Happy Sunday evening my friends. I just wanted to post a blog about the beautiful day I had yesterday. It wasn't just because of the weather or the scenery. But because I got to enjoy a day with myself alone something I cherish in this busy life and coming from where I stood years ago. I never would have done it. Taking this day showed me my spiritual growth and that is an amazing thing.
So if you ever get a chance to take a day to be by yourself, don't pass it up. It's an opportunity to see how confident you are in being alone and even better, alone with God. It's a solitude that's like no other.
So this blog is my prescription for a self-care day. If you don't know what you'd do or how you'd spend it, here's how I did it. I don't think you have to be in a beautiful place to do it. I think you can be in your own town but it's an alternative. If you are used to going out for mani/pedis or a massage or lunch with girlfriends, being out in nature with you alone can do wonders. Consider it and give yourself the gift if you can....
So here's how my day went. Hope it gives you some thought and inspiration!
My brother (who I'm visiting at U of A) told me to go out to Sabino Canyon, Seven Falls. I was ready. Funny, this image below is the one I saw right before I went in my news feed. It was a great devotion for the journey.
The image even referred to "the empty place in the canyon of my heart." (More on that later in my Wednesday Blog because there is just a beautiful metaphor for the meaning of it.)
#1. Sleep in a bit to rest your body and prepare it for the hike.
#2. Have breakfast by yourself and bring your journal to set your intention for the day. Come with gratitude.
#3. Grab some water and snacks for your hike. Put on ankle height hiking boots so you don't break your ankles and head out mid-afternoon if the weather isn't too bad so you can finish with a beautiful sunset.
#4. Begin the hike and take it ALONE. I promise it will be a spiritual experience for you. There will be other people on the trail if it's populated enough so you can always ask for help if need be.
#5. Remember while you are hiking everyone else is taking the same journey, climbing the same rocks, crossing the same streams - you are not alone.
#6. Be open to how God is talking to you in this nature experience and landscape. Listen for what He might be saying to you to bring you peace. Try to block out all the noises and torments of your mind and get present to your footsteps.
#7. Be open to who God might put on the walk for you to meet. You never know. I met a woman who lived locally and was training to hike the El Camino in Spain in the Fall. A really cool person and a good conversation was had.
#8. Don't quit, even when you get tired and your feet are tripping - don't stop until you get the end. Don't turn around because the reward of walking back will be even better once you hit the destination.
#9. Once you get to it, stop and ENJOY it. That picture at the top of this blog was the destination for my hike and it was worth it. The picture doesn't even do it justice.
#10.Enjoy every step of the journey back because you are headed home.
#11. Bask in a beautiful sunset like I did that surrounded me for 360 degrees. Man it was amazing.
#12. Get in your car and get ready for a relaxing evening date with yourself. Order room service. (I ordered a nice juicy burger.)Take a long hot shower. Turn on the Hallmark Channel (cheesy but a little smaller dose of the drama than Lifetime if you know what I mean.) and enjoy yourself. Rest and relax. Give yourself some props for not only hiking, but taking every opportunity you could in that day to enjoy your time alone - not worrying about what anyone else thinks or being afraid to walk alone. Take in the fact that you just gave yourself a huge prescription for self-care and love.
This whole hike was a spiritual experience for me so I'm saving that part of it for your mid-week devotional. So please come back on Wednesday for my Lenten Devotional I'm calling, "How a Canyon Hike Can Be a Spiritual Experience." That's me below!!!