Crafting our soul prospering life requires that we step out of our comfort zone–do things differently than what we’re accustomed to as well as try new things, meet new people, and go new places. This can–and often does–create anxiety and fear.
From time-to-time we all get walloped by Life and become discouraged. Usually, we can pull ourselves out of these feelings but sometimes…not so much.
At times, to us, the outlook is bleak and our discouragement turns into melancholy and depression.
An important note:when you can’t seem to shake the blues–and especially if you have thoughts of self harm or harming others–then it’s time to seek professional help. Oftentimes after a few visits to a trained counselor, spiritual advisor or medical professional can help you get back into your natural swing.
For times when you can still handle the feelings on your own but you need a few new techniques, here is an excellent article that lists a few:
The 5 techniques Dr. Leahy talks about are simple enough that each of us can do them–and incorporate them into a busy schedule.
Doubt your hopelessness:
We can all look back and see other times in our lives that we were deeply discouraged: we thought we were done for; we thought there was no way to overcome that particular difficulty; we doubted ourselves. But eventually it passed. As time went on, we continued living; we figured out how to solve the problem or how to handle it enough that we could keep going; we even experienced happiness and satisfaction in at least some areas of our life.
So all wasn’t hopeless then and it probably isn’t all hopeless now.
Try something new:
We don’t have to do anything drastic to do something new. It can be something as simple as trying a new fruit or vegetable, reading a different type of book than what we usually enjoy, exploring a side street on our way home from work.
When we do something new, fully engage in the here-and-now of the experience. Savor it through as many senses as possible.
Look at what isn’t hopeless:
When we’re in the midst of a tough, tough problem, it can seem that everything is bad. But if we look a little closer at our lives, we can see that while we may have a serious financial difficulty for instance, we also have a friend who is inviting us to dinner and sending us home with leftovers. Or we may see that in spite of our troubles, we’re still good at knitting or playing music or fixing things. Engaging in these activities brings us joy but then we can increase our joy and satisfaction by sharing them with others and bring them joy, too.
Realize that no one thing is necessary for your happiness:
We all have losses that go deep and it can seem that we’ll never be happy again, especially since we won’t have that person or that thing in our life any longer. Certainly we should take time to mourn and grieve, but we also need to know that we can–and we will–have new opportunities and new joys in our lives.
Appreciate the present:
Even though it might seem to us that there is nothing in our lives that’s good, we can prove to ourselves that this isn’t completely true. When we pause and immerse ourselves in the here-and-now, we find things such as we’re alive right here and right now in this moment; we have enough air to breathe and we’ll probably continue having enough breathable air; we can think; we can choose our thoughts…. These are all things to appreciate because they are ingredients that make up hope.
This is going to sound hokey but the easiest way to find and stay on Easy Street is to feel very lucky to be you and to be living your life.
You do this by following your curiosity and those things that interest you. Combine this with appreciation and gratitude and these are what make the solid foundation of your soul-prospering life.
What are you curious about? What are the things that capture your attention? What do you do to bring these into your every day life? Do this daily and you’re well on your way to crafting your soul-prospering life!
We want to be able to kick back, put our feet up, and take it easy in life. It’s the feelings of contentment and satisfaction that are at the core of our dreams of Easy Street. While it’s well and good to take time to acknowledge and enjoy our achievements, studies have shown that this won’t give us the lasting happiness and fulfillment we’re after.
The key to crafting a soul-prospering life is to not rest on our laurels, but rather to continually challenge ourselves and test our limits.
This article I found on the Internet sums it up nicely;
I read a very interesting book by Steve Harvey called Jump. It’s his newest book. In it he spoke candidly of his journey to becoming a famous TV personality.
Of course he talks about his struggles and sacrifices as he’s paying his dues, so to speak. When he was just starting out, he took jobs that weren’t quite the right fit for him but these were necessary in order for him to discover what he truly wanted to do. When he finally had the nerve to follow his dreams, naturally he had heartbreaks and detractors.
The most interesting thing is that he also had heartbreaks and detractors even when he made it big and became a household name!
