“What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? / The world would split open.”
Poet Muriel Rukeyser

Friday, May 21, 2010

Friday Five: Discipline

Friday, May 21, 2010
Friday Five: Disciplines
I so often think I have little "discipline" in my life, but there has to be a certain amount to survive and accomplish anything. Think about the various disciplines you routinely (or semi-regularly) participate in--or formerly practiced. Tell us about five in any (one or more) category(ies) that you feel like discussing.

Here are a few, you may also have your own:

Spiritual Practices: when I was working regularly I found weekly sermon preparation to be a spiritual practice. On Tuesday I'd read the lectionary selection for the upcoming Sunday and begin to pray and reflect on it with the intention of finding a "theme" - for some this is the title, although in the Episcopal Church we don't usually title our sermons. Then I'd spend the rest of the week letting this theme resonate within me while I pondered how it was relevant to my congregation and the heart of the Gospel.

Other spiritual practices - until I moved recently I saw my Spiritual Director every month and took a three day silent retreat twice a year.

Prayer Practices: I pray in a silent meditation for 30-40 minutes a day. Sometimes I do this in one long session, other times I do it in two. Silent prayer has been my primary form of personal prayer for many years. Sometimes I "pray without ceasing" - a kind of on going sentence or phrase that I repeat all day. I also write prayers, that are kind of like poetry. Sometimes they just come to me and I have write them down. Sometimes I have to struggle to get them out.

Fitness Disciplines: I have exercised regularly for most of my life. Lately, unemployed and living back in the area with my daughter, she got me into a fitness gym. I go there almost every day. It has become my salvation (of a sort) as I exercise my anxiety out and get myself into much better shape. I've lost weight and firmed up in a way I could not do on my own. And, it's fun to take the classes.

Food regularities: well....mostly I just try to eat a healthy balanced diet.

Sermon preparation routines: see above.

Artistic or musical practices: I listen to my iPod while I exercise? I don't play an instrument any more although I use to play piano and clarinet.

Practices you wish to develop: one day I'd like to go back to playing the piano and spinning pot on the pottery wheel.

What practice was routine for a season: uhm.....have to think about this....

In general I am a fairly disciplined person. I have internal motivation for this and can manage to maintain it over long periods of time. I also have the capacity to let go of almost all discipline and turn into a sloth - or just be random. Usually though I feel more grounded and centered when life has structure and discipline.