“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” – Buddha
Photo of Shem-shem Pablo
By Catia Michelle
1. Try to set aside one day this week, preferably Saturday or Sunday (Sabbath was meant to be celebrated with others, so finding a day where your family and friends will be present can be helpful) to be free from work, too many chores, meetings, etc. Etc. My rule of thumb: If it causes me stress or worry, I put it aside on the Sabbath. I created a Sabbath Basket: I put my homework, stressful papers, to-do lists etc. Into the basket on Saturday night.
2. Quit before 10 p.m. the night before. Sabbath is dependent on getting lots of rest. Go to bed early and don’t set the alarm if you can help it. When you wake up in the morning, do something inspiring right away.For me: I love a good cup of coffee with classical music and my favorite novel. Or taking a very early morning walk in the Environmental Center by my house (with that same cup of coffee). I often call a friend and ask if they want to walk before Church and chat.
3. Limit technology. More and More I find that the mandate to “stay close to home” that many Jewish people follow is perhaps smart. Technology opens worlds for us, which is a beautiful thing, but perhaps one day a week it’s ok to shut things off and focus on the space and relationships that are before us. Can you do without your computer for a day? Iphone or Ipod? What about your Car? Can you walk to the places you need to be and enjoy the sights and sounds?
4. Say No. You will have to say No to somebody or something if you choose to keep a Sabbath. Sometimes I say “no” even to GOOD things, like Workshops or Parties. I do try to see some friends or write letters to family/friends on the Sabbath, but I am an introvert and I try and honor that on my Sabbath day. Saying No to chores, too, can be ok! Can you do them on Saturday?
5. Plan Ahead. This is the most important key for Sabbath Keeping! If you are a student, in order to keep Sabbath you have to do homework and work on Saturday. If you are a parent, you have to do the laundry and chores on Saturday. This can be hard, but it’s like any habit, the more you practice it the more used to it you get.
6. Make a list of Sabbath Activities. Sometimes, without my usual technology or homework, I get a little stir-crazy by 6 p.m. I keep a list of my favorite things to do on Sabbath, that I don’t have time for others days of the week, so I can look at it and get excited about new and fun activities. I try to ask myself: what does my body and mind want to (or need to) do in this moment? Also: napping is always a good plan Some suggested Sabbath Activities: Walks, Drawing in Nature, Reading novels, Writing letters, Cooking a new kind of food, Painting or other artwork, Walking to the coffee shop and getting my favorite treat, Games with friends, Coffee with friends, Yoga, Lovemaking/time with your Significant Other, Calling family far away, Bubble Baths, Baking treats, Home spa treatments.
Enjoy your Sabbath this week my friends. The best way to start Sabbath is to just try it! Once you try it, if you are like me, you’ll be hooked!
Peace and Grace!
Editor’s Note: Catia Michelle is a pastor, book lover, Mennonite, community gardener, tea drinker and writer. She is delighted to be contributing to AMS Daily! She blogs regularly at http://joyfortoday2012.wordpress.com.