busyness and solitude

Life has been very busy lately. I've been working on several cool projects at work, it's just that they all seem to be in crunch mode at the same time. I've also had a few evening presentations/meetings lately. My first quarter of graduate school is ending, along with a final term paper that is due after Thanksgiving. I'm working on a few community committees, and have an "assignment" due for that as well. I've been living in my new community house for over 3 months now, but still adjusting to the schedules/routine of the house. I've been trying to spend some time with friends. And I'm looking forward to 2 family trips in coming weeks - Thanksgiving in California and then my nephew's wedding. All this to say ... life is very busy lately!

We had a great reflection day last Saturday for those of us in formation as vowed sisters and associates. Our topic was spirituality, and the sister who was leading the day guided us as we got in touch with our deepest desires spiritually. Which is when I realized ... the reason I'm feeling a bit off balance isn't so much because I'm busy, but because I haven't been making time and space in my busy schedule for solitude. I'm reminded of these words from Henri Nouwen:

Many voices ask for our attention. ... But underneath all these often very noisy voices is a still, small voice that says, "You are my Beloved, my favor rests on you." That's the voice we need most of all to hear. To hear that voice, however, requires special effort; it requires solitude, silence, and a strong determination to listen.

That's what prayer is. It is listening to the voice that calls us "my Beloved."

One thing I've come to learn about myself, certainly, is that I need solitude. It's in the quiet that I'm best able to find Jesus, to listen to the Spirit, and rest in the heart of God. So ... I'm trying to practice some spiritual self care. I have an acupuncture appointment set up for Friday (to deal with some headache/asthma issues). Sunday I'm going to a half day young adult retreat. And I've managed to find some time in my busy schedule in December for a quiet retreat weekend. Hopefully, just being aware of the busyness/solitude quotient will help me find the balance that at the moment, seems a bit elusive.

How do you find balance?

1 comment:

Pachyderm said...

Hi Sr Susan

I'm like you - I have a busy life but if I don't make time for solitude and silence I get all twisted and cranky inside. I try to get out of the office during lunch each day and often head down to the library (about 2mins walk from work) to sit in silence and be still. I also often listen to plainchant or choral music at work (on headphones!) to keep an undercurrent of praise flowing in my day. My day is anchored with the Office morning and evening, which also helps a lot.

Blessings on you as you seek the silence and the small voice!