Living from the Heart- Purpose Pause Retreat

Author: Jess Dahl
June 13, 2021

It’s been a week since we had our Purpose Pause Retreat in Colorado.  It seems unreal. It seems like it was just yesterday and also ages ago. Have you ever had that feeling? Something feeling so far away yet just like yesterday? I finally took some time to write about some things in my heart from us hosting this experience with 15 others from all around the country.  This life changing experience was one that was totally created by faith and living from the heart.  Have you ever heard the term, “spirit led” or “heart led”?  For those of you who haven’t, it’s basically being led by the prompting of what God is doing in the moment. It’s an awareness and tuning to Gods Spirit and our heart even if our human self has a different plan or agenda.  That is what this weekend was all about.  

Every time I have hosted a retreat, it usually somehow starts off with seeing what the intention of each person is for being there.  Then reminding them that any expectation they have, they can let it go, to be open to the beauty and magic around them, and to notice and be present to everything happening. By the end of this, it’s opened such a safe container for people sharing from their heart because they feel they can express why they showed up, and what they are currently dealing with. This allows everyone to feel seen and heard exactly where they are at.  As humans, one of the number one needs is to feel emotionally safe. We don’t even realize that’s what we need until we feel and experience it.

I was currently with a couple of people that I consider mentors of mine, Gary & Lisa Black.  They are people that I look up to in the way they have experienced challenges, & the way they live and walk out their life fully from the heart. It was funny because at one point Gary said, “you know, the farthest place any human has to travel is from their head to their heart.” I started laughing because my partner in life & Pursuing Purpose, BC Serna, was the first person I heard say that a few years ago...and that's what we live out in everything we do to this day. They asked about the retreat and everything else we have been up to. After sharing a bit, Gary was like wow, well..you’re already doing it, so keep going.  Of course he shared some other insights, yet the thing I was reminded of most was how they are teaching the next generation how to lead from the heart and the older generation to do the same, no matter what false beliefs they have taken on from their past.  It was an encouragement that these encounters that people are having on our retreats, experiences, and programs, are nothing short of God's hand on it all.

I remember the first night, what seemed a bit funny for some people at first, putting some silent disco headsets on and dancing on a trail in the forest, then stopping to watch the sunset in silence, to sitting and sharing how we were feeling.  Some of the words I won’t forget that people said were they felt: “held, at peace, gratitude, wonder, seen, alive”...plus many more.  What we realize, is that creating a safe container for people to be exactly who they are in any given moment is the most important thing we can do.  All humans really want to do is know they can be who they already are, and if they don’t know who they already are, then a safe place to come back to it. 

The whole weekend, as a team, we watched and listened to the stories of each participant and was led from the heart and Gods Spirit to guide what was needed to happen or be said in that moment. One moment I will never forget was when we went to the town of Breckenridge and was about to head out to go to visit a lake nearby, we had the thought of getting the silent disco headsets out to dance along the street.  A couple people had second thoughts because we didn’t have too many extra headsets to pass out to strangers and didn’t think it would be worth our time. I thought, well why not try it?  Then all of a sudden, we all decided that’s what was needed in that moment.  Our whole group took a headset each, grabbed a few extra and went dancing in the streets. We grabbed strangers to dance with us, even a couple followed with us the whole time. The faces & expressions on the strangers were usually a bit hesitant but once they put the headsets on and danced with us, they broke out in laughter and freedom that some of them have never experienced in their life.  One story that impacted me the most was a young girl standing outside a local shop & one of our teammates saw her, put on the headset & she began to dance. Her mom, the owner of the local shop, came out at one point in tears as she couldn’t believe what was happening…..her little girl who was dancing with the headset was deaf and she hasn’t seen her this alive in a long time.  As she shared that story, I began to tear up. I felt the emotion of the mother, and I felt the emotion of the sweet little girl who may have never had this kind of experience if it wasn’t for us ditching our own plans, and taking a risk on what we knew was needed in that moment. I gave the mother a hug and asked if I could say a prayer of encouragement. (I don’t always do that, but when I feel the pull, I go for it)  That day, the mother felt encouraged and said it was an answer to prayers she’s been praying for a long time.  There were other people and miracles that happened that day, but I’ll save those for another blog or podcast episode!

That day there was freedom in people, joy in strangers, love in community, and heaven on earth in a city that needed it.  The rest of the weekend was filled with tons more divine moments that brought us back to the child in us that we have forgotten about. The one in all of us that desires to be free, to feel joy, to experience love and hearts to open and be healed.  Even the apostles of Jesus needed the healing of their hearts.  Jesus put a child in the middle of his apostles and said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. And anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf is welcoming me.”

I know some of this may seem weird, radical, or interesting..i get it. It’s not normal in an ordinary world and it can’t really be explained, it has to be experienced. All I can say is if we can live from our whole heart, we really can be free, whole, and live fully who we are created to be with a deeper sense of purpose than ever before.

Taking the step isn’t easy, yet the fruit of investing in yourself is far greater than anything you can ever think or imagine. Are you willing to take a risk? Are you willing to invest in yourself? If you’re ever interested in an experience like we just had, please contact me through this website or email jessdahl24@gmail.com, I’d love to hear your story! Because really, the world is waiting for you to BE all you are created to be.



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