There is a time in our lives when we just feel like we want to get away from everything around us. It may be from feeling overwhelmed or even from feeling grateful for what we have been given. When we do feel like we want to withdraw from everything, bring things to a halt for a while, or turn inward and cut ourselves off from the world, this is a time to digest everything and listen to what is going on within us or to what is being said to us by forces greater than us. This is the classic retreat, the motif of Jonah entering the belly of the whale, which gives us the gift of time and place to consciously reflect on what is going on and what matters most to us.
Think of a time like this in your life, reflect on the circumstances that put you in the place to be able to retreat from the world, what happened to you during the retreat, and where you were lead following your retreat. This gives you the structure to be able to tell this story of retreat in the familiar pattern of beginning, muddle, and resolution.