soul care & spiritual practices for deconstruction

kathyescobar faith shifts, healing, spiritual formation 48 Comments

blog soul care and spiritual practicesin the last post we made a few lists related to what helped & what didn’t from others during deconstruction. such good stuff, such hard stuff.  thank you for sharing so honestly.  i am going to try to pull something together from it so feel free to add yours if you haven’t already.

as the last few post-series posts, i also wanted to take a little time to center on an oft-overlooked topic in the deconstruction conversation–how do we tend to our souls & our spiritual lives when we’re in the midst of so much upheaval?

sure, many of us might be allergic to some old spiritual practices, but are there new ones that we can try that might help us feel less lonely and disconnected to God in the process? in the same vein, and because they are all tied up together, making sure we are tending to the care of our souls in the process is critically important.

life in the spiritual desert of deconstruction requires water, rest and food, or we will die.

for me, as i made some shifts away from the utter & total absorption in the mega-church i was part of, i found that some of the things that brought me comfort before no longer did.  the Bible felt flat.  worship songs made me go a little nutty.  journaling just felt forced.  i longed for connection with God in the-old-ways-that-used-to-work.  but it just wasn’t working.

then something shifted a bit and i began to let go of feeling like i had to grind down to find something i just couldn’t find.  instead, i tried to let go of the old (and not feel guilty about it) and began to notice God in other places.  i tried to do things that i liked to do, that were good for my soul, that helped me feel rest & peace & connection to God, my soul.

here were some of these soul care & spiritual practices on this bumpy road:

i watched a lot of movies.  for me, almost the best soul care there is.

i took one entire day off from meeting or talking with people in any way, shape or form, period.

my family came up with some weekly rhythms of eating & fun that we all began to honor.  it’s been awesome.

i hiked.

i turned off the radio whenever i drove and put my cell phone in the back seat (i need to start this one back up!)

late night conversations with dear friends around fires & kitchen tables & coffee shops.

i tried to practice the daily examen before i went to sleep or when i was driving alone in the car–where i noticed God in some way, shape or form during each day.

i spent as much time as i could on the lake, which is my second-to-the-beach-favorite-place.

i used the message translation of the Bible & tried not to compare it to the passages i was used to.

i started blogging, a really interesting spiritual practice that i think is helpful in getting comfortable in our own skin.

i read the red letters in the gospels.  

in the last year and a half i started walking every-day-come-rain-or-shine for my back, but now it’s one of my best spiritual practices ever.

what about you?  what are some soul care or spiritual practices that sustained you (or are sustaining you) during deconstruction?  if you’d take time to share in the comments, it really does help others with some ideas.

* * * * *

ps:  i have a post up this week for the monthly column at sheloves magazine centered around down we go: living into the wild ways of Jesus.  it’s called cultivating creativity (check out the video in the comments section, too, it’s awesome and related to this series).  i think that cultivating creativity during the rebuilding process can be so healing & freeing.

tomorrow:  one last little exercise from a post a few years ago that might be helpful in remembering where we were & where we are now.