Benedict Project 4: Healthy routines

Starting my new part-time job, I noticed my freshly implemented routines are starting to be shaken up little.
Time to get back on track, the Benedictine way!

One of the key-factors to getting back into the saddle, is going to bed on time every night! I say, going to bed on time every night!

That, and establishing new routines while ingraining the other ones.

If you are interested in learning about the daily routines of a Benedictine monk, you can check out the website of the Münster Schwarzach monastery, of which best-selling author, ‘spiritual guru’ and Benedict monk Anselm Grün is the financial manager*.

New routines to implement:

  • Tiny morning and evening meditation.

Nothing too big or lofty, or else I’ll easily slip into austrich mode. Starting small, spending 5 minutes in my meditation room, taking it easy. In my busy life, it’s so easy to get carried away by all the hustle and bustle. That’s why I’m taking time to stop, think, pray, BE STILL. My soul needs that kind of counteraction on a daily basis.

  • Social media-free Sunday (my resting day), on which I take time for my husband, pets, God and creativity or nature activities to charge up for the week ahead.

Routines to further practice:

  • going to bed early
  • getting up on time every morning
  • evening routine: no computer after 7.15/7.30 pm(start relaxing mode)
    • preparing for the day to come: clothes, check agenda, prepare bag and lunch. Flylady has invaluable advice for you on this as well.
    • clean for 15 min: do a quick tidy up of the house, feed the animals.

This way I hope to have time for more meditation and prayer in the evening, gain some balance and stay out of the claws of  ‘zombying out‘ on internet.

Let me know how you’re doing with the changes you’ve made or intended to make. Love to hear and learn from you!

Please take a minute to leave a comment now, I’d really appreciate it!

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love and peace,
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12 thoughts on “Benedict Project 4: Healthy routines

  1. Hi Ester,
    What a blessing for you, finding rest again! Enjoy!
    To be one of your fellow pilgrims on the Benedictine road, it’s a privilege 😉 You’re welcome. Thanks for the pics of your silent room! Awesome, to have your own separate place for worship, prayer and meditation. Wish you a blessed time in this special place.

    I’m planning some silent weekends this year, one will be in a Benedict Monastry. The past weeks I’ve had some problems with healthy routines and daily structure, exept my daily moments for prayer in my silent room. Felt a longing to be there with Him. I can say I’m ‘back on track’ again. God is near. I’m his beloved child. And so are you.

    If you like, I will send you some pics of my silent room next week. I think my special place is finished now. It’s time for me to stop making things perfect. Still making progress 😉

    Thanks for comment, keep going, take care

    Peace and blessings,

  2. I read this:

    Be focused
    Be courageous
    Be strong
    Be hopeful
    Be thankful
    Be alert
    Be productive
    Be creative
    Be positive
    Be full of life

    Wonderful, thanks! Encouraging.

    Remember: He’s risen! For you and for me ……

    Blessings ……….

  3. I like to share something, related with ‘living the Benedictine way’

    Sundayevening I was at a ‘silent service’ from a congregation nearby. Pretty much – and long – silent moments, and a couple of songs from Taizé. After reading Psalm 121, a small choir started singing this hymn: “Come and Find the Quiet Center”

    “Come and find the quiet center in the crowded life we lead, find the room for hope to enter, find the frame where we are freed: clear the chaos and the clutter, clear our eyes that we can see, all the things that really matter, be at peace and simply be.
    Silence is a friend who claims us, cools the heat and slows the pace, God it is who speaks and names us, knows our being, touches base, making space within our thinking, lifting shades to show the sun, raising courage when we’re shrinking, finding scope for faith begun”

    Awesome… These words from the hymn “Come and Find the Quiet Center”, spoke right to me
    Can’t get it out of my head…….
    And one thing kept coming to the forefront…the words of that hymn….we are called to action. Not insane, running a marathon, action (remember; progress, not perfection). But called to….
    It reminds us that…
    Silence claims
    Slows the pace
    God speaks and names. God lifts. God raises. God knows. God finds.

    I’ve noticed these silent moments each day could be important for me to hold on.
    Maybe these moments are the main part of my healthy routines ….

    It’s 8.30. I have to shut down my computer 😉

    Blessings, peace and joy,
    ‘Despair is a choice’

    1. Wow DIAC this is SUCH an inspiring text! Indeed, silence is so important. This week a lot of unexpected things happened that I had to deal with, but I did not make time for silence or reflection the past weeks, I find it SO hard to take time out to be in silence, cause I feel so “unproductive”, but on the other hand sometimes I get so tired that I get stuck on Facebook or Pinterest…..

      It’s a hard part in my Benedictine journey at this moment…. I feel a little bit stuck and I crave silence. Just like the tagline of my blog: Less noise, more love and silence (I crave God’s love also at this moment)….

      I think my next post will have to be one about silence and putting it in our routines and giving it the place it deserves in our lives. So hard!!!!
      But soooooo necessary.

