Hey, at least I didn’t call this post Twerking Lent. You’re welcome!
So, today is Ash Wednesday, the official start of the season of Lent. Lent is the 40 days prior to Easter Sunday. It is known for being a time of sacrifice and reflection for the 40 days that Jesus fasted in the desert. I’ve observed the season of Lent for as long as I can remember. It is sometimes known more as a Catholic tradition, or at least that’s what people express to me, but I grew up in the Lutheran church and we always observed the season, so there you go.
Over the years, I’ve given up all sorts of things. The idea is to choose a vice, something you will really miss, so that you are constantly aware of your sacrifice and you are reminded to focus the sacrifice that Jesus made for us.
Listen, I’m not a religious historian, nor am I remotely an expert on the subject, so these are my interpretations as I grew up as a Christian. So while I’m sure I’m getting some of the details wrong, I’m focusing on what the season means to me.
This year I’ve chosen not to give something up, which I have always done in the past, from chocolate to sugar altogether. Last year I did “Paleo-Lent” where I was 100% strict with my Paleo diet (how I primarily eat anyway) for the entire season of Lent. There was nothing wrong with these sacrifices but this year I wanted to add something into my life instead of take something away. I want to infuse my life with something positive instead of a constant reminder of what I wasn’t allowing myself to have.
If you have been following my WritersButt’s program for any length of time, you know it’s about connecting the mind and body to be more creative and productive. To do this, I suggest everyone be well hydrated, eat a healthy, wholesome diet, get enough sleep, incorporate exercise into your daily life and to practice gratitude.
It’s safe to say I do pretty well on most of the elements of WritersButt in my own life, but I think I can do better. Even while I go through all the motions of all the key components, I have been feeling a bit displaced in my daily life. I’m distracted and avoiding things that are very important to me … namely my writing.
I’m not sure but I hope to find out. I do know one of the key things that never fails to derail me, is to allow my mind to get too busy, too insistent on doing it ‘all’ and do it all ‘perfectly’.
I’m looking for some balance!
In addition to my consistent CrossFit weight training, I’ve added daily yoga to my routine. (Way more about this adventure in a later post!) But, I have been saying for over a year that I want to add in daily meditation, to quiet my mind and let my soul just breathe and my body and mind just be. Maybe if I can quiet the constant, hammering noise of my thoughts, I can actually HEAR what a deeper part of me has to say?
So, that’s what I’m doing for Lent this year. A daily meditation time.
A year and a half ago, my husband and I took a fabulous trip to Mexico where we stayed at an amazing place called Present Moment Retreat. I still cherish every moment of that trip. While there, we learned how to meditate from the yoga instructor. (Hi Belen – HUGS from Texas!!))
It is not easy, and she suggests you start with just a few minutes. Here’s a great article with tips for a beginner starting a meditation practice.
I just did my meditation before writing this blog. It was less than 5 minutes. It felt like an hour at least. It’s so hard to sit, breathe, empty your mind and just exist with an open heart. My word – I need the practice.
Good thing I have 39 more days until Easter to get better at mediation so that it will become a lifelong habit. I hope it will help connect me back to doing what brings me such joy – Chasing My Dreams!
Do any of you meditate? Do you participate in Lent? If you do, what are you giving up OR adding in this Lent?