There's a lot written about "superfoods" that contribute to the function of our bodies, let's consider 10 "power emotions" that combat the negative emotions and enable us to enjoy more enjoyment and abundance. To learn more about this topic, and about mastering your emotions, check out my Inner Healing Ebook. As we do so, please remember that spirituality and emotional health are two sides of the same coin. That is to say, that engaging in spiritual practices like prayer and meditation will multiply your efforts to grow emotionally. Likewise, intentional effort in growing emotionally will supercharge your spiritual life and practice. They grow together.
Individuals who have good emotional health are in control of their behaviors, thoughts, and feelings. They can tackle life’s challenges, bounce back from any roadblocks or setbacks, and can keep problems in perspective. They do not allow themselves to be consumed by the negative and do not wallow in self-pity. Those with good emotional health can cultivate and keep strong relationships with others while keeping a sense of positive self-worth.
This is the faith that Paul describes. Human development experts tell us we are usually in our thirties before we have access to this level of faith development. Our twenties are characterized by outgrowing the faith of our childhood and running away from God and chasing our own demons. Ultimately, the troubles and suffering that took us away brings us back. And we know and trust that at our very core, God dwells. Cutting through the many layers of ourselves to access that Presence gets easier as we go.
Have you ever felt grumpy? Or angry? Or worried? It's impossible to feel happy when you feel negative emotions. The fastest way to shake a bad mood is to count your blessings. Gratitude refocuses us on what we have. Anger, worry, grumpiness, and other negative emotions usually center around what we don't have or what might come in the future. Gratitude brings us into the present moment and returns our focus to what we have, what is good, and what is well. If you want one thing that can dramatically change your life, practice gratitude. Gratitude effects extend far beyond our mood. Gratitude empowers health mentally, emotionally, physically, and especially spiritually. Read on for the amazing ways gratitude brings about positive health in your life.
I hear phrases like this all the time. Especially on social media. Everybody advises getting rid of toxic people. Cut off those relationships. I will concede, that at times, this is necessary - but not often. If you are being abused - GET OUT. Immediately. Most of the time, discussions about toxic people don't include abuse, just difficult human behaviors. Perhaps a better course of action, before cutting off a relationship, might be to ask yourself, "Why do I attract toxic people?" A person who has a pattern of cutting off relationships, or attracting toxic people, might have some unresolved emotional pain that is driving this behavior. If you struggle to maintain relationships when there is conflict, or when difficult issues and situations crop up, it may be worth looking within yourself at what is lying dormant that can be addressed and resolved.
I like to plan new routines with one goal at a time in three different areas: physical health, spiritual practice, and time management. If you are new to creating routines or looking to create a more meaningful one, this is a good place to begin. For example, a physical routine might include drinking more water or taking a walk. A spiritual practice might include meditation, writing in a journal, or practicing gratitude. A time management goal might include planning out your day, using your calendar more effectively, or using timers. Start with ONE goal in each area to begin. Read on about how routines are beneficial.
When the sun shines and the wind is at your back and love is in the air, faith comes naturally. When life is great, it's easy to believe in a God/Higher Power/Spirit that is love. Faith gets difficult when life gets dicey and things don't go our way - or even implode on us completely! Have you had your heart broken? Have you experienced trauma? Have you received violence? All of these events can profoundly affect and even disrupt one's faith. But that doesn't have to be the end of the story. You can heal yourself and grow your faith.
Emotional intelligence and spiritual practices build upon the other. Growing spiritually, empowers emotional growth, as growing emotionally, fuels spiritual growth. If we look to Christ as the epitome of self-actualization, he is both emotionally and spiritually intelligent. As you continue to grow your faith and spiritual practices, you can also take the following steps to grow your emotional intelligence.
Anger, while unhealthy, is familiar. We know what anger is and how to bear it. Though it isn't good for us to hang onto, it is a familiar burden. Sometimes, what we name as anger or choose to feel as anger may be something else that we are afraid of. Anger can be an imposter, hiding more intense emotions like fear, shame, grief, or guilt. These other emotions are big and can be frightening to sit with. However, once we name them for what they are, we can rid ourselves of them.
Many of us spare little time or thought for our spiritual and emotional health. This pertains to the ability to recognize and manage your emotions, both negative and positive. People with good emotional health have developed strategies to deal with their daily emotions or even larger emotions for traumatic events, such as losing a job or the death of a loved one.
When emotions begin to overwhelm us, it can feel like normal functioning is impossible. From the interactions with your closest relationships to mundane tasks at work, an inability to process can leave you feeling paralyzed, emotionally drained, and psychologically blocked. In this headspace, it might feel like you’re simply subservient to these feelings. However, there are methods you can use in these situations, to regain control, and come out from under it.
Emotions are a conscious experience. They help us identify our responses and trigger our actions to events and circumstances. Emotions allow us to find an infinite pool of social information, which allows us to communicate our needs to others and realize the needs of others. They give us the ability to experience the ups and downs of life and can help us create, maintain, and navigate our relationships with others, and to connect with God/Higher Power/Spirit. Emotions help us survive. They have the ability to trigger our body’s fight-or-flight response.
The foundation for having your needs met is a strong spiritual connection. Whether you are religious or not, spirituality is a significant factor in your overall health and well-being. Often what you feel is an undefined restlessness that you seek to resolve. For instance, you may take on a project to experience fulfillment. At the completion of a project, you commonly do experience fulfillment, but it is fleeting. Tending to your spiritual life rounds us out in a way like no other. A healthy and vital inner-life brings peace. It gives us purpose and direction. It connects us to other people, causes, and strength that transcends our individual experience.
