Did you figure it out?

Whether your spiritual flatness comes from being dry or dark?  Did either of those resonate with you in the last post?  Here’s the link if you want to go back and read it again:  Are You Spiritually Flat?

Or maybe something else triggered for you and you realized that stress or anger or general chaos is really the root cause of why you’re just not feeling IT with God.

Sometimes it doesn’t matter at all what the cause is… unless of course, it’s an external factor that you need to change or get away from.

Sometimes we do have to live in the spiritual desert until the rain comes.  And if that’s where you are now, let me encourage you to keep the faith.  Because rain does eventually come.  It most absolutely, assuredly does.

But what to do in the meantime?

Put a Spiritual Blip in Your Road

purple-cow

If your spiritual life is starting to look like one long-flat-straight highway [perhaps like I-80 thru Nebraska]… then you’ll need to put a blip in the road.  Some kind of hill or hurdle or purple cow that’s going to wake you up.

This is what we mean by disrupt your status quo / grow your soul.

Sometimes when spiritual flatness threatens to become a way of life, we have to take matters into our own hands and shake ourselves up.

This takes a special person, mind you.  Because as human creatures, we are made of inertia… and the energy required to make lasting change is huge.

So we tend to settle back in our easy chairs when instant gratification is delayed… which it generally is in all things spiritual.  And gradually the desire to know God better in our lives fades.  We settle… and decide that life was just fine all along and that we weren’t actually flat at all.  It’s all good.

But that pesky feeling inside will come back sooner or later.  It always does.  And you’ll be forced by some unknown something inside to revisit this question about why you feel spiritually flat.

So let’s just address it now.  Sound good?

Your Own Private Mount Everest

There’s an invitation on the table to climb your own private Mount Everest.

This is a 5-week / 1-hour per week Google+ chat where we will reflect on the wisdom of some great mystics in the book God Hunger.  [Are you hungry?]

This spiritual-blip-in-your-road could be just the ticket… and it’s FREE!  Check out the details by clicking HERE.

3 Cures for *Spiritually Flat*

We all know that real change comes from creating new habits and routines.  We can’t just sit back and wait for God to “come and refresh my weary soul with the life-giving rains of the Holy Spirit”.

God could absolutely do that… but we also have to do our part.  We have to move toward God.  Neither Mother Teresa nor St. John of the Cross passively waited for God to reach through their spiritual acedia.  They both fervently hungered and searched for some crack in the wall where God’s light would shine in the darkness they were feeling.

Same is true for us today in this modern world.  If we seek, we will find.  But we have to seek.

So here are 3 ideas that will help you seek God and put a blip on your spiritually flat road.

1.  Read spiritual books.

Typically they’re not so enticing as the next bestseller crime novel or romance tale.  They don’t often top the NY time bestseller lists.  And honestly, some are just plan boring… so it often feels like a shot-in-the-dark when you’re browsing the shelves at the local Barnes & Noble or Amazon.com.

Depending on your personality and style, here are some great spiritual writers that I’d recommend checking out online:

Flannery O’Connor / Richard Rohr / Thomas Keating / Thomas Merton / Macrina Wiederkehr / Joyce Rupp / Paulo Coelho  / John [Jack] Shea / Greg Boyle / Kathleen Chesto / Fr. Ed Hays / Dr. Seuss [yes!]

{ Stay tuned.  I’m going to add a new page here on the site in the near future called On the Bookshelf. }

Great writers like these can give you tidbits of insight and wisdom to challenge old ways and thoughts.  Set up a regular habit of spiritual reading each day.  Consider using a journal to keep track of inspirational quotes and new questions.

2.  Find a spiritual friend.

You can go the whole-nine-yards and meet formally with a skilled/certified spiritual director.  This kind of relationship is very valuable… especially if you work as a professional minister of some sort.

But for most people, it’s just good to talk with someone about God-things.  Where do you find meaning and purpose in life?  How do you know if you’re living life well?  Where is God most present?  What do you do when God seems absent?

These are some great questions that a lot of people wrestle with daily.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have someone to bounce the answers around with?

Chances are good that there is already someone in your life that you could share these kinds of questions… maybe you already do.  It’s kind of risky… there’s a certain sense of vulnerability about sharing deeply personal soulful thoughts.

The key is to be intentional.  Make a standing appointment with a spiritual friend and just talk about these God-moments in your lives.  Save another time to talk about family / work / friends etc.  Reserve this time for those big soul questions.

And if you need to include some structure in your get-together’s, work through one of those spiritual books [see above] or share music or create a collaborative prayer journal.  The possibilities are unlimited.

If you don’t have a spiritual friend then ask at your local church if anyone else is interested in this kind of conversation.  Allow such a relationship to blossom as you get to know each other.  The risk is worth the reward.

[Keep in mind that you can always chat on the phone if your spiritual friend lives far away.]

3.  Challenge yourself daily to see the world with new eyes.

It can be as simple as giving yourself a Question-of-the-Week… or as in-depth as doing the 30-day Ignatian Exercises.

Spiritual practices make a difference.  They really do.  The key here is that we have to look at them as small progressive steps that accumulate over time.

We can’t expect to just wake up tomorrow standing on top of the God-mountain and everything is perfect once again.  [I SO wish it was that way… but usually it’s not that easy.]

And again, it takes effort on our part.  So here are 5 Questions-of-the-Week to get you started.  After that, you’ll be well on your way toward creating a routine and you can come up with your own questions… or email me if you want some help.

Week 1:  Each day take a different route to a regular place that you go… work / school / grocery store / doctor / home, etc.
What do you see that you hadn’t noticed before?

Week 2:  At the end of each day, rate yourself on a scale of 1 (low) to 10 (high).
How well did I give my best effort in my relationships today?

Week 3:  At the end of the day or with your family at the dinner table:
Where did I encounter the sacred today?

Week 4:  In prayer before bed each day:
What do I know to be true?

Week 5:  With your family or at the end of the day:
Where did I experience God’s grace today?

Two important points to remember here:

  1. The energy is in the questions… not the answers.
  2. You have all your own answers.

Try these 3 cures for a while and then come back and let me know how they worked or didn’t work for you.  In the meantime, if you want to connect personally, send me an email.

Peace.

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About Elaine Menardi

Heading off on a new adventure! I solve problems and make ideas happen.

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