Recently I read an article online titled ‘Being a Times carrier re-energized my spirit’. Given my interest in the human spirit and the things that both energise and drain us, I was intrigued to say the least. Written by guest columnist at TheRecord.com Karen Gingrich, the article describes the time she spent delivering newspapers and the profound impact it had on her wellbeing and perspective on life.
As Karen tells the story “a couple of years back, I retired from a 30-year career to engage in a few leisure-time hobbies like photography”. While she began with big hopes and dreams for her future, “as the enthusiasm for freedom waned, so did my energy levels.” Eventually struggling to muster the strength to accomplish much she felt good about, Karen enrolled as a Times carrier. Her logic – it would kick her out of “couch potato mode”.
Her strategy worked “… within a few short months, I got back into shape an
d enthusiastic energy returned to my spirit.” The power of this story is in its simplicity. Karen came to see the wonders of life that were around her every day. She explored her community and connected with her “neighbours, their children, pets and beautiful gardening techniques.” There was nothing earth shattering about Karen’s experiences – she simply engaged with life and her spirit soared.
Karen could have chosen to stay on her couch and she also could have chosen to slog through her paper round, missing the benefits it ultimately offered. Instead she made an important choice – to thrive. Unless we want to thrive and are willing to do what it takes to get there we are unlikely to think, feel or act in ways that energise our spirit. While each of us are unique we all have things in life that energise us – we just need to choose to find and engage with them.
Reading Karen’s article inspired me to reflect on the simple things in life that energize my own spirit. I encourage you to do the same – here are a few of the things I came up with:
- The sound of children laughing
- The look of pride on a parents face (tears me up every time)
- Observing the joy someone feels when they achieve a dream (again, tears me up every time)
- Nature: the ocean – everything about it! Trees and flowers – gardening, walking, pictures – they all work for me
- My family
And so the list goes one. Being energised doesn’t need to cost money and doesn’t need to be hard. Stop and smell the roses (if you like them), observe life around you and appreciate the simply things that inspire you. As Karen shared in her inspiring article “Even now as I meet deadlines and drive through rush hour traffic, I promise myself I will take the time for reflection. I will ignite my senses with the sights, sounds and smells of the new world I find myself in.”