Karen Hoyt is a blogger who has a story about hepatitis C, cirrhosis, end-stage liver disease, liver cancer, and liver transplantation. This excerpt first appeared on Karen’s I Help C blog.

Long before Eat Pray Love was published, women were going on retreats. I’m not sure what makes up a retreat, although I talked a bit about cancer retreats here. I encourage you ALL to look into taking any amount of time for whatever you call a retreat. There are certain things I’ve looked for in the past when my heart felt the hankering to be alone in a place of rest. You may think it’s somewhat like a runaway? Nah. Not like that. More like running toward something:

Silence Rest Focus Growth Instruction

My early retreats consisted of hiding under the sheets on the clothes line. No one could call me to sweep the floor or babysit my sisters. Well, they could call, but on “retreat” I didn’t answer. My poor mother.

Alone seems to be a central theme… alone with God. My first silent retreat was several days at Notre Dame in a teeny dorm room with a door that locked. I was hooked.

A journal has always been imperative, along with a really nice pen. All the meditating, praying, reading, and listening lends itself to writing. The only sound is the scratch of the ink and myself growing.

I’ve led workshops and retreats both large and small. I have caravanned with groups to attend Christian women conferences where we sang, and danced, and got tips on how to overcome ourselves.

I’ve spent time in a yurt with a musician playing a didgeridoo and guitar music. We all lay on the floor with our eyes closed. There were gongs and yoga moves going on too.

Mostly in retreat, I pull back from life, into myself, and grow in the mental, spiritual, and physical realms.

To read the rest of this blog where Karen reveals more information about her liver donor, click here