Do you ever feel like you’re swimming upstream in the course of your day, your lists and your chaotic mind?
Me too! Drowning, actually, would describe how I used to feel A LOT. Just occasionally now.
Thanks to much practice and support for my own Living Well, I know what a different space feels like. This space is far from perfection, but it does have more of a center and sense of discipline and power in the face of huge commitments. In the upcoming Biblical “self” care class (Tuesdays in October), we’ll go into this in a little more depth.
Here is a hand-out I’ve designed to share with my students. I’m glad to pass on this copy to you in hopes that it might provoke some of your own resonance and/or creative ideas. In a nutshell, these are ways I’ve learned to GROUND myself and keep moving forward in days that could be overwhelming. They are methods for remembering the Sacred in my day. I pray a blessing on your own journeys to do likewise!
PRACTICES FOR REORIENTING FOCUS AND FEELINGS
Lighting Candles: before or after an experience that needs blessing or boundaries… when I need to focus on a stressful assignment; before I write out today’s ‘to do” list; when I’m turning to a task that’s late – perhaps with some guilt; before an important and vulnerable conversation; when I don’t know how to offer an intercessory prayer…
Lighting Incense: before or after an experience that needs blessing or boundaries… all of the above apply
Playing a Favorite Song: before/during breakfast, to start the day out right; before/during meditation; before bedtime
Rearranging Piles of Papers: to demonstrate “enough done” for today… “I’m done” or “I’m leaving” or “this can wait” etc. It helps to let a long slow breathe out!
Making and spending time at an “altar” space: pausing before a display of special photos, quotes, keepsakes that embody my loyalties, blessings and intentions
Meal Blessings: to claim not only the gratitude we associate with these, but also a boundary around conversation, for instance dedicating the time to fellowship and re-connection, rather than problem-solving or task management.
Coffee Cup Blessings: Intentionally not multi-tasking with the divinely-favored beverage of choice; using the enjoyment of it to mark a “non-task” moment before I dig in to first project.
Devotional Readings: Returning to a favorite passage or setting time aside for brief reading of a new one; naming this time (3 minutes, 5 or more) as a threshold moment that is wrapping up or beginning a new task or experience
Pausing to REALLY LOOK at Sun, Lake, Birds, etc. : Building in the time to pause on walk to el or somewhere else, sometimes the same place on the established walk; allowing this visual banquet to encourage and strengthen me with God’s providence and wisdom.