The 8 Dimensions of Wellness – Social

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Social Wellness refers to our relationships and how we interact with other people. It involves good communication skills, respect for self and others, meaningful relationships and a good support system. According to a study by Umberson & Montez, relationships influence health through a process of reinforcing or inhibiting health-promoting or health-damaging behaviors over time. The bible is full of verses about all relationships. One of which is Proverbs 17:17, which says that a friend loves at all times; and a brother is born for adversity. Genesis 2:18 says the following: The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” Our relationships are important, even from God’s perspective.

The bible gives some good standards for our various relationships.

  1. Husband & Wife relationship:Ephesians 5:22-33; Colossians 13:18 &19
  2. Children & Parents: Ephesians: 6: 1-3
  3. Fathers & Children: Ephesians 6:4
  4. Church family: Colossians 3:12- 14
  5. Friends: Proverbs 27:5 – 6; John 15:12-15
  6. Employer & employee: Colossians 3:23; Deuteronomy 15:10; Deuteronomy 24:14

Oftentimes our relationships are mirrors that reflect the inner-workings or hidden areas of our souls. The soul is like a magnet that draws our circumstances to us. If you find that your relationships have a common theme of joy and endurance, then I’m 99.999% sure that you have mastered 2 Corinthians 10:5; and Philippians 4:8. However, if you’re like many of us who are still learning to bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ and thinking on love and positive things; then take this opportunity to make a solid decision to begin healing these toxic thoughts, feelings and emotions that have habitually created less-than-desirable circumstances in your relationships. As children, we learned how to relate to others from our family members; as well as from teachers, friends, and other group members that we were associated with. If what we’ve learned was unhealthy or dysfunctional, we can change it. Healthy relationships are ours to enjoy; as well as a component of overall wellness.

If you would like to strategies for improving the social area of wellness in your life, do consider joining me for my next All is Wellness program session beginning on March 18th. Please feel free to email me at theexcellentwoman1@gmail.com. Until next time…..many blessings!

The Soul…..the key to health

For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted people to be healthy and well. I suspected that disease and sickness were not normal. Later on, I read “Of Monkeys and Dragons” by Michele Longo O’Donnell. She confirmed my idea and introduced me to the concept that sickness and disease was intruders in our lives. We did not have to accept them. She further gave an example of how her daughter was born mentally retarded; but overcame it and became a lawyer, wife and mother in her adult life. Was this a miracle? Back then, I thought so…..until I discovered the work and research of neuroscientist Dr. Caroline Leaf, cell biologist, Bruce Lipton & medical doctor, Dr. Don Colbert. I’ve learned that EVERY thing that affects our bodies (& lives) first started as a thought. Many of us are not even aware of our thoughts or the fact that they essentially produce our lives. As Dr. Leaf says, Thoughts hold mental real estate in our brains. Toxic and negative thinking produces toxic and negative bodies and lives; just as healthy and positive thinking, produces healthy and positive bodies and lives. Proverbs 23:7 says it like this: As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.

Thinking is a law…..just like gravity, lift, disease, etc. are all laws. The good thing about laws is that they are consistent; and even better is that higher laws can help us transcend lower laws.  For example, as mentioned earlier, the law of gravity is a natural law. We know that if someone decides to jump off a building, they’re going to hit the ground. On the contrary, the law of lift transcends the law of gravity and allows for many people to fly in airplanes. Philippians 4:8 is a law. It says to think on things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of a good report, virtuous and praiseworthy. In neuroscience, we see that our thoughts become actual things in our brains. They produce tree-like structures in our brains that communicate with the rest of our bodies. Positive thoughts look like flourishing trees; while negative thoughts look like dried up trees. It reminds me of the famous experiment lead by Dr. Masaru Emoto years ago, that showed how water crystals responded to positive and negative speech. As you might have guessed, perfect water crystals were formed when spoken to positively; while distorted water crystals were formed when spoken to negatively. This is exact effect on the “trees” in our brain when we think positively or negatively.

