Thursday, January 20, 2011

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Care and Feeding of Your Soul in 10 Steps

You don't have a soul.  You are a Soul.  You have a body.  -C S Lewis

Many of us, at some time or another, have spend time in thoughtful analysis of what exactly the Soul is.   To simplify, I define a Soul as our very complex life forces.   We each are one- according to CS Lewis- and for the most part we are not static; each of us have grown since we first came into existence,  and we continue to change to become completely authentic in who we are.

Spirituality is the nurturing of our life force; the self-care of the Soul.   It too must be an authentic practice.  What "feeds" your soul is unique, only you can judge if something is nurturing or detracting.  I cannot tell you what to do specifically to care and feed for your soul, however I can provide some exercises to get you thinking and practicing.

This is by no means a complete list…I wrote it in about 20 minutes….it is simply several places from which to start.   Please feel free to post any other Soul-full suggestions I have missed.
  1. Define yourself.   Make a list of 100 things about YOU.  Begin with the words “I am…” and build your authentic list from there.   See my list here.
  2. Take quiet time each day to reflect on who you are and what your purpose is.
  3. Ask yourself often “What do I need right now?” (Follow up by giving yourself what you need if you are able!)
  4. Know and practice your talents and passions.  What do you do well, what do you love to do? 
  5. Remind yourself often who benefits from your existence (even in small ways you touch lives) and create new ways to benefit others (a simple compliment can make someone’s entire day!)
  6. Do something each day that brings you joy, peace and inspiration – make it a routine!
  7. Meditate, pray, analyze, study, reflect.  
  8. Act in accordance with who you are.  (You know right away when you aren’t doing this, because you don’t feel quite happy or right)
  9. Surround yourself with people who love and support you
  10. Seek counsel from wise souls.
Soul-fullness is truly what self-care is all about!  It is foundational to your mental, emotional, physical, volitional, and social well-being. 

Take Good Care!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A Sister Is Good Self Care

To the outside world we all grow old.  But not to brothers and sisters.  We know each other as we always were.  We know each other's hearts.  We share private family jokes.  We remember family feuds and secrets, family griefs and joys.  We live outside the touch of time.  ~Clara Ortega

My amazing little sister is 40 today.   

A sister can be one of your best support systems for good self care.  Where else can you find someone who knows you so well, for so long, and still loves you despite all the mean things you ever did to her?  I confess that I have not always been the best sister, but PJ has always been very forgiving and loving to me. 

In honor of her birthday, I thought I would share 40 things I know and love about her today:

  1. She used to worship the ground I walked on, even though I didn't always treat her very well.  (I am sorry)
  2. She used to borrow my clothes and get into my things
  3. She was always willing to sing back up
  4. She was always there to play with
  5. For some reason, I remember more than one traumatic occasion where she choked on a piece of balloon. 
  6. She was completely pliable when she was younger; she could do the splits and was fabulous at gymnastics and she doesn't sit still well even today
  7. She brings enough energy into a room to light a ball park
  8. She is beautiful
  9. She loves Thorton’s Alpini chocolate bars
  10. She doesn’t know how awesome she is
  11. She served a short stint in the Marine corp
  12. She somehow repeatedly survived pushing our Dad’s buttons way beyond the point that me and our brother felt was wise.
  13. She and I used to have giggle attacks at the dinner table where we couldn’t look at each other without laughing
  14. She was my room mate until we were in high school
  15. She is a fabulous mom to three wonderful sons
  16. She can fix anything
  17. She can sell anything
  18. She is tough
  19. She has a teaching degree
  20. She listens when I need someone to talk to
  21. She doesn’t have too many childhood pictures where her belly isn’t hanging out of her shirt.
  22. She might get sentimental if you call her “Paula Jean King Queen Speaking”
  23. She once handed out all of her first grade pictures before our mother had a chance to see them
  24. She really never liked that “pixie” haircut that our mother made her wear
  25. She is a really talented actress
  26. She loves the Chicago Bears
  27. She is generous to a fault
  28. She is witty
  29. She will stand up for you
  30. She can’t spell
  31. Blue is her favorite color
  32. She didn’t eat chicken for years after she was tricked into eating rabbit disguised as chicken for dinner one night.
  33. She was the best synchronized swimming partner ever
  34. When we had cooking shows- she was always the assistant
  35. When we go on vacation she buys souvenirs for EVERYBODY
  36. She once served as the bridesmaid for two weddings in one weekend (mine and her best friend, Jennifer’s)
  37. She made sure that I got my grandma’s cookbook because she knew it would mean a lot to me.
  38. She is so much more capable than she gives herself credit for
  39. She made sure that I didn’t spend my birthday completely alone this year. 
  40. She is my best friend

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A Few Keys To Keeping Your Resolutions

There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth...not going all the way, and not starting. -Buddha

I am currently reading the book “Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard” by Chip Heath and Dan Heath.

It is my hope that this book will provide some insight into why I have never been able to stick to any of my New Year’s resolutions, while providing me the golden knowledge of how I can suddenly become an expert on transformation.   

From what I have read so far (only a few chapters), 3 things are needed for change to be effective:

  1. You need to create the right environment.   This means removing temptation, adding motivations, surrounding yourself with successful, encouraging people etc. 
  2. You need to have a plan
a.       Be specific, be realistic
b.      Break the long term vision into short achievable goals
c.       Write it down
d.      Include a back-up plan for handling any potential setbacks

      3.   You need to have the right attitude
a.       Make the reason for the change an emotional one.   People are most successful when they have a strong emotion behind their actions.
b.      Make it fun
c.       Reward yourself for little victories. 

This seems quite simplistic, I know.  It is just the beginning of the book and I will definitely provide more information if I read anything else earth shattering. 

One other comment I found interesting was in regard to reconciling our planning brain with our emotional brain.    Some of us are great planners, but not very good doers.   Some of us jump in head first without a viable plan.   Recognize your tendency and adjust before you begin!     

I also cannot emphasize enough that you need a contingency plan.   How will you respond if you have a set back?   My suggestion is that you plan well for being imperfect.  Be easy on yourself.   Begin again. 

Good luck to you whatever your resolution may be!