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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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.

Finding Perspective

monica well pix

March is almost over and spring is working its way here. I hope that you have made time to look around and see what brings you hope and maybe took the step of engaging in our craft for this month.

I, myself, have been struggling with hope this past week and I think I have found out why…

I love our big picture window in the living room. The view always refreshes me when I start to get cabin fever. Sometimes, though, I just have to go outside, take a walk and get out of the house–to take a step away from “all this” (gesturing at my house , life stuff and family responsibilities). I can get a bit neurotic and weird so a change of scenery is helpful. I know it’s all there when I come back but I have been away and have gained some…perspective

When it hurts to have hope I know that I have lost perspective. I am adrift in the sea of life and can’t get my head above the waves. I wrestle with the idea of accepting that  ‘this is just how it is‘.

I begin to look for something to anchor to when life says:

Give it up.

You aren’t going anywhere.

Things won’t change…ever

Instead of panicking, I let myself just go there…

What if it doesn’t get better? What if things don’t change? What if this IS it…?

Can I be okay? Can I reach down deep inside and find sure footing?

Can I find the hope that stays with me and helps me to make a good life HERE?

It is in this place that I begin to search for my lost my perspective and I must first remember that:

hope isn’t dependent on my circumstances changing (even though I want them too badly),

hope isn’t tied to another person becoming healthier or nicer (even though that would be wonderful),

hope doesn’t wait on “If only” (even though it’s tempting to dream).

Hope is patient expectation. In other words, it is packed with promise and potential for a good outcome.The definition of hope as a verb–an action word-is:  to place confidence (faith) in; to trust (have faith) in with confident expectation of good. (For more on the definition of hope see blog titled: Hope is the thing with feathers). Hope that is grounded, anchored and focused requires an element of faith–a faith in something or someone greater than ourselves–otherwise, it’s like hoping that cotton candy will have some nutritional value as it is consumed.

Hope without faith is like a picture out of focus and perspective.

I have a deep faith in God and as I searched to find a place to stand in hope, I came to a crossroads of faith and I asked myself, “What DO I believe?”  Here I find my perspective is changed –just like when I take a walk or go for a drive.

Just as a picture frame can help to bring the picture or painting into focus and “frame” it so my faith helps to surround my hope, anchor it and give it something to hang on. It brings it all into focus and helps me gain much needed perspective.

Heidi Mull, putting on my jacket for a long walk & wondering if I need a bigger frame.

Rest is not a four-letter word…

      It’s the end of February and I hope you have had time to stop and smell…something good. We are 2 months into our year long journey of crafting hope and I am enjoying our time together and our conversations. Your comments and stories are encouraging and your pictures of your projects bring much joy into the process. Keep them coming and I will work on posting them to share. I am already looking forward to our next thoughts and crafts in March.  Remember just jump in where you are and join us however and whenever you can.  And now to the post:

One of my great enemies in my journey for a hope-full life is weariness. Tired, exhausted, and good old-fashioned tuckered out to name a few variations. Viewing life through the lens of weariness is like trying to buy new jeans after a huge meal. None of them fit right or look right and that 10 pounds you’d like to lose becomes 25.  Or trying to play the Super Bowl wearing slippers. Or figuring out your 5 year financial goals after the seemingly endless nighttime feedings of 2 week old baby.

The process of hope takes time, effort, and energy. It requires room to breath and grow. The effects of stress on our bodies have been scientifically linked to our physical and emotional well-being.  Just type “stress” into your search engine and see what pops up.

Today I find myself craving rest.  And by craving, I mean “a vehement or urgent desire”, Webster’s 1828 Dictionary. When I am weary I find that everything is too much. Too big, too hard, too heavy. Life is push, push,  push …so I push back.

I force myself to slooow down.

Breathe deeply.

I resist the tyranny of the urgent.

Reclaim my domain.

I rule my time.

It doesn’t rule me.

I know that I can’t just stop life. Work awaits in all its various forms but I ask myself. How can I simplify? What truly must be done and what can wait for another day. And I purposefully plan to treat myself or indulge myself in some positive, healthy way.  For me it may be a quick, easy dinner, like pizza, instead of something that requires more time and effort so I can have time to soak in the tub or read a good book or listen to music with headphones on while I lounge on the couch. Or watch my favorite show on Netflix–maybe several episodes.  I shove the dirty laundry in a basket (or just step over it ) and set it by the laundry machine to await cleaning for another day.  At work, it’s the same:  what has to be done?  what can wait even one more day?  I shut off my phone. Let my family know my plans/needs and go for it. It’s okay. The earth will still spin, the powers-that-be will still be, the spouse and the kids will not suffer permanent damage. Mine have actually gotten to where they are glad I am taking care of myself. Weary Mom/wife can be weird.

I really do despise the fast-paced life that is thrust upon us. I LIKE having down time If you don’t like the word rest try this one “sabbath“.  It is an ancient Hebrew word meaning rest but encompasses so much more. It speaks to the body, soul and spirit. To cease from your labors and savor being alive. To take/make time to pause and smell the _____. (Coffee, roses, sachet, bubble bath, or Chinese take-out.)

Weariness saps us of our joy. Weariness brings its unwanted friends like despair and futility and, my least favorite, hopelessness.  Rest or sabbath is the antidote for weariness.   Invite a friend.  A sabbath is good to share.

 

When I am down and, oh, my soul, so weary;

When troubles come and my heart burdened be;

Then I am still and wait here in the silence,

Until you come and sit awhile with me.

-written by Brendan Graham (You Raise Me Up).

Heidi Mull,  Queen of the sabbath.