Life is hectic. Yet life is meant to be shared with life giving people, to be enjoyed. We were made not just to exist, but to flourish.
In the past I have struggled with the belief that I had to carry other’s expectations. I struggled under the burden of unrealistic and often unspoken demands. It took me a long time, and a little emotional burn out, to realise I couldn't keep living this way- rattled by stress and anxiety. Life wasn't joyful anymore, and my everyday had become routine. This moment called for some personal reflection and with the help of a great mentor and counsellor, I realised a lot of what I was feeling was coming out of a place of feeling inadequate and insecure. I wasn't confident in who I was and what my goals or purpose were, so everything was flexible and other people's ideas and passions became my cause and sole focus. I heaped unrealistic expectations on myself and accepted some from others too.
With some coaching and soul searching I've realised I need to take time to invest in my soul. I need to build up the part of me that is giving out consistently. This has helped me strengthen my emotional and physical resistance in a healthy way. I don't often feel overburdened, and I am able to think clearly and positively in the middle of demanding circumstances! This has been a major turning point for me, but to do this I've had to actively invest in soul food times that refresh my spirit and mind.
Here's a little list of what I define as my soul food.
Time laughing, crying, talking and praying with my loved ones.
Time praying and connecting with others in my church.
Reading a great book without time constraints.
Sipping a good coffee in the sunshine.
Drinking coffee rugged up watching the rain on the window.
Listening to my fave jams.
Talking with God and having a heart to heart.
Chatting to friends.
Reading about priorities and measuring goals.
Walking around the park, enjoying nature.
What is on your list own list of soul food?
Think about what you need, like time with other people and community. Think about your time to process, refresh and heal. Remember that you need sleep, good food and exercise. All these things sound simple in theory, but it's always the important things that somehow get pushed to the back.
This week, make some time for your own soul food. Have a heart to heart with a loved one, take time to write down some goals and dreams, and take some time to rest, because you deserve it. Sometimes we need to take a moment to step back from life and take care of ourselves. Give yourself permission to do that this week, and let go of the unrealistic expectations weighing you down. Everything seems a little clearer with rest, so nourish yourself and focus on what truly feeds your soul.