Ever gotten so busy with the trees that you no longer feel part of the forest? Ever been so occupied climbing the ladder that you can no longer determine if it is leaning against the right wall? I certainly have.
Sometimes what we need more than anything is some perspective, some reflection, some silence.
I have a hard time getting that perspective in my office. There’s too much to do there, too much that calls me to task, too many distractions.
I have to get away to someplace beautiful, someplace without a computer, someplace filled with the soothing sounds of moving water.
I took a silent retreat last Friday. It was my fourth this year. Silent retreats have become a monthly ritual that I treasure.
For three-and-a-half hours I sauntered under sweeping cypress trees and observed the steady rushing in and flowing out of the ocean surf. I brought a folding chair and my journal, and some questions to contemplate. To the musical background of water buffeting sand, I pondered. And, because I’m a writer, I pondered with a pen in my hand. I wrote and wrote and wrote.
It took the first hour to clear out the to-do list in my head and the vague worries about the work I left undone. The second hour brought more focus, more clarity on the issues at hand. And the third hour sharpened my perspective so I could be decisive about next steps and important priorities.
The fourth hour brought hunger, so a sumptuous meal in view of the water brought an end to the silence. But I found that only my stomach was empty. The rest of me was filled up and overflowing.
Could you use a fresh perspective on your challenges? Try a little silence with a pen in your hand, and see what answers come when you take the time to listen.