How to Create Your Own Rule of Life
What’s a *Rule of Life*?
Sometimes in my work as a life coach I have the blessing of discussing *Rule of Life* with my clients. I tell them that a Rule of Life is simply a way to organize their lives- especially their spiritual lives.
The trending ways people organize themselves are with planners, bullet journals or online calendars. But the Rule of Life was there first…by centuries.
The Rule of Life is an old term dating back to the early monastic times. I have a copy of the Rule of Life of St. Benedict that he created for his monks in the 6th century! The Rule of Life from a monastery organized the spiritual and practical activities of the people there.
These days a Rule of Life is a believer’s way to organize spiritual (and practical, if they wish) activities of the day. It is a commitment to practice spiritual disciplines.
When I first heard the word *Rule*, it got may Protestant dander up! We don’t have rules anymore, that’s legalism! I was able to settle down when I found out that the word *Rule* in Rule of Life, simply means *organization*.
The Rule of Life in the real world change with phase of life and levels of spiritual growth. My Rule changes year to year. That is a good thing. Here is my present Rule of Life:
- Short meditation on the Lord’s Prayer before getting out of bed
- Morning Scripture reading
- Morning gratitude journaling
- Morning 3 minutes silent prayer
- Midday intercessory prayer or prayer in tongues
- Midday prayer for the nation
- Rosary at nighttime
- Bedtime Ignatian Examen. Here is a link to a how I pray an Ignatian Examen.
At my current phase of life, this works for me. Here’s what makes it work:
- I don’t get stressed if something interrupts and I miss part (or all) of the Rule. Prayer is about willful, respectful presence with God and recognizing His presence with me. I could toss the entire Rule of Life and do nothing prayerful without endangering God’s love for me and my comfort in that knowledge.
- I don’t fall into the trap of believing there’s a *right way* to do a Rule of Life.
- I don’t take myself or the Rule too seriously.
This leaves me free to enjoy the process.
My Rule of Life has been constructed over decades of walking with the Lord. A younger person in a different phase of life will have a much different Rule.
Here’s how to create your own Rule of Life:
Prayerfully ask yourself and ask God to reveal to you:
*Who are you? We often are so busy with the mundane or stressful parts of life that we forget that God intentionally created us. How? Why? It is good to remember…or discover. Here’s a good place to start if you aren’t sure who you are (from my coaching website).
*What do you love? That is, what kinds of spiritual disciplines or devotions do you naturally enjoy? This should be the anchor of your prayer life/Rule of Life. Here’s a nice post from Renovare on spiritual disciplines to give you some ideas.
*What do you need to work on? Where are your weaknesses in self-discipline or character. Ask God for a way to pray about that. Often I will add prayerful journaling when I feel that God is working on a fear or character issue; or I will ask for Him for Scriptures to pray. Sometimes I work with a counselor, coach and or spiritual director. All of these fit into my Rule of Life for that phase of life.
For some people, their Rule of Life also includes daily activities such as chores, mindfulness or relaxation activities.
There are many ways to create a Rule of Life. Your Rule of Life will change over time and need to be flexible day by day, but when you have that Rule as a life structure, it will help you feel grounded and connect to God.
Here’s a white paper on the Rule of Life from C.S. Lewis Institute on Rule of Life.