I don’t know about you, but my to-do list was already too-full before the coronavirus struck.
My life was like a drinking glass overflowing with work projects, household chores, and family obligations.
And then along came the coronavirus.
Suddenly, it was like someone dumped gallons of water into my already too-full cup.
Now, I feel sometimes like I’m drowning. The panic-stricken newscasters warn me the sky is falling. Anxious waves of gushing fear pour over my body.
I have to admit, the “frenzies” grab hold of me and at times won’t let go.
How did life get so crazy? I wonder as I worry about how to protect my family and business during the current challenges. There has to be a better way.
And there is. It’s called Divine Flow.
Spiritual Practices to Tame the Frenzies and Discover Divine Flow
During these times of self-quarantine and social distancing—as life slows down and we’re forced to stay at home—rather than fretting and distracting ourselves, what if we used this opportunity to dig deep and look at how other people have navigated crisis times such as civil and religious wars, political upheaval, and plagues? How did those wise men and women tame the frenzies?
When we examine the history of the saints, teachers, and gurus—people like Jesus, Saints Benedict, Theresa, and Francis, Buddha, Gandhi, Thomas Merton, and Nelson Mandela—they all had something in common. They adopted and followed a lifestyle that consisted of these four simple practices:
They took time each day to be alone, to quiet their minds and listen, so they could hear the wisdom of God. Today we might call it meditation, contemplation, or the prayer of quiet. The inner peace we seek can also be found through nature walks. Whatever we call it, however we experience it, solitude is about creating space to hear God’s whisper and allowing the Creator to embrace and guide us.
The wise ones read scripture, spiritual books, and other inspirational writings. They took time each day to ponder the wisdom of others who’d gone before them or whose lives they wished to emulate. As they moved throughout their day, the words they read nourished their minds, fed their hearts, and transformed their lives.
They surrounded themselves with people who loved and encouraged them—people who stretched them to become the best version of themselves. People who affirmed them and nudged them to grow.
Through listening and seeking inner guidance, the wisdom seekers discovered their unique talents and gifts. They learned who they were, discovered how they were wired, and found their life’s purpose. Armed with self-knowledge, they moved into the world using their talents to sprinkle love and hope upon a hungry universe. They didn’t follow the crowd. They followed their hearts.
I discovered these practices twenty years ago. While I still battle the frenzies, especially during times like these, I’ve found incorporating these habits into my life fills me with a deeper peace—one that surpasses understanding. These practices help me tame the frenzies and connect me with what I call Divine Flow—being one with the Divine Spirit who opens our hearts, allowing us to experience inner peace, balance, and wholeness.
I invite you to incorporate these Finding Flow practices into your life. Let them be a balm for your spirit during the current crisis.
To begin, establish a daily sacred place and time of 15-20 minutes in which you bring your questions, fears, and anything else on your heart to God. During that quiet time, let Divine Love hold you, guide you, and fill you with the courage and wisdom you need for the day.
During the day or before bedtime, turn off the news and other distractions and spend thirty minutes learning from and calming yourself with the words in a spiritual or inspirational book.
These are two of the practices we’ll be looking at in more detail over the next four weeks through these Simple Wisdom reflections.
Next week, we’ll take a deeper look at solitude. The following week, we’ll focus on spiritual reading, and the next week, community. On the fourth week, we’ll look at contemplative action and discuss a useful tool to discover your own unique gifts and talents.
You might consider the next four weeks a mini-course in how to tame the frenzies. I promise you, it’ll be much more life-giving than staring at the news or social media.
Between now and next week, I invite you to chew on these questions:
•What does “solitude” mean?
•How do I incorporate solitude into my daily life?
•What do I experience during that quiet, sacred space?
Email me this week with your answers (or your questions) at email@example.com. With your permission, I’ll incorporate them into the reflection I write for next week. That way, we can start a conversation about your experience with solitude and offer other readers your insights.
During these unfamiliar times, let’s tame the Coronavirus-frenzies by leaning into the wisdom of the men and women who modeled these four practices, and then let’s incorporate them into our lives. It might be the life raft we need in this anxious storm.
—brian j plachta