Filling My Tank at the Well

In January my mother died. In February I was working 12 + hour days / 7 days a week on a project for work. Needless to say this was not a sustainable pace for me. My tank ran dry, and I ran on empty for longer than I care to admit. I wasn’t sleeping. A rash spread over my eyelids. Shoot – I even skipped lunch a few times!

Once the smoke cleared, I needed something extra to find my equilibrium again. I was able to fill my tank with a stay at the Well of Mercy.

Saturday I got out early in the 35 degree morning and walked the Prayer Path. The Prayer Path is a 1.25 mile trail with meditation stations of various themes. There is a chair or swing at each station so you can pause for as long as is needed. The path winds down near a river at one point with a few stations there before circling back to a Sacred Circle.

I forgot my journal for this trip – that must somehow be Fruedian. Did I not want to dig into any feelings or capture their fallout? HA! The gift shop has mini journals with beautiful drawings on the cover and are titled by the stations on the Prayer Path. I bought Grieve for capturing snippets for my mom’s eulogy that I had planned to write wile I was there. 

I got a strong start on the eulogy while walking the Prayer Path and pausing at many stations. Real talk – I did not sit and contemplate at the last 4 because I had to go to the bathroom. So there I am back in my room and was going to gather thoughts in the Grieve journal.

My pen ran out of ink. The only pen I brought with me. So I opened the computer and started typing. Here is what I discovered:

A friend of mine told me about this place after she visited in the wake of her husband leaving. When I told her I had plans to visit this weekend she said to remain open to what the surroundings would tell me. 

I was listening hard. When I left on my walk that morning I felt much resistance to staying any longer. I was doing the same things I did at home – napping, nature, books, writing. But I am also a cheapskate so I was going to take advantage of all the things the Well could offer before I left. Begrudgingly, I set off on the Prayer Path.

After sitting at the Grieve station for awhile, then the Forgive station longer than that, I got clarity on what the surroundings were telling me. I was doing the same things I did at home. The translation is that I am doing the right things to grieve and heal. Now I need to keep doing them. 

I want to share these things with you for accountability for myself and in hopes it may help you find sustainable productivity also.

Slow Down

Now that my massive work project has gone live, things have normalized in my day job. This means I can sleep in a little longer, take more time with the written correspondence to really say what I mean. Or better yet, I skip the email and wait until the meeting tomorrow to cover it. This gives the person on the other end of the email a break from me too. 

Slowing down helps me notice the little things and be the person I want to be, not just the person I have time to be.

Get Moving

The exception to sleeping in is to get up for 6:00 am hot yoga. There is something wonderful about the dawn of the day and the dawn of my physical self synching up. Plus, I am less likely to let life get in the way because life is not awake yet that early. 

Another plus is that most other people at exercise class feel the same way – we are there for a similar purpose. In classes later in the day there are those who spend pre-class meditation time chit chatting, which DRIVES ME NUTS.

Get Outside

Nature is my jam. She always delivers, even if it is not in my favorite of ways. I have always been afraid of severe weather. But am learning that thunderstorms are just as magnificent as a sunrise, just in a different way.

Although it is colder than I prefer this time of year, getting outside is always a healing mood boost for me.

But wait! There’s more!

The one thing I do want to change is TV consumption. Bixby and I have slipped back into a bad habit of hours of mindless TV at the end of the day. This was fine when I had big feelings or chaos all day. An escape is sometimes necessary. But I feel myself coming out of this season and needing more structured activity. Time to write, craft, or even weed the already overgrown flower beds. 

I don’t want to shame myself for adopting the TV coping mechanism. More like check to see if it is a crutch I need anymore. Even reading would be a better choice than TV. I finished ZERO BOOKS in February. This has to be a first for me in about a decade. 

What is working for you to find your groove? What do you think you need to give up to create the life you want?