A Message from Chaplain Joanne Webster:
In light of the new set of circumstances many of us find ourselves in with COVID-19, and as we strive to lead with wisdom and integrity, and to care for our Canterbury family, it is more important than ever that we all take time for self-care. Although it will look different for each of us, here is a tool that might be helpful as we navigate these uncertain and fast-changing days. Although it comes from a Jesuit/Ignatian practice called “the Examen,” it is extremely flexible for the many ways we each experience the spiritual part of ourselves.
At the end of each day, take a moment to settle. Take a deep breath. Get comfortable. Like a rock settling on the bottom of a lake after it’s thrown in, let yourself settle an an follow these steps:
- Acknowledge how you are feeling in this moment. If being calm is hard, acknowledge it. If you find yourself frustrated or stressed, acknowledge it. Seek spiritual presence in all parts of your life - not just the easy or serene moments.
- Ask for light and insight as you prepare to review your day. For some that light may come in the form of a sense of the Divine. For others it’s from a deep sense of your true self.
- Take a moment to think about how COVID-19 has impacted your work and your personal life. Even as we are being asked to distance ourselves from one another practically and socially, ask yourself what connections you find yourself grateful for? Who makes you feel grounded and connected?
- Think of what went well this day, where you were blessed. Give thanks. Breath in fresh breath.
- Think of where challenges were, things that caused difficulty. Breath out stress and regret and let it go, as you refresh for a new day.
- Public health issues have a way of making us recognize how interwoven our lives are with others in society. It can help us realize who we treasure in our lives, and also highlight the vulnerable ones we know, and the friends and relatives we are called to reach out to.
- Note the emotions you feel in all of this, pay attention, and listen to where the divine may be speaking.
- We are gifted with limitless creativity and imagination. Even in this time of separation and possible isolation, set your intent to move forward working for the common good in the ways you are able.
- Bathe in some more moments of silence.
Praying strength and peace for us all,
Chaplain Joanne Webster
*materials edited from Association of Professional Chaplains