Tag Archives: Weight lifting

FIFTY WAYS TO LOVE YOURSELF

Carl Sandburg said “Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent.”  He adds, “Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.”  Jesus said it differently, he said “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:60)(NIV).   How do we proclaim the Kingdom of God?  How do we enter it, realize it, become one with it, be uplifted by it, be glorified by it?  We don’t have to wait until the afterlife.  In Luke (17:20-21), Jesus says the kingdom of God is in us.

Jesus is saying that we have to love ourselves.  But we don’t.  Instead, we distract ourselves with other people, places, things – even opportunities so that we don’t have to stare deeply into the face of our own love – a love that is powerful, a love that is infinite, a love that is true, a love that never fails nor forsake us because it is the omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent God expressing and loving as us.

We cannot live our lives righteously without loving ourselves.  We cannot do what we were called to do – without loving ourselves.  We cannot be the best that we can be without loving ourselves.  When we learn to love who we are, we begin to understand that we live, move and have our being in love, which is what John called “God” (1 John 4:8).  There are infinite ways to love ourselves, so 50 ways is by all means the tip of the iceberg – but these 50 ways to love ourselves were prepared in honor of our 50th birthdays.

1.  RE-DISCOVER YOUR TRUE SELF.  The first way to love yourself is by re-connecting with the energy of God’s love through your breath.  You have to breathe mindfully.  Close your eyes and breathe, realizing that in each breath that you take, you awaken to your power.  In each breath that you take, you know that you have nothing to fear. Breathe in and re-discover your divine connection with God.  Remember that God is breathing you as the greatest gift of love that there is.  Breathe in and “do not be anxious about anything, just give your requests to [God]”  (Philippians 3:6).2.  LISTEN TO LOVE.  God is always talking to you; you just need to listen.  Take a second right now, and listen.  Isaiah said “When you turn to the right or when you turn to the left, your ears shall hear a word behind you saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it’” (Isaiah 30:21).  When you really listen, you can hear the Universe saying “I love you – with an everlasting love.”3.  SEE LOVE.   See with a single eye the love that surrounds you with an aura of compassion, and fills your body temple with wholeness, and goes before you as all-powerful love — to do the work that you were appointed to do.  Jesus said “the light of the body is  the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light” (Matthew 6:22).  See nothing but love, and its energy with allow you to witness the fullness of its presence and power.4.  AFFIRM LOVE.    In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God (John 1:1) – and that word, the most powerful expression of God as you is “I AM.”  Affirm I AM, which acknowledges the Spirit in you.  The “I AM” allows you to raise your vibrations higher instantly in the realization that you are pure God presence expressing as you.5.  PRAY INTO YOUR GREATNESS.   In the book, God is a Brown Girl Too,you are reminded that “When you stand on the edge of pure possibility, you can use prayer as the impetus to fly.”  Nothing is impossible with God.  God is always praying you, and when you take the time to pray, it is only so that you remember that the Universe has already aligned with your intention to give you what you want, to manifest the answers that you need, to bless you with the gifts that await you.  God knows what you need before you even ask (Matthew 6:32).                                                                                                             6. STRETCH BEYOND DISBELIEF INTO BELIEF.  Jesus said “Stretch out your hand” (Matthew 12:13).  Stretch beyond hate into love; stretch beyond fear into love; stretch beyond jealously into love – every day when you feel some resistance, some tightness, some anxiety – just allow yourselves to stretch beyond the box that you’re in – with love.

7.  MOVE WITH A NEW COURAGE.  When you move, you are telling your body that you love it and you allow it to say “I love you” because it becomes fitter and stronger.  When you don’t have a regime of moving your body, you believe that you don’t need it anymore and it begins to age and stop working.  But when you move, you remain more youthful.  Stand up and say “feet I love you, heart I love you, muscles I love you.”  As Paul said, “in God I live and move and have my being” (Acts 17:28).

