I’m sitting in my Grandparents living room in Southern California, here for the Easter weekend. It has been a nice change of pace. A good exhale. The day-to-day can get a little stuffy. This is my first weekend completely off since I arrived on Jan 10. Suffice it to say it is nice to not think about, or at least think less about, work for a few days. It has also been great to see some family – it has kind of made me miss the rest of my family though. But it’s all good as they say. Oh and I went sky diving on Thursday. It was ridiculously rad.
Over the last couple of weeks or so, I have settled into a pretty solid routine. For the first half of the Fellowship I found myself caught up in the day-to-day, rather consumed in what I was doing. I’m too arrogant to think I could burn out, a youthful folly no doubt. This 6-month program, interning with Not For Sale, that I am now over halfway through does indeed require long hours, hard work and commitment – I was aware of that coming into this experience and I have indeed being doing my best to maintain those requirements. However it is no good focusing completely on one part of your life and letting others slip. Over the last 15 weeks, as part of the program, we have had a number of dialogical leadership sessions with the Director of the Fellowship, Keturah Scott. A lot of what we have been reading and discussing in these sessions is to do ones core, character, worldview, and our individual makeup. I think the point is, we are all doing the “what” (being the Fellowship) but it’s also important to think and talk about the “why”. Why are we doing what we are doing, and what will sustain us through the next 20 years? What will keep us from burning out? If you have a faith orientation then ones faith is an obvious answer, and an important answer all the same. If you don’t know what you believe, and our beliefs being part of an internal structure, our core or foundation to build upon, then it will most probably be a fairly rickety and unstable journey. I have grown up all but constantly thinking about what I believe. My faith has always, more so as I get older, been an important part of my life. I will admit that I am better at talking about what I believe than acting it out, exemplifying it – but I am getting better at that too. It has been a tumultuous path at times, but my spiritual life is getting on track. Working against modern slavery over the last year or so has helped me a great deal articulate what I believe and why. Human trafficking as the “perfect” antithesis to justice, love, peace, grace. If that accounts for my spiritual journey, and although I will never be finished learning, I feel like I have committed a great deal of time towards strengthening my mind. What then is missing? We have spirit and mind, but no body. We talk about sustaining ones passion and not burning out, we’ve talked about where our passion is rooted, and why we do what we do. Just like modern-day slavery requires a holistic approach to be defeated, so to does one need a holistic life to be successful, happy, fulfilled and whole. The thing I take most for granted is my body, my health. Which is crazy. Most of us are guilty of this. We all think we are invincible. The younger we are the more invincible we are. The older we get the better we get at convincing ourselves that we are to busy. The way I have tried to alter this pattern of taking my physical health for granted is by increasing it, becoming healthier. Actually consistently exercising. Getting up early to read. Eating breakfast, lunch and dinner. Going to the gym for an hour and a half to two hours 5 days a week. All of which is very unlike me. A couple of weeks ago I said that I was going to start this new 60-40-20 regime. 60 mins of exercise, 40 mins of reading and 20 mins of reflective writing, 6 days a week. I wrote it and didn’t really think I was going to do it. I haven’t exactly. But I’ve made it fit my schedule and I’ve stuck to it. Reading in the morning, work during the day, exercise in the afternoon and a smatter of reflective writing. Rinse, lather, repeat. As I said last week, the real test will be to maintain said discipline when I get home.