Caught up in the hustle? One hundred percent have been there, and let’s be honest, I am probably still hanging in the hustle of life right now. With one million distractions and an ever-growing priority list, where literally everything feels top priority, it’s easy to fall into habits that pull focus away from an intentional and disciplined spiritual life.
Recently, while scrolling online, obviously avoiding that massive priority list, I clicked on an article by Michelle Lazurek that broke down the top nine most neglected spiritual disciplines, and immediately became convicted. Out of the nine spiritual disciplines, I might have been passively practicing two.
Conviction then turned into a challenge, could I put a pause on my daily hustle and focus my attention on more than two of the disciplines? Not wanting to bite off more than I could chew, I decided to focus my heart, my mind and my time on a combination of three: silence, listening and meditation. All three disciplines targeted toward helping me adapt moments of everyday busyness into moments of stillness.
First up, silence. If you are anything like me, I love to be surrounded by noise. Whether it’s music, the morning news or a family member’s voice via FaceTime, I tend to fill my day with sound. I thought it helped me feel connected to the world outside of our home, and although I still fervently encourage a living room dance party at least once a day, I quickly discovered that I was using noise as a crutch and not acknowledging silence as a tool to help connect with the world, my family and my faith. Now, each morning I set aside a short amount of time to allow silence to fill the space. The moment I quieted my home, my soul began to quiet in parallel.
Silence set the stage for my second chosen discipline, listening. Each day my “listening” would vary, but the goal remained constant. Be still. Listening became a time to embrace the stillness of silence, but then allow intentional content to stir my soul. Whether it was reading scripture, turning on a faith-based podcast or praying, each was designed to open hearts to hear God’s truth and receive His peace. Personally, one of my favorite ways to spend this time has been listening and watching Roma Downey’s “A Moment of Light” nature-inspired devotionals. You can view the latest devotionals here.
After choosing to stay still and listen, my soul would be stirred to the point of wanting to take immediate action, and I’d want to throw myself back into the to-dos of the day. This is where meditation became an essential cap for my morning. Fighting my instinct to turn my attention toward the demands of the day, I would continue the silence, and then take a moment to inhale all of the truth I had just heard through listening. In one breath, soaking in the hope for the rest of the day and allowing peace and stillness to rule over my priority lists and my busyness.
Combined, these often neglected spiritual disciplines gave me more energy and provided deeper optimism and greater joy to accomplish my day-to-day hustle with stillness and grace, never forsaking the moment for the need or desire to fill voids with unintentional noise.
Now, it’s your turn. Trade your busyness for stillness, and choose three of these commonly neglected spiritual disciplines to incorporate into your daily routine.