8.  DRINK LIVING WATER.  As much as 70% of your body can be made up of water, so you have to be diligent about loving yourself with what you need.  You can take a sip of water and say “water I love you.”  But you can also drink the unseen water, the substance of love – living water – and say “love I feel you,” and really feel love filling our bodies, minds and souls. Jesus said “[w]hoever believes in me . . . rivers of living water will flow from within them” (John 7:38).

9.  EAT THE BREAD OF LIFE.  Jesus said “I am the bread of life.  Whoever comes to me will never go hungry.” The bread of life is manna, the unseen nourishment, the unseen goodness that you are always surrounded by – just waiting for you tap it.  So there is no need to overeat. There is enough to feed us and sustain you.  You need only eat the foods that love you – not the foods that harm you.

10.  EMBRACE A NEW ORDER.  When you love yourself, you allow yourself to be open to the divine order of the universe.  You realize that God is present in every step that you take, that God is working out every detail for your greatest good; God is penetrating every aspect of your being to work out every single detail for your greatest good.

11.  TAKE UP YOUR BED AND WALK.  Take up your bed and walk – first, by leaving your past behind (remember, Lot’s wife kept looking back and she turned into a pillar of salt); second, by being fully responsible for your life (no, you cannot wait for some other person or for some other time); third, by refusing to limit yourself (there is no limit on your happiness or success).   Rise up and say “I’m gonna get up and take charge.”

12.  ALLOW YOUR DREAMS TO GUIDE YOU. – Loving yourself deeply makes you open and receptive to the power of your dreams.  Say “I will allow my dreams to guide me.”

13.  TRUST THE KINGDOM.
Desires, intuition, visions, divine mind are always directing you to what you are here to do.  Take a moment and acknowledge that you love the Kingdom within enough to trust it, be guided by it, and be obedient to its guidance.

14.  LIFT THE WEIGHT.   Ernestine “Ernie” Shepherd, at age 75, is a personal trainer, a professional model, a competitive bodybuilder and happier and more fulfilled than she’s ever been in her life. She started working out for the first time in her life at age 56.  She has no aches or pains; has 9 to 10%  bodyfat —  single-digit percentages usually reserved for elite-professional male athletes in their prime! She takes no medications.  And she loves her new life’s work and has never been more successful.  Say “I will lift and love lifting the weight that makes me healthy.”

15.  RELEASE.   When you love yourself, you realize that you have no need to hold onto anything or anyone; you can let go of the past – including past acquaintances, situations, obstacles, fears because the Kingdom of God loves you so much, it will help you surrender what you don’t need.  Think of one person or one situation you need to release and see yourself sending it love, and letting it go.

16.   FORGIVE SEVENTY-TIMES SEVEN.  When you love yourself, you realize that you cannot reap the inexhaustible source of the universe if you are blocking the flow of your good with anger, resentment, lack, or unforgiveness.  And sometimes you forgive everything and everyone except yourself.  So let’s love yourself in this moment by forgiving yourself – 70×77 – for whatever you did – whatever you carried into this room, whatever you are ashamed of.  Close your eyes and say “I forgive you.”

17.  LAUGH.  Laughter is the greatest gift that you can give yourself.  Laughter massages your soul with good loving and frees your spirit to experience true joy.  Say “I will laugh when it’s time to laugh, and enjoy every moment of it – and most of all I will laugh at myself.”

18.  CRY.  When you hurt, crying is the best way to release your pain.  Tears are a way of telling yourself that whatever emotion you are experiencing, it’s okay.  Tears are also a way of expressing joy.  Say “I’m gonna cry when I need to.”

19.   CELEBRATE.  Celebrate who you are – your unique talents and skills, and the love that God has in creating no one else like you.  What other people think of you is none of your business.  When you’re really loving you, you don’t care.  Think of one thing right now – or one reason to celebrate you. 

