Knowing What You Love: Part 2

March-2012-Inner-SparkCreative Excursions to Keep You Connected to Your Inner Spark

Seek not outside yourself, heaven is within. – Mary Lou Cook

With the heaviness of soggy March weather weighing many of us down into states of lethargy, unexplained sadness and illness, what’s a Seattle woman to do to rekindle her energy and focus? Start with recognizing the advantages of slowing down, which is necessary to recharge and regain our passion and purpose in life and work.  Slowing down gives us time to care for ourselves, our souls, and shake up our day-to-day routine to re-connect with our inner spark or ‘heaven’ as Mary Lou Cook suggests.

Because we can’t control the weather or when we’ll get sick it’s important not to get too sidetracked by them. As Stephen Covey would remind us in his work, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, these situations are outside of our Circle of Influence.  Rather, remember that the power of your own inner spark – comprised of your unique creativity, energy, passion, and resourcefulness – can provide an instant pick-me-up and get us going again.

One sure-fire way I’ve found that helps me re-connect with my inner spark and kick my doldrums to the curb is to take a Creative Excursion.  Creative excursions, as explained by author Sarah Ban Breathnach in her indispensable book Simple Abundance, are “solo rendezvous with your authentic self designed for [the purpose of getting to know yourself better]”.  In my language, these excursions are also for the purpose of connecting with what I love, my inner spark, and to remind me of who I am. To design the desired experience for this type of activity you follow two simple guidelines:

1) Go alone – no girlfriends, boyfriends, family members, etc. This is about YOU connecting with yourself and       remembering what delights you so having company only creates distraction.

2) Do something FUN and out of the ordinary that makes your heart sing and your spirits rise.

Many of my favorite Creative Excursions involved a minimal investment, but had a maximum effect on my energy, perspective and well-being so go into this knowing it’s not necessary to spend a lot of money.  Think of a few of your favorite pastimes or something that’s been tickling your mind to go try and start there.  A few of my excursions were: Taking a long walk in my old Green Lake neighborhood where I lived as a young single woman when I first moved to Seattle a decade ago; Spontaneously taking myself out to a funny matinee in the middle of the day and enjoying a box of Junior Mints like I did as a kid; Strolling through a new tea shop to taste and smell different international teas, buying my favorite blend in pretty packaging and going home to create my own tea party with finger sandwiches and tea cookies.  Now it’s your turn to ignite your spark and chase the clouds away:

  • What do you love?
  • What lifts your spirits?
  • What turns on your creative juices?
  • What will you do today to treat yourself to a Creative Excursion that gives you the chance to experience all three of those things?

Feel free to share what excursions you went on with me and to open up more inspiration for all of us.

Happy Excursions! ~Samia

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