At times like these...
Change has become part of our everyday lives – changes in technology, our environment, the financial climate, our relationships. Most of us manage – more or less – to keep up with these daily changes, but what happens when we reach a major crossroads?
At these moments, circumstances come together and force change upon us. There is a natural rhythm to some crossroads moments – having children or retirement for example, which are demanding but expected. Some crossroads are of our own making. We feel stuck where we are and want to create change, to find a new direction. Others are forced on us through redundancy, illness, death or divorce, often not of our choice and harder to cope with.
Where do we go for help at these times in our lives? One way to make time and space to listen to ourselves is to go on retreat. A retreat is time when we discover the wisdom that lies deep within us. We may then understand more of the fullness of the life to which we are called. We will also discover more confidence in our ability to handle such situations.
Moments of major change can redefine our lives. The choices and decisions we make can alter our direction of travel and open up whole new experiences for us.
So the question, and the challenge, is: ‘how do I make good choices at these times?’
If we had more confidence that we would make choices that lead to positive new experiences, maybe such times would not be so difficult for us. One of the things we need to learn is to listen to ourselves more deeply. Yet other voices seem louder.
Many of us might never have asked ourselves the question ‘What do I really want?’ Finding our way through to answers becomes a journey in itself. Do we know what we ourselves have to offer? Do we know or appreciate our unique gifts and abilities? What are we especially good at? Can we be confident in our unique contributions?
A retreat such as Crossroads can be so much more than a one-off experience at a change point. It can give you tools and a way of thinking that is for life. It can give confidence which equips you because you will know more about who you are, what you can contribute and how to make the onward journey. It can provide a platform from which to move into your developing future.
This is what Peter did at a time when he had been made redundant and took two days on a Crossroads Retreat to consider his options. In some ways he welcomed this redundancy which had created the opportunity for change. His work had become stale and he was reflecting on why this was so and where he needed to change.
Over the two days he mapped his journey to discover how he had got to this place and what he really wanted for his life. He thought about the process of change and was able to focus on where his strengths lay and what he is uniquely gifted for. His confidence grew as he began to see something of his way ahead and to see that this time of change could provide an exciting opportunity for him. This is his comment a year on from his retreat:
“Things are moving fast, I have to say. All that happened on the retreat is really taking shape, in a scary way in fact. I am still reaping insightful and hugely encouraging benefits a year later. I have never known two days seem like two whole weeks before - so refreshing, so different, so worthwhile.” Peter