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What Energizes and Restores You: Toward Doing More of What You Love

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At a recent all-day retreat with the always wonderful Tama Kieves, I determined the immediate next step for me was making a list of what inspires and restores me vs. what drains me in order to create more spaciousness in my life. Especially during the winter months, it can be easy to get caught up in a hamster wheel of activity. I've found I lose touch with what's most important as a result. Getting clear about each of these categories has given me a sense of calm and peace and greater clarity on when to say yes or no.

If you currently feel worn out or like you're not sure how to get re-inspired, I encourage you to make your own list.

To help you get started, here's a sample of what's on mine.

What Energizes or Restores Me

  • Yoga
  • Going to the gym during work hours
  • Bike rides
  • Rumi (my cat)
  • Watercolors
  • Sleep
  • Meditation
  • Going for a walk
  • Tea
  • Sitting in a coffee shop journaling or reading
  • Hot baths
  • Writing
  • Talking to a beloved friend in a heartfelt way
  • Nature
  • Inspiring workshops or retreats
  • Reading good fiction

Now for the list of what zaps energy and takes away from a sense of flow or creativity.

What Drains Me

  • Staring at the computer all day
  • Over-checking email or the Internet
  • Too much Twitter
  • Certain work tasks and details that don't necessarily need to be mine
  • Being over scheduled
  • Messiness
  • Not drinking enough water
  • Self judgment
  • Comparison to others
  • Days without exercise or healthy eating

I know for myself the more time I spend in the energize and restore space, the better I can reflect and make positive choices about the future and, perhaps more importantly, enjoy the present. My next step is printing out these lists so I can regularly remind myself in periods of lots of activity where I need to slow down and make time to energize and restore. What about you? What energizes and restores you, and what is doing the exact opposite?

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