The Circle of Attentive Obedience
Intention. Accountability. Obedience. Clarity. These are the words that many of use as we express our desire to live a life of surrender. We have been taught to set an intention, nurture it through attentive obedience — and hope that we are rewarded with clarity.
But walking this path alone is difficult. Our busy lives compete with our intentions and, very often, we find ourselves setting aside the disciplines that we have embraced…sometimes for a day, and sometimes for weeks, months, or even years. It takes only a moment to decide. With a misguided thought we think. “i have so many things to take care of today. Just for today, i will set this discipline aside. i can begin again tomorrow.”
Or perhaps it’s not even a conscious choice to set the discipline aside. But disciplines not accorded necessary respect are by definition meaningless.
And sometimes distractions carry us so far away that we “wake up” later and find ourselves standing outside our disciplines, wondering “How did i get here?”
This is a struggle for many women who choose this path. We find ourselves, from time to time, ‘at the beginning’ or starting over again, wishing we had someone to hold us accountable. Without accountability living a surrendered life can be a very lonely process. Many of us have the desire to live in this way, but without this accountability very few of us are able to do the work and face the daily sacrifices that obedience demands.
Many of us don’t even know where to begin. As watchful sisters, we have learned that support is essential, and that the accountability of like-minded women offers us an opportunity to transform a discipline from a burden into a gift. Through this subtle shift in perspective, we are transformed.
The Circle of Attentive Obedience, a community discussion area, offers specific opportunities for obedience and shared experiences. Those who wish to participate will join a circle of women who gather to explore and discuss an assigned monthly intention, discipline, and text resource. For instance, when attention is the focus for a given month and circle members explore this intention, along with a corresponding discipline and text resource, then the circle will be meeting its purpose.
The circle is a private area, but all are welcome to join. No experience is necessary. However, if you do chose to join the circle, then active participation is required and obedience is not optional. Circle participants offer a weekly update on their progress as well as any insights learned from their practice. Perfection is not expected, but an inability to be obedient to the assigned discipline will result in being removed from the circle for the remainder of the month, after which re-application will be necessary.
Each month, on the first day of the month, a new intention, discipline and text resource will be offered within the community. Members may join for just one month, and/or continue after the first month. The disciplines and intentions are meant, but not required, to be carried forward and some discussions will continue well after we begin a new month’s intention. Watchfulness members may contact a moderator for more information, or seek permission to join.
We look forward to walking this path with you.