Here you have it: A Circular and Holistic Rule of Life in a nutshell.

Published Categorized as english

HOLD ON

A Holistic and Circulair 

Rule of life 

or

a trellis to train me

My Rule of life is born out of despair.

Spring 2019, we’re about to move from Osijek, Croatia, back to the Netherlands. Our fifth International move. I should’ve mastered it: moving around with the family. Nope!

At first I started my Rule of Life, using the words DOMAINS, as a Rule of Life covers all Domains of a healthy life. But I changed it to HOLD ON. Read below why.

I felt extremely overwhelmed by all the tasks that still continued, even apart from the move as a family. Food needed to be at the table. Every single day. The school year needed to be finished at four different levels for each kid. We needed to stay in touch with our family. Find a house, find a job, wrap up our house and belongings and settle at the other side of Europe.

We are not even talking about the emotional rollercoaster we were in. 

There and then it happened at our kitchen table. Not just that very moment. It was a tiny seed that had been growing very slowly and deeply inside me. And now, it was coming to the surface. A Rule of Life. My Rule of life.

And now: I am happy to share this Rule of life which can become Your Rule of Life Just in case you feel overwhelmed by daily life and ask yourself, how can I live more attentively?

How to survive in my very full life?

Is it also your experience that life is often very full and demanding? You’re juggling through life, feel restless and overwhelmed.

There is so much work to be done! Random daily tasks, housekeeping, connecting with friends and family, oh, dear, I also have a body that can use some attention. And nurturing my soul? I usually skip that. That’s luxury.

What’s this article about?

In this article, I present A Rule of Life in a playful, creative way. Adaptable to all life circumstances.  I try to make clear how this Rule of life can shape your life and live with focus and attentiveness, covering all areas of a meaningful life. 

And I’d love to take you along!

Who can benefit from a Rule of Life?

  • People who find themselves in a changing situation (recent pressure due to a life-changing event)
  • Those who have been living under pressure for a longer period of time. 
  • Or anyone who likes to live attentively, pro-active instead of re-active.
  • Earlier, I wrote: Hey Janneke, how do you live with a Rule of Life? 

So, first: The letters HOLD ON do have a special significance here. It is important that you do not approach a Rule of Life rigidly. If you do, then you completely miss the point. You can work with it playfully—repeat it, start over, and keep looking for improvement. A Rule of Life implicitly breathes the word “grace.”

Would you like to live with more focus and flow in your life?

Then is a Rule of Life, a playful method to try out.

“The playfulness and ‘mercifulness’ of this rule of life is very appealing to me. I often feel like a failure, and this rule offers the opportunity to start over again and again.” – Mary, a retreat attendee, on “How to live with a Rule of Life”.

What is a Rule of life?

A Rule of Life is a framework around which to organize your life. I find the acronym HOLD ON. to be an incredibly helpful reminder of principles that help shape a Rule of Life. 

The phrase “HOLD ON.” itself makes me think of two hands clasping each other, not squeezing hard, but securely entwined. 

H – “Holy ground,” a good start. The Fundament. Who holds you? Start from silence and awareness of who you are in the sight of your Maker. How would you like to start the day, week, month, the year?

O – “Organize your time.” Make a to-do list. What’s your focus? What will you do, and when? Do not do it yet—just plan!

L  – “Let’s do it.” No procrastination. Implement your plan. Get into action.

D  – “Dear ones around you”—spend time with them and keep your connection strong

O – “Oh! My body”—It’s easy to take for granted, but it’s the only one you’ve got. Take care of your physical self with food and exercise.

N –  “Nurture your soul” – Your connection with your soul and surroundings. What makes you deeply happy? See art, make music, go for a walk. Do your thing, and let your soul sing.

. –  Full stop. Tie up any loose ends and call it finished. 

A Rule of Life has a head and a tail and helps you perfect the Art of Starting and Stopping. It helps you organize and implement and leaves space for you to give attention to the loved ones around you, your body, and your soul. 

A Rule of Life is a trellis that gives you the stability to help you grow towards the sunlight. It provides support and guidance in your life.

Why would you use a Rule of Life?

To Create Rest and rhythm.

