Caring for Our Energy with Poet, Jane Kenyon
I stumbled on this quote from Jane Kenyon in Mary Oliver's collection Upstream: Selected Essays and it has stuck with me ever since. I wrote it down in my journal, and continually come back to it as a reminder for how I chose to spend and nurture my energy, my time, my life.
Here is a guided reflection we can use to help us as we approach a new season, to nurture our energy - mind, body & spirit. Let's break it down to unlock the magic of her advice. Feel free to use the questions however makes sense, focus on one section, or one or two questions from each area, or even just one or two questions total. As Rilke says, "And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live your way into the answers."
Be a good steward of your gifts.
Gifts come in many forms from how I am are present with others, a special skill, creativity, serving family and community. What are my gifts? Look closely. There are many.
Am I using my energy in a way that brings my gifts to shine and be shared?
How will I nourish my gifts this seasons and allow them to expand?
Protect your time.
Where and I spending the majority of my time?
What time do I make just for me?
What time do I make to focus on caring for my loved ones, without distraction?
What am I saying "yes" to that is really a "no" in my heart and gut?
What is something I can let go of this season that isn't serving me?
What is something new I would like to try or save space for this season that I will prioritize?
Feed your inner life.
What inspires me intellectually and spiritually? Poetry? Reading? Art? Music? Nature? Working on motors? Drawing? Photography? Serving the community? Coffee with friends? Cooking? Create time for these things and commit to them without compromise.
Where will I seek inspiration this season?
How will I hold space and time to grow spiritually?
Who do I know that brings joy and respect to my inner world? How will I spend time with them?
Avoid too much noise.
Allow time to soak in silence each day.
Do I give my mind, body and spirit time to reset, relax each day?
Do I fall asleep with the television on?
How often am I looking at my phone/the internet or watching something on my phone? Is that energy fulfilling?
When can I choose being present in the world rather than escaping?
When can I offer myself time to bask in the calmness of space to be and do rather than absorb noise?
Read good books, have good sentences in your ears.
What I consume isn't just food. Am I absorbing content that makes me feel joyful?
Am I reading/watching/listening to content that lifts me up and creates inspiration and sparks creativity in my spirit?
Am I choosing to spend time with people that create sense to kindness and inspiration in the world?
When I look at the people I spend the most time with, what kinds of words and energy do they share? If they aren't helpful or life-giving, how can I protect my energy when around them?
How will I use my words to create "good sentences" for others?
Even more importantly, what are the words I use to talk to myself? What words are between my ears in my head? Are they negative, encouraging, self-deprecating or filled with love? What changes could I make?
How will I be a good friend to myself?