We’re checking in on the strength of our foundation of our three-legged stool - that is, the mind, the body, and the spirit. To get greater context behind today’s episode, I suggest you listen to Episode #2 if you haven’t already.
Let’s check in on our mind. I’ve talked a lot in several episodes before about how crucial it is that we understand that the things that we believe (truth or not) affects how we think. And what we think influences how we feel..which influences how we act or don’t act…providing us with results that we like or maybe don’t like. But it all starts with what we believe. And if we’re believing lies, lie-based beliefs, then we’re stuck in a rut. Because the results we get from our actions will validate what we believed to be true, thus reinforcing our thoughts…to feelings...to actions…to results. And the cycle starts all over again. So, you can see how you’d be digging a rut if you’re constantly operating out of negative beliefs or lies.
The mind is also driven by 3 motivational factors: to seek pleasure, to avoid pain, and operate in efficiency. But we’ve already discussed that our mind, will, and emotions (our soul’s triad) are separate parts and operate separately. And so, that means that our will can override our mind’s neural rut if we want it to. We have a choice. In everything, in every area, of our life. Which means, we have an opportunity for personal development and growth probably every single day with all the obstacles we run up against, and the fact that we rub shoulders every day with other people who are also in process. But I say we have an opportunity for growth, because I’m not sure this is something that a lot of people are focused on or interested in. Just being honest, I know I wasn’t at one time. I was just trying to get through the day, or week, or season, and to get to the other side. It never occurred to me that I could manage my mind, and thus hack my life - and that just means to change whatever you want to in your life, just by changing your mind. It also means taking personal responsibility for your actions and emotions. All manageable through what you’re thinking and believing.
Slowing down long enough to take a look at things - like why we act the way we do, or say the things we do, or create the same stinkin’ results in our life over and over again - slowing down so that we can dig a little deeper into our mind allows for massive personal growth, which shows up in positive ways in all areas of our life. Personal development and growth lead to an exciting and fulfilling life. I hope you’re feeling encouraged toward that end through these podcast episodes. Which reminds me, if you go to my website www.triciazody.com, and sign up on the email list, I’ll send you Personal Development Worksheets that complement the first three podcast episodes. These are designed to help you apply the topics to your own life and help you grow. I really hope you’ll take advantage of this. Freedom is yours, my friend, and I want it for you so much. But more importantly, so does your Heavenly Father. What do you say? Are you ready to grow?
Ok, let’s check in with our body. We know the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit within us, according to 1 Corinthians 6:19. How well, friend, are you taking care of your temple? Last I checked, we only get one body on this earth, so we’d better take care of it.
Now, I’m at that age where the doctor is telling me that hormones (or the lack thereof) will have a negative effect on my physical body. Bones will start getting soft, muscles will start deteriorating, range of motion is affected, flexibility, weight gain in the belly, softness all over. I have decided to disagree with what the doctor says is the norm and prove her wrong. So, I’m embarking on this journey to see just what my body can do. I trust it. It’s strong. So, let’s see.
Now, first I want to say, I don’t own a scale. I don’t step on a scale unless I absolutely have to at the doctor’s office. So, I honestly have no idea how much I weigh currently. But I’m not doing this to hit some magical number. This is all about total body composition and structure with strength training. Did you know that strength training actually increases bone density reducing the risk of osteoporosis? It also can reduce the signs and symptoms of many chronic conditions, such as arthritis, back pain, obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. Yep, I’m in!
Okay, so, I’ve joined a local gym, and I also have a home workout program I follow. Previous to now, I’ve just been concentrating on cardio workouts on my Peloton. But now I’m adding serious weight training and a way of eating that excludes flour and sugar. I’m not a big drinker, but I will limit my intake to one glass of wine a week. That won’t be hard because I usually go several weeks without having a drink. No biggie. But the white bread and sugar. Oh man. Watch out. Here’s my problem. I love chips and salsa. And sadly, some corn chips also have flour as an added ingredient, so I’ll have to be diligent about asking about that. Flour is added to so many things. So is sugar. It’s in things like ketchup, and salad dressing. And sometimes at the end of a meal, I just need a square of chocolate. But hey, these are just obstacles. Nothing that my will can’t make my mind overcome. And I’ve already proven to myself that I can do hard things!
I’ll keep you updated on my progress. I am really excited about this, too, because it’s proved that regular exercise is a stress reliever. And we already know, right, that stress directly affects our body. Read The Body Keeps The Score by Dr. Bessel Van Der Kolk if you’d like to know more about this.
Exercise releases endorphins and dopamine, our brain's feel-good neurotransmitters. The mind is seeking pleasure all the time. If it’s seeking it in other areas of my life in a way that’s destructive, then exercise will give it what it’s looking for in a healthy way. It clears the mind, clears the fog, to help me see clearly. It’ll also help me have an edge of determination in other areas of my life.
So, what about you, friend? Would you like to challenge your body and see what it can do for you? What small change could you make today that would set you on the path to a new physical you? What could you do that would directly contradict the statistics for your age? How could you use the determination of your will over your mind to produce something that others are saying is impossible?
Okay. Lastly, let’s check in on our spirit. The spirit is the element in humanity that gives us the ability to have an intimate relationship with God. It refers to the immaterial part of us that “connects” with God, who Himself is spirit.
So, let’s check in here. How are you connecting with God? I’ve mentioned that there are so many different ways to do so, but one way is to worship Him corporately. It seems that churches are starting to open up more freely - post pandemic - and believers are able to come together in worship. Hebrews 10:25 is an exhortation for us, especially now. It says, “Let us not neglect meeting together.” It’s important for us to get back into the house of God. King David wrote a Psalm exclaiming “how lovely is Your dwelling place, O Lord Almighty” that he led the people of Israel in singing. The purpose of singing this Psalm was to show the staggering privilege it was of being welcome in the house of the Lord. Being able to go to church. We should know, too, the delight it is to gather together in the sanctuary with other believers where the Spirit of the Lord is. Such a privilege we should not disregard.
But what other ways have you been connecting with the Lord - making that third leg of the stool strong and sturdy?
I believe the most important thing you could be doing daily - more important than anything - is reading the Bible. Do you have a plan you follow? Is there something you use to help keep you on track? I think I’ve said this before, but here’s plug for journaling your conversations with the Lord as you read His word. It’s literally a conversation with Him based on what you’re reading - making the words on the page personal to you. Is there something there that prompts you to confess sin in your life? Is there a promise there to claim? Is there a command to obey? Is there something there that shows you an attitude that needs to change? What is there that you can find to give thanks to God about? Hey, I want to give you a resource that will take you on an amazing journey in reading your bible on a personal level. It was created by my friends, and it’s called WORDview. It’s a resource to teach you how to read the bible for your own personal life-change. I highly recommend you check out their website: www.wordview.org. Go there and get their free resources. It will change your life, I guarantee it! I’ll put their website on the show notes, as well.
Ok, friends, how’d you do? Is there one leg of your stool that’s stronger than the others? Is there one leg that’s wobbly? We know that if any one of these three - the mind, the body, and the spirit - are unhealthy or unattended, then there is an imbalance that will play out through one of the others. What can you do today to take measures to strengthen each leg so that your foundation is solid and secure? Where do you need to begin? I believe God is right there with you - extending out His hand, offering you the opportunity to be guided into restoration. And complete restoration is found in the health of the soul’s triad - mind, body, and spirit. Friend, l et’s keep checking in as we walk this journey together.
The Body Keeps The Score by Dr. Bessel Van Der Kolk