While folks may still be clarifying what a soul care retreat actually is – and what it means for them – no one can deny the need to slow down, take a break, breathe deeply and look at one’s life + circumstances from a different viewpoint.
Oftentimes, we are influenced by what is happening around us. The more ingrained we are, the less we recognize the power of those influences. A lot of times we choose things that we believe will be good for (and to us) but it can work against us. We look up and are not really able to see the good – our original focus, intent – overwhelming the bad; the stress, the stuck, the overwhelm.
We strive harder to keep up. To do more. To reach more people. To introduce new products. To write another book. We add more, we keep going faster and faster, producing more and more, but without much time and room away from it all.
Vacations are great! I’m on one as I write this. Yes, I brought my computer and will be drafting blog posts to cover the next several weeks, but I will also be making room with Mister (what I call my husband) to tend to my soul. Since we’re on a vacation – our expectations are shifted to serve, connect and encourage others. We’ll attend a wedding, connect with family and Mister’s school buddies and their families, I’ll connect with a sorority sister and fellow writer – and there will be moments in that time spent with others that will allow us to experience moments of beauty.
Moments of sweetness.
Moments of fun.
But we also know that in managing our expectations, it was important that we understood that we would be mostly adventuring, not necessarily inundating our souls with intentional tending. Yes, I will read books, we’ll sip great west coast wines and I will spend time journaling and writing – all things that tend to my spirit; my inner self. Mister will be in the mountains and in cooler weather (it’s currently 109 degrees back in Texas!) and be around his family. We will both read from our Bibles and pray together before we go to bed at night.
It will be a blessing.
Even so, we do not expect it to be a week of intentional soul care. We are not retreating (getting away from it all). We’re vacationing (choosing to tumble into adventure + interaction with the culture around us).
Exploring. Adventuring. Focused on pouring into and connecting with so many others.
To be completely transparent – and I’ve shared this with Mister – I’m a little nervous about being away for 7 days. A part of filling my soul is being home. Making home feel cozy, a respite. A place of recovery and even home base for creativity. When my home is “set” I feel like I can go off and do almost anything away from it – it’s the coming home that helps rejuvenate my soul.
So while I’ll be stopping and snatching up moments that speak to me; to the deep recesses of myself, I will be mostly snapping photos, blowing up my Instagram stories, feed + TV channel and story highlights and playing them back for hubby (he’s not on social media) in order to commit them to memory and call back on them at a later date. (I also snap tons of photos so that I can also to share with others who may be wanting to vacation in similar fashion.)
Travel is one of the things that tends to my soul. And I’m grateful that we are able to vacation – to see more of the world in person, it contributes to the well of tending in the ways it matters most.