|Will Make A Difference|
Day 3 of Your Year To Wellness
“When a person seeks their purpose, the Universe conspires to answer.”
I’m not a fan of quick weight loss programs. They work like a bad mechanic; the car runs great for a few days and then you find that the thing that was fixed caused six other things to go wrong. Don’t get me wrong, it is possible to lose weight quickly, but wellness, not weight loss is the goal. if you want to be completely well, you have to take small steps on a regular basis. Wellness is a lifelong habit.
This morning as I thought about what I had planned to write, another list of five popped in my mind. I really didn’t intend to go this way, but I like being flexible with my plans and I truly hope you do too.
I was raised in a Holiness church. No one else in my family attended. I had been introduced to the church by an elementary school classmate and I kept going until I left for college at age 17. I was looking for an outlet from the poverty and frustration of my childhood. My mother struggled with her 7 children and work. She was tired angry and drunk for most of my childhood and church became my salvation. Now, before I get to what I want to say about the holiness church and how it fits with todays 5 things, I must tell you that before she died at age 87, my mother became one of the most beautiful people I have ever met. She is why I am committed to the path of transformation. Throughout my life, I was able to see her evolve into just who she always wanted to be. People would come to my home from all over the place just to sit and talk with my wise and beautiful mother.
Where there is breath there is life and where there is life there is hope for transformation.
I attended the Holiness church six days a week because,--- well, there was no service on Monday. To say it was strict would be like saying becoming a Marine is a tad hard. You could not smoke, drink, dance, go bowling, swim in a public place in a bathing suit, go to the movies, listen to “worldly” music, wear make-up or large jewelry, or fornicate. I no longer attend the church but I have maintained some of its strictness; I don’t drink or smoke. One would think that when I got away from there and went to college I would have gone wild, but it was just the opposite. I maintained the lifestyle even outside of the church on my own and away from everyone I knew. I held Bible studies in my dorm room and people would come by to talk and have prayer. This chosen lifestyle served its purpose and provided the refuge and structure I needed to excel in college but somewhere near the end of my undergraduate years, I gave in to the urge to dance. I studied modern dance and found that when I moved to music I felt free. When I started dancing there was no stopping me. I don’t need an invitation or a partner, I dance from the moment the music starts until it stops and incidentally, my mother would do the same thing. During the last few years of her life, I held a party once a month to celebrate her existence. My mom would dance like she was in her twenties. She had no rhythm ( No, it does not come with color) but it didn’t matter to her or any of her partners. She’d walk up to a wall flower, tell them to get up and would get to dancing.
So by now you know the number one thing you can do to feel and look better:
· Dance –do it now, in your seat or on standing up. Dancing allows all of your body to have the opportunity to move. Joints that have been aching and waiting for a chance to be lubricated will thank you for the dance. Take a break in the day, turn the music up and just dance. God wants you to.
· Sing—even if you think you can’t, do it. Singing forces you to breathe naturally taking air to the heart and lungs. You get to use the facial muscles which are often tight and in need of movement. When you were a child you sang without being told to do so. You sang when the food was good and when you liked something. Singing is a natural response to joy. When my mother died and then a few years later when one of my children passed away, I lost my voice and was having breathing problems. My friend recommended acupuncture, so I went to his beautiful friend Azita. She took one look at me and said “When your heart is so full that you cannot breathe, you must sing.”
· Stand tall—There is a wonderful scripture which teaches that after you have done everything you know to do to stand, stand firm. Pull your shoulders down and press the blades of your shoulders together. It will feel a bit odd at first, but keep doing it. You will appear much taller than you are you’ll feel better instantly.
· Smile—I am always amazed by how much a smile changes the face; any face. Like singing, smiling forces you to breathe and to “lighten up.” When I am lecturing, I love to watch the audience change as they begin to laugh and smile. The entire room shines brighter as burdens of the day seem to fall away. Even the toughest person becomes childlike and beautiful when they smile.
· Breathe—This seems like a simple thing; something we do naturally and so therefore, why talk about it. Breathing is done properly when you sleep, however when we are awake we tend to breathe from the upper part of our chest taking in short shallow breaths instead of the deep and calming abdominal breaths we need. There are classes, YouTube videos and books all dedicated to the science of breath.
All of these things can be done right now and will give you an instant reward. If you make them a part of your daily wellness routine, you will be rewarded with lifelong transformation.
· How can you become more you?
· What was “your song” back in the day? Find it, play it, and dance to it.
· Sing a song you learned as a child.
· Share what you’ve learned with someone you love.
Be well, be you, be JOY
Bertice Berry, PhD