The other day I shared a post on Instagram saying that my only intention from quarantine is to be in the moment. There was a comment to it, saying ‘what if we say retreat instead of quarantine. Quarantine is colder, a retreat is warmer.’
I found myself contemplating it since then. This weekend some ideas came up around it. The most obvious one was that the UNIVERSE IS TALKING TO US WITH SYMBOLS. This morning when we all woke up, my son who is 5 years old said to me that ‘Life is talking to us’, from the middle of nowhere. I said ‘definitely, I believe so. What do you mean with that?’ He said ‘nothing, I do not know.’ We had a little conversation around the universe is speaking to us via human, animals, plants, dreams, and coincidences. Symbols are the language of the universe. If only we could hear. I was amazed by this conversation we. So I decided to sit, contemplate and write about it.
LET’S SEE WHAT WE HAVE ON OUR HANDS.
Quarantine: strict isolation imposed to prevent the spread of disease says dictionary.com.
This practice, called quarantine, was derived from the Italian words Quaranta Giorni which means 40 days.
When I think about 40 days, the first thing that comes to my mind is a Sufi tradition/ritual of staying alone for 40 days. Its name ‘Çile (in Turkish)’ is also coming from Persian ‘çihil’ meaning 40.
This ritual has been practiced, in a very little space, little dark room, alone. ‘Murshid’ was deciding for the time of it and ‘dervish’ was trusting on this timing. Murshid was holding space for the dervish, especially by interpreting their dreams during this time.
WHAT WAS THE MAIN REASON FOR SUCH A RETREAT?
To stay alone and in silence not just physically but also mentally. Observing the mind and inviting the silence. From that silence aiming the potential of a conversation with the ONE in the path of discovering the truth.
Some years ago, my singing teacher said to me that for her it was hard to understand the group retreats. For her retreat was something that the individual takes this path alone. She was explaining to me from her own experiences of alone retreats that the feeling was like tightening the toothpaste, removing the pus, purifying.
WHAT KIND OF A RETREAT I CAN DO THEN?
I am at home for 20 days now and I am not sure how long more I will be. I do not think it will be 40 days. I am totally in flow with this, as much as it needs to be.
I am not alone, I am with my husband and 2 little ones, 5 and 3 years old. For me, it is a challenge to be in a closed space for so long time especially with kids.
TRUST AND INTENTIONS
I start by trusting that whatever comes from the universe is welcomed for me. If the universe is inviting me for a retreat right now, I am showing up in the best way I can.
I can slow down and feel my intentions first. I intend to be here and now. To serve life as best as I can. To be able to connect with my true self and seeing new possibilities and realities that I have never been able to see before.
I can be aware of my thoughts, my words and my actions during the day. Their sources are love or fear?
I can show compassion to myself. If I witness negative thoughts, negative actions, negative words, I can always be aware, say sorry and start again trying my best.
I can show compassion to others. Remembering, again and again, we are all one, ANOTHER does not exist.
I can have my daily rituals: such as physical exercise, meditation, and yoga.
I can take care of my nutrition.
I can be in the moment each time I clean my hand. I can take it as a mindfulness activity.
I can journal.
JUST WANDER AROUND
I can open up space for pure conversations with my True Self: dance, singing, painting just by allowing my emotions and being here and now.
I can continue to write my dreams and pay attention to them.
I can pay attention to coincidences, conversations with people and interactions with plants and animals during this time. Be here and now and be open to receive the signals of the universe.
Every night before sleeping I can scan my day in the search of moments of gratitude. I can remember them and feel gratitude. I can appreciate that person who is the source of my gratitude.
MY INTERACTIONS WITH OTHER PEOPLE AT HOME
I can let them know about this journey of mine. I can ask for help if I need anything such as ritual times.
We can set together time for check-ins: holding space for each other just by being there to listen and support our emotional dances.
So here I am. I hear the conversation of the universe with me. I participate in this retreat. Who wants to join me? What does it mean a retreat for you? What kind of retreat you can do?