Hi sis, how are you today? The answer isn’t really my business but i still care. By the way, guys who are subscribed to this blog and reading now, you are always welcome here and maybe what’s shared in this post can be encouragement for a sister who could do with this message. All of us have been through something – a challenge, encounter or storm of some kind and measure. Coming out of that season can cause us to tip-toe our way around certain people and places, become defensive turn into workaholic fanatics, hermits, pick up unhealthy habits or worse yet – plant a seed of bitterness (which we don’t want to encourage at all.)
Overcoming tough times can help refine our countenance, build a stronger sense of patience and compassion while inspiring us to apply healthy boundaries, strengthen faith, prayer and gratitude.
Some rough seasons end with a near-instant breakthrough to brilliance while growing beyond others is a journey made up of a series of steps. The fruit of this post isn’t meant to be a one-size fits all template but more of a snippet from my path to healing, as encouragement for others who are more on the quiet side. These steps have helped (a) my smile return after months of mourning a close friend whose life was taken while she slept – a few years ago (b) restore a sense of calm after years of trying to protect a relative from a violent person and (c) usher me through a challenge that nearly snuffed the zest out of me. Sharing with you in case you find these activities helpful too.
Joy might seem like a flowery and frivolous thing to many, but we often realize its value in the absence of it. Stress can wreak havoc on the mind, body, will, sense of purpose and interactions with others. Make a conscious decision today that you.will.not.give.it.that.power. You had better flinch a finger, nudge your knee or twitch an eyelid if that’s all you feel you can do when you sense that dark cloud, decipher an enemy attack or see those vultures hovering over you. Live like you’re alive.
Steps to being refreshed after enduring a tough season (the vlog starts at #3)
These helped me but they don’t have power to change a challenge, more our state of mind and wellbeing in and beyond the process. Leaning on our own understanding, strength and positive thinking will always have an expiration date. But with the Highest, all things are possible.
Stretching, getting some fresh air, exercise, walking, spending or sharing time in creation is nourishing for our state of mind and body. Purposefully slowing down to observe the vibrance in colours, tones and textures of trees, plants and flowers inspires deep breaths without much or any external guidance needed. There was a time when freedom (without stirring up a storm) to leave the house and move around was a huge challenge. If that means something to you, here’s what helped open that window for me. Making the most of every outing whether it’s going to the shop or market, paying a bill or travelling to and from errands, freelance jobs or out of the house work.
Today, i went to a public garden and took a few conscious moments to be still and listen to birds sing and watch bees pollinate flowers. Pausing every now and then to stand still with eyes closed and ears tuned while on seaside and forest walks is so refreshing, and your ears tune into the different sounds in creation that were created for us. It’s enough to put a smile on your face, inspire a deep breath, stir up awe in your soul and even bring you to tears of a joy that’s hard to describe in words. Walking in beautiful places gives us a front row seat to things that driving or riding by in a vehicle doesn’t. That doesn’t mean it’s better than but it is different from. It’s the pace.
Invitation: What beautiful place do you frequently drive past that you can make an effort to walk to and enjoy? If walking around your neighbourhood isn’t practical right now for you, how about a stretching series at home a few times a week?
2. Reading and Journaling
Whether it’s reading scripture with discernment seeking the Most High for truth above all, writing verses on the borders of journal pages, pouring out things you’re thankful for or poems, chronicling answered prayers, drawing or practicing hand-lettering, the tactile action of writing is therapeutic. It helps the mind to slow to a peaceful pace since the writing hand has to keep up with the brain. Chances are, you type faster that you write so journaling is helpful in the sense that it doesn’t rush our thoughts but walks in step with them.
Journaling isn’t like blogging where any of us ‘has’ to share what we write. You may not even choose to keep your journals, but pouring out on paper can help you discover thoughts or patterns that were tucked into the cracks or need to be addressed and resolved.
Being in the kitchen isn’t necessarily a relaxing thing, but cooking can be extremely therapeutic and joyful. It doesn’t have to be overwhelming even when you’re not up to it just then. Not every meal has to be a big production and some dishes don’t require constant vigilance and high speed steps. Though there are those moments when multiple pots are on the stove or one thing is boiling while another is baking, peaceful prep and calm cooking even multiple dishes is a thing.
You don’t have to be the most skilled cook or have a repertoire of a million dishes to look forward to being in the kitchen; those things can blossom in time. Setting the ambience of the space where you prepare meals can be something special and that can make it an inviting thing you looking forward to.
Your kitchen or outdoor cooking area can become a place where your thoughts automatically become well-paced as you slice, dice, sauté, steam, dish out, decorate and serve meals made with love to yourself and loved ones. i’m not a fan of eating meals made in places where people are rude or rushed, and that goes for me too.
Being witness to creation in motion is humbling. Growing food, flowers and plants from seed, cutting or seedling can be exhilarating, therapeutic and insightful but it’s also amazing. We like to (or tend to) take credit for things we’re blessed to be able to participate in (kinda like how i feel being a songwriter for songs gifted from the Most High) and though gardening is a skill that some seem to have innately bestowed on them, it’s a miracle mankind has been given anything at all to take care of given our collective track record.
Planting seeds or giving seedlings a home in good soil then watching them grow and bring forth fruit, veg, flowers and lush leaves is more healthy than binge watching tv while enduring commercials pitching products or listening to a playlist of moody music that doesn’t consider your well-being. Like cooking, gardening doesn’t have to be done in a way that’s overwhelming; set a goal and pick a pace that suits you (but don’t be afraid of the challenges that come with learning or doing something new. In that, muscles develop, endurance is built, lessons are learned and character is enriched.)
