I am here - on beautiful Pender Island
I am involved in leading two retreats through the Mark Centre - the first retreat being 3 days of mixed silence & community and the second being 5 days of silence.
It is an interesting part of my life - bringing people into a journey of silence, slowing down and contemplation.
I would not be so passionate about it - except knowing that this kind of thing helped saved my life when I was at rock bottom.
It was only through entering the deep silence that I rediscovered my own voice, my soul and my intrinsic value as a human being. It was through the gift of silence that I discovered I was loved - even with doing anything - just 'being'.
Many of us yearn for deeper relationships, authentic friendships and meaningful community. Perhaps for this to happen in our lives, we need to take time apart and really know ourselves, so that as we offer ourselves to each other - we can offer the depths that we ourselves long for in relationships.
Today I found a quote by Julia Cameron - author of 'The Artist's Way'.....
'Until we experience the freedom of solitude,
we cannot connect authentically.'
Many of us are afraid of solitude ...we feel solitude equals loneliness. Perhaps freedom in solitude means that we have found interior freedom - we do not need the approval of others to bring us a good day - we are at rest with our souls. If we are not at rest with our souls - no one can fix that for us.....except us. There is no one left to blame in solitude. We are with ourselves and must face what that means.
It is always amazing for me to observe the courage that people have to come on these retreats and to face the solitude even if they are afraid of it. It is also amazing to see the beauty emerge as people move past fears and find themselves again. The rich sense of community among 'strangers' is profound as we all travel to deep places and then bring that gift to each other.
I am missing my loved ones at home.....but will continue drinking in the beauty of these days before me at Pender.