I dearly hope that, at the end of the day, my book has essential integrity with the way I actually live. But man, there is a level of accountability to authoring a book about soul-restoring self-care that continues to challenge me!
The central message of my book is that we can learn to practice self-care in the moments, hours, and days or our lives in a way that prevents us getting overwhelmed, fatigued, and burned out. Many of us tend to apply self-care the way our cultural messaging suggests; as occasional, out of the norm efforts to recover from a life that doesn’t work day to day. So, from cover to cover, I’m describing why and how to live better every day. Kind of challenging, no?
So, throughout the process, from the initial draft through editing and in the audiobook reading, I found myself asking, “am I living up to all this?”
These are just a few moments that got me along the way:
- I’d be writing about not letting our phones interrupt our focused work times and before having a conscious thought, I’d realize my own phone was in my hand and I was 75% through an article about the world’s tallest dog
- I’d be drafting a section about shifting attention away from unhelpful thought patterns and catch myself in a 30-minute swirl of thoughts about all the people who may hate my book and slime me on the internet
- After writing a section about how important connecting with beloveds is to self-care, I caught myself saying “nah, let’s just watch our show” when Dan asked if I wanted to spend some time together
- I’d have read a section on how important it is not to judge ourselves harshly for the emotions that arise in us and then I’d hear my inner critic berating me for experiencing envy
- I talk about the importance of soul-restoring rhythms and then blow off my commitment to pause in the middle of my day for prayer
I don’t want to be too hard on myself about it; no one can do all the soul-restoring things all the time! And I’m happy that the book has relevance for me every time I go over it again. One of my endorsers (author Alice Fryling) said about Restore My Soul; “this is not a book to be read and put on the shelf”. And she’s right! Our efforts at soul-restoring self-care need retooling as we meander through different seasons and life situations that require different kinds of effort. We never really arrive! We do well to revisit these concepts frequently.
The thought of my book being an ongoing resource for people committed to soul-care and having a rich and fulfilling life brings me great joy! I certainly hope that is what it will be for you.