As I dream up version 2.0 of my online soulcare community, Flock, I’ve been thinking a lot about what I would like to create. Frederick Beuchner once asked usÂ to find the place where “your deepÂ gladness and the world’s great hunger meets.”Â That’s what I’m trying to do with Flock. So I’m ponderingÂ quite a bit about the community’s needs, andÂ the place where I can give most joyfully. I’m looking forÂ the intersect so I can dance in the overlap.
But even more than these thoughts on content, I’ve been thinking a lotÂ about sustainability.Â Where is the place where the world’s needs and my passion intersect, and how canÂ I live in that place for the long run??
After parenting, the hardest job I ever had was pastoring. The pay was minimal. The hours were long. The demands were endless. There were no boundaries. I loved the work, so I threw myself into it, body and soul. My housemate Sharon cautioned me to pace myself. My boss encouraged me to have sabbath time (while not modeling this himself.) And my congregation looked at me hungrily from the pews. Their needsÂ and expectationsÂ were endless. True, there were always a handful of dear souls who would check in on me, offer to help, remind me to rest.Â But it was hard for me to hear this minority voice in the midst of a needy, vocalÂ community. I loved the work, so I thought my “deep gladness” would carry me through.
Then my body collapsed.
That wasÂ 5 years ago. I’m only now strong enough to start again.
So in light of that story, I’ve been asking myself: What does it mean to do what you love in a sustainable fashion — without burnout? What does it mean to live passionately over the long haul? What does it take to do the passionate work you love for a lifetime?
There are a lot of amazing people doing stunning and self-sacrificial things out there.Â Just amongst my in-real-life friends I have Rose, who started a non-profit while running a church and raising kids; Jen who starts small business and saves refugees as often as I pour a cup of tea; and Shari who just adopted another set of twins (teenagers!) I am inspired and in awe of their stories. But those stories are not always transparent. Even among these friends, IÂ don’t always see the infrastructure of self-care that lets them live a life of service. AndÂ I don’t always see the secret collapses.Â (Although when I do, I amÂ honored to beÂ a withmate in the midst of theÂ beautiful mess.)Â Â The picture is even more incomplete when we only read about this inspiring people on line — where we have even less of a panoramic view of things. We don’t always see the sustainable path.
I believe we can find a way to serve and live passionately within the framework of healtful shalom. I believe I can find away to serve passionately — even with a chronic illness, even with teenagers, even with a delicate HSP soul.
I don’t have the answers yet. But maybe we can find them together, in the Giant Pool of Wisdom. So tell me friends, when you are doing what you are passionate about:
- what are your physical needs and how to do you meet them?
- what are you emotional needs and how to you honor them?
- what are your spiritual needs and what practices sustain you?
- what are your needs for rest and sleep and how to you make space for them?
- what kind of creative outlet do you need and what hobbies or habits fulfills that?
- what kind of interpersonal connection do you need and how do you create habits to nurture your realtionships?
Go ahead, Magpie. Write a big long comment telling me all about it. Or let the world know how you do it on your blog and drop the link below. Your right-fit solution will give us ideas about what might work for us. We really can find the place where soulcare and worldcare meet, if we share our strengths. It’s like mama always says, “There ain’t no place to go, but together.”
My blessing for you today is this: May you find the place where the world’s great hunger and your deep gladness meet; and may you dance in that glory for a lifetime.
*your magpie girl
Magpie Moments is our Monday morning series this Fall, featuring a single shot of soulcare from me, your Magpie Girl. Join us each week and toss back some nurturing goodness. Need a double shot of soulcare? Click here for previous Magpie Moments. Thank you for being here today.