I Felt Like a Fake!

The first words out of my mouth after I walked in was "Honey I feel like a fake!"

I had walked in for surgery with no limp, no walker, no cane, no wheelchair, so why was I here? Everybody else had not walked in without help of some sort.

I knew that answer.

A knee replacement. A constant cry from my orthopedic doctor for seven years!

I did the gel shots and they worked at first, but then in June they worked no more.

I couldn't exercise the way I used to.

I couldn't walk the mountain.

My body was being pulled out of alignment because my left leg was out of alignment because of the chronic arthritis, and the bone on bone situation in my knee.

I would go to the chiropractor and she would put me back only for my leg to pull me right back out.

My brain would tell me I was ok, it was ok, but somewhere that voice inside said, "Nope, you ain't OK!"

Turns out my brain was used to, and was suppressing, the actual pain I was feeling.

No wonder, I was tired, dragging along without motivation, purpose, intent, and struggling to get through each and every day.

My normal exercise routine was out the window, I was beat by five o'clock, my memory and mind was foggy, and I told myself it was managing a large family, with work and life balance.

All baloney, and what my mind had got used too!

"I feel like a fake!"  That statement came from all of my brains efforts to "keep calm and carry on."  Don't rock the boat.  You're fine, take a pain pill.

Well none of it was fake, my brain was giving me misinformation and I was buying it.

Twenty-four hours after surgery, I have less pain, and my mind is sharp again.  My first thoughts this morning was, "It's November 1st!  The Thirty Day Abundance Challenge."

No more drowning in repressing pain and the feelings that came with that.

What do you feel fake about?

I can help.

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"Unlocking Self-Awareness: Breaking Free from Unhealthy Habits"

Being self-aware regarding unhealthy habits is an essential step towards personal growth and well-being. It involves a conscious recognition of behaviors or routines that are detrimental to our physical, mental, or emotional health. This awareness is like shining a light on the dark corners of our lives, where these habits often lurk unnoticed. 

It begins with an honest assessment of oneself, which can be both enlightening and challenging. Acknowledging these habits takes courage because it means facing the truth about our choices and their consequences.

Once we become self-aware of these unhealthy habits, we gain the power to make positive changes. This newfound awareness allows us to take responsibility for our actions and empowers us to break free from destructive patterns. It opens the door to self-improvement, as we can now set goals, seek support, and develop strategies to replace these habits with healthier alternatives. 

Self-awareness regarding unhealthy habits is a vital step on the journey towards a happier, more balanced, and fulfilling life. It's the first step towards taking control of our destiny and shaping a future that aligns with our values and aspirations.

Learning to be self-aware is a valuable skill that can greatly enhance personal growth and well-being. Here are some ways to develop and improve self-awareness:

  1. Meditation and Mindfulness: Practicing meditation and mindfulness techniques can help you become more in tune with your thoughts, emotions, and bodily sensations. These practices encourage you to observe your thoughts without judgment, promoting self-awareness.
  2. Journaling: Keeping a journal allows you to reflect on your thoughts and feelings. Write about your experiences, goals, and challenges. Regularly reviewing your journal can help you identify patterns and gain insights into your behavior.
  3. Self-Reflection: Set aside time regularly to reflect on your life, choices, and actions. Ask yourself questions like, "Why did I react that way?" or "What are my core values?" These introspective moments can lead to a deeper understanding of yourself.
  4. Seek Feedback: Ask for honest feedback from friends, family, or colleagues about your strengths and weaknesses. Sometimes, others can provide insights you might have overlooked.
  5. Practice Active Listening: Improve your listening skills by being fully present when others speak. This can help you better understand their perspectives and, in turn, enhance your self-awareness in social situations.
  6. Mind-Body Connection: Pay attention to your physical sensations, such as tension, discomfort, or relaxation. These bodily cues can often provide clues about your emotional state and areas of concern.
  7. Therapy or Counseling: Consider seeking the help of a therapist or counselor. They can offer guidance and techniques to explore your thoughts and emotions in a safe and supportive environment.
  8. Personality Assessments: Take personality assessments like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), the Enneagram, or the Big Five personality traits. While not definitive, these tools can provide valuable insights into your personality and behavior.
  9. Set Clear Goals: Define your short-term and long-term goals. Knowing what you want to achieve can help you evaluate your progress and whether your actions align with your objectives.
  10. Learn from Mistakes: Embrace failure and mistakes as opportunities for growth. Analyze what went wrong and what you can do differently next time. This process can reveal areas for self-improvement.
  11. Regular Check-Ins: Schedule regular check-ins with yourself to assess your overall well-being, including your physical, mental, and emotional health. Adjust your routines and habits accordingly.
  12. Stay Curious: Cultivate a curious mindset by continuously seeking to learn and explore new things. The more you learn, the more you understand yourself and the world around you.
Remember that self-awareness is an ongoing process. It takes time and effort to develop, but the benefits are profound. By actively working on self-awareness, you can make more informed decisions, improve your relationships, and lead a more fulfilling life.

