It is April 15th. After keeping excellent track of all your expenses, receipts and charitable giving all year - after the countless questions from your tax person and several hours of waiting in hot airless offices, you learn that you owe thousands of dollars again this year.
You somehow manage to resist the urge to throw your head right into the sand or crawl under your covers until the stress, worry, anxiety and debt go away. In the morning, you manage to get up, shower and drag yourself into work. Only because if you do not, you will not get a paycheck so you can pay your tax bill (and all the other bills that have mysteriously piled up).
Your spirit is so dry that with a good stiff wind you would cease to exist. How do you recover from this? Here are five things you can do to refresh your spirit.
EMBRACE YOUR FEELINGS
Feelings that are ignored or suppressed are like that science experiment in your refrigerator. They will fall out when you least expect it and stick up your life. Instead, sit with your feelings. Do you want to cry - get a box of tissues (or a roll of toilet paper if you have to) and allow yourself to have a cry fest. Tears are refreshing water for the spirit. Are you worried? Sit with that feeling. Talk to it as if you were talking to a friend. Journaling conversations can help get the flow going. Ask it what it is worried about, what is it expecting to happen? Really listen and ask follow up questions. Do the same with anxiety,debt and any other feelings that are making themselves known. I know it sounds a bit crazy, but I wonder what my debt would say about its weight and how it got so attached to me.
WITH LOVE, TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR PART IN THIS SITUATION
Generally things do not just ‘happen’ to you, especially when it comes to debt. Please do not beat yourself up as this serves no one’s higher good. Instead, take inventory on what you can do today to improve your situation. Budget is a nasty word for many people - yet it is not only necessary, but can be rewarding. Think of how great you will feel when, on a shoestring budget, you managed to save enough money for this season’s hottest shoes. Remember the conversation you had earlier with debt and keep those points in mind as you come up against hurdles that would shake your resolve. There will be peaks and valleys. Enjoy the peaks. In the valleys, remember step number one - embrace your feelings.
BE NICE TO YOURSELF
Perfection is an illusion, an unattainable state in your own mind. Give yourself permission to make mistakes. Give yourself permission to feel what you are feeling. Listen to what your body is telling you. Do you need a nap in the middle of the day - take a nap. Do you want to go see a movie by yourself - go watch it. Or how about spending a whole day on the couch binge watching your favorite tv show or movies? Bring yourself flowers. However you would care for your best friend if he/she was down - do that for yourself. You will be surprised how quickly the spirit will recover.
Take time to draw inward and check in your spirit and the Divine. You can do this through prayer or meditation - indoors or out. Do what works for you. Some things that have worked for people I know are centering prayer, chakra clearing, and guided meditation. Walking a labyrinth can also be quite beneficial for this purpose.
Centering prayer allows you to calm the chatter of your mind and find the center of your being - your spirit.
There are a couple of different thoughts on this, the one that works best for me is using a scared phrase. Sitting in a quiet place (indoors or out) I simply close my eyes and begin with my scared phrase “Just Be”. I let those words and their meaning sink into every cell of my body. As thoughts and ideas come up, I repeat the phrase “Just Be” to bring myself back to center.
Chakra clearing allows you to release any energy blockages that may be preventing you being in the present moment. Chakra are energy centers in the body that work best when clean are clear. This can be accomplished through guided meditations specifically for clearing the chakras, light therapy or sound therapy.
Labyrinth walks are very similar to centering prayer in that they allow you to focus on one question or situation. As you enter the labyrinth, you have the question or situation in front of mind. With each turn you are invited to release thoughts or feeling about the question or situation that no longer serve you. As you reach center, your mind is clear and you are now ready to receive communication from the Divine. As you walk out of the labyrinth, at each turn, you are invited to pick up a thought or idea or prayer that will help you answer your question or deal with the situation.
For more information on any of these methods of drawing inward, please visit us at www.aridspirit.org.
Take time to celebrate taking steps to care for your spirit. Take a deep breath into your belly - breathe in all the love and abundance of the universe. With the exhale blow out the stress, worry, anxiety and any other emotion that no longer serves you.