We can learn a lot from children. The first ten years of your life is (or at least it should be) all about playing, drawing, reading, lounging carefree, and developing a little every day towards adulthood. Around your teens, you begin to discover life, and during adolescence, most young people make a number of choices in life that set the lines for what lies ahead.
Last Friday, you received the first email in your inbox. In 7 weeks, I will take you step by step in a mini course, HOLD ON, a rule of life to make the hectic pace of everyday life manageable through implementing elements of monasticism. You will discover how nice that is.
In monastic life, there is a strict daily rhythm. It is not necessary for you to live like that; however, a bit of a daily routine will help you. C.S. Lewis, the well-known author of the 20th century, also made up a daily rhythm—not within the monastery, but just to be productive.
But first, a small overview: Where are we? Last week, we started from rest and Holy Ground. Here’s what’s still to come.
- H. for Holy Ground. What makes a good start to your day? A good start, a solid foundation (last week).
- O for Organizing: Standing still and not moving yet (this week).
- L for Let’s get started! No more delay, and get moving now (next week).
- D for Dear ones around you: The beating heart for others (the following week).
- O for Oh!—my body! Pay attention to your body: nutrition, exercise, rest and sexuality ( week five).
- N for Nurture your soul and sensitivity: What activity makes you really happy? Feed your sensitive soul. (week six).
- . for The art of wrapping up well and calling it finished (The final week).
In this way, the Rule of Life is holistic and circular, the Benedict way: You cover all life domains (holistic), and you can always start over again (circular).
Today, we cover the second letter of HOLD ON—the O: How to organize. How do you organize your different roles and responsibilities? Think about the different roles you have. Are you a brother, son, father, mother, neighbour, caregiver? This is an important starting point.
A quote from the Rule of Life Literature List:
“It takes a certain courage to be specific, because the more specific we are, the more we expose ourselves to objections or obligations“
Marilyn Mc Entyre, Make a list.
Reading suggestion: Marilyn McEntire, Make a List.
C.S. Lewis writes his ideal daily routine in his book, Surprised By Joy:
“I settled into a routine which has ever since served in my mind as an archetype, so that what I still mean when I speak of a ‘normal’ day (and lament that normal days are so rare) is a day of the Bookham pattern. For if I could please myself I would always live as I lived there. I would choose always to breakfast at exactly eight and to be at my desk by nine, there to read or write till one. If a cup of good tea or coffee could be brought me about eleven, so much the better. A step or so out of doors for a pint of beer would not do quite so well; for a man does not want to drink alone and if you meet a friend in the taproom the break is likely to be extended beyond its ten minutes. At one precisely lunch should be on the table…”
I am the sort of person who likes to visualize it. His sheet would look like this:
9.00–13.00 Read, write, study
11.00 A cup of tea. (Please bring it, and don’t disturb me)
13.00 Lunch (preferably served.)
14.00 Hit the road for a walk -alone-
17.00–19.00 A man (or a woman) should be at work again.
23.00 There is no reason why you should ever be in bed later than eleven.
“By two at the latest I would be on the road. Not, except at rare intervals, with a friend. Walking and talking are two very great pleasures, but it is a mistake to combine them. Our own noise blots out the sounds and silences of the outdoor world; and talking leads almost inevitably to smoking, and then farewell to nature as far as one of our senses is concerned. The only friend to walk with is one … who so exactly shares your taste for each mood of the countryside that a glance, a halt, or at most a nudge, is enough to assure us that the pleasure is shared.
Such is my ideal day, and such than (almost) was the reality of ‘settled, calm Epicurean life.’ It is no doubt for my own good that I have been so generally prevented from leading it, for it is a life almost entirely selfish.”
In these lines, Lewis puts his own Ideal Day into perspective. I like that very much. He was not a selfish person. We know he thought about others, seeing the letters he wrote and the impact he has had on so many millions of people after his death—another very good reason to be writing.
So. Even if your Ideal day is far away from reality, it doesn’t do any harm to write it down. Enjoy!
Some questions for you to think about:
- What are the roles you fulfill? Make a list or look at Worksheet 1 in the workbook.
- If you look at C.S. Lewis’ daily rhythm, how does your day differ from his?
- What does your ideal day look like? Write it on an A4 or use worksheet 2. of the workbook.
If you think, “Ah, I’m really missing that workbook!” Don’t worry: you can order it here: Workbook: How do I find peace? Until June 3, there’s even a 50% discount, because I’m teaching this mini course and want to make it easy for you. Enjoy it.
And: The 6th of June we will have an Online Book Presentation at 19.00 Central Europe Time. Welcome to log in, I will send you the link on Tuesday.
There are two more options to get more out of this:
Contact me to book your own Personal Life Rule Retreat Pathway; Read more here. It is even possible in English.
One happy customer (shared with permission)
See you next Friday! (and feel free to leave a comment., What do you think when you read this?, I’m so curious!) Because This is a create in public trajectory. That is, it gets better through the interaction. Take your chance;-)
Do you like what you read here? Share it in your friend group, or church app, or anywhere. Thank you!
This is part 2 (of 7), a Small Free Introduction Course to the method HOLD ON—a. A playful Rule of Life to implement elements from the tranquility of the monastery in the hectic of everyday life. Are you playing along?
Read part 1 here if you want.