My nature is to be persistent and diligent. I’m not a quitter. It feels so counterintuitive to let go of a desire. To stop pursuing it before I attain it.
Perhaps you can relate.
After all, isn’t the point of defining outcomes (or “setting goals”) to help us stay focused on achieving them?
Yes. And … there’s more to the story.
Here’s what I’ve learned:
Retreat vs Quitting
Retreat and withdrawal are not the same as quitting.
Retreat and withdrawal are strategies used by those who play the long game.
You can’t get what you want unless you know what you want, and until you are the person you need to be to receive it.
Why race up the ladder only to find you don’t like what’s at the top?
Retreat is Necessary for Change
When I went into my retreat modes with my year off of Facebook and a four-month social media hibernation the year before that, many people thought I was escaping life or quitting my business.
I wasn’t quitting or escaping. I was growing. Evolving.
The process of change requires that we leave behind old patterns of thoughts and behavior. This creates space in which new ideas can emerge.
I knew I had a message to bring to the world. I felt the stirrings of an inner calling, a knowing that I have a deeper purpose, something bigger to bring to the world.
Our true purpose can emerge only when we clear away the social conditioning. We must free ourselves from social constraints and preoccupation with every day matters to hear the inner voice of truth.
Explaining Key XII, The Hanged Man, In Tarot of the Spirit, Pamela Eakins writes:
Our lives have become centered not in reality itself but in our ideas of it, and the mind, when agitated or disturbed by an excess of stimulation, cannot reflect the deepest inner reality. Only when the pool of consciousness is stilled can we begin to perceive the true reflection of the One Self.
Listening to Yourself First
A few years ago I realized that if I want other people to hear my voice, I must listen to myself first.
In my extended periods of time offline, and in my daily practice of creating space for myself, I make space to listen.
As Eakins writes,
In order to perceive it’s own true nature, the mind must first be brought to a state of emptiness.
Surrender is not about giving up. It’s not defeat. Surrender is a form of trust. It takes confidence and trust to surrender. It takes strength of spirit to say “I am releasing this for now and I trust that when I am ready to receive it, it will be there for me.”