An old Hebrew proverb says, “It takes fuel to have a fire- a fire dies down when you run out of fuel.” How obvious right? And yet how often do we need this reminder in our lives?
It’s time to slow down- marriage, family, business, social media presence-these all take fuel to keep going, but what is left for our souls? How do we counteract the depletion?
I have 3 children under age 4, I run a full time pottery studio -which is not as “therapeutic” and “creative” as people assume- (think scraping globs of freshly mixed clay out of a huge mixing drum while wearing a very unflattering mask that makes you look like some kind of psycho with clay dust caked in your eyebrows.) We’re also surrounded by extended family (which is great), but relationships require time. And if we don’t make our relationship with ourselves a priority, all the others suffer.
One of my goals for 2020 was to take care of my self through fun. Pretty simple, but definitely requires some intentionality in a busy life.
I remember as a kid climbing so many tall pine trees and camping out on a big branch, staring out into the woods, lost in thought. I recently watched a documentary on free climbing and it brought me back to that childhood memory.
So I decided to try rock climbing. From that childhood memory I knew part of me was going to like it, but I never considered trying it until now. I was able to find a climbing gym 12 minutes away (I’m the guy who gives exact minutes when giving eta’s…) I couldn’t believe it. And what I couldn’t believe more is that I had SO much fun! And I was by myself. In a massive room packed full of people.
This would have once thrown me into a very nervous and stressed out mood. But after a lot of inner work on my emotional health this past year, I was able to use it as practice to becoming more comfortable and accepting towards myself. This was a date. Me, taking out me. And it was brand new.
I admit it took me a good 15 minutes to muster up the courage to walk up to the wall and start –(I had never done it before, everyone was with friends having a good time, etc.) But as I started I felt invigorated! I felt FUN enter my inner person (an all too UNfamiliar feeling these days). And for the next hour I felt wood being thrown onto my fire in a way that I hadn’t felt in a very long time.
I left the gym tired, worn out, and completely full –with a huge smile on my face, already thinking about the next time I could get back in there!
So how do you counteract the depletion of fuel from your fire? Ice cream and a movie (guilty), social media comparison (guilty), numbing with junk food (guilty), and the list goes on…
What if we decided to go back and think about what we liked as kids? What did you do for fun with no thought or obligation? That might be a good start for some of us who might’ve let fun slip aside as the responsibilities of life grew.
I’m finally learning that taking care of myself has to be one of my top priorities, because when my fire burns brightly it makes me so much more present and available to give to those around me who need me most.
Anyone wanna join me on the fun resolution?