I love the holiday season. I like what it brings out in people. It seems to make them so nostalgic. I hear the most inspirational stories from strangers I encounter during the Christmas season. I also appreciate the beautifully orchestrated window themes in all the shop windows. I even enjoy the holiday music played in my local grocery stores and in the elevators of the buildings in our nearby business district.
I do not like to think of the enormous demands placed on young parents by their children for presents that they really cannot afford. I don’t appreciate driving around in endless circles until I come across a parking space when I have a ton of errands to run. I hate the thought of the bills coming due in the next couple of months after all the gift giving festivities have ended. It is a chaotic time because my schedule becomes over taxed with all the extra engagements, and it seems as if there is never enough time to participate in all the merriment I would like to.
If I am not diligent, I find myself overdoing it, cutting corners on my self-care routines, exhausting my energy. Too much activity can easily cause a strain on my already overcompensated lifestyle. My antidote is to reach for Dr. Rachel Harris’s book: “20 Minute Retreats.” There are more than 190 different retreats developed to soothe the trials of the season and any other mentally challenging situations that come up throughout the year.
Dr. Harris makes inner retreating so easy that we can place this vital inner-work in the same context as other daily rituals we perform such as brushing our teeth, reading the morning paper, or chatting on the phone. There is a selection of antidotes for tension or other concerns related to mental wellness that require no more of our time than a mere one-to-five minute departures from our holiday activities.
Here are Some Highlights I Excerpted from Her Exceptional Book that I Personally Found Extremely Valuable Amidst all the Business of the Season –
- Ways in which we can experience the world of the spirit more in our daily lives
- Embracing the magical qualities of life as they naturally unfold during the course of our day
- Taking in all the comforts our homes provide when we return after a day of stressful working conditions
- How to avoid becoming mired in the quicksand of negative thinking
- How to practice mindful attention
- Why it is so important to pause before uttering words of regret and some techniques to ensure that we can do so in the heat of the moment
- Ways that we can recognize the magnificence of our personal journey as we travel down our own individual and very sacred path
- How to bring about tranquility in what would otherwise be a very chaotic atmosphere
- How to avoid feeling disconnected
- Instructions for a series of twenty-minute retreats – step-by-step so they can be clearly interpreted and practiced
- There are retreats for each aspect of our lives that focus on areas such as; our faith, forgiveness, gratitude, healing, intuition, joy, love, patience, peace and relaxation, self-acceptance and self-care
Dr. Harris makes the act of inner retreating so simple and easy to integrate into our hectic worlds. She presents us with a way in which we can place them in the same context as other common rituals we perform without a second thought. The best way I can convey this is to reiterate the words I read from the text that compare her retreats to other simplistic activities such as the brushing of our teeth, reading the newspaper, or chatting on the phone. There is even a selection of stress-free antidotes that require no more of our time than one-to-five minutes.
Harris’s book is hailed by the most impressive list of supporters an author on this subject could hope for – including, but not limited to: Dr. Phillip Goldberg coauthor of: Making Peace with Your Past, Daniel Gottenlieb, Ph.D., columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer, Jennifer Louden, author of the Women’s Retreat Book and Jack Canfield, coauthor of Chicken Soup for the Soul.
A Glimpse into Dr. Rachel Harris’s Book – “20 Minute Retreats” some excerpts
Invitation to a Daily Mini-Retreat
Spiritual Retreats – Part 2