I just spent 5 days at a Trappist Monastery in prayer, silence and meditation.
Why? Because in 7 weeks I will have a significant birthday. This age is bringing on some changes in my body and health.
Why? Because in 7 years my last child will be leaving home and we will be empty-nesters after 30(!) years as parents with a houseful of children. This will cause a major shift in my marriage and my career!
Why? Because I have a lot going on in my life, in my household and in my HEAD!
So stepping away and moving to the other side of Silence is-was MANDATORY!
Caring for your Soul is what I call it. As moms, wives & leaders, we spend a lot of time taking care of everyone else. Making sure they are fed, warm, entertained, healthy, happy, sexually satisfied, learning, engaged, trained, etc., etc. Then we’ll try to pull away to have some ME time; where you take a bubble bath with candles or sleep in a bit later. But what about caring for your Soul?
You care for your family’s soul? You pray for them, get them ready for church, look for teachable moments, have spiritual discussions. How do you care for your Soul? You know, that part of you that is the middle gound between God and your Mind.
Yeah, I know you have prayer time. But that’s more DOING and although that may be satisfying it’s still not enough.
Well, let me speak for myself; after a certain amount of time that’s not enough for ME.
Before marriage and children, I would go to a hotel and lock myself in for 2-3 days at least 4-5 times a year. It was refreshing.
After marriage and children those times became less and less frequent.
The last time I got away for silence and solitude was 10yrs ago. My daughter was 4 months
old and I had just had surgery. My mother was visiting to care for me, so you can imagine the GUILT that I felt when my girlfriend said, “Come stay with me at Beauford Island.” Yet, I couldn’t resist. With my mother’s and husband’s approval for 3 days someone else fed me. I didn’t have to get up to take care of anyone. I didn’t have to wake up at a particular time. I didn’t have to oversee the clean-up. I didn’t have to have a conversation about ANYTHING! I laid around and read and prayed and did nothing. It was so beautiful I still get a feeling of relief just thinking about it. It has sustained me for these 10 yrs.
NOW there’s a shift that’s about to take place. It has already happened. I can feel it. My soul knows it and knows how to handle it. But my mind, my schedule, my family, has the current agenda in place and we cannot deviate from it. We have responsibilities and soccer practices and art classes and planes to catch and friends and jobs and groceries that must be purchased and cars that must be tended to and places to be and things to do! We must maintain the status quo. Right?
Well, someone in the family must go out and stand on the rooftop to watch the clouds for the coming rain. I know it’s coming. My Soul says so.
Don’t you think it’s rude when you have something important to say and the person is ignoring you, over-talking you, arguing with you, dismissing you and minimizing your message? So does your Soul.
How can you tell it’s time to care for your soul?
For me it looks and feels like this:
- My Soul has told me what to do about the upcoming transitions. But I can’t hear. I have responsibilities and soccer practices and art classes and planes to catch…
- My Soul yells the answer but it resonates in me as a mild uneasiness, an irritation, an unrest. And anyway I have responsibilities and soccer practices and art classes and planes to catch…
- My Soul is exhausted trying to yell through the noise and get my attention but that resonates in me as a feeling of detachment, a mild melancholy and a impression of being lost. Probably because I have all of these responsibilities and soccer practices and art classes and planes to catch….
Yeah it’s time to care for my Soul. To tend to it by shutting down EVERYTHING!
EVERYTHING! Homeschooling, Children, Husband, Church, Business & Me.
To care for your soul means you give it attention by:
- silencing all voices
- ceasing all activities
- curtailing all agendas
- shutting down all plans and expectations
- eliminating all stimuli
That means no tv, no cell phone, no radio, no internet, no friends. This is not the time for
business planning or goal setting. It’s not a time to catch up on blogging or writing or dieting or learning something new. You minimize all communication and human contact.
You read books that feed you spiritually.
You take walks in nature.
You sleep as needed.
You meditate when you feel led.
You pray without ceasing.
You listen always.
You allow your beloved Soul to receive the message from God and bring it directly to your conscious mind. You trust your Beloved and wait on it to speak.
Don’t you hate it when you have something important to say and the person is ignoring you, over-talking you, arguing with you, dismissing you and minimizing your message? So does your Soul.
Is it time to care for your Soul?