This spring, like always, a lot of us focus on down-sizing, garage sale-ing and removing stuff we don’t need from our lives. That’s equally – if not more important – to do that for our souls.
Here’s the four ways to start spring cleaning the soul. S-O-U-L.
S – Simplify
Being busy is almost a badge of honor these days. If you’re busy, that must mean you’re important? It must mean you’re successful, right?
We get so busy that we stop making good decisions for our life – and instead we do things out of reflex. Before you know it you’ve had babies you didn’t take time to consider whether you were ready for them or you stayed at a job you never planned to stay at… or you’ve gained twenty pounds because you haven’t had a chance to think about the food you’re putting into your body.
The years start flying by and we haven’t put any real thought into what we’re doing.
Our lives are so busy that we assume we’re being productive, but the movement alone isn’t a recipe for success — or a happier life.
During this episode on the podcast I also talk about a checklist to go through to determine which projects you should keep in your life.
O – Owning Your Story
Isn’t it easy to blame our lives on someone else? It starts with your mom and dad, then your significant other, then your boss, maybe even your kids or your kids’ friends.
If you find yourself re-hashing the SAME problem, AGAIN…. blaming the SAME person, AGAIN – you know you have a problem.
Are you thinking “BUT I’m different because… (fill in the blank)?”
You count too.
Jack Canfield, the author of “Chicken Soup for the Soul” and “The Success Principles: How to Get From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be” says the number one principle to success is taking 100% responsibility of your life.
“If you want to create the life of your dreams, then you are going to have to take 100% responsibility for your life as well. That means giving up all your excuses, all your victim stories, all the reasons why you can’t and why you haven’t up until now, and all your blaming of outside circumstances. You have to give them all up forever.”
There is power in taking responsibility for your life. You take the power from the people who maybe you’ve been blaming your whole life. You take the power from them! Now you are responsible for what happens next.
U – YOU
To spring clean your soul you have to remember yourself.
When I think back to one of the times my soul was in the most distress – I go to last Spring right after my miscarriage.
I was in such a bad place, but then my cousin recruited me and a couple dozen of our other cousins to run a marathon in memory of her sister.
Here I was questioning my worth and place when I was asked to run a marathon for my cousin who passed away at only 17. My sweet cousin fought a much harder battle than I ever did.
How could I say no?
I said yes and started training.
Getting outside every single day – pushing my body, clearing my mind, being in the middle of the nature, seeing more sunsets, flowers blooming and inhaling the fresh air – that did something for me.
It doesn’t have to be running. It can be walking, dancing, hiking, taking a bath, weekly date nights, meditation.
Every day we put all these hats on – mom, dad, friend, co-worker, spouse, daughter, son, brother, sister, cousin… whatever your work is, so journalist for me, volunteer, supporter, advocate… and the list goes on.
We need to get time to do something that will allow us to take all of those hats off, all that weight off our shoulders – to end with just simply “YOU.”
L – Love
This doesn’t necessarily have to be romantic love, but you need to have loving relationships in your life.
Psychology Today rounded up severall studies showing how important it is to have social support in your life.
One study shows if a person feels like they have friends and family they can depend on they’re less likely to be depressed and anxious.
Another says when you have that social support you’ll be happier at work and stay there longer.
Another one says older adults with a chronic illness who had just medium levels of social support had a 41% less chance of dying than with those with low levels.
When you get to high levels of social support – the chance of death is 55% lower.
This podcast episode has ideas on how to find these crucial relationships in your life if you’re not quite there.
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