by Shay Eveland, Spiritual Director, Storywork Coach
For most of my life, I loosely thought about New Year's resolutions for the last week of December. But for some reason, I just never was a wait-for-a-special-date-to-make-a-change kind of person. To me, it almost felt like I was hoping for magic, like blowing out a birthday candle would help me get more organized. That led to my next tradition of praying a prayer only God could answer on New Year's Eve. It wasn’t that it didn’t ever work. In fact, a couple of times He answered in big ways. It was really cool, and I was so grateful!
More recently my husband shared about his own method of year end goal setting, which brought a welcome and needed change for me. We discuss what things we will change in the new year and how we plan to accomplish those changes. Some things like travel and budget goals are created jointly while others, like ways we want to mature and grow emotionally and spiritually, are personal and individually planned.
When I went through training for Spiritual Direction we were asked to create a Rule of Life. I wish I could see your face as you read that line! How do you feel about those words? Several people have told me they dislike the word "rule." Others are surprised or confused, wondering what in the world I’m even suggesting. When I first heard it, I remember thinking, “great, more rules to write and not keep!" As a result, my favorite way to discuss this seemingly controversial idea is to ask people about their current rule of life. The most common response is "I don't have one." But I think you do, let me explain.
You have some idea of what you are doing every day when you get up, right? Do you get up, have some coffee or tea, or go to work? Do you eat meals at a similar time each day? What do you do after work? Can you see that we are spending the time either way and that we may even have some unwritten rules? We all have the same number of hours and days in our weeks, months and years and we are all spending them. There is much evidence to suggest that we need intentional patterns and rhythms in our lives to feel, think and act in a wholehearted and healthy way.
What do you like to do with your time, your talents, your resources? To go a little deeper- if you could do anything, what would it be? Diving deeper still, is there a relationship in which you want to bring about positive change? I could ask many, many more questions but the point is clear, we are using our time one way or another, and a Rule of Life helps make space for the things that matter most to us.
Many of us believe in God or at least believe we have a higher purpose in being here than merely existing and surviving. In that vein, most of us want to use this time that we have well, but don't always know how or where to even start. Perhaps we have a lot of responsibilities that are hard to balance, perhaps we are challenged with a disability or struggle with change. Perhaps we are grieving big losses or are in the middle of some kind of turmoil. What do we do then? The "Rule of Life" is perhaps the structure you have been craving, friend! If you’re like some others and the word rule doesn’t seem helpful, you could think of it as a Rhythm of Life.
This is no place for demands! If you could allow room for the suggestion that a practice and rhythm could be nourishing and good for your soul, would you consider it? If you long for more peace and less chaos; more growth and less perceived failure; and a way to structure your days so they feel positive and meaningful, you may find that a Rule (or Rhythm) of Life is something that could help!
If you would like some time to ponder the above questions and would like some help or resources for creating your own Rule of Life, please check out our upcoming events page or find us on Facebook at The Broken and Beautiful, LLC.
Coming up we will be offering a day-long structured retreat on January 6th to help you create a simple Rule of Life. Perhaps this could help you find some focus for the new year.
As a reminder we at The Broken and Beautiful have an office full of trained and talented coaches and counselors who would love to meet with you, regardless of where you are in your journey right now.
We would be honored if you would consider sharing your story with us.
Shay Eveland is a registered nurse in the state of Nebraska. She received her Bachelor's Degree in Nursing from UNMC College of Nursing. Additionally, she is a certified life coach and also has a certificate in Spiritual Direction. She is currently in the process of completing a 3 year training through The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology for Narrative Focused Trauma Care otherwise known as Storywork. She offers coaching and care at her office with The Broken and Beautiful in Lincoln, NE and online. It is her passion to offer monthly day retreats and overnight retreats when