compassion · health · renewal · self · spirituality

Rest You for the Best You

Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

After the New Year, I wrote about promises. To ourselves and others. This month I focus on the promise of rest.

Remember being a kid during the summer? We would do nothing for hours or do something that felt like nothing because it was so undemanding. We would move through each day with play and fun or pass idle moments without a care. We did not fill every waking thought with to-do lists, and we would (gasp) complain of being bored.

We would relax. We would rest.

In a modern world of non-stop everything and endless responsibility, it becomes almost impossible to pause. Life and its demands do not stop for longer, sunnier, blue sky days.

We need to create pockets of downtime, force ourselves to rest.

For some, it is a few quiet moments reading at the end of the day when everyone else has gone to bed. For others, it may be found rocking in a chair with a hot cup of coffee while watching the sunrise. The good news? There is no wrong way and there are countless ways to find peace. To begin, discover what part needs the most attention.

BODY
The most obvious need comes from our physical selves. We know the signs of physical exhaustion and can easily solve it by getting much needed sleep. Of course the best solution is to follow a structured schedule where we routinely go to bed and rise at the same times each day. Doing this trains our bodies to adapt during the day without the need for naps, caffeine, sugar, or other temporary and unhealthy fixes. Make this the summer you get quality rest every night so you can make the best of every day.

Not sure how much sleep you need? Find the ideal amount at Sleep Needs.

MIND
It never stops. The notifications, the texts, the to-do’s and don’ts. Thanks to ever-present technology and daily demands, we cannot catch a break. Our brains are in overdrive due to excess information coming from our devices, work, family, home, school, church, and more. It is an easy trap to fall in:  the need to stay updated on everything and everyone. But the fear of missing out and desire to stay on top of every detail not only overwhelms but hurts our health. Make this the summer you rest your mind and shift focus to what matters. 

Wondering how to free your thoughts? Try these simple tasks at How to Settle the Mind.

SPIRIT
To many, the spirit is elusive, a mysterious known yet unknown thing. It is in the difficulty of definition that we find it hard to give it the attention it needs. The answers are simple, however. For though the spirit is unique to all,  it is easy to pinpoint whatever brings the greatest joy. When we do something that feeds our spirit, we get a sense of feeling balanced, content, and perhaps even complete. It can come in any form – reading, gardening, prayer, mediation, music, dance, writing, etc.

When you have found yours, you will know it. And when you know it, engage in it. As often as possible.

For it is the spirit that does not necessarily need to rest but be reassured. It needs us to tend it and when we do, it will nourish every other part of our lives. Make this the summer you do more of whatever makes your heart happy.

Need some help? Learn how to Take Care of Your Spirit.

My go to? A simple 10 minute morning meditation. Meditation does not have to be some complicated, time consuming process. It can be as simple as tapping into our senses while sitting still in a quiet setting. I like it because it declutters my mind, pauses my body, and replenishes my spirit while leaving me focused and ready for the day.

The internet is full of information about the mind, body, and spirit. I encourage you to educate yourself with reputable and trusted sources. The options are endless! Find visual video techniques. Read tips and tricks on health sites. Discover a positivity blog like Inspired Me, Joyful Be :). There is something for everyone. Begin now and I guarantee that the ‘rest’ will fall into place.


P.S. – I am taking my own advice and getting away. There will be no July post as I road trip around the country with my little family. I look forward to reconnecting in August and wish you the happiest of summers!
acceptance · confidence · relationships · self · spirituality

Faith Takes Many Forms

After the New Year, I wrote about promises. To ourselves and others. This month I focus on the promise of faith.


Faith is a difficult concept to define. For some, it signifies confidence in a spiritual power. For others, it might simply mean placing trust in the unknown. The path can seem clear and straightforward or prove cloudy and unpredictable.

Regardless of how faith is viewed or what method is practiced, it is important to develop a higher level of awareness, connect to a layer beyond the known. A deep belief in something greater than ourselves serves as a guide. It reminds us things will be fine whether we follow the proven course or explore new territory. Faith enhances the lifetime joys while minimizing the challenges of daily living. It celebrates. It cheers. It comforts. It heals. It provides strength when at our weakest and direction if we become lost.

If the idea seems overwhelming, think of faith more as a positive way to approach life, one in which hope and optimism rather than fear and pessimism are the norm. And the good thing is: the more it is practiced, the easier it becomes.

Unsure how to build a solid foundation of faith? There are two basic types that can be drawn upon, no matter the time, situation, or individual.

FAITH IN SELF
Believing in ourselves is faith in its truest form. We hold the power within to push through any obstacle placed in our way. Unfortunately, many of us are the root cause of those obstacles. Negative thoughts, doubt, and critical internal dialogue often lead to self-sabotage. We allow small hurdles to grow and manifest into more than they are, leaving us so unsure of our ability that we become frozen and unable to move forward. It is easier to pity ourselves and give into fear than face adversity and seek solutions. We construct imaginary comfort zones and reasons we cannot succeed to protect us from hurt, disappointment, or failure.

Why inflict unnecessary pain and impose limits when we should be giving ourselves love, compassion, and patience?

The next time you stumble upon a personal roadblock: 1) step out of yourself and think how you would treat a family member or friend in the same situation and then 2) bestow that same kindness upon yourself.

Reclaim the power within.

FAITH IN OTHERS
During times of trouble, it can be easy to fall further into ourselves rather than reach out. And while we often carry the power to solve problems on our own, there will be moments when life proves too much for us to handle. When this happens, do not be afraid to seek help from external sources. Support comes in surprising ways – spouses, children, family, friends, neighbors, employers, school, church, community, and even complete strangers. Asking for assistance may seem daunting but humans are instinctually wired to aid others in crisis. We want to help. We want to be needed. And when given the chance, we want to improve the experiences for others.

No matter how much we try, we cannot do this thing called life alone. We need people throughout our journey.

Open your heart and mind. Listen to ideas other than your own, appreciate advice of those who have gone before, and realize that sharing the struggle has unexpected benefits. Deep bonds are created once we realize we are more alike than different. Limitations become challenges to overcome rather than boundaries we cannot cross. We become reminded of just how wonderful people can be.

We are stronger together.

Believing – in self, in others, in anything – is a unique experience. There is no right or wrong way to believe. If someone imposes opinions or ideas on another, that is not a natural act. It is in the power of personal decision, the devotion to whatever is good for the individual that leads to the very success of one’s faith.

There will be times, however, when we may question the usefulness and purpose of beliefs held for so long. That is okay. Faith tests us – it is only fair we should test it back. If that time ever comes, do not be afraid to dig deeper into the reasons and facets of your conviction. Faith – in any form – should serve us well.

To believe is to hope – for something better, greater, more than what can be seen with the actual eye. It should be exciting and rewarding and above all, fulfilling. The next time Life trips you up … see what is within you, search for what is around you, look beyond the obvious.

Have a little faith.


Join me for A YEAR OF PROMISE!

Follow along as I focus on a different promise each month. This will not be some hard-core, paid program but a gentle exploration of changing how we view (and do) life. And in the end, maybe some parts will remain unchanged while others will be done in an entirely different way. The future is open, it is waiting, and it is all ours …

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Photo by Ray Hennessy on Unsplash