The Secret to a More Fulfilling Life :: by Holly Spate

In the chaos of a hectic day, with all the silence drowned by noise, it’s challenging to find pockets of quiet…little moments to simply stop and be still. Each new day brings new challenges, but each new day also brings endless beauty for those who allow themselves to be open, intentional, and quiet.

Stop and think for a minute: How many times do you give yourself permission to simply stop and be so intentional and silent that you hear yourself breathing? How often do you take in the little moments and allow yourself to really focus? How much time do you spend enjoying something so much that it’s as if time stands still instead of passing you by? Do you savor the seconds? Do you see the extra in the ordinary? Life isn’t to be a blur, it’s to be a day-to-day journey. And, despite the bumps in the road and the little unknowns encountered along the way, it’s to be appreciated.

There are many ways to better appreciate our life’s journey. Slowing down, resting, having an attitude of gratitude, and rejuvenating our hearts and minds are all things which are attainable. But they each have something in common…obtaining them requires intentionality. It takes persistent practice. Our face-paced world doesn’t allow much room for such moments. It can be challenging.

We have to decide to slow down. We have to decide to carve out time. We have to decide to stay positive. We have to decide to allow ourselves to embrace times of stillness and be content when it’s silent. If we welcome a new approach, if we welcome the beauty that comes from intentionality, if we can be content to just be still, if we can appreciate, we can experience so much more.

God calls us to rest. God calls us to slow down. Both help us reconnect. Both help us rejuvenate. Slowing down, finding joy in little moments, appreciating the beauty of creation are all ways we can weave a little more joy into our lives. And that joy has a way of radiating and affecting the lives of those around us.

Welcoming the beauty that lies in simple stillness is a beautiful thing. Focusing in order to better appreciate the beauty around us is a beautiful thing. Changing perspective and being purposeful adds extra layers of surprise and joy. Having a positive attitude and heart that counts blessings adds so much. It’s a therapy that can be just the lift a heart needs.

Are you intentional about really living life? Do you value and appreciate all the beauty that colors your world….the glow of sunshine, the rustling of wind, the company and laughter of loved ones, dancing butterflies, clouds gently floating… all of creation vibrant with color and beauty? Are you able to slow down and enjoy the gifts that so many overlook?

Many are so blinded by busyness that they miss the beauty of life’s treasures…treasures that are hidden in plain sight. Only those who take moments to stop, be quiet, and truly appreciate are better able to see the daily gifts of love given and find the value within.

Are you able to appreciate your surroundings? Are you able to appreciate your life? Are you grateful for the canvas painted by the Creator that perfectly and beautifully colors the whole world around you? God has given all of creation to be enjoyed. Job 12:10 states, “In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.” Psalm 104:24-25 states, “How many are your works, Lord! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. There is the sea, vast and spacious, teeming with creatures beyond number—living things both large and small.”

He has called you to appreciate all He’s given. He wants you to focus, to give Him your concerns, to trust Him and to be thankful. He desires that you be forever grateful for all you have and for those He’s placed in your life. And as you begin to appreciate, as you begin to count your blessings, you will allow your spirit to be refreshed. You will experience more joy.

Each day we’re given is a gift, and those who truly enjoy the gift have learned the art of being intentional. They have learned to live in the moment and look for the beauty in both the small and the majestic. They have conditioned themselves to have a heart of gratitude. They have the ability to see something meaningful even in the seemingly mundane.

The world we live in will never slow down, but you can. You can challenge yourself to be more intentional, more focused, more grateful, more mindful.

As with everything in life, true change…true joy comes when we allow God to take our hand and lead us through our life’s journey. Ask Him today to lead you and help you see your life and the beauty of His blessings and creation with fresh new eyes. Ask Him to help you be more intentional. And, as you journey, give yourself permission to simply rest, enjoy, and appreciate (even the bumps in the road and the unknowns along the way). You will be better for it, and your life will be more fulfilled because of it.