Seven Soul-Nurturing Suggestions for Busy Women

Looking for some ways to feed your soul in the midst of all you do? Try one or more of these great ideas!

1.) Body Work/Movement: Tai Ji, massage, Feldenkrais, Reflexology ? there are tons of modalities which contribute to healing in soulful ways. Try one today!

2.) Connections with Others: Support networks/groups, accountability groups, on-line chats/boards, spiritual direction, soul mates and soul friends all offer you healthy interconnections if these relationships help you maintain a fluid balance while you protect and defend your interpersonal boundaries.

3.) Daily Rituals: Setting quiet time aside for your soul daily both refreshes and empowers you. Experiment with meditation and visualizations. Journal your thoughts, feelings, blessings and conversations with your soul. Discover aromatherapy. Use music to affect your mood, energy and creative output. Take a self-discovery walk, a luxurious bath or a nurturing nap. Make time and space for personal expression every day.

4.) Create Mini-Retreats: When you go on a retreat you create conscious cocooning space in your life, which allows you to nurture your woolyworm nature into the butterfly you know you are supposed to be. Set aside time in your lunch hour for things that enliven you. Every few weeks take off 2-4 hours if you can, just to spend with your soul. Try to attend a weekend retreat seasonally if possible. Retreat time need not be complex - it can be as simple as making homemade bread or simmering soup just for you.

5.) Express Your Natural Creative Heritage: From cooking to music to writing to crafts, there are hundreds of ways to express your creativity daily. Here are a few new ways to think about: Play daydreaming games with yourself to discover who you long to be. Scrapbook your dreams, your work life or your dialogue with your soul. Journal your night dreams, then draw or write poems about the images you dreamt. Learn about feng shui, the Chinese art of placement, which teaches you how to create a soulful atmosphere in your home or workplace. Experiment with expressive arts, which involve artistic, fun techniques for relating with your own unconscious through metaphors. Make an inner child play date with yourself weekly to keep life from becoming too serious and foreboding.

6.) Dialogue With Yourself and With Your Higher Power (whatever you conceive It to be): Take classes or read self-help books which enable you to identify, explore and live out your life's purpose. Write your spiritual autobiography. Try new ways to pray. Find a spiritual director. Journal your personal conversations with your Higher Power.

7.) Create a Personal Wellness Calendar: All of the great ideas above will fail to serve you unless and until they become firm, scheduled habits in your life. So create a personal wellness calendar to enable you to do just that.

Schedule the elements above that you choose to begin experimenting with, remembering that it generally takes 21 days to establish a new habit. Set firm boundaries around these activities to protect them while you learn to integrate them into your life. Try incorporating no more than 10 new habits into your life at any one time. Consciously downshift at key points throughout your day and week and use the activities above to help you do so. Be flexible in your scheduling and your thinking - it is your soul that matters, not your planner!

Cheryl Lynch Simpson is a Spiritual Director and Solutions Coach who helps women discover and create the life they've always wanted to live. Cheryl is the author of more than 30 print/Internet articles and the founder of Coaching Solutions for Women, a coaching website that showcases and produces career, business, and life coaching solutions to help today's busy women balance work with the rest of their lives. For a complimentary copy of her latest e-book, Ten-Minute Stress Zappers For Women Service Business Owners, visit http://www.coachingsolutionsforwomen.com.

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