A Group of People

An off-kiltered heart

In balance, balanced living, breathing, busyness, calendar, clutter, inspiration, intentional, lent, life, listening, living, meaning, ordis amoris on March 25, 2011 at 10:50 pm

By Paula Gamble

I went to the woods this week – it is a place where my soul is deeply restored. I feel grounded the minute I step into the urban forests around Portland – I love the sensation of a rich store of oxygen filling my lungs. The barren wintery landscape is starting to fill out with small budding sprouts…there is hope…new life, growth, expectation.

After crossing an old stone bridge, I stopped to watch some birds flitting from branch to branch, in a flirtatious chase, picking up lichen, calling out a melodious chicka-dee-dee-dee. They made me smile and utter a supressed giggle. Contemplating these frolickers, I realized I could not distinguish if they were working, loving or playing. And in an instant I longed to echo their manner of living.

But how?

Am I to merely “balance” my life by getting work, relationships and leisure in proper priorities? Do I just reorder my schedule? Well, that doesn’t actually solve the core of my issue because an off-kiltered schedule always betrays an off-kiltered heart. Merely reordering schedules and lifestyle, fundamentally, starts at a heart level, not a calendar level.

Augustine said that everyone has a spirituality that can be defined in an ordis amoris – a way of ordering loves. Our spirituality, and the meaning of our lives, comes not so much by what we believe, but how we order our loves and how we integrate love into all that we do. It is accepting our frailty, offering our time, our wallets and our relationships to creation and our fellow creatures in ways that promote love that moves us toward this integration. It requires an intentional cooperation with One greater than us, and letting the soulrest that results from that synchronicity flow into our spending, our scheduling, our loving.

I go to the woods, like Thoreau, “to live life deliberately…and to put to rout all that [is] not life and not when I… come to die discover that I [have] not lived.” It takes intentionality. It takes paying attention at a heart level, not just a calendar level. Really living is a life where work, love and play are more and more indistinguishable and unfrenzied. I’d like that.

To read more from Paula, please visit her blog by clicking –> here.

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