Hello Reader. It’s two days before Christmas and I have 2 suggestions for your gift giving consideration! It’s 2 Ultimate Gifts that Keep Giving!
Gift 1: soul-care –
What if you could give a gift that reached the heart of the person who received it AND was a gift to you as well? That’s what soul care can do! When you maintain a rhythm of life that allows you to be the best you, you are giving soul care to yourself. When you maintain this rhythm, you are in the best state to listen and respond well to others.
If I were to assist you in getting your soul care going, I would start with asking you what is the place where you feel your best self? Now what are the actions you do that help you to be your best self? Got your answers?
Ok, now think about your life in the context of these needs or categories: relational, spiritual, emotional, physical and intellectual. I didn’t list those in any particular order, those are just the main areas of most of our lives. Now ask yourself the same basic question for each area of need or category; what do you need to be your best self?
It might look like this—for me to be my best self relationally as an extrovert and major people enjoyer, I need at least 2-3 real heart level conversations a week and contact with healthy people at least every 4-5 hours each day (except when I’m sleeping). For me to be my best self spiritually I need to start my day with some gratitude and praise for at least 20-30 minutes, read Scripture for 30-60 minutes/day, and be still with God at least once/day for 15-20 minutes. Get the idea?
Your soul care rhythm needs to be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-sensitive.
When you maintain this soul care rhythm more days than not, that’s the key, it’s not to be perfect, then you position yourself to be your best self. And you is awesome, you is needed and you is created for this time in history because there is no other you! So set yourself up for a soul care rhythm to be your best self.
Also, when you are your best self you can listen and respond well to most people as they interact with you. Why? Because your spirit, emotions, body, and mind are relaxed or free from most tension and that allows you to be present in a relationship or any relational connection.
One practice to connect with another person on a soul care level is to listen to head or heart statements and respond with the same.
- A head statement might sound like, “Gee its cold out today.” Hear that coming from the head? You could respond with a head statement too, “Yes it is cold and I hear it’s sticking around for a bit.”
- A heart statement might sound like, “This cold is messing with my truck and I had to get a jump then I was late for work.” Hear the heart in that statement? “I hear you, that’s frustrating. It sure is a bother to have to deal with truck stuff in this cold! Can I grab you a cup of coffee to help you warm up?”
It would be inappropriate to mix those with each other, but often when we haven’t practiced soul care rhythm or we haven’t been with others who hear the head vs the heart, we can’t respond well.
When you do listen and respond well, you can give the ultimate gift of soul care, the gift that keeps giving both ways.
Gift 2: order –
My happy place, order, is a state in which everything is in its correct or appropriate place. The opposite is chaos or disarray—my not so happy place. Why in the world would getting things in order be a gift?
If you give it to others, you would bless people like me who love things in order but are often creative and not wired to set up order beyond lining up or labeling things. If you give it to yourself, then it has a ripple effect into all your relationships too. Why?
I’m so glad you asked!
When you get things in your life in order you free yourself. Order is a beautiful thing that has spiritual, physical, emotional, intellectual and relational ramifications. Maybe when you hear order you think of organizing. That’s part of order. The other part of order is setting up every part of your life step by step.
The physical and financial parts of our lives are the two big ones we often think of so lets start there.
- Physically have you created an order of your day that allows you, more often than not, to both move your body and fuel your body? That would be two great places to start! Plan for time and space to move your body in healthy ways. Plan for time and space to get food, drink, and then time to prepare and enjoy it—being mindful to fuel your body with those things that are healthy for your body, brain, and gut in healthy levels.
- Financially have you set up a budget for your financial world? We use Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace method with the Every Dollar app because it lines up with the way we think and what we believe too. Find your method and get your financial life in order!
Order really is an ultimate gift that keeps giving because when things are in order you not only have brain space to think more clearly, to act more rationally, but you also allow yourself to be more creative and available too. For our family, the practice of order is a spiritual practice too as we know God talks often about order in the Scriptures and we do see how the impact of having things in order help us to be available to others with peace, creativity, and joy.
There you have it, 2 Ultimate Gifts that Keep Giving. I hope these bring you great joy as you assemble them, unwrap them, and give them to yourself and others.
Stay tuned next week for the post to help you look forward to 2018 with excitement, hope, joy, and much clarity!
Connect with me and let me know how it goes!
Liz Lawrence, MA, LPC-S is counselor, coach and creative who is passionate about people. She directs a counseling center in Austin, Texas and with husband David Lawrence co-leads the non-profit Renue.Me whose mission is to invest in the dreams of leaders in underprivileged communities around the world. Connect with her at www.lizlawrencelpc.com or www.renue.me
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