Benefits of Meditation  – Broken beautiful

WIld and Free World Too Much
 

April is Stress Awareness Month.

Stress is an interesting topic because inevitably if I asked by a show of hands how many people are stressed; probably half the room would lift their hands. Those who didn’t raise their hands would either be in the category where I found myself of not actually realizing that I have stress but may have suppressed it or misidentified it as actual stress.

I’ll admit I was the first to say that I’m not stressed. I was quick to say that no, I don’t stress easily, that I’m fairly calm and easy going and I try not to let things get under my skin.

But I could confidently tell anyone that I’m extremely sensitive, caring (sometimes too much) and I feel passionate about every area of my life (spirit, soul, body, finances and relationships).

NOW, considering that, let me ask you; would you say that you are likely to allow the cares of this world fall on your shoulders and/or your hands and feel like you are obligated to do something about it and when you can’t you feel overwhelmed?

Yup. You’re stressed.

Please don’t shout me down.

I’m not trying to pin, us or label, us or make us all feel like there’s something wrong, what I want to do is help us realize where there’s a beautiful opportunity to allow God to give us the help He freely offers. To take our broken spaces and lead us to something beautiful.

It starts by renewing our minds.

Since April is Stress Awareness Month, I wanted to take some time looking at very practical ways that we can untangle the webs we weave in our lives.

DE-STRESS MOTIVATION: Only you can take care of you. Identify and pursue your passions, manage your health and be attentive to your emotional and spiritual well-being. By practicing a lifestyle of self-care, you will be better equipped to handle all that life brings your way. – Jessica Turner, The Fringe Hours

Renewed Mind 

Adjust Your Focus!

“The average person has over 30,000 thoughts a day. Through an uncontrolled thought life, we create the conditions for illness; we make ourselves sick! Research shows that fear, all on its own, triggers more than 1,400 known physical and chemical responses and activates more than 30 different hormones. There are INTELLECTUAL and MEDICAL reasons to FORGIVE! Toxic waste generated by toxic thoughts causes the following illnesses: diabetes, cancer, asthma, skin problems and allergies to name just a few. Consciously control your thought life and start to detox your brain!”// – Dr. Caroline Leaf

One of the greatest misconceptions about stress is that mental and emotional stress are not as detrimental as physical stress. Most people associate stress with work and a busy lifestyle, and although true, how we think and how we maintain our emotions affects the mind and the body. For many, their personal life is just as stressful as their career life, if not more so.

In addition, people experience stress due to things like environmental toxins, overuse of technology, constant traveling, changing time zones or switching work shifts, which changes one’s biorhythm and can take several days to adjust to the new schedule. Therefore, stress is a part of the modern day life and the body will respond to the stress placed upon it.

Stress that is stored in the body can show up in the most unexpected ways. Although associated with depression and panic attacks, stress manifests itself also through less obvious signals. These five signs indicate that something in your life is placing stress on your body. ACE Fitness breaks down the Top 5 Secret Signs that You Are Stressed

We’ve discussed the wisdom of Dr. Caroline Leaf here because she’s beyond brilliant and is a woman of God who brings her neurology medical expertise in line with God’s word and well, that’s always worth sharing.

⚓️Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the PEACE of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable — if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise — dwell on these things. Do what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:6-9 HCSB)

Broken people don’t focus on the sins and issues of others. No, they are so aware of their need for a Savior that they work on themselves. Broken people don’t demand their rights. No, they often lay them down. Broken people don’t dodge responsibility for their actions. No, they are fully willing to accept the consequences of their sin. // {excerpt from Living The Surrendered Life a She Reads Turth #devotional }

Distress that drives us to God does that. It turns us around. It gets us back in the way of salvation. We never regret that kind of pain. But those who let distress drive them away from God are full of regrets, end up on a deathbed of regrets.”

‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭7:10‬ ‭MSG‬‬

 

Strength Training 

You wanna know how Jesus becomes your personal trainer? Let Him know that you’re out of shape and you need His help. I didn’t ‘workout’ this week and it felt really good not to. To not feel like I needed it “to de-stress or let out tension” which I’ve often said when describing my workouts.  Sure that’s one of the benefits but I don’t want that to be my source of clarity & focus.
It felt really good to just sit with my bible study; one that makes you literally look up the verse for yourself and see what it says and then write down what it means to you right now in your life; watching the sun rise over the ocean while my family slept peacefully.


It was detoxing to be reminded that God is for me. To know that in the search for more strength, He is my trainer. To know that in my desire for flexibility, He is my trainer. To know and trust that when my endurance is low, He is always willing to be my trainer and will never leave me when I feel like I can’t finish the race.