The Bible also contains several examples that highlight the importance of being self-aware of unhealthy habits and the need for repentance and change. Here are a few notable biblical examples:

  1. King David's Adultery and Murder (2 Samuel 11-12): King David's affair with Bathsheba and the subsequent murder of her husband, Uriah, serve as a powerful example of the consequences of unchecked desires and a lack of self-awareness. It was only when the prophet Nathan confronted David with a parable that David realized the gravity of his actions and repented, demonstrating the need for self-awareness and moral reflection.
  2. The Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32): In the parable of the prodigal son, a young man squanders his inheritance on sinful living and eventually hits rock bottom. It is only when he becomes self-aware of his mistakes and the consequences of his actions that he decides to return to his father in repentance. This story emphasizes the importance of recognizing one's unhealthy habits and making the choice to change.
  3. The Apostle Peter's Denial (Matthew 26:69-75): Peter's threefold denial of knowing Jesus during His trial illustrates how unaware we can be of our own weaknesses. Peter confidently asserted he would never betray Jesus, but when faced with the situation, he crumbled. This experience prompted Peter to confront his own limitations and ultimately led to his transformation and strengthened commitment.
  4. Saul's Persecution of Christians (Acts 9): Saul, who later became the Apostle Paul, was initially a zealous persecutor of Christians. His journey to self-awareness occurred when he encountered Jesus on the road to Damascus. This transformative experience forced him to confront his misguided beliefs and unhealthy habits, leading to a complete change in his life's direction.
  5. The Rich Young Ruler (Matthew 19:16-22): In this story, a rich young man asks Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life. Jesus advises him to sell his possessions and follow Him, but the man cannot let go of his wealth. This encounter demonstrates the struggle many people face in recognizing and overcoming attachments to material possessions and the need for self-awareness in making life-changing decisions.
These biblical examples illustrate the importance of self-awareness in recognizing and addressing unhealthy habits and sinful behaviors. They show that true repentance and transformation often begin with a deep reflection on one's actions, motives, and the consequences of their choices. Through self-awareness, individuals can turn away from destructive habits and seek forgiveness and redemption, aligning their lives with God's will and purpose.

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Discovering Clarity! Uncovering The Truth In Every Situation!

Circumstances have an uncanny ability to shape the landscape of our thoughts, often leading us down paths we would rather not tread. When faced with challenging or unexpected situations, our minds can become overwhelmed, seeking to make sense of the chaos and uncertainty that surrounds us. 

These circumstances can trigger a cascade of unwanted thoughts, ranging from self-doubt and anxiety to fear and frustration. For example, a sudden job loss can prompt thoughts of inadequacy and financial stress, while a health scare can spawn a web of fearful conjectures about the future. It is during these trying moments that the power of our circumstances to influence our thoughts becomes most apparent.

The connection between circumstances and unwanted thoughts is not merely coincidental; it's deeply rooted in our human psychology. Our brains are wired to respond to external events and situations, and when these events disrupt our sense of security or control, our thoughts can spiral into negativity. 

However, it's crucial to recognize that while circumstances can shape our initial reactions, we possess the capacity to reframe and redirect our thoughts. By cultivating mindfulness, self-awareness, and resilience, we can regain control over our mental landscape and ensure that our responses to circumstances are more balanced and constructive, ultimately steering our thoughts in a more positive and empowering direction.

Distinguishing what's true in a circumstance from mere thoughts or perceptions can be challenging but is crucial for making informed decisions and maintaining emotional balance. Here are some strategies to help you discern truth from thoughts:

