Written by Aqueelah Ligonde
A balanced soul means having our very core, our very essence in alignment with the rest of our life, mind, and body. I know when my soul is “off” I begin to snap at people in traffic or start planning escape routes out of town to avoid life. After a difficult season in my life where I was burned out, I found that there were 3 common denominators in bringing my soul back to balance.
Reflection is a process of taking a step out of our ordinary routine to meditate on God’s movement in our life and listen for how God might be speaking in that moment. In reflection mode, we are reminded that we are not alone on this journey and that God actually has a plan for us. I have found time of reflection to be life giving especially when I feel like nothing is going right or will ever go right. I am reminded of times when God showed me a better way.
*Take a Time Out: Practice a meditative spiritual discipline such as silence or stillness. Use a journal to document your thoughts.
Taking pause is important because we can get caught up in the cycle of “busy”. We can go, go, and go without taking a moment to just be still. Jesus was all about being still. Going up to a mountain, traveling “to the other side”. I also believe Jesus was all about naps!
*Push the Pause Button: Take a personal retreat to reconnect with God, even if only for the 10 minutes we have in the shower. Taking a nap can do wonders for your brain productivity, attitude, and heart.
God has something to say, but you must be in a place to listen. This goes hand in hand with pause. If there is so much noise that you can’t think straight they will not be able to follow through. There needs to be space for you to get out of your own head. I understand most people will find this difficult, but I promise, it is necessary. Too much chatter can cloud your mind and heart. If you are clear of chatter then you are clear to make wise decisions.
*Clear the Chatterbox: Take a day or certain time of day to turn off the tv or your ringer for a moment of peace. A social media fast can help to calm the chatter in your head, heart, and soul.
“Come to me all you who are wearied and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
There must be time and space for us to pause, reflect, and listen to what God is doing in and around us. There must be time to replenish what has been drained. And time to restore what has been emptied. If this process of replenishing and restoration doesn’t happen, burn out is inevitable. When burn out happens it is not pretty. It is not easy to recover from. So take time now to get your soul back on track.
AQUEELAH LIGONDE is an enthusiastic speaker and leader for today’s generation of women, girls, youth, and leaders. She has worked with organizations such as Princeton Seminary Institute For Youth Ministry and Youth Specialties. She is a Staff Consultant with Ministry Architects. For over a decade, she served as the Associate Pastor at the First Presbyterian Church in Jamaica, Queens, NY.