These are some of the ways I tend to my soul. I hope you don’t neglect this work. I am so passionate because it’s been so transformative for me and I want the same to be true for everyone I know. Soul-tending is often put on the back burner in a world that’s more concerned with how things look on the outside. But it’s important; might even save your life.

  1. Confess – your greatest sin and struggles lose their power when you name them aloud.
  2. Read – to learn, ponder, reflect and grow.
  3. Unplug – in a world that is connected 24/7, go off the grid to find yourself again.
  4. Set intentions unrelated to achievements – goals are great, but life isn’t all about what you can achieve so set intentions for how you want to live, not perform.
  5. Spend time in solitude – you can’t deal with what you won’t face
  6. Purge often – toxic relationships, habits, bitterness, grudges, temptations, etc.
  7. Find a true hobby – do something you love for unadulterated fun without the pressure to monetize or perfect.
  8. Check in instead of numbing out – when your feelings tell you to eat the whole tub of raw cookie dough while binge watching Netflix, choose to check in on your soul instead through therapy, journaling, or a walk outside.
  9. Make space for spontaneity – in a world full of scheduling, make space for spontaneity and your soul will thank you.
  10. Continually reevaluate — What matters to me? What do I value most? What do I want to be remembered for?
  11. Admit faults, apologize, and ask forgiveness – humility is breeding grounds for growth.
  12. Say no – a lot more than you want because you have limited capacity and that’s not something to fight, rather embrace.
  13. Live generously – true generosity requires sacrifice otherwise it’s just being nice. Your soul will shift as you give expecting nothing in return.
  14. Release the need to know and control – easier said than done, focus on living with a hands-open posture.
  15. Don’t skimp on sleep – your body, mind and soul need it which is why God created us to do it every single night.
  16. Focus inward – whenever things or other people bother you, ask “What does this say about me?” and allow them to be a mirror for you.
  17. Rest – you weren’t created to be a human doing. You’re a human being.
  18. Pray – because even if it doesn’t change anything, it will change you.
  19. Pay attention – and be mindful of what you’re looking for. If you look for the good, you’ll find it. If you look for the bad, it’s all you’ll see.
  20. Embrace complexity – we all lead densely layered lives. You and your neighbor and your friend and the grocery store clerk. Don’t view anyone or anything through a black and white lens. Don’t judge based on one interaction. Hold mixed feelings and things that seem to counter one another without needing to fully understand.

Tending to your soul will help you weed out what is dead, harmful and untrue. It will cultivate what is already inside of you that’s lovely, worthy, and redemptive. Don’t wait until you’re 68 years old to reflect and search for the meaning in your life. Start now.

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Manda's weekly letters on faith, marriage, motherhood, soul care, social justice - and occasionally the collision of it all. 

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