Taking Time

The November I have planned is outside the mainstream.

We are already deep into the holiday season. The Halloween store in Pasadena opened in July. There were displays of Christmas decorations on sale in September. It is a struggle for some people to get their Halloween decorations up, then taken down, and get their Christmas decorations in place. Thanksgiving tends to get squeezed into a day of watching football and eating as much as possible, washed forward in the relentless tide of the holidays.

My November is almost the opposite. I am spending several days this month reflecting and helping other people reflect.

There are a couple of times that are organized around craft brewing. I am talking about monks and brewing, and people usually ask me how spirituality can be connected to beer. I tell them a little about the history, and the brews that we taste often open new opportunities for conversation.

I am also facilitating several reflection times this month.

In our overworked, over-extended, over-stimulated lives, it is easy for us to forget to spend time reflecting. Many people are intimidated by reflection, and by the idea of spending a few hours in ways that do not appear to be productive. They want to know the goal of our time together, they want to know the focus of the day. They work hard to understand the rules, and they get a little anxious when I explain that we are not that concerned about rules.

We assume that spirituality is about meeting certain standards or feeling pressured. People tend to feel uneasy because we think we are not doing what we are supposed to do.

Taking time to reflect helps us remember the joy and love that inspire us.

How do you take time to reflect each day?

What are your plans for this November?

[Image by liber(the poet)]

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  • http://www.margaretfeinberg.com Margaret

    my plans for November include gearing up for the launch of my new book. But I hope to take time for some much needed rest in the midst of the busyness

    • Strategic Monk

      Thank you, Margaret.

      I look forward to reading your new book, and pray that you will take time for the rest you need this month.

  • http://www.breaktheframe.com Alli Polin

    Great reminder about taking the time for reflection. We noticed that our kids could not sit still unless they were engaged by technology. We’re kicking off November with a few weeks without ipads. Slowing down and letting our minds engage with each other and the world around us. So far, it has been wonderful.

    • Strategic Monk

      Thank you, Alli!

      It is important for us to appreciate how the lives we lead distract us from reflection, and how the distractions might potentially help us reflect more deeply. I disconnect from electronic media when I go on a retreat at a monastery, but I also use my iPad when I facilitate a reflection day for a group of people.

      The challenge for me is finding ways that technology can strengthen reflection and contemplation.