Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Gleaning Truth at the Core

Focus on your center.” This phrase resounds in yoga classes across the nation. In Yoga, the Spirit and Practice of Moving into Stillness, Erich Schiffmann says, “When you experience yourself in stillness…you will experience the conflict-free, calm, dynamic peace of perfectly centered abundant life energy. This exquisite peace deep within you is actually the experience of God, life energy.” 

I’m sure Mr. Schiffmann and I would differ in a number of areas, but in my Christ-centered worldview this is a most powerful statement. He sees God as life energy. So do I. God, in fact created the world through his Word, Jesus. He holds the world together and sustains it. He breathes life into every living thing. He is, in fact, the life energy flowing through each of us. 

Now if this God, that created and sustains us, in whom we have our being, is the center of our life, then when we focus on our center, we focus on Him. We feel His strength at our core and we experience peace. 

Yoga teaches us to be still and quiet our minds. As we do, we will be able to focus on our Lord, our center. At times we may hear His voice, at times we’ll rehearse a Bible passage, and at 
times we’ll just be in His presence.

What a powerful way to rip ourselves from the chaos of our culture and strengthen our spirit—the center of our being. 

It’s also important to strengthen the core of our body. A practice of yoga builds balance, strength and flexibility, all originating at the core. Whether practicing yoga, T'ai Chi or some other form of exercise remember that any strength you have comes from God. Let physical movement be an opportunity for praise. 

If you choose a practice that incorporates non-Biblical, spiritual principles, be wise. Ask the Spirit of God to lead you in truth. Check what you’re learning against Scripture. Take what is true and separate it from untruth. In this way we glean truth in unexpected places and we are awed again by our God, surprised to discover He does not live exclusively in the little boxes of our making. 

”For I purpose not to strip thee of earthly ties and joys but I long to have thee give to Me the center of thy life that My blessing may flow out to the circumference.  For My Spirit moveth not from the circumference to the center, but from the center to the circumference.”

~Excerpt from Come Away My Beloved,
by Frances J. Roberts

Monday, July 8, 2013

Balancing Minerals = A Balancing Act

I've been away from home for two weeks. The first week I, along with a team from our church, participated in an outreach ministry in the Tinderloin district of San Fransisco. It was hard work all day, but very rewarding. We met wonderful people who work in the ministry, people who receive help from the ministry and those who run a local business in the neighborhood because they want to be part of the solution.

By the end of the week my body was spent. I had taken my multi-vitamin along and my thyroid supplements, but the other things I left at home. Getting my body back into the rhythm of life has been a challenge. I realize from reading "Healthy Healing," the section on muscle cramps, spasms and twitches, that I'm probably lacking minerals. Linda Page writes, "Muscle spasms, cramps, twitches and tics are usually a result of body vitamin and mineral deficiencies or imbalances. Most cramping occurs at night as minerals move between blood, muscles and bones." It seemed like I could feel every bit of movement those minerals made as I lay still trying to sleep. "Avoid refined sugars, processed and preserved foods. Food sensitivities to these are often the cause of twitches and spasms," Page notes. She also mentions the need for increased Vitamin C in women.

We can't just take a lot of extra minerals in supplement form because it can be too much for the body to process.

"Minerals must be acquired by food. Our bodies do not make them. Although we would hope we could get them from the foods we eat, today’s diets do not contain the minerals we need even if you are eating a pristine diet. A deficiency of a single mineral can negatively impact the entire chain of life, rendering other nutrients ineffective and useless. What about supplements? Most of them are ineffective because they are not coming in a full spectrum form or from a food form. Many are synthetic and can not be properly digested or absorbed, which lead to even further problems. All minerals work together. When you affect one it affects the other." ~InspiringHealth.net

Good foods such as green leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds, and seafoods will take us a long way in replacing needed minerals.

Good health is such a balancing act, if we tip too far to one side and neglect the other, we lose our balance and can quickly fall. A healthy lifestyle includes deep breathing, plenty of clean water, a healthy diet including the vitamins and minerals we need, and a spiritual discipline as well. So here's a shameless plug for my ebook, which discusses each of these areas in a short, easy-to-read format. "Mid-Life NOT a Crisis" Click for NOOK. And for Kindle.

So, I'm upping my mineral intake along with some Vitamin C and taking much more water. I've also gotten back to my regular diet and begun to exercise again. It's so easy to relax our standards of health when we're out of town!

Here's an informative page about Minerals put out by the US National Library of Medicine, if you're interested in reading more.

What do you do when your muscles twitch, your bones hurt and/or you're just plain exhausted?