Resolve Well: Body, Mind, & Soul 2018

We get 365 fresh starts a year. But there is one BIG fresh start – New Year’s Resolutions! After you’ve said goodbye to 2017, it’s time to set your resolutions for 2018!

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Fresh starts are such a blessing to humanity. Neither every day nor every year goes as we plan… so it’s nice to start again. Clean slate. Blank canvas. And we can do whatever we want with it! We can paint whatever masterpiece we like with 2018.

This blog started with an idea that we need to take care of ourselves – body, mind, and soul. So last year, I made some resolutions based off of each of those.

But, I started out last year with this resolution:

From Resolve Well: New Years 2017

 

I want this year to be the year that I get well. I’ve been sick for such a long time, with varying degrees of chronic fatigue syndrome for five years, two months and counting.

 

I know that I don’t have much control over this illness, but I do know that I have to set goals and continue to strive for them in order to keep my mind and my soul healthy. My body might give out, but my optimism and my desire to get better should not.

It seemed like a far-fetched goal at the time, and my year was not easy because of chronic invisible illness.

In many ways, 2017 was one of the hardest years of my life… because I just felt hopeless. I felt that I would never get better.

But I did. And 2017 became one of the most rewarding years of my life as well as one of the hardest.

I’m excited to share with you in the next week how that happened.

Whether YOU are sick, lonely, and depressed, OR happy, content, and healthy, I encourage you to set your goals. We all need to be better human beings.

So figure out how you can be better in your body this year. This post may help.

And think about how you can improve your mind and your thoughts. Try this post.

Most importantly, spend time on your soul. I hope this one helps.

At the beginning of 2018, we have no idea what will happen the rest of the year. Much of it will be out of our control. But, we can control our attitude toward life and today is a great day to start out positive.

I’d love to hear some of your New Year’s Resolutions! So check out our Facebook page and leave me a comment!

How to Reflect on 2017

reflecton2017Today marks the end of something. Hopefully, that something – 2017 – was good. We are celebrating the beginning of a New Year, but there’s always a little bit of nostalgia that comes with New Year’s Eve.

When I was younger, I used to stay awake on the eve of my birthday and spend time saying goodbye to that year of my life. It’s quite silly looking back – that a five year old would spend a couple hours laying awake in bed, saying goodbye to a part of her life. But, I love the idea of appreciating what you have had, and what you have now.

It’s possible that appreciating the past – both the good and the bad – will help you move on to something really good. It may bring you closure where you need it. And it might help you let go of the past.

I got better this year from a long run of chronic invisible illness. But there was a lot of hopelessness in the middle. Today, I want to remember both. I want to accept healing and let go of hopelessness.

On Christmas Day, I set out all my presents and I looked at them. I allowed time to be thankful. I knew it was so important to accept all the thoughts and the love that people put into them. It’s important for me to know that people care and to know that I am worth loving. This is one lessons that I’ve learned in 2017 and I want to hold on to it.

With all this in mind, here are four ways that you (and I) can reflect on the past year. It’s pretty simple:

Four Ways to Reflect on Last Year

 

1) Remember the bad. Let it go.
2) Remember the good. Be grateful.
3) Remember 2017’s lessons to you. Hold on.
4) Look forward to next year. Be excited!

Life gives us pain. It gives us sickness and it gives bad health to those we love.

But, there is hope. Every day is a new day. And every year is just waiting for us to make a fresh start.

Happy 2018, readers.

Love,
Ashley Ruth

Resolve Well: Soul

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It is well,

It is well

with my soul.

The word “well” is one of those words that has many definitions. As a noun, dictionary.com defines the word as “a hole drilled or bored into the earth to obtain water, petroleum, natural gas, brine, or sulfur”. As a verb, “to rise, spring, or gush, as water from the earth or some other source”. The adverb “well” is defined as “in a good or satisfactory manner”. It can be used as an interjection or in idioms. And as an adjective, the word is defined as “in good health; sound in body and mind; satisfactory, pleasing, or good”. I’ve made the word “wellness” to mean, in my mind, something a little deeper than the word “healthy”. I want to be satisfied with my body, mind, and soul. But, I mainly want to be satisfied spiritually, soulfully. There is a depth that I crave which comes from inside of me. I want soul wellness this year.

Soul wellness is, to me, the easiest to attain and by far the most satisfying. It is the easiest because I believe in a God that gives me peace when I ask and direction when I call to him. It is the most satisfying because it is everlasting. One day my body will be rotting in the ground. I only have to take care of that part of me for a little while. I believe that my mind will one day be uncluttered and filled with freedom and truth.

I want to say every day that, “It is well with my soul”. That I am satisfied with whatever is going on in my life because there is a part of me that is eternal. What are ways that you can take care of that most important part of you this year?

Here is my list:

 

1)      Pray well.

