Yesterday I remembered a couple of things that have brought some bright energy to me in the past. In recent months I have let go of some of these small things because they are not life-changing in themselves and I had other things on my mind. I am considering re-introducing them in my routine after being reminded that it is often the small things that add up to something that feels hopeful.
I saw some memories pop up on my Facebook feed from this day a year ago. The beautiful sunrise pictures reminded me of the energy and thrill it gives me to be able to witness the dawn. I love the colours in the sky (especially at this time of year when everything is grey and white). I love the reminder that no matter how dark the night, the sun always rises. It gives me a sense of hope that my struggles will pass too, and I will experience my own dawning in time. Despite this, it is hard to think about changing sleep and morning routines. It is challenging to think of getting out there in the dark and cold of a Canadian February morning. I am considering if the personal cost is worth the payoff. If you start seeing sunrise pictures included in my posts, I guess you’ll know my choice.
The second thing that I have found inspiring and relaxing in the past but had forgotten about, is watching the live feed of the waterhole at Tembe or wild earth live safari on YouTube (Thanks for the tip on this one Sally Patterson Tollis). I like to hear the sounds of the African bushveld and see the different animals coming to drink. It feels like it combines meditation and travel all in one.
Have you forgotten about things that bring you quiet joy and a sense of hopefulness? What could you start including in your routine?
I also found some new energy in walking in a different area this week. Here are some pictures I took while walking.
For those who are grieving
I found this exercise quite helpful. It’s taken from the book Mourning & Mitzvah by Rabbi Anne Brener (Chapter 7, page 97, Mourning and Mitzvah: A Guided Journal for Walking the Mourner’s Path Through Grief to Healing by Rabbi Anne Brener). I would recommend this book to anyone who is grieving. She combines spirituality with her training as a social worker in a helpful combination.
- Candle Meditation – On the floor or a low stool, sit in front of a candle. Rather than contemplate an idea or concept, find your own silence. You may do this by watching the candle and taking deep breaths to relax your body or by closing your eyes and turning your thoughts inward. Set a timer for five or ten minutes, and observe where your thoughts go.
- What obstructs your silence? What happened during the candle meditation? Were you in touch with deep feelings? Did you cry or moan? Perhaps you were anxious or hear an inner voice that would not stop. Did images of the deceased or of other people arise? Were you preoccupied with tasks that need to be done or with such desires as hunger or wanting a cigarette? Whatever was elicited during the meditation may need to be heeded. It is likely you need to focus on those images or voices and explore the memories, issues or relationships they represent to help you find comfort in silence. Evaluate whether the thoughts that kept you from finding silence are genuine needs which must be addressed or obsessive ideas which keep you from your deep feelings and ultimately your sense of peace. Write about what you learned from the experience.
Understanding the obstacles between you and your own inner nourishment is a key task of mourning.
If you are looking for support and encouragement on your journey through grief or any other personal growth path you may be on, I’d love to connect and see if coaching is a fit for you.