Soul Projects is my blog, where I advocate seeking to add more joy to the life you are already living. It is my love letter to those who, like me, are looking for something more. We call ourselves the spiritually curious because we are not sure where we fit. We no longer ascribe to religions, but we have a strong belief in God. We pray, but we’re curious why it often doesn’t work. We even are starting to try some of the new-age practices, but we feel weird talking about them. So we do them in secret and wonder whether meditations involving white light actually make a difference.
We are confused. Yet we are still curious.
Most of us like a little law and order, and are comfortable with all the rules. We didn’t create them, but we can see their value. What we want, most of all, is for someone to tell us what to believe because the teachings on spirituality thus far have been either too rule heavy (10 thou shalts) or light on specifics (Love). What’s a God-believing girl to do when the person with all the answers is so dang unapproachable?
Hi, God, can you give me the rules of the road so I can navigate life down here on planet earth? Thanks,
I assume God gets a lot of messages, so I won’t presume that she read this one. Nonetheless, I had an urge to draft my own response:
Dear Susie (God has known me a long time, so gets to call me this sweet, affectionate name),
You are so curious. My prior missives on these subjects were satisfactory at the time I sent them, but perhaps you modern-day lovers could use a listicle to help you out. Here’s one:
- Know yourself. You can’t love yourself until you know yourself, so know who you are.
- Love yourself. Be yourself. Show up as you and own it like a rockstar.
- Love others. It can’t be avoided so may as well get down with it.
- Love me. Not because I need groupies, but because I like it.
- Be open minded. Life is moving fast and I want you in it.
- Be prepared for success. You spend far too much time planning for failure. Give equal, or more time, planning for your success.
- Be nice. Not because I care, but it makes you feel better about yourself. Added bonus: other people feel good too.
- Keep the lines of communication open.
- Be kind to yourself, too. It matters that you honor and treat yourself as you want to be treated.
- Make time for rest. It’s a necessary component of a life well lived. Down time is what everyone needs.
- Monitor your own thinking so that you can remove your own limitations. Ask for help for those that are stubborn.
- See the world as your oyster. Meaning, it’s all there for you to experience and there is no limit to the number of great experiences you can have in one day. Or lifetime.
- Rest easy in the knowing that you are loved, no matter what you do, say, or think. It’s not a test, a judgment, or even a game. It’s simply life, loving you.
- Notice nature. Be in it or seek it out. It helps you.
- Love even when you don’t feel loving. The loving will help you more than it helps another; withholding love only causes you pain, not the other person.
- Forgive like you are cleaning out the closets and dumping things you no longer need. If it has a lesson for you, it will resurface.
- Make time for yourself to be alone with your thoughts, so that you can know what you think (and thus change what you think).
- Keep notebooks handy for good ideas. Just writing them often locks them in, whether they come to fruition or not.
- Get movement that feels good. This is about walks, dancing, stretching or go-go dancing, if that suits you. Everyone is different here, so don’t be bullied into movement that does not make you feel good about yourself.
- Make sleep a priority. Sleep is different than rest. You need both.
- Eat mindfully to maximize the pleasure you get from eating.
- Go with the flow as much as you can. It’s always helping you.
- Be prepared for greatness. Great days, great moments and a great life.
- Keep on moving forward, even when you are scared or uncertain. Pause when you sense resistance and ask yourself why. Neither fear nor uncertainty are reasons to stop. Wanting more from the project is. When you want more from something, honor the want.
- Do what feels natural to you, every day. This is often your sweet spot of action that is being used as your path of least resistance.
- Keep a log book of accomplishments instead of to-dos.
- Make it a habit to notice what you want rather than pining for what you don’t have yet.
- Make time to reflect. To ask yourself why questions, and to find your own answers.
- Never disappoint yourself. Keep your own good opinion of yourself and disregard all others. Make your own good opinion dependent on nothing. Make it unconditional.
- Treat others as you want to be treated. This principle is not about karma; it’s about learning what you want. When you give another what they do not ask for, you are the one wanting that treatment. Now you can give that treatment to yourself.
- Make a new intention each day. Such as: I intend to maximize the joy I will have today. Or, I intend to further my personal goals today. Or, I intend to listen to myself all day today.
- Make notes in your log book that inspire you. Quotes, ideas, places to visit. Make it your record of a life well lived.
- Count all your blessings so that you have a deeper and richer experience in life. Being alive is a blessing to count. So are good shoes.
- Be not afraid of failure, missed opportunities, or owning your own power.
- Keep notes on progress, not deficits. This can be done by counting essays written, counting good moments, or simply keeping track of good ideas. All are progress toward your larger goals.
- See yourself as thriving and you will thrive. See yourself as winning and you will win. Not that any part of life is a competition with another, but it could be seen as a competition to collect the most great moments in each day.
- Be prepared for awesomeness by noticing awesomeness. Great big skies, trees that tower, birds that seem choreographed.
- Channel your energy into projects that bring you joy, a sense of purpose, or both. But don’t feel compelled to do anything it feels harder than it should.
- Make time for other people who you love, even if it’s only a minute or two. These moments add up to a life well lived.
- Tread carefully if your gut is upset. It has good warning signals that are best used to warn off, rather than move toward.
- Be introspective to know and love yourself, not to fix yourself. The energy is different.
- Find quiet places so you can hear the whispers of your own soul, which always send you to that which you truly want
- Learn to notice the difference between fear and anxiety. Fear is showing you want. Anxiety is showing you a worry (which is a do not want.)
- People who assume the worst in you will not be persuaded by seeing the best of you. Those who care not for you may be open to persuasion. Those who love you will always make allowances for your behavior. Thing is, you never know where another is, so there is no sense in modifying your behavior for anyone. Even those in spirit.