On my podcast, In My Opinion with Starr Howard, I have a segment that I like to call “Last Impressions.” During this segment, when time allows, I ask each guest a set of light hearted, informative, tongue and cheek questions, that give listeners a small glimpse into their personalities. One question that I ask every guest is “What’s the #1 most played song on your iPod?” I think a person’s music selection shows who they are, what they are currently, but I mainly ask to build my personal playlist.
The other question that I tend to ask more often than others is, “How do you refuel?” I’ve gotten responses such as, work out, spend time with my kids, read, etc. We all have busy schedules and activities in our lives that absorb so much of our pysical energy, and we are burnt out by the end of the day. I have to say that most of that is self inflicted, however most of us don’t know how to refuel when our energy has depleted. Our cars now give us warning lights when we are low on fuel, some cars inform us how many miles we have remaining until we are empty. Some of us may not have vehicles that have any of those indicators; We know the car is out of fuel when we find ourselves at the stop light with no place to go. So how do we know when WE are out of fuel? What are our indicators? What type of fuel makes us work best? How do we refuel?
My mom has always told me to pay attention to my body. Recognize when it’s time to slow down and give my body the rest it is, sometimes, begging for. With that lesson taught to me at an early age, I’ve always taken the necessary time to put my body in park. I never really knew any other mechanism of resting besides sleep, which is the number one way to refuel your physical body, but as I got older, I started to understand the importance of refueling the mental and emotional bodies.
I like to practice meditation, the first thing in the morning. My mind is fresh and ready to receive. Also, I don’t have the events of the day on my mind. I’ve referred to meditation in a previous post, and it took me years to understand what meditation is, and how it works. To be honest, I still have so much more to learn. I do know that meditation allows you to slow your brain down and block out all of the outside noises both around you and inside of you and focus on ONE thing. When I meditate, I focus on whatever it is that my mind and body is lacking. At times, I choose to sit outside, alone, with a cup of coffee, and open my mind and heart to whatever it is that God wants me to hear, feel, and understand. When possible, after a few minutes alone, I try to write down those thoughts. There are other times in my meditation where I read the Bible or a book centered around Christ and the Bible, and meditate on the word. I study and pray in my moment of meditation. What this does is allow me to cast away any other situation or issue that has no importance and is not a part of God’s plan for me. It shifts my focus and prepares me to tackle the purpose God has created for me.
Yoga can be practiced in partnership with meditation, and for some, yoga is a part of meditation. I typically do a few sun salutations while my coffee is brewing, and it’s usually in my pajamas. I’m going to Belize, in January, and I can’t wait to salute the sun on the beach!
Yoga has so many healing properties, both physical and mental. It can improve your respiration, energy and vitality, increase your blood flow, drops your blood pressure, helps you focus, and can all around make you happy! Listen to podcast, episode 02 to hear other benefits of yoga and meditation. Not only does yoga energize you, there are certain poses that can also calm and relax you. There are times ,at night when my mind is racing, I choose to do a few relaxing yoga poses (in the bed), that relax me and bring a sound night of rest.
I love morning walks, especially on cooler days. On warmer days, the humidity is so disrespectful, here in Houston. When the temp drops, I like to feel the crisp morning air on my face and the sun shining down on me! Since I am alone during this time, I notice the nature around me; the leaves on the ground, the trees along my path, the clouds in the sky. This is a picture I snapped of a tree I walk by every day. I’m not sure why I was so captivated by this tree, but I was!
My walks are not for physical gain, at all! I grab my phone, ear buds, a playlist of my choice from Tidal Music, and a cup of hot coffee. Those morning walks last about 30 minutes and allow my creative juices to flow. I usually am thinking about my to do list and execution plan for the day. Every now and then, new ideas are created on those morning walks. Once I return to my office/desk, I’m refreshed and ready to take the day on.
Smoke has a great ritualistic connection with spirituality. Frankincense and Myrrh were given as gifts to baby Jesus and when burned can release a holy smoke and fragrance that is known to clear negative energies, connect us with the our higher consciousness and spiritual realms and surround us with high vibrations. In Native American tradition smoke can be seen as a bridge to the higher realms, a way to bring in good spirits and dispel the negative or stagnant ones. People usually burn sage when moving into a new home to remove any negative energy left behind by the other residents.
I am a strong believer in the power of energy. I like to burn sage whenever I feel my energy has shifted. When my energy shifts, either because of contact with others who hold negative energy or situations that may bring me down, my attitude is not pleasant and my behavior changes. I don’t like my thoughts and I’m physically tired. It goes back to knowing my body and knowing my soul. This recently happened to me, as recent as last week. I encountered a few conversations and people who imposed their negative energy into my space and I literally felt it. It was wearing me down. So, yesterday, I smudged some sage and prayed. The burning of sage can transform and deflect unwanted energy, bless a space as sacred and connect you to your higher Self. I can tell you, I feel ten times better.
I’m teaching myself more about Chakras and Crystals. Chakras are the seven power points in the human body that circulate energy or the life force.
Crown Chakra – The highest chakra represents our ability to be fully connected spiritually // Clear Quartz
Third Eye Chakra – Our ability to focus on and see the big picture // Amethyst
Throat Chakra – Our ability to communicate // Blue Sodalite
Heart Chakra – Our ability to love / Green Aventurine or Rose Quartz
Solar Plexus Chakra – Our ability to be confident and in control of our lives // Citrine
Sacral Chakra – Our connection and ability to accept others and new experiences // Red Jasper
Root Chakra – Represents our foundation and feeling of being grounded // Carnelian
If the Chakras are unbalanced – not properly aligned or blocked – it can affect physical and mental health. In this same week mentioned above, my energy was waaaayyyy off balance. So what did I do? Placed the stone in the corresponding chakra area, where I felt the depletion, and prayed and meditated.
All is well with the world, for now….
I refuel daily! Every morning. My form of refueling is more proactive than reactive. Some days, I engage in every activity I have listed, others, I do what is needed. My suggestion to you is to set aside time, 5 minutes per day is sufficient, and act in your form of refuel. If daily doesn’t fit your schedule, as my mom said, listen to your body. Recognize when it’s time to relax and refuel.
How do you refuel? Let me know in the comments.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” ~ Matthew 11:28