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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Six Tips on Staying Healthy through the Holidays: A Wholistic Approach

Wednesday, November 15, 2017 @ 1:58 PM

For many of us, staying healthy through the holidays may be challenging. There may be extra stress of many types, and more temptation to eat unhealthy foods and to over-eat. What can we do?

Here's some suggestions:

1. Get plenty of fluids, especially pure water: at least 40 oz/day. Consider keeping a thermos of healthy soup with you.
2. Get plenty of rest.
3. For those with difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep: daily healthy eating, stress management including moderate exercise such as          walking, and prayer will reduce problems with these. Reading Psalms and Proverbs in the Bible, will provide guidance.
4. Some suggestions for dealing with stress:
          make a list of all the things that feel like stressors and how you feel about each one, share your feelings with the Lord in prayer.
          Make a list of at least 3 things you are thankful for each day.
          Consider joining a small group at church.
          If you have a Christian counselor reach out to them as needed.
5. Healthiest foods: most vegetables, especially natural sweet potatoes or yams. Most fruits, especially berries, cranberries. At least 60-90        grams of protein/day. Start with a 20-30 gram breakfast smoothie.
6. The Dr. Oz show website has suggestions including a Holiday Breakfast Smoothie and suggestions for eating before going to the holiday        gathering.

 

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Desperate People Don't Look Pretty, but This is Who Jesus Came For

Tuesday, November 14, 2017 @ 8:23 AM

Admitting that you’re desperate out loud (and honestly)... often means that you risk ridicule from onlookers who may thrive on others who are in pain. But, don’t worry, those individuals will eventually be in a place where life hits them head on as well, and desperation will shock them! As a Christian, to be desperate for Jesus to help us, means that we humbly have to face our brokenness.
To see and admit our need for healing.
We would have to admit we are in need.
That we got off course.
That we are hanging on the edge of a rocky place and we are getting scared and weary of the exhaustion.
And friends, we are all at one time or another , all of these things!

We do need Jesus!
Of course we will be reminded, all too regularly by others who are masking pain and doubt, that "desperation isn't attractive".
DESPERATE PEOPLE DON’T LOOK PRETTY. But this is who Jesus came for. He came for those who could admit that they can't do life well on their own and for those who are empty and want the sanity that Jesus offers.

We must let go of our ugliness and be willing to run to Jesus! It doesn't come easy either! Accepting the fact that we have bought the lies others have spoken over us, is not easy! “I spread out my hands to you O God! My soul thirsts for you like a parched land” (Psalm 143:6).

DO YOU KNOW WHAT IT SOUNDS LIKE WHEN GOD CALLS YOUR NAME?
Can you hear the tone, the gentle kindness which he uses when He says your name?

Do you know what it feels like? Do you feel the softness of heaven’s breath coming near your very soul? Do you feel the warmth of it all?

AS HE CALLS EACH OF OUR NAMES, HE MAY SAY SOMETHING DIFFERENT.
Sometimes, many times - as a matter of fact, He reminds me, "Let go of the past. There is nothing there for you. Go forward. Don't pause in the road I’ve laid before you and don't look back for one moment!”

Dear Reader,
Close your eyes today and “hear” His voice as He speaks softly. Listen with your heart. Close out all of the sounds. The ticking away of time, the screaming laundry or dishes, the buzz of your phone demanding that you respond, and especially shut down your own voice that tries to convince you that you are absolutely hopeless or are too broken.

Climb up under a shaded spot - under His shadow, right at His feet and soak in His presence on purpose. Not by accident.

LOOK AT HIM FACE TO FACE ON PURPOSE TODAY AND HE WILL MEET YOU THERE.
Listen to what He tells us in His word - at this very moment.

“Don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you. I’ve called your name. You’re mine.

When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you.
When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down.
When you’re between a rock and a hard place,
it won’t be a dead end—
Because I am God, your personal God, The Holy One, your Savior.

