This photo is a throwback to one of the most amazing trips I have ever been on, and not where I currently sit…..which is my cubicle…daydreaming about going away on an adventure to either somewhere with blue water and sunny skies or a winter wonderland. Honestly, why not both?
Lately, a lot of my thoughts have wandered toward what fills my soul. What currently energizes me? What fuels me? What do I need to say yes to, and what do I need to say no to.
Between observing my children, and multiple conversations with family, Bill and others, I have noticed that far too often we let what fills our souls slide to the wayside.
We simply just have too much to do.
Work, responsibilities, obligations, commitments. We extend and overextend ourselves to the point where we are exhausted beyond our means and we practically have to be forced to rest. To do something that we enjoy or go take a vacation or whatever.
Let me ask you this: when was the last time you placed something fun or fulfilling on your priority list? If you were to take out your to-do list, or calendar, or whatever you use to organize and prioritize......is fun and fulfilling listed, calendared, prioritized?
Most of you would probably say no.
I know this because for myself, I rarely prioritize what fulfills me. I do have things that I love to do and that I know fills my soul. Occasionally, I go do them. However, my tendency is to wait until I have reached a breaking point and someone has to tell me to go take a break. I move so quickly through my days, trying and working so hard to fulfill everything I can on my to-list and on my calendar that I miss the opportunities to breathe and have a little fun.
To fill my soul. What a pleasure and an opportunity we have in this life to take in the things that are beautiful, that spur us on to do amazing things. Those things that don't just fill our cups, but enables us to be renewed in our hope, our love for others, and radiate God's goodness and joy. Whenever I write in my journal, I am energized. Words satisfy me. As I pour out my thoughts and my heart on pieces of paper, I find myself greatly encouraged. So encouraged that then I share those words that filled lined sheets of paper so that they can come alive to others.
That is no accident, my friends. I believe that is the reason God allows for pleasure in the first place. It empowers us to go serve. To love. To be generous. To be renewed in our faith and the hope that we know.
Some of the ways I am going to choose to fill my soul this year:
* Solitude-Just being alone is something I need more of in 2022. I am rarely alone.
*Journaling and writing
*day trips to visit new to me spaces.
*window shopping (online or in person)
*Trying a new to me recipe
*Plugging in my headphones, hiding away and listening to a playlist I created.
This list will grow as I discover new activities and things that I may enjoy. Part of life, right? I love to learn new things.
We can value hard work. There is something to be said about being a hard worker and being able to provide for your family. I am a single mother and the buck stops with me. I have bills to pay, just like many of you. So I am not saying that we should throw off personal responsibility and just have fun. I don't really think I need to make that disclaimer, but there is always one who misses the heart of a message. So I want it to be clear.
Prioritize pleasure and fun and celebration on that list of yours. Make sure that you do things that fill your soul. They must be the things that YOU enjoy. Not what your spouse/significant other enjoys. Not what your kids enjoy. You. YOU. JUST YOU. There will be plenty of times to participate in activities that others love. Focus on YOU.
Would love to hear what fills your soul. Take out a piece of paper and write out at minimum one fun and fulfilling, soul-filling activity you are going to prioritize this New Year. Bonus points if you schedule it out throughout the year! You do you, babe!
Happy New Year!