"Making A Day"
In going through some old papers recently I came across something I had put together in 2011 (I suppose for some retreat I was leading) titled “Finding Holiness/Wholiness in your Day.” I think I was meant to find it, rediscover for myself during a now busy and kind of strange and crazy time how to be more PRESENT, more SELF AWARE, more CONNECTED, INTENTIONAl, PURPOSEFUL and yet CALM. I offer it here in case you might find this recipe for making a day helpful, too.
• Set aside a short time (or longer if you have it) to reflect on the day ahead.
• Begin with quietness, centering, slow deep breathing
• Open your heart and give thanks for the gift of the coming day.
• Be aware of what you may need in the way of resources for the day; ask God to resource you for what is to come, both the expected and the unexpected.
• Review your “calendar” for the day, planned events, work/tasks anticipated.
• Consider the opportunities that may be available to you today.
• Reflect on what purpose the events or non-events may have for your life and the lives of those with whom you may come into contact today.
• Check to make sure you have “breathing room” in your day. Times available to relax.
• Consider the possibility of any calendar re-adjustments for the day.
• Enter into a time of centering silence. Conclude with thanks giving.
DURING THE DAY (The “Pause that Refreshes”)
• Take little “time-outs” during the day. Maybe two: one late morning and one mid-afternoon. Simply stop, drop out of what you are doing and re-orient.
• Breathe deeply with quiet rhythm. Draw in the “ruah” (Divine breath). Feel it cleanse, refresh, renew your body, heart, and mind. This infuses the brain with oxygen, helps you see things more clearly. Deep breathing involves the core of your body, helps “ground” you.
• Take time to eat. Your body and brain need nourishment. Be present in this activity. Sense the nourishment entering your body; feel it renew you.
• Stop and check out your body at least once or twice during the day. Do you feel tension, anxiety, fear, despair, disconnect? What part(s) of your body are most affected when you are under stress – check them out. Don’t judge yourself. Simply breathe in love as you pray for strength, calmness, clarity, a sense of purpose.
• If you have tasks/jobs/events that demand significant energy, ones that you consider stressful or ones that require you to relate to someone(s) with whom there is a difficult relationship, take at least a brief time out before and after such events to center and ground yourself.
END OF THE DAY
• Review your day. Take time to consider the following:
o Where/when/during what events did you feel fullness, connectedness, joy, completion?
o Where/when/during what events did you feel dryness, stress, anxiety, depletion?
o What fed you during the day; what energized you, calmed you, gave you clarity?
o Where did God use you to feed/nourish/support/energize others?
o What would you consider “fruits” of the day?
o Consider what you have learned from responding to these questions for yourself. Then let go of all your thoughts and concerns– hand them over to God. He will take care of them for you through the night so you can rest.
• Pray, giving thanks to God for the gift of the day.
• Relax your muscles and your mind, feel your breath and your heart slow into steady, quiet, sure rhythms.
• Pray for peace. Ask for protection through the night. Give thanks for the rest and peace that awaits you. Sleep.