Falling off my Spiritual Wagon
Here today to chat with you about falling off the spiritual wagon… and how I'm climbing back on.
I truly believe that we are led to teach what it is that we, ourselves, need to learn… and whenever things come up for me in my life, I like to figure out what I am learning, so I can share it with all of you, as perhaps you are dealing with the same thing…
So here goes…
I have, for quite some time now, been in a pretty good… I'll even use the word regimented … routine of waking each morning and going through my morning practice, which includes prayer, meditation, reading, visioning, affirmations. A variety of really positive practices that help ground me, help center me, help me express gratitude, and helps me to secure myself and ground myself in a place that lets me be everything that I need to be to serve, and to make the most of this life.
So, what happened? Well, like a lot of you, summer is a time of completely shifting out of our normal routines. If you have children, school's out of session, huge transition. Perhaps you have time off… or you might be living in a seasonal area… or you might be just taking some time to do things differently than we do during the majority of the year.
Having been on vacation for about a week and a half, which was wonderful, I got out of my routines. As much as I love to think that I'm this free wheeling hippie chick, that can just go with the flow … and sure, with some things I can, but when it comes to routine, and that day to day, I struggle when I've fallen out of my morning practice, what I do for my exercise routine, and my normal eating habits.
I talk to you guys a lot about staying close to those habits, but here’s the honest truth, I struggle too.
So does this resonate? You feel like you have no routine… you aren’t eating or exercising as you normally do… and, despite it being summer, a time of joy, and energy, and light, that you don't have a lot of energy?
If any of that's resonating with you, well then, we're here to chat, because I'm feeling a lot of the same things.
So one of the biggest issues for me is, that I’ve fallen off my spiritual wagon… and that put quite, quite simply means: I've gotten too far away from gratitude. I've gotten too far away from my gratitude practice.
That is one thing, no, that is actually THE thing. Gratitude is the thing. It is the most important thing that we can do day to day. I know that for me, one of the things that I need to start doing is start the day with gratitude and positivity.
I need to wake up everyday and say: THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU … I am happier, I am healthier, I am more fit, and I am more able than I was yesterday. I have to keep reminding myself of this: I'm happier, I'm healthier, I'm more fit, and I am more able to take on this life than I was yesterday. And boy am I grateful for this. Remember, when we set the mind, the body will follow.
That is what I'm going to be doing. I'm going to be refocusing on my gratitude practice, and I am going to be embracing that morning mantra of … I'm happier, I'm healthier, I'm more fit, and I'm more able than I was yesterday.
Another thing that I want to talk about… which I’m actually stealing from my bracelet, because I've got the “live, laugh, love” mantra that has lived on my wrist for quite some time now… is how to embrace this idea.
LAUGH … laughter is such a gift of, without even knowing it, being in the present moment. When we are doubled over in laughter, when we are hysterically laughing, to the point that we can't breathe and our stomach hurts, we are SO present. You're not thinking about anything else. When something happens, or you watch something funny … we are so present.
So I invite you, to be silly. Just go out there and have some fun.
LOVE. I want to love freely. I want to love without an expectation, without feeling controlled by it, and that's what I'm going to do. I am going to release whatever barriers I feel exist. Allow yourself to love freely, love yourself, and love others with utter abandonment. I invite you to explore that.
Then finally, LIVE. Gosh, it's so easy to get caught in these spaces of, “I'm out of my routine, and I'm just flustered, and I don't know what to do with myself.” The days become sort of chaotic and monotonous, and unenjoyable. Well, here's the thing. Life can be a struggle, or let's just say a competing space of light and darkness.
We want to live in that space of love and light, but fear and darkness do exist. What I know I want to do, is allow myself to live in that space of light as much as possible. When I'm challenged, and when I'm struggling, my goal is… rather to just fall into that pit of darkness… my goal is to stay on that soft perimeter, on the edge of the orb of light… Think about a glowing light, that edge of it. It's soft. It's inviting. Sure, it might not be in that glowing, happy, joyful space in the center that we strive to be, but it's certainly not outside in that darkness and the fear.
Stay on that soft edge.
