Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Spiritual Self Care

Spiritual self care, for me, means activities that bring me closer to my truth, who I am, how my spirit sings.  I am not a religious person but do have a spiritual side that needs tending for it to grow, stay strong, and provide me with a base from which to go about my daily life.  These activities feed my spirit daily.  Journaling, art journaling and meditation, for me, provide this sense of spirit on a daily basis.

When I wake in the morning I open my journal and just cleanse my thoughts.  I was calling this my "morning brain dump" but really didn't like the negative images this evokes, LOL.  So it is a cleansing of all the thoughts running around in my head.  I open up my journal (which is a new practice for me) and just write, whatever pops into my head.  Sometimes it is pages about dreams, my todo lists, things that have been worrying me or the joys of the morning.  Some days I write a sentence "I am tired".  And move on.  But I need to get it all out of my head to move forward.  

I have found the morning cleanse a great precursor to my meditation practice.  I have been meditating for years now, and enjoy that stillness and peace.  So while my journal helps empty out the thoughts, I follow that with meditation and I sit and just breathe for a while. Some days it is just for 5 or 10 minutes, and some days I could sit for an hour or more.  Some days I just can't quiet my brain, and sometimes that stillness just flows over me like the creek outside.  In this space I find my center.  If I have trouble quieting I count my breaths.  When I feel it is time to stop I usually have just one image, question or statement pop into my head. This is my guide for the day.  Whatever it is I am feeling when I open my eyes from meditation, that is what I take back to my journal and art journal.  

This thought will find so much depth and definition when I bring it to my journals.  I will write about my thought for the day, or my image.  Some days it is easier for me to work in my art journal, to paint my feelings.  Some days I will do both, I will write on the page of my art journal and then paint over it.  There is so much freedom in journals.  They can remain mine for as long as I choose.  I can share them with friends or family or not.  

These activities in the morning just nourish my spirit.  Help me connect to my center, and put me on the right path for the day.  I think nourishing your spirit is so important.  It really has helped me to dig deeper into who I am.  

But meditation and journaling are not for everyone. There are so many things that can nourish your spirit:
~oracle cards
~Tarot cards
~photographing yourself
~Bible study

Ask yourself what it is that brings you closer to understanding who you are?  What brings you closer to your truth?  What helps you ask the important questions about your life?  

I also participate in sporadic work.  Not daily, but just occasional courses and classes.  One that I particularly enjoy is the Goddess Mystery School.   Lots of deep work there.  I encourage everyone to take at least one course with Stephanie Anderson Ladd, you will learn so much about yourself.  And another course I am enjoying is the Spectrum course .  If you can't take the Spectrum course the Holistic Creative Chats on the same site, are amazing as well.  So much deep work, getting to know your truth in a new way, in a deeper way.  Any struggles that may come up during my meditation or journaling, I have found The Work by Byron Katie to be a great tool. 

Whatever it is that brings you closer to your spirit, do that!  Do it daily, even if for just a few minutes.  Do the work, dig deeper.  

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