The purpose of this exercise is to quiet our hearts, souls and minds, to disconnect from work, home, worries, busyness, and to prepare to be in the presence of God. (Materials/ your journal, pen, Bible, pareo/shawl/blanket/scarf, this guide)
Be still, and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10
Quiet your mind and connect with your body, and this space. Some suggestions for doing this: Lie down on your shawl or a blanket on the grass, a bench or your bed with your legs flat or bent at the knees, your arms at your sides, palms up, and your eyes closed.
- Breathe through your nose if you can. Focus on your breathing. Place one hand on your chest and one on your abdomen, breathing deeply so the chest is still and the abdomen rises and falls with each breath.
- Or hold a pulse point on your wrist or neck and breath slowly in rhythm with your pulse.
Continue the rhythm for at least 3-5 minutes. If you can’t lie down, sit in a chair and breathe. Remember to get up slowly.
Close your eyes and listen to the sounds around you. First notice the sounds far away. Then notice the sounds nearby. Notice your breathing. When your body is ready, listen to God.
Read Isaiah 52 New International Version (NIV)
1 Awake, awake, Zion, clothe yourself with strength! Put on your garments of splendor, Jerusalem, the holy city. The uncircumcised and defiled will not enter you again. 2 Shake off your dust; rise up, sit enthroned, Jerusalem. Free yourself from the chains on your neck, Daughter Zion, now a captive.
In Scripture, clothing sometimes represents the state of the soul. Highlight the change for the Daughter Zion in the passage. Close your eyes and become aware of your emotions right now, named and unnamed. If this emotional energy could express itself in a costume, what would it be? Imagine yourself before God in this attire.
Pray: You might write a prayer in your journal, asking the Spirit to augment or transform your garments during this retreat.
This lesson was written as part of a retreat. For more information see Retreat Introduction.