A Rule of Life helps you to bring order to the hectic pace and chaos of life.

There was a time when I felt enormous pressure: school, self-study, community work; contacts with loved ones, household chores, food on the table; and oh yes: I also have a body that could use some attention.

Make a list of your roles

You may also feel pressure to give attention to all different areas, equally. So, think about the different roles you have and how much time you approximately are spending on each of the roles you have. (son, daughter, parent, neighbor, volunteer).

The HOLD ON Rule of Life includes all areas of life that you want to give daily and weekly attention to. You start from a calm beginning at Holy Ground. You repeat that over and over and write it out on a day and week planner. Therefore, you live consciously and with attention. And you finish with rest. Bring the day to a closure.

How does a Rule of Life work?

It is holistic and circular.

The Rule of Life “HOLD ON.” is circular in that you can start over every day. This is the Benedict way.  It is also holistic in that it pays attention to all areas of life.

Each day:

Hang a list somewhere where you will see it often and put the letters HOLD ON in a column on the left-hand side.

Go check them out in the morning, while you put the kettle on for tea or pour in your first cup of coffee (or just after you finish it).

Each Week:

Sunday: H= Holy Ground. A good start. The Fundament. Who holds you? Always start from rest. 

Monday: O= Organize your time. What’s your focus, and when will you address it? Sit down and make a plan. Do not get into action yet. Make a plan, only.

Tuesday: L= Let’s do it. No procrastination—probably your most productive day of the week.

Wednesday: D= Dear ones around you. Spend time with them. On Wednesday, there are more important things than work: the others around you.

Thursday: O= Oh! My body. Take care of yourself when it comes to food and exercise. Do not underestimate the importance of a healthy lifestyle.

Friday: N= Nurture your soul. What makes you deeply happy? See art, make music, walk. Do what makes you feel refreshed and reinvigorated.

Saturday: . Sabbath, wrap up your week, and be satisfied with the closure. 

Of course, depending on your circumstances, the days can differ. That is no problem. It is good that you give each day a theme, and work with focus. And when you look back at the end of the week, you will have covered all domains.

So HOLD ON. Start again in good time with this Holistic, Circular and Playful Rule of Life.

Four times a year:

Evaluate your Rule of life. You will notice that many things that you’ve written down also worked out. A Rule of Life can work as a dot at the horizon. Since you’ve written down what you “actually like to do” In your brain you’re going to live towards it. 

With the evaluation, you will also notice things that you didn’t make, however you liked doing it. Now you can ask yourself the question: 

Why did it not work out, in the way I hoped it would?

What can I do and change in order to make it happen in the next quarter of this year?

What is the foundation for shaping your Rule of Life?

This Rule of Life begins with Holy Ground, which is the foundation.

When I started developing my first Rule of Life, a few years ago, I first started with the word: DOMAINS. I loved that it has the root word Dominion. I work on my Rule of Life together with God. He is the One in control, and I commune with Him. Later on, I changed the word to HOLD ON, because I am still holding on to Him (and it is easier for the translation in Dutch).

In Isaiah 33: 5 and 6, we can read: “The Lord is exalted, for He dwells on high; He will fill Zion with justice and righteousness; and He will be the stability of your times, abundance of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge.”

In one of the Dutch translations, we find the sentence “and He will be the stability of your times” the word “houvast,” which literally means, “Hold on.” He is our Hold On or Stability.

Here is a link to a literature list, the books I read over the years that has confirmed me in my thinking how helpful it is to live with this ancient concept of a Rule of Life. There are a few in Dutch, but also a few in English.

Just like the beans are following the trellis towards the sun, so is a Rule of Life shaping your life in order to flourish more intensely.

A trellis to train me

The bean plant in the garden often does best if you guide it along a trellis. Then it climbs towards the sunlight, where it gets its energy. When it blooms, each flower makes sure it gets enough sunlight, hangs freely yet is attached to the trunk and leans on the rack.

Such a rack provides guidance and direction. Not constricting, because if you secure the branch with a string, it is important that you do it loosely. The branch wants to grow and breathe. But the connection to the branch is fine and important. Eventually, when the time is up, that little plant will produce beautiful ripe, nutritious fruit.

