Insightful Life- Mind, Body, Spirit
In my last blog, I revealed the truth about my health in my early 20's. During this time, I had two life-changing events. First, and most importantly, I gave my life to Christ. This opened the door to insurmountable hope, unconditional love, everlasting peace and boundless joy. Second, I discovered Yoga. Yoga opened my mind to receiving various healing therapies. Slowly (this is key), I began to implement life change. I intended to be the healthiest version of myself possible. The journey has been challenging, hard, and often painful. However, I see God has a better plan for my life, motivating me to move forward. Hear this truth; There is a better plan and path for each of us. Jeremiah 28:11 validates this. "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
I've had extensive training/certifications in yoga, Pilates, meditation, trauma/healing in movement therapy, mentoring and leadership, Christ-centered recovery, biblical lay counseling, and utilize a naturopathic approach to wellness. I believe true health is achieved in the realm of Mind, body, and spirit. Be mindful; this is not a comprehensive list but an excellent starting point. All of the suggestions below are with the assumption you're currently getting adequate rest and eating a healthy diet.
Let's dive in and take a look!
· Are you aware of your thinking? Awareness is the first step to making lasting changes in our thoughts. Guard against criticism, negativity, and judgment of yourself or others. Gratitude is the antidote to habitual negative thinking. Make a daily list of 5 things for which are grateful.
· Affirm your life, health, and speak truth over your mind. Create statements that say "I am ____, or I have____ " Fill in the blank with peace, joy, love, health. The bible is full of scriptures that help us win the battle of the mind. Here are some of my favorites: 2 Timothy 1:7, 1 Corinthians 2:16, Romans 12:2. Tape them up where you can see them, carry them on note cards and memorize them.
· Move your body for what season of life you are in now. There is a type of movement for everyone at every age and stage of our life. Group classes are great for accountability and community. Personal training helps with specific physical results, out-door power walks are great for nature lovers, and workout videos can be helpful for those with time constraints. Once you find what works for you, commit and stay consistent. There are no excuses not to move; in fact, we were divinely created to do so.
· Practice Yoga. Those who consistently practice Yoga are doing their body a favor. There are dozens of types of yoga so find one that suits you. Regular Yoga practitioners age better, have fewer injuries, have decreased aging issues (i.e., arthritis or dementia), greater flexibility, better balance, less stress, sharper focus and memory, and sleep well. Yogis also have elevated self-awareness and are mindful, making it easier to encompass a mind, body, spirit approach to living.
· Pray- Be at one with God in Prayer. Prayers are the most powerful tool we have to connect ourselves to God. You can pray anytime and as often as you like. Sometimes a prayer as simple as "help me God" or "thank you God " is sufficient. If you are new to prayer, here are a few of my favorites. The Serenity Prayer, St. Francis Prayer, The Lord's Prayer.
· Meditate- Prayer is talking to God and meditation is listening to God. God is in the still, quiet moments. There are a variety of ways to meditate. You can use scripture, affirmations (Philippians 4:8) , breathing, or moving meditations like walking in silence. This is a practice, so take time to explore it daily. Start with a minimal amount of time (5 minutes) and gradually increase. Setting a timer can be helpful so you can focus on the meditation.
Finally, it's essential to remember lasting change happens gradually. I suggest you take one to two ideas off of this list (the ones that resonate with you most) and begin to implement them consistently. Once you are regularly practicing your top two picks, then add another. Continue until you are working each of the above daily. Focus on progress, not perfection. Do what you can and celebrate the victories. Often, one small change leads to another. Before you know it, you are building momentum and moving forward.
Your Insightful Life
Now it is time to take action! Where are you going to dive in and start? Write down what tool you plan to pick up and implement. Chart your progress as you go along, highlighting the successes.
Dear Lord, I am ready to make lasting change in my life. I am prepared to look at my health regarding mind, body, and spirit. Please give me the willingness, strength, and courage to be successful in this new journey. I want to take care of the temple you gave me. In your name, I pray, Amen.