It is important to remember who our source is. A branch off a vine is not the same as the vine itself. The vine provides nourishment to/ for the branches. The branches then go on to produce fruit. If a branch is cut off from the vine, it will not produce fruit. Not only will it not produce fruit, it will wither and die - being of no use.
If you want your life to be fruitful, make sure you are connected to the Vine.
Have you ever really sat back and analyzed how you felt after being out in nature? Do you feel renewed? Do you feel your heart rate slow? Your breathing become easier? Happiness return?
John 15:5 tells us, "I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing."
It is no wonder, then, that we feel more at peace when we are in nature. From the dust we were formed and to the dust we will return. A wonderful symbol of just how connected to nature we truly are.
Grounding is a holistic practice that is super easy to do. Ready? Go outside barefoot, find some grass, stand on it. That's it. Allowing the energy of the ground to work with the energy of your body brings a "grounding" experience. It's calming. It's renewing.
If you can manage to find a tall tree while doing this you can up the ante. Stand about 10 feet from the tree (on soil), start your gaze at the trunk and SLOWLY work your gaze upward to the tippity top of the tree. Remember to breathe deeply the whole time. Then begin to draw your gaze back down, SLOWLY. You will feel calmer when you are finished.
What elements are nature bring you the most peace?
For me, it's fresh water - lakes and rivers. I prefer them to be surrounded by trees but I will take rolling hills and even desert. There is just something about the fresh water that stills my soul.
For my husband, it's pretty much anything. He loves Joshua Tree and Yosemite in CA. He loves Mt. Rainier in WA. He enjoys walking or biking on the Greenbelt along the Boise River here in town.
For Dempsey, our cancer kid, it's watching the big cats of the grasslands on documentaries. On a more realistic note, he loves the ocean beach because it's calm.
For our oldest, Sawyer, it's water - seeing or learning about underwater creatures. On the daily he would choose hiking in a forested area or biking along the Greenbelt near the river with his dad.
I have friends who find joy and renewal in their garden or out on a sailboat in the ocean.
I believe the Lord delights in his children enjoying and reveling in his creation. As a parent, I know I enjoy watching my kids explore and discover the natural world.
It is no secret that we live in a toxic world.
According to BiologyDictionary.net there are 3 types of physical toxins.
There are also a myriad of other toxins in our world as well.
So, when we talk about detoxification, we are not talking solely about the physical body with it's toxic load. We are talking about taking a holistic look at the toxins in your life and then making a plan to detoxify them. Like anything worthwhile, this process will take some time. Be patient with yourself, giving enough grace for each step of this journey. You are worth it.
Facebook has some good elements to it. I know, that's a shocking reality. Over on the Good News Feed page they shared this quote from Get Through the Week. Scripture is CLEAR about "the thief" coming steal and kill and destroy (John 10:10a). Yet, the rest of that verse explains that Christ came so that we "may have life and have it abundantly" (John 10:10b).
Rejoice in the truth that life with Christ will always be full of hope despite trials and joy despite sorrow.
Did you know sunshine has healing power for your body? Truth. It can:
Did you have any idea the sun could help you in so many ways? Granted, the help stops when you get too much sunshine. So, remember to cover up (NOT lather on sunscreen!) and limit your direct-sun exposure to 15 minutes a day. If you want to increase the protection of your body, eat lots and lots of dark veggies during the sunny seasons and increased times of exposure. The phyto nutrients, called carotenoids, will help protect your skin, just like they protect the leaves of plants from the suns rays.
If you can manage to go outside barefoot and stand on the grass (also called grounding) you will do an ever greater service to your body.
God set the Sun in the perfect place in our solar system. He placed our planet in the perfect place related to the Sun to support life. He tilted our planet to the perfect degree so that we would not burn or freeze. He placed enough energy within the Sun to sustain our need of it.
And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.
Ever had someone you respect encourage you with words? The kind of words that cause you to see the world in Technicolor again... make you feel like you can achieve anything you put your mind to... make you feel seen, heard, understood.
Remember that encounter. Hold it tightly in the forefront of your mind. Let the feelings those words stirred rise up again and start to bubble out of you.
As you Reimagine Healing, find people who speak those kinds of words to you and keep them close.
If you have ANYONE in your life that is the opposite of what I have described, I encourage you to 1) pray for them to be released from the strongholds of negativity and 2) limit your exposure to them or 3) remove them from your life altogether. You cannot heal with thorns still sticking in you.
Ever heard the sentiment "like attracts like"? It means, if you are nice, nice people will be attracted to your presence. If you are kind, kind people will be attracted to your presence as well.
It's why society gets broken down into groups - likeness. Those who share similar experiences, cultures, etc will naturally group together.
So, if you want kind, loving, generous, faith-filled people in your community, be a person who embodies those characteristics. When you have good people around you your life will be better (not perfect or without pain). Having a positive community is a key element of healing.
Aromatherapy can be a key element in your healing journey.
Have you ever walked into a place you've never been before but you are taken back to a wonderful place in your life based solely on smell? THAT is aromatherapy - of sorts.
As you inhale the essential oil scent(s) you actively engage your olfactory system - the part of the brain that is connected to the sense of smell. Your brain files away that scent and attaches it to the experience you are having. Not only that, but essential oils can evoke specific feelings and emotions.
One of my favorite oils to introduce people to is Wild Orange. It is REALLY hard to be grumpy while smelling the scent of an orange. Why? Because citrus oils are known to elevate your mood. Take that anxiety and frumpiness!
Of course, there are many reasons to use aromatherapy. My favorite reason is the fact that it is non-invasive. You can literally utilize aromatherapy anywhere and anytime. You can grab a lava stone necklace or bracelet. You can keep a diffuser in your car (electric or hanging clay). You can keep a roller bottle in your purse and apply it on your wrists. You can keep a spray bottle in your bathroom as an air freshener... win-win.
You can use aromatherapy for the simple issues you face and for the layered issues you've accumulated over your lifetime.
Did you realize that community is an element of healing?
Today, take some time to assess your community. Look for the positive influences: those who lift you up, encourage you, embrace you, accept you, guide you in love with grace, etc.
Acknowledge those members of your community that are negative influences: who bring you down, insult you, abuse your boundaries, take without giving back, etc.
As you assess your community, I encourage you to spend more time with those who positively influence you. It is proven that like attracts like. However, there are always going to be those negative people who want to be around you because of your positivity BUT they will drain your reserves. Create firm boundaries with those people and do not feel guilty for protecting yourself in this manner. You are worth it.
I know many who attempt to drown out negativity with positivity and find themselves drained and pulled to the negative portion of the spectrum. Protect yourself. Learn to recognize, early on, what types of people drain you and then work to minimize your exposure.
Exercise applies to our spiritual life as well. We must flex our spiritual muscles... the muscle of restraint, the muscle of Word reading, the muscle of intention, the muscle of patience... you get my point.
Meditation is an exercise as well. And exercise in quieting the mind, being mindful of our physical, mental, spiritual, emotional states. An exercise about valuing ourselves and caring for ourselves.