For us living in the Philippines (and in most Christian countries), we are now in the full swing of the Lenten Season. And as of day of publishing of this article, we are right smack in the middle of the holiest of days we call Holy Week. For most of us, this is a time to take long holidays away from home, while for some, this is also a time to just stay put and do things we wouldn’t normally do on a busy work week.
Whether you are a Christian or not, one thing I know for sure : Now more than ever, this is the best time to slow down, pause and take a break — yes, take a break from it all!
Yes I was born a Catholic and raised a Catholic and I am proud to be a practicing Catholic until now, but I don’t look at myself as better than any other person reading this, who may have a different religion and set of beliefs as I do. I’m not an overly religious person or a preacher of any sort, but I feel it is just appropriate that I remind myself why I celebrate Easter in the first place.
I know some people who are dedicated to fasting, penance, and other forms of discipline to further their spiritual experience during this time. There is nothing wrong with that, if that is their way of practicing their faith. But in our modern day world, I also believe that even through our own simple, honest and quiet ways, we can experience the true spirit of Lent.
Here are some of my tips on how we can all make use of this time to pause and take a break :
Breathe and Just be. Click that pause button in your life and just take this time to rest and relax. Take things easy and just be. Breathe it all in and breathe it all out. This is our time to rejuvenate our tired bodies, minds and spirits. Do what you think and feel will make you a better person after this break.
Read yourself a good book. In this day and age, I am sure most of you would agree with me, that all we’ve been busy with is busying ourselves with social media — and yes, that includes me! (GUILTY!!) Why don’t we take this time then to read a good book – and not just any book for that matter, but a good, inspiring, motivational or self-help book that we’ve been wanting to read, but haven’t really found the time to read.
Personally when it comes to books that inspire, I am a big fan of Joel Osteen’s. If you have no idea who he is, I suggest you pick up just one of his books and read a page — and come back to me and tell me if you liked (or disliked it). Believe me when I say that all his books (and yes I’ve read almost all of them and I am even re-reading some now!) have had a tremendous impact on me and the way I view things in my life right now. He is one of my biggest influences when it comes to thinking positively through all the challenges, improving myself in spite of my weaknesses, and inspiring others by living my life to the fullest!
Spend quality time with the people who matter the most to you.
I don’t think I even need to explain this. We all know how important it is nowadays to spend time – quality time that is – with the people we dearly love. Take advantage of this opportunity to be with your family, to read a book together without distractions, to play and to really enjoy the game with your children, and simply, to just be with the people you love the most — without thinking of work that is coming in the following week!
To be honest with you, this is also hard for me to practice. I can easily get distracted, so I will take this time to practice what I preach and just spend time with my family and cherish this moment with them. (I promise not to check emails during this time, so please be kind and don’t send me any! 🙂 )
Lastly, take some time to be quiet, reflect and pray. No matter where you are in the world, no matter what your religious practices are, this is also a good time to just be still, be quiet and listen to Him. Reflect on the past few months that just happened so quickly, and look forward to the coming days ahead with great hope and anticipation that everything will work out for our own good.
We are all blessed in many different ways. We are alive, breathing and living in the moment (that is why we can read this now), so this is also the best time for us to simply be grateful. Be thankful for all that has been, for all that is and for all that will be.
Bottom line, we really don’t have to do so much or even go to extremes in order to make the most out of our Lenten season or Holy Week experience. Life is all about being honest with ourselves and staying true to what we believe in, whatever situation we may find ourselves in.
It is in these simple, honest and quiet moments when we are at peace with ourselves and everyone else around us that we truly celebrate and exemplify our real faith within.
Wishing everyone a good break and a restful holiday. May we all experience a truly meaningful Lenten season and a rich, blessed Easter!
PS. I will be back to normal programming, more blogging and emailing after the break. Thank you for being patient with me! 🙂
(First 3 photos, taken by yours truly in Anvaya Cove, 4th photo with my 1-week old baby taken by Stork Studio and last photo taken in Hua Hin, Thailand.)