“A rule of life allows us to clarify our deepest values, our most important relationships, our most authentic hopes and dreams, our most meaningful work, our highest priorities. It allows us to live with intention and purpose in the present moment.
Sometimes when people hear the phrase “rule of life,” they imagine a list of rules, which they would be bound to follow. It’s not an inviting image for most of us, and more often leads to ‘death’ rather than ‘life.’ (Have you ever noticed how difficult it is to keep New Year’s resolutions?) But creating a list of rules to follow is not the intention of a rule of life.
The word “rule” derives from a Latin word, regula, which implies not so much a system of rules or laws, but rather a way of regulating and regularizing our lives so that we can stay on the path we have set out for ourselves. A rule is like a trellis, which offers support and guidance for a plant, helping it to grow in a certain direction. A rule of life is descriptive in that it articulates our intentions and identifies the ways in which we want to live. And when we fall short of these intentions, the rule becomes prescriptive, showing us how we can return to the path that we have set for ourselves and recapture our original vision. It is not something fixed and rigid, but something which can and should be adapted to our present circumstances and shaped to fit our current needs and desires…
… In the pages of this workbook [see below for link], we offer some topics and questions you might want to consider in designing your own rule of life. Here are some suggestions for how you might use this workbook…”
For here – Living Intentionally: A Workbook for Creating a Personal Rule of Life by Br. David Vryhof (a free downloadable PDF). See also Margaret Guenther’s At Home in the World: A Rule of Life for the Rest of Us (Paperback – April 1, 2006).