Tuesday 15 May 2018 – The Rev. Dr. Martin Brokenleg 2:30 p.m. cont’d.

Human beings have learned to cope with problems with an amazing degree of a term borrowed from the plastic industry called “resiliency”. Resiliency is a quality that is deeper than knowledge.

The church is intended to work in a territory that goes deeper than knowledge. Knowledge only requires words. Resiliency comes from experience.

Can you shape a person’s soul? You form a person’s heart by providing experience.

There are four experiences that any strong person must have. In order to become a strong person, you must:

1. know how important you are. This knowing comes through the experience of belonging. Every human being longs for connection.

2. discover from experience what is your particular competency. How do we nurture someone’s ability to do what it is that they were uniquely intended to do? You must have an experience of “mastery”, discovering what it is that you are capable of.

3. find within yourself “power on the inside”. This is the ability to stand and take responsibility for yourself. From this comes the ability for emotional self-regulation.

Discipline and punishment are opposing energies. They work against each other.

Punishment is only able to create compliance. Compliance lasts only as long as the external authority is watching. It must be constantly reinforced. It does not build any internal skill.

Discipline works because it shows a person that they can take self-responsibility. As you learn to take responsibility for yourself in one way, that skill grows and you become able to take responsibility for yourself in other ways. It is a learned and growing skill. You start to discover independence in  your sense of self.

4. experience the presence within yourself of virtue – the thing that enables us to discover and practice the virtues is generosity. No one learns to be generous in spirit until they have been generous with things.

In a Benedictine community we always schedule in the most important activities. The schedule is a way of maintaining balance. Benedictine spirituality requires balance.

You need to get a Self Care Plan that is as practical, specific, and useful as possible. It needs to consider:

1. Body – think about health, physiology, activity, etc.

2. Mind – think about awareness, consciousness, perception

Sharpen your awareness by slowing down, paying attention to physical sensation. A well-adjusted adult should be able to sit for two hours and do absolutely nothing.

3. Soul – think about conscience, prudence, will, love

4. Emotion – think about temperament, disposition, awareness

Lots of people are too busy to attend to their emotions. We need to learn to practice mindfulness, slowing down and paying attention. Become aware of your breath. Become body aware. Observe your emotions.

Too many boys are pushed away by their fathers condemning them to a life of loneliness. Men have left the emotional business of life to the women. The emotional world works in the realm of nuance. Lots of people shut off aspects of themselves. Explore your own emotional world. Look at the Psalms. Every emotion is there.

5. Social – think about belonging, intimacy, presence, caring

In a group, if the leader is not spiritually growing, no one else in the group will be growing.