I was still learning gardening and was already happy that a little plant came out of the earth. But I stopped caring. He got water when it rained and quite enjoyed the sun. He continued to grow, but became wild. The plant could not move without a foothold and proliferated on the ground. The fruit ripened and rotted in the mud.

So it is with us. The trellis is leading us so that  the plant is freely growing. It’s about the balance. We stand in a clear tradition, holding on to the great branch of two thousand years of Christianity with Jesus as Son of God as the Source of our life. And space to breathe, to grow and to seek the Light in this time. Loosely attached to the trellis that gives direction, like a Rule of Life, waiting for the fruit to form and be beautiful, at every stage of its growth.

Q: What is the big branch for you? What is the trellis? And what is the fruit?

Words that characterize this Rule of Life

Holistic, playful, creative, focus, attentive, rhythm, circular, organic, contemporary.

It is like the leaves, which hang loose yet are deeply connected through the branches, trunk, and roots. The leaves also start all over again. Each year over and again. Your Rule of Life is never finished. And that is fortunate! You can leave it at the end of the day as it is for now and pick it up again the next day. 

There is always a new beginning—just as Your Faithfulness, oh Lord, is new every morning!

Three ancient terms from the monastic tradition:

Obedientia  (“Obedience”) is that we obey what is asked of us. We take time and listen carefully to ourselves and our environment.

Stabilitas  (“Permanence”) challenges us to stay true to who we are – something you constantly (re)discover if you live consciously and plan moments of reflection in communion with God.

Conversio morum  (“Daily improvement of attitude and lifestyle”) In Benedictine spirituality, this means a positive, growth-oriented lifestyle in which you learn good habits with small steps.

How do I apply the Rule of Life to my life?

It is important that you have a clear idea of ​​which area needs the most attention in your life to come to a fruitful life. Are you recovering from an illness? Then your area of focus will be different from what it would be if you just started your own business as a freelancer. Has your life changed radically lately? Whether you just started your first job, are single, are a parent in a growing family, or are just retired, this Rule of Life is a framework that offers a helping hand for every situation.

So, print the format that is attached at the end. Write out how you would like to live your life. and what works for your situation. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to connect with me.

One question for you:

Think about it: Which areas (of the letters HOLD ON) do you want to pay more attention to in this coming season? (name a time, week, month.)

Testimonials:

“It was good to fill out the pages and think about how I want to fill my time or what is important for me.

My mornings are already well structured and I liked that, but I was often without a plan in the afternoons. So now I have one Hold-On -goal for each afternoon in the week and so far it is great! I finally do practice the banjo and yoga. It is good for me to have the discipline but also to not be overwhelmed by everything I could do but just say to myself “that is for another day”. So thank you for your input! I´m still playing with it and finding my own way with it, but that was your intention anyway and I wanted to tell you that it does work! Julia

Janneke knows how to create peace and there is a choice of how to work with your Rule of Life. The quiet way appeals to me. Ruth

I have experienced how good and how easy it is to concentrate and start with Holy Ground in a familiar environment. Precisely because that ‘oasis’ was now at home, I can apply it more easily in daily life. Now I’ve experienced that you don’t have to be in a monastery for contemplation (and connection, though to a lesser extent).  Thanks to the online retreat I feel encouraged to visit that oasis at home more often. Thanks again Janneke! Peter (A participant at an online retreat)

What did you think of Janneke as host?

Janneke has a calm and inviting presence, without being too direct. I learned a lot! Esther

“The playfulness and “mercifulness” of this rule of life helps me immensely. I often feel myself failing and this Rule of Life always gives me the opportunity to start over.” (A participant in a personal Rule of Life retreat) Maria

Would you like to practice a Rule of Life?

I would like to help you on your way to gain insight into which area of ​​life needs the most attention in your situation. This way, you can really make a Rule of Life your own over time, just the way it worked for me. 

Send me an email if you think: “That sounds great!” Then, we’ll look together at a zoom moment of your very own:

How To Make My Rule of Life” Online Retreat.

Yours faithfully,

Janneke

Contact: Jannekeonderweg@gmail.com

Attachment: Here is a handy print version for you to play with.

Than is a Rule of Life a playful method to live with more focus and rhythm. 

