Spring is the season of Easter, remembering the death and resurrection of Jesus. It is also the time of Lent, many people choose this special time to be baptized. When Jesus was baptized by John, a dove landed on his shoulder; it states in Matthew 2: 16: the spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. This description leads me to think, if we regard the dove as spirituality, then how do we prepare ourselves to invite the Spiritual Dove to land on our shoulder?
In a practical way, in order for dove to land, the atmosphere needs to be calm, and safe. If we apply this tangible rule to understand the intangible rule of attracting the Spiritual Dove, it may indicate that we need to be calm, still, feel safe and make ourselves ready to invite the dove to land.
Then the next question is, how do we make ourselves ready? We may have more conveniences such as transportation and communication than our parent’s generation because of our aggressive and rapidly progressing technologies. But these conveniences also have the counter products which is the requests of multitasks and multi-roles.
We certainly live a richer life than our parents’ generation; we can enjoy and achieve many things in a short period of time. For example, we can hold a conversation with a colleague, who is at another continent through Skype while cooking for a meal. The notions of modern life are: we deserve a better life, which indicates we should have more, and enjoy more, so we keep doing.
Then one day we may realize that we have many roles to play and hats to wear: being a husband/wife, daughter/son, sister/brother, friends, mother/father, colleagues, social worker, volunteer etc. Each role has certain amounts of enjoyments and responsibilities. And besides all of these roles, there are also other demands from the commercial advertisements, or holidays and celebrations that need to be considered year round.Then one day we feel like we are getting crucified by daily stresses; we become restless, volatile, with tempers about to blow. The intangible societal demands of doing more push us to our emotional limits. With all the tasks, desires, stresses, anxious, fulfillments in mind, how do we create the stillness, peace that will enable us to invite the spiritual dove to descend in the midst of the chaos or busyness?
Joseph Campbell (1999) said that in order to move stead and fast, a person has to be centered and balanced. We can observe these phenomena in dancers or athletes’ movements. In order to carry out the best performance, there needs to be this centre of calm, the stillness. Someone has also said, if we observe the tornado, we can find out that although the tornado presents itself as a vigilant, steady sweeping force, the great power of distraction, however, at the internal of the tornado is a centre of calm.
If we apply these principles of an athlete’s or tornado’s movement to our daily life, we learn that in order to spin fast, or fulfill more, we have to define our centre first.
Then the next questions are: Where do we stand? What is the center of our own life? Sometimes the answer isn’t easy to see and put into words.. Stephen Covey (1990) described 10 types of centernesses, Let’s explore these categories and do an assessment of our life. These centernesses are: spouse centered, family centered, money centered, work center, possession centred, pleasure centred, friend centered, enemy centered, religion centered, self-centered, and the last one is principle centered. Covey went on to explain the centerness from four life support factors: security, guidance, wisdom, and power.
In conclusion, Covery explains that by centering our lives on correct principles, we create a solid foundation. Since the security comes from the knowing of correct principles, unlike other centres based on people, or things which are subject to change, the correct principles do not change, and we can depend on them. Principles are deep fundamental truths, classic truths, and guidance. Those wisdom guidance function as road maps. A correct map enables us to clearly see where we want to go and how to get there.
Then the next question is: how does the principle center manifest, how does it guide our schedule? The current trend is “time management principle”, which focuses on things and time, with the evaluation fully relying on efficiency and productivity. Covey advocate the fourth wave of management, as a “being management”.
It indicates that the challenge lies not in managing time, but to manage ourselves. Satisfaction is a function of expectation as well as realization. Rather than focusing on things and time, fourth wave of the being management focuses on preserving and enhancing relationships and on accomplishing results. So instead of evaluating ourselves according to the efficiency, we also emphasize the being, the process, and the relationship. Covey suggested applying the time management matrix diagram, which is defined by Urgent/not Urgent and Important /Not Important. Based on our principle, we make our choice about what is Urgent/Not Urgent, Important/Not Important. Then we can decide how to spend our time and energy.
Therefore, with the principle centre in mind, and “being management” in hand, and our determination to practice, we may able to define, or re-define a place where we can find the peace, so the tension of every demands does not tear us apart.
A song named ‘Come and Find the Quiet Centre’ states: ‘come and find the quiet centre 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, is be at peace and simply be.’ Maybe, one day we will be able to invite the spiritual dove to descend.
Hailing Huang MTS Canadian Certified Counselor, Practitioner at KW Fellow Traveler Counseling www.kwfellowtraveler.com Mandarin & English
*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA