Thanks to Jill Benson, DWELL Curriculum Coordinator, for inspiring this Great Idea!
A lot of folx are feeling burnt out, stressed, stretched beyond their resilience, and/or at the end of their ropes. Many folx are either contemplating retirement, resignation, or a new setting, or have already made the move. Adding something else – especially something new – may feel like the last thing anyone needs. And maybe, for some, one more thing will be a terrible idea.
But for others – for many of us – adding a spiritual practice of some kind may be just the life-line we need. Spiritual practices have been scientifically researched for years now, and researchers are gathering quantitative data to support what mystics and contemplatives have been saying for millennia: a closer, stronger, deeper relationship with the Divine, with our True Self, with the Spirit of God within us, is one of the most important keys to resilience, one of the surest roads to inspiration, and certainly the greatest strength to which we can attach ourselves.
Jill Benson, in Starting Small: Creating Consistent Faith Practices, One Baby Step at a Time, likens developing a spiritual practice with beginning any other form of exercise: we need to create realistic and achievable goals at the start so we do not set ourselves up for failure or disappointment.
Along with Benson’s suggestions, you can find inspiration, encouragement, how-to’s, ideas, and support in our Contemplative Practices lib guides:
- Introductions is for beginners of all ages.
- Engender congregational/communal rest and renewal with ideas from our Family, Small Group, and Congregation and our Sabbath lib guides.
- Rejuvenate a lapsed practice with help from our Individual Inspiration and Leader Renewal lib guides.
- Or, join our Midweek Retreat (resuming in September, 2021) or other Online Prayer Opportunities.
No matter where you are on this journey, the rewards and renewal that stem from any kind of spiritual or contemplative practice are innumerable. And know that it always feels like something we “have” to do, or something added into an already-too-busy life. But as you establish whatever practice best suits you, the blessings will flow.