Create rhythm in all 7 life areas

Published Categorized as english, Home making, Our journey, Uncategorized

Mini Introduction Course HOL-D- ON., Part 4 (of 7)

This is already the fourth Friday that you are receiving an email in your inbox about the Playful Rule of Life. Because in 7 weeks I will take you step by step in a mini introduction course HOLD ON., a holistic Rule of Life to make the hectic of everyday life manageable using elements from monastic life. I hope that you are enjoying it so far! 

When does your heart beat faster? Mine gets going if I’m being a hostess. Then I’m really in my element. The more people at the kitchen table, the happier I am. I wrote a blog earlier this week: The great gift of the guest. 

Maybe you think:Pfft. Guests! Serving others, strangers – is there enough in the house? Help! I’m tired just thinking of it.” That is possible. Because with a Rule of Life, it’s not about me, but rather what makes your heart beat faster. I just gave an example.

This week, it’s about the Dear Ones Around You: your connection with others. The reason why you create rhythm in all areas in this chapter is because relations are having an impact on all areas of life. So. This is the place to find and create a healthy balance.

Human beings are made to interact with others and live together. We know that this is often beautiful, but sometimes also complicated. That’s why I gave a special chapter to it.

A question for you:

What do you need to be satisfied with your family, friends or spouse? Which contacts take up a lot of energy, but you can’t avoid them? Which contacts would you like to see more often or less often? Does the other party feel the same way? How do you want to handle this?

Some situations are given to you: an ailing wife, aging father, or toddler, whom you may love dearly, but who draws the energy out of you. The fact that this takes energy says nothing about whether or not you love someone, but whether it is intense. If so, you need time to recharge.

“Take care of yourself so you can take care of others.
A bleeding heart is of no use to anyone.”

Fr. Buechner

In a healthy relationship – with anyone – there is a certain reciprocity. You give and take, and it is in harmony when it is good. There is a healthy balance. You listen and you talk or you are in a wonderful relaxed safe silence in each other’s presence.

Did you know that a woman speaks an average of 20,000 words a day, while a man speaks only 7,000?

– De volkskrant, a Dutch newspaper

So, that can easily go wrong. (Jelle and I also have to deal with the extreme introvert and the extreme extrovert dynamic;-). That balance can fluctuate quite wildly. But in general, you find harmony and contentment – or at least keep searching for it. And in Benedictine style, you can do that every day – try and try again. 

Relationships with parents, children, neighbors, relatives. Oh, how precious, but also how complicated it can be. You may not be able to start over and over again from love. To pursue that remains good. It is also important that you distinguish between what you are responsible for and what the other person is responsible for.

Sometimes taking a step back or getting functionally angry about an unjust situation is very healthy. Just try to let the emotion cool down. What a struggle that can be! The art of living lovingly is knowing the difference.

Good manners are an affirmation of something that is between people, whether it’s your neighbor, your friend in the street, or your roommate or husband or wife.

Janneke’s Journal

Since this is the heart of the mini course and we’re halfway through today, I’ll give you an example worksheet from the Rule of Life workbook.

In this worksheet, you can make rhythm in all seven areas of life. Just play with it, fill it in with a pencil, put it away for a while, and pick it up again next week. It’s universal – for all ages, places, and cultures.

And don’t forget: It’s an ideal, it’s a guideline, a framework. I hope you find a nice way to do it. Of course, you don’t live your life on an A-4. But between the lines, it breathes because the heart beats.

If you would like to chat a bith further: please just leave a message and we find time to zoom:

And remember that with every cup of tea you pour, you are in communion with Jesus, who shares the bread and pours the wine. This is how you can also bless the people around you, whether you’re setting the table for yourself or for your housemates, feeding a toddler who is learning to eat, or doing the dishes or other daily activities around meal times. Each meal is a reference to the Last Supper and the Supper of the Lamb.

I hope that gives you comfort. See you next Friday!


This is part 4 (of 7) a small introduction to HOLD ON., the playful Rule of Life that implements elements from the tranquility of the monastery into the chaos of everyday life. Are you playing?

In a nutshell, the mini course looks like this:

Week 1: H of Sacred Ground: A good start, a solid foundation.

Week 2: O of Organizing: Standing still and not moving yet.

Week 3: U of Run: Get started! No more delay and get moving now.

Today: Week 4: V of Connection: The beating heart for others.

Week 5: A of Activity: Attention to your body: nutrition, exercise and rest.

Week 6: S of Sensitivity: Feed your sensitive soul.

Week 7: T van Finally: The art of finishing.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *