(LifeSiteNews) – St. Thomas Aquinas defined peace “as the tranquility of order” within his monumental work Summa Theologica, but for many people modern life is anything but ordered or tranquil.
Observing so many clients struggling with a sense of overwhelm, personal consultants Andy and Liz Hickman felt compelled to structure their life coaching work around the most fundamental truths about mankind. Perennial precepts – rather than superficial, surface-level life-hacks – were the type of guidelines they desired.
Steeped in their Catholic faith, the Hickmans turned to the writings of St. Thomas Aquinas for guidance. A medieval philosopher and theologian whose brilliance towers over Christian history and secular learning, Aquinas’s works capture the heart of mankind’s deepest questions and motivations in the light of the Gospel.
“Catholics have a unique perspective on freedom,” explained Andy Hickman, describing some of the Thomistic underpinnings for his “Art of work flow” program. “We don’t view freedom as the state in which I can do anything. We find freedom almost in constraint.”
Hickman asserts that men are most free when living in alignment with their nature, with whom they were created to be. In Hickman’s experience, a life consistently organized based on Christian principles and family values helps return a sense of balance and enthusiasm to the demands of one’s calling in the face of the daily grind.
“Efficiency is important, but efficiency by itself is not enough,” observed Nathan Stanley, Senior Director of FOCUS Missionaries and one of Hickman’s clients. “It’s actually, I love what I am doing. And when we bring that joy in, that’s kind a the second piece here, people will see that, and that will actually help us evangelize more people. We will be able to reach more souls because they will see our joy in our work as well.”
Stanley’s sentiments are echoed by Carrie Severino, President of the Judicial Crisis Network, another of Hickman’s clients. Being at the forefront of the culture war, Severino recognizes that fighting for justice in the public sphere exerts a toll on one’s life. The fact that she can use Thomistic precepts to organize her work flow and minimize stress is a source of solace.
“All of these truths, if they are true, they are perpetually true,” Severino explained. “If Aquinas had good insights into the human person, then they are still going to be good insights today. Even though we are going to find ourselves in different situations than we might have a thousand years ago, it’s going to still be relevant because were still human beings.”
Hickman’s program has also found appeal with stay-at-home moms struggling to manage multiple responsibilities while living out the Gospel message.
“It’s just so helpful to feel like you are not being pulled along in life,” said Clare Tapsak, a stay-at-home mom and Hickman client. “You are able to sort of take it one step at a time, and move with it.”
“It’s so great to be able to feel like ‘I am actually sort of on top of things,’” she concluded.
To learn more about Hickman’s program, The Art of Workflow, visit artofworkflow.com.