Hey there friend! Last Week, I challenged you and myself to live the good life in 2021. Since then, I have begun examining my life. I’ve been answering questions that come up and creating new habits for myself. I want to know what’s working and what’s missing and I want to share these things with you so that you can live the good life too.
First – Reading the Bible. Love! I am officially five chapters into my annual plan and I’m learning a lot. For example in Matthew’s recitation of Jesus’ lineage, I found Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba, David, and presumed slaves. Rahab was the prostitute who helped the early Israelites, Ruth was an example of loyalty to her mother-in-law Naomi, Bathsheba was both presumed to be the example for the Proverbs 31 woman and the woman King David had an adulterous affair with.
King David was also in Jesus’ lineage. He’s the author of many Psalms and father to Solomon (and others), the author of Proverbs. David is the slayer of Giants, musician, and beloved king. He is said to be righteous, a man after God’s own heart. He is also a murderer and a human who suffered much in his life.
The slaves are presumed because there was an exile after fourteen generations to Babylon. It’s my understanding that anyone who conquered and captured the Israelites was not kind and caring to them. Check out the old testament, read it alongside the new testament, if you’re reading along with me.
Second – I have only begun, on Monday, to exercise after my three-week hiatus. I can tell you I feel it. I’m jumping in with a free yoga program from YouTube. I do “yoga with Adrien”. She’s very up beat and I can find videos for the time I have available. Also, my husband decided to buy a treadmill so I’m working on that too. Also, the dog gets a walk daily – rain or shine. He won’t let me forget. Then there’s the Fitbit, which says I average about 9k steps a day.
Plus Water. I’m up to three bottles a day. I’ve noticed in the winter I feel dehydrated while drinking only two bottles of water. Drinking two bottles a day has been my norm for most of 2020. I have some 28-ounce bottles that I picked up from that ubiquitous mart of walls for about two bucks each. You can also find them on Amazon or just about any department store. I fill three of them up at night, but them in the fridge and how many are empty at the end of the day is how many I drank that day. I just put them into my Fitbit app and/or track it in my planner.
Results – slow to start. Feeling better physically and mentally. Chapter five in Matthew is the sermon on the mount. I’m slowing down and taking it all in. Jesus has good things to say that I will integrate into my life immediately. It’s very interesting, it brings up a lot of questions, and gives some answers.
Now for some new stuff. We are one week into the new year and in the US, there are a number of crazy things happening. There is a lot of political strife, a lot of civil unrest and inequalities hanging around, covid-19 is still going on, and there are things going on in your life too. So, I want to remind you to breathe today.
This is one of the most important things that you can do for yourself. You can’t control the world outside of you but you can control your reaction to the world. You can control who you will be today. In pursuit of this, I want to give you a mediation and a prompt.
Meditation: Breathing in and out. Should take five to 10 minutes.
- Sit in a comfortable position. Put your feet on the floor, sit on the floor, lay on the floor whatever feels right.
- Place your hands on your lap or at your sides. Again whatever is comfortable.
- Close your eyes and roll your shoulders back. Look at the space in between your eyes.
- Breathe in, through your nose, until your belly is full. Hold it for a second. Slowly exhale through your mouth. Make sure you’re not gushing in and out. Just slow inhale and exhale.
- Repeat for a cycle of 5 breaths.
- Pay attention to your body: your forehead, your neck, shoulders, hands, chest, stomach, pelvis, back, thighs, knees, ankles toes.
- Tell your body to relax as you think of each part of yourself.
- Then repeat 2 – 5 cycles of breath deep into your stomach.
This exercise can be done wherever you are, whatever situation you’re in (except driving, of course) and it doesn’t require any special equipment or apps. The goal is to reconnect you to your physical self, your feelings, and relax it all at once. It’s really hard to feel bad, be full of negative emotions, and still be living the good life. Whenever you get stressed, or every day at lunch, take a few minutes to just try to feel better.
So in these difficult days, take life as it comes, live one day at a time, one hour at a time, and give yourself a five-minute break.
Now the prompts:
In 2021, what do you want less of and what do you want more of? I’ve written this one out in my journal and I find that I want simple things. I want things like “less anger and more getting along.” I think life is so much better with less conflict. I also want things like “less doing and more being.”
In 2021, who do you want to be? Picture the best version of yourself? Describe her. I haven’t done this one yet but I think it will be a good exercise. I’m already thinking I want to be kind, healthy, and happy. Maybe you want to be fit, flush with dough, and beautiful. Really picture her. Who is she?
If you don’t have a journal or are low on funds – no worries. Use anything you’ve got. I actually journal in composition books, on computer paper, in spiral notebooks, and on regular lined notebook paper. My journal is a graph paper composition book for this year. My bible notebook is a standard composition book.
I decided to buy them when they were on sale as school supplies time for a quarter each. But they’re still less than a buck at regular price. They give me the same amount of pages, in a larger size, and a lower price than some of my standard journals. Plus, I can cover them and decorate them however I want. I can make it my own.
We can’t live the good life if we don’t know what it looks like – hence the writing prompts. I’ve begun my vision board, my calendar, and tracking program. I’ve made a list of what I want to organize, declutter, and minimize in my house. I’ll post some pictures and some additional updates in the coming days. I’m so looking forward to sharing this journey with you.
I’d love to hear how your year is shaping up too. What are your resolutions? How will your answers to the prompts above help you? What is on your mind these days? Comment below, enter the conversation.