Handles for Self-Care in the “Wilderness”

wilson, wilderness survival

A mailing last week not only publicized
our most recent issue of Ruminations
(focused on “Whole-Life, Life-Long Stewardship”)
but also commended a few practical handles for self-care
which we thought might be useful to individuals and congregations
amidst this “wilderness” time and space into which we’ve been thrust.
It’s a season of upheaval, yes, but also a space and a time
possessing real potential for spiritual growth.
(Here, the February 2019 issue of Ruminations,
focused on “Desert Spirituality” may serve as a good orientation
to this concept/dynamic in the journey of spiritual formation.)

Among the practical handles we proposed for self-care?

  • affirm the value of
    spiritual direction/companionship

    The name can be misleading.
    Spiritual direction is not counseling.
    It is not coaching.
    As one person put it,
    spiritual direction is the
    “art of listening to another
    so that they can better hear
    God’s truth in their lives.”
    In our workshops, we point folks
    to a variety of sites that can help them
    find a spiritual director, including:

 “Spiritual Directors” Link at
The Texas Annual Conference

Cenacle Retreat House

Villa de Matel

Spiritual Directors International

Fellowship of United Methodist
Spiritual Directors and Retreat Leaders

 (As you have questions,
please feel free to contact us.)
Even as “spiritual direction”
is not your calling at this time,
the question remains:
“Who has God put in your life–
as a trusted confidant/mentor in
deeper spiritual sharing and processing?”

  • own/accept/embrace
    a “discipline of disturbance”

    A growing body of literature speaks to
    the relationship between an increasing number
    of religious “Nones” and “Dones” in our culture…
    and the Church’s failure to meet the spiritual needs
    of those in latter stages of faith development.
    Several posts on our Zoe-Life blog,
    address this connection…
    and the ways that our current situation
    might have hidden potential
    for our journeys of and ministries in
    spiritual formation:

                      “Spiritual Formation
    Through the Lens of ‘The Critical Journey’”

   “Embracing the ‘Discipline of Disturbance’”

  • be aware of and sensitive to
    your unique self-care needs as a person

    Tempting as it is to make one flat comment here,
    truth is “one size does not fit all.”
    (Some need to be encouraged to “take time off”–
    while others need the encouragement to “get up and go!”)
    It’s among the messages reflected in this graphic
    from the folks at JustMyEnneatype:
self care graphics (from enneatypes)

click on the image to enlarge

Among the gifts of the Enneagram, you see,
is its ability to reveal “blind spots” and “hot spots”
in the ways we react to life stresses.
With greater self-awareness and
openness to the stirrings of the Spirit,
we can frame more resourceful responses
(beyond these default reactions).


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