5 Ways to Feed Your Spirit
This year one of the things I’ve determined to spend more time on is taking care of my spirit.
When life gets busy for me I have the tendency to stop taking care of myself in lieu of taking care of other people and things. Knowing this about myself and accepting the fact that my life will likely never be ‘not busy’ I have purposed to incorporate certain things that feed my spirit every week so that I can maintain the energy and resilience I need to keep going at my best.
In the last 6 months or so my meditation practice has continued to evolve and has now even expanded into different kinds of meditation.
In the afternoons when I transition from work to home life I do a meditation with the app headspace. This is basically becoming present and energizing my body (much like a nap) and clearing my mind to switch gears. Headspace is a guided meditation that helps you stop the flow of constant chatter in the brain, become aware of where you are, focus on your breathing and relax the mind and body. I love this and will do this for 15 minutes most days when I get home from work.
I have also started incorporating another type of meditation into my daily life and that is visualization. Because I’m someone who tends to worry, overthink and even obsess I have come to understand that focusing on those negative types of things can be an activity of creation in my life, but creating exactly the things I don’t want. So I have purposed to instead visualize the things that are troubling me and instead visualizing them coming to pass the way I want them to instead. Athletes have done visualization practices for many years, visualizing themselves performing and winning.
Let’s say you have an important meeting that you need to attend and you will be presenting an argument or case and you feel intimidated by the entire process. You can sit and visualize yourself attending the meeting, presenting your case with confidence, and doing your very best. You can even visualize the outcome if you want but just visualizing yourself there, being articulate, and representing yourself in a way that you can feel proud of despite the outcome will ease your anxiety over the whole thing.
I visualize myself parenting with grace and patience, having difficult conversations at work with kindness and respect, and creating content for my blog that speaks to the needs of my readers and inspires hope.
Yoga is also a form of moving meditation. It is where I learned to be present, destress my body and breathe through difficult poses (representing challenges in life). I have purposed to make sure that I get to my yoga classes 2-3 times a week to make sure I’m taking care of my body and spirit at the same time.
I am an introvert. It’s something I have finally accepted and I need to make sure that I honor that part of me by allowing myself time to be alone and recuperate from all the output in my day.
Each night before I go to bed I turn on my diffuser in my bedroom, wash my face, put lotion and essential oils on my body and then I climb into bed and either listen to a night time meditation or watch a couple of my favorite YouTube channels. I do this entirely alone and discourage anyone from disturbing me. This is how I enjoy relaxing and unwinding before bed so I can sleep deeply and fully rest before the next day.
If you want to feed your spirit you need some spiritual food. I read (or listen to) the Bible & other books that speak to my soul, encourage wisdom and help me to tune into my true self. Spiritual growth is imperative to keeping your spirit strong. Usually in the morning I listen to a chapter of a book or listen to a podcast of someone teaching on Biblical truth.
In the afternoon I will listen to a podcast of another kind that teaches me something developmental and helps me to grow. I love listening to Michael Hyatt, The Good Life Project, Style your Mind and many other informational and inspirational podcasts during my daily commute.
Arts & Crafts
I have found that I need more creative expression in my life. I’ve been playing with making jewelry, coloring, and even a little doodling here and there. These are things I really enjoyed when I was younger and I’ve found that if I can take an hour on a Sunday afternoon I get such a boost from allowing myself a little creative outlet to just play. I am amazed how time slows down and by getting in touch with my younger self I feel younger, lighter and happier.
Ok I’m really letting my freak flag fly here! But I have to tell you that organizing my space makes me feel sooooo good! Straightening up a drawer or going through the mail that’s piling up, even just the smallest tidying up makes my heart so happy! At least once a week I try to choose one thing that has been getting messy and clean it up. I get such a sense of accomplishment and I feel like a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders. Please, help a sister out and tell me I’m not alone!
This short list and small practices each week are really helping me to feel my best even in the midst of challenges and the busiest time of year for me. It’s winter and this is usually when I start to suffer from seasonal affective disorder yet so far I am not feeling those blues. I really believe it’s because I’m taking care to keep my spirit strong and well fed.
I know this list is short and incomplete and I’d love to hear how you feed your own spirit too! Share with me in the comments!