Today in church @ New Life Petaluma, Pastor Ron talked to us about what refreshes us. By refresh, he expressed to energize us or feed our soul. He gave us a challenge to come up with six different things that feed our soul or energize us. When I first started thinking about what refreshes me I felt instantly blessed, because I had several different things I could instantly think about related to my job and what I do for people. However, that is a whole other story, and in this regard we were challenged to think of things outside of work that refresh us.
And so it began... the thinking process. Of course, one HUGE thing came to mind instantly, which I reserve ample space for 4-5x / week! ... #1. WORKING OUT... I can’t express enough how I can have the world’s worst day, be mentally & physically exhausted, grumpy, not feeling well, or whatever, but every time I force myself into the gym, I leave feeling energized, pumped up, refreshed, rejuvenated, and ready to take it on - all of it. ... But like I learned Sunday, we need more then one thing to refresh, more then one way to hit the reset button, so back to the drawing board... or so I thought... until I met a girlfriend for a coffee chat... I was super tired walking into it and a little emotionally drained. I didn’t really know how much of a hoot I would be or joy to converse with, until we just started chatting and the conversation flowed. As I got up to say goodbye I realized instantly - refresher #2... getting lost in a great conversation with a good friend. And of course, #3 - something I had to miss for an entire year - but am sooooo excited to jump back into - snowboarding. I am not sure what it is exactly, but I have always described it as somewhat magical.. something about driving through the mountains, it is as if I warp into another dimension - whereby it is like a rule that when I am in Tahoe, I don’t have a worry in the world... I get on top of the slopes & it is just me and that beautiful fluffy white stuff... all my focus is just on the smooth ride. Anyhow, three is a good number, it feels good to have them down, but it isn’t enough... The challenge was six. I was thinking maybe Pastor Ron knew that it would be relatively easy to come up with three which is perhaps why he wanted to make it more challenging by encouraging us to come up with six. I know that several days have passed, and I am still thinking about what those last three really look like.
He also challenged us to make a commitment for the whole year reserving space in our calendars to actively engage in refreshing activities at least 3x/ month. We talked about how when you look at most people's calendar's it is always filled mostly with roles & responsibilities. This is sustainable for a while, but often leads to people feeling 'lost', a 'loss of self', not in tune with his/her identity. The reason is we can get so lost in our roles & responsibilities that we loose focus on our 'person' our 'being', on our passions, or the things that fill our cups, the things that make me-me, or you-you. I know that I already am extremely committed to filling my calendar with my #1 refresher, but I am also wise enough to know that isn't enough... Especially because that is a physical activity that requires my body to function accordingly. IF this is the ONLY thing I run to for joy, for fuel, or for recharging, what happens if I ended up hurt or injured and couldn't partake in exercise for a while? I would be left feeling lost, with a giant void. This is also why I think it is important to have a diverse array of ways to feed our soul, to not invest everything we have in just one, or as the saying goes, "to put all of your eggs in one basket".
Anyhow, that was all a little ramble... but here is the real point in it all, or what it makes me think about... LIFE IS SHORT! It is... it really is... time flies before our very eyes.. moments come and go, and life is over before we know it, and most of the time we don't even see it coming. So for that reason, I think it is important to remember to make space in your life, in your calendar, in your heart for things that bring you joy, peace, energy... because the happier and healthier we each are physically, emotionally, and mentally, the more we are able to thrive in our responsibilities, and the better of a person we are able to be in our roles. Commitment to the health & happiness of self first and foremost leads to a better version of you for everyone and everything else.
It's funny how loosely the saying "life is short" is used. You see it quotes in pretty little pictures with neat fonts on Facebook ALL the time... we read it - we feel good about it - we think to ourselves, "man this is true".. we embrace it for a minute... and then what? ....We forget about it...We jump right back into the mundane version of life... the roles.. the responsibilities... the 'to-do' lists... But really... We need to embrace it daily... to remember it... to embed it into our hearts... and to live by it... To make space for the things that are near and dear, to "feed our soul", to fill our cups, to be healthy and whole so that we can then be the best version of ourselves for everyone else in our life that we care deeply for and love... So we can not look back on life someday with regret...
Can you think of six ways to refresh & reset? What non related activities feed your soul? What do you always walk away from feeling recharged? And, do you reserve ample space in your calendar for them? IF not, I challenge you to complete this journey with me :)