We all get stuck or fall into a rut.
That murky feeling of dread overtakes us and it feels as though we’re pushing rocks up hill only to have them slide right back down.
Life becomes a stale, repetitive cycle. Nothing’s going the way we’d hoped. Our dreams rendered mute, crushed by the soul-sucking weight of day-to-day tasks.
At times like this, it’s easy to feel put upon, burdened, trapped by the external things of this world. This train of thought can oh-so-subtly wend its way into victim mode, leading us to believe there’s nothing we can do about it. Some relief may result from feeling as though there’s someone or something out there to blame, but this does nothing to help us change the situation. It only perpetuates it, digging us in even deeper.
To make deep, everlasting change requires us to stop long enough to see things as they are, without the veils of wishful thinking or positive spin. Then comes the hard part: owning our responsibility in it. Not with harshness or judgment, but with an open, compassionate heart.
Once we take responsibility, then we can create the pathway out.
To do so, we need to ask ourselves two simple questions:
Which relationships, activities or situations are currently enslaving, exhausting or starving me?
Which relationships, activities or situations are currently freeing, energizing or feeding me?
The answers should give us some very clear messages about how we arrived at this place in our lives. Diving deeply into this awareness may even initiate one of the single most significant shifts in our lives, because it will be impossible to hide from the truth about what’s working and what isn’t.
But go easy here—this is not an opportunity to beat ourselves up for making decisions that created hardship or pain. Rather it’s an invitation to tell the truth about what is and to forgive ourselves and others—if needed—so that we can create the space to make new decisions that take the well being of our souls into consideration.
Life is a precious gift, with a limited number of life hours allotted to each of us. It is the greatest currency we have and it is up to us to spend it wisely—and not waste it feeling victimized.
Therefore, knowing what truly nourishes us—and making our decisions based on those criteria—is the simplest, most direct way to create a life worth living. The beauty in this is that we can start fresh at any time, right where we are.
Each moment is a new beginning.
If so drawn, here are some other ways to nourish your soul:
1. Schedule regular mini-retreats doing what you love sprinkled throughout your month.
2. Set up a weekly or bi-weekly creative date with friends.
3. Create sacred spaces in your home.
4. Walk barefoot as often as possible.
5. Practice being silent one day per week, or part of every day.
6. Do one new activity per month that takes you out of your comfort zone.
7. Go on a mental fast for seven days and eliminate all negative thoughts and words.
8. Give gifts to people anonymously.
9. Surprise family and friends with hand-written letters, or become a pen pal.
10. Register for a class in a subject that has always interested you.
Author: Victoria Fann
Assistant Editor: Hilda Carroll/Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo: Bilal Kamoon/Flickr