Every year someone always asks me, “What are you giving up for Lent?” In short, I never have a good answer for them because when I was a “kid” I would always give up “chocolate” or “eating meat” or some other random “thing” that I thought was “sinful” or “bad for me.” Over the last decade or so I realized that giving up something seemed like a passive way of honoring the Lenten season, so instead, I DO SOMETHING more in my day that allows me to MAKE POSITIVE CHANGE in myself and the world around me. This, I believe, is more in line with my spiritual practice and my Catholic faith.
So this year, I decided…I am going to walk at least a mile a day…to use that time to REFLECT or to MEDITATE and to engage my body in physical ACTION while I APPRECIATE the beauty in world God has created for me to take in through all of my senses.
What I have realized on my walks is that…
- I need better insoles for my shoes to avoid shin splints.
- I smile at more people.
- I see a lot more animals like dogs, cats, birds, squirrels (and their poop).
- I explore more paths.
- I love the way all types of music helps me connect thought and emotion.
- I breathe more deeply.
- I find the natural beauty in almost anything and everything I pass by…even these huge mushrooms growing in a patch along the sidewalk!
I wonder if we’ll ever start to ask each other, “What are you DOING for Lent?” instead of what we are giving up. And even if you aren’t religious or if you don’t participate in Lent…what are you doing to make positive change? As I have learned through my own experience and education, LEADERSHIP is an act, it is something we DO, and it is through that action that POSITIVE change happens in this world. So, what are you doing?