There are days that remind me of the groove I am in. Repeating patterns dominate. They include a morning latte, writing, emails, phone calls, research, and errands. Even before the cycle ends, it seems to be crying out for a repeat. With the exception of the latte, which I work to keep at one per day, the pattern endlessly repeats.
The pattern is often infused with additions that I use to bring balance. My daily phone call that is loosely work related is one. I find it refreshing to reach out to different friends around the world. Two breaks are often part of the patter. First, I take a ride on the Harley. There is something about Momma Springer (Harley), open roads, and the feel of the wind that takes my mind away from everything. Second, I make time for reflection – usually in a sauna or spa. The two additions are used to help me step back and see life from a different vantage point.
Patterns, repeating activities or ways of seeing life, often become mantras that we hold close to our heart. Each should come with a warning. Just because something is routine or usual does not mean that it is good or helpful. Examples have existed for ages. In one, “it wasn’t long before reports got back to the Thessalonian hard line Jews that Paul was at it again, preaching the Word of God, this time in Berea. They lost no time responding, and created a mob scene there, too.” (Acts 17.13) I wonder how much of my response to life is reactive, automatic, and destructive.
The checkpoint that I find makes a difference is being intentionally reflective with the goal of making “me” relevant. It is never enough to enjoy the day. I want to help someone other than myself. It is never enough to just make it. Taking risks are at the heart of being alive. Reflection is more than resting and relaxing. Listening with an open heart to the truth gives birth to an opportunity to reach beyond. Stretching is critical.