20.  CHANGE.  Loving yourself allows us to operate, use, turn on, tap into the unique power that we have to improve ourselves.  Change for the better.

21.   REST.  Love your life by finding the time that you need to enjoy other places, other people, other things, and to go within for more quality time with the love of your life – you.  Take a ME day.  (On the 7th day, even God rested.)

22.   CREATE.  Create with a new power. Second Timothy says in Chapter 1, Verse 7 that “God did not give us a spirit of timidity or fear; but a spirit of power….”  God loves us by allowing us to use the creative energy of the universe to heal, bless and uplift through our creative abilities.  Honor your creative abilities as your greatest gift.

23.   WRITE.  Loving ourselves improves when we write to reconnect with the love within.  Make a commitment to keep a journal or just notes to remember who you are.  If you write on Facebook, you can use that – just cut and paste into a separate document.  Write and be led by your writings.

24.   HEAL WITH  A NEW WHOLENESS.  Stop choosing struggle and pain, and you won’t experience it.  If it shows up unexpectedly, deny its presence and affirm the power of the “I AM”: I am perfect, whole and complete!

25.   START ANEW.  Each day and every moment, you have the power to begin anew.  Just affirm that you are at a new beginning.  Paul said, “I die daily” (1 Corinthians 15:31).  Be reborn in the resurrection of God’s power expressing as you.

26.   STUDY TO SHOW YOURSELF APPROVED.  Studying is love.  We study because we love ourselves enough to want to grow in wisdom.  Say “I will always be a student of love.”

27.  DANCE WITH A NEW FREEDOM.  When you dance in the Spirit, you know that if patterns of negativity keep showing up in your life — such as disharmony, loneliness, pain, physical discomfort,  financial insecurity, lack, worry, doubt — you can change them.  You can wake up from your self-limiting thought and you can experience the ceaseless flow of good — and turn your life around.  You can dance!  When  you dance in the Spirit, you shake the dust off your feet.  You bless the people who are not in accord with your greatest good, who do not support you and do Spirit calls you to do.  Dancing allows us to love ourselves, without worry, without fear, and without missing a beat. When we dance, we let go and go with the flow.

28.  SPEAK.   When we love, we speak words of good, words of empowerment, words of encouragement, words always contain the power that manifest the change that we need.  Speak only words of love.

29.  LEAP AND THE NET WILL APPEAR.  Take a risk.  Do what you only dreamed of but never dared to do.  Leap!  Say “I will leap because the net will appear.”  Love is the net that will catch you.  Either the universe will catch you or teach you how to fly.

30.   EMBRACE.  Embrace people worldwide with your love, including on Facebook, via telephone, letters, email, and in person.  The best way to receive love is to give it.  Hug somebody right now.

31.   COMPETE ONLY WITH YOURSELF.  You are your most fierce competitor and your most formidable adversary.  But here’s something you might not know, when you really love you – nothing can defeat you, so you have already won the race.  Surrender to the victory that you are. Call forth your extraordinary power.  Say “I win the race by loving me.”

32.   FIND TIME TO LOVE YOUR BODY.  – Find time to love your body.  Find time the time that need for your manicure, pedicure, hairdresser and massage.  Loving yourself means never ever looking shabby.

33.  CLAIM YOUR GOOD.  All you have to do is ask, and receive.  You can have the car, the spouse, the house, the trip, the joy that you desire – all you to do is claim it.  Right now, decide on 1-3 things that you want.  And say to yourself – I love me, so I will have [ insert your desire ]. If you want it, claim it.  This is simple: you are changing your consciousness so that what you want, claims you.

34.   BECOME NO. ONE ON YOUR LIST OF PRIORITIES.

35.   SAY NO TO WHATEVER WILL DRAIN YOU, USE YOU, MARGINALIZE YOU, LIMIT YOU.

36.   GET HELP WHEN YOU NEED IT.

37.   SMELL THE ROSES AND THE LAVENDER AND THE ROSEMARY AND WHATEVER ELSE SMELLS DELICIOUS AND SURROUND YOURSELF WITH IT WHENEVER YOU CAN.

