How Resilient are You?

#inspiration, asset, neural pathwaysI was listening to a speaker who specializes in resiliency training. She told us resilience is the ability to bounce back.

Among the factors that enter into this are goals, intentions, mindset, mental and physical energy. A good reminder to take care of ourselves in all these areas came from her statement, “You are your number one asset.” The part of her presentation I found most interesting had to do with the practice of exercising our minds. I learned that when we do something differently we are creating new neural pathways. This is the equivalent of a gym workout for our brains.

Now, here comes the exciting news. When we exercise our brains we actually burn more calories. An example of this was that walking backwards burns ten times as many calories as walking forwards!

In other words, when I try something new, it’s good for me physically and mentally.

I think of all the times I chose to remain in my safe little comfort zone rather than stretching out of it to try new things. Little did I know how much was at stake.  Not only was it more difficult to bounce back from the setbacks in life, I was robbing both my brain and my body of stimulation they needed to keep me healthy.

The next time I’m tempted to play it safe, I think I’ll walk backwards, create some new neural pathways and rethink that decision!

“People who soar are those who refuse to sit back, sigh and wish things would change. They neither complain of their lot nor passively dream of some distant ship coming in. Rather, they visualize in their minds that they are not quitters; they will not allow life’s circumstances to push them down and hold them under.” Charles Swindoll


#God, #inspiration, blessings,positive The night seemed never-ending. Strange, vivid dreams disturbed my sleep. I woke frequently to the unsettling dream video playing in my mind. When I fell asleep again I’d find myself in another aspect of this bizarre story.

After many hours of this sequence, I realized that I needed to focus on something else as I was nodding off again. That’s when a snippet of a scripture verse came to mind; “whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, think about these things.”

It took all my concentration to replace the unsettling images with thoughts of God’s blessings. What could be more pure and lovely than that? My final hour of sleep was peaceful.

Soon the alarm went and I was surprised to find my neck and shoulders were stiff and sore. My back ached and it took great effort to place one foot in front of the other. “What happened?” I thought; “I felt fine when I went to bed.”

It was then I realized the negative thoughts in the night had seized my body as well as my mind. If they had the power to make this much impact in eight hours of rest, I wondered what the overall effect of negative thoughts had on my health. This was one experiment I wasn’t willing to take!

Just as I discovered in the night, my focus needs to remain on God. He has provided many blessings in my life. By consciously turning my attention to God and praying about every situation, my mind will stay positive and the tension will be gone.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, 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. (Philippians 4:6-8 NIV)

Is Your Mind Jumping Around?

peace, Jesus, InspirationThe water aerobics class was nearing completion. The exercise we were doing involved jumping. As one of the participants prepared to slip out of the class early, the teacher good-naturedly joked to her that she wasn’t jumping. My friend smiled and said that she was jumping in her mind!

I laughed and said that my mind jumped around a lot, too! This is especially true when I have many things to accomplish. My thoughts don’t seem to hold still on one particular thing for any length of time. In fact, sometimes they change so rapidly that I don’t know what I’m thinking until I hear the words come out of my mouth!

When this happens, life becomes frustrating not only for myself, but for those close to me. I need to slow down, take a deep breath and refocus. The peace and serenity I long for can be found if I know where to look for it.

Fortunately I realize that this peace of mind is found when my focus is on Jesus. The distractions that keep my mind jumping are no longer noticed when my eyes are on him.

You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! (Isaiah 26:3 NLT)