  1. Seek Objective Information: Start by gathering facts and concrete evidence related to the circumstance. Separate these verifiable details from your interpretations or assumptions. Often, emotions can cloud your judgment, so relying on objective information can anchor you in reality.
  2. Question Your Assumptions: Examine your beliefs and assumptions about the situation. Ask yourself if your thoughts are based on facts or if they are influenced by biases, fears, or past experiences. Sometimes, our minds jump to conclusions that may not accurately reflect the current circumstances.
  3. Practice Mindfulness: Mindfulness techniques, such as meditation or deep breathing exercises, can help you become more aware of your thoughts and emotions in the present moment. This awareness allows you to observe your thoughts without immediately accepting them as truth.
  4. Engage in Critical Thinking: Apply critical thinking skills to evaluate the validity of your thoughts. Challenge irrational or exaggerated beliefs by asking questions like "Is this thought based on evidence?" or "What alternative perspectives might exist?"
  5. Consult Trusted Sources: Seek advice or perspectives from trusted friends, family members, or professionals who can provide a more objective view of the circumstance. They can offer insights you might not have considered.
  6. Journaling: Write down your thoughts and feelings about the circumstance. This can help you externalize your thoughts and gain perspective. As you reflect on what you've written, you may identify patterns or cognitive distortions that need addressing.
  7. Time Perspective: Give yourself some time before making decisions or conclusions about a circumstance. Emotions often peak initially, and with time, they may subside, allowing you to think more clearly.
  8. Professional Guidance: In complex or emotionally charged situations, seeking guidance from a therapist or counselor can be invaluable. They can provide an objective perspective and help you navigate your thoughts and emotions.
  9. Accept Uncertainty: Recognize that not all circumstances may have clear-cut truths or answers. Some situations are inherently ambiguous, and accepting this uncertainty can relieve the pressure to find absolute truths.
  10. Practice Self-Compassion: Be gentle with yourself during this process. Acknowledge that it's normal to have thoughts and emotions, even if they don't always align with reality. Self-compassion can help you stay grounded and open to growth.

    Finding what's true in a circumstance over what is just a thought is an ongoing practice that requires self-awareness and critical thinking. By applying these strategies, you can develop a more balanced and accurate perception of the world around you, leading to better decision-making and emotional well-being.

The Bible also contains several verses and teachings that emphasize seeking truth over our thoughts and understanding. Here are a few key passages:

  1. Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV): "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight." This verse encourages believers to trust in God rather than relying solely on their wisdom.
  2. Isaiah 55:8-9 (NIV): "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the Lord. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." This passage underscores the vast difference between God's understanding and human understanding, emphasizing the need to seek God's wisdom.
  3. Proverbs 16:2 (NIV): "All a person's ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the Lord." It reminds us that we might think our actions are right, but God examines our hearts and motives, highlighting the importance of seeking His guidance and truth.
  4. John 8:31-32 (NIV): "To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, 'If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.'" This verse emphasizes that true freedom and knowledge of the truth come through following Jesus' teachings.
  5. James 1:5 (NIV): "If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you." Here, believers are encouraged to seek God's wisdom through prayer and trust in His guidance.
In summary, the Bible encourages individuals to rely on God's wisdom and seek His truth above their understanding. It emphasizes humility, trust, and faith in God's guidance as a way to navigate life's challenges and uncertainties. Seeking God's truth is seen as a path to righteousness, freedom, and spiritual growth.

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"Breaking the Loop: A Guide to Overcoming Repetitive Behavior"

Repetitive behavior can become a powerful force that keeps us trapped in unproductive cycles, preventing personal growth and hindering our ability to adapt to new situations. When we repeatedly engage in the same actions, whether they're detrimental habits, negative thought patterns, or self-sabotaging behaviors, we inadvertently build a rigid framework around our lives. This rigid framework not only limits our potential for change but also diminishes our capacity to explore new opportunities and experiences.

One of the key ways repetitive behavior can make us stuck is by reinforcing the status quo. Our brains are wired to seek comfort and familiarity, and when we continually engage in the same actions, our minds become accustomed to this routine. This leads to resistance when we try to deviate from these established patterns, as our brains interpret change as a threat. 

Consequently, we find ourselves trapped in a never-ending loop, where the comfort of the familiar overrides our desire for growth and change. This stagnation can manifest in various aspects of our lives, from relationships and careers to personal development and overall happiness.

Moreover, repetitive behavior can also impact our self-esteem and self-worth. When we repeatedly engage in actions that are counterproductive or harmful, it can lead to a sense of powerlessness and low self-esteem. We may begin to believe that we are incapable of breaking free from these patterns, further solidifying our sense of being stuck. 

Overcoming repetitive behavior often requires a combination of self-awareness, determination, and a willingness to embrace change, but it is a crucial step toward leading a more fulfilling and adaptable life.