38.   FIRE YOUR INNER CRITIC.  It’s past time to be unconditional in your love.  End all conversations that lie about how you do not have it going on: you do – wherever you are and whatever you are doing, you do.  You are the bomb.  You got the right stuff baby.  You got it going on.  No one can lose with the stuff you use.  Say I fire my inner critic.

39.   BE STILL.  Being still allows you to be at peace in the love that you are and to re-connect to the power that God is, and to feel the Kingdom expressing as you.  Just take a second and be still.  As the Psalmist says, “be still and know that I AM God” (Psalm 46:10).

40.   BE PATIENT.  We cannot love ourselves without patience.  Say I will love being in the moment.  I am patient.

41.   MOVE FORWARD.  Move forward into untouched spaces and realize YOU ARE more remarkable than YOU could ever imagine.

42.   BE GRATEFUL.   Oh, this is truly an energy of love.  Gratitude opens you to the realization of unlimited source and supply.  Say “I am grateful because I am always blessed,” and watch your blessings multiply.

43.   LOOK INSIDE AND SAY I LOVE YOU.  We fail to do that; we tell everyone else that we love them, but we don’t love ourselves – no one can love us unless we open the door to their love by loving ourselves.  Sometimes I think why are you not there to love me, but I wasn’t there to love myself.

44.   SHINE YOUR LIGHT.   In Matthew 5:14, Jesus said: “You are the light of the world.  A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.  Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.  Let your light shine so before men that they may see your good works…”  You cannot pick and choose who will benefit from your light.  You must be generous enough to share it with everyone.  How? By simply doing what I have called you to do.  Somewhere, someone told you that you weren’t good enough, but you need to tap into the higher power of your love and shine your light.  Say I’m shining my light today!

45.   NEVER GIVE UP.  The moso is a bamboo plant that grows in China and the far east. After the moso is planted, no visible growth occurs for up to five years – under ideal conditions! But if it gave up, it would never see its full growth and potential.  Your struggles are there for a reason; those are the things that ultimately matter; it has nothing to do with the prize at the end. As Og Mandino says, “Never will I allow any day to end with a failure.  I WILL NEVER GIVE UP. When others cease their struggle, then mine will begin.  I WILL NEVER GIVE UP. I will greet the new sun with confidence that this will be the best day of my life.  As long as there is breath in me, that long will I persist.  For I know, if I persist long enough — I will succeed.”

46.   MOVE OUT OF GOD’S WAY.   All you really have to do is lay the groundwork and move out of God’s way.  In the Book of Matthew, the 6th Chapter, the 8th Verse, it says that God knows what you have need of before you even ask.  The good that you seek is already part of the endless energy of God.  The only person standing in the way of that good is you — when you give your power away to people and events and the appearances of stuff.  Say “I’m going to move out of God’s way!”

47.   PUT YOUR HOUSE IN ORDER.   In the 2nd chapter of John, we learn that Jesus found  those who sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers doing business there — and he made a whip of cords.  He drove all of them out of the temple,  overturned the tables, and screamed “Take these things away! Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!” Then, His disciples remembered what the Psalmist said, “Zeal for Your house has eaten Me up.”   God’s cleansing power goes deep into the veins and the inner parts of you for true confession.  Zeal — the pure presence of God — holds you accountable for your stuff — for anything that you do that is inconsistent with Spirit.  If your right eye offends you, pluck it out; if your right hand offends you, cut it off.  You need to do your own self-inventory and make sure that you are acting with commitment, leadership and integrity.  You need to clean out the contradictions that undermine your faith; and you need to remain vigilant to destroy any ousted enemy that tries to sneak back through your thoughts, words or deeds.

