Second in the retreat series... Since my last blog entry, I have had some comments in person and on the web - all positive and affirming. Folks have said, "So glad you got to do that... you really needed it!" I'll go ahead and hope they're saying that because they appreciate that I needed a break and not that I was such a pill before I left that they were relieved to have me vacate! :)
So we've covered the "who(m)": Just little 'ol me. I mentioned the title: DOME (Don Oxygen Mask Escape/Extravaganza/Emerency/Egress ... whatever)
Now for the what; what exactly did I DO on my own for three days in God's country?
My agenda would bore you, but I will list some basics. I rose and retired when I wished (this did not mean greating the sun or burning the midnight oil. Just no boundaries on either end). I took along lots of notebook paper, a white board, my laptop, the Bible, and lots of books.
My main goals were to get a handle on my goals and priorities. Think: shake the etch-a-sketch. I did a brain dump, where I listed everything I could think of that needed to be planned, organized, cleaned, repaired, taken care of. I made my categories on paper, but discovered the joys of www.workflowy.com and added it all there.
Next I began a series of goal-setting videos (by Chalene Johnson, of Beach Body/ P90X fame). The purpose of the series is to cause the viewer to adopt habits based on personal goals and priorities; basically skipping over "file the medical records" in favor of "place an ad in three newspapers today" if, say, "Increasing My Family Income" is at the top of my life and goal priority list (it's not).
As a result of those videos, and cemented by the fact my cell phone had already given signs of epic fail, I deduced my NEED (not desire, really) for a smart phone. I need a nag. I need a push. I need something with me all day long that holds my priorities and goals and that I won't leave at home in my purse when I "step out;" because I need to assess if that "stepping out" is in line with my priorities!
I'm not going to gush here ... I do it on facebook and in person, but: I LERVE my iPhone.
Wait a second?! I thought this was a spiritual journey, this retreat??
I DID pray. I DID read scripture throughout the day. I also perused the variety of daily devotional books I brought along, attempting to choose one to use this year to keep me focused and in the Word. However, in my LISTENING, I felt a strong nudge for this other, seemingly non-spiritual stuff - to get my house in order. To carve out moments for myself, my marriage, my children, my friends. To get my daily todos in line with my monthly and yearly todos. In order to conquer my Martha-isms, I need to do some prep work. To give myself permission to Be Here Now (my personal mantra), I need to know what God wants me to be doing. To LISTEN to Him, I need to clear my mind.
I know ... it hurts the brain, no? But this kind of sustained thought and organization therof is exactly what I can't get done at home ... at least, I haven't been able to. And so: retreat. I didn't swim, get a pedicure, listen to the waves crashing (there are no waves in Columbiana, OH) -- I did sprawl out on a bed I didn't have to make and listen to the storms ... that was nice.
Headwork = stress relief = retreat for Rachel. Greatly needed.