I’ve been rebooting across the board this past week. After starting with food, I turned my attention to boosting positive energy flows throughout my home, mind, body and spirit.
I’ll be writing about my various reboot tactics in the coming weeks, but first I wanted to share with you my new and improved DReAM tool.
I Have a DReAM, and You Can Make One Too
My DReAM–or Daily Record And Motivator (catchy or goofy label? Feel free to weigh in!)–is simply a repurposed version of the spreadsheet I developed several months ago to help me fit meditation into my schedule while still protecting other mind/body/spirit priorities (exercise and writing, in particular).
For the first couple of months, the spreadsheet was a great motivator for me. I had always responded well to those shiny little reward stars that teachers used on elementary school work and my mother pasted on a chart if I hadn’t wet the bed.
And, as I noted in my initial spreadsheet post, something about seeing my progress laid out in those symmetrical columns and rows made me feel like my right and left brain were burden sharing in my wellness efforts.
But when the going got tough in December, with life making stronger than usual demands on my time, I stopped opening the spreadsheet. Something about the spreadsheet itself was pushing me away, making me feel like a failure.
Once I found the courage to come back to it last week, I realized an overhaul was needed. For example, my original spreadsheet recorded what time I got up in the morning. Although I am by nature an early riser, I had hoped to capture a little more time for myself before my kids woke up.
But this winter seemed especially dark and especially cold when my alarm went off at 5:00 am. If I managed to drag myself out of bed to meditate, chances were good that I’d sneak back under the covers afterwards.
Maybe I’m getting old. Or maybe our schedule has been so overloaded that my body genuinely needs more sleep. The bottom line, though, was that the string of later and later wake-up times (even as late as 7:30!) was making me feel like a failure.
Stupid, right? So I took control. I deleted the wake-up time column entirely. How liberating! How nice of me to do that for myself!
I took a hard look at my other DReAM categories, asking myself whether they fully reflected what nurtures my mind, body and spirit at the current juncture. Meditating and writing time are just as important to me today as they were when I created the chart, so they stay put. The Notes column provides crucial space for explanations and excuses, so that remains as well.
I added a column to track both running and fitness classes, since I had allowed strength training and other exercise classes to inch out my running time. As I’ve written before, there’s something about running that supports my emotional well-being like nothing else can, and believe me, my family needs me to get my butt back on the trail.
Finally, glancing out the window, I realized that I had let another soul-nurturing practice fall by the wayside over the past year. Gardening had always been a therapeutic, creative outlet for me, and I had allowed other priorities to come between my plants and me for too long. I slipped a gardening column into my DReAM, with experience reassuring me that just a few minutes a day a couple of times a week would have an impact over time.
So what about you? What would your DReAM chart look like? What feeds your mind, body and spirit?
Maybe your columns would track walking, painting, or clutter clearing. Perhaps you’d like to read more, get back to woodworking or photography, write poetry, perfect your pastry making skills, or listen to more music. Make a game of it by building your personalized DReAM chart to keep tabs on your progress.
It doesn’t matter if your DReAM is laid out in an Excel spreadsheet or a rough table drawn with a crayon. The point is to really think about what fulfills you, nurtures your well being, calms your soul, or rocks your world.
Then GO for it! And instead of giving up completely if you stray off course, come back to your DReAM with fresh eyes and a willingness shake things up from time to time.