A spark of energy

What is a spark anyway? It is a tiny bundle of energy that can light a candle or start a fire.

I don’t know about you but only a few weeks into the first term of this year and I am sadly lacking in energy, I feel like I don’t have enough even to summon a small spark. And yet that’s not true, for I do have those more volatile sparks, the ones of impatience and frustration that quickly flare.

Because that’s the thing about a spark, it can be contained and controlled, or it can be unpredictable and explosive. And what I have discovered lately is if I don’t take the time both to kindle and control my own sparks of energy, I end up with the sparks I don’t want. And these sparks then do damage to relationships with those closest to me.

I have found I have to be intentional about rekindling my energy and containing those damaging sparks. So here are four areas that I am working on this term.

Practising Presence

Distraction is a real trap for me when I am lacking in energy. It is easier to sit and scroll through my phone than to engage in conversation. But I am often energised by a good conversation.

So to allow these opportunities to arise, I am practising being present in the moment. Practically this means I have deleted Facebook from my phone. I carry a book in the car for school pick up time. And I am making a point of not taking photos at every event but instead just enjoying the experience.

Finding time for fun

It is amazing how I need very little in my day to make me happy, and these little things can boost my energy very quickly. So on a hard day I make a point of cutting roses from my garden to put in the house. Their beauty and fragrance make me smile every time I pass them.

In the car, a play list of happy songs does wonders to my energy levels. As does a little red lipstick on a busy day.

And, if I am low in energy by this time in the term, so are my girls. So, we make a small celebrations out of days like Valentine’s with corny jokes in their lunchboxes and heart-shaped ice blocks for their drinks.

Planning ahead

In these upper primary years we are managing four people going in a number of different directions. So on Sunday afternoon we have a chat with the family about the week ahead, as it helps if everyone knows the plan.

I also meal plan with the week’s activities in mind. Cooking something quick on a Tuesday when we are out all afternoon with activities and something easy on a Friday when we are all worn out from the week.

Cultivating Creativity

As a writer, I need time for deep thinking and contemplation. The image of a writer spending most of their time staring out the window is true!

So I make space in my days to cultivate my creativity. Sometimes that requires times with no noise, yes, not even the dishwasher or washing machine. At other times I read books or listen to podcasts that will grow my writing. Or I take a break and bake, as doing something with my hands often helps me process an idea I am wrestling with.

Through these four intentions I am slowly regathering my energy and as I feed my soul with these simple steps I am finding that the more volatile sparks of impatience and frustration are getting contained and controlled.

What simple steps can you take today to rekindle your energy?

About Jodie McCarthy

Jodie is a writer, speaker, poet and mother. An unashamed words girl who writes to process the myriad of experiences of life. In her writing and on her blog she investigates the journey of life: the beautiful; the painful; the everyday; and the mundane. She has a heart for encouraging women on their life journey, particularly when that journey traverses the harder places of grief and pain. On the days when she is not writing you will find her in her kitchen, usually licking the beaters from a chocolate cake. You can find her books and follow her journey at jodiemccarthy.com