When You’re In The Wilderness

When you’re traveling through the wilderness, and it feels like life is hitting you with everything it’s got, it’s amazing to finally look up and see the growth that has occurred. Like many of you, I’ve been going through a storm in my life and truthfully, it’s been extremely hard to navigate. I think the main lesson here is that I shouldn’t be navigating… period. But that’s for another blog post.

This season of my life has put me in some pretty low places and has had me asking extremely important yet vague questions. I’ve been so low that anxiety attacks and breakdowns often occur, and I’ve been so confused and full of questions like, “What’s the point,” “What am I even doing here on this Earth,” “What’s my purpose,” “If I’m supposed to go the heaven, and that’s the goal, what is the point of this lifetime,” the list goes on.

But with all of that said, just recently, I got a chance to look up and realized just how far God has taken me through this season. So here is a little bit of what I’ve learned so far traveling through the wilderness.


God Is Still With You In The Wilderness

I must say, I never thought God left me during this season; He’s been with me all the time, but He’s been quiet. It’s weird to move from a season where God is chatty, and I’m talkative, and we’re really “vibing,” and I can feel Him and see Him moving, to a season when I’ll pray, and I start to wonder if He’s heard, or if He cares, or if He’s a little too busy for me. But if I’ve learned anything from Bible stories, it’s that God is still there. He’s always there, even when you’re in the wilderness. That was true of the Israelites when they were traveling from Egypt to The Promise Land, and it was also true of Jesus when spent 40 days and nights in the wilderness. God was there, the whole time.


Perspective

If you take nothing else from this blog post, please understand the power of perspective. It truly can change your life, and it’s something I’ve been working on for the past few weeks. After weeks of breakdowns, crying, and then finally realizing that things aren’t going to change, I need to, I adopted a new perspective. Often times, it’s just that, understand that things won’t get better, but you can. More often than not, it’s counting your blessings a little more than you have in the past, or seeing a situation from some else’s point of view. Whatever it is, I promise a change in perspective will do wonders for you and your ability to get through this tough season. Keep in mind, much of the time, the season you’re in has a lot to do with how you wait. I’m sure the Israelites who ended up wandering for 40 years when they should have reached The Promise Land in 11 days could tell you better than I can.


Trials Produce Growth

I’ve heard it many times before that you can only grow when you’re going through something, and I am here to say that is true. It’s true for when you’re building physical muscles, and it’s true for when you’re building spiritual muscles.

You don’t build muscle by just hanging out and being comfortable. You build muscle by lifting, working, running, etc. That’s how you grow your muscle tissue. So that’s the same for your spiritual muscles. You can’t grow when you’re comfortable and what’s more uncomfortable and growth producing than a good ‘ole fashion test, trial, or walk through the wilderness?


Stronger

I don’t know what the Lord is preparing me for, but I do know He has taken me through the wilderness to prepare me, and because of that, I am stronger. One place, in particular, I have found myself to be stronger is in my mind. This wasn’t an easy one. I am a thinker guy, and because of that, I can think myself into great moods, bad moods, sad moods, whatever emotion, I can think myself into it. But because I’m only human, I often think myself into the lowest, most unhappy thoughts. This season has caused me to work on my mental. God exposed my weakness, humbled me to the ground about it, and then showed me that through Him alone I can overcome my thoughts.

He also changed my thoughts towards work. I find this so ironic that He changed my perspective on work during a season I’m not really working (full-time). Like LOL, God is funny! Despite not having a full-time job, He has shown me the importance of being grateful, being humble, stewarding small beginnings, and hustling. I always thought of myself as a hard worker, but this season and being an adult in general, has really taught me what hard work is, and how to stay consistent when you feel overlooked, uninspired, unappreciated, and bored.

To say the least, the Lord is working on me, in the wilderness, and for that, I am thankful.


I’ll end with this… recently, I heard a pastor say, something along the lines of, “Sometimes you’re not moving out of this season because you haven’t thanked or praised God yet.” That wasn’t the exact quote, but my take away from it was, you need to thank God for what He’s giving you, but you also need to thank Him for what He’s about to bring you into.

