Something to Give Up, and Something to Embrace

Could you use some refreshment in your life?

Something that lifts your spirit, propels you forward, and brings you a sense of peace and calm? I know I could!

I’ve recently been challenged to re-evaluate the things that are in my life but shouldn’t be…and the things that aren’t in my life, but should!

As many of you know, Lent started this week. My first challenge came to me during my yoga class this week. (More on how I ended up at yoga class later.) During the final relaxation pose, our instructor challenged us to consider giving up something other than food or drink for Lent. It is easy enough to give up chocolate or coffee, but what about anxiety? Fear? Critical words?

Lent is 40 days (well, 37 by time you read this). 40 days without eating potato chips might change your waist line a bit. But 40 days without (fill in the blank with a destructive behavior of your choice), that could be life changing!

So now that you are thinking about something in your life that you would like to let go, lets think about a few things to embrace!

I was recently challenged by a sermon I heard at my church about finding balance, or “breathing room” in life. Breathing room was defined as “the space between our current pace and our limits.” The message was centered around a video from Wayne Cordeiros entitled Dead Leader Running.” In it, Cordeiros describes how all our activities either drain or fill us, and when we have more draining activities in our life than filling,  we set ourselves up for unhealthy habits, depression and breakdown.

Unfortunately, often times we are “stuck” with our drains, as they tend to be our on-going responsibilities. However, we do have a say over what our “fillers” are, and whether we make them a priority or not!

One thing that Cordeiros recommends sounds obvious, but yet is something I think most of us fail to take time to do: sit down and think through the things that fill you. I found that once I created a list of things that were refreshing to me, it was then much easier to plan ahead to incorporate them into my week.

So, with that thought in mind, I started this past week off by signing up for a yoga class! It has been wonderful. I now have on my calendar time that I have carved out to be filled and refreshed.

What other things were on my list? Here are a few examples:

1. Getting outside
2. Time with friends
3. Dates with my honey
4. yoga/running/working out
5. writing and blogging

This week I made each of these things a priority. I know that my “drains” aren’t going anywhere. Draining responsibilities are a part of life, unfortunately. But maintaining a healthy mind, body and spirit needs to become one of our top priorities, because when we are refreshed, we are in turn  refreshing to those around us!

Just for fun, here is a gallery of some of my “refreshing” activities. Yes, “yearbooking” my three year old and laughing hysterically at the results IS refreshing to me.

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By the way, refreshing means “pleasantly fresh and different.” Finding refreshment is as simple as it is agreeable -simply try something new! Break from the norm! And when you do, tell me about it. I’d love to hear from you on the unique things that make you feel filled and refreshed!

2 thoughts on “Something to Give Up, and Something to Embrace

  1. My first ‘refreshing’ list consisted of; a clean house, completed laundry and a good meal on the table. I DON’T WANT MY LIST TO LOOK LIKE THIS! lol. But, I feel like over time those truly refreshing activities have gone by the wayside because I have pushed them out of my life. My excuses include no longer having time for them or even feeling guilty for taking time out for myself and away from my family. I NEED to fix this. Thanks for the push 🙂

    1. Yes! You need to take time for yourself! It will make you better at everything else that you are doing 🙂 Don’t feel guilty about taking time to do the things that refresh you. It’s like a friend always tells me…On an airplane, they instruct you to put on YOUR air mask first in case of an emergency. Why? Because we can’t help others if we are deprived of oxygen!

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