Abraham Joshua Heschel was one of the leading American Rabbis, theologians, and social activists of the 20th century. He said something that I’ll never forget …

7 Comments to
Renew Your Life! Change Up the Routine

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  1. Owning a business has been a lot more trying than I had originally imagined. It has taken me almost five years to begin to learn how to start balancing my life. I say begin because I still find myself occasionally getting back into the tunnel – experiencing what I call business tunnel vision. Since the start-up of Satin Serenity almost 5 years ago, I often found myself completely immersed in it, which is pretty much what you have to do to get a business off of the ground. However, the difficulty lies in trying to figure out how to do this without sacrificing yourself, your family, and your friends. This past year, I began to realize that I was neglecting some of the things that fed my soul and made me feel alive. One of these things was spending time in nature, as I am an avid lover of the great outdoors.

    Recently, I went on a 7 mile hike with some friends into the beautiful Sawtooth Mountains near Sun Valley Idaho where I camped overnight at the edge of a crystal clear serene mountain lake. During the hike, my mind was still stuck in “work mode” and I often found my thoughts drifting back to business and “to do” lists. After setting up camp, spending a leisurely evening by the campfire and laughing with good friends – I began to feel myself unwind. The next day as we began our journey back, I started noticing things along side the trail that I hadn’t noticed on the way up – mountain flowers, odd-shaped trees, and colorful rocks. I even heard birds singing. It was as though we were on a different trail! You see, the beauty that surrounded me was there on the way up, it’s just that I was in business tunnel vision like I had been so many times before. It took getting out in nature where my mind and body could rejuvenate and my soul could wake up before I could look outside of the tunnel and witness the beauty that surrounded me.

  2. On my site, this is what I do to change my environment. I am no longer living by the seaside because of a hasty impulsive decision, which has become the trademark of my life.
    I now focus on what I love and with goal in mind of one day returning to the sea.
    Writing is a wonderful way to reach your goal and keep your routine habits in check.

  3. How would you’re readers handle someone who, at 58, is in such a bad rut, I stay home day in and day out. With the economy the way it is, Sometimes I don’t have money to put in the gas tank so I can’t go far. My neighbors keep to themselves. My husband is a salesman for insurance, and needless to say, not doing well at all.

    I feel like I’ve come to the end of the road. Only dead ends. I can’t even think clear on what to do. I’d love to run away and start my life over. But, again, no money. Someone please help!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Hello Lesly,

    It sounds like depressed mood is visiting and it seems like there are “only dead ends.” With little funds it calls for creativity, which isn’t the easiest to access when feeling depressed. Checking in with community can be the strongest form of support to uncover new roads and I want to acknowledge you doing that right here. One thing to do during these difficult times is to ask every day “what is one thing I am doing to take care of myself today”, make sure you are on your “to-do” list.

    For an ongoing community forum, I suggest looking into Therese Borchard’s community at http://community.beliefnet.com/beyond_blue

    Continue to stay connected!

  5. Lesley, Why don’t you try making something like strawberry jam and selling it? You can get mason jars at Wal-mart for instance, and learn how to can from a book at the library perhaps. Start out with say a dozen jars. You could save two for yourself, give two away and sell 8. Good Luck!

  6. PLEASE HELP!! I am always thinking of doing something (go on a diet, picking up the house, quit smoking, etc), but I always find a dumb excuse to postpone it. Whether that be the TV, my children, work, or a fly passing by….
    I can´t get out of this cycle of not getting things done and it is getting to my nerves!!!

    HEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEELP!!! How can I really start and get focused???

  7. Lesley,
    I know it may be hard to imagine what direction your life is going but I believe that we are the sum of our experiences. This may sound cliche, but God has a purpose and a plan for your life and if you haven’t been crying out to Him, it might feel like your life is in utter despair.

    Sometimes God brings us to a place where He is all we have that way we come to know that He is all we need.

    I suggest connecting yourself to a local church community and getting involved with some of the ministries and fellowships there.
    For I know the thoughts I have for you says the Lord, thoughts for good, not for evil. . .seek Me and you will find Him when you search with all your heart!!! Jer 29:11-13

    They are a great way to connect yourself and realize you are not alone!

  8. this is so true… I noticed this weekend as I walked around my parents house that I’ve grown accostumed to the idea that it’s ok to leave projects half-completed. The truth of the matter is that it drives me crazy to go around in my room and realize that I too have lot’s of semi-completed projects all over! and I’m not that way…. but again i’ve grown accostumed to this. It’s time to act the way I really am.

  9. this article is truely inspiring and I can identify with everything that was said.I am at a point in my life where I am longing for change. Change can only be attained by making an effort to change my routine.Thank you for reminding me of that fact

  10. Interesting article! I truly liked the metaphor as well. :)

    Although we typically converse about mental health and overall well-being, I think “routine thinking” can also be applied to individual’s who are discouraged about their finances, level of education, family life, and for other reasons as well. For example, I just recently spoke with an individual who was obviously seriously depressed, stressed, and very discouraged. He is receiving SSI and other governmental assistance because of a disability that he attributes to his alcoholic mother and his infidel father. He has been unable, due to bad nerves, to work in certain environments. The only advanced education he sought was a trade in nursing. He hasn’t worked in over 20 years.

    The poor man just felt out of touch, out of life, kicked, and pushed to the side. No one would hire him, the arrogance and capitalistic nature of our self-serving society was truly evident. I had the opportunity to speak with him and also help him find answers to his financial instability. He had a great heart; he wanted to work with troubled youth, although he didn’t feel he qualified. As you already know, “qualification” means a degree in counseling, psychology, and other advanced areas of study. Unfortunately this avenue is not available to us all.

    In short, once I began to help him see that his “discouraged routine of thinking” could be changed by researching various avenues of work and having an open and positive mind, he began to feel much better about himself, his life, and his chance at a new beginning.

    It is amazing how routine thinking can place one within a rut. It has also come upon me in the past. Although I am a psychologist in the making, I too fall prey to routine thinking, that is, negative routine thinking. Thank God for my wise mother who often brings me out :)
    It is a trap!! It secludes you, it makes you afraid to step out sometimes, and even reluctant to believe in change.

    Best wishes

  11. very nice article!!

    you are totally right, some people live their lives fooling themselves because they never dare to explore things from a different perspective

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