Monday, January 15, 2007

Sleeping with Bread: this Pilgrim's Progress

In my so-called real life, Sleeping with Bread includes lighting a candle before beginning. After finishing, the candle is extinguished. In the spirit of that, I thought I would do a little virtual candle lighting today along with my SWB post.

In the last week, when did I feel most alive?

This week, whenever I was working well toward my New Year's resolutions, I felt most alive, light and enthusiastic. I attribute this to a two-fold cause: 1) exercising and eating right makes you feel better (duh!); and 2) doing what you set out to do lifts your spirits. There were times this week when making some good choices directly led to other good choices, i.e., walking with friends and eating less junk gave me more energy, so I got some things done around the house that I normally wouldn't have done. It was a welcome change of pace, let me tell you.

Also, this week, the message in church was about listening to God. It reinforced another resolution I made this year to prioritize my relationship with God. There were good reminders in that sermon I was grateful to hear. Encouragement of that sort always makes me feel more alive.

In the last week, when did I feel most drained of life?

My new routine is still just that: a new routine. It isn't second nature. While I was able to see and feel results from the changes I am making, it wasn't always easy. Resisting certain foods will put me in a funk pretty quickly. Choosing to exercise when there isn't a person to walk with me? Twice this week, the burden for exercising rested solely on my shoulders and I didn't get the job done.

And, as with my physically-minded resolutions, where the good and the bad were opposite sides of the same coin, the same was true of my spiritual resolutions. I let myself focus more on the physical than the spiritual this week. I didn't practice the presence of God. There were nudges by the Spirit here and there and I let life get in the way.

Each week, although it isn't a necessary component of Sleeping with Bread, I always want to wrap it up with a little perspective. I think, in doing the exercise online, I am conscious of ending on a negative note... even though that is entirely NOT the point of examining your desolations. The exercise isn't about being negative but is about acknowledging what is difficult or painful in your life. So, this week, aside from this minor explanation, I will leave it at that.

Thanks for joining me today.

Note: The candle pictures are from I've become somewhat addicted to this site, using pictures for our church newsletter. Trying to be a better steward of copyright laws, I purchased images (quite cheaply) from their site for this post today.


Julie Pippert said...

I think what is so neat about this is living mindfully, reflectively. And what is even neater is how honestly you share it. It's a good example.

I also feel energized, physically and spiritually, when meting my resolutions, be they new year or not.

Mary-LUE said...

Thanks Julie!

MarillaAnne said...

Hey! Surprise! I finally got it. I finally understand Sleeping with Bread ... and I did it.

Have fun reading it ... read it really fast out loud because that's the way I would tell it you.


Aliki2006 said...

I still haven't come close to working on my resolution to exercise more--but I have done little things and it feels good.

I love the candle photos!