I do love Lent.
If not for the religious symbolism that is important for so many people, but for the idea that you should take 40 days to re-evaluate your actions and their consequences.
Lent can also be seen kinda like a second chance for your New Year's resolutions. Plus, it gives you an excuse to go hog wild for the days prior to lent (see my previous post about donuts).
Sacrificing something you enjoy or giving up a vice builds character and can really make you focus on the more important things in life. I have to admit, I am not the best at giving things up, but this year, I am really hopeful about my chances of abstaining from two things.
First, body hate. I definitely have a nasty habit of calling out negative things about my body, and focusing on what I don't like about my appearance rather than how beautiful I am. I constantly bombard my husband with comments about my cankles or how my stomach poofs out like I am a few months pregnant. Well....for the next 40 days, I am going to stay mum. There is no need to point out what I consider to be my flaws to my husband, nor is there any reason to verbalize the negative body image I have.
In addition, instead of just staying quiet and not speaking any body hate, I am going to have a weekly mantra that I put on my mirror and recite to myself whenever I start to think badly about my body. Hopefully in the next 40 days, I can break my bad habit of body hate and replace it with positive affirmations for my physical appearance.
This week, my motivational quote that is going on my mirror is ...
My second change for lent is that I will abstain from drinking anything but water. Yesterday I found out about an organization called 'Blood:Water Mission.' It is a group that is working towards providing clean drinking water to people in Sub-Saharan Africa. They work with local groups and organizations to repair and build wells, create rain tanks, and install biosand filters.
After living in Swaziland for three months and having to rely on questionable water sources, I am really interested in organizations which work towards helping communities have close, safe and reliable drinking water.
The photo above shows the homestead where I stayed in Swaziland. The big metal silo in the middle is where our water was stored. Open top with no filtration.
'Blood:Water Mission' is having a 40 day water challenge where you put aside the money you would normally spend on coffee, alcohol and other drinks, and instead donate it to help others gain access to clean water.
I don't spend too much each week on beverages (bi-weekly Starbucks and a bottle of wine), but I do drink juice and a lot of almond milk (mmmmm.....chocolate almond milk). I thought that instead of just putting aside money from beverages not purchased, I would do a flat donation each week of $10.
I feel like drinking only water will help me focus on this issue and will help me become involved with an organization who does great things.
Are you doing anything special for Lent this year? What are you changing about your behavior?