This week I am at the 43rd Annual Big Sky Retreat in Big Sky, Montana. This will be the fifth year I have been a part of this retreat and my first as President of the Board. To commemorate this milestone, I thought I would share something with you that I wrote when I returned from my very first one back in September of 2014. It’s still one of the most memorable moments I’ve had in that gorgeous part of the country. Enjoy!
“Think about the kind of day you want, and tell yourself there is a way in which this very day can happen just like that.”
This practical advice comes from the first section of Chapter 30 in the text of A Course in Miracles. I highly recommend taking a look at this whole section because it has been a game changer for me. From recent personal experience, I can say wholeheartedly that it works!
I just returned from an incredible journey with Dr. Charles Geddes, the Founder and Spiritual Director of Bridges Spiritual Centers. Each morning before we started our day, we took a few moments to pray. We “pre-prayed” the way of our journey by clearly stating our intentions. We wanted to experience and share peace, love, and joy wherever we went. We asked to be that Presence. We also stated our desire for Presence to be revealed as Mother Nature’s beauty all along the drive through the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone National Park as we made our way to Big Sky, Montana for the annual Big Sky Retreat. I am happy to report that it worked!
Mother Nature did indeed reveal her beauty along the way, especially at Yellowstone. After a magnificent day of hiking, close encounters with buffalo, and breathtaking vistas, Charles and I decided to call it a day. The sun was setting as we drove out of the park, yet we remained vigilant for more beauty. Just a few miles from the west exit we noticed a large number of cars parked along the road and hundreds of people gazing across a large open field. We couldn’t tell what they were looking at, but judging by the crowd, it had to be good.
We parked our car and crossed the street to an area where there were fewer people. There, in the distance, on the other side of Snake River in a golden sunlit meadow, two elk were locking antlers. Charles and I had been guided to the perfect spot, for as the elk continued their show they gradually moved closer and closer to where we were standing. Their sparring was very gentle as if they were playing or perhaps just practicing. Occasionally they would stop to eat and drink peacefully together before lowering their heads once again to lock antlers. This continued for at least 30 minutes.
At one point the elk apparently decided they had given us enough of a show. To our amazement, they paused in the golden sunlight directly across the river from us just long enough for me to snap this picture. Then these majestic animals entered the water and waded down the river together into the sunset. What an exit!
Our journey was filled with many beautiful moments like this and the Big Sky Retreat was one big “WOW!” I felt that Presence more times than I could count. My eyes filled with tears of joy as we sang songs of remembrance together. My heart was filled with peace during quiet moments and I feel immense gratitude for all the wonderful people I met. Those are the kind of days I’d like to have more of.
Until next time, I encourage you to consciously decide what kind of day you’d like to have each morning. Then as you go about your daily activities look for evidence of only that!