Thursday, July 10, 2014

A Settled Spirit: first things first

Last week I wrote some thoughts about how to have a settled spirit. I said I felt it was elusive to me, but that I wanted it. This week, I asked myself why I might have committed to writing about it for all of July?

It seems lately I’ve had anything BUT a settled spirit. Adjustments to hormones, trouble sleeping, a memorial service for my step brother. It seems things have compiled into a big pile of unsettled-ness of spirit. 

Maybe that’s why my last-week-self committed to writing about this. Because, I need it so desperately.

Maybe I can share with you some of the things that I’m trying to do lately to get me to this goal of having a settled spirit.

Keeping it simple, three things come to mind.




Really, you might ask?

Maybe this sounds too simplistic to you.

I had a physical therapist give me an assignment a couple of years ago. I had gone to him with severe tension headaches and general neck and upper body tightness. I’ll never forget this. One day after my visit he said, 

"Breathe! Remember to breathe! Breathing is life!"

 So simple.

But, so profound, and he knew after examining my tight muscles that I needed that (almost) scolding! He also said, “muscles need oxygen to relax.” He sent me home with literal “breathing lessons”. “Squared breathing” he said. 

Inhale for a count of six, hold for a count of six. Exhale for a count of six, hold for a count of six. I was instructed to do this while doing a trunk twist stretch for five minutes a day.

And, you know, what? I think the daily stretching helped. But, I think the breathing lessons helped more. I could feel my body relaxing more into the stretch by the second “squared” round of breathing.

Breathing is life.

2.  Volumes have been written about the importance of forgiveness. How letting go of offenses is actually healing us, not the offender. You’ve probably heard, 

“Unforgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die."

 Anger counts here, too. Carrying around anger towards someone is really not forgiving them. (It took me a long time to get this one.) 

Gerald G. Jampolsky, M.D. says in his book Love is Letting Go of Fear,

“I continue to be impressed by how quickly I experience inner peace when I let go of my attachment to the past belief that someone is guilty and someone is innocent.”

I think the words “a settled spirit” could be subbed for the words “inner peace" here and make just as much sense, don’t you?

One way I have found to help me to let go of offense is to write down all my feelings in a notebook. This is for my eyes only. An “emotional dumping ground”. 

It’s a huge release. 

Also, if needed, to write a letter to the person who hurt me. This is also for my eyes only. I do NOT send this letter to the person. This is for my emotional release only. 

Try these. They really do work wonders.

3.  Solitude. (if you have young children, you might check out right here and now. But, you probably need this the most!)

Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Well, it really doesn’t matter except I know I’m an introvert and I need some time alone each day. I gain energy by being alone. I love being around people but it has to be balanced.

I take some time in the mornings to read and journal (journaling for me is a kind of prayer.)

Taking some time alone each day in solitude, even for just ten minutes, ( locking the bathroom door, if you have to!) is so good for the soul. And can be very healing. (and possibly doing that "squared breathing" during this time, all the better!)

What are some things that you do to have a settled spirit? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Blessings to you,


This post is Part 2 in a month long series of How to Have a Settled Spirit. See Part 1 here.

LInking up today with Coffee for Your Heart and Three Word Wednesday.


  1. It seems like we're all on the same God journey. Soul rest. I'm so glad to be on it with you. I'm sitting next to you in the link up at Coffee For Your Heart.

    1. Jeri, I'm so glad you stopped by! Yes, we are on the same journey! Blessings!

  2. I like these sound suggestions.
    I must admit the hardest for me is forgiveness.
    The forgiveness of self.
    God has already forgiven me, I need to get passed it.

    1. Yes, forgiveness of self is hard, but so important. Thanks for sharing your heart about this. Blessings to you. Yes, believe that God has already forgiven and forgotten!


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