Let's talk about Lent

(As I've had this post floating around in my head, I've sang Salt 'n Pepper/Peppa/Pepa(?) with "Lent" replacing "sex." Mildly ashamed, mildly entertained.) I kinda love Lent. I feel like I have the time and the energy this time of year to get into myself, my intentions, and my faith. I'd love to do something similar during Advent, but let's get real. Christmastime is bananas. That just doesn't happen. So Lent has become a time of focus and growth for me.

Growing up, I didn't practice Lent in any shape. I didn't grow up Catholic. I went to a Catholic college, but even then my Lent experience was limited to trying to get my no-profanities-for-Lent friends to curse or laughing at them when we'd go out for dinner on Fridays and they had to get fish.

So Lent wasn't really my thing. It wasn't in my tradition. But then, several years ago, my dearest Miranda started talking about giving something up for Lent. And because I jump on bandwagons my friend is a genius, I started thinking about Lent differently. I've done a variety of things in the last few years.

I gave up caffeine. Never, ever, EVER again. Caffeine is my friend. My true friend. Like the air I breathe. I made it, but I was pretty miserable. And I don't think the purpose of Lent is misery. Growth and discomfort? Yes. But not misery.

We gave up meat. I wasn't such an exploratory cook then. I don't know that I missed meat exactly, but, dude, we got really sick of beans.

No-Spend Lent. We've done this a few years. I really dig it. It feels intentional and requires focus and creativity. It keeps me on my toes. We are doing it for March this year, for non-Lent purposes.

Self-Discovery practice. Last year, I led a coaching group through May Cause Miracles by Gabrielle Bernstein. I loved it. Perfect way to spend Lent.

Because I loved that so much (and I saw how it built my faith), I decided to do something similar this year.

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I have fallen in love with the work I've done with Mara Glatzel. She is totally my coach crush. When I read her, the voice I hear is my own. That builds comfort and safety into the work. My Lenten promise is to complete a writing prompt each day. This course is no longer available, so I feel kinda bad telling you how awesome it is. I worked through the intro work yesterday and I am excited to break into the actual course today.

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Which I am getting ready to dig into on my early lunch break in a back corner of a coffee shop where I used the last of my gift card to get a tall iced latte because that was all I could afford with the balance and stay within the No-Spend March.

Are you practicing Lent this year? I'd love to hear how you are challenging yourself!