Rest In Motion(Pt.2 in Self-care series)

Rest in Motion seems to be a contradiction of words and ideas but according to Sir Isaac Newton, who was a pretty smart guy, and inventor/scientist/philosopher of the Laws of Motion, these two are very much intertwined. Now before you start to worry that I am going to get all-scientific on you and these words start to look like “blah, blah, blah” let me just say that one of the problems we face in the 21st century was addressed by Newton so hang tight and please, read on. Newton’s first law of motion is often stated as:

newton110An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.

To me (a non-physics expert) that means we keep doing what we are doing unless something makes us do something different. It’s very true that we get in a lifestyle rut sometimes and we either go to the side of doing NOTHING or to the side of OVERDRIVE neither of which is good for us. I tend to go to maximum overdrive and it is that problem I want to address here  but I think the ideas presented today would be helpful to both sides.

We have been talking about taking care of ourselves–not as a self-indulgent practice or a ME-focused ideology but as a way to: 1) remain healthy longer, 2) be more productive, 3) set an example. We only get one body, soul and spirit and how we treat them is key to being able to fulfil our purposes and destinies here on earth.

Imagine if when you turned 16 you were given a car and that car was yours for the rest of your time here on earth. You would be given no other and buying was not an option.

firstcar

I can only imagine how well I would treat that car especially when I noticed those who didn’t take care of theirs and were forced to walk or hitch a ride everywhere. Their lives would be EXTREMELY limited in range, possibility, and potential. Taking care of ourselves is key to living life to the fullest. I’m pretty sure I want to be able to do just that.

 

Intentionally caring for ourselves is necessary to crafting a more HOPE-full life.

I gave 3 acronyms for restoring health and hope to our spirit, soul, and body in the last post–Finding Hope…Again. They were R.E.S.T. for the body; C.A.R..E for the soul and L.I.F.T. for the spirit. Let’s take them one by one, working from the outside in and start with the body. In the subsequent posts we will cover the soul and finally, the spirit.

REST

Rest is a four letter word and is viewed by some with a snarl, lip-curl, or eyes rolling. It is hard to admit that we need rest. In our fast-paced, 21st century, the-early-and-late-bird-gets-the-worm mentality, rest is not valued or viewed as an asset despite what research tells us. If you are interested, just google “rest and body health” or check out: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/sdd/why

 

Here’s my take on this idea of R.E.S.T.

R is for Re-think my lifestyle choices.

I can very easily justify my crazy, non-stop got  days:

I’ve got a full house.

I’ll rest when they’re grown.

They need me.

I want to live a full life.brain-cogs-injury_222

Just one more thing

I couldn’t say no.

I feel guilty just sitting around.

I’ll catch up on my rest later.

And my husband’s personal favorite…If I don’t do it-it doesn’t get done.

This type of thinking is caused by letting someone else drive my car. Their plans and their agenda are pushing me. These ridiculous, unrealistic expectations of what a full and fulfilled life looks like are killing me/us. Our kids, too. Check out the research on that if you dare. We could all sloooooooow down a bit and the world would not stop spinning.

Re-think and re-examine your lifestyle choices. If for some reason your couldn’t keep up all of your commitments and plans what would happen?…?

I totally understand that there are seasons in life, I’ve been there when it’s  just crazy…did I mention the part about having and homeschooling 5 kids (4 of which were born in 5 years). Those are season– not a way to live.

 

E is for exercise.

Our bodies will stay at rest or in motion unless we act upon them with something different. Researchers have found that too much exercise is just as detrimental as too little, however, that has not been my problem. I have been told by my doctor, and read research, that walking is the best exercise. 1/2 hour, 2-3x per week–that’s it. That’s the baseline. Take a walk, no weights, just move your arms and breathe deep. public-domain-images-free-stock-photos-shoes-walking-feet-grey-gravel--1000x666

On those days when I am really tired I amble, meander or stroll–just putting my body into motion is an accomplishment.

If walking outside isn’t an option then try this: http://www.walkathome.com. It’s a great program. Super easy, multi-levelled and fun to do.

 

S is for sleep.

I LOVE sleep. For years I didn’t get much (lots of babies and toddlers), and then when my husband was hurt (see post in March 2016) I was up ALOT with him and then my Mom’s illnesses…

Did I mention I love sleep? I have learned the value of a nap–cat or otherwise. cat-sleeping-funny-photo.jpgI think that’s what sitcom reruns are for. I love to nap to Everybody Loves Raymond because I’ve seen them a hundred times and they are usually funny to wake up to.

