Our mothers told us breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Teachers know what a student eats for breakfast can impact their energy level for the rest of the day and affect their learning. This is true for adults too, not only physically with nutrition but also emotionally, mentally and spiritually too. Just like the food you eat can set the tone for the rest of your day, the emotional/spiritual state you begin your day with can also carry through the rest of the day, positively or negatively.
So why not start your day off not only with a good, healthy breakfast but with a good, healthy conversation too? Having breakfast with a spiritual life coach can start your day with truth, wisdom, strength and positivity. This can not only help carry you through your day but also through your week and maybe even help set the tone for the month.
Whether it's your career, relationships, finances, health & fitness, faith or other aspects of your life, a breakfast meeting with a spiritual life coach can help start your day off right. Starting your day this way can help prepare you for the joys, challenges and growth opportunities you'll face throughout the day.
To set up a breakfast meeting contact Rob Low at firstname.lastname@example.org or (403) 880-3454.
If you can't begin your day with an encouraging discussion with a spiritual coach coach try listening to this.
We are not just spiritual beings with soul longings, we are also physical, emotional and relational beings. Sometimes we need a good walk, workout, healthy meal, deep sleep or glass of water as much as a meaningful conversation or prayer time.
Walk 'n Talk is designed to satisfy your spiritual, physical and relational needs all in the same activity. Some people talk, think, listen and pray better when they're walking so this is perfect for them. Sometimes it's just helpful to get outside and get some fresh air in the middle of a long day or week.
A Walk 'n Talk can be arranged downtown by the river, in a suburban park, a pathway, a retreat centre or other places where it is safe and comfortable to do so.
Monthly Retreat Days
One day a month we schedule a retreat day at Mount St. Francis Retreat Centre or King's Fold Retreat Centre and you are welcome to join us. It's a terrific opportunity to step away from the daily routines of life; to step back and get some perspective. By taking a break you can refresh your heart, soul and mind to better handle the regular challenges life brings our way. Spending a day resting, reading, praying, walking, sleeping, writing or whatever restores your soul can go a long way towards spiritual growth and life wholeness. You may not be able to get away like this every month but perhaps you might consider retreating like this quarterly or at least yearly. If you'd like to join us send an email to email@example.com or call Rob Low at (403) 880-3454.
I will be retreating the following dates and you`re welcome to join me anytime:
Thursday January 26 - King's Fold Friday February 17 - Mount St. Francis Wednesday February 22 - King's Fold Wednesday March 1 - Mount St. Francis Monday March 13 - Mount St. Francis Friday March 24 - King's Fold Monday April 3 - Mount St. Francis Thursday April 13 - King's Fold Monday Mary 8 - Mount St. Francis Friday May 26 - King's Fold Friday June 9 - Mount St. Francis Thursday June 22 - King's Fold
If these dates do not work for you suggest a date that works for you and we'll try to make it work.
A retreat day is a great opportunity to slow down and catch your breath.
The view from King's Fold.
As well as individual spiritual life coaching, From Beginning to End facilitators are also available for leading group retreats and seminars. These can range from an evening seminar to a full day workshop to a full weekend retreat. There are several churches, camps and retreat centres in Southern Alberta which can host your group retreat and our facilitators can plan the sessions for you. For more ideas visit http://differentretreats.blogspot.com/.
Our facilitators can lead seminars on various topics and especially enjoy speaking on Spiritual Disciplines. We can focus on just one discipline for an entire retreat or touch on several of them depending on how deeply your group wishes to go with them. To view a list of some Spiritual Disciplines visit http://spirituallydisciplined.blogspot.com/.
Weekend retreat themes include, but are not limited to, the following:
Playground Prayers and Monkey Bar Meditations; Simple Spirituality
Based on his new book, "Playground Prayers and Monkey Bar Meditations", Dr. Low will lead your group through a day or weekend of exploring childlike faith and simple spirituality. A lot of people these days are longing for a simpler way of thinking, living and being. Jesus' teachings, Biblical parables and lessons from our childhood can all lead us towards this kind of simplicity. This weekend is focused on creativity, reflection, simplicity and freedom.
New Year, New Life; The Sacred Journey; Planning a More Successful Life
This retreat involves reflecting on all aspects of life with the aims of personal growth. By examining our schedules, habits, relationships, finances etc. we ask God to enlighten us on areas needing improvement. With prayer and planning we work towards making our life more abundant. This retreat looks at life from the holistic perspective with the understanding God cares about all aspects of our life and desires to be at the center of our choices and priorities. Spiritual disciplines (http://spirituallydisciplined.blogspot.com/) are an important part of building a more successful life rythem.
