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September 17, 2012 / Richard Bass

Resources and Comments in Response to “Healthy Practices for Practicing Balance”

David Edman Gray’s article, “Healthy Practices for Practicing Balance” (the September 17, 2012 Alban Weekly, excerpted from Practicing Balance: How Congregations Can Support Harmony in Work and Life) emphasizes that congregational leaders can avoid burnout by establishing healthy practices, such as these: begin each day with a centering phrase; pray daily; care for your body; simplify your wants and needs; budget your money to live within your means; designate a quiet at-home space for rest; welcome the Holy Spirit into each part of your life; take vacations and go on retreats; spend time regularly with family and friends; and “don’t go to bed right after work.”

Gray notes that these practices have helped him and reminds readers of Annie Dillard’s statement that “How you spend your days is how you spend your life.”

What resources can help you to establish healthy practices? In addition to the items listed at the end of the article, consider Addicted to Hurry: Spiritual Strategies for Slowing Down and Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives.

What are your stories and thoughts on this topic? And what resources do you suggest? We look forward to hearing from you.

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One Comment

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  1. Gay Edelman / Sep 17 2012 11:42 am

    A dear friend and member of my religious fellowsihp sent this article to me with the comment, “You could have written this!” Indeed it does go over the key points I often mention, as clerk and as plain-old F/friend, to members of my small NJ Quaker fellowship. I came to understand these principles first as a recovering food addict in the world of programs based on the spiritual principles of Alcoholics Anonymous. To have a right and clean life, I had to start, yes, with removing toxic substances and behaviors from my body and my life. Then, turn over my will and my life on a daily basis, and include regular prayer and meditation to support a sober/abstinent/God-connected life.

    I often tell those I lead and mentor about a group of monks who work in an urban area where resources are scant. They have a retreat principle: An hour a day, a day a week, a weekend a month and a week a year. I aspire to that. In the meantime, yes, I try to live by the suggestions you outline.

    And when I fall short, I add these other three big principles for life balance: Forgive! Be grateful! Look for the miracles!

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