This was my first time going on a retreat. I’ve been on some conferences for work but never gone on a retreat and there’s a huge difference! The main distinction is that even though I was working during the retreat, it was restful and restorative. I enjoyed the conferences for the opportunity to learn but they didn’t offer much in the way of the heart. This retreat allowed my heart to soar to new heights. I experienced a lot of growth in just 3 days.
One of the best things about our retreat was the setting. We stayed at Bethel Horizons in Dodgeville, which is owned by Bethel Lutheran Church here in Madison. This area in Dodgeville is so beautiful- especially in Autumn, with many cascading hills decorated with huge forests of gorgeous trees in every fall hue imaginable. But there was a personal aspect of why the setting meant so much to me. As many of you may know, I went to a Lutheran school from Kindergarten – 7th grade. Going there was a horrific experience in many ways and I was actually overjoyed when I saw it had been demolished. Many people involved in that place didn’t reflect the Light of Christ as they claimed. But having this retreat at a Lutheran facility was a poetic opportunity for forgiveness. I saw that familiar Lutheran hymnal and was reminded that many of the childhood inner experiences with God that were so powerful did happen in the Lutheran Church attached to the school. I have not quite reached the point of forgetting about the more “negative” experiences there – perhaps because I think that I can use that story to encourage others in abusive situations that there is hope of getting a new lease on life….- but it did engender a tenderness of Love that had previously been unable to reconcile in my Heart.
I also was able to broaden my understanding of Self Compassion. Deb facilitated many classes on the subject and each one helped to bring about a new facet of Love for where I am, as opposed to projecting Love to where I think I should be, leaving my Now self to pick up the slack in the meantime. On this spiritual pathway, I have been so diligent in my efforts to reach an exquisite, enlightened state. I recognize the beautiful gift that I have been given – that drive to closeness to God is such a profound and glorious gift from God Himself. But sometimes I do not recognize the level of completeness that I Am. This retreat strengthened my ability to sit with Now self and Love her Here and Now!
Another healing experience came from the artwork I made. As well as the artwork others made and seeing the abundant joy that gave them. It was truly a pleasure to see eyes light up when people marveled at their own artistic creations. It was so exciting!
Thank you for reading this and blessings upon you!
See our upcoming retreats at www.mindfulmiraclesretreats.com