In our fast-paced, constantly connected world, it’s easy to lose sight of the important things.
We’re so busy rushing from one task to the next that we often forget to take a step back and appreciate the beauty of life.
We get so wrapped up in our own problems that we forget about the suffering of others.
We become so focused on achieving goals that we forget to enjoy the journey.
In this post, we’ll explore one way to help restore balance in our lives and find peace amidst the chaos: by unlocking the power of sacredness. We’ll also look at how you can start regaining sacred moments and practices in your own life to experience greater happiness, productivity, and overall wellbeing.
About a year and a half ago, I made a really hard decision to leave a comfortable position as an engineer at a local aerospace and defense laboratory. I had been with them since before I graduated from college, nearly 15 years! At first, I was confused as to why I felt I should leave and seek opportunities elsewhere — I loved my colleagues, I loved the work we did — it just didn’t quite make sense to me why I felt I should leave. I was just feeling stuck and that I wasn’t progressing in my career the way I would have liked, let alone progressing as a human.
Growing up as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, I was always taught that personal sacrifice brings blessings and that we should put others’ needs before our own.
Jesus taught, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness” (Matthew 6:33).
A Book of Mormon prophet, King Benjamin, taught his people that “when ye are in the service of your fellow beings, ye are only in the service of your God” (Mosiah 2:17).
Throughout my youth and early adulthood, I erroneously took those and similar teachings to mean that self-care was self-ish.
- Seeking for a new job felt selfish and greedy — why couldn’t I just be happy with what I had?
- Seeking for a new job took a lot of time — time that I should have been spending helping my family, my neighbors, and my friends.
- Seeking for a new job cost an emotional and mental price — spending my emotional and mental capacity on myself felt wrong somehow.
But as I began my job search, so many things started to fall into place.
I launched myself into the search with a passion. That passion fueled other habits that I had tried to maintain over the years, but struggled with:
- An early morning routine
- Daily study of both scriptural and secular topics
- Improved diet and exercise
- Regular family time such as date night and special nights with my kids
Somehow this job search had spurred me into action and I felt like I was gaining momentum in life! With this momentum, I was able to give more of myself to those I was called to serve, most importantly my own family.
As part of this momentum, I once again took up the practice of meditation as part of my morning routine. One of the first meditation teachers I came across was Sarah Blondin. She publishes a podcast entitled “Live Awake” and each and every episode I find truly inspiring, uplifting, and motivating!
She published an episode about 5 years ago that I have found particularly stirring, called “Make It Sacred”. I’ll be honest — I have listened to this many many times.
Cozy up, find a comfortable chair, and listen in. Hopefully, Sarah can inspire you too.
What I find so powerful about this particular episode is that it summed up so perfectly what I was going through during that job search.
Before I made the decision to seek out new employment, I didn’t have anything in my life that was truly sacred. Yes, I had elements of the Gospel that I considered sacred; but I didn’t have any ceremonies of my own that I was truly making sacred.
Nor did I consider my own life to be sacred. I had no focus — no real direction. I was just coasting along on my early success out of college and this cushy career, waiting for life to happen.
Making “It” Sacred
To make sacred means to hold your life as an exquisite masterpiece, each moment blessed with the capability to bring your daily doings into the divine space and place of sacred hands. By the use of attention, small prayers, and ceremony.Sarah Blondin; Live Awake Podcast, Season 2; Make It Sacred
I love the thought that “love and attention flow to what we focus on” and that “our experience changes entirely based on that which we zoom in to.”
I encourage you to make your OWN life sacred. Take time to focus on YOU.
This is not selfish.
This is not self-seeking.
This is not putting off your duties or desires or obligations to others.
You cannot expect to be able to be everything to everyone if you cannot be what you, yourself need. You will be better equipped to serve others when you are well.
Establish your own, personal ceremonies. Allow yourself to become the person who has their desires fulfilled in life.
Those habits — or ceremonies, if you will — I was able to (re-)establish in my life became sacred to me. (My wife, half-joking but mostly serious, has told me many times, “I like Meditation Jon.”)
The best personal ceremony I set up for myself was my morning routine — it covers physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects of my life — all within an hour! The days I miss this ceremony (which are becoming fewer and fewer), I see a marked difference in my mood and performance during the day.
Establish family ceremonies. Family prayer. Family meal-time. Family Taco Tuesday. Whatever it is. Just make it sacred and have that time dedicated to your family.
When we choose to make things sacred, we are making a decision — a decision to invest in ourselves. Do not allow life to get in the way, but stick to it and allow yourself the space to fail and try again.
For me, what it really all boiled down to was choosing to make certain practices in my life sacred: my morning routine, exercise, study, and family time. In choosing to establish those ceremonies for me, and not for anyone else, I was able to elevate my overall health, happiness, and productivity.
What ceremonies have you established in your own life to improve your own health, happiness, and productivity? Let us know in the comments below!