• Melissa Neeb

Authentic Living Requirements!

Want a more authentic, free, passionate, serene life?

Try replacing.

Number One:

Is there someone in your life that you can't stop complaining about? Maybe it's your spouse. Maybe it's a co-worker. Maybe it's every single person on the road because people don't know how to drive. Maybe it's your neighbor. Maybe it's a teacher. Start catching yourself when you complain and see if you can't turn it around.

Try being kind to the very person you are complaining about.

Try to see things from their perspective. Try to be gentle with them. Treat them with the same love and understanding that you would give your child, or your grandparent. See them as a beautifully flawed, perfect unique, child of God.

Number Two:

If you pray, and then continue to worry, you have negated your prayer. Once you have prayed about it, put it down. It is not yours to figure out. YOU cannot figure it out. It is for God to unravel in His own perfect timing. Stop worrying and start praying. Get in the habit of it. You will find yourself much calmer, much more serene. Try it.

The only way to have a relationship with someone is to give them your time. We give God our time by going to church, reading the Bible, and praying.

Don't just BELIEVE in God. KNOW Him.

Number Three:

I know how good a Netflix marathon is, trust me. I also know that when I off my behind, I don't regret one minute of time spent outside.

Fresh air is one of the most therapeutic tools I know of. And it's FREE! We spend so much of our day sitting. At work. At home. In the car. It is SO important to get moving, get some amazing vitamin D, and experience the miracles that only nature can provide.

No excuses. Get outside. Seriously.

Number Four:

Can we all agree that it's time to put down the phone? For real though. We all talk about how addicted we are to our smartphones and I am so guilty of this.

So let's put. them. down.

When someone is talking to you, put the phone down. Look them in the eyes. Give them your full attention.

When you should be cleaning up or getting some exercise or playing with your kids, stop checking your phone every 5 minutes. When you're sitting in a restaurant and your date goes to the bathroom, sit there quietly. Without looking at your phone. When you're driving, PUT THE PHONE DOWN!

Number Five:

Boy, do I know how good retail therapy feels. At least for an hour after I bring home my treasures. Then I feel like crap because of the money I spent and because I already have a house full of stuff and because I just spent the last year and a half of my life de-cluttering.

Stop spending. Stop buying more. Stop filling personal voids with stuff. Start listing what you're grateful for, especially the things that money can't buy. When you realize YOU are enough, you won't have to surround yourself with material things.

Stop accumulating and start saying thank you for all the incredible blessings you already have. Guess what?

You already have it all.

Number Six:

Who do grudges hurt? YOU. Who do resentments poison? YOU. Not the person you're holding them against. The way to heal your own heart is to dig deep and forgive. Forgive others. Forgive yourself. Forgive freely and fully.

This doesn't mean continuing to accept pain and suffering. It simply means letting go of the past because it doesn't serve you anymore.

We forgive because God forgives. It's as simple as that.

Number Seven:

Being over-scheduled and exhausted is the opposite of living with purpose.

Intentional living is about filling your days with important relationships, self-care, and commitments you are passionate about. It means setting goals and being doggedly persistent in achieving them. It means saying no when necessary. No to anything that isn't instinctively and resoundingly "YES!"

Your purpose will become clear when you start zeroing in on what your goals are, what you want to learn, and what you want to give. Cut out unnecessary commitments, become comfortable with saying no, and spend time every single day doing something you love.

Number Eight:

It's time to turn off the TV, get off your phone, shut down your computer, and be quiet.

Being able to sit in silence with yourself is the first step in self-awareness.

I have found many ways to get quiet. Meditating, praying, doing yoga, going for a jog, journalling, taking a nature walk, sitting by a body of water, listening to the birds on my deck, taking a bath, driving to work in silence (YES! SILENCE!) are just a few. Give yourself 10 minutes a day of silence. You will be amazed at how peaceful a practice of silence is and how much calmer you are.

Try it the next time you're arguing with your spouse or someone you love. Go somewhere quiet and breathe. Pray. Journal. Then come back to the problem with a clearer mind.

Number Nine:

Last year I read "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up" by Marie Kondo. Let me tell you, it WAS a life-changer. I decided to go through our entire house and de-clutter just like her book recommends.

My goal was to get rid of half our stuff!

And get rid of stuff I did. In keeping only what brought my family joy, we were able to purge more than half of our possessions. It was weight-lifting and freeing beyond words.

When I had a hard time deciding what to get rid of or letting go of certain things that I knew weren't serving me anymore, it helped to say "Thank you!" to the item, knowing it fulfilled it's purpose while I had it and now needed to be passed along.

It is also necessary to de-clutter relationships. I took the time to de-clutter Facebook, cutting my "Friends" list in half. In re-evaluating my commitments, I vowed to say no more and focus on what hobbies brought me the most joy.

Just simplify.

Number Ten:

Here's what I've found alcohol gives me: headaches, mood swings, hangovers, tiredness, arguments, over-reactions, emotional instability, memory loss, nausea, and depression. Here's what I KNOW water gives me: better skin, better organ function, more focus, less fatigue, less headaches, better digestion, clearer thinking, more of an ability to live in the present moment, and killer immune support.

If you need a drink to relax, to unwind, to calm your nerves, to cope with stress, to minimize pain, or to have a good time, there are much healthier ways of achieving those things. Trying cutting out alcohol for a month. You'd be surprised at how good you feel. And if you can't...that might be a sign of a bigger problem.

On your journey toward self-improvement and self-awareness, alcohol only hinders the process.

Number Eleven:

Every week I try to get together for coffee with my two best friends. Granted, we are all busy so it's not possible every week. But I try. At our beloved coffee dates, we talk, we laugh, we comfort, we hug.

Social media cannot give us the vital affection and connection we as human beings need.

I urge you to find more ways to incorporate touch in your daily life and see if your loneliness, depression, and anxiety lessens. Hold hands with your spouse. Give your kids a shoulder rub after a long day or an extra squeeze in the morning. Hug your friends and parents as often as you can. Pet your cat. Cuddle with your dog. High-five a co-worker. Shake hands with your pastor.

Touch is a fundamental human need. We are wired for touch. To touch someone is to acknowledge their presence and communicate with them. Make physical contact a daily habit.

Number Twelve:

I usually have a set plan in my mind of how I think any situation should go, however, it rarely happens how I think it will. Every day I pray to find the strength to let go of my expectations and follow God's Will for my life instead. I know that He has great things in store for me, better than anything I can imagine, and I need to get out of my own way. I want my life to fulfill His purpose for me.

Start by letting go. Instead of trying to force solutions, pray. Instead of wallowing and despairing when things don't go according to YOUR plan, ask what you can learn from the situation. Become willing to let God move swiftly in your life. Become willing to turn your will over to Him.

It's as simply as saying,

"God, Your Will Be Done."

















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