The ideal time for this full weekend retreat is December - January or August - September as these tend to be the seasons when people are reevaluating life and planning their yearly schedules and activities.
It's All There; Practical Lessons From The Christmas Story
For many of us the Christmas story has become so familiar it can lose some of its meaning, especially its practical implications for life and faith in the 21st Century. This somewhat simple and overly familiar account of Jesus' birth holds a lot of truth and wisdom we can bring forward to life 2000 years later. This retreat can take place around the Christmas season but is appropriate at any time of the years as well.
Control Alt Delete; A Fresh Start
Sometimes when our computers have slowed down to the point of
frustration or have even frozen or malfunctioned we have no choice but
to pull a "Control Alt Delete". What about when that happens to our
lives? Sometimes our lives can feel stuck, slow, frozen or
dysfunctional - how can we start again?
The Bible is full of imagery and teaching regarding new birth, new life
and second chances; it's God's specialty. What does the Bible say about control, living alternatively and deleting (forgiving, healing, freedom etc.)? Sometimes we need a little
help, guidance, encourage or teaching along the way to help us move
forward in these areas. A weekend retreat or even a day retreat can be a terrific
opportunity to begin this process.
Give It Up; What's Holding You Back?
Many of us struggle moving ahead with the life we want because of various
things holding us back. Too little money, too much money; too little
time, too much time; too few relationships, too many relationships; too little
activity, too much activity etc. The list is endless of things which can
hold us back but the truth is we all have more choice with these things than we
sometimes realize. Sometimes God asks us to give certain things up or
grab a hold of something in order to move forward in life.
A Walk Through the Valley; Journeying Through Life's Difficult Times
Sometimes life can be very difficult. We all go through hard times when we feel like we've entered a valley or even fallen into a pit of darkness. This retreat explores how Psalm 23 can speak to us during these times, bringing us hope in the midst of pain.
"The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: Thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever."
From Slave to Friend and Beyond
There are many words in the Bible describing our relationship with God and Jesus. Some of these descriptions are distant and broken, others are close and intimate and many are somewhere in between. What word would you use to describe your relationship with God? What level of intimacy are you on with God and what level are we invited to? These are the types of questions we explore at this retreat.
Seventh Heaven; Holistic Living According to Luke 10:27
Luke 10:27 gives us 7 principles of faith for experiencing life more abundantly; God, heart, soul, mind, strength, neighbor and self. These 7 aspects of our faith are key in everything we do. How do we live these out individually or as a church? How do we hold them in balance? Jesus said if we follow this verse we will have life; a very big promise for a short and simple verse. In this retreat we explore this verse and how living holistically can enhance our life and faith.
He's My Rock
There are many names and descriptions for God, most of which describe certain qualities and characteristics. One common description in the Bible refers to God as a Rock. In the midst of our busy days and changing world we could use a Solid Rock in our life. This retreat explores God as Rock. Because of the theme, this retreat is best done in a setting where there are lots of rocks so we can use our creativity in exploring nature. King's Fold Retreat Centre is ideal because of its wide rock basin in the Ghost River Valley. Mount St. Francis and other retreat centres and camps with natural settings would work as well.
"The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the strength of my salvation, and my stronghold." ~ Psalm 18:2 - 3, the New Living Translation of the Bible
The Truth Will Set You Free
Truth is a powerful thing. Many of the struggles we face in life are because of lies, exagerations, misunderstandings or a false sense of reality. Sometimes lies are deliberate and blatent, but often mis-truths are subtle and may even come from well meaning people. God desires us to live in freedom and truth. God's desires to shed light on the lies we believe in order to expose the falsehoods so we can identify them and move on from them. This takes prayer and reflection in order to seek God's truth and wisdom in how we are to live our lives more successfully, in the spirit of truth and freedom.
Jesus said to the people who believed in him, "You are truly my disciples if you keep obeying my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." ~ John 8:31 - 32, New Living Translation of the Bible
The Power of Choice; Reclaiming God's Gift of Free Will
One of the original gifts God gave us was the gift of free will. The Bible is full of examples where free will went awry, such as Adam & Eve's disobedience leading to their downfall. But the Bible is also full of examples of people who used their free will for good, choosing wisdom and love in obedience to God's will.
