Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Art of a Healthy Heart

I would like to point out, for the record, that even though it looks like I did not post Saturday... I did. I really did! Shake, Shake, Shake was written at 11:30pm last night. Which my computer still thought was 12:30am... but, time change!  So, it counts. For those keeping track. :)

Today has been a much-needed, much-deserved day of rest for me. I think for a lot of people, that means doing nothing. For me, a day of rest is catching up on life with no outside stresses. I sleep a bit longer. I have quiet time or go to church. I balance my checkbook. I enjoy a cup of coffee and read my favorite blogs. I write, I run, and sometimes I work. But only if I want to.

I read an article this week my Michael Hyatt about the "four disciplines of the heart." He breaks down what he believes to be four essential practices, for lack of a better word, to keep our hearts in check. To keep us spirited, passionate and engaged in life instead of muddling our way through it.

Below are this thoughts:

How can leaders cultivate a healthy heart? I would suggest four disciplines:

1.The Discipline of Reflection. We live in a busy and noisy world that will suck the life out of us if we let it. This is why it is essential that we intentionally pull away to a quiet place, pause, and reflect. If Jesus did this (see, for example, Mark 1:35), how much more important is it for us?

2.The Discipline of Rest. God has built rest into our very physiology. We are made to shut down for a third of the daily cycle. One of the quickest ways to lose perspective is to cheat ourselves out of this God-given “off switch.”  It requires deliberate choices: deciding to rest one day in seven and choosing to take our allotted vacations.
3.The Discipline of Recreation. There is a difference between amusement and recreation. The former leaves us more tired than we started.  Recreation involves any activity that gives us the opportunity to express our creativity. These activities never seem urgent, but they are vitally important.

4.The Discipline of Relationships. Arguably, this is the most important. You and I were made to live in relationship to others.  This means making time—quality time—for our family members and friends. It means taking the initiative to invest in those we love.

Read the full article here- I dissected it a bit according to what really hit home for me!

For the discipline of reflection, I lean on daily quiet times and running. I have made this mandatory in my life.

For the discipline of relationships- I have made this a priority, as well. I've really evaluated what makes a "healthy" relationship this year; I am allowing myself to draw the line if I feel walked on or taken advantage of. (A problem of mine.) On the flip side, I am investing 100% back into the relationships that are fruitful.

But I sometimes feel like disciplines 2 and 3... I skip over. Rest & Recreation?! Who has time for that!

Rest is always the first to go in my busy day- and I feel terrible guilt taking time off of work. But it's necessary to refuel and keep us running properly.  In fact, I'm using up my vacation days right now- because I need that time away.

Recreation is another one I'm working on. I have been in a "season of work" these past few years- but I'm trying to invest more energy and resources into things I love. Travel, for instance; this is a huge priority for me in 2012. But I have been allotting time for other recreational activities, too- running, blogging, writing, freelance projects- and yes, couch time to watch Real Housewives. (Hey, it's recreation!)

All this to say, I appreciate these days of rest- and I think my heart does, too. Life is so easy to enjoy if we take the time to take care of ourselves!

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