As this month winds down, I'm taking a moment to reflect upon how 'focusing on others' made an impact on me.
I purposely listened to other voices. Sure, that sounds weird, but hear me out. I listened to music that I don't normally listen to and I listened to musicians whose voices speak a message I need to hear. I listened to hip hop and rap....voices of men and women who sing/speak/chant/rap who share messages of injustice and proclaim messages of hope.
Books that entered my reading time included Race Matters by Cornell West, Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult, First Ladies of Running by Amby Burfoot, and A Year of Biblical Womanhood by Rachael Held Evans. Okay...truth is, I would like to spend more time reading....so I finished First Ladies of Running and will read the last chapter of A Year of Biblical Womanhood before I go to bed tonight. I will continue to work on the others in March.
I also have rekindled my interested in running by listening to The Runner's World podcast and the Marathon Training Academy podcast. The stories and interviews have been filled with runners of all ages and walks of life which have both encouraged and humbled me.
I blogged earlier in the month about my visit to the local Islamic Center. That experience was holy and beautiful. Praying with my Muslim and Lutheran sisters was sacred and soul feeding.
I have been taking more time than I have in the past to read and prepare for the weekly bible study I attend with colleagues. While I had spent time preparing in the past, I have been digging into Feasting on the Word finding helpful insights, quotes and ideas to share with my colleagues. I have been absorbing more from our weekly get togethers as I have spent more time preparing.
As I thought about others, I was more apt to donate to causes this past month than I normally would. I mean, I don't know what my monthly donations to charities look like, but I took time to support local and far away friends in with different organizations for which they were raising money.
It's been interesting to think about others and listen to how others influence, inspire and encourage me.
As I look ahead to March.... I had a few ideas. I'd really like to focus on getting the most out of each day. I would love to workout, read, work, get stuff done around the house and relax each day. I will probably work on some of that in March, but more importantly, I will focus on diet and exercise. I have slipped away from healthy eating and getting workouts in first thing in the morning. I will incorporate cross-training into my days of running and work on getting enough sleep so morning workouts are doable.
Starting tomorrow I will begin logging my food regularly and reducing the sweets and snacks.
I'll keep you posted on the impact.
Until then....be well and be kind.