This week, a friend asked me what I are my daily meditation and spiritual practices. (What a beautyFULL and hospitable query, aye?) I felt a “nudge” to share my response with you and how I’d love to hear yours, too (email and share yours with me!).

For me, my spiritual practices are connected to those “PoPs” or Places of Pause that I often share. I talk about them so often because I need them so much. Indeed, these PoPs are the fuel that keep me going when I’m undone or overcome, the roots that provide stability for stormy days, the source of hope when all seems lost, and the place I learn how to care for and love my sisters and brothers near and far.

The truth is, there is much that pulls me from this focused and abundant center. Not only is there great difficulty in the world today, but my everyday life is often full of challenges, too. This week, I’ve found myself tempted to feel overwhelmed by the many things I hope or want to do, to worry about the world’s troubles and the pain of those dear to me, and to be hurried in my care of my kiddos, household, and work.

And so, I practice pausing. I pray. I surrender. I let go.

Sometimes … all day long.

My PoP’ing begins first thing in the morning … before my household stirs. This morning, I sat by our backyard fire-pit and just breathed, prayed, sipped my coffee, and sat in total darkness, as the sun the sun began to rise and light up the sky with its amber glow.

As the seasons change or if I’m traveling and not at home, some elements of my morning time of quiet change, but there are a few things that really haven’t changed much for thirty years:

  • a cup of something steaming to drink,
  • fire or candle-light,
  • my journal and Bible on my lap,
  • ample time of stillness to allow my own thoughts or some God-nudges to simply well up into my awareness,
  • cultivate gratitude and look for the good and the beautiful (and continuing throughout the day … the harder the day, the more important is the practice for me), and
  • as I begin my morning PoP, I write down everything that is capturing my attention … and then imagine that I’m handing each thing or person, one by one, over to God to care for. Sometimes, I feel drawn to write or think or pray about a decision or a person in more depth.

A few things that foster a sense of wellness in my soul and in my everyday life are when I:

  • get enough sleep,
  • discern deeply what to say yes to (both “personally” and “professionally”),
  • fuel my body with nourishing and strengthening movement,
  • allow “space” between appointments/commitments (=enough time to travel without rushing or speeding),
  • set aside a day of “Sabbath” each week in which I “do” less (work, errands, chores) and “be” more, and
  • listen to music that soothes or energizes my soul.

Here’s the thing: When spiritual practices are more intimately woven into my daily life, they organically begin to transform my daily life. My actions, thoughts, feelings … what I do and how I do it .. are infused with fresh, green, hope and strength. This is why I talk about Places of Pause (or PoPs) being practices that are practical in nature. If they are disconnected from or not present my life, it’s a clue to me that something is not quite right. My daily life becomes “off”, wonky, and simply doesn’t feel good. I believe with all my heart that when I practice these PoPs, I can – we can! – be well, even when the world is in upheaval and our personal lives are hard.

For more on these PoPs, check out Live Ablaze (with 10 guided PoPs) and Soulfully Ablaze (with 40 guided PoPs) – and the PoP Playlist on YouTube with 10-minute guided PoPs. Take what resonates with your journey and tweak ’em to make ’em your own!

Take care of yourself, dear friend.
Today, commit to a pocket of time to be still …
to breathe & be.

You are loved.
You belong.
We belong to each other.
Let’s standTALL together and light up the world!

xo, Sarah Davison-Tracy ❤️🙏🏻🌏

P.S. Keep an eye out next week for the launch of our fundraiser for Afghan Evacuee Assistance. We’d be ever-so-honored for you to JOIN us and SHARE widely with your peeps. 

P.P.S. I loved this story – so I thought I’d share it with you: Afghan Interpreter Tells Of How He, And Later His Family, Escaped The Taliban. On 9/11, Said Noor was 11 years old, growing up in an Afghan village. Later, he served as an interpreter for the U.S. Army and became a citizen. Soon, Noor will reunite with his family who left Kabul.