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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Just Be

I decided to try a yoga class this week. This was my first time and was excited to stretch my very stiff muscles. I'm not a fan of heat, so Hot Yoga was not happening for me. Since "Cold Yoga" was not an option a Yin Yoga class was recommended. Yin is designed to take you to a deep level of stretching and work the deeper levels of the body/heart/mind. When I got there I found out we were going to be holding poses for up to five minutes. Five minutes is not usually considered a long time, until your body is posed in an awkward position in total silence. There I was sitting on my mat in a butterfly pose, leaning my upper body as close to my lower body as possible. My mind wandered from one thought to another. My mind's thought process went something like this..

"Five minutes in this position, hope I can make it. When I get home I have to throw in a load of laundry. How many minutes has it been already? Oh! I should write out my family christmas list this week.  I wonder if anyone noticed how inflexible I am. Man, this hurts. This is a long five minutes."



The instructor interrupted me and said, "Enjoy the stretch. Stop focusing on any one thing. Stop thinking about the laundry list of things to do. Instead, just be." BUSTED! So, I did it. I let go and existed in the moment. No time clock, no to-do list , no worries, just being in the moment. When I got home I was amazed at how relaxed and tranquil I felt. I realized how I'm so good at multi-tasking that I never shut my mind off to reboot. Do you ever find yourself thinking of so many things that your body is physically present but your mind is so occupied you're not giving your full attention to the moment? I was thankful to be reminded that sometimes in the midst of my busy life it is refreshing to allow my mind to concentrate on one thing at a time and just be.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Forget & Forgive

I always thought to forgive someone meant I had to " forgive and forget." I should love someone who has offended me by erasing the transgression, the hurt, anger and sadness completely from my memory. I thought in order to forgive I needed to endure the pain, meanwhile feeling like a door mat.  Truthfully, real forgiveness seemed unachievable. I've never erased the memory of an offense, but merely suppressed my hurt feelings, leaving me wondering if I ever truly forgave. I wondered how I was supposed to learn from a broken relationship by pretending "the something" never happened. It didn't make sense to me. Then the light turned on in the dark areas of my mind.  I realized I've had it backwards. Forgiveness is something that happens after forgetting and not beforehand. One of the biggest hang-ups I had was thinking in order to forget I had to pretend something didn't happen. That was a mistake. When you forget, you are merely moving your focus elsewhere. You're by choice, giving something or someone inattention and thoughtlessness.  Remove the person, rumor, unkind words, unkind act, the embarrassment, or broken heart from your focal point, giving it less attention by adjusting your mind's camera lens to sharpen another focal point. In film and photography this is called depth of field. When you begin to loose focus of the pain, the image gets blurry and you loose detail. It is then you can move onto forgiveness.  Forgiving someone or yourself is an empowering choice to pardon or excuse an offense. This is much easier to do when the crisp detailed image of pain has faded and is just a part of the background. You know it's there but the lack of focus makes the snap shot of that ugly offense minor compared to life's bigger picture. You're now able to evaluate the event or relationship with less emotion and can accept the lesson that is yours to learn.
Depth of Field




Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Handmade

I've recently learned to knit. There is something amazing about using my hands to create something beautiful from different fibers and yarn. Sounds crazy but I have learned a lot about myself through knitting. It has taught me patience and the value in "handmade." I may make 50 scarves using the same pattern yet each one is different. When you purchase something handmade many adjectives come to mind:  unique, of value, exclusive and authentic. When something is made by hand it is carefully constructed and each piece has a story behind it.


Psalm 139:13-14 reminds us that we are knit and handmade by God. "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made."
We have been made with quality and a uniqueness that is of great value. He has used the same pattern (the image and likeness of Him) yet each of us are authentic and exclusive. We have been carefully constructed and given our own story.

We are living in a NOW society. Fast and now leads to mass production which leads to generating "cookie-cutter" products that are cheap which equals a diminished value. We often place these same societal ideals on ourselves. We tend to under-value the way we look, the work we produce, the relationships we form and the blessings that God has given us. Subconsciously we are sending our innermost being the message that we value the easy, quick and cheap cookie-cutter life, meanwhile failing to honor the work that God has created in us. You have talents and purpose in this life that are wonderful and of great value. You have been handmade with a unique story to share. He has made you for such a time as this. 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Stinkin' Thinkin'

"Stinkin Thinkin" is actually a term used in 12 step groups for rehabilitation. It refers to negative thinking patterns. It reflects the idea that what a person thinks has an impact on how they behave. This concept is supported in Proverbs 23:7, "So a man thinketh in his heart, so is he." What you think about today will appear in your tomorrow.

While I don't plan on checking myself into a 12 step program, I will admit I have temporary moments of  thinking that stinks. Most of us do and we don't even realize it. Here are a few examples:
*"I'm not applying for that job. I'm sure there is someone more qualified."
*"I’ve always been like this; I’ll never be able to change"
*"My boss said my project was great, but there were some mistakes. He must think I'm a failure."
*"I know I'm going to get sick, I get sick every January."
*"I never win anything."

Check your thought life this week. What are you thinking? What are you saying? If you find a few foul smelling thoughts,  the bible says in Corinthians 10:5 to cast down imaginations that exalt itself against the knowledge of God, and bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. There is power in the tongue to speak life or speak death (proverbs 18:21). Choose to speak life into your situation and into the lives of others. When you choose to speak life your once rotten and stinkin fruit will become sweet and nourishing to your soul. 





Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Your Anchor


Recently I was boarding a ferry with my family. As I stepped on the platform that connected land to water I felt the unsteadiness of the wood under my feet. I felt an uneasiness in my mind as I searched for what anchored that platform and the boat. An anchor is used to keep a boat from drifting during strong winds. It is during the strong winds of a storm that your anchor is tested. I challenge you to check your anchor. Look at the things or people who you have placed as an anchor in your life. Have you allowed a relationship, a habit, your finances, your job, etc to anchor you? Do you ever find yourself feeling uneasy and drifting in a direction that is not destined for you?  Maybe its time for a new anchor; permanent and unmoveable.  Allow God to be your anchor. He will keep you from drifting in unchartered waters. Allow Him to be your hope that anchors you; the one who keeps you firm and secure during life's storms.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Life is a Gift

Welcome! My vision for this blog is to be a place to share my thoughts on this journey called life and to inspire others to embrace its beauty through the everyday.  Life is a gift. The word "gift" means: "something given  voluntarily without payment in return, as to show favor toward someone, honor an occassion."  Typically when you receive a gift we do several things:
1) recieve it 
2) open it
3) show appreciation to the giver
4) enjoy it
God has given us favor and life without an expectation in return. I encourage you today to receive your gift. Open it and see the beauty that lies within the package. Show your appreciation to the One who so freely gives it to you and last but not least,  enjoy every minute of an everyday occassion.