Thursday, January 19, 2012

My 10 Steps to Natural Living // Step Two: Nourishing the Soul

Today is Step Two in My 10 Steps to Natural Living! If you haven’t been reading from the beginning, you can check out my Intro HERE. It explains more about this series and why I’m focusing on certain things. Then be sure to read Step One which I posted last week. I believe this step is foundational to preparing myself for what I will be learning this year in natural living.

In today’s post, I wanted to talk about Nourishing the Soul. This is building on my belief that people are created as spirit, soul and body – therefore any changes toward living a healthier life needs to encompass all aspects. This is because a healthy spirit and a healthy soul can help perpetuate the positive changes one makes within their body or environment.

The soul is the part of us that involves our mind, will and emotions. It is how we think, what we feel, where we develop our motivations. In my daily life, I try to make it a priority to think on positive and righteous things. This is how I live with the most peace and how I am best able to hear from God. (Philippians 4:6-9)

So how do I nourish my soul?

1) I refuse to worry. When I pray, I leave it to God and trust Him to show me the answers.

2) I pursue righteous thinking. I do not saturate my mind with music, movies, media that promotes fear and negativity. I fill my thoughts with messages that help me remain positive and excited about the life I am living. And when I negative thought tries to persist, I refute it with prayer and God’s Word.

3) I educate myself about things that may be causing me concern or uncertainty. Understanding the issue allows me to make wise choices instead of worrying about it.

4) I give myself time to rest and reflect on my life. Breaks from the busyness to organize my thoughts help me be more productive, see situations clearly and find the best solutions. Otherwise I am more consumed in thinking about what’s happening than I am able to respond to it.

5) I take time to enjoy the aspects of life that help me thrive: my relationship with God, my husband, photography, creative projects, reading, learning something new. When I get busy and scattered, I find that doing at least one of these things helps me refocus and relax.


The other day I felt a restlessness that arises a couple times a year. We have been living in the same one bedroom apartment for more than four years. And I am the type of person likes to mix things up in my living environment – new décor, new furniture arrangements, new photos on the walls…and always, always, trying to get rid of clutter. 

I couldn’t fall asleep because I was trying so hard to figure out how I could 1) get rid of a bunch of our stuff and 2) rearrange the apartment so it looks cleaner, nicer…different. Well I came to a dead-end in my thoughts because frankly, we have rearranged all we can and purged as much as we can. Given that we do live in a one bedroom, there is plenty of stuff we could get rid of, but I know once we move into a bigger space (one day, a house) that stuff is going to be useful.

I had to come up with a way to calm my thoughts and remain content (gratefully so) where I am. I’ve learned that whenever I have the urge to overhaul my space, I just need to feed my creativity. So I picked out a project that needed to be done – rearranging the photo frames on our living room wall -- and I set out on to get some ideas. As I browsed Pinterest I could feel my soul settling, soaking in all the wonderfully creative ideas. The funny thing is, I didn’t find an idea I could realistically duplicate in our home and that didn’t matter. I was finally at rest and able to focus on the small project I’ve been meaning to do for months.

That recent experience has helped me realize this:

As I approach the topic of natural living, I know I am the type of person that is going to want to do it all and do it all NOW. I want to learn natural living methods so we can save money and be healthier. I can already feel it inside…what am I waiting for! Let’s get this done!

But I know I have to be patient with the learning process. While some things are going to be simple and easy to try, others are going to take planning. I want to be wise about the things I try to implement so I don’t fall into extremes….or put undue pressure on our budget.

So for now, I am collecting ideas and pinning them to Pinterest. I’m pinning recipes for homemade soaps and detergents... Blogs that talk about all natural first aid and medicinal remedies....Information for natural beauty products... Ideas for saving money with homemade products. Once I have several ideas to choose from I will go back and start prioritizing based on what we need and can afford to try first. This process is helping me slow down, focus and prepare -- I love Pinterest! (You can check out my Natural Living board HERE.)

I’d love to hear from you about how your nourish your soul. Or maybe you remember when you started to include natural products into your life…how did you begin?

Thanks for following me in this process. Next week we will talk about the easiest way to be healthy naturally – taking care of our bodies!