What does the word environment mean to you? I am not talking about the use of the word in the climate or how we are affecting the environment each day (though that is important)…I am talking about the environment that YOU are in, right here, right now.

Environment is a place:

  1. The place you are sitting in right now. A coffee shop, a work space facing a computer, or on a comfortable couch in your living room.
  2. The region you live in. The city, a small town, in the mountains, on a beach, or in the woods.

These are the places that you are placed in either because of a job or by your own choice. This then leads to you finding an environment within that location that you feel comfortable in. For me, that is in a cozy coffee shop: a location with vaulted ceilings, many seats (too few make the environment seem cold), good coffee, good snacks, and friendly baristas. This week, I have been moving out of my house. Sarah and I sold our couches and moved all of the chairs out. On Monday, I ate my breakfast on the floor, leaning against a pillow, while trying to have a quiet time. And in case that doesn’t make you feel uncomfortable, we also heard mice in our walls (yikes!) on Sunday, which completely freaked me out. I began to frequent various coffee shops around town, because I did not feel comfortable in my environment at home. I have found that I need a chair or couch to sit on, within a warm room, that is rodent free. I also believe that it is SO easy to become sucked into the comfort of your own home. It is good to escape for a couple of hours and immerse yourself into a social setting, without having to be social. Plus, what is it about coffee shop coffee? It tastes so much better!

Environment is inside of you:

  1. Your heart.
  2. Your soul.
  3. Your mind.

This one goes a little deeper. Recently, I have been considering what sort of “environment” my heart, soul, and mind are in. Am I filling my spirit with good things or things that are breaking me down? This week has been filled with preparations for moving. Even though my work schedule has been cut in half, my days are still set aside for moving, cleaning, organizing, running last minute errands, and tying up loose ends. I have made calls to cancel electric, internet, changing mailing addresses, and shot off resumes and cover letters to businesses in Seattle. On Monday, I decided to make sure that each day I set aside time to stop, relax, and refill my soul. So far, so good!

I believe that a “refill for your soul” can be filled with anything. It can be waking up, drinking coffee, and watching the news. It can be drinking coffee and having a quiet time. It can be sitting down at night with a bowl of ice cream and catching up on your most recent television show. It can be sitting in your bed early in the morning and reading a book. It can be taking a five minute walk around the block, while listening to the newest ODESZA song. It can be a short session of yoga or going to the gym. The previous four days have been filled with each of those items from the list above.

In giving myself some breathing space, I have felt more at peace with the craziness of moving, it has helped me budget out my time and money better, I have been able to be intentional with the people around me, while being able to cross more to-dos off my list than I could have imagined.

Margin friends, margin. I have written about it before and I will write about it once more. Find time to pause. We have to ask ourselves, “Where do I thrive?” I have found that I thrive when I am plugged into good music, having a quiet time or going to the gym, while running off of a light coffee buzz.

A reset to the mind, soul, and heart can also be immersing yourself into creation or the culture of the area you live in. In Bozeman, we are surrounded with enormous, beautiful peaks! A reset can be taking a light hike into the wilderness, breathing in the fresh air, then descending back into the city, back to the busy streets.

If we take the time to reset our mind, soul, and heart, our internal environment completely changes its course. There is not room for stress and chaos. I know that I have a habit of letting stress and work control my life. It is okay to work hard (we have been blessed with a jobs!), but I am reminding myself to not “hoard my life” (thank you Pastor Judah Smith for this phrase). We become selfish if we are not sharing our time with the environment around us: this means with creation and the people in our life.

Thanks for keeping up friends. Have a great weekend. I hope your weather is a bit nicer than the wet, cold, falling snow here in Bozeman!


Featured image: Jonny Durst


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