There is this secret place I go to every year to do a mental reset. I know it’s selfish of me to write about a place that’s a secret, right? I’ve shared its location with a few people I thought would benefit from it. Have they gone? Of course not.
I arrived at the retreat Friday evening with my curriculum guide and my book club novel. I had planned for this to be a weekend to get all of my work done in silence. I was mistaken. During orientation, the sister told us that we should not read and refrain from using our phones. She explained that reading would take our thoughts to another place and the goal was to focus on inner peace. I am so glad that they made this a thing or else I would have never received the profound experience that I did.
Throughout the weekend we stretched, colored, went on walks through the woods, we meditated often, ate vegetarian food and journaled. I am used to using two journals in my day. I use my bullet journal to check off the daily goals I accomplished before I go to bed and my prayer journal which I use to thank God for my blessings and pray for my family in the morning. None of these had the effect that I got from stream-of-conscious journaling. I allowed my thoughts to simply flow onto the page. I have always known my mind to bounce around from place to place. At times in a conversation, I would randomly start on a new topic and my family would look at me oddly. Somehow, my mind had flown to four connections away from the topic of discussion. In my writing, I noticed a lot of negative thoughts and as you know negative thoughts lead to negative actions. As I meditated I paid attention to not only what I was thinking about but how I thought about them. Again my thoughts were negative. I had to ask myself why? Why am I such a negative thinker? I continued to write and meditate and after some time I had an epiphany. Stemming back to my childhood I realized that I was allowing my experiences to control my thoughts and judgment and therefore my actions. I would go into more detail but I don’t want to get emotional. I also realized I had been paying my therapist $60 an hour to work with me when I realized things about myself that were hindering my growth within one weekend of silence.
I enjoyed my weekend of stillness. I plan on organizing a space in my home to commit to a day of silence once a month. When I was allowed to talk again I turned off my phone for two more hours. I wasn’t ready to begin allowing the stream of responsibilities to enter my mind. I was contempt with being still and learning more about who I am.
I challenge you to do the same. Spend a day in stillness. Meditate and journal. When your mind starts to head towards your responsibilites you have waiting for you or your to-do list place a FULL STOP. Spend time with yourself. Color, paint, be creative. Pay attention to what you think about and how you think about it. Is it healthy? If not what will you do to change this? From my retreat, I brought back with me fearlessness. I often don’t do things out of fear and I think it stops me from being great. I took a leap of faith and reached out to someone important to me who I had not spoken to in about 7 years. I am hoping that I can continue to have the courage to become a better me.
The real reason I don’t share this place is that I am serious about my spiritual journey and don’t want to make it into a weekend of catering to friends and family. If you are truly into finding your inner peace check out Peace Village Retreats. I have attended every year since 2014. Go with an open mind. I promise you will not regret it.
Peace Village 2014, Haines Falls New York