Monday’s Meditation: Spinning out of control, the journey to the centre. Lisa Hunt-Wotton
When I was a child one of my favourite movies was the classic Jules Verne story “Journey to the Centre of the Earth”.
Fascinated with the thought of a mysterious world far beneath the circumference of the earth and captivated by the thought that as we go about the mundane everyday tasks on the surface, incredible adventures were happening deep beneath my feet.
This is a good analogy of the spiritual journey.
We are a circumference people. We live on the edges, running around the edge of the wheel when God and our true selves are found in the centre.
The spiritual journey is the pilgrimage to the centre.
The things that keep us occupied on the circumference which seem so important, are the things that take our attention away from the centre, from the task of finding out who we really are (Rohr).
We often exhaust our selves when we operate on the circumference. Running around the edges of our lives trying to fit it all in. When we operate from the centre, we are still in connection to everything, like the spokes of a wheel, but we stay centred. Allowing the tasks of life to revolve around us.
This is a place of rest and peace.
Usually it takes a crisis for us to realise that we can’t keep doing things this way. We usually burn ourselves out before we stop and take a crisis check. Age helps, usually maturity brings wisdom and we change the way that we do life. We are less obliged, more able to say no, less tolerant of nonsense and people or things that drain us.
God uses two paths to take us to the centre. Prayer and suffering.
The path of prayer and love and the path of suffering seem to be the two great paths of transformation. Suffering seems to get our attention; love and prayer seem to get our heart and passion (Rhor).
Do you every feel like you are spinning out of control?
You need to centre yourself.
Get back to the centre of your life, take the journey inward. Silence, solitude, meditation and prayer are tools which help you do this. Journalling also helps.
Get a piece of paper or a page in your journal.
Draw a wagon wheel with twelve spokes in the wheel.
- Write a task on each wheel. Job, relationships, self care, study, children, sleep, quiet time, exercise, sport, hobbies, volunteer roles, etc… All the things that make up the major parts of your life.
- Colour each spoke according to the task.
- 168 hours in a week
- Each spoke represents 14 hours
- E.G.: Lets say that there are 168 hours in a week, work may take up 40 hours = say 3 spokes in the wheel
- 8 hours a night sleep = 4 spokes
You get the picture. It doesn’t have to be perfect, its just an example not a rule for life. However, if you are working 80 hours a week then 6 of your 12 spokes will be coloured the same color and you soon see that you don’t have much time left to establish self care, family care, spiritual care and some balance.
For the wheel (your life) to operate successfully, it must be balanced.
Two things can go wrong:
1: For your life to be balanced you need to make sure that you leave a margin for the unexpected and that there is appropriate time for self care, sleep, exercise, good health, family/friend time, rest and recreation. Or the wheel will bang along out of whack.
2: If you are spending all of your energy running around the circumference of the wheel, if you have no free margins in your life, you are headed for burnout or crisis.
Living life in the centre means:
- you are unfazed by the drama going on around you
- you have a pretty balanced view of how your life is going
- you can see when things start to get out of balance
- your energy levels are better
- your soul and spirit is healthy
- you are operating out of a place of rest and peace
- you are accessible to others
- you are not empty you are full and able to give of your time and resources to others
In saying all of that there are seasons in your life when, without choice, life gets very full very fast. This may be an unexpected illness or a season at work where you have to step up whilst a role is being filled or you are training someone to do a role. However, this is a season. If it goes for longer than a season, you may need to evaluate your life and make some changes – be flexible. The safe guard is that if you stay in the centre you will have more control and insight to how you are travelling. You are in a place of rest and are open to listen to the spirit of God and to hear what needs to change or shift.