48.   STOP WORRYING ABOUT SOMEBODY ELSE’S BUSINESS.  You can’t worry about what somebody -sposed to be doin.’  That’s too toxic.  You have to realize that who you are in the flesh is a compliment to who you are in the Spirit.  You have to recognize that you are the good in everything that you experience.  As soon as you ask, you begin the process of receiving.  The only way that you shut the door — is by not believing.  When you give praise and thanks for the manifestation of your good, then you allow it to take shape.

49.   REAP WHAT YOU HAVE NOT SOWN.  In John 4:38, Jesus told his disciples “the saying ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true. I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.”  You are really above creation’s cause and effect subjugation.  If you are centered in God – in love, you will reap without measure the infinite reward of Spirit.  God’s desire to express through you is so great that you will even reap more good than you sow.  Jesus told his disciples in Matthew 9:37 that “the harvest is plenty but the workers are few.” At some point in your lives, you have stopped short of your true potential, but the love of God will give you favor, so that in all things, at all times, you will have what you need.  Accept God’s favor.

50.    MOVE TO THE END OF YOUR RAINBOW.  What people rarely focus on in For Colored Girls is that at the end of the play, where Ntozake Shange says “& for this is for colored girls who have considered suicide/ BUT are moving to the ends of their own rainbows.”   In other words, they are not tragically ending life but have come to the realization that they reach the end of their rainbows when they love themselves.  Shange says, “i found god in myself, and i loved her fiercely.”  The love that you need, you have within.   Shange says “my love is too beautiful to have thrown back in my face; my love is too sanctified to have thrown back in my face; my love is too magic to have thrown back in my face; my love is too music to have thrown back in my face.”  We relate to love on a human level — based on what we give and receive.  But on a spiritual level, love is not giving or receiving — love  simply is.  We evolve in it.  We create out of it.  We are reborn in it.  We are sanctified by it.  We are saved as it.  Love is the only  salvation that there is.  It doesn’t worry about receiving because it is constantly giving.  It doesn’t worry about giving because it is always being blessed.  There is nothing that it needs or lacks because Love is divine source.  See good radiating from you like endless streams of light bouncing off the edge of all possibility.  Don’t let your stuff walk off.  Claim it. Witness your own love as the ultimate salvation.  See prayers swinging from every space in creation.  Hear blessings beings harvested in answers declaring this is a new season.  Nothing is impossible.  Move to the end of your rainbow, and find God again and again.


Rev. Loving is the pastor and founder of SPIRITMUV, a new community of faith.

Advertisements

Spiritual Fitness: Exercise Your “God” Muscle

Recently, I asked someone, who had made astonishing progress in their physical fitness, for their secret.   Was it strict dieting?  Water intake?  Extra cardio?  How was she losing excess body fat at such an incredible speed?  To some, her response may be surprising.  Yes, she followed a clean diet.  (A “clean” diet means that she did not eat any processed food and limited her carbohydrates to low-glycemic foods like oatmeal and sweet potatoes; limited her protein to lean sources like chicken breast, turkey and fish; and limited her vegetables to those high in antioxidants, like spinach, broccoli and asparagus.)   Yes, she weight-lifted regularly to develop muscle mass and did cardio consistently each day.  Yes, she drank plenty of water, with her goal being a gallon a day.  But she didn’t attribute her success to any of those things, she attributed her success to putting God first.

We say that we put God first in our lives, but do we really do that?  Are we really starting our day by recognizing that the Kingdom of God is within us, and by seeking first the inexhaustible supply of the universe that is right in our very midst?  Or do we choose to worship the morning news, our cup of coffee, or the increasing demands of our jobs?  Jesus says “seek first the Kingdom of God”  —  which is not the physical, material world that we live in, but the spiritual power within us.  Putting God first is the foundation of all spiritual fitness, and spiritual fitness results in the attainment of all goals — spiritual and physical — with ease and success.

