Self-care for Sensitive Souls
Reconnect with your inner resources
Our culture tells us that ‘faster is better’.
But do you ever feel that you’re running to keep up, and that something precious is getting lost in the process?
Our modern life is geared to help us go faster. We can get almost anything we want with just a click, we can access limitless information in less than a second, and we can communciate with each other instantly and at any time.
We’ve learned to be productive and to multi-task.
Yet in spite of rushing to get loads of stuff done in as little time as humanly possible, our lives continually feel incomplete and lacking ‘something’.
We feel exhausted and diminished.
What's going on here?
Even as we hurry to stay in step with this ever-accelerating world, deep down, we know we’re paying a price.
Many of us feel a longing to go slow, simplify our lives, and stop feeling like there’s never enough time.
We're trying to find something we've lost, even if we don’t quite know how to describe it.
We occasionally have an inkling, in moments of joy where time seems to stand still: a family celebration, a special time with friends, being absorbed in a good book, or watching the sea, or enjoying music that lifts us out of ourselves.
At these timeless moments, we may experience ourselves as unbounded, free from the confines of clock time.
We feel more alive than usual, more real.
But we don’t have to wait for those moments to come upon us by accident. We can choose intentionally to access this timelessness, what the author Gary Eberle calls ‘sacred time’.
He reminds us that we don’t need anything special in order to access sacred time, because it’s within us. It’s with us wherever we go:
‘Like an underground stream, sacred time is always present, even if hidden, always ready to be tapped into to quench the thirst of the time-weary traveller.’ (Sacred Time and the Search for Meaning)
So how do we get to sacred time?
At the simplest level, what we can do now and then, is to pause, dedicating those pauses to something beyond the immediate.
Walking in the park, gazing up at the endless sky, taking a brief moment in a quiet corner of the garden – identify where you can pause, and revel in that time.
One of the most reliable paths leading to sacred time is the quiet enjoyment of a spiritual practice like meditation.
Through meditation, we reconnect with the slower, deeper rhythms of life that people have experienced traditionally through religious worship, prayer and observance of holy days.
By removing ourselves for a while from everyday distractions, we’re free to follow the still small voice within, to follow the greatest yearnings of our hearts.
What does sacred time do for us?
When we touch into sacred time, we infuse our humdrum days with its richness, texture and expansiveness.
The more we open ourselves to this experience, the deeper the riches we receive from it.
Slowing down to savour life beyond the false security of being busy brings us face to face with the uncertainty of human life. It whispers to us. It asks us to decide, over and over again, how we want to spend our lives.
In return, sacred time gives us a renewed sense of meaning in life, showing us the way to finding fulfillment in this speeded-up world.
The writer Joseph Campbell calls this our ‘bliss’:
‘If you follow your bliss, you put yourself on a track that has been there all the while, waiting for you. And the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. When you can see that, you begin to meet people who are in the field of your bliss, and they open the doors to you. I say, follow your bliss and don't be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be.’ (The Power of Myth: Sacrifice and Bliss)
You can explore this experience by yourself whenever you wish, or you can immerse yourself in a retreat with the companionship of others on the same path.
Whatever way you choose to connect with sacred time, the important thing is to just stop, and be receptive. The riches of sacred time will come to you.
If you want to explore what slowing down can show you, but you find it hard on your own, then there's nothing like dropping into peaceful stillness with a group of like-minded souls. Click here to find out about our next retreat.