Unwind, Relax, it's Only Life..

I was reading the posts put up on the Neighborhood Watch updates. Someone had started an open conversation about the noise and danger of illegal fireworks. As I scrolled through all the comments, I could relate and empathize with both sides.

However, the conversation quickly turned into a spewing of mean barbs, shaming of feelings and downright bad behavior. I don't really respond to the battle of words on social media. I find that it's too easy to write angry words before you've had time to think. I am seeing a trend on all social media platforms where people think they can say anything about anyone or any topic with no regard to how it may affect the other person.

It brought back memories of how I used to respond to people in person when I was growing up. Because I grew up in a pretty tough way, I learned a  "get them before they get you" mentality.I am really good at cutting someone down. I have a quick wit, but it can turn into a put down before you see it coming. I have been know to hurt people's feelings with my words without even meaning to. I  became more conscious of this as I am now entering my old age! I just don't feel the need to defend myself in that way. It doesn't mean I won't defend myself on a certain position. I am just learning to think more calmly and assess what I am going to say before I say it.

The last couple of years I started a new exercise regimen. It's a Pilates studio that I go to about 2 to 3 times a week. As I learned how to trust my own body through these structured moves, I also learned some of the core principles that Pilates teaches. I started thinking about some of the principles and how they could apply to anyone's life. I will give you some of them here. You might want to incorporate them into your life to live a more calming existence.

  1. Breathing. While this seems simple when you look at this word, it is actually harder than it seems. I discovered that I have a bad habit of holding my breath. And I don't take deep cleansing breathes to get more oxygen in my lungs. It refreshes you. You will also give yourself time to count to 10 if you feel your temper rising because someone makes you mad!

  2. Concentration. This is vital in our Pilates class. I can't tell you how many times I have fallen out of a pose because I lost my concentration. It reminds me of when I was in labor having my babies. They tell you to have a "focal point" and just look at that through your breathing (refer back to Lesson 1.) I have found that if you concentrate on the matter at hand, you don't get distracted by all the other side stuff going on. I find it amusing that people go off on rabbit trails to make a point. It would have been more insightful had they stayed on topic and concentrated on the important points. This is important for your future life. Stay concentrated on the power and points that God provides for you.

  3. Centering. It's knowing your middle. Your core. Your center. While this is all and everything in Pilates, this is where I can add God in and during my exercise process. God continues to be the center of my life even when I don't feel it. I sometimes have to push myself to bring him back to center. He needs to stay there for my strength. Any instructor will also tell you that "centering" during Pilates is vital. Your core has to be strong in order to hold any pose or slide on any equipment with power and grace. The same goes for your walk with the Lord. Find your center in Him!

  4. Rhythm/Flow. This is where the fun is. The reason I love doing Pilates is because there is a dance flow to it. It was inspired by someone who helped injured dancers with these machines and stretching to help heal them. There is a rhythm to these moves and when you are in the "pocket' of the flow, you feel alive and inspired. This is also where you want to be in your spiritual life. There is a flow that comes from finding your own rhythm with God being in your center. When you know who you are, there is no reason to put someone down to make yourself feel better. Which ultimately never makes you feel better anyway. Staying in the flow of life creates a beautiful dance between you and your Savior.

  5. Relaxation. This is the best part. As with any workout, you should end with a relaxation pose. This is where you can be proud for finishing. You completed what you set out to do. You finish strong. This is so true for your life if you have gone through all the above steps. You can relax in the knowledge that God has you right where He wants you. Listen to His voice. Read the Word. Pray often and throughout the day. Know that you can't do any more things to be better or more than anyone else. Relax. He sees you. He already worked out a plan for you. Follow it. Center yourself. Concentrate on Him.

Breathe....