Spiritual fitness is so simple that we fail to practice it because we assume that it has to be difficult.  Whenever we do pray, which for most of us is only when we want something, we actually ignore God by speaking so loudly into our own clasped hands that we drown out the infinite channels of divine good trying to respond to us.  Why would life be as simple as Jesus said, giving us answers to prayers before we even ask?

We don’t even need a gym membership to get spiritually fit, but once we center in Spirit, we will receive the guidance that we need to attain all of our goals — not just those pertaining to the body temple.  Spiritual fitness does not require us to exercise our body, it requires us to be aware of the presence of God; to ask for God’s help in accomplishing our goals — no matter how mundane; to accept God’s gifts by being our best; and to acknowledge God’s absolute good by giving thanks.

Spiritual Fitness Rule One: Awareness

The first spiritual fitness rule is awareness.  You might say, “hey, I’m aware of the presence of God; I know that God exists.”  But are you really aware that God is in the very air that you breathe and the space that you take up?  God is not some place in the distance waiting to be called or solicited through prayer; God is every aspect of who we are.  When Paul says that we live and move and have our being in God, that means that there is no separation between all that we are and all that God is.  Jesus said keep your whole eye single, which means keep your consciousness stayed on God.

We exercise awareness when we tap into and turn on the presence of God that is always within us and around us.  How do we do that?  There are millions of ways, but here is one that is very simple and takes less than five minutes.  As soon as you wake up, sit up in your bed and immediately breathe in and breathe out, focusing on the breath of life as the infinite power of God.  Seek first the Kingdom within your own consciousness, the awareness that the Kingdom of God is the only power that there is, the only strength that there is, the only supply that there is, the only peace that there is, the only source that there is.  Exercise your spiritual muscle of awareness by centering in the truth that in God, every problem is already solved, every challenge is already won, every appearance of dis-ease is already healed.  God’s good is not something that is postponed until tomorrow, it is blessing you in this instant.

Spiritual Fitness Rule Two: Asking

If you’ve taken the time to center in a conscious awareness of God’s good, then you are exercising one of the strongest spiritual muscles that there is.  But the truth is that we all need help.  We’d like to do it alone, but sometimes we get completely overwhelmed by all of the decisions that we have to make, the priorities that we have to set, and the distractions we sometimes give our energy to.  But Jesus said, if you need help, just ask.  Ask, and it shall be given.  He said, I have come so that you may have life and may have it more abundantly, so just ask for what you need.

When we exercise our spiritual muscles by asking, we are not just receiving, we are simply becoming more receptive to giving our best.  We open our consciousness to  trust the universe and find perfect order and harmony in everything that we do because we have cleared the way for God’s gifts to manifest through a consciousness that receives an unlimited supply of God’s good.

How do we ask?  There are as many ways to do so as there are people.  So here’s one method that helps me ask God each day.  Create an affirmation that you can say daily, at least one to four times each morning — that not only asks but affirms that you have already received what you desire (e.g., I am fit.  I have a new job.  My body is healed.  My book is finished).  It can be as long as you want, asking the universe for the desires that God has given you — and if not those, then something better.

If you’re always on the go like me, tape it on your cell phone or blackberry, or create an MP3 and load it onto your iPod.  I listen to my affirmations as I walk down the street because they help me stay focused on what God calls me to do.  There is no dispute that words are powerful.  Asking helps us focus the energy of our thoughts through words into the realization of our goals.  The spiritual exercise of affirming words empowered with faith help us open our consciousness to order our steps by accomplishing the things that are necessary to do what God calls us to do.

Spiritual Fitness Rule Three: Acceptance

The third spiritual exercise requires us to open our hearts to accept God’s good.  Have you ever been in a situation where you asked for something and it came so quickly that you didn’t even want it — because there was this unconscious part of you that wanted to struggle?  Or perhaps something or someone came to you so quickly that you foolishly felt that their value was diminished by their eagerness?  Or perhaps you received your blessing but you believed deep in your heart that you just weren’t good enough?  I’ve come to believe that the reason that we don’t experience our good is our own sense of doubt and fear.  We want change, and yet we have to grow through a “process” in order to accept change because if it came too fast, it would just blow us away.

