What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you? (Mark 8:36, The Message)
I am starting this blog post with a question from the Bible…what good WOULD it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real YOU?
When was the last time you tuned IN to the REAL YOU? When was the last time you slowed down, stopped the noise– be it TV, technology, crazy spinning thoughts or what-have-you— and tuned in to yourself. Your Spirit. Your own soul as well as the Holy Spirit that chooses to live within you, if you have asked Him to…
What makes you beautiful? What makes you handsome? What makes your life glorious? Are you experiencing that right now? My guess is, for a lot of us this time of year, the answer might be…maybe? sort of? I am too busy too notice?
First, let’s get back to that first question–and I’d like to share a passage from a book I’ve read recently, Big Cherry Holler by Adriana Trigiani (it’s part of a series–Big Stone Gap–…lots of fun for Southerners and Italian Enthusiasts like me!). She is discussing how Italians look, especially the women, and how it might not be our “traditional” concept of beauty (thanks for that, hollywood), but it IS beauty…real beauty…and why…
“I don’t know what makes the women so beautiful—you would never see any of them on a magazine cover in America—but they are striking. Here (she is in Italy as she writes this) a strong nose is a source of pride. Most of these noses wouldn’t last in America, with their length and their regal breaks in the bridge—they wouldn’t be appreciated. Maybe these women are so attractive because they like themselves. They accept what they are born with; even their flaws are a source of pride, the very thing that makes them distinctive and alluring.”
HELLOOO! Why don’t we think like that more often? I mean, as you read it, doesn’t it just RESONATE with you as TRUTH?!?
Or for the men: “The men are beyond handsome. Even when they’re short (I guess height is an American thing), they have a strength that makes you believe they could take one of these Alpine boulders and roll it down the hill like a basketball. They live in their skin like kings”…
You know, it is said that Jesus was not a tall man. Just fyi.
So, are you feeling like the real you lately? Are you feeling beautiful or handsome, and is your life feeling glorious? (and no, we don’t live by our feelings, I get that, and thank you to Joyce Meyer for reminding me…BUT! Sometimes, our feelings give us clues to how closely we are tuned in to ourselves and our God…or not…)
This time of year, everyone tends to feel a bit frazzled. It is not just because school is starting, etc…it has to do with the change in season, even (which, guess Who created the seasons, remember?)! In Ayurvedic medicine, this is a time when our more “thinky, anxious, nervous, airy, flighty, distracted, insomniac” selves may present themselves (those are some of the negative trademarks of a Vata Dosha imbalance–which may not mean a thing to you unless you know something about Ayurveda…no worries. You can google it if you want to know more, or just know that I am illustrating enough of it for your purposes here, and you don’t have to know more than what I am writing to get it!). If you have any nervous habits, they are likely a bit exacerbated right now…my cuticles have certainly been showing my personal nervous habit…Just as the leaves get a bit more dry and start falling off the trees, our skin gets drier, our thoughts get windier, and we get a bit off-balance….
So guess, what? You are normal. So, if any of this resonates with you, know that…and realize that you have been given a clue! To combat these things, we need to make some time in our schedules for “slow down”. Turn off the TV, or at least 15 minutes earlier than normal, have some warm milk (almond might be best if you are me) or hot tea, put on snuggly clothes, and just get quiet. Be still and know…
I subscibe to the Yoga Journal. Recently, they offered the opportunity to their subscribers to participate in a free 7-day Fall Detox which helps to address these seasonal changes, etc…complete with recipes, asana (yoga pose) routines, health tips, lifestyle tips, lots of good stuff! So, I thought, cool! I began to gather ingredients and prepare…
Here is what I learned. I don’t really have time for a someone else’s regimen. It wasn’t a starvation detox, and I LOVE the kitchari, chutney, and tea that I made, but I found that the total life change required stressed me out more! Plus, the daily e-mails for each days’ activities were coming, well, each day. After I had already planned my day, ya know? Now, a lot of the tips they were handing out are things I already know about and do on a regular basis, so really, my life is a detox all the time…but some of the other things added in, well…became other things I would have to add in! Slowing down can de-stress you….slowing down but adding back in A, B, C, and D because someone tells you to…not so much.
So, after spending a day of downloading, uploading, downloading, I realized, this is nuts right now. I would rather have spent this quiet time with my Lord, or lying in a restorative pose and meditating.
I choose to slow down, period. To tune in. To incorporate bits and pieces into my life in ways that are not stressful, and to be grateful for wonderful new recipes and a large batch of kitchari for no-stress meal prep.
—SIDEBAR: on the line of no-stress meal prep, I made the raw pumpkin soup from my previous blogpost, using butternut squash as they suggested, and it is WONDERFUL! Go try it! When I have been in a hurry, I just threw it in a jar as a smoothie!—
So, again I ask you? Are you tuned in? Are you feeling like the real you?…or an exhausted, frazzled, lost version? The Bible talks about their being different seasons, different times, and we are to turn (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8)…maybe now is a good to time for you to turn…and tune-in…and slow down….and cover everything with a dash of cinnamon and Holy Ghost for warmth…
Let the Spirit within guide you from within, in the quiet…and you can be the real you again…who just so happens to look a lot like Him.
2 Corinthians 3:17-18
Amplified Bible (AMP)
17Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty (emancipation from bondage, freedom).
18And all of us, as with unveiled face, [because we] continued to behold [in the Word of God] as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are constantly being transfigured into His very own image in ever increasing splendor and from one degree of glory to another; [for this comes] from the Lord [Who is] the Spirit.
Ps…just for fun for the weekend…when I was a little girl, and I was maybe doing or thinking about doing something I shouldn’t, my Mamma could be heard to say that if I didn’t turn from that whatever-it-was, that she would “wear me to a frazzle”. That definitely scared me. I knew she meant business. In my mind’s eye, I pictured a “frazzle” as being a pair of eyeballs surrounded with fuzzy hair, and maybe just shoes peeking out underneath. Recently, I ran across this verse, and shared it with my Mom…we laughed out loud. She had no idea how scriptural she had been:
A parent is worn to a frazzle by a stupid child…Proverbs 19:13 The Msg.
I imagine that when we act like stupid children, we wear ourSELVES to a frazzle….so be wise, darlings, and slow down a little…
Have a wonderful, tuned-in weekend, everybody!
(pps, lest you think my Mama beat me, let me assure you that I only received spankin’s, and they were rare (and she cried, usually).The mere THOUGHT of Mom being mad at me was discipline enough! I love her so!)