It’s so easy to get caught up in the spiritual and totally miss the natural. We are spiritual beings living in a natural body. Living with both realities can sometimes lead to an unbalanced life. An unbalanced life is a non-productive life. It’s also unfulfilling and can be dangerous.
A person can be so spiritual that their constant fasting and prayer causes them to be anaemic and bordering on anorexia. Fasting is good. Prayer is good. But, if you fast too long or too often you can get sick. Even prayer taken to the extreme can be harmful.
Don’t shoot me yet. Let’s say you are consumed with prayer and neglects let’s say time with your children or spouse–that creates an environment where your family is emotionally and mentally malnourished from your absence. Who is to say how too much prayer time is unhealthy? You. What are your commitments? Who are you committed to? What and who determines how much. Maybe you spend too time at work. Maybe you are over-committed with church responsibilities. Maybe you feel overwhelmed as a single parent. Maybe you have developed very bad eating habits. The list goes on and on.
What are you struggling with? As you take account of your day, how much of the things you want to get done are getting done. What are the changes you’d like to see in your life? What can improve? What can you eliminate? We should take this kind of self-inventory often; sometimes monthly.
There are plenty of books and articles on how to be more productive, how to be better at love, and how to, essentially, be more superior humans — and though all of that is pleasing and (mostly) positive; the other reality is that we seldom learn how to truly enjoy our daily lives. As we grow up in the Spirit, this becomes more and more important to do.
However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual. 1 Corinthians 15:46
Here are a few things I have learned that I believe will benefit you as well. Why not, enjoy the scenery on our way to our best life?
Start by making room for the blessings. Make room for your intended life style. How your natural environment which is your home, work place, etc. totally represents what’s on your mind and how you are going to receive spiritually.
Then, begin learning to be more human again. God created your humanity and blessed it.
Here are some good things to start with:
- Start filtering out the noise in your life. Find the source of the noise and turn it off. Is it the cellphone? Is it the TV? Is it your best friend constantly complaining about the same problem? Is it the children arguing? Is it the inner chatter of self-destructing thoughts and feelings?
- Commit to doing what’s right, even if it’s not the easiest option. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Just because it’s easy, doesn’t mean it’s worth it. Do what’s right, not what’s easiest right now. It’s a less stressful way to live in the end.
- Clear the junk. Cluttered room, cluttered life. Start looking around your home or office for what’s totally unnecessary and throw it out.
- Clean up your computer files and cell phone. Your devices will run faster.
- Go through your closet and pack up the clothes you haven’t used for a year and donate them charity. If you haven’t used it that long, do you really need it?
- Go through your personal book library. If it is not a book that you want to keep as reference to read over again, donate those books to your local library, church, family or friends.
- Sit down and apply for the job you’ve been considering. Step out by faith.
- Create a schedule of household chores. Then, stick to it.
- Create a Pros and Cons list of your personality.
- Start targeting the cons with instructional materials (books, eBooks and files). Start addressing your weak areas and get stronger.
- Continue to sharpen the skills you are very good at. Consider doing a class in your church or online for people who will benefit from your expertise.
- De-stress your life. It’s OK to be busy every now and then. If you are feeling overwhelmed, you are. Start delegating or ending responsibilities altogether. Or, find new innovative ways to do what you have to do faster and more efficiently.
- Commit to heart health. By this I mean, practicing forgiveness and letting go of the negative inward turmoil in your soul. This is truly the ultimate gift you can give yourself and the liberty that follows is invaluable.
- Take care of your mental health and consider visiting a therapist or psychiatrist. Mental health is seldom mentioned in spiritual circles and the ones who do–call it demonic needing deliverance. There is a place for each point of view. Yet, we should not forget that there are doctors that specialize in brain surgery and there are doctors that specialize in mental health. Give yourself what you need.
- Purchase some books on personal finance and relationship building.
- Add reading to your list of chores within a given time-frame.
- Make healthy meal plans weekly.
- Write down how you can expand your career or start a new career. Talk to some people who are in that field and ask their advice.
- Register for that degree you’ve been wanting to take.
- Follow your curiosity. Try new things. Is it painting? Is it mountain climbing?
- Start being more tolerant of those who see things differently than you. Love and kindness begets love and kindness. The way you love people you disagree with is the best evidence of what you really believe about yourself.
- Start letting grace be the last word. We’ll only lose the arguments our pride insists on winning. When it’s more important to win arguments than love people, we need to start all over again with faith and new priorities.
- Learn your spouse’s love language. How do they perceive being loved looks like and feels like. Start showing your loved ones what they mean to you the way they need to receive it.
- Begin being grateful for your life as it is. Life is a constant movement from present to future. Stay encouraged. Voice what those things are that you feel grateful for.
- Start turning the pages that need to be turned. No book is just one chapter. No chapter tells the whole story. No mistake defines who we are. Turn the pages when the pages are full. On to the next one. Shake off your disappointments and start over again.
- Start measuring your progress every day, no matter how small. Start looking at how far you’ve come and celebrate it. Celebrate it with that fine cappuccino in the company of your good friend. Reward yourself with a movie. There are countless fun ways to celebrate your victories.
You may want to team up with your girlfriend or bowling buddy and make this list a mutual endeavor and cheer each other on with the strides you both are making.
Remember, you are not just a human being; you are a human becoming. Don’t beat yourself up for your failures. Simply start over again and again and again.
You are a work in progress. Progress in your middle name and you are your own best friend. Your best is all you should commit yourself to. Always do your best and the best will reward you.
I know that these simple steps will lead you to a more balanced and fruitful life.
I’d love to hear back from you on how these steps are helping you live your best life.