~Steve Harvey made millions but then, due to poor decisions by one of his managers, Steve discovered he owed the IRS millions of dollars!
~He is experienced and good at hosting different types of shows but he also made a now famous blunder at the Miss America Pageant.
So if you find that as you’re living more and more of your soul-prospering life but you’re still experiencing setbacks and still making mistakes, you are in good company! Every person we think of as successful is experiencing the same thing!
Don’t lose hope; don’t quit! Keep going!
In the meantime, get the book–most libraries have it or can order it through interlibrary loan. Read it and let me know what you think. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below. Thanks!
This was originally posted on November 5, 2016. I’m re-posting it here because the people we surround ourselves with are critically important to whether or not we craft a soul-prospering life for ourselves. Not only will frenemies hold us back from crafting a soul-prospering life, but they’ll also limit the joy we get from that life.
It’s important at each stage of crafting our soul-prospering life that we pause and evaluate the people in our lives as to whether or not they celebrate and encourage us.
Enjoy the post! Let me know what you think of it in the comments below.
Frenemies = People With Dirty Feet
I will not let anyone with dirty feet walk through my mind. ~Mahatma Gandhi
Toxic people are hurtful. Even if their venom isn’t aimed at us but rather is in the form of always complaining, always seeing the negative side, and always focusing on the bad “stuff” in life; it still harms us.
The good news is that these people are generally easy to spot. They’re the ones that don’t have much of a sense of humor; usually they’re the people with the dour look on their faces and are unpleasant to be around. Even though we may not be able to eliminate them from our lives (they may be a family member, part of our team at work, or a member of the same club or organization we belong to), it isn’t too hard for us to move them to the periphery.
But what about those people who are toxic to us but in a very subtle way–you know, frenemies?
These are people who seem pleasant and welcoming on the surface but that’s where their friendliness ends. This is definitely a case of a metaphor being true-to-life: These people are icebergs. Their type of “friendship”–if you even call it that–is cold-hearted and just below the surface lurk deadly, razor-sharp edges that will rip you to shreds.
I’ve found that these people are the toughest to deal with. They are masters of subtlety and oftentimes others in the group don’t notice what’s going on, especially since your frenemy is usually a loyal friend to the others.
When this has happened to me in the past, I’ve made excuses for their treatment of me or–worse–thought maybe I was being to sensitive or reading into the situation things that just weren’t there. And I’ve justified staying in the group because the others were nice and I enjoyed their friendship.
It can take a while for it to sink in that the one friend is actually a lethal frenemy. Once you recognize this, thought, then leave as fast as you can.
I’ve found that I’ve had to leave the whole group of friends, even though a few were very nice people with whom I had wanted to stay in touch (I had tried to remain in touch but I couldn’t because they kept including my frenemy).
The realization that made me finally take a stand and move the whole group–frenemy as well as the nice people–out of my life was when I realized that the frenemy could indulge in her behavior because no one in the group called her on it.
The tipping point for me came when my frenemy made a callous, untrue comment about me when we were all at lunch together. One of the others spoke to me privately and told me she was mortified that my frenemy had been so heartless. This wasn’t the first time that she and a few of the others had privately said that my frenemy’s comments to me were uncalled for.
But later on when I thought about it, I clearly understood that as long as my frenemy would go unchallenged, she would be as disrespectful of me as she pleased. Because of the dynamics of the group, my choices were to put up with my frenemy or leave the group entirely.
In that moment I knew I deserved better.
I want people who won’t remain quiet when somebody is talking about a friend.
The others in the group weren’t willing, even in a gentle or friendly way, to call my frenemy on her behavior, then they were just as guilty of tromping through my mind with dirty feet as my frenemy was.
I’m no longer willing to let that happen so I’ve left the group.
Naturally I sometimes miss my nice friends and when I see on Facebook an activity they’ve done together I feel the pang of missing out. But I also remember the painful price I had to pay to “belong”.
I’ve discovered that because I am no longer spending time with this group, I now have time to spend with people who are true friends to me.
And that’s a very nice payoff!
Have you had similar experiences with frenemies? What did you do about them? Let me know in the comments below!