Can you relate to this?
Why is it that when I hit a stressful time in life, the very things – like meditation and exercise – that would help relieve stress, are the very first things to get bumped from the daily routine? It’s like something within me says, “there’s no time for this!” And so, I begin to shave these things from my daily routine. Then over time, I wonder why I am getting more stressed, having difficulty sleeping and focusing!
In reality, these are the most important things NOT to bump from the schedule in the midst of a difficult time. They are the very life-blood that keeps me grounded. Without them, all else begins to suffer – my work, my relationships, even my play time!
I lay awake last night, once again, feeling the pent up energy in my body and my restless spirit as my mind whirled. I have not exercised in a while. No wonder I am having difficulty sleeping. So much pent up energy! I have not really given myself to meditation in a while. No wonder I have difficulty focusing!
The irony is this: when I bump meditation and exercise from the schedule, it seems I don’t have enough time. When I take the time to meditate and exercise, it seems as if I have much more time on my hands, time even to play!
First things first. What are the REALLY important things that I need to maintain in order to live well, even in the midst of a stressful time?
“If only you had known the path to peace this day; but you have completely lost it from your view.” (See Luke 19: 41-44)
What gives you peace? What are the practices that keep you in a peaceful place? What are those things that you do, even when you don’t want to, but you know that if you do them, you will be in a better space?
How easy it is to loose the path to peace, to drop those actions and activities that keep us focused and centered. It could be skimping on our time for meditation, or exercise, suddenly getting into a pattern of not eating right, watching too much TV and doing too little reading, spending more time on the internet than interacting with people.
I cannot tell you how often I have heard someone in a 12 Step Meeting say that they did not want to come today, that they had to drag themselves there – but they felt so good that they had!
Sometimes we don’t FEEL like doing the things that keep us in a good, peaceful place and we have to force ourselves to do them. Making this effort is well worth it, for in the long run, getting off our butts and doing something that we know will make us feel better is a good investment of our time.
“My friend had a vineyard on a fertile hillside; . . . but what it yielded was wild grapes.” See Isaiah 5: 1-7
Ever feel like you’ve got some wild grapes growing within you? Ever feel like there are some weeds among the wheat that are spouting up?
Lately, I have felt some wild grapes sprouting up, some weeds among the wheat. I have good intentions and then it seems my actions take me in a different direction. I know full well why the wild grapes are growing within. I have not been caring for the inner vineyard lately. I have been a bit lax in my spiritual practice, body care and my loving. I have been letting these things slip ever so slowly to the wayside. And then I wonder why I begin to feel off center, if not WAY off center!?
It is my spiritual practice, my body care and my loving that keep the inner vineyard that is my life healthy, strong and growing. Like a garden, if I don’t continually work at it, the weeds quickly begin to overtake it and the strength and beauty of the good plants begins to fade. I feel that my strength and beauty has faded of late. Sometimes I just need to force myself to do that which keeps me healthy. And when I do, I know that life will again begin to blossom, beauty will return.