While asking for suggestions for this month one of my favorite people on the planet, who encourages intellectual growth every time I am around her, recommended something she learned from one of her professors. He calls it the Four Cups Exercise.
Imagine you have four empty cups at the beginning of each day. These cups are labeled. One says "WORTH". One says "FREEDOM". One says "FUN". And one says "BELONGING". The idea is simple. At the beginning of each day, you remember the cups and attempt to fill them through deliberate actions. Try to accomplish something that is within the context of each idea.
So maybe for fun you'll cook or read or dance around your living room in your pajamas listening to Florence + the Machine. And maybe for worth you'll finish a project, or start a project, or compliment yourself for a job well done. The possibilities are endless.
I have only been attempting this for three days and already I feel a little more fulfilled. It's really easy at the end of the day to look back over everything I've done and say "Okay, I ran seven miles, that could take care of worth," but it is so much more rewarding each morning to really approach the coming day with intention. How can I feel like I belong? What would truly make me feel free? An added benefit is that by paying such close attention to my intentions, even before I begin to tackle them, I feel much more connected to my actions and to myself on the whole. It's such a simple activity, childish almost, but the resulting feeling of fulfillment is intoxicating. Every time I fill a cup I feel a little more connected. And wasn't that the whole purpose of this project in the first place?
So... what are you filling your cups with?