Notes from the center of retreat. Retreat to center.

It hasn’t all been introspection this last week or so.

But what introspection has taken place has been lovely. Deep, sacred, like a retreat.

the center of the retreat

  • When do you take the time to retreat, to go inside, to find (and re-find) your center? Do you wait for the calendar to remind you? Do you have a regular deep and delicious spiritual practice? Do you take days (or hours) away from your business and your responsibilities to do the things that feed your heart and your spirit?
  • How do you get support for this sacred quiet? Have you ever done a virtual retreat? Or a guided retreat? Or both? Do you get together with friends and celebrate and ground in the sacred together?
  • What do you do to step into sacred time? Listen to your heart. What are you called to do? I do a lot of different things. I go to synagogue. I mindfully celebrate the Moon phases and the seasons. I drum and dance. I have juicy orgasms that are intended for the good of all (really!). I do things for others with no need to get something in return (which makes every “thank you!” a real gift).

I’m thinking about retreats these days because I’m about to launch just launched a virtual retreat called the Deep Dive.

It will be hella sacred, hella eye-opening, and hella amazing. More on the Deep Dive soon!

I’m happy to share the Deep Dive details with you now. Please check it out.

If you’re ready now (you might be) or want more information, just send me an email — sue@magnoliaswest.com — and we’ll get you on the Deep Dive schedule.

I want to share this poem with you.

It evokes for me a lot of what I’m feeling and thinking during this season of introspection and retreat.

Awaken: Elul 17

Suddenly everything is new.
And these eyes
can’t widen far enough
to take in the universe
contained in your heart
spanned with your hands.

There is no word
which means red and green
at the same time
but the apple
cupped in this palm
sings it joyously.

Time eddies and swirls
like the exuberant river.
The new year, the old year
the new year again.
Every instant precious
and then gone.

Rachel Barenblat,
The Velveteen Rabbi

What whispers and wonderful inspirations come to you when you retreat to center?

I’d love to know, and to hear from you. Please talk to me in the comments.

Take a deeper dive — more articles like this one...

Retreat into the darkness — let go and surrender to win

surrender to win

The Deep Dive — so much to learn in the stillness

DD

What does it take to give yourself time to retreat?

turnaway

Gratitude Sunday night, 1/20/13

Gratitude Sunday night, 1/20/13

What are you harvesting, dear ones?

What are you harvesting, dear ones?

Retreat! It may sound like you’re giving up something, but instead….s-o-o-o-o-o good!

Retreat! It may sound like you’re giving up something, but instead….s-o-o-o-o-o good!

Sue

I’m a barely tamed hippie, sage, seasoned, sarcastic (not all the time any more, but still). I’m a mom, a daughter, sister, a neighbor, and a friend. I’ve been on this meandering journey — like you, probably — seeking a better connection to and experience of peace, harmony, and fun in every bit of life. I’m single, quite good at it, and mostly love it. I’m here for the conversations I get to have with you, which these days center on exploring the mystery and beauty of life, work, health, aging, and creative expression. Want to know a little more about me and my journey? Explore the site. Read the blog. Connect with me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

Join the conversation!

  1. I have been taking some sacred time off the past couple of days, and it feels so incredible! I’ve been doing lots of self care and preparing for a Mabon celebration tonight with my daughters. This was so necessary to recharge from all of the production I’ve been doing lately. My body was starting to revolt against me.

  2. I do daily mantras, meditate as called to do so, nature walks, sit quietly in contemplation, dance like nobody’s watching and gather with my tribe of soul sister’s to honor our divine feminine whenever we can.
    XO

  3. Some practices are daily… others are seasonal. I also rely on my online community to post good stuff like this. You prompts me to check in with myself.

    • Andrea, I like that. I too rely on my community — local and global both — to remind me and ground me in the goodness.

      Love and magic,
      Sue

  4. HI Sue! I listen to my body and then respond with meditation or writing. In the past I scheduled in these times which was great to get myself into a practice. Now I go with the flow more. Thanks for your blog and I have scheduled a share on Twitter to spread this message.

    • Lisa, thanks for sharing this with your peeps.

      I know what you mean about scheduling something to make it a practice. I’ve done something very similar myself, especially since my big healing crisis last year.

