With our brokenness, pain, problems, anxiety, stress, challenges and weakness, how do we live well, with more joy and peace than our situation may warrant?
I believe it’s by living thoughtfully, prayerfully and slowly, in increments at a time. Rather than rushing from activity to activity without pausing to catch our breath.
Because our lives are lived in tiny moments, one after another. Each moment offers us an opportunity to be alert and aware, present and open to the sacred in our midst. Together they form the backbone of our days and shape the way we live.
We can learn to rest our souls in God’s presence, while going about our ordinary daily tasks, rather like Brother Lawrence, who knew what it was like to live with chronic pain and rise above it.
And as we do, we receive God’s grace and power, and we learn to be more fully present in each moment. Think of it like continual prayer, an ongoing dialogue with God, if possible, whereby we automatically pause and look to Him before beginning each new task.
It’s also good to thank God whenever we think of it. Because research has shown that exercising gratitude helps fuel our joy and ability to stay positive. Sounds too hard? It is difficult at first. Like all new habits or spiritual practices, soul mindfulness takes a while to feel natural to us.
Finding it hard to pray? How about using some simple breath prayers like a slowly whispered “YHWH” (Yahweh) drawing out each syllable as you breathe in and out? Prayers don’t have to be said in a special place or way to be effective. You can pray right where you are, silently or otherwise.
Or maybe a brief “Help me, Jesus. Fill me with your Peace. Show me your way.” as suggested by Sarah Young in ‘Jesus Today: Embracing Hope Through His Presence’ will help focus your thoughts. These small prayers can be powerful reminders of God’s constant care.
I’m still a beginner in the art of soul mindfulness, but it does become easier the more we practice it. If nothing else, I think it helps us become more God-focused as we go about our days, and enhances our ability to hear from Him.
We can discover a greater peace and a strengthening that sustains us. It fuels our faith and gives us the incentive, drive and commitment to endure and persevere. We become bolstered by an eternal hope that is made available to us in the here and now.
However, trying to live a God-centred life solely by our own efforts is futile. But to live a yielded, surrendered life is possible if we take it one small step, one small moment after another. And as we give Holy Spirit our receptive hearts and ask Him to guide our thoughts.
When we slow enough to listen more attentively to His voice, God enables us to exhale our stress and relax. He also points out the necessary heart work our souls require to live more fully and freely in every way.
Soul freedom comes with greater dependence on God. It sounds contradictory, doesn’t it? But that’s how God has designed us to live, love and thrive best in this world, because He knows we need His wisdom and peace. I think that’s worth slowing down for, don’t you? 🙂