Feeding Our Souls In 2019
Hello Friends, and a belated Happy New Year!
I hope we are all are feeling well, at peace, confident and in control in this new year. If we are not feeling well, maybe it's time to look after ourselves a bit more in 2019. I am not referring to any crazy new year's resolutions or extreme challenges, just taking care of ourselves in a nicer way. Let's call this "feeding our souls". It's a kind of self-care wrapped in everyday simplicity. No expensive trips to a spa required.
Here are some ideas and ways I am feeding my soul this year.
Thanks to audio books and the fact that my children read to themselves now, I am reading more than ever. This will be my fourth year setting a reading goal through the Goodreads reading challenge. I tend to read mostly nonfiction with a novel or picture book thrown in the mix now and again. I like to get my books through our public library as much as possible. This saves money and book clutter in our home. I use the Hoopla app on my iPhone and Kindle for electronic library materials. For current releases of audio books that are not available through the library I use Audible. Very rarely, I will buy a physical book for reading in the evenings or a Kindle edition for travel.
I love simple luxuries: enjoying a hot shower, clean clothes, good food, nice tea, a piece of high quality chocolate, a hike in the woods with my pup. These luxuries have nothing to do with spending a lot of money and everything to do with appreciating the moment. It's about slowing down and really experiencing what is in front of us. As a parent of two active kids (and a large active dog), these moments of calm and peace can be few and far between. When there is too much activity or too much stuff, our appreciation of the simple luxuries in life can be clouded. Let's try as much as possible to enjoy our many simple luxuries.
Saying "Yes" Carefully:
Guarding my time has not always come easy for me. There have been many points in my life where I worked so hard to please others and ended up feeling like my soul had been sucked dry. These days, I set boundaries for myself and others. The boundaries are practical, personal and emotional. Practical boundaries are things like using technology to determine when I receive calls or when clients can schedule organizing and productivity sessions. Automating these types of practical boundaries is best. It gets progressively more difficult as we move toward personal and emotional boundaries. In 2019, I am working on personal boundaries, particularly around getting my work done more productively and with fewer distractions. Aristotle was right when he said, "Through discipline comes freedom." I'd like a little more of both in my life. Finally, emotional boundaries are the most nuanced type of boundaries. To me this is really about knowing that we are responsible for our own happiness and our own happiness alone. With these types of boundaries in mind, I am saying "yes", carefully, to only those things that bring me joy.
Keeping a Clean and Tidy Home:
You know I can't write a post without mentioning our physical environment! Keeping a clean and tidy home is a real act of self care for me. I feel good in a clean and organized environment. I treat cleaning and organizing as a spiritual act of respect for myself, regard for others and reverence for the many blessings I have in my life. Almost all of the world's great spiritual paths include teachings on cleanliness. When we see cleaning, tidying and organizing as a spiritual act of self-care, it's less of a burden and more of a pleasure for our overall well being.
Declutter Even More:
This year I want to feed my soul by decluttering even more. Yes, my home is generally clean and clutter free. And, yes, I have clutter squirreled away in drawers, closets and my basement. My goal is to get into the nooks and crannies throughout 2019. By letting go of the excess my wish is to feel lighter and more at ease.
Going to Bed Early:
Finally, I will continue to take care of myself by going to be early. This is my keystone habit. When I have eight to nine hours of restful sleep every night, I can do anything. When the opposite happens, my world starts to fall apart. In order to go to bed early, I start by limiting caffeine intake after 9 a.m., eat an earlier, lighter dinner and say "no" to most evening events, especially in the winter. This doesn't feel like a sacrifice because I feel wonderful when I am rested. That allows me to be of better service to myself and others.
I am curious how all of you might be feeding your souls in 2019. Do comment below or give me a shout out on Instagram or via e-mail!
All my best,