“What’s good for my soul is often opposed to what’s good for my schedule.”
My attention halted when Emily P. Freeman made this comment on a podcast. She said it casually, almost as an aside. Though, it packs a punch. That’s just it, I thought. Caring for my soul often costs some other part of my life.
I have the tendency to push myself to the limit; emotionally and physically. One more to-do, after I get this finished, once I complete this project… then I’ll rest. After I go to the gym, clean the house, call back so-and-so, then I’ll make time to take care of myself. Except, we all know how that story ends. When we push the needs of our souls into last place, and last priority, things don’t go well.
Your mind, will, and emotions, need space! Space to breathe and process. Space to play and enjoy. Space to rest and be restored.
“God, my shepherd! I don’t need a thing. You have bedded me down in lush meadows, you find me quiet pools to drink from. True to your word, you let me catch my breath and send me in the right direction.” Psalm 23:1-3 The Message Translation
I believe this laying down in lush meadows, drinking from quiet pools, and catching our breath, speaks of rest for our souls. We live in a world that moves a mile a minute, says busy is the new black dress, and expects us to be overstimulated, over-scheduled and on overdrive! This rhythm is not sustainable, and honestly, not how God intended for us to live.
He’s been talking to me about this a lot lately. Teaching me how to take care of my body, soul, and spirit; inviting me to stop running on the hamster wheel and accept that I might need to say goodbye to the status quo to follow Him. Different people have different capacities, and in different seasons our needs ebb and flow. I am not prescribing what a healthy rhythm looks like for you. Though, for me, it’s going to look a lot slower and simpler than I once imagined!
I love helping women find their rhythm; in a specific season, in relationships, with work, with their physical body, and with God. What is the best rhythm for you to thrive and be the most authentic version of yourself? No matter what this looks like for each of us, there is a common denominator. We must nurture our entire being- body, soul, and spirit.
At different times in my life, I’ve neglected different parts; treating my body like a garbage disposal or slave to my workout regime, or treating my emotions like second-class citizens who just need to soldier on and not make so much noise. I’ve even tried to compartmentalize my spiritual needs, which didn’t go so well!
Bottom-line, when we ignore or diminish our needs, things get wonky. And, quite quickly. I think Emily P. Freeman’s beautiful comment is true for every part of our being. What is good for my body, is often opposed to what’s good for my schedule. What is good for my spirit, is often opposed to what’s good for my schedule. Basically, taking care of myself is not always ideal for my schedule!
Though, if I do not first and foremost seek to care for myself with tender concern, nothing else really goes well! Ironically, I am not healthier just because I forced myself to go to the gym when my body needed to rest. I was not more relaxed because I ran myself ragged all weekend checking off silly to-dos so that I could feel “ready” for Monday. I did not connect more with God just because I read another book, listened to another sermon, or attended another conference.
What do you need today?
What does your body need? What does your soul need? What does your spirit need?
I am sure you have quite a few people depending on you, or more than enough facing you in your inbox or on your desk. You might have a long list of errands and have-tos that you aren’t even sure when you’ll get to. I understand because we all do!
Nonetheless, He whispers to me a gentle reminder. If I don’t care for myself, I am not able to do much else, and certainly not well! When I ignore my needs, I quickly disconnect from myself and God...which is when I lose my peace. (And, my marbles.)
What is good for your body, soul or spirit might not be ideal for your schedule. Even still, it might be the wiser choice. How will you take care of yourself today?
P.S. I write more about how to effectively care for emotional needs in this blog. Another one of my very favorite tricks!
P.S.S. If you haven’t checked out Emily P. Freeman’s blog, podcast, and books, I recommend you do! You can find her at www.emilypfreeman.com Enjoy!