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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

The Art of Cultivating Hope

MAY

Whew!! Finally got to finish this. This month started off with a blast of computer issues but nevertheless here we are. Thanks for your patience and understanding. And speaking of patience…here is this month’s thought…

Thought

I know that I have said it before but it bears repeating. Having a life of hope IS possible but not without intentionality.  Intentionality requires planning, implementing and everyone’s favorite…patience.

Patience is NOT a bad thing. I have heard friends say jokingly “Don’t pray for patience because then you have to go through stuff that requires A LOT of patience.”

While this may seen true, I think it gives patience a bad name. So as we forge ahead to cultivate hope through patience let’s rethink how we view the concept of patience because having patience is essential to growing a hope-full life.

Patience is defined according to Websters 1828:  The suffering of….with a calm unruffled temper: endurance without murmuring or fretfulness. A calm temper which bears …without discontent. The act or quality of waiting for justice or expected good (our link to hope) without discontent. Perseverance: constancy in labor or exertion. The quality of bearing offenses and injuries without anger or revenge.

Wait!

Hang in there. I know you are thinking who wants this hassle but read on and let me present the benefits of patience.

To be patient then is to be not easily provoked; calm under pressure and in spite of wrongs; persevering; calmly diligent; not hasty.

When the going gets tough, the tough get…patient?

Patience is:

breathing,

a muscle,

steady calmness,

stubbornness,

anti-anxiety,

deep water,

trust,

a character trait,

an art form,

outlasting the storm that is currently in my life–no matter what form it takes.

Friend, family, financial, physical…I can wait out the storm.

This is where good old stubbornness kicks in.

I can be extremely stubborn. I always have been. I like to think that stubbornness is not just a character flaw but also a strength that needs direction and focus.

For example, I’ve been married for 20+ years. It takes a lot of stubbornness to stay married and to keep working and giving and loving when life gets hard and the shine fades.

I have homeschooled all 5 of my kids all of the way through (3 more to graduate in the next 3 years). Talk about a need for stubbornness.

Some might say I’m hard-headed, infuriating and difficult and I would agree to that when my stubbornness leaves the realm of patience and enters the realm of foolishness, pride and selfishness.

Learning the art of patience transforms us into a cultivator of HOPE–not just to get through difficult times but to develop patience as a tool and put that stubbornness (you know who you are) to good use.

LIFE IS TOUGH and overcoming it’s many obstacles–not just surviving the storms–requires an intentional focus (stubbornness) to develop a hopeful lifestyle that includes the cultivation of patience.

When the going gets tough, the tough  really do get PATIENT.

Finally let’s examine the word cultivate because it speaks to the exact idea of growing hope through patience.

Cultivate:  to intentionally plant, water, feed, and care for with the end result in mind.

We cultivate friendships, relationships, careers, dreams, trees, yards, gardens, roses.

It’s a process– like life.

Don’t fear the process.

Don’t fight it.

Lean into it wholeheartedly.

Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty.

Build up some sweat equity as you learn the art of cultivating hope.

Craft

Plant something.

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Flowers, tomatoes, grass…whatever. and CULTIVATE it.

Pick a spot and make a patience garden. Fruit, veggie, flower or just something green.

Decorate a special pot in which to plant your new plant. family crafting_ unique planter ideas

Remember the taste of fresh picked, homegrown tomatoes or peppers.

Some things take longer. like fruit trees but are so worth the effort and the …patience.

No worries– we can wait. These things take time.

There are rarely instant solutions but I am in it for the long haul says the stubborn, I mean, patient me.

Intrinsic to a life of hope is being firmly grounded in a realistic view of life and people. It’s an investment mentality and while there are some instant benefits most have a payoff in the future… just like gardening & growing hope.

Beautiful DIY Flower Pot Ideas Recent Photos The Commons Getty Collection Galleries World Map App ___(1) Heidi Mull

Cultivator-in-training…getting my hands dirty and hoping for rain.