Four ingredients for my soul

November 22, 2015

Food. Water. Shelter. Access to medical care. We need these to live, yes. Our bodies need these, for sure. But what do we need to live meaningfully? What do I need to live a meaningful life and to be a better person? While I’m not one to typically use the term soul (probably because I don’t fully understand what it is and I worry I won’t do justice to the importance and meaning of it), I think what I’m asking is: what ingredients does my soul need to create something delicious? Because for me, living, breathing, and getting from one day to the next, simply isn’t enough. I’ve known for a long time that I want and need more, but now, one week post-JWRP trip, I think I can put it into words. Four words to be exact.

Positivity. Authenticity. Wisdom. Love.

Before my JWRP trip, I was on the self-titled “Living-a-more-meaningful-life-and-being-a-better-person” train. I was already searching for these things and trying to surround myself with people who had them, gave them, showed them, and wanted them. And of course, trying to live them myself. I’ve been reading thoughtful books with tangible and relevant life advice, including Brené Brown’s Daring Greatly, attending though-provoking Torah lectures, listening to inspiring TED Talks about topics such as marriage, parenting, and communication, and opening myself up to new friendships with people who hug (I mean really HUG!), listen, and laugh. Though I certainly can’t claim to have mastered these four “life pillars” as I’ll call them (who can claim they have, really?), I’m proud of the steps I’ve taken and the progress I’ve made, and I’m excited to continue my journey.

Positivity. Authenticity. Wisdom. Love.

Of course, the JWRP trip didn’t introduce me to these concepts. It just solidified in my mind that these are the ingredients my soul needs. My promise to myself? Just as I give my body what it needs to live (plus a good dose of chocolate!), I will feed and nourish my soul with what it needs to live meaningfully. I will surround myself with positive people, doing positive things, and speaking positive words. Realness. Genuineness. Words and advice from the heart. A zest for life. These are all the things I want in my life and I now know, more than ever, it’s out there – and best of all it’s right in my own backyard! It’s in the women I spent nine life-changing days with! Of course, it’s not only about surrounding myself with people who embrace these qualities. It’s about making a conscious effort to live this way. It’s about what Pamela described on the last day of our amazing JWRP journey – it’s about making the choice to be happy.

I know the train I’m on doesn’t run on magic pixie dust – it takes effort. And I’m not promising that if my almost-four-year-old takes a pen to my bedroom wallpaper like he did last year, it won’t irritate me. But I am promising myself that I won’t let it ruin my day, or even that moment. I am promising myself that I will remember the big picture, I will remember that I’m blessed with that adorable, healthy pen-wielding toddler (and two other beauties and an adoring husband!), and I will remember the real troubles in this world – the troubles we know all too well these days.

Call it the Don’t-Blame-Don’t-Complain train, the Positivity-Authenticity-Wisdom-Love train, The Living-a-more-meaningful-life-and-being-a-better-person train…I’m on it and moving full speed ahead.



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