As a trainer, I use to complain that I never got clients who just needed to ‘tone up’, I’d always get clients who were facing medically related weight issues, some emotionally fragile and took it out on their bodies. One day my pastor called me out and asked me if I ever get ‘easy clients’ or the ones with ‘issues’; with tears in my eyes I knew he was about to drop a prophetic bomb on me. He said “well sister; God saw you with your issues but He also saw who He created and so with the help you’ve been given He’s equipped you to train them to finish the race. “

Friends, I still desperately need Jesus to be my personal trainer. This week has been detoxing. My heart and my mind are flooded with so much revelation and yet I know He’s just getting started!

Tears. Salty stinging, healing tears. Tears muddled by childhood lies that became an adolescent awkward and shame filled adult.
Tears that heal a weary broken soul shattered by the pieces of trust left in the hands of the ones you thought would protect you.

Tears that mend a heart torn by death and abandon and fear and hatred and regrets and uncertainty.

Tears that carry the burden of parenting, marriage, frail friendships and sibling rivalry.

Tears that echo the redemption whispering freedom to the captives.

Tears that see beyond the now into the wildest deepest desires of healed heart.

Tears that transform the sting of death to the strangely dim.

Tears that wash the Masters feet in humble adoration and reckless abandon.

Tears that speak the language of a wild & free woman.

These tears I shed. Like oil from an alabaster box.

 

DE-STRESS MOTIVATION: You were NOT created to do everything alone. Embracing help in ways that make sense for your life will allow you more time to do what you are uniquely called to do. – Jessica Turner The Fringe Hours

 

“There’s no need to abide by social conventions or expectations that don’t serve you or others well. This idea of being small and not making a fuss doesn’t serve real-life, grown-up women. You can take up all the space you need and still leave room for others. You can be seen and heard and still be gracious. Challenging expectations is wise, but abandoning them defensively is not.

Romans 12:2 reminds us “don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. THEN you will learn to know GOD’S WILL FOR YOU, which is good and pleasing and perfect”(NLT). You can push back on the ways culture bosses you around and still listen to those who love you well.// Hayley Morgan & Jess Connolly Wild & Free

 

Meditation 

A study published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology reported that 54 percent of participants felt anxious while meditating. Meditation with Christ/Holy Spirit led prayer gets us back to the simplicity of God’s presence. It helps us clear the clutter in our minds and offer Him an opportunity to fill us with purpose. Meditation for me has been simply playing worship music and sitting quietly allowing the lyrics to wash over me. It’s given me answers to questions, instructor, peace, clarity of purpose, and just reminders of how much He loves me.

Meditation takes us back to the basics of recognizing that it’s ok to identify our weakness because it’s there that Christ is made strong. This Holy Yoga Series on Meditation will help you hone in on the focus of noticing His Presence.

 


 

How does meditation benefit other women? 

 

I love to meditate on a scripture God has given me. Instead of reading a chapter in the Bible, I tend to mesitate on a few scriptures. I do that with worship too. – Olivia 

This is what I think of for meditate: “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. – Joshua 1:8


Meditating for me is dedicating the Word to my life. Listening to it each day and mentally treasuring the verses that the Lord makes known to me is meditating. Being able to verbally process with others is meditation in community! Kind of like what we are doing now – Kasey 

Meditation used to look a lot different to me before I was a mom, then changed when I had one kid, changed when I had 2 kids, and now I am finding my new “normal” with 3. Before I had Amos, I would wake up early with my husband to read the Bible and pray while he was getting ready for work. As I would read scripture, if God spoke to me through a specific verse or passage, I would stop and pray and journal it. This would allow me to focus on what God wanted me to see through that passage and continue to meditate on it throughout the day and look back on it at a later point. Because the Bible is alive and active (Heb 4:12) you can read the same passage 10 times and it could speak differently to you each time, so I love to look back and see what God was revealing to me then and what He is revealing to me in the present. My hubby and I also used to take time to fast and pray while meditating on scripture every Tuesday. I didn’t fast during my pregnancy but still took the time with him to pray and meditate. – Kimbre

The truth we read in quiet is far too easily forgotten as we re-enter the noise and hustle of our lives. Memorizing Scripture applies God’s Word to our hearts and minds permanently, giving us tangible promises and clear directions so that we might not sin against Him. – She Reads Truth Open Your Bible
Try these tips from ‘Open Your Bible’ for memorizing scripture:

  • Write it several times in one sitting. The more you write it, the better it will stick
  • Post it on a place you visit often (above the kitchen sink, on the fridge, in your car). Try using a dry erase marker on your mirror.
  • Save the verses you want to memorize as a lockscreen on your phone. (She Reads Truth provides lots of Scripture lock screens on their bible app)
  • Sing it. If you can’t find a song for the verse you’re learning, make up your own!
  • Write it on your arm and make it your goal to have it memorized by the time it wears off.
  • Try taking a month (or a year!) to memorize a whole chapter or book of the bible. Instead of learning lots of short verses here and there, take on a big chunk and chip away at it but by bit.

