How do we develop persistence and longevity when praying for cases such as long-term illness or difficult relationships? What do we do when we are so emotionally attached to the people or situations that we feel drained and spent emotionally every time we pray? How can we pray in a sustainable way and not burn out?
Woke up this morning, and I knew it was going to be a slow day. I had slept for a solid eight hours, and yet my body was still refusing to get out of bed. That’s always a sign. A “slow day” doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to be a “bad day”. I just won’t be following my original schedule. That’s all. It’s not bad, just different.
A lot of my friends journal as a way to process their internal stress. However, even though we all use the same word “journal”, the actual methods could not be more different. One person is very formal in her approach. She records a specific event in detail, and saves it on her computer. Another friend hand writes in her notebook, and lists the rational arguments about her decision making. While these methods have their own merits, they are vastly different from the way I journal.
Recently, I wrote an article about my journey into the contemplative tradition. I’m grateful that this article is now a guest post on Abbey of the Arts – a website that integrates contemplative practices and creative expressions.
Here’s a snippet from my article…
“Helpful Tips from the Recovering Perfectionist*
When I started practicing contemplative spirituality, I faced quite a culture shock. Being from the Silicon Valley, I was task oriented, perfectionistic, and goal driven… everything the contemplative ways are not. Where were the deadlines and checklists I’m so familiar with? It took quite a while for me to understand and adapt to this new and curious lifestyle.
The contemplative traditions are more “organic”. You can follow a plan and do the exercises, but the results are not so concrete. It’s more like watching plants grow. From day to day, the growth are so minuscule that they are barely noticeable. Similarly, when I started meditating and going on walks, I couldn’t really see where all these changes would take me. What would really come of just ten minutes of being quiet? Then, little by little, the peace and quiet from the few minutes spilled into the rest of my day. The changes didn’t come overnight, but they did come.
…Continue reading on Abbey of the Arts.
* Thanks to my friend Liwen Ho for introducing me to the phrase “recovering perfectionist.” 🙂