It has been a long time since I have found myself in front of the computer to write a blog post. I have been embarking on a creative journey lately, one that has been all-consuming, and much different than I had expected.
Christmas Eve my partner and I found out that I was pregnant. It has been an amazing gift, but it has been difficult. I have been sick most of my pregnancy, and I have been learning a lot about my limitations. My world has gotten a lot smaller than I am used to and I have had to learn how to be better at saying no. With just a little over a week left I am coming out of the fog and starting to feel better and more myself with each passing day. With all of this focus on my physical body and all of its changes, and the physical changes in the house, creating a nursery and getting all of the essentials ready for the new arrival I am realizing that I am craving more of the sacred. I am craving more time to go within and to spend some time pondering what all these changes mean. And as I was thinking about how to delve more deeply into living with intention and where to even begin after being so externally focused on all of my to do lists and “things to get done before the baby arrives” this beautiful piece came across my newsfeed today on Facebook and I have been thinking about it ever since. And since I have been so focused on doing, it feels like shifting into a different gear to focus on being- albeit a welcome one and this feels like just the place to start.
Monk Manifesto: A public expression of your commitment to live a compassionate, contemplative, and creative life.
The Monk Manifesto-
I commit to finding moments each day for silence and solitude, to make space for another voice to be heard, and to resist a culture of noise and constant stimulation.
I commit to radical acts of hospitality by welcoming the stranger both without and within. I recognize that when I make space inside my heart for the unclaimed parts of myself, I cultivate compassion and the ability to accept those places in others.
I commit to cultivating community by finding kindred spirits along the path, soul friends with whom I can share my deepest longings, and mentors who can offer guidance and wisdom for the journey.
I commit to cultivating awareness of my kinship with creation and a healthy asceticism by discerning my use of energy and things, letting go of what does not help nature to flourish.
I commit to bringing myself fully present to the work I do, whether paid or unpaid, holding a heart of gratitude for the ability to express my gifts in the world in meaningful ways.
I commit to rhythms of rest and renewal through the regular practice of Sabbath and resist a culture of busyness that measures my worth by what I do.
I commit to a lifetime of ongoing conversion and transformation, recognizing that I am always on a journey with both gifts and limitations.
Christine Valters Painter
It brings me great peace to be reminded that I will always be given what I need when I ask for it, to know that if I choose to walk a more contemplative path it is always one step away.
It brings me great peace to know that there are seasons in my life that allow for different focuses, but that a deep and meaningful life is always waiting in every season and in all ways, and that both doing and being have their place.
It brings me great peace to be reminded that as long as I am living deeply in the midst of life there will be treasures to unearth, love to be found, and joy to be had.
It brings me great peace to know that the path that I have chosen for my spiritual journey allows for detours, for exploration, for compassion with myself.
It brings me great peace to be reminded that as I embark on this shift in identity, in this life-changing journey, that I can choose to do this with compassion, with creativity and contemplation.