Twice a year I take a week-long personal retreat. It is a luxury I have at this stage of my life. I have discovered a quiet hermitage nestled in the mountains of western North Carolina. I typically go in the Spring and the Fall. (living in Florida I miss the four seasons – here we only have two – Hot and Not So Hot)
The landscape comforts me. The crisp air, the aroma of a fire burning in the fireplace, a stack of books to read, wrapping my fingers around the neck of my D-41 Martin, whittling on the front porch. Each time I am there I discover new things. It is an intentional act of falling off the grid. I unplug from the normal routines and tasks and enter what for me is a sacred space of reflection, prayer, writing and creativity.
We need time to unplug from the 24/7 constant media feed life can become. We need a level of silence and solitude that keeps us healthy in body, mind, soul and spirit. We need to look in the mirror every so often, examine our lives and gain perspective on where we have been, where we are and where we are going. Does life need a course correction? To ask these questions we must remove ourselves from the ordinary and enter a new and welcoming space where we can see and hear differently.
The hermitage time lets me hear a different cadence. It forces me to alter my pace, pay attention and focus. Without these moments life could just amble by year after year until 10 or 20 years pass and I have not grown as a person. So if I were a doctor I would prescribe for everyone some hermitage time a couple of weeks each year. For many that is a prescription you could not take or have filled. If that is you there is good news…
You can learn to practice this idea of retreat everyday. Some days, a few minutes maybe an hour or more enter what I would call a holy rest a place of divine peace. BE STILL. Stop the barrage of information. Gather yourself, your thoughts to discover for a moment what is truly important and essential. We are encouraged to:
Finally, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Philippians 4:8
Doing this will assist in clearing the clutter and living life to the fullest.