I said all of that to say, that our health is 20% exercise and nutrition, and 80% your thoughts or mental attitude. This is great, because we have the ability to choose the life we desire……disease-free and healthy; or disease-ridden and sickly. Deuteronomy 30:19 (CEB) puts it this way: I call heaven and earth as my witnesses against you right now: I have set life and death, blessing and curse before you. Now choose life—so that you and your descendants will live. This verse explains principles of neuroscience and epigenetics.

I discovered that my desire for people to be well, lied in 3 John 1:2: Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. The key to health & wellness lies in a prosperous (flourishing, healthy, vigorous) soul (mind, will & emotions). We have been taught that the use of affirmations can change our lives. This is a partial truth. Affirmations can actually be damaging to our brains, if there is a conflict with our actual beliefs. I offer the ALL IS WELLness program that teaches you how to properly use affirmations; as well as other tools to improve the 8 Dimensions of wellness in your life. For more information on the next session of the program beginning on 1/7/19, please feel free to email me at theexcellentwoman1@gmail.com. Until next time, be excellent!

 

The 8 Dimensions of Wellness – Environmental

Environmental Wellness is defined by SAMHSA as: “Good health by occupying pleasant, stimulating environments that support well-being.”  How are the environments that surround you? Are they pleasant, stimulating and orderly, or unpleasant, uninspiring and chaotic? There have been a number of published studies about the effect of environment of health. One of which was a 2010 study published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, that measured the way women talked about their homes.  Those who characterized their homes as cluttered and brimming with unfinished projects, were at a higher risk of being depressed and exhausted, than women who described their homes as restful and restorative. What does the bible have to say about our environment? 1 Corinthians 14:40 says: But all things should be done decently and in order. Additionally, 1 Corinthians 14:33 states: For God is not a God of confusion but of peace.

When I read scripture, I like to analyze it and see how it presently applies to my life. I ask questions. What’s the consequence of things being done inadequately and disordered or messy? OR, If God is not a God of confusion (disorder, chaos, messiness), then WHO is? If God is a God of peace, and He’s always with me (Hebrews 13:5), then my environment should be one of peace, since it reflects my inner thoughts. Does anyone else think like this or is it just me? I understand that our homes, cars, etc. get out-of-order from time-to-time; but to living in perpetual state of clutter and disorganization is an invitation to address the root cause of this outer manifestation. We were designed to live in peaceful and orderly environments…..that’s why Adam and Eve were placed in the Garden of Eden. I’m pretty sure that it was a place of peace, order and pleasantness.

If you are a person who deals with a perpetually disordered environment, kudos to you for reading thus far. There is help and hope for you. In so many words, Albert Einstein said that you can’t solve a problem with the same level of thinking that created it. Romans 12:2 says it like this: “…..be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Soooo, you have to  work on your thoughts….as well as a system for cleaning and keeping things in order. Set aside a few minutes daily to affirm yourself with Philippians 4:13 (I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me). You can keep your environments orderly by God’s strength within you. There are a plethora of cleaning schedules on Pinterest; as well as organization videos on YouTube. You can also hire a cleaning person/service and/or an organization expert to help you out.

The way that you take care of your environments is just as important as the way that you take care of your physical health, finances and the other five wellness dimensions. Blessings as you continue on your path in excellence!

 

Hearing God’s Voice

About a month ago, we bought my baby girl a pair of new blue sneakers. Last week, one of those shoes went missing. I knew that she had it on her foot when I put her in the car after leaving the library. I figured that maybe it had fallen off in the car somewhere. I searched the car a couple of times during the week; and wondered where I’d left it. Meanwhile, I looked in the container where I keep things that she’ll grow into, and was happy to find a brand new pair of little black boots that her older cousin had gotten for her last year, when she was just an infant. She could fit them, yaaaayyyy!!! She’s been wearing them all week. Though I didn’t know where her other blue sneaker was, I didn’t worry about it.

