Day 1: Energy In Four Domains
In today's exploration, you will examine what nurtures you and what depletes you in the four domains of energy: mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual. It's important to know that in mindfulness, the spiritual domain is not concerned with religion or higher powers, but rather with the things that give your life meaning and purpose.
After your meditation (Know Your Mind), remember to take a few minutes to reflect and discover insights (Disrupt Your Defaults). Then, choose one action to commit to for today (Take Action).
Know Your Mind
Before meditation, check in with your energy levels - how energized are you feeling right now?
During this meditation, you will be asked to notice your body sensations, thoughts, feelings, and sense of spirituality (meaning and purpose), and how the level of energy you feel in each of these domains affect your overall energy levels. This can be an elusive and subtle concept for a lot of people, so just do your best to notice your experience and energy levels during the practice. This will become more clear to you the more you do it, and the Disrupt Your Defaults and Take Action prompts will help you see how these ideas can become more concrete when applied to everyday life.
Disrupt Your Defaults
What did you discover about your energy patterns in today’s meditation?
Did you see how your overall energy is affected by your mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual energy? Again, spirituality here means the things that make you feel most alive and give your life a greater sense of meaning and purpose.
Open Your Energy Matrix file below (the Word document is attached) and make a note of the following:
Which room do you spend most of your time in?
What is nurturing and what is depleting?
Look for nurturing activities that are overlapping across rooms. How can you make the overlapping activities a priority in your life?
What are the common challenges that keep you from engaging in the nurturing activities?
What commitment(s) can you make based on your observations of what is most important for you to enjoy a fulfilling life?
Take the following as a simplified example of the above process: As I went through the Energy Meditation, I noticed that my overall level of energy was wavering between sleepy and excited. During the spiritual and mental portions of the meditation, my energy were both high - perhaps even too high, as I am a workaholic whose work brings me great meaning and personal fulfillment. I realized how hyperactive I feel with respect to my work and how my mind races to find what project I need to complete next. I discovered, however, that the excessive energy in this domain is at the expense of my energy in the physical and emotional domains. As I brought my awareness to my body, I felt a sense of sluggishness, stiffness, and a resistance to movement. Later, with my attention on my emotions, I discovered that I was feeling slightly down and lonely, even though my work was bringing me joy.
By using the Disrupt Your Defaults prompts and filling out the Energy Matrix, I saw how there was a clear imbalance between my various domains of energy, and how this imbalance was contributing to a reduced overall sense of energy. I found that one of the activities that nurtured all domains of energy was going hiking with my husband. Despite my slothfulness and initial resistance to movement, committing to this activity got me on my feet and exercising, which ultimately boosted my physical energy after I did it. It also stimulated my emotional energy, as my husband and I fostered a sense of connection and joy together. My spiritual energy was also brought into balance by hiking, as I saw how part of what gives my life meaning is connecting with those I love and being out in nature. Lastly, my mental energy was also recharged and brought into balance, as I allowed my mind to reset through this hike.
Moving forward from this experience, I continued to choose a walk outside or a quick spinning session over succumbing to my lack of physical energy and taking a nap in the afternoons. I also continued to make time for being with my husband and socializing with friends. By putting energy into my emotional and physical domains even when I was lacking it initially, I started to generate more energy and momentum in these domains. This also allowed me to refresh my mental and spiritual energy and helped me bring it all into balance. Ultimately, this brought more satisfaction into my life and, though I spent less time working, the time I did spend was more creative and productive.