Archive | August 2020

Taking the Back Road

Instead of sitting in our houses cooped up, why not decide to be more adventurous? We can only clean so much. We can only eat so much before the scale starts climbing up. When feeling particularly anxious, or down in the dumps, I’ve decided I would do something about it.

This morning after literally wasting an hour on social media I was mad at myself for getting sucked back in. I felt like I was an addict with a problem. I realized how hard it is to just say no! I put on my yoga clothes, and my baseball cap and decided that the cure for my boredom was to feel like I was living and experiencing something, anything at all that got me out of the house, away from the screen and out of my own head.

The sun was shining so the top went down on the convertible. I decided I would drive into Waxhaw and check out the Provisions Store there and maybe check out the little shops near by. I was going to get on the interstate, but then thought I would rather go a different direction. I took the back roads, and I’m really glad I did. On the way I came across a pop-up market, where I stopped and got my favorite home made lavender soap and saw some really cool jewelry that some vendors had made. I saw tree lined streets, an old bridge over a stream. Horse farms, and old wooden barns and an unexpected little white chapel sitting in a grassy field. I had no time constraints and it felt good to get out of my bubble.

My good friend and next door neighbor has a saying: “always have something to look forward to.” She’s so right. Why work ourselves into the ground and have no fun? Fun doesn’t always have to cost a lot. I felt like I had some sort of adventure therapy today. It was good.

I feel like getting outside and doing something stimulating outside and away from a screen lowers our cortisol levels, and raises are serotonin, leaving us more relaxed and at peace. Why not treat ourselves to that more often? Adventure leads to curiosity and that has to be a win-win.

Taking the back, narrow winding roads made me think of the scripture that says “small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” It would have been so much easier to take the wide path, a quick interstate drive vs. the back roads, but what fun would that have been?

This entry was posted on August 22, 2020. 1 Comment

Feel the Bloat

I have been feeling pretty bloated lately, literally and figuratively.  The other day I told my husband that I do not know what more I can do to lose weight. I said I could go all day without eating and as soon as I eat something my stomach will look like I’m 5 months pregnant.  I decide that perhaps I need to keep a food diary to see exactly what I am shoveling in my mouth each day.  Maybe by the process of elimination I can see what is causing my “issue.”

 

I know some of it is my age, but I try so hard to eat clean and not eat a whole lot of processed food, dairy, etc.  It’s the sugar that causes me to crave and give in. At least that’s my theory. I see it and it looks so good.  The dark chocolate, the caramel, the sea salt.  My mouth waters just thinking about it.  Once my eyes see that sweet and salty goodness, my hands have no other option other than to grab it and indulge in its’ sweet creamy flavor and texture. I think I could honestly do a commercial for it and get paid millions.  Okay, I am getting a little off the chart there. Back to reality.

 

I remember when I was younger and in grade school music class, we used to sing a song called O Be Careful Little Eyes. When I was older, I would play the tape of the song in the car for my children while we ran errands.

 

O be careful little eyes what you see, for the Father up above, is looking down with love, O be careful little eyes what you see. The verses went the same for being careful about what we hear, what we say, what our hands do and where we go.

 

Such simple truths that can be applied to our lives today, don’t you think? What are we doing with our time each day?  What are we consuming with our eyes, and our ears?  What are we saying to others?  Are we building them up, or tearing them down?  What are we doing with our hands and where are we going with our feet?

 

My husband is a smart man.  He told me the other night that I need to give social media a break.  He said; “I just listen to the news in the morning to catch up on world events, then I focus on other things during the day.  He’s right, it can be so consuming that we miss out on actual quality of life.

 

What am I missing when I consume media like it’s that chocolate bar?

 

What am I missing when I listen to all of the name calling, and lies being spoon fed to us?

 

What am I missing when I constantly have my hands on my phone or on the tv remote?

 

What am I missing when I walk into my house to catch up on the news instead of taking a walk outside, ride my bike, or do yoga unconnected from all of that negative energy?

