If you’re a regular reader of the Phase blog you will know that at the start of each school term the team takes a two day retreat. This is a break from the regular weekly routine for some reflection, recharging and planning. We spend time thinking, praying, chatting, planning, eating, playing and resting. It’s one of the highlights of the term for us!
We’ve just returned from this term’s retreat and our focus this time was on creating rhythms in our life, led by Rev Dan Drew who works for the St Albans diocese. We explored what it means to work from a place of rest and recuperation .
We covered why you might want to create a rhythm for your life, the benefits it could bring, aspects of your life that could benefit from a rhythm and what it *isn’t*. We tried a few ideas out thinking on our own about what tools and structure we could add into our life that would help us with these practises. The word we used was ‘trellis’ which is a great way to imagine rhythm as something that supports life to flourish, just like a trellis in the garden supports a plant but still gives it space and freedom to grow.
We looked at a few key aspects that we can use to decide on our life rhythm and broke it down into a daily, weekly, monthly and annual pattern. Then we thought about the areas of our life (these might be different for everyone, depending who you live with, your job, caring responsibilities, etc). For me it was about my spiritual life, physical, mental and learning, relationships and family, and friendships.
You’ll see here there’s some gaps. That’s OK, this is my first attempt at a plan and some aspects of my life were fairly well ordered already but it's a work in progress.
What I noticed is that there were areas (for me it was friendships) that I have been neglecting and haven’t put as much time and thought into recently. This task, however, isn’t about imposing order or a rigid routine. It’s more fluid than that but even a week later I’ve noticed the difference, have put some plans in the diary, spoke to an old university friend for a catch up the other day, and generally feel just a little bit more connected than before.
Why don’t you have a go at thinking about your rhythms and how balanced your life is at the moment? Don't make it stressful, and if you think this isn't your thing, I can very much recommend texting an old friend and having a catch up, it's good for the soul :-)
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