      Now most days I have around three hours of sacred wellness time before I begin my sacred work. And inside those three hours I go with a flow that suits me in any particular moment on any particular day, and choose to fill the time with the things that feed my hungry heart and quench my thirsty spirit.

      In gratitude,
      Sue

  5. Beautiful, Sue. I am so impressed that you give yourself 3 hours of sacred self-care daily. I feel the need for that, too. My body is crying out for it, and to be with my sacred sisters as well. This was an amazing, evocative post for me. Thank you so much, Blessings, Reba

    • Reba, sister, start out with an hour. You’ll love it. In my new house, with my bedroom and bathroom upstairs and my office and kitchen down, I find that I don’t even leave my room for a couple of hours, during which I do tai chi, and then workout or paint in my art journal, or a bit of both. That’s before my walk.

      And how are you getting your sister love? We could do something virtual if you like? I always have room for more of that!

      xoxox
      Sue

  6. Centering and retreat is a big theme this week, with Equinox between two eclipses and High Holy Days, and the Pope on tour, making people think. I’ve seen this posted in about a dozen ways today: Meditate 20 minutes a day, unless you are busy, then meditate an hour. On my way on my way!

    • Heya Carla, love seeing you here — welcome!

      I love the meditation instructions (20 minutes a day unless you’re busy, then go an hour)! Reminds of me what I’ve heard in 12-step: Best time to go to a meeting is when you really need one, or when you don’t, or when you’re indifferent.

      Blessings and love,
      Sue

  7. I definitely feel the call to return to center…something’s holding me back and I need to face whatever it is. I’m going to honor that this weekend and give myself some sacred space.

  8. Lovely poem, Sue. Thank you for sharing! And thank you for the extra encouragement to look inward, to find retreat. For me, this has been especially needed lately. I’ve been honouring my introvert…spending longer mornings in a quiet, alone space. And going to later, less crowded, less noisy yoga classes.

    • Dana, Your quiet mornings and smaller yoga classes sound like a loving combination. I retreated to the beach today, and got to lay down on the sand at Muir Beach today and nap to the sound of the waves. What a blessing!

      In gratitude,
      Sue

  9. I love your idea of retreat always being available, Sue. Meditation, chanting, contemplation are all ways I practise regularly. And of course being with my ritual group and celebrating the seasons. We have just celebrated spring equinox (yes, it’s spring here in New Zealand) and that evening felt like a retreat too. I enjoy your photos with text written on them so beautifully.

    • Juliet, thank you for noticing the visual component; I really enjoy sourcing and creating them. May this turn of the season bring you much inspiration, creation, and joy.

      Blessed be,
      Sue

  10. Retreats are a wonderful way to reconnect with self and you make it sound even better. Loved your poem. You are indeed multi talented. I do a mini retreat each night when I go through my ritual of Reiking myself and my prayer group and then realigning my chakras. But I also like doing retreats with groups of like minded people like you, Sue.

    Kathleen O’Keefe-Kanavos

    • Kathleen, your nighttime retreat sounds grounding and so sacred.

      Maybe you’ll schedule a Deep Dive for yourself! I’ll be opening the doors to this amazing day of connecting and reconnecting the sacred to your business, your heart, and your soul.

      I’m getting excited!

      xoxox
      Sue

  11. Sue thank you of the reminder, life gets busy so we do need to stop to give ourselves space. I love the idea of a virtual retreat it sounds amazing 🙂

    • Rebecca, soon soon soon! Each one of these I’ve led during the development phase has been just amazing.

      Love and light,
      Sue

  12. Thank you, as always, for your wise and careful sharing, Sue. I find a strangely peaceful retreat in bus trips. Not airplanes or cars – specifically, buses. When I’m there with my bag, in-between where I’ve been and where I’m about to go, there’s a freedom to the bus. There’s nowhere to go, nothing to do, no way to stop or leave or slow down or speed up. I get my most creative ideas on buses. That being said, I’m going on my first real retreat in November, so maybe I’ll replicate this feeling then!

    • Vironika, I love your story of the bus. Way to be in the center, in the moment. I love it. Let me know how your November retreat lands for you.

      Blessings,
      Sue

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