How To Approach Soul Care In Your Calendar

{Links are always at the end of your reading.}

 

Soul care in your calendar can open you up to embody honesty and healing in profound ways. The invitation is to be flexible and focused to keep God's purpose steady and your plans fluid.

 

How To Approach Soul Care in Your Calendar is the title of this week's episode of the new season four on the podcast, Mohawkmomma Soul. What's so significant about having soul care in your calendar?

 

1. You desire to live on purpose.

 

2. You want your brain to make sense of your life, not just take it all in.

 

3. You crave meaningful connections to help you acknowledge the Beloved's presence no matter what the day holds.

 

4. You want to welcome your real life, flaws and all as you engage Love. 

 

But first, let's define the term soul.

 

A Hebrew Lesson

 

What is the soul? Webster's Dictionary gives the following definition. "The spiritual nature of humans, regarded as immortal, separable from the body at death, and susceptible to happiness or misery in a future state." In most cases people will understand the soul through this definition.

 

But, my interpretation of this word is from a Hebraic perspective, not a modern western perspective. I'm drawing from the Hebrew word "nephesh." It occurs over seven hundred times in the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament).

 

Nephesh refers to a living, breathing, physical being. In the Bible, both humans and animals are called nephesh. 

 

The first four times nephesh is used in the Bible, it is used exclusively to describe animals: Genesis 1:20 (sea life), Genesis 1:21 (great sea life), Genesis 1:24 (land creatures), Genesis 1:30 (birds and land creatures).

 

In Genesis 2:7, we find that humans are a "living soul." People don't have a nephesh, we are a nephesh. 


In the Hebraic thought we are composed of multiple parts. The body is the flesh and bones, the vessel. Your spirit (the breath) enables and animates your personal presence. The organs are viewed as the seats of thought (the heart), emotion (the kidneys), intuition (gut), etc.

 

Unified YOU


The soul is the whole of the person, the unity of the body, organs and breath. It is not some immaterial spiritual entity, it is you, all of you, your whole being or self.

 

Now that we're working with the same definition for soul, let's look at how to approach soul care in your calendar in five contemplative checkpoints.

 

 

"Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take up my yoke and learn from Me, because I am lowly and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." - Jesus. 

 

Come to Him. Put yourself in a position to receive. Release yourself from narrating the undone stuff, the messy stuff, the mysterious stuff. I don’t know what rest needs to look like for you.

 

And I don't know what it will look like for me tomorrow, but I do know that we will have to choose Jesus over our ego. The ego will have us confuse activity with value, whereas Jesus will help us sort through His burden-lifting values throughout each day.

 

Notice His presence in the unlikely places, the places that oftentimes misinterpret and disguise His comforting companionship.

 

The bottom line: I believe that the practice of engaging Jesus' shalom brings all of life's shadows into the light to be healed and transformed in the context of communion with Jesus and others.

 

And through being enabled to transform pain and suffering into healing and empowerment, we become spiritual alchemists (sorta speak).

 

 

Download the Tracking Rhythms Guide and follow the four steps by tapping on the image. It's an excerpt page from the Sabbath Rhythms Devotional Planner.

 

There's no need to chase balance, just as balance is a byproduct of a healthy vestibular system that relies on the inner ear, balance in your personal life is a byproduct of how healthily you attune your inner hearing to Love's invitation to, "Come to Me." This is your/our FREEDOM.

 

And there's no need to critique your rhythms, study them. Notice where your commitments exceed your capacity and capability. Let compassion and curiosity act as your daily doulas. Let them sit alongside you, reassuring you that you are seen, known, and cherished.

 

Curious inquiry can diffuse conflict, reveal truth, and transform human behavior better than confrontational words or harsh language.

 

 

 

If you do not claim time for the spiritual, emotional, and cognitive space you need to process your life, think through a difficult decision, study, read, listen to a podcast, dream, lament, or basically focus on what will refuel and refresh you, it will likely get eclipsed by the other things that fill your days.

 

I remember when I first began to practice this when we had just four children (we now have eight here on this earth)—three were three years and under. I would bravely and courageously take five minutes each day at the same time to redirect my attention on my flourishing. This initially took the form of listening to my favorite five-minute radio show.

 

Initially, it was messy and daunting. As a family, we had to readjust to what it looked like for me to claim time for myself. My humanity mattered too. And I had to explain to the children why I couldn't be everywhere doing everything they wanted in every moment of the day.

 

My calendar needed mercy! And I had to believe it for MYSELF that I was a worthy recipient. This was a whole new attitude for me.

 

It was truly a paradigm shift and shock that was just as essential to the process as the transformation that took place, as a result of pulling up weeds and planting new seeds in good soil.

 

 

 

We prioritize what we're clear about.

 

To prioritize your life isn't a way you put on your armor to keep to-do's stringent and safe. Your priorities are not a line of defense against all of the potential antagonists. Actually, to prioritize is one of the ways you and I choose self-nurture and show kindness to our brains.