Here I present A Rule of Life in a playful creative way. Adaptable to all life circumstances.  I try to make clear what touches me and how it helps me to live with focus and attentiveness covering all areas of a meaningful life. And so c

So, first: The letters HOLD ON do have a special significance here. It is important that you do not approach a

What Is a Rule of Life?

In short, a Rule of Life is a framework around which to organize my life. I find the acronym HOLD ON. to be an incredibly helpful reminder of principles that help shape my Rule of Life. 

The phrase “Hold on.” itself makes me think of two hands clasping each other, not squeezing hard, but securely entwined. 

H – “Holy ground,” a good start. The Fundament. Who holds you? Start from silence and awareness of who you are in the sight of your Maker. How would you like to start the day, week, month, the year?

O – “Organize your time.” Make a to-do list. What’s your focus? What will you do, and when? Do not do it yet—just plan!

L  – “Let’s do it.” No procrastination. Implement your plan. Get into action.

D  – “Dear ones” around you—spend time with them and keep your connection strong

O -“Oh! My body”—It’s easy to take for granted, but it’s the only one you’ve got. Take care of your physical self with food and exercise.

N –  “Nurture your soul” – Your connection with your soul and surroundings. What makes you deeply happy? See art, make music, go for a walk. Do your thing, and let your soul sing.

. –  Full stop. Tie up any loose ends and call it finished. 

A Rule of Life has a head and a tail and helps you perfect the Art of Starting and Stopping. It helps you organize and implement and leaves space for you to give attention to the loved ones around you, your body, and your soul. 

A Rule of Life is a trellis that gives you the stability to help you grow towards the sunlight. It provides support and guidance in your life.

Why would you use a Rule of Life?

To Create Rhythm

A Rule of Life helps you to bring order to the hectic pace and chaos of life.

There was a time when I felt enormous pressure: school, self-study, community work; contacts with loved ones, your household, food on the table; and oh yes: I also have a body that could use some attention.

Make a list of your roles

You may also feel pressure to give attention to all different areas equally. So, think about the different roles you have and how much time you approximately are spending on each of the roles you have. (son, daughter, parent, neighbor, volenteer).

Me, creating My Rule of Life, using a different word at the time. Just before our fifth international move with four kids.

The HOLD ON Rule of Life includes all areas of life that you want to give daily and weekly attention to. You start from a calm beginning at Holy Ground. You repeat that over and over and write it out on a day and week planner. Therefore, you live consciously and with attention.

 


How Does a Rule of Life Work?

It is holistic and circular.

The Rule of Life “Hold on” is circular in that you can start over every day. This is the Benedict way. 

It is also holistic in that it pays attention to all areas of life.

Each day:

Hang a list somewhere where you will see it often and put the letters HOLD ON in a column on the left-hand side.

Go check them out in the morning, while you put the kettle on for tea or pour in your first cup of coffee (or just after you finish it).

.

Each Week:

Sunday: H= Holy Ground. A good start. The Fundament. Who holds you? Always start from rest. 

Monday: O= Organize your time. What’s your focus, and when will you address it? Sit down and make a plan.

Tuesday: L= Let’s do it. No procrastination—probably your most productive day of the week.

Wednesday: D= Dear ones around you. Spend time with them. On Wednesday, there are more important things than work: the others around you.

Thursday: O= Oh! My body. Take care of yourself when it comes to food and exercise. Do not underestimate the importance of a healthy lifestyle.

Friday: N= Nurture your soul. What makes you deeply happy? See art, make music, walk. Do what makes you feel refreshed and reinvigorated

Saturday: . Sabbath, wrap up your week, and be satisfied with the closure. 

Of course, depending on your circumstances, the days can differ. That is no problem. It is good that you give each day a theme, and work with focus. And when you look back at the end of the week, you will have covered all domains.

So HOLD ON. Start again in good time with this holistic, circular, playful Rule of Life.

Would you like an example of the formats?

Here is a free download thanks to the man behind the scenes.

What is the fundament for shaping your Rule of Life?

This Rule of Life begins with Holy Ground, which is the foundation.

