3 Purposeful Questions I Ask Myself Each Night

purposeful questions

I am a big fan of rhythm and routine – a natural part of my ISFJ, Enneagram 1 personality type. Not rigid and inflexible as in past years when I lived like the slave rather than the master of my agenda. But a gentle structure that ebbs and flows as needed and generally helps me live purposefully, clearly aligned to my primary goals and values.

An important part of my daily rhythm is to begin and end my days with simple routines designed to support mind, body and spirit health. Nothing fancy and occasionally I break “the rules.”

In the evenings I dim the lights and make an herbal tea. I check my menu for the following day; simple, real food is important to us and I like looking ahead to ensure I have what I need and note if there is anything to get started for the following day. I do a 45 second plank, turn off my phone, and climb into bed with a book. Easy reading mostly, by the light of my salt lamp, as I want to calm my mind for peaceful rest. But before I actually read, I lay the book on my chest, take a few deep, slow, calming breaths, and ask myself a series of questions to end my day well.

3 Purposeful Questions I Ask Myself Each Night

1. What are 3 things I am grateful for?

I started this life-giving practice in 2011 after reading “One Thousand Gifts”* by Ann Voskamp. Expressing gratitude comes easy to me now, like breathing or laughing with my children. But I have walked through darker seasons where I had to fight for gratitude. I struggled to find hope, reluctant to allow myself to feel joy, afraid of what lay around the next bend in the road. Back then this practice was hard work but part of what sustained me as I slowly healed and found my way back to health.

I want to live eyes and heart wide open to the amazing beauty of each day. To receive each day as gift, not guarantee. If I look for it, I can find gifts even in the midst of pain, or loss, or uncertainty. Don’t misunderstand; I do not welcome pain or loss or uncertainty but now know I have the resilience to walk through the storm and emerge intact.

2. What are 2 things I did well today?

I work with women in class settings and one on one. Many are open and even eager to begin a practice of gratitude,  to begin to notice the small daily gifts that we often take for granted or miss because we are hurting or distracted. But when I ask them to speak words of life over themselves, to notice what they do well, how they shine, we meet resistance. It is so easy to see our struggle or shortcoming but not our beauty or the all the ways we show up and serve and use our strengths on a daily basis. Can you relate?

I only added this question to my evening routine over the past year. And I must admit that my responses require some thought. But as someone who, since childhood, struggled with believing I was enough – so painfully aware of all the ways I never quite measured up, this practice is changing me. Deepening the roots of self awareness and self compassion that permit me to step out in calm confidence.

3. What is 1 thing I would do differently?

Some nights I tell myself that there is not a thing I would do differently given the chance. But more often I can identify something: a word spoken in impatience, too much time on my phone distracted, the way I procrastinated out of fear or forgot to eat because I was busy working. The goal is never to criticize but to notice where I did not live fully aligned to my bigger goals and values.

I choose a growth mindset. I am gentle with myself, compassionate and forgiving as I am with my children or husband. But I am always aware that I get to choose who and how I want to be and that tomorrow is a new gift, a brand new opportunity to become more fully myself.

Though I have never actually timed myself, some days I feel like this practice of asking myself 3 purposeful questions takes me five minutes, other nights twenty. Once in a while I have a desire to rush ahead. But sacrificing a bit of my precious reading time is so worth it because of how calm and clear I feel afterward. At peace. Content in the knowledge that though I did not live out my day perfectly, I did live it well.

Krista xo

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Mind-Body Nourished

Mind-Body Nourished

In my work as a Holistic Nutrition & Joyful Living Educator I focus primarily on mind-body health. I hold a vision of offering a safe space – a Safe House – for women of all walks of life to come and get patched up, encouraged and nourished so they can continue their journey to freedom. I want to gather women together across racial, religious, age, body size, life experience divides. To invite us to let down our guard, lay down our weapons and lift each other up. Listen and learn from each other. When we offer our sisters safe spaces we ourselves are nourished.

My desire is to be a light of hope and encouragement. To take all my struggle and study and offer it to others needing to be reminded that they – you – matter. That you are worthy of love and compassion right now. Not when you lose 50 pounds or finally break that addiction or get your act perfectly together. Right now in the middle of the storm.

I believe we all have gifts to offer the world – small and subtle or big and flashy, it does not matter. You are gifted. You are knit together like amazing artwork, for a purpose. You are needed. You may have walked through some horrible darkness or your life may have been fairly safe and secure to this point but either way, you have gifts to bring to the world. But really, it is hard to offer who we are and to live the life we truly desire if we are nutrient deficient or overstuffed but undernourished. Depleted, depressed, discouraged.

You cannot all come sit with me in my living room so I decided to gather some of you together in the pages of a free gift. I have collected tips and resource recommendations for you, from women far and wide within my circle of contacts. Some are online acquaintances, childhood friends, local women from varying worldviews and life experiences but all work in women’s wellness in some manner. Sign up for email updates to receive the Mind-Body Nourished document then read slowly and savor – recognize that we are all imperfect. Not one of us has life all perfectly figured out. We are all still on the journey and learning to nourish ourselves well.

I am grateful to all the women who participated in providing tips and resources for this small project. Your wisdom is greatly appreciated. And readers, you can learn more about these strong, courageous women by following the embedded links to their websites or social media pages when you get your copy of Mind-Body Nourished.

You may not like or agree with everything I or these women teach or believe. Take what serves you and leave the rest. I have found that I have grown and healed and become who I am in part through watching and listening to other women. I don’t have to share all the same beliefs to glean from and appreciate them or their work.

This world is hurting and I want to be part of loving and building up rather than tearing down. I can offer others the same respect and kindness I desire for myself and my children. I can learn to listen well and not just seek to be heard. I can help build a world that feels safe for my (future) grand children. I can love others simply because of the realization that I, an incredibly imperfect human being, was offered the gift of love and acceptance in the middle of my need and brokenness. I can be a safe house for others on their journey to freedom.

Sign up to receive your copy of Mind-Body Nourished here.

May you find hope and encouragement within these pages. Krista xo