Your Presence Matters!
Our presence is one of the greatest gifts we can give. Being present — not just physically, but with our full attention — is a gift to others. It is a gift to ourselves too! When we are fully present, we are aware of what is happening around us and what we are experiencing internally in our thoughts, emotions, and body. Being present to our experiences helps us to see God in our lives. This awareness allows us to be more connected with ourselves and those around us. When we bring our attention to what we are experiencing moment to moment, we have the opportunity to pause and choose our response to life. We can choose our response instead of reacting automatically in patterns that are not serving us and are not working toward our desired outcomes. We can decide to choose compassion and love.
Mindfulness practices help ground us and focus our attention in the present moment. During our time together, we will learn about and experience mindfulness practices that can help us become more present to our lives. These practices also help us to become more aware of God’s presence with us. We will reflect on the concept of presence and the value our presence brings to the world around us.
Wear comfortable clothing. You may want to bring a blanket or shawl, a pillow or cushion to sit on, or whatever you feel will help you to be comfortable during periods of meditation and reflection. Our Feature Presenter for the retreat will be Dr. Heather Alexander.
Thursday and Friday:
This early arrival option begins with check-in as early as 3pm on Thursday, so that you can have an extra day to unwind. We will have a prayer gathering after dinner on Thursday. On Friday, you’ll have free time to walk around the Center’s beautiful grounds, shop in the bookstore or stop by one of our guest vendors that afternoon.
Massages are also available to schedule on your own for an additional fee. Massage Therapist Michelle Lisenbee (www.michellelisenbee.com or email at email@example.com) will be available all day on Friday for appointments:
- 30 minute session: $45
- 60 minute session: $85
Guests need to contact her for appointments and will make payments to her directly. Michelle follows COVID protocols and is happy to wear a mask during the sessions if the client prefers.
After your relaxing day on Friday, our regular weekend guests will check in and then we’ll all gather together for dinner. After dinner we’ll have a fun, social time of games and laughter. Saturday begins with a feature presentation by Dr. Heather Alexander. Then, you will have a choice of workshops to attend throughout the afternoon. You will be emailed a list of choices a few weeks before the retreat. Saturday evening will be a time of socializing, crafts and a movie. On Sunday, Heather will close the weekend with a special presentation. Guests will depart after lunch.
You won’t want to miss this special annual retreat. Many guests return year after year and we welcome new guests too!
About the Presenter
Heather Alexander, M.D. has a passion for encouraging people to live well through becoming more present to the moments of their lives and living with more compassion. She sees this as her way of offering peace to our world that is so in need of healing. Initially learning mindfulness to reduce stress, she found that practicing mindfulness helped her to be more aware of God’s presence. Dr. Alexander has led workshops on practicing mindfulness for stress reduction and connecting with God, mindfulness for parents, and mindfulness for teens.
Dr. Alexander received her undergraduate degree from Haverford College. She received her medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania and completed her pediatric residency at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC. She currently practices in Columbia, MD. She has trained with the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts School of Medicine. Dr. Alexander has also trained with the Mindful Schools program to teach mindfulness to children.