10 Tips for Souljoy
“Are you feeling the “Winter Blues?” It is to be expected in the doldrums of winter with shorter, darker days, frigid temperatures, and the absence of the sun (She’s basking in the southern hemisphere!). There is a clinical diagnosis for our condition: Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). The reduction of sunlight in the winter can disrupt our biological clock, with decreases in our serotonin levels (low mood) and melatonin production (mood and sleep). Apparently, gray is not our color, yellow is! We need the light and the warmth of the sun for optimal health and a hopeful disposition. I have created a list of ten ways to increase your joy as we wait patiently for Spring. Please add to my list in the comments section!
Watch the film, The Peanut Butter Falcon
This is a really beautiful film that will surely uplift your spirits! It is a “Tom Sawyer-inspired” hero story of the best kind! My family laughed, cried and gave it a standing ovation! Hail the “Peanut Butter Falcon,” for reminding us that no matter what the circumstance, within us all is the courage, unyielding hope and purity of love to prevail!
Read Consolations by David Whyte
I find the winter provides more quiet time to self-reflect. Whyte’s poetry has this beautiful way of speaking to what it means to be human and divine, and all the experiences, emotions, losses and gains that come along with this remarkable gift.
Make my One Pot Wonder Winter Lentil Soup
The best thing about the winter season is wood fires and hearty, nourishing soups. This soup in particular is great for boosting the immune system during the flu season. It is packed with all things green! Serve with some crusty, olive-oil soaked bread and roasted apples, and you won’t even think about bathing suits and tomato mozzarella salads!
Read the Gospel of John for your Winter/Lenten Devotional.
If you are looking to turn up your light, open your Bible to the Gospel of John. This is one of the most poetic of the gospels, a love letter of hope! The author of John was on a mission to reveal who Jesus was, in body, mind and spirit. I am slowly making my way through, currently enjoying the miracle stories.
Photo Credit: Photo by Alabaster Co on Unsplash
Pick your favorite footpath in the woods, nature walk or hiking trail and start walking it now, through Lent and into Spring. Let it be your tangible proof that resurrection is God’s plan across all creation!
Listen to Krista Tippett’s On Being interview with John O Donohue
Someone recently asked my favorite spiritual podcasts, and On Being is top on my list. Krista Tippett’s choice of guests from John O’ Donohue, to David Whyte, to Mary Oliver speak to my spiritual longing! I always come away uplifted, and even more curious about the possibilities of the spiritual experience here on earth.
Play music in the kitchen.
The kitchen is the heart of our home, where we gather, cook, wash dishes, check homework, have family pow wows’s and play! There is always music playing! In a household of eight people, the musical backdrop has a wide-range from Enya, Vivaldi, Hillsong, Florence and the Machine, Ed Sheeren, Billie Eilish,Taylor Swift, Indigo Girls, to just name a few. Currently, Finn (my three-year old) requests Alexa to play “We Will Rock You,” on repeat! I am no scientist, but I have experiential evidence that music boosts morale and mood. I have included a link in the Souljoy below for a current favorite by Dolly Parton and For King and Country, Only God Knows! Dolly Parton is pure sunshine!
Photo Credit: Photo by Jeff Sheldon on Unsplash
Watch the film, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
Regardless of the fact that I watch anything Tom Hanks is in, this movie gets to the heart of what provides for a life of beauty and worth: Love God and Love your Neighbor as Yourself. But oh if it was that simple! What I especially appreciated was Mr. Rogers admission that it was real work to be a good person and have joy. We are only human and as he showed in the movie, there will be days that we will play the high chords on the piano, and then there will be days that only the low chords will suffice! Mr. Rogers was a man of hope in a world that could easily be experienced as hopeless! See this movie!
Go for a Float!
I just experienced my first float and I am sold! Not only is the magnesium-enriched float pod excellent for your physical health (sore muscles, arthritis, inflammation, sleep), but it is a soft invitation to experience meditation. I highly recommend you request the binaural beats to be played while you are floating! Research has shown that flotation therapy—- the weightlessness, the warm-Epson-salt water, and the total stillness has remarkable healing benefits! The idea is that you achieve a neutral state in mind, body and spirit! Treat yourself!
Pre-order The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd
A great friend kindly gifted me for Christmas an advance copy of Sue Monk Kidd’s highly anticipated new book, The Book of Longings. I will be writing a piece on the book in the coming months, but let me just say it is a sacred read! I am a huge fan of her canon, especially The Secret Life of Bees and The Invention of Wings. This was new terrain for Kidd, but just as luminous and soul-filling. I am sure there will be much talk when the book is published in April surrounding her fictional premise that Jesus was married. Don’t let that stop you! Kidd draws you in so close to Jesus; his world, his heart and his mission. The narrator and protagonist of the story is a brave, intelligent, daring and soulful writer named Ana. She will stay with you long after you’ve turned the final page!
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