Praise Him for what you’re believing for as if you already have it and see what happens. Thank Him for what you’re believing for and see what He does. I find myself getting into a habit of always asking God for things, but rarely praising Him, or thanking Him for what I do have, and for the things He is doing but I can’t see. I’ve been making an effort to change this, and I hope you do too.

Until next time, get up, get moving, and be salt & light!

 

App Appreciation: Headspace

It’s day four of Wellness Week on my blog! Wow, this week is flying by. For those who are just joining us, Wellness Week is where I post health, nutrition, and overall wellness related content on my blog every day, Monday through Friday at 8am EST. So far we’ve talked about nutrition, fitness, and skin care. The links to those posts can be found here.

Monday – My Thoughts On “What The Health”

Tuesday – Get Fit with DeanFit

Wednesday – Maddie’s Market: One Stop Shop for Natural Skin and Body Care

But without further ado, let’s get to today’s post!


My journey to trying meditation.

For the longest time, I turned down the idea of meditation because it seemed a little too out there, a little too “woo woo,” for me. But isn’t it interesting how things we don’t fully understand we often chalk up to being “woo woo”? Well, I finally began to come around to meditation when I started taking yoga and loving it. Yoga is a meditative practice that incorporates movement. To earn the pleasure of savasana (the “dead,” most relaxed, and meditative pose often done at the end of class) you have to work through the full class, training your mind just to let it rest.

While I love yoga, I can’t make it into a class or studio every day, let alone every week, so I needed another alternative. I heard so many people talk about meditation as the practice or habit that had, “changed their life.” So, though still hesitant to start my own practice, I  started anyway. The tipping point for me was when one of my favorite YouTubers mentioned the HeadSpace app in one of her monthly favorites videos.

I downloaded the app, Headspace, right away and began to explore meditation that night. Since then I haven’t stopped.


What is Headspace?

Headspace is wonderful because it not only leads you through a guided meditation, but it teaches you about what meditation actually is. Also, Headspace explains how it can help you daily and debunks the myths behind meditation.

I began with Headspace’s Basic 1 meditation package (the picture below is Basics 2, the program I’m currently on), which consists of 10 days of beginner guided meditation. Each session lasts roughly between 3-4 minutes, with videos to accompany your understanding of meditation and guide you through the process.

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Now I’ll be honest, I didn’t meditate straight through for 10 days, but as I became more consistent days 5-10, I truly saw the value of the app, as well as meditation.


What meditation has done for me…

Many people claim meditation can do a number of things, but I can only speak to what it has done for me, and continues to do, in the short time I’ve practiced.

  1. It allows me to find equilibrium and calmness despite my hectic days and busy schedule.
  2. It also allows me to compartmentalize tasks. But when things do get overwhelming, it givings me the mental space and clarity to step back and make solid decisions in pressing situations.
  3. It also allows me to accept my mind and thoughts for what they are. When I’m focused, that’s awesome, but when I’m not, that’s fine too. This understanding has allowed me to work with my mind to get the results I want, not get frustrated when I don’t.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?list=PLW8o3_GFoCBOkPUJpA0HsZ16PZ9A8Dpf3&params=OAFIAVgC&v=To1wAkYjnHU&mode=NORMAL


All Headspace has to offer.

I’ve loved using the app so much that I have decided to continue using it past the Basic 1 package. While I haven’t purchased it yet, I will most likely buy the app to gain access to even more and longer form packages of guided meditation. Once the app is purchased, the meditation packages you gain access to are roughly 20 minutes long, and there are far more to choose from.

So while meditation might be new to you and putting money towards it might not be something you’re interested in right now, I still highly recommend Headspace. It’s a great way to start your meditation practice, and it’s free of charge if you don’t want to upgrade.

Worried you won’t have time? The Basic packages have meditation lessons/segments that last roughly 3-4 minutes. You can do it after brushing your teeth in the morning, before dinner, right before bed, or even at your desk at work. The possibilities are endless, and the benefits are greater than you could imagine.

Just give it a try. You won’t regret it!

20150713-Headspace-logo


If you enjoyed this blog post, please be sure to share it on social media, comment below and subscribe to my blog so that you never miss a post. We have one more day in this Wellness Week series, and it’s going to be a good one!

Until next time, get up, get moving, and live your best life!