 

In much the same way unhealthy food can bloat our stomachs, the world and technology can bloat our hearts, minds, and mostly, our spirits.  Technology and social media can be like sugar is to the brain.  Once you have it, you just crave more and more, until that sugar turns your cells into cancer. Isn’t that what hate is?  It’s a cancer that is pervading our society as a whole.  The more we buy into it, the more it grows and grows.  Maybe we need to put our candy bar down (our cell phones) and take a walk.  Maybe if we do that more often, our eyes will be on our families, our friends, our hobbies and creativity.  We will be able to hear things that make us smile, do things with our hands that create or build something up.  We will use our feet not to run and destroy, but to run and exercise. Without distractions we can walk on a sandy beach and feel a sense of gratefulness that we are alive and well.  We need the quiet that tells us we are a small part of a large world that is made up of a lot of good.

 

Our internal world has an effect on our external world, so we have to be careful what we are consuming via media, food, etc.

 

Like the song says, I do believe He is still looking down from above and he sees’ it all.  I much rather He see us happy and treating each other with dignity and love, which we all deserve no matter what race, color or creed.

 

Namaste.

 

Sunflowers

There used to be a time whenever someone invited me to dinner or a get together, I would always bring sunflowers along with a side-dish. I brought sunflowers because they are one of my favorite flowers. How can anyone look at them and not feel happy?

With the state of the world right now, we need more of what makes us happy. We need more sunshine and sunflowers in the spiritual sense for sure. Did you know that observation is a skill? So many people seem to be lacking of that skill. The skill to observe with a questioning spirit, questioning our feelings, versus the facts. Questioning what we are told, versus common sense seems to be a fading skill.

Did you know that sunflowers are a symbol of faith, loyalty and adoration? Isn’t it interesting that while sunflowers are growing, they always follow the movement of the sun across the sky, from the rise of the sun in the east until it’s setting in the west? They need about six to eight hours a day of sunlight to reach their potential. Perhaps we should follow their que.

In Matthew 24:27 (NIV) Jesus tells his disciples “For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the son of man.” Just as the sun rises in the east, so will the Son. Maybe we should shut off our media feeds and turn our face towards the Son. Maybe we should be thinking of all of the goodness he brings us and all of the blessings we have vs all of the hatred we see around us.

Philippians 4: 8 (NIV): Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.

Not long ago I watched in horror, one of our elected leaders say on national tv “We do not need God.” I wondered to myself what was happening to our country and to people, right in front of my eyes. I believe we are seeing spiritual warfare playing out right in front of us on a daily basis. I may not be a biblical scholar but I know enough of it to see truth and to feel the energy of ugliness, hatred and destruction that is around us.

Getting back to sunflowers, did you also know that once they stop growing they will usually stay facing the eastern direction just to soak up the sun? However, there are usually a few rebels in the patch that will choose a different direction.

Take note: In Matthew 24: his disciples asked Jesus what the signs would be of his return. Jesus went on to say that we need to be careful that no one deceives us. (how many times are we lied to?) He said that we will hear of wars and rumors of wars (had a friend the other day tell me that she thinks there will be a civil war here). BUT, he also said to “see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places (had one here just last week which is very out of the normal). All of these are the beginning of birth pains. Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death. (Christians are being persecuted and treated terribly around the world. Christian statues are coming down, God is taken out of school, churches are being told they can not hold services while looting and lawlessness in large groups are being allowed). He goes on to say: At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false profits will appear and deceive many people.”

I’m an observant person and can see all of this. From the false profits to people turning away from each other according to their political beliefs. From the lawlessness that is prophesied in the book of Revelation to the action of people turning their faces away from the east and away from God. Rebels in the streets and liars on our screens.

However, along with that I also believe more than ever, that there is a large field of us that cover the country. We are like those bright sunflowers facing towards the Son, allowing his warmth to envelope us and not allow us to be consumed by the hatred, the strife and the worry that comes with this tumultuous world. We are strong and our beliefs mean something. They are the beliefs that our country was founded on and they are the beliefs that have made this country the beautiful, free place it has been for centuries. I know the end of the story, the end of the book. Knowing the end of the story allows us to not be alarmed and to have peace amidst this storm. After all, every storm runs out of rain, and at the end those of us who know his voice will turn to the east and see that he is near.