Sunday, October 3, 2010

Nurturing your soul

It's important for everyone - not just those with illness - to nurture the soul. There's no one right or wrong way as it is intensely personal and individualized. One of the positive aspects of having a chronic illness is that you have the opportunity to do it well because you have the precious commodity of TIME.

I used to be a super busy mom of 4 with a full-time career - high stress positions with loads of responsibility and four active kids who were involved in extra-curricular activities. Each day began at 5:30AM making lunches for everyone, getting them off to their respective schools (at one point I had a child in 3 different buildings - elemetary, middle and high school), getting ready for work, which involved professional attire, a decent hairdo, etc., 8-10 hour workdays, then rushing home to cook dinner, go to kids' events and maintaining a loving relationship with my spouse. I get tired just thinking of it. Stillness and quiet times were hard to come by. Many of you know this lifestyle very well.

Now I find the opposite; I have an abundance of solitude and time for reading, reflection and spiritual growth. The hardest part has been losing my ability to work full-time as I loved my job immensely. I've gotten over that (which took awhile) and now focus on smaller projects that bring satisfaction.

Yesterday was a day of soul-nurturing for me. My spouse & I went with 5 family members to an art show in Grand Rapids, called ArtPrize. This is the second year for this event and it is absolutely fabulous. Here's the link if you are interested:
I came home with a weary body but my soul was filled. We were surrounded with beauty at every turn. No matter how busy you are I think it's really important to MAKE this time for yourself, even if it's only 30 minutes a day. Just do something you love. While I am absolutely exhausted from walking around yesterday, it was worth it. Don't shortchange yourself; find your beauty and allow yourself to dwell there. Every day, as much as possible.