being human,  breath,  embodiment,  learning,  writing

Overcoming Accidie

Last week, I wrote about accidie. Today I’d like to offer a few resources I found for overcoming working through it.

We can’t let boredom and frustration separate us from what must be done. Our task is to be faithful to the demands of daily life with an honest, open heart. (1) “Being faithful in our regular times of prayer, study, office tasks, cleaning the house, changing diapers, and other works that we may be called to do each day can seem dry and discouraging. Yet it is precisely in these quotidian tasks of life that a remedy for acedia is found. The discipline of reforming our outer activity can be a means, with God’s grace, to inner transformation.” (2) To me, this sounds a lot like a call to be in the present moment, with fervor, grace and humility. And it’s not easy in our go, go, go society. In my opinion, it’s part of the need for daily spiritual practice.

Be of service. If you’re lucky enough to have extra time, give back. It’s a beautiful way of taking eyes off of self and placing them on another. We share in our humanity. We are connected. We turn from personal salvation to communal.

Practice gratitude and prayer. A daily gratitude practice, along with verbal or silent prayer (meditation; contemplation) moves us out of our minds and into our hearts.

Give the body what it needs. Eat nourishing foods. Drink plenty of water. Move. Breathe deeply. “… physically working our bodies can help us break out of an idle spirit; furthermore, focusing our bodies in a coordinated effort can help us work out our psychological distractions.” (2)

Practice perseverance. “The more you practice resistance and contemplate spiritual goods, the stronger your will becomes and the more pleasing those goods seem to you.” (3)

Have I mastered these tactics? No, that’s why they are recorded here, as reminders for me (and possibly for you) about how to live a healthy, grounded, spiritually-guided life. Be well!

Resources for deeper reflection:

(Photo by Tommy Bond on Unsplash)