Welcome to A Life Examined

What is the examined life? A life worth living! As I look at the road ahead, I take all the baggage from the past and use it as experience - the pain and the passion, the sorrow and the joy - allowing it to carve wisdom into my mind and hope into my spirit.
There is no experience that can't be useful to me at some point in my life. There is no lesson learned that cannot make a contribution to the future.
A tiny drop of water is a part of the ocean. A tiny speck in the night sky is a ginormous star in the distance. It all depends on perspective.
So, this examined life is to offer reflections in the hope of discussing things which are of value to myself and to others.
Love, Sarah

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Living in Free-fall part 4: Solitude, Silence, Self-discovery

I am learning that whether as a pastor, an executive, a business owner, or a mother, we need more of solitude and stillness in our lives. Surrendering our time and talent means finding peace and quiet to make decisions.

Living in Free-fall means taking time to connect with myself. It means making time for solitude. The sound of silence is important to finding myself, my rhythm and my priorities.

This week in church I was astounded to discover that statistically, more people will prefer electric shock to being alone, in silence. But I love silence. I love solitude. I love isolation (when it's by choice and not by banishment). Perhaps free-fall is relatively suitable for me. I didn't realize vast numbers of people hate to be alone with themselves. I love to watch paint dry, if I'm the one who's been painting the house. It gives me a certain satisfaction to look at a job and well, just look at it! But now I have heard others hate that concept! Wow! I've been surprised into a new understanding of people.

I'm finding this journey into free-fall is quite exciting. I'm considering daily, and moment-by-moment, what is important (rather than urgent or habit). It occurs to me this week that readers may not realize how I'm actually doing this. First, I'm going into a quiet place. I'm not allowing for any distractions; I'm surrendering my plans for the day, hoping there's time to write what I want to write, but not worrying about it. As a writer for over 10 years, and with relatively conservative breakthrough, part of the reason I'm in free-fall is because I figure I'm doing some things 'wrong' and want to progress. The highest priority for me right now is to discover what I need to write and for whom, so the messages I prepare are for the people who will benefit from them. I'm surrendering, in effect, my writing and my time generally, to reflection and consideration, in order to determine the path I take. For me, surrender means giving my attention - my time and decisions - to quiet thought (and ultimately, to God). Out of the quiet comes clarity from deep within me. I touch my heart and I allow my heart - not my mind - to lead.

Of course there are responsibilities. I have a son who needs to be picked up from school. I have a family to prepare meals for. I have friendships I'm seeking to build... and a car to buy. Life goes on. But in the quiet of the morning, I am attempting to navigate through an abundance of paperwork, ambition and relationships to find - daily - what the priorities are in the bigger picture in these areas too.

I'm trying to make no assumptions and to be deliberate about how I spend my time, to make the most of every moment of every day. I believe we're on this earth for good purpose. I believe I've been missing some of my purpose so far. I'm believing that quiet reflection will lead me to see the path I'm meant to tread for the day and to make decisions that will benefit my ambitions and the relationships around me.

So, I'm slowly getting the hang of living outside an agenda. I'm learning how to surrender my time and effort to what is needed and for whom.

As I write this, I suspect some of you reading will find the idea of letting a schedule 'go' frightening. But I'd like to encourage you... As we surrender our plans, I'm finding anxiety and insecurity goes, and is replaced by contentment and a new sense of identity and purpose.

I hope you'll continue to travel with me. I think the time I'm spending to discover today's steps on the pathway is worth the effort and I encourage you to do the same. It isn't a luxury, I think, but rather a necessity, to make the most out of the gifts, desires, hopes and relationships we have.

Next time I'd like to write more about Surrender. Let's try more of it together.

Love and God bless to you this week. See you next Thursday... AND:

END NOTE: For those who haven't known me for long, and perhaps for some who have: You might enjoy my other blog:
Life from the Lighthouse -- all about what God shows me when He talks to me and I listen. New posts monthly on the 1st.

My website for the Self Publishing House is www.LarusPress.com where I blog on wholeness, witness, the Word of God and worship & warfare. Larus Press offers Christian-based books, blogs and literature to inspire, encourage, equip and empower your living spirit.
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