Joy: the best way to build energy

Monthly newsletter April 2019
Today, like every other day, we wake up empty and frightened.
Don’t open the door to the study and begin reading.
Take down a musical instrument.
Let the beauty we love be what we do.
There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.
‘The Book of Love: Poems of Ecstasy and Longing’, 
by Jalal al-Din Rumi, translated into English by Coleman Barks
Every day is a new day, full of opportunities. As April begins to shine a light on the new – blooming trees, baby birds, (Easter) eggs – it can sometimes also reveal a sense of personal emptiness. It’s been a long winter. When you feel tired, and drained of resources (energy, clarity, joy), what do you do?
6 tips to avoid burnout and build sustainable energy – and the pursuit of joy! –  into your life:  
– Start with practice. Something you do every day. Meditation, walking, prayer, journaling – something that builds a bit of structure upon which your life can be held.
– Be mindful. Watch your thoughts, your emotions, and the feelings in your body. These give you hints about what may have been draining your energy. Or are you simply over-committed?  What kind of words are you using with yourself? With others? Can you be kinder? (As we say at Yoganesa ‘Kindfulness’.)
– Do gentle physical activity. Regular, gentle, grounded activity – perhaps literally grounded like Yin Yoga – nurtures your energy.
– If you’re a ‘giver’: Do less, not more. Say ‘No’ once each day.
– If you’re a ‘resister’: Do more, not less. Say ‘Yes’ once each day.
– Seek the meaning of ‘Joy’ for you, then cultivate it.  Do something you love to do every day. Play. Be silly. Find companions, animal or human, for your daily adventures. On days you are feeling unconnected to joy, just do something kind for yourself – your body, your mind, your soul.