      On Silence

      by Henri Nouwen

      “Silence requires the discipline to recognize the urge to get up and go again as a temptation to look elsewhere for what is close at hand. It offers the freedom to stroll in your own inner yard, and to rake up the leaves there and clear the paths so you can easily find the way to your heart. Perhaps there will be much fear and uncertainty when you first come upon the “unfamiliar terrain”, but slowly and surely you will discover an order and familiarity which deepens your longing to stay home……. whenever you come upon this silence, it seems as though you have received a gift, one which is “promising” in the true sense of the word. It promises new life. It is the silence of peace and prayer, because it brings you back to the One who is leading you.” . . . . . . . . . Henri Nouwen”


  4. Hi Ester,
    Last week I was responding, but WordPress wouldn’t send it for me ;-(
    Something was wrong with my account. I hope it’s over now.

    What a challenge is this, living the Benedictine way!
    I’m not really sastisfied about my progress last week. I think I have to change my attitude; expecting pretty much in this short time practicing. Not a healthy way of living for me. Last week I’ve also tried to kill my PMS (Poor Me Syndrome) I’ve recogniced some issues by myself, reading what you’ve posted till now… Looking this all over, and being honest, I have to say that I noticed a little bit progress 😉

    This morning I had to deal with discipline. But I hold on, and there was a quiet and mindful start for me today. I was reading: “Be still, and know that I’m God”; Psalm 46, vs.10 (NIV) God is near….

    This week I will take care of myself with:
    – going to bed early; 10.15 pm
    – shut down computer 8.30 pm
    – beating procrastination; note: planning should be realistic 😉
    – less: TV; more: read a good book (remind me this issue; Pinterest)
    – preparing myself for weekend retreat March 30 – April 1 (Pilgrim psalms; 120-134)
    – hang out time (and beating guilty feelings because of doing “nothing”)

    I don’t want to give up. Sometimes I like it 😉 ….. I like to know how you’r doing right now.

    Blessings, peace and joy,

    1. * nice: pilgrim’s retreat!!! let me know how it went and what you’ve learnt
      * LOL: pms syndrome 🙂
      * I was having a very hard time last week: procrastinating, thinking negatively sometimes, household a mess…. But I’ve picked myself up again now.

      “I can start over at any given time”

      Progress not perfection indeed.

      Thanks for walking along Despair is a choice, I really appreciate,


      1. ‘Pilgrims retreat’ is cancelled. Not enough people are interested. I’m disappointed! I was looking out for this weekend (organised by “The Spil”). These ‘pilgrimspsalms’ (120 -134) are special to me. I hope they will give it a try later on.
        You ‘ve picked yourself up again? Indeed: “You can start over any given time”
        This may happen again, so hold on! Maybe it will help you writing important reminders like this in a daily journal (do you have one?) But maybe you will read your own blogposts over and over again? 😉 Last week I start (again…) with a journal. Helps me to remember me also positive things, like progress ….

        Thanks, I also appreciate it very much, walking along, ‘living the Benedictine way’
        Not easy, but this seems this is so important. Silence, prayer, God-centered life, it’s really basic stuff. Practicing with daily structure; and doing this the ‘Benedictine way’, I’m sure one day it will become a longing, being at home…..

        P.S. Thanks for Henry Nouwen’s text ….
        “It promises new life. It is the silence of peace and prayer, because it brings you back to the One who is leading you”…….
        Awesome !!

        Wish you a wonderful weekend; knowing – and feeling – God’s presence


    2. Hi there Despair is a Choice!

      How are you holding up this week?
      I’m getting back into the saddle of my life again, rgaining some balance.
      And the Holy week is also coming up fast…time flies!

      Today I have been researching silence and solitude the Benedictine way and and also in the Carthusians, the order of St. Bruno who live very much in the spirit of St. Benedict but go even further with silence and solitude.
      Remember we watched Into Great Silence the other day (at least we watched it and you’d watched it before)

      What did you think of the Carthusians? and of the film?

      Regards and blessings,

      hoping to post soon,


      1. Hi Ester,
        The first time I saw “Into Great Silence” was in december 2010 at The Spil. It was a wonderful time. I think I’ve never seen so much snow in our country before. It was very quiet then, also outside because of the snow. With five wonderful people we saw this movie in absolute silence. Drinking a lot of tea, hanging out together in silence ;-). The movie, these wonderful monks, this huge and wonderful monastry in the mountains, isolated, the wheather (specially the rain, and thunder and lightning), it touched a me me deep in my heart. I’ve seen this movie three times now at The Spil, the last time (even I did not see all of it) I was touched by it again. What do I think of the Carthusians? Amazing. What a challenge, living this way. Separated from the outside world, and sometimes from eachother. Worshipping the Lord separate, isolated. This seems to me the ultimate way of worship.
        Last weeks I’ve had a hard time. Some difficult choices to make for the rest of my life. Searching and praying a couple of months to make some issues clear, and after this I realize it’s time for me to find a new congregation. Last time I’ve prayed a lot because of this in my new silence room. Discipline in time for prayer; for me this daily structure is very healthy. Last week I felt a longing to be with Him in silence. Yesterday I was confused, feeling a kind of sad about my decision. Today there’s peace of mind again. I’m glad. My life is in His hands. He knows my name. He knows my thoughts. I’m looking up and out….
        So, still making progress…
        How are you doing, the Benedictine way?

        Peace and blessings,

      2. Hi DIAC, I am so very happy and blessed to have find the rest to be able to write my next benedictine post. thank you for sharing this comment with me and for being a fellow pilgrim on the benedictine road. Thanks a bunch for your support. Have a blessed week. And as promised: some pics of my silent room.

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