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November 6, 2014 Life Lessons No Comments

I enjoy the taste of Graham Crackers – especially the cinnamon flavored ones. Recently I opened a pack, ate a few and put the rest in the box. Here’s the deal. Whenever I neglect to put the uneaten crackers in a Ziploc bag, they lose their freshness, taste awful and become stale.

I find a similar dynamic occurs with my soul. I can experience emotional disarray and lack effervescence in my work and relationships when I neglect the renewal of my soul.

Here are few indicators that your soul may be lacking in health and freshness:

  • You are easily angered
  • You struggle with sleep and restlessness
  • You stop laughing
  • You are consumed with work

If you and I intend to burn on and not burn out in our work we need to be intentional about attending to the preservation of our soul.

Here are two powerful practices that can serve as Ziploc bags to help you attend to the health and preservation of your soul:

1.  Spend 10-15 minutes each day reflecting on your life.

Interview your soul by asking questions such as:

    • “What gave me life on yesterday?”
    • “What am I learning about God, people, myself?”
    • “How am I growing?”

2.  Get a journal. Record specific thoughts of gratitude on a daily basis.       Research by Drs. James Pennebaker and Shawn Achor reveal that people who journal thoughts of gratitude alleviate stress and increase joy in their lives.

This year, how can you be deliberate about attending to the health of your soul? What one practice will you embrace on a regular basis?

Written by Johnny Parker
As a relationship architect and executive coach, Dr. Johnny Parker has helped hundreds of men and women experience authentic joy and fulfillment by viewing their life as a story. Dr. Parker is an Associate Professor at Johns Hopkins University. He has also served as a team life coach for the National Football League and WNBA. He holds a Masters in Counseling Psychology and a Doctorate in Strategic Leadership.