How do we exercise our spiritual muscles to move our stuff out of the way so that we can accept the good that God is trying to give us?  Once again, there are many ways, but here is an exercise that works for me.   It’s simple.  Start anew.  Right now, in this instant, start anew.  And each day that you wake up, know that you are at a new beginning.  Paul said, I die daily (1 Corinthians 15:31 NKJV).  Every day, every minute, every second, God gives us a clean slate.  There is no need to carry past mistakes into the new realm of endless opportunity.  There is no need to blame anyone.  There is no need to feel guilt.  We can choose to align our movement in this universe with the divine guidance of pure love and absolute good.  There is no need to suffer.  Wear the world as a lose garment.  Do not give your energy to gossip or confusion or despair.  Take care of God’s business in the now.  There is no question that God will take care of you.

Spiritual Fitness Rule Four: Acknowledge

Spiritual exercise lays the foundation for all of our goals.  When we are centered in God, our fitness will improve quicker than we’ve ever imagined.  The right people will show up to help us.  The perfect trainer will appear.  Work-out buddies will support us.  The right eating plan will be revealed.  And in this consciousness of love, we will find that discipline will come easy.  More importantly, we will have begun the most important fitness program imaginable: one that allows us to accept our place in the Kingdom of God and move forward in all of the blessings that God is giving us.  Therefore, we have to give thanks by acknowledging God’s good.

This exercise is also simple.  Just say thank you and be grateful for what you have, as well as for what you desire.  God knows what we have need of before we even ask, so we can be grateful for it before it even manifests.  We seldom appreciate what we have until it is taken away.  We don’t appreciate our muscles until one is injured.  We don’t appreciate our discipline until we falter.  We don’t appreciate our finances until we experience the appearance of lack.  We complain about everything and everyone.  But we have so much to be thankful for.

Gratitude has an energy that awakens even more good and more  thanks.  The more thanks we give, the more we receive.  So try this exercise everyday: give thanks for everything and everyone that you think about.  If it’s an injury, bless it.  If it’s a friend or even an enemy, bless them.  If it’s a goal, thank God for its stimulus in your life.  Just give thanks for whatever comes up for you.  Even as you ask for something — give thanks that God has already heard and begun the process of answering your prayer.

If you do these spiritual exercises, I can guarantee you that you will get stronger and leaner, but most importantly, you will be spiritually fit.  Even doing one of these exercises will bless you beyond measure.  Our life is a continuous process of unfoldment, and the only way to stay in perfect shape is to honor body, mind  and spirit!

www.spiritmuv.com

Sign up for newsletter at www.godisabrowngirltoo.com
(All of the materials in SPIRITMUV email messages are copyrighted by and may not be used without the written permission of Cecilia Loving. )

I AM READY

I learned an invaluable lesson in the gym the other day when I was bench-pressing.  As usual, I was lifting a lot of weight.  But thanks to my trainer Goss, I realize the benefit of weight-training for women and know that increasing muscle mass is the best way to get in tip-top shape.  To many people’s surprise, I can bench press as much as the average man.  I was blessed to be trained by Goss because he never limited my training simply because I am a woman.  He believes in the infinite possibility of what we can all do — regardless of our sex.  He sees the pure potential of what the universe promises us, even when we cannot see it for ourselves.  He teaches that there is something more powerful in us than what we see in the flesh(see www.Goss_the_Steel.com).    

I was training with Nadine, my training partner, and we were having fun as usual, minding our own business.  Everything was just fine until a man training nearby began to question the amount of weight that we were lifting.

