Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Life Renewal: Take a Regular Sabbath Day

Life Renewal
(c) 2014 Ken Nelson

In recent blogs, I’ve been discussing the importance of taking breaks during work and making good use of the time before and after work.  This helps us to manage stress and avoid burnout.  But, for me, it’s not enough.  I also need a regular Sabbath day to stay at the top of my game.

It is a wonderful  lifestyle practice to have a day each week dedicated to self-renewal. If the demands of your life are so great that you can’t imagine taking a full day off, perhaps you could a half day.

Ideally, our sabbath is not a day that we take off from work, but stay busy catching up on household projects. It is a day without any to-do list, without any commitment to accomplish anything. This is our time to slow down and just be with ourselves or with our loved one(s).

It is a day to do whatever nourishes and renews us. The key is not to do anything because of shoulds. If exercising is joyful and renewing for you, be all means do a workout.  But, don’t go the gym because you think you should when you’d really rather be taking it easy.

Traditionally, the Sabbath is a day we dedicate to God.  After 6 days of taking care of our worldly responsibilities, we turn our focus as fully and deeply as possible to God. The God I know lives in me and in all of life. He/She is infinitely loving, always available, and present in each moment. To connect most deeply with God on whichever day I choose as my Sabbath, I let go of all concepts and shoulds, relax as fully as possible, and come into the present moment.

Let any activities you chose to do on your Sabbath day flow naturally out of your joy in being. If you feel inspired to paint the ceiling, to bake bread, or to go to church, by all means do so. But, if possible, don’t do any activities from a sense of pressure or obligation.

Intermixing activity and times of rest or non-doing is a wonderful alternation, a powerful way to explore a new, easier way of doing.

Taking a sabbath day is a wonderful gift to give to yourself.  If you’re not already doing so, start taking regular sabbaths now.

 Andrew Oser has been offering spiritual life coaching, along with guided retreats on Mount Shasta since 1982.   Through hikes to little-known sacred sites, guided meditations, spiritual life coaching, and time drinking in the silence of the mountain, he helps clients to deeply renew themselves in body, mind, and spirit and receive clear vision for their lives.  For more info, please see www.mountshastaretreat.net

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