need to move my body and enjoy the peacefulness of His creation while taking a walk. This is far more restorative than an hour of scrolling or a quick fix of a frappucino.

This retreat began with an 1.5 hour with my spiritual director. I used to just schedule these sessions out of desperation so they were few and far between. But during COVID I started going monthly and I’d like to continue this rhythm. I like to pair it with my retreat time. I so look forward to these times with her. I always walk away feeling lighter and encouraged.

After this I did a little shopping. I know they talk about retail therapy but I went looking for specific things on my list. This is restorative because I have the quiet to look without shopping with a busy, talkative 5 yr. old. Shopping with him is hard because he wants to touch everything which makes it hard to focus on what I need to purchase. So this was a delightful couple of hours.

Next I got a frappucino and this feels like a treat. I am trying to make such times limited to special times and not times where I just feel like I need it.

I am currently on my August’s retreat day and realized I don’t think I posted last month’s retreat. So I can’t remember what else I did. It likely included good food, chocolate, writing, reading and sleeping. And since I can’t remember then I can’t say how much this day away costs but I know it was not much and it is always worth it. I do remember waking up with a stiff neck and spent money at the chiropractor to try to fix it. That didn’t work. I have since discovered myofascial release massage. It is a form of medical massage and the best thing yet to deal with some back pain.

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