Many of us look forward to summer as a time of relaxation, replenishment, re-creation and an opportunity to break our routine with a vacation. But it often takes most of our vacation to unwind. With our society’s belief in the values of productivity and accomplishment, stopping and finding ways to “vacate” from our many tasks can be difficult. We are so busy “doing” that we seldom take the time to just “be” in the present moment.
Yet people want to find ways to slow down and reduce stress and anxiety. So what can we do when vacation is over? Practicing meditation, mindfulness and centering prayer have been part of all faith traditions over the centuries. Scripture and other Christian sources speak of the faithful physically going to a place of quiet and peace to discern the leadings of the Holy Spirit.
Today there is a resurgence of interest in reducing stress and anxiety in our hectic lives. In fact the practice of mindfulness and meditation has gone main stream with many “mindful” goods and services available. There is an increasing number of “apps” to help us practice mindfulness.
We can set aside times of quiet reflection and prayer. The intent is to take it a step further to slow down and be present to the sacredness of the present moment. It is helpful to pause, take some deep breaths and acknowledge what is happening in your life in the midst of your activities. This intentional practice can enable all of us to be more open to the moments of clarity, rest, creativity, and provide a welcoming space for God’s presence to abide within us.
Adapted from an article written by Rev. Susan Gregg-Schroeder of Mental Health Ministries
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