The invitation of midlife is to become more awake, more conscious of who we really are and what we’re here to do, and to take responsibility for our lives rather than waiting to see how it turns out. The hunger for meaning, for integrity and for wholeness, are driving forces in mid-life. The four stones process allows us to be more present to those driving forces.
“We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so to have the life that’s waiting for us.” – Joseph Campbell
The Four Stones
Stepping stones have been used for centuries to cross rivers, creeks, brooks and streams. Often the stones have been strategically placed to allow the user to step from one to another until safely across. The Mid-life Time Out Retreat is composed of four “stones” of progress. These four stepping stones create a well thought-out process that leads you to a more authentic and purposeful life. Over the three days you’ll be guided and challenged on a trail of awareness, insight, learning and integration.
Stone One – Introspection – the fifth direction
Noun: the examination or observation of one’s own mental and emotion processes.
An authentic life is built from the inside out. As Bernie Siegel writes, the most important direction in which we can go (especially in midlife), is not north, south, east or west; it’s inside ourselves – the fifth direction. By the time we hit the midlife line we’ve spent many years with ourselves but oddly, we find we are a stranger to ourself. Through introspection we gain the most critical knowledge of all – self knowledge. We tune in to who we are, what we want, and what’s best for us next. The journey onto the first stone begins the moment you register yourself on the retreat. A questionnaire will be sent to you to commence the process of excavating your truth and getting to know yourself at a deeper level.
Stone Two – Wisdom – choosing what matters most
Noun: the quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgement; the quality of being wise.
What sets us apart from the animal kingdom is free will. We all have the power of choice. Wisdom is navigational intelligence. At its heart is the ability to consciously know what choices will lead us towards a more meaningful, satisfying and peaceful existence. The choices you make at this time will become guiding forces for the rest of your life.
Stone Three – Courage – taking a stand
Noun: the ability to do something that frightens one; strength in the face of pain or grief.
When you live authentically, you know what you stand for and make conscious choices to honour your core values. This requires a high degree of courage. At the heart of courage is the ability to confront. Confrontation is something most of us avoid, and yet we have to confront what’s no longer working for us and let go of the familiar. Taking the leap towards the life you’re meant to live will require you to face the fears that are blocking you and the uncertainty change brings.
Stone Four – Illumination – living from a higher purpose
Noun: lighting or light; figurative spiritual or intellectual enlightenment.
An illuminating life is lived in a more conscious and intentional way. Each time we walk the four stones towards wholeness we unfold the undeveloped and hidden side of ourselves and reveal our unique gifts, thus illuminating our lives a little more. It’s a journey to a more integrated and complete understanding of ourselves. We authentically reconnect ourselves to ourselves. Our path and truth are gradually revealed to us as we awaken to our true identity, our true values, our true purpose, our true vision.