 

Neuroscience and Your To-Do's

 

In fact, recent studies have revealed that the key to a more organized mind and productive brain is to make to-do lists. When we process information, we do so spatially. 

 

For instance, it’s easier to remember everything if we write it down in bulleted, or numbered, points. Our brains love lists—it’s the preferred method of receiving and organizing information at a subconscious level; from an information-processing standpoint, they often hit our attentional sweet spot. 

 

But the list’s deepest appeal, and the source of its staying power, goes beyond the fact that it feels good. In 2011, the psychologists Claude Messner and Michaela Wänke investigated what, if anything, could alleviate the so-called “paradox of choice”—the phenomenon that the more information and options we have, the worse we feel.

 

They concluded that we feel better when the amount of conscious work we have to do in order to process something is reduced; the faster we decide on something, whether it’s what we’re going to eat or what we’re going to read, the happier we become.

 

Besides, most people can only hold about four things in their mind at one time, according to neuroscientist Dr. Daniel Levitin, author of The Organized Mind.

 

Asking our brains to store more than is optimal causes meaningfulness and our productivity to suffer (so more is not better, it's just plain ol' information overload, siStars!).

 

Here's the To-Do list I've designed (and I personally use it). It's available in my online soul care boutique. Feel free to download it and try it out by tapping on the image.

 

 

 

I can not emphasis how significant it is to share your calendar and to-do's with those in your support community. Whether your this is your family, co-workers, study group, etc. You will benefit practically from the shared experience of syncing your lives.

 

So, which do you prefer? Paper and pen or digital apps?

 

They both offer something different. I have opted for a mix of both. I currently share my Google Calendar and Google Keep (for lists and reminders) with my husband and some of my children, and I use the Sabbath Rhythms Devotional Planner. I have my to-do/tasks lists on both.

 

Two of my favorite things about the calendar is the ability to customize the recurring feature and the search menu.

 

I color code my priorities in Google in the following categories (that's a snapshot below of the mobile display of my Google Calendar). I place my word of the year "embody" in front of every entry to remind me to let it do its deep work in my calendar, as well as within me:

 

  • finances

  • birthdays

  • family time (includes appointments, date my husband, family leisure, meals, etc.)

  • my personal refuel time (daily, weekly, monthly, and annually)

  • my studio work time (includes admin, design, speaking engagements, webinars/events, research & writing, marketing, client emails & phone calls, learning, etc.)

  • homeschool/school-related

  • friendship-building time

 

 

Our family has been using Google Calendar for many years, but prior to Google, we used a 12-month tabbed calendar I kept in a binder to keep up with appointments and important documents. As long as it was all in the binder system, everyone who needed to know stayed in the loop.

 

But you gotta work your system, whatever it needs to look like for your unique personality and lifestyle. Perfection not required.

 

Tip: I practice task-batching by grouping my to-do's in chunks. For example, On Mondays I have my Money Matters Day. I only focus on budgeting our personal finances and my studio finances. This includes paying bills, placing orders, grocery shopping, bookkeeping, etc.

 

I do not focus on writing or designing on Mondays, and we have a moderate day of homeschool lessons.

 

And on Tuesdays I have my Broadcast + Social Media Day. I focus on publishing the blog and the podcast, connecting on my social media channels, and sending out an email to those who have joined my Sabbath Rhythms Community.

 

However, if I miss a day or week that's absolutely permissible - these are my rhythms, not my covenant promise to anyone, so there's no guilt or shame. These are patterns that have developed over time, but the invitation is to be flexible and focused to keep God's purpose steady and my plans fluid.

 

There's plenty of soul care hospitality to go around in our calendars. We must permit it because we are free and earnestly accompanied by the Beloved.

 

 

 

In this episode:

 

— You’ll be encouraged to understand the Hebrew word for soul.

 

— You’ll be invited to notice your rhythms and get curious about them. 

 

— You’ll feel so relieved when you embrace that you don't have to chase balance to experience it.

 

— You’ll hear about task-batching your days using Google calendar. 

 

 

LOVE IT? SHARE IT! Text, email, carrier pigeon—share this episode with friends however you like! Feel free to snag one of these graphics to share.

Exciting News!

 

To flesh out these five contemplative checkpoints in more depth, order the 2019 Healing Manifesto: Sabbath Rhythms Devotional Planner!

 

 

Links For Further Discovery

 

Neuroscientist Dr. Daniel Leviti

 

Claude Messner and Michaela Wänke Scientific investigation

 

Subscribe & Listen to my Soul Care Podcasts:

Mohawkmomma Soul &  Miseducation of Mom Listen wherever you enjoy podcasts (also available on Anchor FM).

 

Shop with Soul in the Boutique - we empower and advocate for the marginalized in the US and globally.

 

More SOULutions Worksheets here

 

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