You know that one song that you hear, it comes on every once in a while, and it’s the one that makes you feel invincible. It takes you away from drowning yourself in other thoughts. Let’s replace that song with living exactly how we envision our lives would be when hearing that melody and inspirational lyrics.
1. Free yourself from expectations. Go find a new friend who has nothing in common with you and talk until you’ve become best friends.
2. Go out for a walk by yourself. Not a run. A walk. Take your time. Don’t rush to be back with friends or get back to studying. Seriously, take your time.
3. Don’t brush your hair. Even if you care, pretend you don’t. This one may be a risky one, but maybe avoid public places unless you are going to the beach.
4. Fall asleep to peaceful sounds. Maybe it is the crashing of waves on your favorite beach. Maybe its rain. Just do it.
5. Eat the second bowl of ice cream. (AJ would agree with this one.) Count the calories? Absolutely not. Be happy, not crazy.
The point I am trying to get across is simple. Color outside the lines. Conformity is comfortable, but being yourself should be the easiest thing to do.
So my friend’s college fellowship has established a theme for their 2013-2014 academic year. It’s called Personal Spiritual Playlist, which is essentially a “playlist” (or set) of “songs” (or activities) under different “genres” (or spiritual disciplines) that bring 1. joy and 2. me closer to God.
1. Prayer/ Worship . Continue finding bible verses that directly affect me per each day. For instance when I am feeling alone and scared I pick up my bible and read Psalm 23. I write down a few words that remind me that God is always there for me and then I continue to write a small prayer thanking him for his guidance and asking for his forgiveness and help for the upcoming day. I have never done this before, but this past week and a half have seemed much more lovely with God by my side.
2. Service . Similar to my friend’s service I plan to fast for one day a month. For me it is to act less selfish in life and prove my will power to be a strong believer of God. I am choosing to do this on the 13th of every month, as it has an important meaning in my life and I need God to always be with me on that day to give me strength and hope.
3. Obedience. I plan on keeping my friends on track with our weekly routine of going to church. I vow to be a strong believer and behave like a Christian rather than just saying that I am one.
4. Rejuvenation . I recently have been cleared by my doctor to run. I find that running is typically one of my best stress reducers. I will encourage myself to “run it out” when I feel that I can’t handle the pressure of the world. Like my friend I too enjoy writing, whether it be for this blog or anything else really.
5. Fun . I think this may be my hardest challenge on this playlist. I wish there was a secret recipe for fun, but because there isn’t I am deciding to make one. I’ll keep you updated when it starts looking like it is complete. Wish me luck!
6. Belief. When I find my self in times of trouble I need to remember to hold my wrist. Feel God’s presence there on that cross and remind myself that I am never alone and I can make it through whatever situation that comes my way. Believe in Him and believe in myself.
7. Heaven. I promise to be the best angel I can be. I promise to listen to and help my friends and family, be there for them through thick and thin. I hope I can go above and beyond and constantly remind them how much they mean to me.
Silence can mean a lot of things. In its most obvious form silence is the absence of noise, stillness, and tranquility. Silence can be a scream for help. Silence can be a source of greatness. Silence can be comfortable and yet it can be tragic too. Whatever definition or meaning you attach it with is perfectly suitable. But silence is expressed; it is loud.
Tranquility and stillness. Seems pretty quiet. When your whole body is silent, what are you filled with? Numbness. One of your worst fears, not being able to feel anything at all. . It’s dangerous being alone with your thoughts, but being lonely and thoughtless is just as detrimental. Experiencing silence within oneself must be quite the challenge. I have never experienced it without the numbness that simultaneously takes over my mind, soul, and body.
Silent screams are terrifying. Can you help someone who isn’t asking for help? Be aware. Be conscious. Be observant. You could save a life.
Knowing when to keep your mouth shut is such a talent. It shows strength. It is a non-aggressive way of addressing a situation with power and opportunity to be “heard.”
Can you sit with someone for hours and hours without exchanging words? I consider these moments to be the most peaceful and fulfilling joys of my life. A friend once said to me, “You know I like hanging out with you because we can talk about anything but at the same time we can enjoy each others’ silence.” I shared that agreement with him. It’s been a while since I’ve met anyone else I can do this with. It is a safe and comfortable feeling that takes a special someone to be shared with.
While this friendly silence is healthy, silence between friends can come in the form of betrayal in certain circumstances. Martin Luther King Jr. states the hard truth. “The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people.
Silence. It is neither good nor bad. It just is. And it is up to us to do what we please with it. Healthy or not. Silence is loud. It is very loud.
As The Little English Girl reminds us how technology continuously distracts us from the life we ought to be living, I am truly inspired to experience life without the constant nagging of my beeping iPhone. I fall into the trap of FOMO countless times during the day. I feel bad about myself for not being invited and constantly intruding and invading the things in life that the older generation would consider “personal.” Why must we share every detail of our day? I don’t have enough reasons to qualify why it could really be that important. I am blinded by the constant adoration of sunsets I missed and jealousy of activities my friends get to do without me. Instead of going out to my favorite place on that sweet little jetty I sit on, feeling the cool wind in my hair and the saltwater mist splashing on my face, I spend that free time opening every possible social media outlet and torture myself into overthinking. So thankfully my eyes are opening, without the glare of my iPhone staring back at me, and showing me how truly blessed I am. As a common trend in social media #blessed is a constant reminder. For me it reminds me of how grateful I am to have a loving family. A family I can count on at any and all times of the day. A family that will laugh at my awful jokes and pretend to laugh at the constant Tumblr text posts I find hilarious. A family who seeks out ways to comfort me in times of doubt. A family who brings me peace when my world cannot. And a family who consistently brings me closer to God and shares my faith with me. I am also extremely thankful for my crazy friends. My friends who tolerate hearing my stories even if they’ve already heard it a hundred times. My friends who patiently wait for me to stutter out the words my mind thinks but my voice can’t quite express. My friends who will stick with me through my highs and lows. My friends who trust me and my friends who I trust back. I am so blessed by the beautiful places I live in that I constantly take for granted. I remember how I used to say I’d never miss a sunset that I had time to see. Living right on the sea I sometimes convince myself that I don’t need to go sit on that jetty alone and watch the sunset, that I have done it enough times. However, during this beautiful winter season of sunsets I am reminded that each time I watch a sunset a small hole in my heart is refilled with peace and happiness. It is not an effort to go see these sunsets, but a blessing. We are not guaranteed a supportive family, we are blessed with one. We are not given life long friends, they are a blessing to us. So I thank God for the constant blessings in my life that I get to experience daily. I have not thanked Him enough and I am forever grateful for His blessings.