Friday, June 06, 2008

Making ME a Priority

There seems to always come a time, or two, when we get ourselves a little mixed up. Maybe we take on one too many projects, over commit ourselves, stay up too late one too many days, or just push our limits a little too far. The results are not usually positive. Maybe we become a little grumpy, or the bags under our eyes may require a luggage rack to be carted around. If food is your weakness, the choices you make may start leaving a little to be desired. Maintaining a balance in our lives requires dedication and being conscious. Paying attention to what our bodies are telling us is a great start.

According to Focal Point Yoga, "Unhealthy eating patterns are often caused by tension and stress. When you experience stress or negative emotions, you lose energy. Unconsciously, you want to eat to replace that lost energy."

In my research and struggles with weight I learned that I am an emotional eater. This was news to me. Honestly, I didn't have a clue about the emotions that can drive our choices in relationship to food. Last year my husband and I took a weight loss class through our church. It was eye opening. There were many references to Steven Arterburn's book, Lose it for Life. I decided to pick it up from my local library. It was profound and so intense that I had to put it down. It made my relationship with food raw, no pun intended. It touched me in places that I didn't know were sore.

From that point forward I made a personal commitment to work on me. What can I do to heal? How can I become a more grounded person? What do I need to do to more fully connect with God? How can I be aware of God's calling on my life? My priorities shifted once I became conscious in my life. It was both painful and freeing at the same time. Dealing with past issues that hurt can be just as real and just as painful now as they were then. The freedom comes in letting them go and accepting God's freely given grace.

Things I do that keep me whole, move me forward, and connect me to God:

  • Spend time reading the Bible every day...even five minutes makes a difference. The reward seems to multiply if my day is started this way.
  • Spend time faithfully communicating with God. We talk like friends now. It wasn't always that way for me.
  • Connect myself to community through volunteering my time in what ever capacity I am needed and able to give freely.
  • Connect myself through the church family. I have stepped outside of my comfort zone on more than one occasion, and I never regret it. The rewards are huge.
  • Take time to consider my options before making decisions. This keeps me focused on what is important.
  • Knowing that it is okay to say, "No", and actually saying it!
  • Rediscovering my passions and exploring things that I enjoy.
  • Spend time journaling at least a few times per week.

The above list is just a few things that are positive and consciously sought in my daily living. Surely you list will look different than mine. I encourage you to take the time to start a journal. Make a list of things that you can do to become a more conscious you. What do you enjoy doing? Seriously, take the time to think about it. You won't regret it.

If you seriously want to make the commitment to healing and becoming whole explore the book, Healing is a Choice, by Stephen Arterburn. Consider starting a group study with members of your church or a close circle of friends. You have nothing to lose...but your baggage.

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