If you have not yet chosen a way to observe Lent this year, instead of focusing on self-denial (giving up chocolate yet again?), consider focusing on radical self-care for 40 days. We are given these amazing bodies to live in this astoundingly wonder-filled world for but a short time before we return to the dust from which we come. So why not, for the 40 days of Lent, focus on taking care of that temporal body better than you ever have before?
Every meal should nourish and be of the earth (not saying vegan, but saying natural, not a man-made processed freak-show of chemicals). Every few hours must contain both intentional movement (A prayer-filled walk? Dance?) and intentional stillness (contemplation, meditation). Every day should include bathing our senses in the delight of music or a super-soft blanket, special-to-you fragrance or by savoring of a new or old-favorite flavor. Every day should mean counting our blessings and being a blessing to others. God gave us these bodies, our senses, and this temporary existence so we may live in this world with our neighbors and commune with Him through our experiences. So go experience!
If you embrace radical self-care and learn to pay attention to your body again, you will also feel how your body affects your spirit. When you focus on self-care, you automatically prioritize the good things in your life so that there is no room for the bad things. Because you intentionally fill your life and your day to the brim with enrichment and nourishment, you therefore deny yourself those things that tear down your mind, body and spirit—there’s simply no room for them. Spend these 40 days banishing the enemy by filling yourself with goodness.
I highly recommend that if you embark on this Lenten self-care challenge, that you keep a daily journal of what new thing you have done or experienced, how it made you feel and any spiritual thoughts and ruminations that occur to you. Then, at the end of the 40 days, go back and reread your entries, reflect on them as a whole, and write about how your experiences have impacted you spiritually. Do they impact your views or feelings of Easter? Is your heart more open than before? I’d love to hear about your experiences – you can always email me. 🙂