Living a full life is difficult when you're distracted by noise and "busy-ness." You can help clear clutter from your spiritual life when you:
• Develop a vision. Reflect on how you can live in ways that make you more open to God's presence. Create a "Rule of Life" to gently chart a course for intentionally spending your time. For instance, if you feel God's presence in nature, make a point to take a daily or weekly walk as you pray or talk with God.
By blocking out time for spiritual practices, you free up energy for being present to God. Make it a priority to discover new ways to refresh, calm and re-energize your spirit.
• Simplify your calendar. Cut back on the number of commitments you take on — even for your church — and set firm ground rules for limiting extracurricular activities for your children. Remember: "no" is a complete sentence.
• Practice "brain dumping." Rather than keeping commitments and to-do lists in your head, make a point to write them down. This helps boost your attentiveness.
• Pause for meditation and prayer, especially if you're "too busy." If your day-to-day life is pulled too thin, you're more likely to skip over these important aspects of cultivating the spiritual life. On days you're most stressed or frazzled, it's particularly important to find time for reflection.
• Forgive and reconcile. Embrace the process and emotions that come with giving up old grudges, grievances, resentments, bitterness or unhealthy patterns of behavior. Consider professional help or spiritual direction as ways to help move past old habits and mindsets that hold you back from being fully engaged in your relationship with Christ and others.
© 2013 Augsburg Fortress, Publishers