Reflect on what you are thankful for.
There is always something that one can be thankful for.
“Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.”
|Henry David Thoreau|
Are you lost?
Are you navigating through life not sure why you do what you do?
Are you just surviving the day to day issues?
Does it feel like there is more to life than what you are experiencing?
Do you have a sense of purpose?
Do you have goals that you are working towards that are an extension of whom you truly are?
Do your goals make sense?
Do you believe there is more? Have you given up hope? Are you just marching to an unknown drummer?
What does life feel like most of the time? Is it good? Do you see joy, beauty, truth and happiness most of the time? Are you using your strengths most of the time?
Indeed there is more. There are answers. There is purpose.
Use your gifts and talents – be all that you were truly meant to be.
Why not start today! Why not start now!
Are you seeking a better today?
Are you continually seeking knowledge which can be transformed into wisdom?
Are you seeing the beauty of today?
What are you doing then?
Anxiety, fear and the pressure of daily life takes its toll on many and reduces their ability to sleep, work, and think well. When the speed of daily living moves at such a pace that it feels like the world would sooner expel you into the depths of space then it is time step back from the maelstrom of chaos. So, what can you do?
Here are some of the symptoms of a life that is going too fast:
- Rushed, not enough time to do what needs to be done
- Not feeling in control
- Irritation with others who enter your space, consciousness
- Tightness in the stomach
- Numbness to the world and self, lack of feelings
- Disconnection from life
- Life no longer is enjoyable
- Feeling like there is always anxiety or pressure in each day
How much are you investing emotionally by being preoccupied by the events of the day?
When life seems to be overwhelming there are some simple steps that can be taken to restore normalcy. Practice for five minutes twice a day.
1. Write down the things that preoccupies your mind. List them on paper.
2. Breathe out the things that occupy your mind. Slowly release the things that are invading the thoughts in your mind.
3. Bring in thoughts of appreciation, of beauty, of peace. Sustain these thoughts.
4. Share your positive feelings with others.
Get on board! Get on board the train that no one wants to ride on ,
Get on board the train to joy,
Get on board the train to happiness,
Get on board the train to peace,
Get on board the train to freedom,
Get on board the train to beauty,
Get on board the train to truth,
Get on board the train to love,
Get on board the train to life,
Get on board, Get on board, the ticket is free, get on board.
All you have to do is leave behind,
Get on board! Get on board! The ticket has been paid for. Get on board!
What are you waiting for?
“No one can give a definition of the soul. But we know what it feels like. The soul is the sense of something higher than ourselves, something that stirs in us thoughts, hopes, and aspirations which go out to the world of goodness, truth and beauty. The soul is a burning desire to breathe in this world of light and never to lose it – to remain children of light.”
Albert Schweitzer from Reverence of Life
“If you want the trees to grow it won’t help to water the leaves.” Thich Nhat Hanh
If you want your soul to grow what must you do?
For trees you must water the roots. For people we must nourish the soul. What nourishes your soul?
Sometimes and perhaps often we know what we need to do but for some reason or another can’t seem to do what it is that we need to do. For some reason there is no motivation to engage with life and it may take an external source of energy to begin to set things into motion.
What can you do to nourish your soul?
The time to start is now. This very moment is the only time that you have control of.
“A man’s life is interesting primarily when he had failed, for it’s a sign that he tried to surpass himself.” — Georges Clemenceau
This brief piece of text is excerpted from “Learning as a way of being” by Peter Vaill, the quoted section is part of another book written by Chittister called “Wisdom distilled from the Daily”, pg. 24, The Rule of St. Benedict,
“Benedict teaches life is a learning process. Western culture and its emphasis on academic degrees, however, has almost smothered this truth. We have made the words ‘graduation’ and ‘education’ almost synonymous. We measure achievement in academic credits. We discount experience, depth, and failure. We believe in action and results and products and profits and youth, so we come to regard the elderly as essentially useless.
But in the end, all of that kind of achievement is nothing but a spiritual wasteland if along the way we have not attached ourselves to the discovery of truth, the cultivation of beauty, and the recognition of the real learnings in life.”
If you believe that things are passing you by perhaps it is time to slow down and reflect on the beauty that surrounds you. Action, results, products and profits are seen as the currency of value when in reality the currency is truth, beauty and joy. Which do you pursue with the most fervor?
Value significance – value your significance in a turbulent world.
When our shoes get dull and dingy we might get a can of shoe polish and update the finish on the exterior of our shoes.
Before we go off to work we put on our shoes. Shoes protect us from the elements and they also reflect part of our values as individuals. We might have fancy shoes, shiny shoes, colorful shoes, or some other kind of footwear and that sends a message. If we are trying to impress people we might find our best shoes, our shiniest shoes and put those on. If we are hiking in the mountains we will put on shoes that are best suited for that task. If we want our shoes to last and make a lasting impression we have to take care of our shoes.
The same is true for our souls. We have to a take care of our souls as well. Our souls reflect who we are. Often we try to hide our true selves from others. We don’t want them to see the dull, scuffed, damaged, dirty or dingy souls. We want them to see the shiny, bright, and polished souls. We may want them to believe in an illusion – that our souls are polished when they aren’t.
How much time out of each day do you take to polish your soul? How do you make sure you are taking care of one of the most important assets you have – your soul?
What is soul polish? Soul polish is time, it is reading, it is meditating, it is reflecting, it is relaxing, it is observing beauty around you, it is acknowledging others, it is strengthening a relationship, it is building character, it is ensuring your integrity is intact, it is being honest with yourself and others, it is helping others, it is serving, it is being kind, it is find joy and beauty in your work and life – and that is just the start of the list. What do you do to polish your soul? Would others say you are polishing your soul? Is your soul worn, scuffed, dingy or in need of some serious repair?
Start thinking about your soul polish today – what can you do?