So today, we went back to the library (since Thursdays are library day for us). As I’m getting ready to unload the kids, my second son excitedly exclaims: “Look mommy!!!! There’s Livy’s shoe!!!” I look up, and sure enough, Livy’s shoe is sitting in the window of the bank, right next to the library! At that moment, I just praised God (YHWH) and thanked Him for always looking out for and taking care of me. My heart was instantly filled with gratitude and praise. Upon leaving the library, my mind returned to that very moment, and I couldn’t help but to think about the ways that God speaks to us. Receiving back my baby girl’s shoe spoke volumes to my heart. I could see how God is interested in the smallest details of my life. I could see that He took care of that tiny blue shoe for seven days; and gave it back to me in perfect condition. I could see that during the seven days, I discovered a new pair of shoes that I wasn’t even aware was there. I could see that God gave me double……1. He restored the seemingly lost blue shoe and saved me the $20 to replace them & 2. He showed me a pair of shoes that I didn’t even know was there. The entire winter would have passed by; and I wouldn’t have thought to even look in that bin for those boots. Can we say that God is good!

I am so grateful for the ability to discern & hear God’s voice. I read a Facebook post in a group that I’m member of. The question was: “Has anyone heard the audible voice of God?” I certainly have on three different occasions in my life. One of those occasions was when I was walking across a parking lot one afternoon, thinking about how I felt like a failure, because of a seemingly poor decision that I’d made. He so very clearly said: “MY grace is sufficient for you.” I did not grasp the dept of that statement until two years later, and it set me free and it CHANGED. MY. LIFE. There is NOTHING that we could EVER do that is too bad for God’s grace. I am a living witness! Hallelujah! God also speaks in my dreams & visions. I go through seasons where I will dream or have night visions every night for a couple of weeks. The thing that I love about dreams is that they are SO personal. God…..the Creator of the universe,  knows us inside and out; and these dreams of personal riddles that He gives us. Proverbs 25:2 says: It is the glory of God to conceal a matter and the glory of kings to search it out. Interpreting a dream is like putting together the pieces of a puzzle. I was dreaming so much, that I had to begin searching out their meanings; because I knew that God was talking to me. These dreams have driven me to seek God for understanding. They have caused me to meditate the word. They have been prophetic. God has warned me in a dream to not get ahead of Him. I remember one night, I saw 2 Corinthians 9:8 (in bold letters) in a dream. I woke up immediately and looked it up. I began to meditate the scripture, because God wanted to do something that took a lot of faith.

So previously I talked about God’s audible voice. Well after the parking lot experience, I began seeing quarters, dimes, nickels and $5 bills so frequently for a period of 2 years. In that same parking lot, during that same week, a $5 bill blew under my car. Whenever I would go to put gas in my car, a quarter would always be on the ground, under next to my car. Another time, I was walking with my husband, and a $5 bill blew right into my chest. Whenever and where ever I would go during those two years, I was coming across money in a multiple of five; which is the number of grace…..which truly was and still is, sufficient for me.

Let’s also remember that God speaks through His word. He has a solution for every problem, circumstance and situation that you will EVER encounter…..even if you haven’t made the best decisions, you’re angry with Him & haven’t talked to Him in a while, or your life is in shambles. God is constantly speaking. He’s ALWAYS trying to get His very best to us. It’s our own minds that block His best for us….but there’s a way around that too (check out 2 Corinthians 10:5). Oh…..one more thing…..HONESTY. God LOVES honesty. You don’t have to be the best prayer or an eloquent speaker. You can talk to God, just like you’re talking to another person; and if you sit and listen, He’ll respond. Sometimes we don’t hear Him, because we have too many other voices in our heads……from t.v., movies, radio, social media and other people. Learn to disconnect from those voices; so that you can hear THE VOICE.

That’s all for now. Have an excellent evening and Friday!

