We are now well into the season of Lent. Lent brings with it 3 Pillars, or traditional practices. The 3 Pillars are very simple - Pray, Fast and Give. Although we tend to think of the season of Lent in terms of deprivation, it is exactly this deprivation that gives us the space to see things more clearly.
When Hildegard of Bingen wrote about viriditas, she included physical health. She offered many recipes to assist people in returning to health, in restoring balance within them. Like most medievalists, Hildegard did not separate "body sickness" from "soul sickness." They were both integrated. If one was off balance, the other would inevitably also fall ill.
So, as we start the journey of slow greening this year, why don't we recapture Hildegard's vision? Let's reframe the idea of going without to one of seeking restoration. Take an honest assessment of your life. Here are some ideas to help you lean into the slow greening:
Is your relationship to food or drink making your body sick?
Is the time spent with your phone or other screen making your realtionships sick?
Do you spend a significant time with negative or anxious thoughts?
Do you give your comments and opinions too often and too freely?
Do you feel hopeless?
Do you feel angry?
Do you feel overwhelmed?
Do you feel anxious?
Did you pray yesterday?
Have you prayed today?
Who do you want to pray for?
How will you pray? (through words or actions or offerings or all three?)
Do you give compliments?
Do you give smiles?
Do you give hugs?
Do you give patience?
Do you give the benefit of the doubt?
Do you give your time?
Do you give your attention?
Do you give your pocket change?
Do you give from your wallet?
Do you give from your bank account?
Do you give your talents?
Do you give from your heart?
Before the new growth can appear, we have to clear out the old, dead clutter keeping it from maturing. We have to prepare the soil. Start on the slow greening journey today by deciding what it is you need to fast from, to give away or to pray for.