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  Jane Miller


Articles -- Re-energize

So many people are on a treadmill of 'busyness'. Life is so full that there isn't even time to think about what you are doing. But what you don't realize that those activities have not been imposed on you. In truth, you have chosen every activity.

If you are working, you chose to work. If you are paying a mortgage, you chose to buy a house. If you are busy with children, you chose to have children. Imagine life without any of the things that are keeping you busy.

But maybe those things are keeping you too busy. The real question may be, "What is missing in your life?"

I remember when I was in my twenties I was feeling down and my boyfriend said, "How can you be down? You're so talented. You can draw and sculpt and write poetry." Those simple words woke me up. I got out my brushes and started to paint. For me, creating art energized and enlivened me.

Everyone has a passion. It may be a walk in the woods, getting lost in a good book, painting, woodworking, going out with friends, or on a retreat. It's so important to find out what feeds your spirit and it is absolutely critical to make time for that, because if you don't, you will bring an impoverished version of yourself to others. And that's not fair to them or to you.

I have seen people sit down with their spouse and children and work out ways to make time for 'escape' activities, and in the end it enriched the entire family. For example, a mother who started taking art classes created an art studio at home and displayed her work. "Mom" was now a "really cool and interesting person" and it encouraged her children to pursue their own special interests. It also added a new spark to her marriage as she now had new things to talk about and share.

One hour a week may be all it takes to rekindle your spirit, but you need to find out what lights you up. It may take some time to figure out your passion. You may have to try out a few different things as you home in on what you enjoy. Think about what you used to enjoy doing as a child. What types of things can you get totally absorbed in? What energizes you?

Often times, as you think about possible activities that you would like, your inner critic will come up with all kinds of reasons why you can't do this. It's important to listen to the objections seriously and figure out how to get around the barriers. For example, your inner critic may say, "People will think you're crazy", and you might respond, "That's not important. It's more important that I get some time for me".

Start with the premise that you can do this. Feel the excitement of your desired 'escape time'. Imagine how it would feel and step into that place. Reinforce this image at every opportunity. Tell people what you do - "I arrange flowers" or "I'm a poet" or "I'm taking an art course". You may want to change your hairstyle or clothes to reflect this new expression of yourself.

This may mean taking an hour or two away from your family, but when you are with them, you will be bringing a richer and more vibrant you, and it will enrich them as well.

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