Last Sunday I had the good fortune to attend the Soul Day Retreat at ARC Retreat Center near Cambridge, MN. When I walked into the retreat center on Saturday morning I felt a sense of peace and stillness descend on me like a warm cozy blanket. ARC is truly an oasis of peace and tranquility. The focus of the retreat was Reverence. It’s not a word I use very often so I had ample time to reflect and meditate about reverence during the retreat. A quote from the retreat program by Albert Schweitzer made me pause and contemplate. Here is the quote “By having a reverence for life, we enter into a spiritual relation with the world. By practicing a reverence for life, we become good, deep and alive.” When I reflected on reverence these are the words that came to mind; awe, wonder, profound, respect, holy, gratitude, honor. A reading about reverence from Karen Hering’s book, Writing to Wake the Soul follows. “Listening is a good place to start. And watching. Go outside on a clear, dark night in a place where you see the moon and stars. Listen to the wind rustling through the leaves. Or wrap your finger inside the soft, curled fist of a newborn child. Or step into a worship sanctuary with its soaring ceiling and light-filled spaces. Look up. Look around you. Listen to the choir. Notice that the feeling of reverence is not really about becoming small. It is about finding ourselves in a web of life and deep kinship….In life’s grand ecology of being, reverence is actually a matter of profound belonging.” During the personal retreat time I decided to take a walk in nature. As I walked down the country road I spotted a majestic bald eagle overhead. I stopped and watched as it circled higher and higher awed by it’s beauty and grace. Minutes later on the same road, a deer appeared, then another and yet another, a total of six deer leaped gracefully across the road into the brush on the other side of the road. Two of the deer stopped in the middle of the road, turned and looked at me with their soulful brown eyes. I was so struck by the encounters with these wild creatures that I thanked them for the gift of reverence, beauty, wonder and awe they had given me. The Soul Retreat was indeed a soulful, rich and abundant experience and I left ARC feeling filled up with feelings of peace, serenity and joy. It was a soulful retreat for me and I am grateful for the experience.
What about you? What is your soul in need of? When was the last time you went on retreat? How can you get in touch with reverence today?
I invite you to join me at my next retreat in May at ARC Retreat Center. Details are on my website. Give yourself the gift of reverence.
13 thoughts on “Soul Day Retreat”
I’m looking forward to experiencing the reverence once again at the ARC this Spring at your next retreat.
I love the quote too Harmony. Reverence as a profound state of belonging speaks to my soul.
I love that quote from Karen Hering. It gave me chills. To think of reverence as a profound state of belonging! Thank you for sharing this, and thank you for sharing the beauty of your retreat.
Thanks Deb. Nature is my go to place when I am out of balance or need a good shot of peace and serenity.
Well said Linda! Thanks for your comments:)
My most peaceful place in the world in snuggled up between my kiddos while they are sleeping. Any stress or anxieties of the day melt away. We also spend lots of time out in nature, especially when the weather is warmer. Gardening, hiking, outdoor festivals… all of these things bring us great Joy.
Sounds like a beautiful retreat!
Nature always offers reverence to me. Also, though, my studio and artmaking. For me, reverence is a mixture of awe, gratitude and joy. Sounds like your retreat was beautiful.
Kelli, thank you for your beautiful comments. Sounds like you are blessed to be in an area rich in nature. It is so important for my spirit, my soul to be in nature as often as possible. It reminds me of what is really important and also to stop and enjoy the moment.
Thanks for your comments Nanette. Nature and animals bring out the best in us don’t they? They are such a reminder of the sweeter simpler things in life. I encourage you to find a retreat in your area and give yourself the gift of time to reflect, renew and meditate.
Thank you Kathleen. You are so right about the community members at ARC. They meet everyone where they are in their lives and that is so comforting. It was indeed a rich and abundant experience with a group of beautiful Souls:)
i guess I’d be considered to be on a retreat everyday around here. People always comment on FB about all the animal/ nature pictures I post. I just can’t help myself. I’m constantly looking for the magnificent of Mother Earth’s bounty. It’s so beautiful how can you not see it. But sadly there are many people that don’t take the time to look up, or around. I on the other hand am in awe of what surrounds us. Enjoy your peace.
There’s something about nature (and animals) that can get your head straight no matter how off it is. In the year and a half since I sold my 117 acre farm, I’ve struggled trying to find respites that offer similar soulful experiences. Your retreat solution sounds like a great one.
I am reminded,as I read your beautiful description of the SOUL DAY RETREAT, of the constant feeling of acceptance each time I have been privileged to attend any event at the ARC! All the Staff is totally non-judgmental and accept each person where they are in life ! It was a beautiful day with beautiful Souls! Thank you for sharing with ALL. Kathleen