We are just a few hours away from Spring. The season of rebirth, new growth, and renewal! We are coming out of one of the hardest winters (and years) most of us have ever seen in our lifetime, for so many reasons (which I am choosing to NOT give attention to). It is time to shift, and focus on our own personal renewal.
So, what does personal renewal mean? And why bother? Why not dwell in whatever burden I am currently experiencing? After all, I've kind of gotten used to it.
Here’s my perspective, which comes from my experience, of renewal of mind, body and spirit, along with renewal from a material perspective.
First, a Google search on “Renewal” gives this definition:
re·new·al /rəˈn(y)o͞oəl/ noun
(I'm not finding that pronunciation key to be particularly helpful, but it's interesting.)
an instance of resuming an activity or state after an interruption. ("a renewal of hostilities") Similar: resumption / recommencement / continuation / re-establishment
(Oh boy we sure have been "interrupted"!)
the action of extending the period of validity of a license, subscription, or contract. ("the contracts came up for renewal")
(I could use some extended validation... how about you?)
the replacing or repair of something that is worn out, run-down, or broken. ("the need for urban renewal")
(Yes, yes, and yes. Ok I'm ready to "renew".)
Is "resuming activity" enough?
Let’s take that first definition, “an instance of resuming an activity or state after interruption”. Well, we have all had plenty of interruption over the past year. But why simply “resume”? Why not upgrade or improve the activity or life experience?
I have known several people over the past few months who are choosing to make major changes in work or home situations. Some have left their jobs due to high stress, while others have lost their jobs; these people are now looking at the possibility of a more satisfying career. Many people are now working from home and either loving it or hating it, and considering a change based on that. Others have had shifts in relationships… some struggling from too much time with the family, perhaps even finding themselves in an abuse situation. While others have found a new love in a “quarantine buddy”… and have found a deep bond. The common thread here is an awareness and an openness to something even better! A reNEWal... and upgrade!
So as things open up, and we have more options again to dine out, shop, spend time with friends and family, perhaps return to an office, visit entertainment venues, pause before simply “resuming”. What makes you happy? Envision yourself resuming the old way, and ask yourself, “how can it be better”? Think of what you have learned over the past few months or year about what feeds your soul.
I’ll use myself as an example here. My husband and I are both introverts. We love quiet time at home together. We also love quiet time in the car on road trips. The common denominators are “quiet” and “being together”. It does not really matter where we are. So this year, we chose to cancel our annual trip to Key West... we weren't quite ready for that level of exposure yet. Key West is a place that we both love, and have been visiting together, almost every year, since 1988. (We would actually be there right now if we had not canceled.) But last night I said to Mike that, while I love Key West, I was not really feeling any level of mourning of NOT being there. Which makes me call into question anything else that I was doing as a routine versus being called to it "now". This gives me a reNEWed frame of reference for making choices, rather than simply following my old routine.
And then there’s my body. I don’t know about you, but I think I found that “Coronavirus 20”, although I can’t be sure because our bathroom scale has been in storage for about two years now. By some miracle I can still zip up, (and sorry if this is TMI) but I certainly have that “muffin top” thing going on.
It’s time to renew my physical form. Why do I care? It’s for me and no one else. I desire to have more energy and stamina. I desire to be comfortable in the clothing that I already own… including the spring and summer items that are coming down from the attic soon. But the thought of a traditional “diet and exercise” prescription makes me sad… So here is the thing. Time for me to ditch the concept of “a diet” and “getting more exercise” and focus on what makes me feel good.
Let's start with what I choose to consume... the "diet". For example, I love water… I really do! Sometimes I’ve gone a good part of the day with just coffee as a beverage, and then pour a fresh glass of cold water and I can’t get enough! Sometimes when I feel stressed and overwhelmed, or find myself being short with others, I know what I really am, at least in part, is dehydrated (and yes there is science to support that). So, my pledge to me is to pour a large glass of water at the same time I’m pouring my first cup of coffee, and the coffee won’t be topped off until that first glass of water is gone (and I’m betting I won’t desire a second coffee anyway). The same thing goes for my evening glass of wine or cocktail, and every snack or meal... with a water beside it. (Oh my body is already feeling happier just thinking of that hydration!)
Another example on the food front is thinking before eating. Nutrition 101. Shift away from what will make just my brain temporarily happy, to what will make my body happy, and the brain is sure to follow the body in a more lasting way. Why am I eating? Am I hungry, or bored, or is the food just “there” and somehow makes its way into my belly by sheer magic? I certainly have consumed food based on any and all of these motivations!
The “just because it’s there” trap is fairly easy to fix… just don’t put stuff out for a quick grab unless it’s something that will make my body happy. If I’m bored, then perhaps instead have a fun or satisfying “to do” list tucked away… something physical. Since we’re in the midst of finishing our house, there’s never a lack of things to do like painting, cleaning out a box or two, etc.
The challenge that I have had (up until now) is stress eating… feeling overwhelmed by TOO MANY things on my list, so I pick up a snack of some sort and crunch away. Again, picking one small thing off my “to do” list I am confident, from this point forward, will bring me much more satisfaction than a bowl of nuts or chips!
