April’s Treat Yo’self/Soul Care retreat

I am so very thankful for this monthly discipline of getting away for 24 hours. It is so very restorative. This month’s retreat is only 20 hours but 20 hours to myself is a treat no matter what. I intended to leave my house Friday morning as soon as I was done with my exercise routine but I kept finding things I needed to do.

First thing I headed to my favorite coffee shop, Caribou and got a mocha. I sat outside in this lovely spring weather, put in earbuds and listened to calming Hammock while reading a book for 40 minutes. I then meet 2 sisters at my mother in law’s apartment. We caught up on life. They had expressed interest in how to better hear God’s voice via reading the Bible. So I excitedly (I love supporting others on their faith journey) guided them through some centering/contemplative prayer and then lectio divina. We then got dinner from my hibachi place and went to a local park and sat on my picnic blanket in the shade.

We visited for 4 hours then they headed home. I returned to my mother in law’s apartment at 7:00pm and took a lava bath. That really relaxed me. Naturally I had some chocolate then snuggled under one of her warm cotton blankets and worked through the process of Saint Ignatius examen. I love this new spiritual tool I am trying. It is intended to just be a quick (no more than 15 minutes) review of my day. I of course love to write it out in a journal. First I am to figure out my most free moment of the day. The experience that felt like I was in the best mood, where love seemed to take over. Perhaps a moment where I felt inspiration/good and holy passion and warmth. Then is it also helpful to name the most unfree moment where bad mood reigned, or when I felt unloving/unhopeful side took over. Next after this reflection I am to look to tomorrow and see if there is a concrete thing I am being called to. With each of these steps it is key to ask God to show you the answers to the questions. After this restorative practice I read from another book I brought called Letters by a Modern Mystic. Then I was in bed by 9:10pm and it was glorious to go to bed when I felt tired. I slept in til 8:10a.m.

I had a few things I wanted to do but knowing that I only had to 10:00am I had to do first things first. So I wrote in my gratitude journal and then listened to Hammock’s Afraid to Forget while I practiced lectio. The beautiful music stirred my spirit and made the ready tears easier to fall. Through my journal I processed some things that were weighing heavily on my heart.

I was hoping to do some stretching and yoga but maybe next time I will make sure I have more time to do that. I still hope to get in a 15 minute walk because I know how moving my body really helps me not be as stressed or anxious. So it is time to pack up and head out. Thank you Lord for this time of silence and solitude.

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