Uncategorized

Maintaining your Identity in a Shaking World

One of the changes I have made in this season of COVID, was a change of vehicle. I sold my old car and bought a second hand car that has one main advantage over the previous car I owned:

It will be cheaper to maintain.

The previous owner of this Kia Sportage from the last decade, was a man who did all of the maintenance himself. He’s a friend of my workplace and is a man of integrity. Every single piece of equipment in the engine compartment of the car, or “under the hood” (as I would say in Kiwi lingo,) has a date on it- signifying the time when he last worked on or replaced it.

As he was showing me the engine parts in my car, I learnt the function of what they all were put there for. It was a very educational experience and one I hadn’t ever had since learning how to drive. The only time I really learnt about what the different parts did, was when they broke down.

And so too is life… if our bodies break down in a certain area, are we not alerted to the importance of maintaining their health and wellbeing?

When our minds start to fragment under too much pressure, if we are aware or have others around us to tell us something’s not right, we can find ourselves in a counselling office or psychiatry unit, again given tools to help maintain a healthy mental wellbeing.

In every area of our life, we have to come back to our original state of intent and then maintain that level of health and wellbeing. Though our bodies and lives will eventually decay, we can still maintain a level of conditioning to keep them working at their optimal state for the amount of years they have existed. Maintenance takes discipline and repetition.

But maintenance can seem tiring. It can feel like too much work, right? Yet to not maintain, is to sustain injury.

We are holistic beings too.. so like my engine is made up of many parts with different functions, WE are made up of many parts that all need to be maintained. This can feel overwhelming, but when we understand the nature of our holistic make-up and what it means, then we can better get our heads around the fact that once you work on one, there is a ripple affect to the others.

Let’s see how the Oxford Dictionary defines the word “Holistic”

Philosophy – Characterized by comprehension of the parts of something as intimately interconnected and explicable only by reference to the whole.

Medicine – Characterized by the treatment of the whole person, taking into account mental and social factors, rather than just the symptoms of a disease.

https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/holistic

So interconnected are the parts of our holistic make-up that now research is proving more and more what the Hebrew writer of the letters to the Helenistic believers of Corinth, was trying to say. See the Greeks, (God love em coz I’m half Greek and that’s potentially why I’m so philosophical lol), believed that they could do anything with their bodies and it not affect their spirit, their community or their mind. They had a worldview that contradicted the Hebrew worldview that we are all interconnected, holistic beings that affect the whole being by neglecting to maintain one part.

While we are being subjected to a season of isolation and restrictions, certain areas of our lives are being affected that will affect other areas of our lives. Fear and anxiety can impact our physical immunity; social distancing can impact our mental health; restricted access to particular food groups can affect our bodily functions; financial breakdown can impact on our parenting while the lack of an educational environment can stifle our children’s self-esteem. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg..

Many have learnt how to adapt and reinstitute certain practices and habits in different ways (like doing work, church or gym workouts online) but there are still some areas of life that have gone neglected. And without maintenance of those specific areas, we may be discovering how the lack of support, availability or awareness of, those elements of our BC (before Covid) existence, are now affecting our wellbeing.

Well, let me say, there is hope. Like taking a car into the garage and discovering that a part of your car, just needs some fine tuning or a new replacement, your life CAN be running on all cylinders again- and maybe even better than you had ever had it running before.

Perhaps the fact that we have been deprived of the necessary pains that helped to keep us holistically well, will motivate us to not take those disciplines for granted and use them now to make the rest of our lives, the best of our lives.

b4a.mvmt is a Movement of Holistic Restoration and Extravagant Generosity. In my next blog, I’ll be laying the foundation of how Jesus came to restore every part of our being. You are welcome to come and be a part of this movement as we challenge you to rise up into all that God created you to be.

Uncategorized

How you can turn an External Pandemic into an Internal Rite of Passage

Its really hard to be an optimist in times like these- when the whole world is on HOLD while a deadly virus is slowly losing its grip on humanity. But what if the humanity that exists in you has the opportunity in this time to eradicate the diseases that have lingered in your life for too long. I’m not talking about medical diseases…but diseases of the heart- distortions in the way you think, believe and act.

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

As I searched for words for the message I wanted to convey in this blog (a blog I wrote last year when I was going through my own transition) I wanted a description that would hold the weight of its magnitude.

To the degree that this pandemic is spreading around the globe right now, is the opportunity for an extreme makeover to happen in your heart. Its PANDEMIC. Its for all and its universal. Only within the space of such a drastic upheaval of all that we have known before, can we reestablish something new.

Dictionary.com describes “Rites of passage” as ceremonies that mark important transitional periods that “usually involve ritual activities and teachings designed to strip individuals of their original roles and prepare them for new roles.

Lets face it. The world has just been stripped of a lot of our “freedoms” that we naturally take for granted.

The freedom to breathe,

to congregate,

to drive,

to eat out,

to learn in a classroom,

to leave our kids in care,

to go to work,

to marry and to grieve in the presence of loved ones.

What its going to do in the process, whether you like it or not, is strip you of elements of your life that you have attached to your identity, and potentially result in an exasperation of your addictions.

Addictions are often our default when our identity is not secure. Addictions come about to regulate our emotions when we can’t manage them, giving us temporary comfort from unhealthy triggers. So what I want to do this week, is to talk about identity and help you to navigate any unexpected “stripping” of old roles (roles you have played in society, in your family or your workplace) so that you can create pathways for the new “roles” you’re about to take on.

In Australia, traditional custodians of the land, have had a Rite of Passage we know as the “Walkabout”. This is where a young boy (traditionally from the age of 10-16) goes on a walk by himself into the wilderness for a period of up to six months. Here he establishes his manhood and familiarises himself with an independent lifestyle in which he becomes spiritually and emotionally aware.

Even though there might not be a ceremony or a long journey a part from your family, this six month (or however long it may be) journey of self-isolation, could be your chance to journey into “adulthood” and emotional maturity. The feelings that arise in you as you become more introspective instead of socially involved, could just build the bridge for the internal Rite of Passage you never had- stripping you of all of your external support systems so that your inner world is strong.

When you’re struggling to just BE you, and the best version of YOU, my prayer is that this blog will allow you sit comfortably in your own skin and learn to dig deep into the crevices of your soul that still thirst for healing and wholeness.

Get ready.

Part 1 is coming tomorrow: Stay Home and Be at Home with You.