• Jolene Roehlkepartain

Why I Take Silent Retreats

Updated: Apr 14, 2019

Whenever I can, I go on a silent retreat. Sometimes I housesit for a friend who lives in a wooded area where deer often pass by the window at twilight. Other times, I drive to the Shire in the Woods near McGrath, Minnesota, and walk among its 120 acres of forests and wetlands. It’s a soulful place that always rejuvenates me.

In a world filled with noise and endless bad news, a silent retreat grounds me and reminds me to slow down, to discern the wisdom in the silence, and to get my bearings. Sometimes I sleep for long periods of time, especially when I’ve pushed my body beyond its limits. Other times, I watch the skunk explore the area outside my window.

Every time during a silent retreat, there is great mystery and great surprises that await me—ones I could never imagine. Sometimes I get inspired to write a new book. Sometimes I’m given the space to think through a tricky situation. Sometimes I’m reminded that life is good.

Every time I return from a silent retreat, my spirit is full, and I have more creativity and courage to make the most of each day and to write well.

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