How are you doing? How is your year going? How are you feeling these days?
Exhausted is how I’ve been feeling after a year and a half of “Covidland”… feeling like our whole country is exhausted we just cannot admit it!
I’m also feeling a lot of grief and trauma due to the layers of things within the “Land of Covid”, the political conflict, politicizing a pandemic, conflict over masks and now vaccines, bouts with anxiety and depression, etc. And the losses of the past year, like work, interaction with people, and the regular rhythms of the calendar like holidays with family. I still have to remind myself what month it is because I’m somewhere back in March or April, NOT JULY!
We also had a tornado and a bombing in Nashville this past year to add another layer of things I cannot control or fix. And now we have a variant that is moving rapidly through the world. WOW! It’s a lot!
As I’ve shared before, as an enneagram 7, acknowledgment of this grief and sitting with it is hard but so necessary! Seven’s don’t like pain or conflict.
So I have paid attention and gone back to therapy. And I have also done some processing with art and looked at where I really am with a lot of “compassionate curiosity” as my therapist likes to say!
My friend, Scott Erickson, was sharing that he feels exhausted too. And he feels that rest isn’t the only answer to this feeling.
I agree that restoration and recovery are more than just getting more sleep and even more time off, although those are good places to start! After all, my hashtag is #RESTisHOLY and I am on a mission to help others learn to really practice REST! I am a BIG proponent of REST and practicing Sabbath. But I know that rest for some of us isn’t just being in a hammock, sitting still, or taking a good nap.
Again, I’ve realized that I need my cup refilled.
And I started asking myself what things really feed my soul? What things fill up my cup?
And honestly, due to the craziness of the last year, I’d forgotten a lot of them. Definitely missed out on these things due to lockdowns, etc. Things like art, having people over, exercise class, travel, even doing in-person work.
WHAT ARE THINGS THAT REKINDLE YOUR SOUL?
WHAT THINGS HAVE YOU MISSED OUT ON OR NEGLECTED DOING?
WHAT THINGS BRING YOU JOY?
I made a list:
Being in Nature
Being in places of Beauty.
Looking at Art
Being around Kids
I realized too, that I need to connect with kindred spirits… people who get me and who are leading the way in things I value, like creative church and social enterprise. I need to be in places of beauty just to absorb them.
And I need to remember what it’s like to play and just have fun with no real agenda!
So I booked myself on a trip for refueling! I’m dubbing this week “mom camp” after Jen Hatmaker and doing all of these things! Art, Nature, Play, Rest, and hanging out with some great people I’ve missed! I do know this is a total privilege to get to hang out in Colorado for a week of friends and retreat time. I’m so grateful for this!
And practicing gratitude is helping me heal too!
I used to love camp in the summertime! I went to day camp several summers, did a couple of overnight camps, and retreats in high school, and was a camp counselor several years too! Those camp experiences really fed my soul!
Maybe you had camp or camping experiences in your childhood or you still like to go camping now. What about CAMP feeds your soul?
At mom camp, I got to hang out with my friend, Kathy Escobar. Kathy leads the Refuge Community in Denver. She and her husband Jose have a non-profit called #waterheals. I got to go out on their boat with other friends who needed to be on the water for some time to fill their cups and it truly was healing! Got over a bit of real water fear too. At summer camp, I loved to be on the water but not under it! Some of you might find that swimming again is good therapy! I also got to shoot archery for the first time since I was camp counselor in high school!
Another part of my camp time was going to see art with my friend, Amy Clifford. We had a wonderful, long lunch and then walked to see artists creating wall murals along a path near a creek. Nature and Art and Friends!
WHAT COULD A DAY OF CAMP LOOK LIKE FOR YOU? How could you create a camp for yourself?
What things would you do to bring your soul back to life and fill your cup?
Go on a hike, take a bike ride, find a creek or lake to sit by, or get out on. Go to an art museum and absorb the beauty. Find murals in your town. Or, create some art on your own. Go swimming. Have a cup of coffee or tea with someone you’ve missed or someone you’d like to know better. Get together with a friend and do a craft day… or just take a blanket outside and watch the clouds or the stars!
One idea might be to do a “house swap” with a friend or family for a change of scenery and a mini-retreat!
WHAT WOULD YOU DO? WHAT WOULD BRING YOU JOY?
I’ve also taken time for reflection this week. Journaling and looking back at this past year… at the losses that I need to let Jesus have and heal. And I made a list of the things I need to remember and to celebrate! Too often we forget to celebrate and remember the good things!
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO CELEBRATE FROM THE PAST YEAR? Talk to Jesus about this. And talk to your friends and family too. Share where you have been and what you are feeling like now.
WHAT WOULD HELP YOU PROCESS this past year?
WHAT THINGS WOULD HELP YOU CONNECT with where you really are emotionally and spiritually?
I’m realizing that this will be a longer process of recovery and restoration than I’d like. But we’ve had 16 months of crazy land and it’s still crazy and uncertain due to the variant. So it will take time.
Remember, Compassionate Curiosity! Remember that Jesus is with you right where you are! And I am reminding myself and you too that #RestisHoly
HERE are some more ideas to help you fill your cup and experience a Sacred Summer and even have CAMP!
You might try some of the Gifts of a Sacred Summer! There is still time to open some gifts in the days ahead!
You might try the HEALING Course
TIME TO HEAL that Christine Sine and I led. I help you process healing with art and color!
OR, do our Sacred Summer Retreat:
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