Tag Archives: soul restoration

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No matter what type of condition you suffer from, after extended periods of illness our souls end up in the same state.  Battered.  Worn out. Dry. Empty. Without hope. Dreamless.

Just as you need to purposely take time to restore your body as best you can, you also need to set aside time and space to work on restoring your soul. It sounds easy.  It's not, at least not at first.

So start with the things that bring you joy naturally.  About 20 years ago, ong before my body broke, I started a list entitled "Things That Make Me Smile."  I kept the list on my desk at work and every time I remembered something, big or small, that made me happy I wrote it down.  Some of the items listed were:

  • a mug of hot chocolate with whipped cream
  • the smell of the orchards after the rain
  • big fluffy blankets
  • my sweat pants
  • the smell of citrus
  • walking barefoot in the cool grass
  • working out
  • mountains, lakes & rivers
  • a good book
  • growing things

This list came in handy 20 years later when my body shut down, the world as I knew it changed forever, and I was having a hard time adjusting to it all.  After a several years with zero answers and zero improvement, my strong will that had always allowed me to "power through" had to concede. And my soul became a shriveled shell.

I don't remember exactly when I started purposely taking time to journey towards restoring my soul, I think it was pretty gradual.  But at some point I realized just how important it is.  It takes an enormous amount of mental energy and soul strength to fight for your wellness.  Some seasons you have a ton of motivation and it powers you through the pain.  Other seasons you can't imagine trying to make it through one more day and the thought of getting up tomorrow and doing it all over again makes you cry.  Those desert seasons are when you need to pull out your arsenal of soul-care.

You need to remind yourself of the things that bring you joy.  They can be a happy thought to a grandiose vacation or something you only did once in your life. And then start incorporating those happiness practices into your life. Run yourself a hot bath, read a good book, listen to soul-calming music, take a joy ride in the sunshine, watch a a funny movie, take an online art class, play with your grandkids, light a scented candle that you love, or any other thing that brings you joy.

Another way to think of this exercise is gratitude.  For patients suffering from depression most therapists will suggest keeping a "gratitude journal."  The expression of gratitude has the power to change your outlook on life, even a broken, painful life.

It's no magic pill.  You won't experience instant soul recovery and immediately feel like taking on the world. But if you felt just a little better, a bit more healed, wouldn't it be worth it?  And I can promise that if you will practice a little soul-care on a regular basis you will begin to feel stronger.  You will regain the strength you need for the fight.

If you don't know where to start, can I point you to one of my chapters in the Bible? In fact, this chapter is loved by many, Psalm 23:

1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

2 He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.

He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

I'm praying for you hurting one, praying for your soul to heal.

I am so excited to be able to share this with you because I have taken both of the online courses Melody Ross and her Brave Girls Club has offered.  They changed my life and I have encouraged many gals to take either/both of those courses.  BUT…if you have been waiting to take Soul Restoration I or II because:

  1. Haven’t been able to make the time commitment (8 or 6 weeks)
  2. Haven’t been able to afford it ($99 per class)
  3. Haven’t yet been brave enough to do it (it’s ok, I understand)

If any of the above applies to you, I have great news for you!  In 2012 Melody is unrolling a bunch of new mini-courses and as a sneak-peak-preview, 2 of them will be available for registration tomorrow, Tuesday October 18!  Yaaaaahooooo!

They are part of a series called  “Life Art A La Carte” and the first course is called Soul Book.  Having taken both SRI and SRII I can tell from the pics that this class will be a much smaller riff on her Soul Restoration curriculum, and yet if I know Melody, it will have a flair all it’s own.  Here are some teaser pics:

 

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This class is a 6-hour project and it only costs $25!  My dears, that is a BARGAIN for a curriculum  that will bring you so much joy.  You can find out more here.

The other class is called “I Have An Idea” and is based on this project:

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It is an art project designed to help you embrace your inspirations.  It is a 3 hour class and the cost is just $10.  Get out, that is a steal!  You can find more info here.

I’m taking both courses, hope you will too!  I can’t add enough exclamation points, sign up!!!!

"In the beginning God created..." Genesis 1:1

Late last year, while battling with a re-occurring illness, I was struggling to find things that brought me comfort.  Something to heal my soul while I waited for my physical body to heal.

I've always had a curious mind.  Even as a child I wanted to know how something worked, how to do it myself, how to make it.  Consequently, I've always had a lot of hobbies: sports, artwork, cooking, photography, reading, writing, sewing, you name it.

But when you don't feel well and you have been drained of all energy; when your body aches and your brain is in a fog; when all you want to do is sleep, sleep, sleep... well, hobbies sorta take a back seat.  And so all of those things I loved to do, I had to stop doing.

Then this winter I took a class by Melody Ross, Soul Restoration I , that reminded me how important "creating things" is to me.  It's part of my DNA.  It's how God designed me.  It brings me joy.  Armed with new techniques and the reassurance that it doesn't have to be perfect I let the artist in me explore.  My brain came alive and I started to see art in everyday life again.  And it healed my soul.

The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Ps 19:1

Now, I try to be more mindful of the works of His hands as I go throughout my day.  Not just see it, but capture it.  I have my phone with me all the time so I try to take a pictures of "art", as I see it.  That word "art" can mean a lot of things but I love this definition:

art: of more than ordinary significance.

So from time to time, I will be posting a collection of pictures of my Everyday Art:  things that are of more than ordinary significance to me.

I hope you don't mind.

PS:  Some of you are wondering why that mess John Mayer is on my art-board.  But if you have ever heard him play live, you know why it's art.  Melissa, that's for you!