It’s the best gift and the most reliable and powerful booster you have available to you. Even if you have only 15 minutes a day to do it, I encourage you do follow through on this. Guard this time, mark it as sacred, and don’t let any one or any thing divert you from it.
If you follow through with this daily practice, you will “find” your soul and that it’s been there all along, ever so patiently waiting for you.
The unshakable foundation of a soul-prospering life is built by being deeply connected with your inner self, your true self. Through this connection, you clearly hear the Still Small Voice.
Here are a few quotes to ponder:
Build your inner environment. Practice silence. I remember the wonderful discipline of the great ones. When we used to talk and chatter, they would say: ‘Go back into you inner castle.’ It was very hard to comprehend then, but now I understand the way of peace. ~Paramahansa Yogananda
The quieter you become the more you are able to hear. ~Rumi
Trust your instinct to the end, though you can render no reason. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Listen to your heart for guidance and be guided by its message of comfort or discomfort. Your heart is the junction point between your mind and your body. If the choice feels comfortable in your body, move into it with confidence. If the choice feels uncomfortable, pause and see the consequences of your action with your inner vision. Honoring the guidance that is provided by your body’s intelligence will help you make the most evolutionary choices for yourself and those in your life. — Deepak Chopra
Solitude is not an absence of energy or action, as some believe, but is rather a boon of wild provisions transmitted to us from the soul. In ancient times, purposeful solitude was both palliative and preventative. It was used to heal fatigue and to prevent weariness. It was also used as an oracle, as a way of listening to the inner self to solicit advice and guidance otherwise impossible to hear in the din of daily life. — Clarissa Pinkola Estes
At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want. – Lao Tzu
Take time today for stillness and quiet. Just be. Listen.
Make a pact with yourself that you will take time–5 minutes is a great baby step–every day to listen, to just be with yourself in quiet solitude.
I’ve found that one of the best ways to encourage myself is doing something that I love that is part of my soul-prospering life. For me it’s writing fiction as well as doing the research for my blog then posting and sharing what I’ve discovered with you!
Even if you don’t think you’re living your soul-prospering life, there is some aspect of it or little piece of it that IS soul-prospering. Find that thing and do it, especially when you need a boost.
Let me know how that technique works out for you. Write in the comments below. Thanks!
You may be thinking that you have a supportive group around you: trusted friends, loved ones, great mentors and teachers, and a network of encouraging colleagues to whom you can turn. You’ve hit rough patches before and you had no trouble finding sympathetic and helpful people. That’s fantastic and I’m very glad you have that.
I challenge you, though, to learn to encourage yourself.
If you realize how to do this for yourself, you will develop invaluable abilities and benefits: you’ll deepen your self-confidence; you’ll develop potent stick-to-it-ive-ness; you’ll build vigorous resilience. You’ll know you can depend upon yourself to figure “it” out and to pull yourself up.
An additional benefit is that your encouragement will be tailor made just for you–you’ll know just how to motivate yourself and exactly what will sustain that energy. You won’t have to tweak a system to sorta, kinda, hopefully get it to work for you. It’ll work 100% of the time because YOU are the one who crafted it!
Take time each day this week to note things that lift your spirits, that urge you onward when you’d rather quit, and the things that make all the time and all the effort “sooooo worth it”. Jot them down and keep them handy for when you need a boost.
It’s wonderful to have trusted friends and loved ones who encourage you and support you as you craft a soul-prospering life. Sometimes, though, they aren’t always there for you because they have their own soul-prospering life to build. It’s important to know how to encourage yourself.
Enjoy these inspiring, encouraging quotes.
Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one.– Eleanor Roosevelt
If only you could sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet; how important you can be to people you may never even dream of. There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person.– Fred Rogers
Low self-esteem is like driving through life with your hand-break on.– Maxwell Maltz
When you recover or discover something that nourishes your soul and brings joy, care enough about yourself to make room for it in your life.– Jean Shinoda Bolen
Self-care is never a selfish act—it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer to others.– Parker Palmer
Why should we worry about what others think of us, do we have more confidence in their opinions than we do our own?– Brigham Young
To establish true self-esteem we must concentrate on our successes and forget about the failures and the negatives in our lives. – Denis Waitley
Our self-respect tracks our choices. Every time we act in harmony with our authentic self and our heart, we earn our respect. It is that simple. Every choice matters.– Dan Coppersmith
Don’t ask yourself what the world needs, ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.– Howard Washington Thurman
Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires courage.– Ralph Waldo Emerson
You have been criticizing yourself for years, and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.– Louise L. Hay
The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity and an understanding of life that fills them with compassions, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.– Elizabeth Kubler-Ross
Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does. –William James
It ain’t what they call you, it’s what you answer to.– W.C. Fields
There are days I drop words of comfort on myself like falling leaves and remember that it is enough to be taken care of by myself.– Brian Andreas
Which quote rang true for you? Keep it handy this week and refer to it often.
Self-forgiveness isn’t an easy thing to do. And it takes time. Our culture, along with many religions, create many opportunities for us to feel guilt over what we are or are not doing and to feel shame about who we are as a person–the fact that we weren’t perfect in the past, we aren’t perfect now, and we won’t be perfect in the future.
One technique that has helped me is sitting in silence, which I’ve talked about many times before. I find that when I block out the world and quiet myself down, I gain perspective on that which I’m feeling guilty and unforgiving about.
I’ve often found that when I look closely at the situation, I realize my guilt and shame is rooted in the presumption that I had much more control in the situation than what I actually had.
For instance, I can’t control other people. As much as I would like to, as much as I would wish, hope, pray, bargain, beg, to have more control over others, I don’t and I won’t have control over others. What they choose to do or choose not to do is out of my hands. That’s between them and Source to work out the consequences. All I can do is be mindful myself and my perceptions and my reactions and responses to those perceptions.
I’ve found that thinking through the situation with this realization in mind has helped me be more compassionate toward all involved–including myself–and has also helped me let go (forgive) myself and others.
Another technique I’ve found helpful is to turn my back on the past–to quit focusing on it. I’ve found when I was mired in the past, the past became so big that it obscured the present moment. And, since I wasn’t really living in the present, the result was that my future wasn’t too enticing; it looked like I’d have more of the same. Depressing thought and expectation, for sure!
Turning my attention to the present moment and the future helped cut the past down to size and loosened its grip on my life. As a result, I was able to see past situations more objectively. The past’s ability to distress and hurt me became less and less until, finally, it had no power over me and there was no room for it in the present or future.
Do you have a technique that helps you banish guilt and shame, that leads you to self-forgiveness? Please share it in the comments below. Thanks!
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Not forgiving ourselves keeps us chained to the past.
By keeping our focus on the past we think that somehow this will make up for or change the past. It won’t. Nothing we can say or do or think will change what happened.
Not forgiving ourselves punishes us over and over and over again.
Perhaps we’re punishing ourselves so that no one else will, because they won’t have to because we’ve already punished ourselves and are continuing to punish ourselves for good measure. That’s convoluted thinking but it makes good sense to those of us who continue to harbor unforgiveness toward ourselves.
Even so, it still doesn’t change the past or what happened.
Not forgiving ourselves doesn’t solve any problems.
Unforgiveness creates more problems in the form of anger issues, depression, stress related illnesses, and living a life way below our potential.
Not forgiving ourselves is NOT the way we’ll craft soul-prospering lives.
The only way to do this is through self-forgiveness, living in the present, and looking to the future.
Tomorrow we’ll talk about a few techniques for forgiving yourself. Be sure to check back in. Thanks!