I can’t remember a time that I “gave up something” for lent. I did, last year, “take up something.” Actually, it was something I was a little afraid to try. I’d walked by the yoga studio that looked unfamiliar to me, unknown and definitely out of my comfortable doing. Since I perceived yoga as a practice of body and spirit, I thought it met the criteria of struggle or sacrifice traditionally attributed to the lenten season.
It worked. My regular practice of yoga has not only strengthened my body but my attention to the moment and intention to practice being in the presence of God.
Last night at the Ash Wednesday service, I told my friend my plan to take up instead of give up again. Dare I say outloud that I’m going to take 10-15 minutes each midday to practice centering prayer. I’ve been sporadically playing at it; trying out different time frames, extending my intention for yoga practice to this kind of meditative time, and using centering prayer as a respite when I’m feeling overwhelmed or anxious. But I’ve never managed to make it regular. Regular practices transform me without my self conscious striving to change what I cannot on my own.
Yesterday I was home so it was relatively easy to stop for those moments. The centering prayer app I am using to help me has a flickering background choice, scripture, and calming words to sustain my solitude. Now today is another day, full of possibility, so we’ll see how it goes. I’ll keep you posted.