This October, I’m writing (nearly) every day about holistic healing.
[Technically I wrote this post yesterday, but our poor baby woke up vomiting before I could finish it. It was a looong night!]
If you invested an hour in your whole-person wellness every day, what would you do and what difference might it make?
You might be thinking, “An hour? Are you crazy??? I’d kill for an hour!”
But stop a moment.
Would you really? Or would you dismiss it as not “enough”?
I would. I do.
When I list all the things I feel I must do every day for my healing that I’m not yet doing consistently, it adds up to far more than an hour. Maybe you’d tick off a giant list too.
I don’t do all those things every day. I don’t even do the few that would fit into an hour.
This leaves me in the peculiar place of actually dismissing a whole hour’s investment in my physical-emotional-spiritual health as being inconsequential because it’s but a small piece of my overall vision.
How self-defeating is that? It means I might just as easily dismiss 30 minutes, or even 15 minutes—both much less intimidating numbers (anyone can find 15 minutes in a day!) but hard to commit to because they’re even less of what I imagine I should be able to do.
If I’m chronically dishonest about where I am right now and what I’m actually capable of, I can’t see how little change would yield real progress.
10 Pages a Day
A new friend who dropped by my house tonight put it like this. She’s reading 10 pages of a book per day. To anyone who’s a “reader” or to anyone who thinks they should be a reader, 10 pages sounds like nothing, not worth the trouble, too little to matter. Yet it adds up to 3,650 pages a year. That’s 10 books a year she otherwise wouldn’t have read.
I wrote yesterday about forging new habits and the ever-repeated Baby Steps principle. I need to hear it over and over again. I always lean toward dismissing baby steps. Most people do, I think. We think we could do–should do–so much more than that! We either set ourselves up for failure because we try and find we can’t live up to our imagined standards, or we stun ourselves into paralysis from the get-go by the sheer impossibility of the standard.
Maybe one day I’ll be able to walk 15,000 steps a day, spend 20 minutes stretching and 20 minutes strength-training, meditate for 45 minutes, write for 2 hours, and work for 2 hours, but today is not that day.
I want my question to be, What genuine effort is realistic today? I don’t want to miss out on doing the good that’s possible for the sake of a good that’s impossible.
A Healing Hour
So, back to that hour. This same friend, a busy mom, is implementing a Power Hour to build her business. She may not be able to do each of the tasks planned for her Power Hour all at one time, but nevertheless, each day she spends an hour on her business.
That got me thinking. What would a Healing Hour look like for me, or a Healing Half Hour? I’ve heard people talk about creating a healing space in your life. While I’ve made a lot of space in my life for healing over the years, it’s harder now than it’s ever been for me, with our big move and motherhood, and I’m struggling to make time for it. While many healthy practices are now ingrained as habit thanks to 7 years of work, I have a long way to go.
I’m excited about freeing myself from the paralysis of the superhuman list, and letting myself select just two or three. The set period of time seems especially reassuring to me. I know that when the hour is up, I’ve met my goal.
Here’s what I came up with for my Healing Hour*:
30 min Meditation, Prayer, and Healing Tools (I’ll explain the latter in future posts)
10 min Email/text a friend—old or new—to set up a phone call or in-person date
20 min Journaling or Writing Prompts
*This time commitment is realistic for me because of my husband’s support and household help. I know it wouldn’t be for everybody.
It was hard to whittle down my list! I chose these because 1) I have some specific healing goals in mind, 2) I already know the difference daily meditation makes for me (radical!), 3) I want to stay connected socially and build friendships in my new community, and 4) I sense that I need more opportunities to process all the upheaval in my life.
I will try this Healing Hour for a month and see what kind of difference it makes for me. I like that I’m giving myself a little room for flexibility. I know that some days I’ll want to spend the whole first 30 minutes meditating, and other days there will be much to pray about and work on.
Next month I might switch it up. It’s a fantastic opportunity to run short-term experiments and to embrace seasons!
Next step: Tie it to an existing routine or cue and set the stage (remember my last post?). Hm. Plenty to think about.
Here are some ideas I hope to tap into for future Healing Hours:
- Re-read favorite books
- Listen attentively to music
- Write and send a card
- Bible study
- Take a mindful walk
- Collect stones, pinecones, and other things outside
- Take an essential oils bath
- Relaxation exercises
- Drawing exercises
- Plan dates and trips with my husband
I also thought of these possibilities:
- Select one new healthy recipe
- Menu plan for 10 minutes
- Prepare healthy snacks
- Walk or swim
- Self massage to improve tissue health
- Read 10 pages of a book on health or healthy relationships
- Read 10 pages of a book on personality and job choices
- Explore a new interest or hobby (or an old favorite)
What about you? Would you consider a Healing Hour or Healing Half Hour? What would you do with it?
Is it harder to consider doing a Healing Hour invested in yourself than a Power Hour invested in your work, career, or family?