Breaking repetitive behavior can be challenging, but it's essential for personal growth and well-being. Here are some strategies to help you break free from these patterns:

  1. Self-awareness: The first step is recognizing that you're engaging in repetitive behavior. Pay attention to your actions, thoughts, and emotions. Journaling or keeping a diary can be helpful in identifying recurring patterns.
  2. Identify triggers: Explore what triggers the repetitive behavior. Is it stress, boredom, fear, or a specific situation? Understanding the underlying causes can help you address them more effectively.
  3. Set clear goals: Define what you want to change and why. Having clear, specific goals provides motivation and direction. Make sure your goals are realistic and achievable.
  4. Replace with positive habits: Instead of trying to eliminate the repetitive behavior entirely, consider replacing it with healthier alternatives. For example, if you're prone to stress-eating, replace it with a relaxation technique like deep breathing or meditation.
  5. Seek support: Share your goals with friends, family, or a therapist. They can provide encouragement, accountability, and valuable insights. Group therapy or support groups with people facing similar challenges can also be beneficial.
  6. Create a routine: Establishing a daily routine can help break the cycle of repetitive behavior. It provides structure and reduces the likelihood of falling back into old patterns.
  7. Practice mindfulness: Mindfulness techniques, such as meditation and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, can help you become more aware of your actions and reactions. This awareness can help you respond to triggers more thoughtfully.
  8. Use positive reinforcement: Reward yourself for making progress. Celebrate small victories along the way to motivate yourself to continue breaking the repetitive behavior.
  9. Learn new skills: Sometimes, repetitive behavior stems from a lack of alternatives. Invest time in acquiring new skills or hobbies that can replace the old habits with something more constructive.
  10. Professional help: If your repetitive behavior is deeply ingrained or has a significant negative impact on your life, consider seeking professional help from a therapist, counselor, or psychologist. They can provide specialized strategies and support tailored to your specific situation.
  11. Practice patience: Breaking repetitive behavior takes time and effort. Be patient with yourself, and don't get discouraged by setbacks. Persistence is key to long-lasting change.
  12. Track your progress: Keep a record of your efforts and progress. This visual representation can motivate you and provide insights into what strategies are working best for you.
Remember that breaking repetitive behavior is a process, and setbacks are a natural part of it. The key is to remain committed to change and continue working towards a healthier, more fulfilling life.

The Bible also offers guidance and principles that can be applied to breaking negative repetitive behaviors, although it may not explicitly address modern psychological or behavioral terminology. Here are some relevant passages and principles:

  1. Repentance and Forgiveness: The Bible emphasizes the importance of repentance and seeking forgiveness for one's sins. In breaking negative behaviors, acknowledging one's wrongdoing and asking for forgiveness can be a crucial step. A key verse on this topic is 1 John 1:9 (NIV): "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."
  2. Renewal of the Mind: Romans 12:2 (NIV) encourages believers to renew their minds: "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing, and perfect will." Changing repetitive behaviors often starts with changing thought patterns and perspectives.
  3. Seeking Wisdom: Proverbs is a book in the Bible filled with wisdom and practical advice. Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV) reminds us to trust in the Lord and seek His wisdom in our decisions: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight."
  4. Resisting Temptation: The Bible addresses the concept of resisting temptation, which is often a key aspect of breaking negative behaviors. James 4:7 (NIV) encourages believers to resist the devil: "Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."
  5. Fruit of the Spirit: Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV) speaks about the "fruit of the Spirit," which includes qualities like self-control: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things, there is no law." Developing these qualities can help individuals overcome negative behaviors.
  6. Accountability and Support: The Bible also encourages believers to support one another and hold each other accountable. Galatians 6:2 (NIV) states, "Carry each other's burdens, and in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ." Seeking support from a faith community or trusted individuals can be beneficial in overcoming repetitive negative behaviors.
And, although the Bible provides valuable spiritual and moral guidance, it's essential to remember that breaking negative repetitive behaviors often requires a holistic approach, including psychological and behavioral strategies. Many people find that integrating biblical principles with counseling, therapy, and self-help techniques is effective in addressing these challenges.

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Change your thoughts, Change your world!

Soulful Serenity! The Art of Mindful Prayer!

Staying on track with mindfulness is a powerful tool for maintaining focus, reducing stress, and enhancing overall well-being. To cultivate mindfulness, it's essential to regularly set aside dedicated time for practices such as meditation, prayer, or deep breathing exercises. This deliberate commitment to mindfulness allows you to develop the skill of observing your thoughts and feelings without judgment. 

Furthermore, integrating mindfulness into your daily life by practicing awareness during routine activities like eating, walking, or working can help you stay attuned to the present moment. Consistency is key; by making mindfulness a regular part of your routine, you can foster a greater sense of inner calm, improve your ability to concentrate, and better navigate life's challenges with a clear and centered mind.

The concept of mindfulness as it is understood in contemporary psychology and meditation practices is not explicitly mentioned in the Bible. However, there are biblical verses that touch upon the themes of being present, focused, and attentive in a spiritual context. 

