Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.

“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf

“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt

Thursday, June 9, 2016

the beauty of a retreat

Retreating from every day life -- it is such a gift to give ourselves. Time slows down because we slow down. I'm always in such a hurry to get this done over here so I can get to that thing over there. On retreat, there's nothing to get done and nothing to get to. Just being.

I got clear about several things on this retreat:

  • I am no longer going to weight myself every day. I don't want the the number on the scale to determine my mood for the day (and believe me, it has).
  • Writing is crucial to my daily well-being.
  • I no longer want to waste time during the day watching television or playing computer games. At night, that's fine. But during the day, that is my time for actually being and living, not escaping.
  • My body really enjoys taking a walk in the morning and then again in the evening after dinner.
  • I want to get back to writing in my journal on a daily basis after spending time in prayer and meditation in the morning.
  • I received clarity about the direction my writing project wants to be. I'll be writing more about that here as it becomes clearer to me.
  • I began writing on a project that has appeared on my priority list every year but I'd never started.
  • I plan to go on retreat on a quarterly basis from now on.
  • It's possible to create a "retreat" experience at home by being in silence and turning inward, but it's much harder to sustain because of all the distractions.
Do you ever go on retreat? Do you unplug from phones, computers, and other electronic devices?
How does that impact your life?



Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Glad the retreat did you good. I've gone on vacations and mostly unplugged. (Still checked my email but ignored the Internet.) Sometimes it's scary how much life we miss staring at a computer.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Karen - that sounds so good - and you've obviously benefited hugely ... I've never been on a retreat and I'm not sure my weird and wonderful hippety-hop mind really wants to! But delighted you loved it - cheers Hilary

Annalisa Crawford said...

The retreat sounds wonderful, a good way of getting back in touch with the really important things. I like your list - it's very comprehensive and a good basis for living well.

Karen Walker said...

Alex, what I think we miss the most is "being."
Hilary, this made me smile
Annalisa, it really helped me immensely. Thanks so much.

Nicola said...

So pleaased you had a relaxing and 'finding me' time, Karen. Taking stock of one's life and allowing ourselves time to work things out is so healthy and rewarding. Wishing you a lovely stressfree weekend filled with the joys of life.

Mason Canyon said...

Sounds like your retreat was most beneficial and something we all need to do from time to time.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I've never been on a retreat. I'm pretty high strung, so I would probably benefit from one. Closest I came to completely unplugged was our five day cruise a few years ago.

Wonderful to hear you received such great benefits from yours.

Julie Flanders said...

I've never been on a retreat. Like Diane, I am high strung so I know it would do me good. I'm glad yours was so beneficial. Sounds wonderful. :)

Karen Jones Gowen said...

It sounds like your retreat was a wonderfully soothing and positive experience. I've never officially gone on a retreat although I've had some great opportunities to create a retreat-like environment at different times in my life. Right now is one of them. Our time in Mexico right now feels very retreat-ish.

Stephanie Faris said...

Wow. That was one helpful retreat! I'm glad you were able to figure out which boundaries to set for yourself to make sure you have a happy life!

Arlee Bird said...

I was pretty much on a retreat last week though not the kind I like. In some ways it did feel good to get away from a lot of my regular stuff, but it does feel good to be back home.

Your retreat sounds very rewarding and productive.

Arlee Bird
Tossing It Out

Jemi Fraser said...

The retreat sounds awesome! Haven't done one of those yet but I'd like to one day!