Many people in our society live as victems, feeling powerless to change their circumstances. They feel stuck in their job, their relationship(s), their habits, their addictions and their lives as a whole. While there certainly are things in life we have little or no control over, God's word indicates we have a lot more power and control than we may realize. This retreat guides us through personal contemplation and group discussion with the aim of claiming the gift of choice in our lives.
Don't you realize that whatever you choose to obey becomes your master? You can choose sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God and receive his approval. ~ Romans 6:16, New Living Translation of the Bible
Silence is definitely a Spiritual Discipline worth exploring. God speaks powerfully to people when they take the time to focus on Him, shutting off the noise around them and within them. There are many ways to lead silent retreats. It depends whether or not people have experience long periods of silents before or if they are new to the idea and need to be gently introduced to it. It also depends on how much silence a group wants and how much interaction the group wants; the two don't have to be mutually exclusive. Our facilitators are aware of the joys and difficulties of silence and are skilled at helping people enter the spiritual discipline of silence, whether beginners or experienced.
"Go out and stand before me on the mountain," the Lord told him. And as Elijah stood there, the Lord passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper. ~ I Kings 19:11 - 12, The New Living Version of the Bible
The Season of Lent is the 6 week period leading up to Easter. It is a time of preparing our hearts and minds to celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and what it means to us. In our busy world it is easy for Easter to sneak up on us and be over before we've even had time to think about it. Acknowleging Lent gives us the opportunity to focus more intently on Jesus during this holy season, allowing the hope of Easter and the message of Jesus to sink more deeply into our souls than when we simply race through another long weekend. The best time to have a Lent retreat is the weekend before Ash Wednesday which is the beginning of Lent. However, anytime within a couple of weeks before or after Ash Wednesday still allows time for prayer and reflection as we prepare our hearts for this holy season.
Advent is the season of preparation the month before Christmas. Advent begins 4 Sundays before Christmas Day. It is a time to prepare our hearts and minds to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ and what He brough to the world and continues to bring to the world. Traditionally it has been a time of waiting, just as the Jewish people were in a period of waiting for their Messiah before Jesus was born. Similar to Lent, celebrating Advent allows us to prepare our hearts and minds for Christmas rather than simply having Christmas sneak up on us as we get caught up with all the busyness and materialism of the Christmas rush. It is ideal to hold an Advent Retreat the first weekend of Advent or a week or two ahead of that in order to get people thinking about it.
Day/Evening retreat themes include, but are not limited to, the following:
C-Train Prayer; Praying for the City of Calgary
Do you have a small group who desires to pray for our city? A great way to do this is to pray along the C-Train line which covers so much of the city. This is a great event for visual thinking; people who like to see who and what they are praying for. As the C-Train weaves through the city you can pray for the people, communities and businesses you pass by. Our retreat facilitator has a map and worksheet to help guide your group through this prayer exercise.
Calgary Tower Prayer
Similar to the C-Train prayer (above), praying at the top of the Calgary Tower allows you to pray for the entire city as you look down at people, businesses and communities. Our retreat facilitator has a guide explaining what you're looking out at and suggesting what things can be prayed for as you walk around the Calgary Tower observation deck, covering every quadrant of the city in prayer.
Labyrinths have been used as prayer and meditation tools for centuries. A Labyrinth walk can help focus your heart and soul on God as it slows down your mind and even your heart rate. There are many spiritual lessons to be learned by the Labyrinth as it symbolizes so many spiritual analogies. There are Labyrinths at the FCJ Retreat Centre, King's Fold Retreat Centre and a few churches in Calgary. There are many ways to walk the Labyrinth which can be explained by our retreat facilitator, whether you've walked a Labyrinth a hundred times or never even seen one.
Stations of the Cross Prayer Walk; Following in the Steps of Jesus
There are prayer walks at King's Fold Retreat Centre and Mount St. Francis Retreat Centre as well as many churches and cathedrals around the city. These walks invite us to walk through the steps of Jesus' last hours, examining our own heart and our response to the opportunity to take up our own cross. Our retreat facilitator can help guide your group through this thought-provoking walk.
Our cost for facilitating group retreats is $25 per person per day or $20 per person per half day (like an evening seminar or afternoon workshop) plus retreat related expenses such as travel, food, accomodation and workshop materials. Donations above this are welcome and are tax deductible. For more information on group retreats please contact Rob at firstname.lastname@example.org or (403) 880-3454.