I haven't posted anything journal-related for awhile. I've been in a bit of a rut. I get in ruts, usually, when I'm neglecting the spiritual side of life. For me, I have formulated a list of basic ways to nourish the spiritual side of myself. This list is influenced by my upbringing, faith, and life experiences. Here it is:
1. Pray. Pray daily. Pray throughout the day. Pray anytime you have a question, want to say thanks, or just need to tap into the source.
2. Read good books. Whether it is the Bible, Book of Mormon, something by C. S. Lewis, or any other great authors, read good books.
3. Take some time each day to meditate. I have a hard time getting myself to do this, as it takes effort to sit and do nothing while having a completely productive brain-session. I think that people in general have allowed too much clutter to fill our lives, and we're way too stimulus-driven. I'd love to get in touch with the 6-year-old-Alison who could go outside for 8 hours and be completely entertained without music, video games, movies, tv, the internet, etc. Meditation helps me get in touch with that again. So does going camping or to the mountains, which leads me to...
4. Go outside. Drive up a canyon and sit for a few hours. Meditate while you're up there. Or take a good book. Skinny dip in a cold stream and lay out naked in the sun. It's liberating!!!! Make a fire and think about God and your purpose in life as you listen to the crickets and watch the stars. That is my favorite place/situation to be in, 100%.
5. Serve others. Doing something nice for someone else is so rewarding. They are blessed by it, and so are you. If I'm feeling depressed or sorry for myself, I can get out of it immediately by thinking of someone who's day I can brighten.
6. Exercise. Man, this is a super way to feel good. Exercise really helped me get through my divorce. If I were pissed, frustrated, sad, etc., just spending 45 minutes on an elliptical machine or a treadmill would completely eliminate the negative energy/emotions.
7. Keep it clean. Whether it is my car, bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, living room, or my language...cleanliness IS Godliness!!! I feel so much better when I create and maintain a clean environment.
8. Be a friend. And have friends. Support systems are great.
9. Have integrity. This is one I feel like I struggle with lately. In MANY areas. I know how rich my life can be if I am a woman of my word. Yet I still struggle with it every day. Whether it is getting out of bed when the alarm goes off, doing the chores I said I would do, eating well, exercising, watching what I put into my body, going to church, etc., I have really been struggling lately. I get overwhelmed with it all and rather than overcoming this piece by piece, I just stagnate. So.....I need to do it piece by piece until the puzzle is back together.
10. Have a hobby. Have fun! I started doing Mary Kay because it was fun, a great environment, provided many wonderful friendships, built my self-esteem, etc., etc., etc. It's a business, not a hobby, but even when I slack off and treat it like a hobby, I'm still having fun and enjoying the benefits. Everyone needs something fun to do on the side, other than work, clean the house and cook meals.
So, those are some things I do to eliminate the rut...emotionally, physically, and spiritually. I'm going to have to look at this list for a while to get myself back where I want to be. :)
This is a mandala I did one day while meditating in the wilderness. :) I'm half-hippie, I know.