A New Practice!
Spiritual practice is something I’ve written about before, but not in a while. Furthermore, I see that Rev. Justin Schroeder, the senior minister at First Universalist in Minneapolis, is writing over at his blog, Wells We Did Nor Dig, about practice. I’m inspired! Not only that, but All Souls’ spiritual theme for the month of January is Presence, and nothing helps me be more present than my regular spiritual practice.
So what is my practice these days?
One part is Havi Brooks’ “Hello, Day!” (Havi does a ton of super-amazing, unbelievably stupendously awesome stuff – check out her site, “Fluent Self.”) I trust I’m not doing violence to her method — check out her site for more examples of “Hello, Day!” I include it here as an example of how I have been using it.
“Hello, Day!” is a way to plan-without-planning. That is to say, it’s a way to think about the upcoming day without boring, tedious categories or annoying structures that make me want to think about my upcoming day about as much as I’d like to get my teeth scaled.
“Hello, Day!” involves a set of simple questions about the day to come. Havi, as usual, has framed them in ways that are helpful, simple, and a bit whimsical. Here they are with examples of answers:
- What would I like from today?
- A safe drive where I’m going
- A fruitful meeting with the person I’m meeting
- Success in accomplishing my tasks around the house
- What qualities or essences would I like from my day?
- What is something nice I could do for my body?
- I’d like to do a couple of yoga poses to help ground me in my body.
- I’d also like to have a nice fruit salad for breakfast.
- Slightly future me has helpful commentary. What does s/he say to me now?
- “Great job!”
- “I’m so glad for you that you made this commitment to this meeting and followed through with it, even though it was scary.”
- Mini Very Personal Ad (answers are things that we’re looking for in a day, just like what one might be looking for in a partner.)
- I’m looking for a day of energy and fruitful conversation and connection.
- I’m looking for the energy and generosity to plan and perform the surprises I have in store for a loved one.
- Who/what are my Allies, Resources, Support?
- Fuzzy Self – my inner self who knows how my body is really feeling
- My well-maintained car that will get me where I’m going
- The person I’m meeting
- Slightly future me, who has reminded me that I have a tiara on all the time.
- My pets.
- My sense of energy in my vocation
- What could today be like?
- Today could have lots of great information, as well as a new sense of connection.
- Today could also have a celebration of a dear friend later on, and that’s even more connection!
- Today could be a really great day!
As you can see, “Hello, Day!” is a way to frame the upcoming time with intention. Intention is so important, and something that I find is often overlooked in UU circles. We talk about it in terms of how we hope our congregations will grow, but not enough (in my humble opinion) about how intention plays out in our personal lives. Setting intention can be an important part in preparation for any significant meeting, when doing worship planning, when preparing to speak before a congregation or any other group, when coming into any situation that may involve conflict, and when doing really any kinds of planning.
More later on this topic of planning as spiritual practice.
For now, what is your intention for the day? What are you longing for that you intend to bring into greater clarity and manifestation? Be intentional. Write it down. Then see what happens. Write that down too. Repeat as often as you’re able