John Y’s Musings from the Middle: Spiritual Retreats

jyb_musingsGoing to a weekend spiritual retreat is about the scariest and most exciting plan you can have for a Friday night.

If you are going for the right reasons.

It’s not a business networking opportunity or about being liked. It’s not about looking good. It’s not about sounding good. It’s not even about being good.

It’s about thinking anew while also letting go of old thoughts and beliefs that no longer serve their purpose. It’s about being silent –or as quiet as you can be –on the inside. It’s about listening when you normally speak–and actually listening to understand. It is about NOT filling up awkward silences with others or when alone. It is about standing stiller and seeing more. It is not about meeting others but meeting yourself. It’s not about networking with others but about networking with God —which includes long awkward lulls. It is about being real and laying yourself as bare as you are able. And then peeling off one more layer after that.

But it is mostly about the difference between the man (or woman) you left with and the man (or woman) you return with.

And although you think only you will really know if you’ve changed, you are wrong. And if you do it right, you will be comfortable being wrong, again, about so many of the things you were so certain you had been right about just a few days earlier.

That is both the scary and the exciting parts of a real weekend spiritual retreat.

We shall see.


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