A few weeks ago I wrote about the list of ingredients for joy and meaning that Dr. Brené Brown’s family came up with. They were surprised to discover that the way they were living their lives was contrary to the way they wanted to be living, so they made changes. They cut back the hours they were working, limited extracurricular activities, got more sleep, more play, and made more time to just hang out.
Jess and I started something similar. I say “started” because we are still a long way from our ideal, but we are definitely making progress. Here is a partial list.
Getting more sleep. Did you know that there is a function labeled “Bedtime” in the alarm clock settings on the iPhone? It just started to flash at me one day for no apparent reason; and I finally stopped swatting it away and opened it. Turns out you can tell it what time you want to wake up (5AM), and how many hours of sleep you want. Now it knows I should go to bed at 9PM in order to get 8 hours of sleep – don’t ask why I thought I could get 8 hours by going to bed at 11PM, but that’s all changed now. It even sounds a little lullaby chime to remind me at 8:45pm that I should start moving in the direction of the bedroom.
Getting in the best physical shape we can be. We don’t always agree on how to accomplish this, but we are usually at the gym 4 or 5 mornings a week, get in at least 1 yoga class a week, and now have a daily qigong routine (a system of breathing and exercise designed to benefit both physical and mental health) in between our morning meditation and the walk over to the gym. While this particular qigong routine is designed to improve your mood (never a bad thing), it also works very nicely as a gentle warm-up. It’s 15 minutes and requires minimal space, no props, and no prior experience. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1tpHKvjewI&t=216s
Time for reading, making art, futzing or prutsen, and being with friends. We decided to recover time by turning off the television for the weekend. I know… but it was only scary for the first hour or so; then the shock wore off, and doing other things just seemed like THE thing to do. We enjoyed it so much, that after that first weekend, we have continued to leave the TV off most evenings...although we did keep up with Dancing with The Stars.
I’ll let you know how it goes. If you’d like to share any changes/insights/comments about your experience with this kind of project, email me and I’ll include that next month.
“When you recover or discover something that nourishes your soul and brings joy, care enough about yourself to make room for it in your life.” ~Jean Shinoda Bolen
I'm learning more about my art, and from my art, every day. It's not so much a matter of skill or practice... mostly it's a shift in perspective, a way of shaping how I look at and exist in the world.
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