Paradise

Hello friends:) since it’s been a little while since my last post, this one is somewhat of a jumble. But hey,  I ((think??)) it all goes together pretty well, so we’ll see ((this one might be a little rough))! When the new year rolls around we often find things that are telling us that all you need is a week-long experience in paradise to get yourself back to what you need or who you want to be.

Can we please get rid of that idea?
Paradise is found where you make it, and once that happens, it’s time to get the whole life detox rolling.

Personal Paradise// Seek Your Own Paradise
Since winter break has recently come to a close, I’m sure that all of you have seen the media posts saying something like, “missing paradise” alongside a picture of a beach or snowcapped mountain. Maybe you even posted one yourself. Who am I to judge? There’s nothing wrong with missing a worry-free place.
What I have the issue with is that everyone seems to live in the complete denial of the existence of paradise around us ((even when we aren’t in a beautiful place)). Websters Dictionary doesn’t define paradise as “an amazing vacation” or “where you can tan, worry-free all day, getting served strawberry smoothies”. It’s defined as;
-a very beautiful, pleasant, or peaceful place that seems to be perfect
-a place that is perfect for a particular activity or for a person who enjoys that activity
And I’m pretty sure we find that a lot more frequently than just when we. Maybe I’m wrong-who knows, but sometimes laying in bed with a lavender-scented candle burning feels a whole lot like paradise.
I love the beach and adventures, don’t get me wrong. But let’s break the thought that paradise is only found on vacations or special occasions. Sometimes, paradise is simply sipping Peppermint shakes from Chick Fil A and having lightsaber fights in Target.
And to take that a little farther, if the renewing of our hearts and minds happens a lot easier in paradise, create your own personal paradise.
Stop using a lack of paradise as excuse to resist change.
If you want paradise, seek it for yourself.cropped-img_2297.jpg

A Heart Decluttered ((The Life Detox))
Friends, as I’ve been following my resolution for the past week-and-a-half-ish, I think that I found something that goes hand in hand with living with intention. It’s simple and truly amazing.
A heart decluttered.
What is that? It’s cleaning out your heart that I’m entirely sure is jam-packed full of things that really don’t need to be crammed in. When the new year rolls around, we often find ourselves decluttering our homes and lives, but rarely do we find ourselves decluttering what needs it most.
((OUR HEARTS))
Sometimes we find ourselves so caught up in the crazy beautifulness of life with our open hearts and start letting them fill up with a whole lot of stuff that doesn’t need to be carried around. Many of us keep painful topics so close to our hearts as a way of keeping them on our mind. But if that painful topic is just something that is causing you pain or restricting you from living, take it off your heart.
Declutter it.
Lately, I’ve gotten to reconnect with a few amazing counselors that I’ve had in the past at Kanakuk and it sparked my remembering of a verse that truly is so so great.

Proverbs 4:23 [Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.]

When I was younger, we all treated this verse as a joke, using it as excuses to get out of “kanakrushes”. Now, I am so beyond grateful that it was the first thing I saw when I woke up for those two weeks.
Living with an open heart is ((COMPLETELY)) different than opening your heart to everything.
Please open your hearts, let new experiences shape and wear them, but don’t leave them open to everything. Don’t let heartbreak and painful, toxic memories build up in that little heart of yours. Guard your hearts.
Let those painful situations shape and make your heart stronger. But oh my gosh please don’t let them sit on your heart. LET YOUR HEART GET FILLED UP WITH THE THINGS AND PEOPLE YOU LOVE. Don’t ((not even for a little bit)) let that pain take the place of all the beautiful things waiting to be let into our lives.
And sometimes if a heart-decluttering isn’t quite enough, all we need is a full-life detox; a full-life decluttering, to get us back on track.

The Full Life Detox
Sunday afternoon, I ((unintentionally)) participated in a full life detox. Just like the decluttering, I started with cleaning out things I had been holding onto that were just keeping me back from living with intention. While memories and the objects attached to them cannot physically hold us back, they make it a whole heck of a lot harder to. So into shoe boxes and trash bags went most of the contents of the floor of my closet, and it already felt like a weight was lifted.
Then I took it a little farther.
Often around this time of year, you see the posts on social media where people say something along the lines of, “New year, time to get rid of toxic relationships in my life.”
I was discussing this with a friend recently and here’s the catch, a lot of these relationships aren’t actually toxic. Some friendships are just geared differently. Some are meant to be strong for a while but need a break from each other after that period so fighting doesn’t happen. It’s not anywhere close to a toxic relationship. It’s simply learning to deal with different kinds of people. So stop fighting and take a breather, don’t completely erase the relationship. Matthew 5:9 says, “How blessed are those who make peace!”
Friends, make peace ((with yourself and others)) and let your life and heart get replenished!

If you’ve made it this far, thank you for pushing through the jumble of this blog post:).
Here’s the checklist I have for you to get rolling on the personal paradise//heart decluttering train.

  • Find//create paradise within your life

  • Spend some time alone to discover what’s weighing on your heart

  • GET RID OF THE THINGS WEIGHING ON YOUR HEART

  • Now, physically get rid of things restricting you from becoming what you want

  • Acknowledge friendships that might not be exactly what you thought

with love,
Elle

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