If naps worked for Einstein,  then they’re good enough for me. http://www.inquisitr.com/1754670/albert-einstein-among-other-great-minds-proved-the-efficacy-of-micro-naps/

It’s always amazing to me how much better life looks after some sleep. The old adage of “Let’s sleep on it” is based in ancient wisdom and modern research.  Here are some great tips from the people at the Mayo Clinic on sleep.

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/sleep/art-20048379

Our bodies/brains do some of their best work while we are sleeping.

T is for time

Nivens-McTwisp-White-Rabbit-Concept-Art-alice-in-wonderland-2010-11205475-563-675

Time is a finite commodity. In other words, we can’t make more time. What we need to do is use it wisely.

Teach us to number our days so that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Psalm 90:12

I do myself and others no small favor when I slow down to care for myself. I am NO fun when I am burned-out, run-down and over-committed. Jesus, himself, invites us to walk with Him in a way that is easy and light. In the Message translation of the Bible it says that He will teach us to “walk in the unforced rhythms of grace”. Now that’s an invitation I don’t want to miss. By taking time to care for this body, I am honoring myself, my purposes, my loved ones (they deserve the best version of me) and my Creator. If He can take time to REST on the 7th day who am I to argue?

Heidi Mull, R.E.S.T-ing, re-thinking, and learning the rhythms of grace.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stating the Obvious…

Welcome to November–the moody and melancholy month of the year. I happen to love November and its gray and stormy skies but for many it can be depressing–depending upon where you live. Some begin to dread the appearance of snow. Others detest the lack of sunlight as the daylight hours wan. The blustery weather means more indoor time which some resent. While I can sympathize with the lack of control we have over the seasons, I think November gives us an obvious remedy.

Here in America we celebrate a holiday this month called Thanksgiving. It is a reminder of our earliest beginnings as a country in which pilgrims seeking freedom of worship came bravely across the sea to an unknown land at the worst time of year. They endured illness, starvation, freezing weather, numerous variables and much death. Unlike the romanticized Thanksgivings, the first was beautiful and bountiful in its friendships and gratitude, not so much on the turkey and stuffing. And herein lies the key to dark days of little sunlight and stormy skies–gratitude.

THOUGHT

In our journey towards a more hope-full life we need to remember to feed the hope we have. Like plants, pets, cars, dreams and humans, hope must be fed.

Gratitude is the food of hope.

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Melody Beattie 

Gratitude gives hope the energy to sustain life and grow. Hope needs to be fed or it dies. Thanksgiving and gratitude is food for hope..for the soul. It often forces us to dig deep and to be willing to see the world around us in a different way. It requires us to be detectives in our own lives in order to unearth clues to the treasures that are often in plain sight. These treasures are the ingredients to our own personal “Thanksgiving” celebration.

I know that sometimes it can seem hard to find things to be thankful for but that’s where the treasure hunting and detective work comes in to play. Being thankful is like a muscle or an art form. It must be practised in order to be improved.

So let’s start small:

running water,

still breathing,

something to eat,

a place to sleep,

something to wear,

someone who cares,

a job,

ability to look for a job,

family,

friend…

All of these may seem rather obvious but can be stepping stones on which to build.

I have been without running water when we used spring water and the pump died. We had to use a bucket and go get it from the spring house outside. This meant for cooking, flushing, drinking, and bathing. Being able to turn on the faucet and have water is a treasure I savor. We have also had muddy water to to contend with so clean water is a plus.

I have been apart of the death and dying of loved ones as they take their last breath here on earth. And while it was not an awful thing to me, I am grateful that I still have breath even on those days of grief and pain. As long as there is life, there is hope.

There have been times when eating simply was not a healthy lifestyle choice or spiritual fast but a necessity of life. I have learned to be grateful for something to put in my stomach to sustain me.

Learning to be grateful is life-changing experience and the more we do it the fuller our lives become.

Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings. William Arthur Ward

Attitude is everything.

The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude to me is more important than facts…. We cannot change our past…we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10 percent what happens to me and 90 percent how I react to it. And so it is with you… we are in charge of our attitudes.
Developing a lifestyle of thanksgiving is one of the truest treasures of our human existence. Our attitude about our lives, relationships and future changes everything. Even giving thanks for the smallest of things opens up a larger place for hope to grow.
I have a plaque on my kitchen wall that says, If you have faith, you have hope. If you have hope, you have everything.”
CRAFT
Our craft/visual aid for this month is to create a place to put your daily gratitudes.
I love decorated mason jars.
masonjarsthanksmasontreejarFamily-Blessing-Jar-Martys-Musings
A beautiful notebook or journal.
compgratjournal gratsheets
Slips of paper to be turn into a garland for Christmas.
 http://beautyandbedlam.com/free-thanksgiving-printablesurday-inspiration-ideas.html
gratgarland gratgarland2
A Gratitude Calender for a daily note.
gratcalendernovcalendar
Origami flower or butterfly to write on then display.
htmlhttp://www.fabartdiy.com/diy-origami-paper-lotus-flower/
origami-lotus-flower-f2origamistar
The list and choices go on. find more about these and others on my Pinterest.
Choose one that suits you and start working on your attitude of gratitude. Feed your hope.
Heidi Mull, hunter of treasure, detector of clues, feeder of hope.