Growing Food At Home | Starting Steps & 8 Essentials
5. Prayer & Praise
The privilege of being able to make heavenly calls through prayer is amazingly gracious. The fact that that we can press in and reach out through prayer to confide in and confess to our Heavenly Father…receive reminders of His presence, comfort and promises…to ask for help and wisdom – wow. i don’t know what words can even finish off that sentence in a way that fully describes what i’m trying to say, but i hope you understand. If this sounds foreign to you or you don’t know where to start – a gentle note with lots of love – begin by softening your heart.
Relieve yourself of pride, make friends with tenderness and cast your cares on The Most High who cares for you more than anyone else can. No fancy script or big words needed. Prayer and faith make all the difference to a journey of healing. They can easily override any and all of the other steps mentioned in this post. Knowing Whose hands your life is in can fill you with the peace that surpasses all understanding and a hope that has a guarantee like nothing else on earth.
6. Good reasonings
Not chit-chat or idle words but purposeful, honest, healthy and edifying conversations with a close (or) like-minded someone. They don’t have to be lengthy or verbose (or even in person) but meaningful reasonings and ideally with someone who can gently correct if or when we say unkind or untrue things, even about ourselves whether as a ‘joke’ or not. Just last night, i had the gift of having a deep reasoning with one of my most cherished friends and it was spiritually nourishing, refreshingly vulnerable, fun and intellectually revivifying.
Note: You’re gonna wanna avoid connecting with anyone who has a tendency to flirt with gossip, dabble in debates, press with nosy questions, critique your every word and decision, or consider themselves wise in their own eyes. Not everyone who ‘likes’ us loves us. That might sting a bit, but that doh make it any less real. And so, especially when emerging from a tough season, please please please be discerning and protective over your thoughts, words, company and confidants.
You might be not much of a ‘dancer’ but that’s alright. This isn’t an onstage or on-camera moment but more a freedom celebration. You don’t have to take this one literally, but some sort of movement that stirs up bubbles of joy is healthy for the mind, soul and physique. During this movement, if you like, commit your thoughts to being thankful for breath, life, limbs, time, rhythm, shelter, hope, purpose – a heartbeat, lungs – whatever. Ideally, do this to worship/inspirational music; nothing too hot and spicy to lead the mind astray and stir up lust. i’m not your mum – of course we have a choice to listen to whatever we like, but sounds, tones, chords, frequencies, tempo and intention all matter. They can affect our mood and thoughts more than we might like to admit. If you doubt that, think (honestly) about what genre or style of music you’d play for someone in hospital, in recovery or during a sensitive time.
I could have added hair-or-skin-care marathons, beach days, workout sessions and fast-paced outdoor adventures to the list and you probably can come up with other ones that match you more. These activities may bring soft or radiant smiles, burst of energy, healthier skin, intermittent laughs and compliments from others, but joy that springs from things that expire is risky business – a lot like trying to ride a bicycle on balloons instead of wheels. When joy springs from the everlasting, there resides true strength that endures through and beyond all seasons.
You may have come out of that storm a bit or a lot more tender – don’t be discouraged. Tenderness isn’t a bad thing; in fact it’s becoming a rare gem of a trait in a stone-cold world. He will be your strength.
You still have breath and there’s a purpose for your life. Don’t grieve who you were. That’s a trap. Instead, choose to embrace, celebrate and be thankful for whom you are being moulded to become. Activities are topical – like make-up on skin….they can help us take steps forward but it’s the inner work that matters most and will shine forth.
Take your time, but rejoice that the storm has passed and don’t let the enemy steal your joy. Enjoy the blue sky and give thanks in every season.
Thanks for reading. Hope this helps you on your journey to healing, remembering your essence and rekindling joy no one can take. Love you, sister.
Related post: Re-Setting The Pace And Volume Of Your Life For The Better | Personal Development
P.S: Shared it quite a few times on this blog that I’m not a counselor or life coach and the steps shared here aren’t meant to replace any professional advice. This is based on having personally overcome (by the grace of the Most High) what i now understand to be trauma and just considered as ‘life’ and on interacting with people who have reached out at the edge of giving up and whom have since decided to embrace a hope-filled life. I’m nothing without The Highest so in all things, gently recommend you seek Him above all.
‘STEPS TO REFRESHMENT AFTER A TOUGH SEASON | STEPS and ENCOURAGEMENT’ was first published on itsjoywithin.com
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6 thoughts on “Refreshment After A Tough Season | VLOG”
This was deep and BEAUTIFUL ❤️ Indra.
“Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.” 1 Peter 3:8
On Mon, May 10, 2021, 6:58 PM Joyful Living | Creative Calling wrote:
> Indra posted: ” Hi sis, how are you today? The answer isn’t really my > business but i still care. By the way, guys who are subscribed to this blog > and reading this, y’all are always welcome here. No offense intended when > you see ‘sis’ ok? (Thanks for understanding.) ” >
Thanks so much sweet sister. i just thought of you earlier today and am happily humbled to see your comment. Love in abundance to you!
Hi Sis, I just wanted to take some time to visit your blog and read, Seven Steps to Being Refreshed…It’s honest, beautiful and profoundly thought-provoking.
Much Appreciated 💐
Thanks for coming by and sharing.