Doing What You Don’t Want To Do

A couple of years ago, I was a full-time SAHM, had 3 part-time jobs; as well as a home-based fitness business…..and a new baby (in addition to two toddlers). I heard a familiar inner voice say to me to stop working. I thought to myself: “This must be the devil.” But then, I heard it again and I knew Who it was. I REALLY didn’t want to stop working. I enjoyed my line of work; and I had worked my entire adult life, and was self-sufficient. Therein lied the problem. I was SELF-sufficient. I relied on myself, rather than on God. I was terrified to give up control. Although I loved my husband, I didn’t want to be a burden to him or have to rely on him financially. Reluctantly, I began letting go of my jobs one-by-one. When it came down to the last one, I tried; but my sweet supervisor offered me some time off, before I made the final decision. So, I took a 3 month hiatus;  meanwhile, attended a faith conference. Throughout this conference, random people (who I had never met before) would come up to me and give me money; as well as  give me compliments on my mothering skills. It was then that I knew, that God was encouraging me to trust Him; as well as showing me that He would provide for and take care of me. When I returned home from that trip, I resigned from my last job; and business.

I knew that I was called to home school my children; and so began to focus more on that; as well as homemaking, and spending more time with God. I set about reading more books….one of which was Lisa Bevere’s “Nurture: Give and Get what You Need To Flourish.” I started to understand the importance of mothering and encouraging other women…..on another level. Shortly after concluding that book, I developed some very close relationships with other women (particularly mothers). They began to draw this new-found knowledge and my gift of encouragement out of me. When I was focused on all of my jobs and business, I was distracted from God’s purpose…..for why He put me here for such a time as this.

From there, I formed a home school group, and have met so many other mothers who were interested in homeschooling, a relationship with God, or health & wellness. I’ve also been blessed to be in a community where many of the mothers that I meet are so kind, compassionate and helpful. I’ve met moms who were going through financial hardship, emotional pain from unspeakable trauma, marital challenges, health issues, children taken away, as well as other difficulties. There are three things that these ladies can always be assured of: 1. I do not share our conversations with anyone else, 2. I pray for them and 3. There is always a solution to EVERY problem.

This year, I’ve read and studied even more books; and discovered a passion for neuroscience (thanks to Dr. Caroline Leaf). I am ABSOLUTELY FASCINATED by the spirit/soul/ body connection, and had an idea to create a wellness program that encompasses this connection; as well as the Eight Dimensions of Wellness….. from a biblical perspective. My new program is entitled the: ALL IS WELLness program, after the words uttered by the Shunammite woman in 2 Kings 4. She spoke these powerful words, even though her circumstances seemed anything but well. The program is 9 weeks (63 days, 3 cycles of 21 days); because it takes 63 days (3 cycles of 21 days) to form a habit. The purpose of the program is to empower (especially) women and mothers to transform their lives, by changing their thoughts.

According to a 2005 article printed by the National Science Foundation, people think an average of 20,000 – 60,000 thoughts a day; of which 80% are negative and 95% are repeated daily. Uhhmmmm…..that’s kind of a BIG problem. Our negative thoughts create actual toxic things in our brains; which ultimately results in dis-ease in our bodies. Romans 12:2 says not to be conformed to this world; but be transformed by the renewing of our minds. In other words: Don’t think like everyone else with the negative thoughts. We do have the mind of Christ/Messiah according to 1 Corinthians 2:16. Commit to live above the influence of negativity; so that you can transform your life. Also, there’s 3 John 1:2 – Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in ALL things and be in good health, even as your soul prospers. Your soul comprises your mind, will and emotions. When it is healthy and non-toxic, ALL things in your life will prosper; as well as your health. It’s great to have nice things, have the ability to purchase both what you need and wan, as well as to be beautiful (or presentable) on the outside; BUT if you’re stressed out, have more month at the end of your money, questionable health, can’t stand certain people, have nagging ailments, yell at your kids, unhappy with yourself, etc., then your soul is NOT prospering. Here’s your opportunity to get your life on track to being transformed!