  1. Pray more for other people – family, friends, and my church.
  2. Pray for help and guidance on my wellness journey.
  3. Pray for my husband and my marriage.

2)      Read well.

  1. Chronological Bible Reading.
  2. Combine Bible reading with art.
  3. Good literature.

3)      Listen well.

  1. Spend time listening to God’s soul.
  2. Listen to music that lifts my soul.
  3. Spend time doing art and listening to art’s stories.

Whether your focus is taking care of your body, your mind, or your soul this year, I hope you’ll join me in resolving well. Let me know what you’re doing to make your life better in 2017!

 

 

Resolve Well: Mind

Mind WellnessIt’s Wednesday! Still the first week of 2017, so if you’ve messed up on your diet, don’t you worry your pretty little head, ok? There’s still heaps of time to get it right! We’re talking about resolving well this year. No short term resolutions here. We want to make our lives better day by day, year by year. Monday, we looked at body wellness. Today, let’s talk about mind wellness.

The mind is something we don’t always thing about giving a facelift – but it is equally important for us to look after our thoughts, our dreams, and our brain’s health. Imagine if we applied anti-aging skincare to our mind – or if we touched up the blemishes of our brain with some foundation, brightening certain areas with eye shadow or mascara.

Take a minute to think about what you could be doing to contribute to wellness inside that head of yours.

For my mind to work, I need to have time with people as well as time alone. I need to make sure there isn’t clutter in my house because I know that clutters my brain, in a sense. I need to trade pessimism and lies that sneak into my thoughts for positive thinking and truth. Eating well and focusing on body wellness helps me with this. When I eat well and have a good amount of activity, I feel better in my mind. It’s easier to control my thoughts and change them into good thoughts.

Here are my personal focus points for mind wellness:

 

1)      Commune well.

  1. Have people over and enjoy playing hostess.
  2. Be involved in my church community.
  3. Treasure my “friend” time, and expand my friend circle.
  4. Find something to do in my community (art course, volunteer work, etc).

2)      Work well.

  1. De-clutter the house.
  2. Set up “my space” at a desk.
  3. Work at organization.

3)      Think well.

  1. Enjoy my times alone, setting aside time to refocus and meditate.
  2. Less Netflix, more writing.
  3. Switch negative thoughts for positive thinking, focusing on truth.

Mind Wellness GoalsThat’s it. I want to simplify my mind. There’s just too much clutter up there. Focusing on the world’s problems (or my own problems) won’t help me or others. I want to start clearing up those pimples on my brain, treating the problem. Here’s to mind wellness in 2017!

 

Resolve Well: New Year’s 2017

Every year, we are given this amazing opportunity. We are given a fresh start. No, not everything is wiped clean. We still have to deal with the decisions we made last year. But the way the world is wired – that we have seasons and change and time and weeks and years – we get some fresh starts.

We’ve marketed this particular fresh start as New Year’s Resolutions. We resolve to be healthier, stronger, and just better than we were the year before.

And this is an admirable thing. Humans should always resolve to be better than the imperfect creatures that we are. It’s part of what makes us human and different. Goal-setting. Goal-reaching. Failing and getting back up again.

I want this year to be the year that I get well. I’ve been sick for such a long time, with varying degrees of chronic fatigue syndrome for five years, two months and counting.

I know that I don’t have much control over this illness, but I do know that I have to set goals and continue to strive for them in order to keep my mind and my soul healthy. My body might give out, but my optimism and my desire to get better should not. I can’t push myself the way other people can, but I can take care of my body and strive for wellness.

So I’ve come up with a plan through this brain fog I’ve had lately.

How to Decide on New Year's Resolutions

I resolve to strive for wellness: body, mind, and soul.

In effect, I want to take care of myself. Which is the hardest thing for me to do. Ironically, it is the only thing I have to do if I want to do anything else.

You can read my long story here in Pan Pilgrimage, a book I wrote while trying to figure out life after college. I discover the importance of taking care of me and why that is important to God’s plan for all of us.

Goals need specifics, so feel free to do this with me. Answer the question for you and your wellness:

 

1. What will help me achieve wellness in my body?

2. What will help me achieve wellness in my mind?

3. What will help me achieve wellness in my soul?

Keep your answers positive. I started writing down things like: 1) Don’t eat sugar. 2) Don’t think negative thoughts. But, then I was like, negativity is really bad for the mind, so I’d better switch it around. I need sooo many more positives than negatives to keep my mind healthy and well.

My goals became more like: 1) Make fun snacks like hummus and crackers for outings. 2) Be positive. I’ll share some with you next week!

For more on Body Wellness, click here!

I have keywords for the year. Spend time praying and have your own key words – maybe part of a verse that has stuck out to you in the past few days or weeks. I’m using “less noise”, “be well”, and “joy” right now.

Here’s to our new journey – our new year. Here’s to a fresh start.

Here’s to being well.