16 October to 11 December 2014 (171 B.E.)
‘Ilm* | Qudrat** | Qawl***
Objective: Individual and Institutional Rejuvenation
Select Lines of Action
- Create a gratitude jar
- Plan weekly meals—breakfast, lunch, and dinner—on Saturdays
- Prepare for respite and renewal
- Limit the number of commitments in our home
- Prioritize external engagements to those that are personally nourishing
- Set aside time each day, in the morning and the evening, to pray together
Now the new age is here and creation is reborn. Humanity hath taken on new life. The autumn hath gone by, and the reviving spring is here. All things are now made new. Arts and industries have been reborn, there are new discoveries in science, and there are new inventions; even the details of human affairs, such as dress and personal effects—even weapons—all these have likewise been renewed. The laws and procedures of every government have been revised. Renewal is the order of the day.
And all this newness hath its source in the fresh outpourings of wondrous grace and favor from the Lord of the Kingdom, which have renewed the world. The people, therefore, must be set completely free from their old patterns of thought, that all their attention may be focused upon these new principles, for these are the light of this time and the very spirit of this age.
~Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá
Life was busy—tasks were piling up, work and service required more and more of our attention, and we always felt out-of-breath so-to-speak. Challenged by the many demands on our time, we needed to hit the reset button. Our intention was to find extra energy, to be more conscious with the way we channeled that energy, and to better support one another as individuals and members of an institution. Take for example, the simple act of placing a gratitude jar next to our front entry. This action provided us with the opportunity to consciously reflect, while departing from and returning to our home, on what we were most grateful for. Subsequently, our spirits were renewed, especially after a day of demanding tasks, a and we found ourselves “looking home for energy”. Further, when we took the time to prayerfully consider what activities were life-giving, we made strategic decisions that ultimately led to being more intentional with our time. Consequently, we realized 1) just how stretched thin we were and 2) that focusing what little energy we had left to those activities that were most life-giving (e.g., participating in the institute process) helped us see such activities less as tasks to check off a list and more as an opening to limitless and infinite vigor. However, this learning did not come without a cost. We found that turning inward so-to-speak challenged others and it became more difficult for us to navigate boundaries with close friends. In the long-run, thanks to grace and second chances, as well as those willing to share with us their reflections on our decision, we ultimately felt better poised, if we need to take such actions in the future, to do so with more transparency and clearer communication. In short, both the individual and the institution benefited from nearly every line of action, and we recognized that our framework was a nice union between systematic and organic flow. Ultimately, we experienced rejuvenation as individuals and as an institution.
*Knowledge **Power ***Speech