Maybe this tip goes without saying but as you’re venturing into this challenge, have fun + be fun.
University of Washington – laughing ’til my smile takes over my face
I’m pretty funny y’all
Throughout this challenge, there will be plenty of times for reflection and growth. That’s great! Really, that’s great.
But it’s not everything. I don’t want you to treat it like a homework assignment or a test or even like torture; even if some of the stuff is trying. That’s where we’ll be tempted to quit – when we start worrying about what we look like or what others may think or why our soul tending journey doesn’t look like someone else’s. That’s not funny. Or fun.
When you’re struggling, even a little bit, remember to make margin for having a little fun. Or laughing at yourself or with yourself. Make space to be creative, unique or quite simply – just you! There is fun and humor within your soul and a lot of times, the stress, stuck + overwhelm stifles it. Before we know it, we look up and we haven’t cracked a smile or laughed deeply for far too long.
And y’all – that’s bad for your body, for your health, for your mind, for your soul.
We need to be fun + have fun. Not in every moment, but in many. Especially in the moments you wouldn’t normally think could be fun, try to approach it with a silliness that allows for a new experience.
Look ahead at the challenge now and see where you know you can loosen up a bit.
Maybe on Day 11 – you’ll color, doodle or draw something but do it with your less dominant hand or blindfolded or while dancing. I don’t know you and exactly what this ought to look like but I want to encourage YOU to consider how you can stir in healthy doses of fun along the way.
Tomorrow’s the big day! I hope you’re as excited as I am!
Before I delve into what I mean by invite + share, I want to welcome new comers – there are so many of you!!! – by encouraging you to visit these challenge preparation posts, here, here + here.
Caught up? Great! Let’s get on back to it with today’s preparation post…
Invite, Invite, Invite!
Share, Share, Share!
Even if the person you think would really benefit from this (I know, you’re just asking for a friend) isn’t on social media, doesn’t like computers or blogs or has never ever done anything like this, please consider inviting them anyway.
When I created this challenge, I was thinking of people from 12 yo (with Instagram accounts their parents know about) to the biggest numbers you can put together and still push them buttons and be a part of the Instagram community. Everyone is welcome.
I found myself expanding this challenge to Facebook when the organization Hope for Widows Foundation decided to join the challenge and share it with their members. I’d only begun writing for them in August, but sheepishly sent them the challenge in Direct Messenger on Instagram in the hopes they’d participate even for themselves. But when they extended the opportunity to their Facebook community, I knew I needed to stretch my own self.
So, as of yesterday, I am officially back on Facebook (@Regina Sather + @Simply Sather) and will be connecting with many over there too. I’m excited and a little nervous too – more people + the new and very fancy Facebook – but mostly, I’m sure it’s what I’m supposed to be doing for whoever it is that will benefit from even one day of intentional soul care during September.
Look. I love Jesus! He’s my Favorite (yes, with a capital “f”). But if you don’t know Him or spend time with Him or are still trying to figure out what you think of Him – you’re still very welcome in this community. And your friends are too.
I’m not concerned about the color of one’s skin, economic background, setbacks or failures, political affiliation, sexual orientation, level of education or profession. That’s not what I will be responding to when people join our community.
I’m interested in their soul and helping you and them make more time to dig more deeply into what’s happening there. It’s so important y’all and I really want any and all who have the interest, margin and desire to to be in the space to have success doing this work.
When you invite, please invite with that heart.
Yes, you can share this on other social media platforms, but I will only be actively cheering and supporting on Instagram + Facebook this go ’round. So, feel free to share on the other platforms but point them back over here to the blog, Instagram and now Facebook for ongoing encouragement, guidance + support.
This is a F-R-E-E challenge. I mean that in two ways!
I really hope that anyone who wants to participate would be considerate of the work I’ve created and if you do decide to share, please also tag me. Tagging me introduces me to the people you are sharing with and them to me – thank you very much. Free for you, please include me.
It would also make me happy to see people being free in the way they approach this. Now, the sassy, principal part of me won’t be having any shenanigans. If the stuff you post or share is aggressive towards another, disrespectful to any group of people, including yourself (eg. in the way you present your body, etc.) or if you bully, bad mouth or come across as a threat to yourself or anyone else, you will be reported and removed from our community.
Everyone coming here is carrying something. I’m not a therapist and won’t be acting as one. There will be no room for fixing and any need for professional support will be recommended by me only.
Please make this a safe place by considering others. Honor the progress that everyone is attempting to make and leave comparison, “should-ing” and judgment out of it.
I know it requires vulnerability to invite others to do something you’ve not done before and my be a little unsure of as well. Please trust me – when we do new things with others, especially things that make us a little nervous, we grow – which is winning.
Take a few minutes now and share on your Instagram + Facebook feed, via Voxer, Marco Polo, email, text message or if you’re a paper person (I’m a paper person!) print it off and post it in a common area where many can pass by and see it.
In relationships, accepting jobs, buying a car and even some of my travel. I nod excitedly about the beginning and don’t look through to read the fine print.
Now that I’m married to a very detailed man, I’m getting better and want to encourage you to be more like us him.
So, for today’s Instagram Challenge preparation post, I want you to make a moment to look at the challenge in detail. Read each and every prompt.
Yes, kind of bossy, but trust me.
REVIEW THE LIST BEFORE YOU START
This step – reviewing the list before the start – is important to your soul tending success because we want to be sure you’ve got margin to win.
Whatever your goal(s) with this challenge, you will increase your chances of “winning” if you lay eyes on every prompt now before Saturday to give yourself a jumpstart. Doing this also helps you make margin for these things.
Making margin – in this case – means giving yourself permission and making room in your mind and schedule before you take on the act of tending to your soul each day. For example, I knew that day 2 of the prompt would include reading a magazine, so I looked through the ones I had and decided I wanted a new one, then bought the fall issue of Magnolia Journal and am holding on to it to bust open this weekend. I’ve already decided it’ll be while Mister (what I call my husband) is watching the U.S. Open – go Serena + Sloane!
My mind and soul is already making room in that day to enjoy flipping the pages and linger longer on the words because I’m doing this very intentional work for long-lasting benefit. I’m not being rigid or inflexible. And I don’t want you to be either.
Consider if it’s possible to switch some of the activities around to different days? Maybe it’ll work better for you to sip a drink slowly (#3), read a magazine (#2) and go to bed by 9p (#13) all on the same day because of a prior commitment or it just makes sense to you.
Go get your calendar and put it side-by-side with the soul tending list.
Which prompts on which days pose a potential threat to you reaching the SMART Goal you set? What can you start working in your mind, schedule, relationships, responsibilities now to make room to complete the tasks that you know will be good for you but you don’t have a clear plan to tackle?
This is where I get derailed every time.
I don’t take a few extra minutes to look all the way to the end of what I’m saying “yes” to in order to better anticipate roadblocks, stressors, setbacks and hurdles. If you give yourself a few minutes of focused thought – no multi-tasking here – you could probably eliminate some of the very things that may be laying in wait to keep you from continuing forward.