Meditation Verses

  • Proverbs 4:23
  • Psalm 119:9-11
  • Joshua 1:8-9 

What are some of your favorite ways to memorize scripture? 

 


 

DE-STRESS MOTIVATION: You must eliminate self-imposed pressures in your life to enjoy a more fruitful life. You cannot be everything for everyone. Moreover, if you do not make time for yourself, you will flatline. Pursue a life of joy and contentment, and you will be happier, healthier, and more at peace. Making time for yourself is both necessary and fulfilling. – Jessica Turner The Fringe Hours

 

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Proper Nutrition

As the airplane safety video says, you must “put your own oxygen mask on first.”  You can’t take care of others if you’re running out of air yourself.

At some point in their lives, many women struggle with overeating and use food to help curb negative emotions. Wine, chocolate, sugar, and other sweet treats beckon and promise a momentary relief.

But once the “food rush” wears off, they’re left with the very same emotional problems—plus a self-defeating sense of guilt.

Of course, many women understand that food doesn’t help resolve “negative” emotions like fear, resentment, anger, or stress—but they still find themselves helpless, using sugar or alcohol as a coping mechanism for emotions that feel intolerable.

Without help, some women even develop a food addiction. In the article Overstressed and Overeating, the research team at Precision Nutrition pore through data on thousands of women to identify the two biggest health-related problems that hold women back from having the body they want. Problem #1 Complicated Relationship with food. Problem #2 You have a difficult time staying consistent with your diet, exercise, or healthy lifestyle habits.

If you ever find yourself struggling with mysterious hunger and feel like you just really want to eat an entire chocolate bar, Dr. Krista Scott Dixon (Precision Nutrition curriculum developer) has a few more tips to help:

  1. Begin by assuming some thought, belief, and/or emotion is driving this urge, even if you don’t yet know what it is.
  2. Look for where your emotions are in your body. “Scan” your body from head to toe, observing any signals or physical feelings you notice.
  3. Observe only. Don’t analyze. Right now you are gathering information.
  4. Wait. Don’t rush to explain things with your immediate response, e.g. “Oh it must be my mother issues because blah blah blah” or “Oh, it must be because I had no protein and only 20 grams of carbs.” If the answer pops up quickly, that’s your brain. Your body is slow and quiet with its signals. You must wait. At least 30 seconds, ideally 60.
  5. Remember that emotions can feel like hunger. Yes, it’s weird. But so is an elephant’s trunk. And Nature has made both of these things possible.
  6. Don’t “should” yourself or rush to judge the feelings. Let them come even though they seem stupid. Just be a little distance away from yourself and observe, like an anthropologist with a clipboard.
  7. If you feel a feeling, ask yourself how the situation you’re in might relate to a perceived threat to your own identity and values. Ask yourself, politely and conversationally, “Oh, OK, that seems important to you? Why?”
  8. When you get a response (again, wait — the body is slow), ask some more. “What’s that all about? Why is that important?” Keep asking, then wait and watch the body’s response. It’s like playing the getting warmer-getting colder game. “Is it this? Hmm, no. Is it that? Ah yes, that seems more significant.”
  9. Give yourself a few minutes to experience whatever emotions you’re experiencing. Check your watch if you need to, and allocate five minutes to this project. Unlike houseplants, ignoring feelings doesn’t make them go away. You might as well turn and face them. Roll around in the mud with the feelings for a few minutes. If you’re sad, cry. If you’re angry, chomp your jaw and growl like a pissed-off baboon. If you’re anxious, run around in circles like Homer Simpson.
  10. Work backwards along the “chain” for more clues. What were you doing just before you felt this? Who was with you? What was happening? What about an hour ago? This morning?
  11. Take 10 deep breaths. Exhale using a slow 5-count. Try to empty your lungs completely. If necessary, release the emotion you’ve been sitting with. Just let it float off, like a soap bubble.
  12. Once you’re done, notice whether your hunger has changed. If so, how? If not, how not?

If you can’t find a private place to do this (e.g. you’re at work, at home with kids running around), sneak off to the bathroom. If you keep the bathroom fan running, nobody will hear you whispering Grrrr!!!!

Of course, if you want some help and guidance with your nutrition—including dealing with emotional overeating—I’d love to coach you. (Click Here to schedule a consultation)

Did you know that proper nutrition plays a huge role in minimizing stress? One key mineral we need to help keep our body calm is Magnesium.  Here are 7 Signs You need more magnesium (mindbodygreen)

DE-STRESS MOTIVATION: Because you don’t have to be everything to everyone. You don’t have to try so hard to button it up and hold it together. And you certainly don’t have to quiet the voice that God gave you when he created you to sing. Wild and Free will help you shake off the lies of insecurity in your life, and step forward to maximize your God-given influence for his glory and the world’s good. – Jess Connolly & Hayley Morgan Wild And Free: A Hope-filled anthem for the woman who feels she is both too much and never enough

 

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