Saturday, September 04, 2004

Emergency Kit Item #4 -- Food For The Spirit

There are times when my spirit feels tired. It's different than being physically tired -- in some ways its even more debilitating. It can also take more than rest and sleep to replentish my spirit. I am guessing that people experience a tired spirit during service in the Peace Corps. Before now, I have not consciously thought the things that feed and heal my spirit.

[Insert considerable time here, while I think about those things that feed my spirit]

Through the miracle of time-lapse writing, here is my list:

  • Breath meditation
  • Reading the right kind of book
  • Receiving a caring smile from another person
  • Giving someone a small, unexpected gift

Item #4 -- Food For the Spirit

I will carefully store the following items in my emergency kit:

  • A series of small, thoughtful gifts.
  • I will draw a small picture in my Book of Thoughts accompanied with the words "Smile More".
  • I will write the following phrase in my Book of Thoughts "Meditate More". I will draw a bunch of vines around the words.
  • The wonderful book "The Art of Being A Healing Presence" by James Miller & Susan Cutshal. This book has a strange an unexpected effect on me -- it gives me a feeling of serenity and provides a hearty meal for my spirit!

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Emergency Kit Item #3 -- Life Support

Life support is defined as: equipment that makes life possible in otherwise deadly environmental conditions. Therefore, if you happen to be somewhere without oxygen, life support means getting oxygen to your lungs. If you are experiencing hypothermia, it means getting your body warm.

So, if I want to add a life support component to my emergency kit, I need to consider the following environment:

  • I will be far from my friends and family.
  • The people I will be around will not know me and will probably not understand my personality.
  • It will be difficult to communicate with the people around me.
  • I will be expected to keep myself highly motivated.

Item #3 -- Life Support

  1. I will ask my friends and family to find one of their favorite pictures of themselves.
  2. I will ask them to imagine I am kinda down and low on energy.
  3. I will ask them to write some words of support, encouragement, and love to me on the back of their picture.
  4. I will put the pictures in a water-proof, dent-proof, bug-proof container labeled "Personalized Life Support System".
  5. I will package the whole thing into my emergency kit.

When I am feeling bad, I can bust out this reusable, self-sustaining, life support system and in an instant: see my family and friends and read their words of support!

(This will also provide me with wonderful pictures to share with the new people I meet)

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Some Bells For You

Bells have a wonderful power over me. Their sound cuts deep and interrupts my consuming, seductive thoughts of the past and future so that I am free to focus on the present. Bells wake me up so that I can experience what is going on right now.

Here are some beautiful yak bells from Nepal for you:

Yak Bells

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

What do you do?

When I am first introduced to a new person, I often count the moments until they ask me one of the following questions:

  • So, what do you do for a living?
  • Where do you work?

(Ya, I know it's kind of a strange habit -- believe me, it's not my only strange habit)

When people ask me those questions, I wonder if they are really trying to ask a question that will help them understand "who I am". Sometimes this makes me sad, because as I am describing my job to them, I know it is not telling them very much about who I am.

(This also points out a basic need I have -- to be understood by others)

I have a feeling that this same disconnect is true for other people -- their job does not describe much about who they are.

What if your job was an expression of who you are?

As an interesting aside, in some countries instead of asking about your job, people will ask:

  • What is your hobby?
  • What do you do for fun?

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Emergency Kit Item #2 -- Serenity

There have been a few times in my life when I have felt very serene. It was a wonderful feeling which I found hard to explain to other people. I began searching for a definition of serenity that explained how it felt to me.

I found a definition that matched, and it has become a part of me. When I am feeling bad, reading it helps me feel better. Therefore it will be a prime citizen of my emergency kit's book of thoughts.

Item #2 -- Serenity

    Serenity: a spiritual experience of inner peace, trust, and connectedness that exists independently of external events.