I guarantee you that your idea of a soul-prospering life is different than anyone else’s so don’t go freaking out over it and thinking that there’s something wrong with you. In fact, it’s a VERY excellent thing if your imaginings about what your soul-prospering life is turns out to be unique to you–different than anyone else’s!
Even if the same things matter to you and your group of friends, each of you will approach the things in a slightly different manner and different aspects of the things will have greater importance to one person than to another. This is a good thing! There are so many different people “out there” eager for help and insights and inspirations that one size, one message, does not fit all! We need the message to be said in many different ways, which increases the chance of more people “getting it”.
Go after your soul-prospering life–be proud of it! Be glad that one size does NOT fit all!
Sometimes it’s a little difficult to determine if any facet of our life is soul-prospering. We know what we mean by that phrase but yet we have trouble identifying it, perhaps because we can’t seem to articulate what we mean.
Here are a few words that can help you describe for yourself what you mean by the phrase ‘crafting a soul-prospering life’:
~Passion, obsession, unwavering interest;
~Purpose, mission, destiny;
~Deeply meaningful to you–tapping into that which is at the core of you;
~Making a difference – impactful;
~Doing and giving without any thought of “what’s in it for me”.
Here are a few emotions that can also help you define what ‘crafting a soul-prospering life’ means to you:
~Feeling a level of ecstasy–the actual emotion, not the drug!–when you’re engaged in your purpose/mission/destiny;
~Being so grateful that you’re lucky enough to follow your passion/deep interest, with the icing on the cake being that you are making a difference in others’ lives;
~It matters — your life matters and makes a difference to you and to others, and what you are doing matters and makes a difference in your life and the lives of others;
~You keep coming back to it and, even though the object of your interest or passion may change, the essence of it is still the same;
~If you’ve tried to ignore or squelch or run away from it, it won’t go away; it won’t leave you alone;
~The object of your passion/interest/obsession and your purpose/mission/destiny regarding it is bigger than yourself and the needs of your ego; it has the potential to touch hundreds or thousands, and perhaps millions, of lives;
~It isn’t about the money or the fame or the social standing or prestige–although those may be a by-product. It’s about righting a wrong, standing against injustice, helping those who are hurting. In essence, it’s about making the world a better place, as clichéd and hackneyed as that sounds.
Most people have the wrong idea about what a soul-prospering life is. People think it’s a life of riches, fame, and world-shaking achievement.
Not entirely true!
Thank goodness because if being rich or famous or doing history-altering things were the requirements for crafting a soul-prospering life, then we’d all be in trouble. Most of our lives seem quite ordinary and common when viewed from the outside looking in.
While it’s true that some people’s soul-prospering lives are flashy and filled with wealth, most soul-prospering lives are humble by comparison. But they are just as meaningful, satisfying, and fulfilling, and have just as profound of an impact as the splashier lives.
What do I mean by this?
A friend of mine is a librarian and an avid knitter. I’ve spoken about her in several other post and she’s an excellent example of living a soul-prospering life, in spite of her living a seemingly ordinary and common life.
At the library, she likes meeting patrons and helping them select books. She loves working with the Programs Director in setting up workshops and lectures. She enjoys her work as a librarian and it shows in the excellent quality of her work.
She’s also an avid knitter and also loves crocheting and weaving. She’s deeply interested in patterns–creating her own as well as working with those that others have created. She’s always on the lookout for new techniques, different types of yarn and fibers, and learning the latest in dyeing techniques.
My friend is a founding member of a charitable organization that makes prayer shawls for the local churches and their ministries as well as providing handcrafted caps, sweaters, and mittens for the preemies in the neonatal unit at the local hospital.
I once asked her whether or not she was living a soul-prospering life. She had to think about it. She was so engrossed in doing and giving and living that it’d never crossed her mind to wonder if her life was soul-prospering.
Her first answer was that she wasn’t rich or famous or making headlines so she supposed she wasn’t living a soul-prospering life. When we discussed the definition– doing something that is deeply meaningful to you and that you feel that your contribution matters– she realize that yes, her life was soul-prospering.
The things she was doing helped make the world a better place. These activities are organic to who she is as a person so they are totally authentic to her. Even though she has difficulties and setbacks, she is contented and satisfied. She has a peace of mind that pervades her life–in spite of challenges and obstacles.
Whether or not we can answer ‘yes’ to the question of “are you living a soul-prospering life”, we all have parts of our lives that are congruent with our hearts and souls. Take time today to identify these areas of your life. Find the thread that connects them or the thing that they all have in common. This is important work so take your time in thinking this through.
One of the first things to do in order to craft a soul-prospering life is to get your thoughts right.
Each day is another stepping stone to your soul-prospering life. If you use faulty materials in the form of unhelpful assumptions about yourself (I don’t have what it takes) or misshapen materials in the form of negative thoughts (I can’t, it’s too hard), then the path you’re building won’t be strong and stable and it won’t take you where you want to go.
Here are thoughts you can think the first thing in the morning. Keep these handy to refer to throughout your day:
Don’t let idiots ruin your day. ~Unknown
Today is going to be awesome!~Unknown
Make good on the promises to yourself. ~Unknown
Feel beautiful today! ~Unknown
Starting today, forget what’s past, appreciate what you have, and look forward to what’s ahead. ~Unknown
If you want your life to change…your choices must change and today is the best day of your life to begin. ~Unknown
Don’t look back. You aren’t going that way. ~Unknown
A little step may be the beginning of a great journey.~Unknown
Your future is created by what you do today. ~Unknown
Your future is not in your past. Stop looking behind you!~Unknown
It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood! ~Mr. Rogers
I believe in you! You CAN create a soul-prospering life!~Lauren, Your Friend and Pep Pal, YesICanPepTalks.com
Sometimes all the pep rallies, power words, compelling reasons ‘why’, and affirmations aren’t enough. In spite of them, you still feel demoralized and disheartened and you reallyreallyreally want to give up.
We’re six days into the New Year and perhaps things aren’t going nearly as well as you had hoped. Maybe you’re finding that, after less than one week into the New Year, your plan is in tatters.
What do you do?
For sure the answer ISN’T doing things like: giving up, throwing in the towel, walking away, telling yourself that you don’t have what it takes.
These are NOT helpful and they will not get you closer to your soul-prospering life. All these will do is demoralize and dishearten you further. And that won’t do anything but keep you stuck where you are.
Not a good scenario.
This is when you have to hunker down and tap into that brute, animalistic force within you.
It’s when you focus on the next step ahead of you–the best action that you see you can take right now–put your head down, and just bull forward.
Remember that you may have to break the next best action into tiny bits and pieces and select the one that you can manage right now; it’s okay to do this, in fact I recommend it.
All of these little bits and pieces of steps DO add up and they WILL eventually take you to your soul-prospering life.
The key is to take action; keep taking the baby steps as well as the tiny bits and pieces of baby steps. By doing this you are forging ahead toward your soul-prospering life.
Don’t worry about how long it’ll take, worry instead about making sure you take a small action today–and every day–that will help you craft your soul-prospering life.