October 22, 2012: Take a Mini Retreat

~ by Mary Galvano

It is often said in magazine articles and the like that one of the best ways to get rid of stress in your life is to learn to take mini vacations. Instead of taking a mini vacation why not take a spiritual mini retreat?

Spending quiet time alone with God is becoming increasingly harder to do today. With all the hustle and bustle how can we think? The perfect thing to do would be to get away to a meditative retreat somewhere beautiful for solitude, peace and quiet and quality prayer time. Sometimes it is hard to getaway to do this, but you don’t have to travel far to have quiet time with God. You can do it right in your own backyard. It may seem impossible but it isn’t, even when you have children.

Start by doing a half-an-hour a day, then move up to an hour-a-day of complete silence. If an hour a day is too much, then start by doing only an hour a week. If you have more time like a whole weekend that is even better. Complete silence means no television, radio, phones, and any other noisy electrical device. And no talking!

As a singer I have rest days for my voice. I love these days because believe it or not, I find it a relief to not have to talk. What does happen though is I find I am calmer and I enjoy the peacefulness of listening. Listening in the quiet is when we can hear God talking to us.

Be creative! Your time of silence can be spent walking amongst nature listening to the birds singing or hearing a breeze blow through the trees even if only in your own neighborhood. Imagine Jesus walking with you. He is speaking to you! What is He saying? Maybe your dog is with you or another companion. You will find your animals will be calmer when you are quiet, too. They enjoy quiet time just as much as you do.

If you can’t get outside or if you have housework to do, put on a music track of Gregorian chant. You’ll be more relaxed cooped up indoors and your housework will go by faster. Sometimes waking up an hour earlier than everyone else in your household may be your only time to retreat to spend time alone with your Creator. Even when tired the relaxation of being alone with God listening to the quiet of His voice is just as beneficial as having an extra hour of sleep. This time can also be used reading the Bible, praying (still not talking), or listening to sacred music.

Get your children involved. Make it a game with them to see how long they can go without talking. They will benefit from learning that having quiet time is just as important as sound. Ask them what sounds they heard when they were quiet.

Regardless of your circumstance, use your creativity for your mini retreat. Never feel you have to go away to spend time with God. He is with you always.

Mary Galvano-Bajohr is a singer/songwriter, LPGA golf instructor, speaker and author. On the golf course she is a dedicated professional, but go to a Yankee game, a Pro-life event or other venue and you just might see her step up to the microphone and sing the National Anthem or the Ave Maria.

Visit Mary’s website at www.marygalvano.com.

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