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Sister Judy Nielsen, OSF

Spiritual Direction in the Franciscan Tradition

Franciscan Community of Divine Mercy

My Blog


A Spiritual Wellness To-Do List

Posted on 27 June, 2012 at 21:49
I like lists so the thought of having a spiritual check list appeals to me.  That thought sent me off on the hunt for a spiritual to-do list I could check off at the end of the day.  My hunt started as I was in a conversation with someone wondering how all those wonderful old spiritual books on prayer and meditation don't get the attention of all the busy people today.  On the way home I was sitting at a red light listening to someone honk "hurry up" three cars behind the car in the next lane.  It gave me pause to consider just where my spiritual wellness goes in the push and pull of a busy day.  
My patience with the red light and the impatient fellow traveler is a good reminder that "God with us" means just that but sometimes I need a check list to discover where I am.  Many of us today miss out on the wealth of comfort and reassurance we can gain from wonderful little books like Life of the Beloved by Henri Nouwen because we can't translate them into a check list for the way our life looks today.  I have taken bits and pieces of the best check lists I have found and pasted it here for you.  Perhaps today we can have a quick checkup together.   I hope it brightens your day and helps you find your place.  I prayerfully hope it gives you reason to put time with God on your to-do list today.  Here it is:
Spiritual Wellness Check List - You may have stepped away if: 
1) You can’t remember when you weren’t in a hurry 
2) The person with 12 items in the 10 item express check-out makes you angry 
3) The person in front of you driving 40 in a 40 mile an hour speed limit is in your way
 4) Your dining room table is now your flat filing cabinet 
5) Leaving your house without your mobile phone is cause for turning around to get it
6) Your last conversation with a friend was email and "face time" means trading photos on Facebook'
7) You pull up in the driveway and use your cell phone to see if anyone is home
8) You can’t remember the last time you said NO to an extra project 
9)   Red lights are opportunities to check your text messages
10) You can’t remember what your “dream” for your life was – it got lost in the everyday details
11) You can’t remember feeling at peace – you occasionally wonder where God went
12) Your idea of a date with your spouse is meeting at Starbucks while you both check your email and messages 
13) Your idea of playing with your pet is walking the dog while you return phone calls 
14) Feeling uneasy when there is no background noise: TV, Phone, etc 
15) Your “to do” list always has to be carried over to the next day 
16) You eat lunch while you work; you can't remember what you ate
17) Dinner is something you pick up on the way home and distribute
18) You don’t have time for a vacation '
19) You can’t think of or take the time to explore fun activities indulge in an activity just for fun; you laughed out loud with a friend or child 
20) Current circumstances:  financial, job, family etc – make you feel that you must be in constant motion to make sure things get better, don’t get worse, get out of control, etc ----------  
21) You need to be at Church to have a conversation with a person whose call you didn’t have time to return yesterday, someone is planning an event you want to attend, so others don’t think something is wrong, because it is a good social or business network or because you heard something about another person and want to check it out for yourself or  because it is the obligation you have once a week and you need to check it off your list this week.

Check points for Making Progress - Am I?                                          
1) Emotionally Mature – I avoid falling into uncontrolled feelings when stressed or angry                    2) A Possessor and User of Common Sense – I can be trusted 3) Well adjusted –  I am able to live life as it comes; accepting and allowing others to be who they are without fixing or being critical 4) Joyful -  Taking breaks for family, fun & me-time; others often hear me laugh 5) Grateful - I can say thanks for the people, places and things; little kindnesses, I can give away and give back a smile to anyone, anytime;  
6) Generous - I can give others my time and my attention even when I lack money  

Check points for Living Christ-like life:
1) I am a Loving Person –   I make an effort to demonstrate love by my presence and support to those closest to me, I realize that saying no to unacceptable behavior is loving & gives others the ability to grow I can demonstrate kindness, courtesy and patience with those who are different from meI do not have to be rightI do not think how useful a new acquaintance might be to me  I avoid critical statements like what could that person be thinking? Who do they think they are?  2) Forgiveness – I able to forgive – to leave aside getting even and/or acting in anger in favor of God’s ability to provide justice   3) Trust –  I am able to allow others to earn my trust & recognize trust is not a gift but to GodI am able to trust God is a partner in any situation & can share the credit with HimI recognize that  anxiety is an indicator that I need to talk to God and perhaps a trusted other about the situation.  
Did you find some issues?  Might I suggest a solution?Start right now to take time with yourself.  Be at least as kind to yourself as you would be to a friend.Stop to enjoy the people around you; look for God's reflection in others.Realize the person who annoys you the most is your best spiritual instructorAsk God to help you have the patience to explore who you are and help you become who He would have you to be with your next thought or action.Keep in mind that your spiritual wellness is like your gas tank if you don't fill it up it stops on empty  
Peace and God's Grace until our next visit!   

Categories: Spiritual Wellness Check List

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