Your laptop needs to be charged. Your phone needs to be plugged in. Even your winter electric blanket needs to be connected to the outlet or else it doesn’t provide heat. Have you thought about charging YOUR batteries?
This has always been a hard lesson for me. I have a tendency to use my newly gifted spiritual power to burn the candle at both ends. During the times I have power, I can accomplish many things for a long period of time, sleep only a few hours and get by with extra energy to spare. Sometimes I can even go on like this for days or even weeks.
Until – I crash.
I get irritated. I get annoyed. I get agitated. I get sick. I get tired of my own pattern.
I-Ching #5 is a card I draw often. It always reminds me of the art of waiting – and to shower oneself with the proper nourishment.
Often times when we think of nourishment we think of nutritious food. I sometimes run to Nekter Juice Bar to nourish myself with a big green smoothie or the superfoods acai bowl. I drink tea when I need to take time and slow down. I make myself a big pot of vegetable soup on these cold windy nights. Yet, that is still not enough. Then we wonder if we are getting enough rest. We think if we just get enough hours of sleep that can be nourishing. Or even better – when we get enough good quality sleep that can be nourishing. Yet, that too can still fail you.
Unfortunately for the individuals walking the spiritual path, nourishment is beyond rest and nutrition. Our batteries must be charged with that extra zest called the spiritual power. Spiritual power comes from several different sources for me.
One, if I become meditative – enter into the quality of meditation, I get charged. If I DO the ACT of meditation without an inner stillness, then this quality of mediation does not occur and I DO NOT get charged. BEING the meditation is more important than DOING the meditation. It doesn’t matter where I am, and what I am doing, if I can get quiet enough and intimate enough within, I come “home” to that inner stillness. The best part is, I can be completely exhausted and hating life, but now with just five minutes of listening to the Heart Sutra in the car, I can completely charge my battery and renew my senses. For this to be effective, I find it best to be alone.
Two, when my body is exhausted, I cannot push myself into DOING more physical activities. Instead, I must lovingly move the body like a mother rocking her newborn. For me, any pre-determined set of yoga or aikido techniques will become damaging at this point. For my body and where I am, I unroll my yoga mat, light a candle, offer a prayer, and sit with a cross-legged position and allow the body to move itself. Sometimes the body starts to move in a circular motion clockwise and the movement changes direction by itself into counter clockwise circles. Sometimes, the neck releases itself by combining strange primitive movements and leading the body into past memories. Other times, as soon as I sit down, tears start to flow and a new compassionate understanding arises about the self and the collective emerges. I don’t try to control it. The body stretches itself in way I am not able to accomplish on my own. The energy guides the stretches. Whatever goes, goes. All I can do is give time and space to allow this healing to happen to me. I am present, and non-judgmental. I allow the energy to move through my body however it needs to.
Three, when I get into the same routine for too long, I feel a dimming of my own light. With my aikido schedule, I teach at two different schools and offer private spiritual and physical healing support to several students outside of group class. I put on parties and cook large dinners for my friends and students. So when I have given so much consistently I do not need anything in return from them. But I do need to charge my own battery. I find I need inspiration. That is one of my surest ways to charge my battery with that spiritual zest. For me, I can easily find that inspiration by a change in my routine. Recently, the mountains, clouds, and even just the wind can renew my senses and awake my spirit. Many years ago, my fractal arts sustained my spiritual zest. Then it was my painting. In the past year, my photographs of vast spacious flowers gave me energy, and always, the energy of creation guides me into new territories. If I just simply follow the guidance, I gain salvation and fulfilment beyond my wildest dreams.
By no means am I asking you to follow my path. As we embark on our paths together, perhaps we can share some similar points we can all benefit from. This writing is a little reminder for myself to charge my own battery. And I hope my experience can help to remind you to charge your battery at least a few minutes everyday. Be gentle my friends, Be Love, and Be Well.