In closing, it is my sincerest hope, that you would join me for this life changing ALL IS WELLness program, beginning on 1/7/19. For more information, email me at theexcellentwoman1@gmail.com. Have an awesome week!

8 Dimensions of Wellness – Emotional

The second topic within my 8 Dimensions of Wellness series is the emotional aspect; which is defined as coping effectively with life and creating satisfying relationships. In our daily lives, we all have responsibilities; and sometimes unplanned occurrences. How do you live life? Are you proactive or reactive? Do you take responsibility for yourself, or blame others? Your response is an insight to the root of your emotional well-being. In our medical system here in the U.S., sickness and disease is often dealt with symptomatically. People take medication for various aches, pains and discomforts; but rarely get to the root of the problem.

In the past I wondered how people who seemed physically healthy and even athletic, came down with chronic disease. I knew that exercise and optimal nutrition were keys to good health; but why would otherwise healthy people get sick? I found my answer. It’s stress. Stress is the body’s reaction to a positive or negative demand. Dr. Walter Cannon described it as the fight-or-flight response back in the 1920’s. Stress, in its original purpose, is a good thing. It can enable a person to do something seemingly supernatural in the moment. For example, a person picking up a car to free another from danger; or outrunning the clutches of an angry bear. Stress is perfectly fine for these occasions, because it lasts for only a short amount of time.  The problem comes when stress is prolonged.

Our bodies do not distinguish between physical or emotional stress. Physical stresses are those examples mentioned above. But what about emotional stress? Emotional stresses are the bad relationships, working a job that you don’t like, sitting in traffic when you’re about to be late to work, worrying about how you’re going to feed your family, etc. The problem is that these (negative) emotions produce disease and sickness  in our bodies. When we encounter stress, our bodies release the hormones adrenaline and cortisol. When there is a steady flow of these two hormones into the bloodstream, they lead to a rapid heart rate, high blood pressure, high triglycerides, increased blood sugar and insulin levels, weight gain, and bone loss. If left unchecked, these elevated levels in the body, can ultimately lead to disease.

This is why the Ephesians 4:26 says “….don’t sin by letting anger control you. Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry.” If a husband or wife goes to bed without resolving the anger between them, it can lead to resentment (which is long-standing anger) and make him or her sick. It can also destroy their relationship. James 1:15 (CEV) says: Our desires (refer to Galatians 5:19) make us sin, and when sin is finished with us, it leaves us dead.  If only we’d choose to forgive, we can stop death in its tracks. Not just physical death from disease and sickness, but death of marriages and relationships, businesses, etc. It’s also important to note that we do have a choice….ALWAYS. Deuteronomy 30:19 says: Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!

Let’s not forget 3 John 2:2: Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. Our minds, will and EMOTIONS make up our souls. So, in order to ensure emotional wellness, our best bet is to line up with the word of God in Galatians 5:22 (CEV): God’s Spirit makes us loving, happy, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful…” These emotions are sure to both produce and maintain emotional wellness. 

 

Five PRACTICAL TIPS FOR IMPROVING EMOTIONAL WELLNESS:

1. Make a decision TODAY that you are going to do what God’s word says to do.

2. Set aside alone time with God. Start with 10 minutes. When this relationship is developed, it will dramatically improve the way you see yourself; and how you relate to and love others.

3. Set aside time to do something that you enjoy doing each day.

4. Develop a plan for dealing with negative emotions. If a depressing thought comes your way; and you begin feeling depressed, counter it with Isaiah 61:3 and or put on praise and worship music and sing along with it. Emotions come from negative thoughts. You have to SPEAK the word to stop the negative thought.

5. Affirmations…..say what the scriptures say. (ie: I am slow to anger. I am loving, happy, peaceful, patient, kind, good and faithful. My ways please God, so even my enemies are at peace with me).

Ladies, own that spirit of power, love and a sound mind that God has gifted you! The enemy comes with fear; but God comes with 3 times more. Think about that!

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