He had just watched me bench-press nearly 200 lbs and had obviously observed more than he could tolerate.  So our beloved on-looker left his own work-out and began lecturing me about why Nadine should not attempt to lift the weight that I had selected for her.  He adamantly told me that she was not prepared to lift the weight yet because she actually needed help lifting the bar.  Fortunately, Nadine spoke up for herself, and refused to lift anything lighter.  She looked at me, and said, “I am ready.”     In hindsight, I realize what a powerful affirmation that is: “I am ready.”  I am ready to move beyond where I am.  I am ready to transcend the here and now and push beyond my comfort zone.  I am ready to lift what I have never lifted before.  I may appear to be small to you or even insignificant.  I may appear to be weak to you — or at least as not strong as you are.  I may appear to be unworthy or less qualified, but God has prepared me for what I need to do.

I am ready, even if I need help because through all things, God is working together for my greatest good.  I know what I’m doing.   I know I’m prepared for this.  I know that the universe has brought me to this point with everything that I need — the bone, the muscle, the stamina, the energy, the strength — but most importantly the faith that I can succeed.

This reminds me of the Israelites who were at the edge of the wilderness, when Moses blessed them for their journey into the promised land.  They were not just standing on the bank of a  river to cross.  They were on the threshold of a new consciousness.  They were not leaving the wilderness because they had traveled a certain distance, or mapped out a particular strategy, or had served a certain amount of time.  They were crossing over because they were ready.

The promised land, you see, is not a physical place.  It is a place in consciousness that gives us spiritual food that feeds our mind, soul and heart the unlimited feast of the Kingdom of God.  It is a place where we are no longer captive to the wilderness of our own negativity and grumbling and strife.  It is a place where the materialism of the Egyptians no longer enslaves us.  It is a place where the disenfranchisement of the Israelites no longer burdens us.  It is a place where the giants of Og no longer scare us.  But we cannot get there unless we are ready.

The number forty in the Bible symbolizes preparation rather than a specific number.  Forty years in the wilderness means as long as it takes to get ready.  We are ready when we realize that Spirit is always working together for our greatest good.  Spirit will always feed us enough manna, spiritual food, to sustain us.  We are ready when we stop worrying about what other people say or think.  As Terrie Cole Whitaker says, What You Think About Me is None of My Business.  We are ready when we are willing to make the sacrifices that need to be made to accomplish what we want.  We are ready when we learn to seek first the Kingdom of God, and realize that the Kingdom is within.

We are ready when we can bless even the appearances of life — whether they are bad or good — because we realize that they are the motivation that we need.   We are ready when we understand that love is the spiritual law that supersedes all others.  Love does not judge but is unconditional.  Love has an all-encompassing heart that fulfills the law with grace.  We can accomplish anything with the power of love.  If you are worried or doubtful or in need, all you have to do is bless the situation with the power of love.  Love allows us to be compassionate about everyone, even when they second-guess us, because we know that they are part of our blessing.  They serve as the catalyst that pushes us beyond our comfort zones.  They make us aim higher than we ever aimed before.

When Nadine and I were training, I really do not believe that she would have done as good a job, but for the man’s doubt.  After he voiced his disapproval, she was fired up.  She was ready to prove him wrong.  She had never bench-pressed two 45 lb plates before, but I have no doubt she’ll be doing it from now on.  She did a spectacular job.  I followed.  Inspired by her, as well as the man’s protest, the weight never felt lighter.

We cross over to the other side when we know that we are blessed with the anointing of God.  We never know how we are going to make it there.  But we can trust that God will put the right people on our path to push against our resistance and pull us across the threshold to something greater.

Yes, I am ready for the promised land.  I have spent enough time in the wilderness.   I am ready to do what God has called me to do.  I am ready to walk in the newness of life, and nothing and no one can stop me.

Namaste, 

Reverend Cecilia Loving                                 

Pastor, SPIRITMUV  (www.spiritmuv.com )  (All of the materials in SPIRITMUV email messages are copyrighted by and may not be used without the written permission of Cecilia Loving. )