When I started developing my first Rule of Life, a few years ago, I first started with the word: DOMAINS. I loved that it has the root word Dominion. I work on my Rule of Life together with God. He is the One in control, and I commune with Him. Later on, I changed the word to HOLD ON, because I am still holding on to Him (and it is easier for the translation in Dutch).

In Isaiah 33: 5 and 6, we can read: “The Lord is exalted, for He dwells on high; He will fill Zion with justice and righteousness; and He will be the stability of your times, abundance of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge.”

In one of the Dutch translations, we find the sentence “and He will be the stability of your times” the word “houvast,” which literally means, “Hold on.” He is our Hold On or Stability.

Words that characterize this Rule of Life

Holistic, playful, creative, focus, attentive, rhythm, circular, organic, contemporary.

It is like the leaves, which hang loose yet are deeply connected through the branches, trunk, and roots. The leaves also start all over again. Your Rule of Life is never finished. And that is fortunate! You can leave it at the end of the day as it is for now and pick it up again tomorrow. 

There is always a new beginning—just as Your Faithfulness, oh Lord, is new every morning!

Three ancient terms from the monastic tradition:

Obedientia  (“Obedience”) is that we obey what is asked of us. We take time and listen carefully to ourselves and our environment.

Stabilitas  (“Permanence”) challenges us to stay true to who we are – something you constantly (re)discover if you live consciously and plan moments of reflection in communion with God.

Conversio morum  (“Daily improvement of attitude and lifestyle”) In Benedictine spirituality, this means a positive, growth-oriented lifestyle in which you learn good habits with small steps.

How do I apply the Rule of Life to my life?

It is important that you have a clear idea of ​​which area needs the most attention in your life. Are you recovering from an illness? Then your area of focus will be different from what it would be if you just started your own business as a freelancer. Has your life changed radically lately? Whether you just started your first job, are single, are a parent in a growing family, or are just retired, this Rule of Life is a framework that offers a helping hand for every situation,

but it is especially for

  • people who find themselves in a changing situation (recent pressure due to a life-changing event)
  • or who have been living under pressure for a longer period of time. (long-term pressure)

Earlier, I wrote: Hey Janneke, how do you live with a Rule of Life? 

One question for you:

Think about it: Which areas (of the letters HOLD ON) do you want to pay more attention to in this coming season?

Here’s a Free Download: Here’s the Rule of Life on paper.

Here is a handy print version for you to play with during the Christmas holidays: Any Questions? Just Ask!

 Testimonials:

“It was good to fill out the pages and think about how I want to fill my time or what is important for me.
My mornings are already well structured and I liked that, but I was often without a plan in the afternoons. So now I took one Hold-On -goal for each afternoon in the week and so far it is great! I finally do practice the banjo and yoga. It is good for me to have the discipline but also to not being overwhelmed of everything I could do but just say to myself “that is for another day”. So thank you for your input! I´m still playing with it and finding my own way with it, but that was your intention anyway and I wanted to tell you that it does work!

Julia

Janneke knows how to create peace and there is a choice of how to work with your Rule of Life. The quiet way appeals to me. Ruth

I have experienced how good and how easy it is to concentrate and start with Holy Ground in a familiar environment. Precisely because that ‘oasis’ was now at home, I can apply to it more easily in daily life. Now I’ve experienced that you don’t have to be in a monastery for contemplation (and connection, though to a lesser extent).  Thanks to the online retreat I feel encouraged to visit that oasis at home more often. Thanks again Janneke! Peter (A participant in an online retreat)

What did you think of Janneke as host?

Janneke has a calm and inviting presence, without being directive. I learned a lot! Esther

“The playfulness and “mercifulness” of this rule of life helps me immensely. I often feel myself failing and this Rule of Life always gives me the opportunity to start over.” (A participant in a personal Rule of Life retreat) Maria

Would you like to learn to live with a Rule of Life?

I would like to help you on your way to gain insight into which area of ​​life needs the most attention in your situation. This way, you can really make it your own over time, just the way it worked for me. 

Send me an email if you think: “That sounds great!Then, we’ll look together at a zoom moment of your very own

How To Make My Rule of Life”

Yours faithfully,

Janneke

Contact: Jannekeonderweg@gmail.com

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