If you are like me, you may find yourself prone to numbing out in this extended time of isolation. This is how it looks in my life:
Carb loading Social media surfing Mindless mental wandering Extended times of inactivity
In the midst of my choices I am noticing a quiet nudge to return to the basics of spiritual practices. Those practices that help me be in touch with what I need, what I want, and what I desire.
Today, I am choosing to pay attention to my life and ask – what is it that I want? What do I need in the midst of the isolation? What do I desire from God?
I’m finding that I need rest. My body is more tired than I expected. I’ve learned to trust the tiredness in me and realize that more energy is being required of me than I expected during this time. I’m not fighting the need for rest, I’m leaning into it, trusting that it’s what I need right now.
I need connection with my friends. While I’m not completely isolated (I do go to work), I am not free to do all I want to do and I’m not able to be with those I dearly love. I am learning to find ways to connect. While not as fulfilling as an in-person connection, my “wireless” connections help me to know I am not alone in these stressful times.
I need a creative outlet. Cooking is my place of creativity. By choosing flavors and ingredients and spices to make something tasty and delicious, I find renewed energy and enjoyment. And even if I can't share what I make with others, I can share recipes via social media that provide a way for others to join me.
And I need God. A practice that has been helpful to me is to sit with a blanket around my shoulders, imagining the warmth as God’s love for me. I may add a hot beverage, which warms my insides in the same way the blanket warms my outsides. Through this practice, I experience a physical sense of comfort and the nearness of God’s presence.
All of these practices help to ground me in the present. To not ignore the losses, the stirrings, and the wants within me. To not ignore my needs and desires.
What is it you need in this season of isolation? What do you want? What is your deep desire? Take some time to pay attention to your life and voice what you need. Don’t ignore what you notice. The answers to these questions are a way to stay connected to your deepest self and a means of staying connected with God.
Vicki is a spiritual director, supervisor, and instructor with Sustainable Faith School of Spiritual Direction. She offers services online and in person at Kavanna House, a spiritual formation center in York PA. She has a D.Min. in Leadership and Spiritual Formation from Portland Seminary.