Living Soulfully

I've just come across this concept in Matthew Kelly's book, The Seven Levels of Intimacy. I'm intrigued!

The short version of soulful living would go something like this, connecting everything about your life and relationships to your essential purpose so that it helps you become the best version of yourself. It's not about listening to R & B or anything, that'd be a cake walk!

Your work might not be exciting or change the world but when you view it and complete it to the best of your abilities because it supports and relates to your life purpose, you begin to live soulfully. The work is easy, the burden light.

He talks about doing everything soulfully - eating, sleeping, connecting with your partner, children, and friends. Infusing everything about your life with the your essential purpose. He says you cannot live soulfully in one area of your life and not in another. It's all or nothing. You can't be soulful at home but not at work for example. You can't be soulful with your spouse but not your children.

I've heard this concept before but it was a bit different. "Changing the world one diaper at a time" for one. Studies about being a 'Mary vs a Martha' or remembering that each thing we do builds the kingdom of God. This is however much more comprehensive.

I'm not sure how to even begin. How do I recognize where I am living soulfully and where I am not? Is it in the results? How do I discern where to make changes? I feel like I need to go away on a silent retreat and completely de-construct my life to figure out where to begin. This is perfect for where I am right now. I must make meaningful changes, prioritize, manage stress, and take care of myself, more now with my health than ever.

I believe what Matthew teaches, "God wants you to be the best version of yourself" and the only way to find that is to identify your purpose and to find a way to make all you do support that purpose. So now I am not sure what part of the equation I am missing? I think perhaps my purpose has gotten too broad. My spiritual life, my husband and children are my purpose but it's easy to expand that to include about everything (which I'm afraid I've done).

I knew from jump street this year was going to be one of many changes. Learning to say no is still a hurdle I've haven't crossed successfully, and now I realize I've reverted to being a people pleasing, approval seeking noodle again. When did THAT happen? argh.

We head out on a Northwestern/Midwestern Adventure Saturday - the Dakota's, Wyoming, Montana, and Yellowstone. I want to use this time to evaluate and prepare my heart and my family for changes, changes long past due. I will be blogging about it all though they may stay in the draft folder forever.

This is it though kids, it's really time for change. God has thwacked me in the back of the head (again) and I will not ignore Him.

It's a short list really, no problem...

Put first things first
Eat healthy
Exercise and enjoy it
Stay active
Build all my meaningful relationships
Complete my work with a joyful heart and remember how it supports my essential purpose
Select carefully how to serve, whom to serve and how much to give
Say no when it doesn't further God's plan for me
Notice and appreciate the beauty, love and joy that surrounds me every second of everyday

Oh I know there's more that's all I can handle today. When I look at that list immediately a hundred mistakes spring to mind. How can I possibly make all these changes? Susan calls them ankle biter, I call them fires. I put out the fires and life runs me, or runs OVER me, as opposed to me running my life.

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