Lost in the Barrens…

Ahh! The quest for beauty– to obtain it, own it, bask in its presence, to capture it.

It compels us, motivates us and, outside of money, is one of the main driving forces of human activity.

So what does beauty have to do with hope?

Beauty has the power to transform. Beauty is as essential to our humanity as is air and water.

Every human has a inborn sense of beauty –from child to elder…from modern to ancient…from rich to poor.

Beauty is sought after, longed for and appreciated.

The problem is that the concept of beauty is elusive and to define what beauty is is impossible…unless beauty is defined simply as that which brings joy to the beholder.

Given that definition, I think the opposite of beauty is not ugliness but barrenness. Barrenness that occurs in our souls when we have lost the ability to appreciate even the smallest hint of beauty. Bitterness, a critical spirit, cynicism and jealousy are all the enemies of beauty.  The inability to appreciate beauty greatly handicaps our ability to grasp even the possibility of hope and we can become lost in the Barrens. The Barrens…where nothing can grow–not hope, not patience, not joy, not anything. Here we have given up. I have had times in my life–more than I want to admit–where I have spent minutes, hours, even days in the Barrens. Bereft of hope, joy, peace…& beauty until something would catch my eye and my heart–even in the smallest way–and I could begin to find my way out back to the land of the living where even the remotest possibility brought enough air for another breath. In the Barrens our hearts grow cold, our vision becomes dim, and hope is unheard of. Beauty is not only an antidote for the Barrens but a preventative.

Beauty whispers & hums “all is not lost”. It sings & shouts to us of a life that is more than just existing.

Hitler stole much of the fine art of Europe in his conquest for world power.

In the Medieval times, kings and popes fought wars for decades over control of the resources to create/own beauty.

In the garden, the enemy of our souls connived to mar the beauty of God’s creation almost beyond recognition.

Why? Because beauty has power. Beauty IS power.

Power to lift us up out of despair.

Power to transform the Barrens into a place of hope,

Power to remind us of what was lost and what will one day be restored.

So whether it is…

a beautiful face

lovely landscaping

inspiring artwork,

a nice lawn,

a shiny hotrod engine,

a Harley-Davidson,

noble horses,

a blushing bride,

a newborn baby,

a cuddly kitten,

red roses,

a joyous family reunion,

a perfectly penned poem,

a favorite song or just good music,

an inspiring scripture

or the sound of a long-distanced, loved one’s voice…

beauty has the power of transformation. Our journey towards a more HOPE-full life is not for the weak or faint-hearted and we need the power that beauty brings. Take some time today, this week, this month to tap into your power source and if you get lost in the Barrens, you can find your way out… beauty will lead the way.

Heidi Mull,  an occasional Barren dweller on a quest to keep beauty in focus and my feet on the path to a life of hope and purpose.

What Comfort is NOT…

We are mid-April with May just around the corner. Tax day is behind us and we could all use a little comfort there.

April is the month of sharing hope through comfort and comfort through giving a gift. Whether homemade (see Tidings of Comfort and…Hope blog for ideas) or through time and care (see On Comforting the Sick or Injured blog post).

I would like to talk about what comfort is not. Comfort is NOT fixing, changing, nagging, lecturing, busy-ness, rearranging, blaming, taking over, or giving advice… you get the picture.

Comforting IS action but it is not an action imposed on another but rather the act of coming alongside where that person is and being there with them.

To offer consolations:

“I know it is hard right now”

“I see you are in pain”

“I’m sorry for your loss, pain, suffering.”

Like the map at the mall or amusement park that says “YOU ARE HERE”. Comfort comes and stands or sits “HERE”. So our gifts say “I see you are…HERE”. No matter how big or small, simple or elaborate, a gift of comfort is filled with hope.

Hope says:

“You are NOT alone”

“This too shall pass”

“Don’t give up”

We don’t have to understand it all or offer wisdom of the sages or do it perfectly. All we can offer is some hope for better days wrapped up in a small gift of comfort.

small gift box

Heidi Mull, letting go of what I can’t fix…

and fixing up a small gift basket for a friend who is grieving the recent loss of her father.

Next stop…HERE.