~ JOURNEY OF SELF-DISCOVERY ~
Sometimes our travel on this Earth can be tedious and difficult, but the main question is whether you're traveling in the right direction. That's why from day one we chatted about dreams and goals. Once you have a destination in mind and figure out the starting point, the rest is just making sure you keep one leg in front of the other and don't get lost.
So far in this series of blogs about self-discovery we talked about removing the obstacles on your way such as lies, negative thoughts, fears, and time thieves. Knowing who you are, safeguarding your priorities, stepping out of your comfort, and fighting for your aspirations will get you moving forward. It doesn't matter how slow you think you're advancing, what's more important is that you're moving forward.
It took me two years to write my first novel. It seemed the process would never end. Every time I overcame a hurdle, a new one would rise up around the corner. I had to keep reminding myself why I was doing it and keep my eyes on the finish line. I wanted every person to open their gifts, find their destinies, and to live fulfilled lives their Creator had in mind for them. If even one person would get encouraged, it was worth my time and effort.
Higher mountains require difficult climbs, but the views are more stunning at the end. If you think your task is an impossible undertaking, so much sweeter will be the victory once you conquer it. But we're also not meant to walk it alone. Ask God and other people for help. Find the ones that would support you when going gets tough. And it's so much better to enjoy the scenery in the end together.
Today I would like to talk about one more thing—REST.
If you're like me, you probably don't get enough sleep, don't spend enough time relaxing, and definitely don't put yourself first. So, I am writing this for myself as well.
In our fast-paced society, rest is considered laziness. We wake up early, go to sleep late, and keep busy all day long. But doing a lot doesn't necessarily mean being productive and, if we ignore our needs for too long, burnout will put everything on pause.
In other countries outside of the U.S., it is common for businesses to close for an afternoon break, to close earlier than we're used to, to have more holidays, to take longer leaves, especially when it comes to family. Even when we're doing what we love, taking care of others, pursuing our goals, doing important things—it's important to take a break and make time for self-care. Because if you crumble, who's going to be doing all of this?
It's not enough that you're planning a vacation a few months from now. Rest is something that needs to be planned on a regular basis—daily, weekly, monthly. No wonder the Bible says that God wanted all humanity to rest one day a week. Do you know how to do that?
When you take time to not only relax but renew your physical, mental, and spiritual strength, it allows you to accomplish more on the days to come.
As Eleanor Brown wrote: "You cannot serve from an empty vessel".
I believe that we consist of spirit (God's breath of life within us), soul (mind, will, emotions), and body. Therefore, each part needs tending.
It is possible to take care of yourself partially, but the key is... balance. For example, if you're sick or in pain, you can't think properly. If your emotional needs are not getting met or you're stressed, you can get physically ill too. If your spirit is crushed, your soul plummets with it and your body is not willing to do much. Scheduling time to take care of your well-being will help you catch the problems before they get out of control. Use the list below or come up with your own today:
TO REST YOUR BODY:
Get outside for some fresh air: go for a walk or just soak up the sun
Hug a dog, a cat, a spouse, a kid, a friend, a plant, yourself
Take a bath, go to the massage place, stretch, get extra sleep
Take time away from busy activities and just do nothing
Fast (research the benefits and ways to do it safely, but eat healthy first)
Look into ways to cut down your work hours or to turn it off while at home
TO REST YOUR SOUL:
Do something creative: art, writing, crafts, gardening
Take a break from your routine activities and do something unusual
Turn off all electronics and find something else to do
Schedule time to be in a quiet place to think, re-evaluate, plan
Listen to relaxing music, watch a good movie, or get lost in a book
Spend time with people you love without an agenda
TO REST YOUR SPIRIT:
Change up your prayer time to come out filled and refreshed
Get support in the areas that you battle with from others, ask for prayer
Think about the deeper meaning of your life and actions, focus on your "why"
Find a cause that's bigger than you, stand up for something important
Schedule "dreaming sessions", use your imagination to make new discoveries
Listen to positive messages and spend time with uplifting individuals
All seven topics in this series of self-discovery blogs are explored in my contemporary fantasy book The Seven Lives of Grace. If you'd like to go through them again while reading a fun fiction novel, click here.