Live, laugh, love. Laughter, it is the best way to keep yourself in the present moment, because when you're laughing, nothing else enters in. The to-do list, the angst, it's gone. Double yourself over. You will feel fantastic. Allow yourself to be a little silly.
Love … Love without the fear of being controlled by it. Allow yourself to love freely, to love others, and most importantly, to love yourself.
Finally, live. Recognize the light. Recognize the dark. Strive to be in that light, but know that when life hands you challenges, that beautiful orb along the edge is a soft space to be. Sometimes the routines, and the things that we associate with being fully in the light, sometimes they're not going to be realistic, so just dance on the edge and allow yourself to see what bubbles up.
Hi Jan – Thanks for the blog. Your point about laughter really resonated with me. I was fortunate to grow up in a household with lots of laughter and humor. As I have aged, I have found myself wanting more and more to have a good time, laugh, have fun. It never occurred to me that one of the reasons I was craving more was becuase laughter is a means to staying fully present (which I find has gotten harder and harder to do). So, when I read what you wrote it made complete sense. Not unlike when our physical body craves something that it is missing (be it protein or water or whatever), I think I have been craving those spiritual/emotional things that demand, by default, that I stay in the moment and present. Thanks for the insight.
Oh Diane, this was so wonderful to read. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog AND share your thoughts. I’m most grateful. And it is just so true… laughter grounds us in the NOW. It feels so good. And then we can take that lesson and translate it into the other parts of our lives that, as you say, crave these moments of being present.
I love this! I notice that I can easily “fall off the gratitude wagon” when something negative happens, a rejection, that triggers old feelings in me. I lose my center. This “stay on the soft edge” truly helps me and came at a perfect time. Thanks, Jan–for being there. By the way, I love the writing in this piece–your sense of voice and style. Authentic and true. Especially touched by this paragraph:
“We want to live in that space of love and light, but fear and darkness do exist. What I know I want to do, is allow myself to live in that space of light as much as possible. When I’m challenged, and when I’m struggling, my goal is… rather to just fall into that pit of darkness… my goal is to stay on that soft perimeter, on the edge of the orb of light… Think about a glowing light, that edge of it. It’s soft. It’s inviting. Sure, it might not be in that glowing, happy, joyful space in the center that we strive to be, but it’s certainly not outside in that darkness and the fear.”
Hearing compliments on my writing from YOU, Jan, is like Christmas in July! Thank you so much for this feedback and I am so happy and humbled to hear that this message has helped you. Funny how things show up in our inbox when we need them most, right? Here’s to dancing on the soft edge, my friend… I’ll look forward to seeing you there. 😉
What a wonderful message and reminder to live in the NOW….for tomorrow is not promised. I think we all fall off the gratitude wagon periodically, and end up beating ourselves up for falling off instead of getting right back on. Thank you for sharing the tips for how to get right back up – and on. I’m thrilled to see you following your dream, and in the process, inspiring others – like myself. You are a bright light, don’t forget that. 🙂 Keep up the good work.
Wow, and I was just thinking about you this morning. Thrilled to learn that read this and that you my message resonates. So wonderful to see your name show up on this blog… 🙂
Jan… I loved this message. It is so easy to struggle and lose your way. I particularly love the image of being on the edge of the light in the soft orb of light. As I am so visual this image really resonates with me. Love you and me and everyone.
I always look forward to your comments, especially when I know that you are really going to like a post 😉
And I love YOU, and ME, and EVERYONE, too! xo
Superb!! I loved reading this. Thank you for being our inspiration! I guess I can’t fall off the wagon when I don’t even think I have a wagon – maybe it’s a boat 🙂 But this morning as I was in my frantic “holy-crap-I-have-to-get-to-work” mode, a painter turtle stepped out in front of my car in the driveway. I stopped and got out to look at him/her. Him/her looked back at me. I thought I should move it, but then realized it knew where it wanted to go, so I just watched. After a few moments of inquiry, it resumed its pace and quickly left my staring eyes behind. I’m thankful for that moment and am glad I didn’t overlook it. xoxo
Oh yes, Bug, savor those moments. Bet you weren’t thinking about much else after you dialed in to watching your little friend and awaiting his/her next move… And THANK YOU for being an endless source of humor in my life!! xo
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