Friday, January 8, 2010

Reflections in the Silence

I’m currently at the Abbey of Gethsemani in Trappist, Kentucky, just outside of Bardstown on a “silent” retreat; I’m unsure if it’s considered truly silent if I am sharing my thoughts through this venue. But in the silence, the opportunity provides one a means in which to get away from the noisy business of everyday life to really listen, to God from Within.

Most of the areas at the Abbey are designated as silent areas, including the Retreat House hallways, rooms, stairwells, dining areas (with the exception of one), library and outdoor areas where marked; retreat guests can not even use their cell phones in their rooms. Guests arrive after 11 a.m. on a Friday or a Monday and stay through the following Monday or Friday, respectively. Meals are provided three times a day, and all of this is offered by the monks for a love offering of whatever means you are able. Additionally, the monks maintain a daily schedule of services, in which they sing, chant and offer the Eucharist, in addition to their other responsibilities. Retreat guests may also enjoy over 2000 acres of walking paths in nature, though I believe this weekend, many of us will not stray too far from the warmth of the Retreat House!

I’d heard many wonderful things about this place, and originally called in late September with the hopes of being able to “get away” shortly after my mother passed. But everyone else must've heard wonderful things too, as the Abbey was booked through 2009 with this weekend of January being the first available to reserve. I trusted the Divine timing, and decided to use this weekend as a time to reflect on 2009, a ritual I do annually in order to truly appreciate all that I accomplished, overcame and learned throughout the year. I usually take time to decide what my new year will look like.

I will most definitely reflect on the year past, and from it glean much appreciation of my courage, strength, authenticity, and perseverance, as well as my successes and my losses. Yes, appreciation in the losses is important to find for it is in the closing of doors that other new opportunities are opened. In honoring those experiences, we open ourselves to receive greater good in our lives. In releasing unproductive energies of anger, resentment, we find peace through forgiveness, not simply of others but also of ourselves for our choices. And if we are all striving for peace on Earth, then let it begin with each of us, right? It’s a simple choice, but one that takes great courage to do.

As for planning 2010, well, I had a plan for 2009 and that really didn't turn out so great. Goes to show that sometimes, God presents detours that take us in a different direction, regardless of our best laid plans. Instead, I will continue living as I have lived the latter half of 2009 - one day at a time and in the moment. I have a sense of my direction - this Guidance has been given to me. But I am stepping back from being attached to how it all needs to look, and what exactly I must be doing to make all that happen. I'm tuned in more than ever to that Divine Guidance and even, sometimes to my Gemini annoyance, when I don't know "what's next," I always know that when it's time to be revealed, I'll get it. I've learned to trust and pay attention to when Divine Clarity is revealed. It's through this surrendering to the flow of the Universe working in my life that leaves me living my life in awe. The power of God working through us is amazing if we can simply let go and let God.

Here's to silence; may we find more of it in our life, if its only for five minutes a day. Let God talk to you. And simply listen.

No comments: