Happy Sunday! I hope your new year is off to a great start!
This past week I decided to create a vision board to motivate and support me with my goals for 2021. If you have not done so I would highly recommend it, because it can really encourage you to reflect on ALL areas of your well-being so that you can become the BEST version of yourself. It’s a great way to get creative and decompress as well. Here is an example of what mine looks like for this year (FYI I used the “Canva” app to create this):
While creating this the biggest thing that grabbed my attention was spirituality. A lot of my goals on my vision board remained the same from last year and basically every year such as: healthy eating; exercise; excel at work; etc., however this year (with an exception of wedding planning) spiritually stood out the most. I recognized that prayer; meditation; writing; and reading all related to my spirituality, and my wedding preparation will too play a big part in this. Once I had this revelation I decided to start taking action. This week I have meditated daily; read a daily devotional from “Jesus Always” by Sarah Young every morning; prayed more consistently; began reading “I Heard God Laugh” by Matthew Kelly, and started taking steps to action for our marriage preparation process. This might seem like a lot, but in reality each of these tasks were completed in just 5-10 minutes and were broken up throughout the day. The best thing is unlike doing a full workout or cooking a healthy meal, praying or deep breathing can be done anywhere and at anytime. To be completely honest I thought I would just be going through the motions and not getting much out of it for some of these items, but I am astonished to say that I feel more joyful and grateful; less stressed and anxious; and I have never been more content just staying at home enjoying the little moments. For the people that know me this is a BIG deal because I have always had FOMO (aka fear of missing out). I blame this on my extrovert self who always wants to be out and about and at social gatherings. Now don't get me wrong, this can be SO much fun and great at times, however it can add up quickly moneywise and can make it challenging to be at peace when stuck at home (which was what a lot of 2020 consisted of).
I thought I would share what stood out to me most this past week in hopes to support you with your spirituality (if you are interested). If you are one that does not want to work on growing your spirituality please know that it is perfectly OKAY! Just like any behavior change, you will HAVE to want it for yourself, and until then nobody will be able to convince you otherwise. You know you best, so I encourage you to reflect on your own goals and vision for this year, and as always never be afraid to reach out for support with these if needed. Now, if you are still with me and want to focus on your spirituality here are a few takeaways I got from this past week:
Daily Devotional "Jesus Always" by Sarah Young:
Psalm 94:19 "When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul"..... "Let My consolation-My comfort-bring Joy to your soul. When anxiety is dwelling up within you, come to Me and pour out your heart. Then sit quietly in My Presence while I comfort you, helping you see things from my Perspective. I remind you of your heavenly destination, for you are indeed on your way to Glory! I infuse My Joy and Peace into your heart, mind, and soul".
This really hit home this week! Work tends to be VERY busy at the beginning of the new year for most people; we are coming off that "Holiday High"; COVID is still going on; and of course we all still have various life stressors. However, knowing that when anxiety starts creeping in simply resting in His Presence can bring us joy is quite reassuring and realistic. Next time you start feeling overwhelmed or anxious, I encourage you to consider giving yourself some grace and allowing yourself (even just for a minute) to step away; take a deep breathe; and rest in His Presence.
Reading: "I Heard God Laugh" by Matthew Kelly:
Page 4: "Think about these four aspects of the human person: body, soul, will, intellect. We are obsessed with three of them: body, will, and intellect. Yet, we often ignore the most important, soul. Feeding your soul is the missing piece of the puzzle. The soul harmonizes every aspect of our humanity. It re-orients us toward what matters most.
In the world we live in today it is often encouraged to: eat healthy; exercise; practice self care; stand up for what you believe in; celebrate your intellectual accomplishments; work hard; etc. however, there isn't much emphasis on caring for your "soul". This could very well be one of the causes for the skyrocketing depression rates that are occurring amongst us. I have been trying to look at these four aspects of the human person as the legs of a table. If one of these areas are slacking (such as soul) then it's going to start getting wobbly and put more pressure on the other components; until it eventually might cause everything to break down (aka depression; health issues; failing at school or at work; losing your job; being homeless; alcoholism; divorce; etc.) Consider taking some time to reflect on what is going well with these four components; which is the biggest area of improvement; and what is one small thing you can do this month to strengthen this component. Remember, small actions can make a BIG difference!
I have always prayed some, however I have been much more consistent lately praying throughout the day versus just doing my typical ”before meals prayers”. For some people (including myself) it can be easier to remember to pray when something is going wrong like a loss of a loved one or a sick family member or friend. However, there are plenty of other opportunities to pray, and what I personally have found is that gratitude prayers can be the most powerful. Let’s face it this world can be a crazy place and this past year was tough for everyone to say the least, but just taking a few minutes to thank God for everything you DO have can really put things into perspective; can lift the weight off your shoulders; and can fill you with so much more joy! I encourage you to consider trying a gratitude prayer this week, and if you find it valuable consider working on doing it more and more until it‘s a daily practice.
Our society forces us to live fast pace lifestyles where we are always on the go, which can often lead to stress; anxiety; depression; and health issues. Rest and relaxation is often looked down upon labeling individuals as “lazy” or “worthless”, which in reality this might be the thing we need most to live happier and healthier lives. To be honest I’m definitely one of these people who are always on the go! If there is a deadline at work at the end of the month I feel like I have to complete it the first week of the month, and even though my wedding isn’t until October I already feel behind. Being proactive and planning ahead can be a big strength, however too much of a good thing can also make it the biggest weakness. It often leaves my mind racing; causes unnecessary stress and anxiety, which in return leaves me mentally drained and exhausted at the end of the day. Now, you can probably understand why meditation is on my vision board. This past week I did just 5 minutes of meditation each day, and what I found was: I felt less stressed and anxious; I had less soreness and tension in my muscles; I had more energy; I felt more joyful and grateful; and I was actually even more productive. For me personally I feel like these positive results came from me allowing myself to surrender and not have to control everything all the time. At the end of the day there is a higher power in control, and if you can surrender and lot go you are more likely to be guided in the right direction. With all this being said, I would encourage you to consider trying meditation this week even if it’s just one time, or even if it’s a few deep breaths when you are feeling overwhelmed. Something as small as this could be the step in the right direction for your health and well-being.
Thank you for stopping by! I hope you find these tips valuable, and have a happy and healthy Sunday!