This is perhaps the most important, if elusive, aspect of refuelling our energy tank.
Our spiritual energy is our energy of meaning and purpose. We tap into this energy when our work and values match the things that give us meaning and purpose. This means using ritual at work and at home to consciously allocate time, and energy, to the areas of our lives that we feel are the most important.
‘Practicing your core values in your everyday behaviour is a challenge for many,’ warns Tony Schwartz. ‘Most people are living at such a furious pace that they rarely stop to ask themselves what they stand for and who they want to be.’ As consequence, he explains, they let external demands dictate their actions.
This is where we come full circle to the two columns we started with at the beginning. You simply cannot complete column one without attending to what’s in column two. And more explicitly – what is in column two is actually what gives you the power, fuel, and energy to complete what is in column one.
Holly Wei likens this process to connecting ourselves to an energy source which nourishes our mind. ‘Things that helps you recharge physically and emotionally – adequate sleep, balanced nutrition, and moderate exercise are fundamental for physical health, but you also must find sources of energy – such as family, friends, spiritual beliefs – to nourish your mind.’
Establishing rituals of those things that truly nourish you, and which mean the most to you, can help bridge the gap between the values you aspire to and how you currently behave.
The rituals designed to connect you to what matters most, can be as simple as date nights, switching off phones/work computers at a certain time each evening, having regular plans with friends, attending a church service each week, time for quiet prayer, volunteering, adjusting your working hours to ensure bedtime, school pick up, sports matches are a regular part of your week.
And they can even be simpler than that. Kate Northrup swears by feeling gravity and grounding as two simple ways to connect back with the essence of who we are and our place in the world.
To feel gravity, sit quietly and just notice your feet on the floor or your buttocks in your seat. ‘Feel the way that you’re being held to the surface of the earth by gravity. Feel the weight. Just notice how it feels to have your body being held by gravity,’ she says. Spend three or more minutes simply noticing this. See how you feel when you move.
In the same way, grounding and earthing can bring us back to our selves. Stand or lie down outside, notice how this contact with the earth shifts your physiology, what does it do to your breathing, your heartrate, your skin, your weight on the earth?