I recently had a wonderful chance to go on a retreat which was part worship, training and rest and I have a confession to make…I am tired, and I did not even know it. Whoa…that may seem like a bold statement or perhaps an obvious one depending on where you are in your life. My reflection of this discovery of how much I needed rest and rejuvenation in light of the fact that I am well versed in restorative yoga, quiet prayer time and listening to my body’s signals struck me because if I felt this way, what in the world are other folks feeling and how tired are we all?
The retreat was set up with very intentional times for meals, meetings, services, and rest. There was very little phone and internet service and I had told my people in emergency they could reach me via the land line at the retreat center. When not in group meetings, I spent time walking, reading, simply looking at the shape the bare tree branches created against the gray sky and napping…like napping a lot. I deliberately chose a book from the beautiful library that was simple short stories of everyday miracles. Light and easy to read and full of joy. And then I fell asleep, every time I would fall asleep and it felt like childhood. No pull to do the next thing, no connection to the bigger world, just a little cat nap that my body really needed.
In my quiet reflection time the theme that came to me was “sanctuary spaces.” How can I, how can we, create sanctuary spaces in our days, in our lives so that time feels slower, so that we are really present with our loved ones and listening intently to what our heart’s desires are without the ever present ding, whizz and boom of the world interrupting us?
As we enter the season of Lent in the Christian church, a time when quiet reflection is the theme, I would invite you to make a promise to yourself. Choose the slower path, put away the distractions and even the learning and just BE. Let your people know that you can only be reached in emergency and recognize what that means, that all the notifications are NOT emergencies, but the time spent snuggling your child or walking with a friend is more important. You do not have to respond to all of the world and there is no ticking clock pushing you 24 hours a day. Give yourself time to find your own sanctuary spaces and to feel like a child again. The beauty in this is not that you will have more time alone but that you will find you are making space in your day, in your life, in your heart for the loved ones around you to be seen and heard and feel great love.
The gift of the present moment is all we really desire as human animals. Move into those spaces with joy and ease and I believe you will see it multiply in your life.