Kairos: Reconnecting with yourself, others and your future
By: Allie Meisner, Assistant Copy Editor
This fall’s Kairos retreat, hosted by Campus Ministry, is taking place Nov. 10-12 at Cradle Beach. The retreat is open to everyone, and in the sometimes chaotic unfolding of our lives, Kairos lets us build in time for self-reflection and connecting with others.
One of the powerful qualities of the Kairos retreat is that it is meant to exist in its own bubble of time — to be nearly timeless. When deadlines, exams, work and other commitments demand so much of us during the semester, creating time to step away from that pressure and really try to value ourselves and others like we’re meant to be valued can be something that’s not only rewarding but also necessary. The retreat experience emphasizes that you and the struggles you may be going through, whether or not it seems like anyone would care, truly do matter.
The retreat includes time spent bonding with others, hearing from other people and the opportunity to express ourselves in small groups. The small groups are created to be a compassionate and confidential space, a space where we can talk about our struggles, celebrate our successes, look at our lives with a compassionate curiosity and hear from other people who also have both pain and compassion to share. Built into Kairos is an opportunity to create friendships and to feel more like ourselves, to become more like the people we hope to be.
Kairos is also a place where people can seek a greater awareness of God, or goodness, in the world around them. Kairos allows us to both acknowledge and, at least for a weekend, to hopefully step away from the stress, boredom, loneliness, grief or anything else that we may be feeling, to see the kindness and the goodness in the world that maybe we didn't see before or haven't seen for a bit of time.
Kairos, for some people, is a way to gain some needed perspective in their lives. It is an opportunity to gently and compassionately ask themselves if they really are okay and to acknowledge the areas in their lives where they might be struggling. For others, it can be a way of reflecting on our life trajectory, asking ourselves if we are headed where we want to be headed. Sometimes Kairos can be about connecting again with spirituality in our lives. It can be about rediscovering our love for others where we might have become a little distant. Sometimes the loneliness we feel in our lives can start to engulf us, and Kairos then can be a way of reconnecting with the care and compassion that others are often truly honored to share with us — and sometimes Kairos can be a way of reconnecting with the care and compassion that we want to give ourselves.
In short, no one’s experience at Kairos is the same. Ultimately, your individual experience is molded around what you might need at this unique point in time and space. It really is okay to walk into Kairos not knowing exactly what to expect or exactly how it will help. Sometimes openness to the future is exactly what we need.
The last day to sign up for Kairos is Monday, Oct. 30. To access the Google form, scan the barcode on the Kairos flier located in recent Today@Canisius emails or included as a photo here. Please also feel free to email Spencer at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Don’t be afraid to give Kairos a chance, even if you’re not completely sure where it might lead. You are truly worth the effort and potential scariness of stepping onto a bus that’s possibly filled with people you don’t know. Whatever you might be experiencing in your life, you are absolutely worth the risk of stepping out and doing something daring.