Monday, May 14, 2012

Regular Sustenance ...

It's a beautiful spring morning - clear, sunny, fresh, and cool. As I walked around the lake in the early hours, I noticed, as I have many times before, that someone had been there ahead of me, dropping a handful of birdseed at regular intervals along the 4x4 rim of the boardwalk. It brought to mind the importance of regular sustenance for anyone who cares for others, whether professionally, personally, or both.

There's an old Sufi saying that goes something like, "We should never give from the depths of our well, only from the overflow." This saying presupposes that our wells are filled to overflowing on a regular basis. And yet, how many of us can say that we have established a regular schedule of refreshment and rejuvenation - one that our bodies and spirits can look forward to and count upon? The little birds travelling from one pile of seeds to the next along the boardwalk know that they need to keep moving on to the next handful of seeds. How many of us can say we seek out sustenance with the same regularity?

While one-time treats like vacation trips, retreats, conferences, or celebrations are great and can do much to refuel us, they come and then they're gone. We all need something more to count on. We need daily nurturing that's planned ahead. (That's not to say that we must do the same thing each day or that we can't make spontaneous choices, rather that we do need to plan something rejuvenating for each day of the week.)

I do a lot of once-off refreshers but I also know there are a few indispensables that I need to give myself on a regular basis so I have an "overflow" from which to draw. For me, those indispensables include:

  • daily quiet time in the early morning for meditation, prayer, or inspirational reading,
  • weekly Wednesday mornings at the bakery with my spiritual growth group,
  • gratitude journalling every evening,
  • taking-in-the good,
  • almost-daily walks at the lake,
  • green smoothies midmorning, midafternoon and evening, and
  • playing my guitar for a few minutes every day.

What about you? What are your regular indispensables? If you don't have any, why not try adding one regular refueller to your schedule and noticing how it adds to your overflow?

No comments: