Sometimes your spirit goes through a dry spell. You have been so busy keeping so busy that when you reach for that next ounce of energy to carry you through, it's not there. An underlying wind of ornery seems to be blowing. You feel as if you are in a spiritual dustbowl.
Good news: refreshment is closer than you think.
Consider the dew. While we sleep, moisture from the atmosphere condenses on cool surfaces. By the time we awake, the new-spangled morning is there to meet us.
Just so, our souls can be nourished and renewed if we slow down, pay attention and drink it in.
An experiment in filling your basket
Here is an experiment you can try right now:
- Find something beautiful in your range of vision. Look around you and choose an interesting form, a color you like, a shape that pleases you…something that makes you smile.
- Close your eyes for a slow count of
- Open your eyes and gaze on the object you chose in step one. Enjoy its color. Notice the way the shadows snuggle in its crevices. Imagine how it would feel if you touched it. Let your eyes feast on it.
- Pretend you are a camera. Blink your eyes, take note of this little beauty and tuck it away in your memory. (If you are a camera user, you can take an actual photo.)
You are filling the picnic basket of your soul.
Miracles around you
Every moment, your senses supply food for your soul. You are receiving miracles of sensory input every second you are alive.
You are surrounded with nourishment for your soul, brought to you by your eyes, ears, nose, tongue and skin. Move beyond your physical senses to include your thoughts and imagination and the the marvelous, quirky actions of the people around you and you realize you are living in a buffet.
An invitation to alchemy
I know – there are ugly things also: stink as well as aroma, dark imaginings in addition to light ones, hateful actions alongside delights. Sit with them. Be with them. Dare to not run away.
Open to all of it and, like a dew-soaked flower, turn toward the sun.
We are called to be alchemists, you and I. By choosing where we place our attention, by working toward justice, by moving toward joy, by recognizing the sacred, we turn dross into gold.
Delight of the day
Begin where you are, noticing that "something beautiful" from the experiment above. [You didn't do it? That's okay. Do it now. We'll wait
] We'll call that discovery of beauty your "delight of the day." At the end of each day, think back and identify your delight of the day. Watch for moments when the corners of your mouth turn up and your heart lifts. Sometimes you’ll find delight early in the day and each new pleasure will seem to shoulder the last aside. There will be days so filled with loveliness that you can barely keep track. On other days, you may have to think hard to identify something to call delight. This practice brings your attention to what feeds your soul.
Watching for delight, we become more conscious of the nourishment around us. Our senses offer us delight each day, just as dew forms each night on leaves of grass.
Manna in the wilderness
The story goes that when the ancient Israelites were starving in the wilderness, their God gave them manna. Each day, when the dew lifted, this fine flaky substance covered the ground. They ate it and were nourished. Just so, our souls are nurtured by the beautiful sights, sounds, flavors, aromas and textures that come our way every day.
Open your soul and drink it in. You are surrounded by blessings.
Notice and note your Delight of the Day for seven days in a row.
Don't worry if you miss a day. (Release any judgment you have of yourself, recommit and return to the practice.) I include Delights of the Day
for the week on the Journey Dancing blog most Fridays.
Play is soul food! Play with these ideas…
- Writing starters: What I need to feed my soul is…
- Make marks: Make marks that dance and play.
- Make sounds: Make playful, soul-filling sounds.
- Objects in space: Clear a space; throw a party.
- Write or perform a dialogue between your inner Eeyore and your inner Tigger.
- Move through it: do the dance of your soul.