But I’m hungry! Then eat!! But think first, and beyond that envision first. I know how I feel after I eat an interesting salad with veggies, protein, and a tangy dressing to provide a little healthy fat. I also know how I feel after eating a deluxe cheeseburger and fries. The funny thing is that the first bite of either is equally satisfying, but fast forward to the last bite, and 5 minutes after the last bite.
After the salad, I’m ready to tackle whatever my “next up” task is of the day.
But after the burger and fries, I’m ready for a pillow and blanket… right after taking an antacid.
It's time for me to look past the image in my brain of what to eat (what looks super yummy and decadent), and go forward to the image of my satisfaction and energy level after. And yes, there will still be times that I choose the burger because I'm not into deprivation, but I see far fewer burgers in my future.
My reNEWed way of eating is to
make sure I have plenty of water to start and end my day, and at every step between, and
envision before I select what to eat.
Seems pretty simple!
Now for the exercise. I have never enjoyed exercise for the sake of exercise, nor do I desire to. I’m not a runner. I can’t imagine why anyone enjoys a treadmill or exercise bike. That’s just not me! And sit-ups... ugh. Having to fit exercise into a schedule… nope, not me.
But I do enjoy dancing, and in fact I can’t help but dance when I hear the right song. I’m that middle-aged lady bebopping down the aisle at the grocery store (and yes, if you listen closely you’ll find I am singing along too). I also enjoyed the yoga classes I have taken, and back in the day we used to have this thing called “enerjoy” which was an aerobic class that was a form of exercise cleverly disguised as joyful dancing. I also love stepping out into fresh morning air.
Here is the shift that I desire for myself… to put the things that enjoy together with respect to physical activity, and leave out what I don’t enjoy. Still sorting this out. But one thing that came up for me in a recent energy clearing from a gifted friend and colleague, and a reading from another gifted friend and colleague, is that, up until now, I seem to have a block that prevents me from gifting myself leisure / self-care time. A block to "worthiness". If I go out for a walk for example, my brain goes to what I am NOT doing and what I need to do once I get home. I am continuing to work on my Spirit to support my body, to be even more physically well. Up until now, this has been a struggle for me. This is important... I know that I am physically strong, and I am capable of doing whatever I need to do physically (which is perhaps part of my block... I know that I can do whatever I need to do). But if I do not pay attention and keep up with my physical wellness, this might not always be true (as my body reminded me recently with a strained back, followed closely with a nagging elbow). And what about what I desire to do... what feeds my soul??
So, from this point on, I envision myself energized, strong, and well, loving me and taking good care of me. And I choose to align with that vision.
My magic $100 bill
Now for the cool stuff. Manifestation through reNEWal. One key to manifestation is that you must give in order to receive. By giving, you become open, and when you are open, there is a place to receive. Just this month, I experienced this… and I love how the Universe again and again validates what we know to be true in our soul. This is the story of my “magic $100 bill”.
I can’t remember who or when, but one of my teachers somewhere along the way reminded me that like attracts like, and money attracts money. Keeping some money in your wallet attracts to it more of the same. This same teacher is one who reminded me that if I desire abundance and ease of financial flow in my life, then acknowledging that I love money is important. Money is a means of abundance exchange. It is also a means to show gratitude (hence the term “gratuity” – the money that we offer after receiving great service in a restaurant, salon, etc.) So yes, I love money, and am grateful that it flows through my life, with ease, in service to myself and others.
About a year or so ago, I really started putting into practice “money attracts money”. Up until then, it wasn’t uncommon for me to have less than $5 in my wallet… sometimes just a handful of change. So when a client paid me in cash with a $50 bill, I put that in my wallet rather than depositing it, to become my “magic $50” to attract more of its friends to me. That magic $50 bill that never left my wallet, until one of my clients paid me with a $100 bill. That replaced my magic $50 bill. I had that “magic $100 bill” in my wallet for months, with the intention of continuing to attract more financial abundance.
Fast forward to a little over a week ago. I thought that my magic $100 bill was getting a bit stale, mainly because my financial influx – especially cash payments – seemed to have slowed down. My magic $100 needed some air, and it needed a new home. So when I had a personal appointment to tune up my own energy, I used my magic $100 bill to pay part of the fee. I also opted to be particularly generous with my gratuity… partly because this person is amazing and deserved it, and also partly to help reNEW my financial abundance influx. That left me with about $3 in my wallet. But I knew taking the $100 bill out of my wallet would make room for a new one, and then some.
And the influx has already begun! Yesterday, I received payment from one of my regular clients in the form of a new, pristine $100 bill! This payment covered her fee, and then some, and now I have a new magic $100.
To summarize my reNEWal:
My mind: More self-love, a higher level of self-care, and letting my mind rest a bit more to let my heart and soul pick up the slack.
My body: Better nourishment and more movement (but only what makes me happy), leading to greater strength and energy, and releasing that muffin top, with gratitude, for the lessons that it brought me.
My spirit: Trusting in my intuition, and the manifestation that it brings to serve myself and others.
I hope that this has in some way inspired you.
How about you? What other ideas do you have to reNEW? To go a step… or two or three… beyond where you’ve ever been before?
I invite you to sign in and share. I can’t wait to be inspired by you!