One such verse is found in the New Testament, in the book of Philippians, chapter 4, verse 8 (NIV):
"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."

While this verse doesn't use the term "mindfulness," it encourages believers to direct their thoughts and attention toward positive, virtuous, and uplifting things. It underscores the importance of maintaining a positive and focused mindset, which aligns with some of the principles of mindfulness practices aimed at cultivating awareness and presence in the present moment.

Practicing mindfulness through prayer can be a deeply spiritual and enriching experience, combining the benefits of mindfulness with a connection to one's faith. Here are steps to practice mindfulness using prayer:
  1. Select a Quiet Space: Find a quiet, peaceful space where you can pray without distractions. This can be a designated area for prayer or any place where you feel comfortable and focused.
  2. Choose a Prayer: Select a prayer that is meaningful to you. It can be a traditional prayer from your religious tradition or a personal prayer that reflects your thoughts and feelings. The Lord's Prayer, the Serenity Prayer, or the Prayer of St. Francis are examples that many find suitable.
  3. Set an Intention: Before you begin, set an intention for your prayer. This can be a specific concern, a desire for guidance, or simply the intention to be present and mindful during your prayer.
  4. Focus on Your Breath: Begin by taking a few deep breaths to center yourself. Pay attention to the sensation of your breath as you inhale and exhale. This helps you become present and calm.
  5. Recite the Prayer Slowly: As you recite the prayer, do so slowly and intentionally. Pay close attention to the words and their meaning. Consider how each word or phrase resonates with you personally.
  6. Engage Your Senses: If your prayer includes physical actions, such as lighting a candle, holding beads, or making specific gestures, engage your senses fully. Notice the texture, color, and scent of the objects you are using.
  7. Stay Present: If your mind starts to wander, gently bring your focus back to the prayer. It's normal for thoughts to arise; the key is to acknowledge them without judgment and return to the prayer.
  8. Reflect on the Prayer: After completing the prayer, take a moment to reflect on your experience. How did it make you feel? Did you gain any insights or clarity?
  9. Express Gratitude: If your prayer includes expressing gratitude, take time to think about what you are thankful for. This can help foster a sense of mindfulness and appreciation.
  10. Practice Regularly: Like any mindfulness practice, consistency is essential. Try to incorporate this mindful prayer into your daily or weekly routine, adapting it to your needs and schedule.
Mindful prayer allows you to deepen your spiritual connection while also reaping the benefits of mindfulness, such as reduced stress and increased mental clarity. Over time, you may find that your prayer practice becomes a source of inner peace and strength in your life.

While meditation seems a little "woo woo" to some meditation is mentioned in the Bible. Biblical meditation is a spiritual practice rooted in the Christian faith that involves deep contemplation and reflection on specific passages, verses, or teachings from the Bible. Unlike some Eastern meditation practices that focus on emptying the mind, biblical meditation involves filling the mind with God's word and seeking to understand it more deeply, apply it to one's life, and connect with God on a personal level.

Here are key elements and practices associated with biblical meditation:
  1. Selecting a Scripture: Biblical meditation typically begins with selecting a specific passage, verse, or theme from the Bible. It could be a verse that speaks to a personal issue, provides guidance, or offers comfort.
  2. Quiet Reflection: Find a quiet and contemplative space where you can focus your thoughts without distractions. This might be a dedicated prayer space or simply a peaceful environment.
  3. Repeated Reading: The chosen Scripture is often read multiple times. Each reading allows for a deeper understanding of the text and a chance for its message to resonate more profoundly.
  4. Contemplation and Reflection: During meditation, individuals contemplate the meaning of the scripture, seeking insights into its relevance to their life, values, and relationship with God. This may involve asking questions and reflecting on how the passage can be applied to one's daily experiences.
  5. Prayer: Biblical meditation is typically accompanied by prayer. This can involve expressing gratitude, seeking guidance, or asking for wisdom and understanding related to the scripture being meditated upon.
  6. Listening to God: Part of the process is listening for God's guidance or presence in response to the meditation. This may involve stillness and openness to insights or a sense of God's presence.
  7. Application: After meditation, individuals strive to apply the insights gained from the scripture to their daily lives. This might involve making changes in behavior, seeking forgiveness, showing gratitude, or finding strength in difficult times.
Biblical meditation serves as a way to deepen one's relationship with God, gain spiritual insights, and find comfort, guidance, and wisdom within the Bible's teachings. It's a practice that varies among individuals and Christian denominations but shares the common goal of seeking a deeper connection with God through the study and contemplation of His word.

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Change your WORLD!

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