I paid a huge price for you:
That’s how much you mean to me! That’s how much I love you! I’d sell off the whole world to get you back. I'd trade the creation just for you.”
-Isaiah 43:1-3

Monday, November 06, 2017

Understanding and Taking the Enneagram Personality Test

Monday, November 06, 2017 @ 6:15 PM

Laura Novak

In my work as a therapist, I enjoy using various assessments and personality tests that can aid clients in their journey toward self-awareness and personal growth. The Enneagram is a personal favorite of mine and can be a great tool to help you delve into a deep understanding of yourself. The enneagram helps us understand our compulsive, unconscious drives. Anyone that wonders, “why do I keep doing the same thing over and over again,” and all of us wonder that time to time, could benefit from the wisdom of the enneagram.

The Enneagram takes into account how various unconscious messages heard during childhood may affect your personality. In our childhood, we begin to develop our way of relating to the world, based on what our experiences were as well as our own natural temperament. Then patterns develop, and sometimes certain patterns don’t work for us. The Enneagram also helps us further understand our strengths and weaknesses.

There are nine different personality types, and with each type, there is an explanation of how that type functions at a healthy level, and average level, and an unhealthy level.

The nine types are as follows:

  1. The Perfectionist (the rational, idealistic type)
  2. The Helper (the caring, interpersonal type)
  3. The Achiever (the success oriented, pragmatic type)
  4. The Individualist (the sensitive, withdrawn type)
  5. The Investigator (the intense, cerebral type)
  6. The Loyalist (The committed, security oriented type)
  7. The Enthusiast (The busy, fun-loving type)
  8. The Challenger (The powerful, dominating type)
  9. The Peacemaker (The easygoing, self-effacing type)

The following is a link to the test: http://www.eclecticenergies.com/enneagram/dotest.php (there are many free tests available online.)

Here is another website about the enneagram, as well as another enneagram test, you might find helpful – https://www.enneagraminstitute.com.

If you explore more deeply, you will learn some concepts that further explain your enneagram type, such as wings, security points, stress points, and instincts. There are many components to the enneagram. If you are interested, there are MANY helpful books to further your understanding, including the following:

The Wisdom of the Enneagram: The Complete Guide to Psychological and Spiritual Growth for the Nine Personality Types by Don Riso

The Complete Enneagram: 27 Paths to Greater Self-Knowledge by Beatrice Chestnut

Keep in mind that no types are right or wrong, and no test can fully explain you. However, this can be good a starting point in gaining clarity, further understanding our strengths and weaknesses, and understanding differences between people. Plus, it can be fun and you may find yourself having some “a-ha!” moments when you read a description of your type. For more information on the enneagram and how it can provide insight for your life, contact Laura Novak, LCSW, CADC.

Friday, November 03, 2017

Grief Must be Expressed

Friday, November 03, 2017 @ 11:48 AM

Many theories have been developed about the stages of grief. Each of them points out that there is no time frame; each individual will proceed at his/her pace. Although there are stages, these stages do not necessarily follow in any order; emotions will ebb and flow, rise and drop because we are human, and each of us is unique. My frame of reference indicates that, although we can offer certain guidelines to clients, and prepare them for the path their grief may take, it is best to allow them to naturally experience their feelings as they unfold naturally, and merely be present and bear witness to their individual grieving process.

During my own grief, I learned there are feelings in me that are so strong and deep, they NEED to be fully expressed, and that was necessary for my healing. The sadness or pain must be expressed. Sadness has movement and will express itself in its own time. By being mindful, and aware of our emotions and honoring them, we heal naturally. The experienced counselor will help guide and support clients through this process.

The processing of our painful emotions tests our resilience and permits us to find positive meaning in life. It is important clients seek professional counseling in profound grief and loss, to ensure their mourning is appropriately managed, and they do not become stuck or depressed. The wise counselor will intervene and treat. There are many creative resources to assist clients in expressing and moving through the grieving process. An experienced professional will collaborate with you and find the best natural fit for you to tangibly design storytelling, rituals, memory books, poetry, art as a tribute to your loved one in their honor.

When we grieve, the sadness overtakes us and rules our life for a while, and then a shift toward healing takes place. We learn to reconstruct a new way of being in the world, holding the memory of those we have lost in our hearts and minds forever. Our hearts may become tattered and torn (never broken, we must not allow that), and the sadness may never leave our hearts and that is our testimony of how we love. The sadness shows how deeply we have loved: the investment we have made in loving those we have lost and continue to love.