Something happens in our soul when we let go of extra things - whether they are emotional or physical. We feel lighter. We breathe easier. Who doesn’t want that?
Nobody wants to look back on their life with regrets. You might have some regrets about the mistakes you have made or things you have done or opportunities you lost. But you can make a conscious decision to minimize your regrets by leading a more fulfilling life. Below, you will find 10 basic rules for leading a fulfilling life.
Everybody has quirks. There is something “different” about every human on this planet. We aren’t robots with predictable programming. What a boring world that would be! Instead, we all have a distinct set of characteristics with boundless capabilities!
When you are willing to try new things and push the boundaries of your comfort zone, you develop the skills and the mental muscle to tackle obstacles and adapt quickly. In these instances, your body doesn't go into fight or flight mode and you are able to stay present to what you are doing and think clearly to problem solve.
Think, for example, of what would happen if you prayed/meditated for 10 minutes everyday? Did 10m minutes of cardio every day? Practiced gratitude for 3 minutes? Before you know it, these would begin to add up and you would be experiencing improvements in your body, mind, and spirit. Mini-habits don’t stop there though. Not only can your mini-habit change how you get things done, but they impact you in other ways as well. Read on to discover the powerful benefits of mini-habits.
When we pray or meditate for 10 minutes a day, it is going to change our life in huge ways. In fact, it's going to have some profound effects on our bodies. We are connected physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and enacting something in one realm of that affects all the others. If we do something in our physical bodies, it's going to affect us mentally, emotionally, spiritually. And if we do something spiritually is going to affect us in those other ways as well. We are accustomed to thinking of these as separate entities, but they are all manifestations of us. In other words, they are one and the same.
We can make bold declarations about ourselves. We can be people who prioritize our spiritual lives, we can be people who prioritize our physical health. We can make bold declarations about ourselves, and then make it a habit. Write a note if you have to, or write out an affirmation to make these declarations throughout your day so that they become a habit. They will become hardwired into your mind and into the choices you make for your life.
When we have feelings that control us from past hurts, then we know that there's some forgiveness work that's necessary. Forgiveness is not letting telling the other person that they get a 'get out of jail free card,' it is not saying, 'hey, everything is fine.' It's a freeing of yourself from that emotional prison that you've locked yourself into.
It's easy to give into the temptation of giving in when we "don't feel like it," but that doesn't provide us the life we want. To build a life we look forward to living involves putting in the work to create it. I'm not an advocate of all work and no play, life is about finding that healthy balance after all, and being able to enjoy the fruits of our labor. But the life we want isn't going to come and find us; it's something we build. In the building of it, we clarify what's important to us and what we can let go of.
Be a part of giving life back to these burdened saints who have given so much. Click here and show YOUR nurse they are loved and appreciated.
Nursing is a gut-wrenching profession. In non-COVID times nurses experience a lot that the rest of us don't. In the next blog I will share how we can be a part of giving back to these wounded saints and help them heal from the trauma they've experienced.
In the best of times, nurses are the overworked, under-appreciated backbone of our healthcare system. When I have been in the hospital as a patient, a family member, a pastor, or a friend nurses kept the ball rolling. RNs, LPNs, CNAs - we would be hopeless without their contributions. And when a pandemic comes... they show their commitment and dedication for caring for us in heroic ways.
Feeling guilt is a heavy burden. Walking through life with the weight of the world on your shoulders is no way to live. Feeling guilty causes people to operate out of shame or undue obligation. Guilt-based actions are not always genuine and deplete people of their confidence and right standing. If you are operating under the weight of guilt, you may not be doing things because you want to. You may also be suffering needlessly, and resolution may be the only thing standing in your way.
Emotional wellness plays a significant role in our lives. It provides us with a sense of self-empathy and allows us to have an awareness of feelings. This awareness of feelings extends not only to others in our lives, but it starts with self-appreciation. Emotional well-being can serve as a boost to our self-esteem and enables us to be resilient. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), well-being is a vital component of mental health. Emotional wellness motivates us to feel happy, take an interest in life, and gives us an extraordinary sense of satisfaction (NIH, 2015). We are productive, and we are positive beings.
Compassion boosts your health and well-being. There are many benefits to taking on being compassionate both for yourself and, equally as important, for others.
The hero you need in your life stares back at you in the mirror every day. You have it in you to be the hero you need in your life and to build the life you want and love. I'm going to be straight with you - it's not easy work. It's simple, but it isn't easy. It requires you take a step each day. Many of the steps you take will be shaky, but they will lead you to a life you want to wake up and jump into each day.
You are remarkable and have gifts that make you stand out among everyone else. Though there may be other people who do what you do or have a similar gifting, no one can do things the way you do them. This alone makes you valuable to others. Sharing your gifts and giving back is a wonderful way to leave your mark on the world, and to glorify God.
There have been other times in my life when two weeks have made a world of difference. After delivering my son, I wondered how my body could ever recover. After a knee surgery, the same... Two weeks make a huge difference! When I went to Basic Training down in Ft. Jackson, South Carolina and Advanced Individual Training in Ft. Rucker, Alabama, the first days in those trainings were eye-opening to put it mildly. But after two weeks, there was a level of confidence, an understanding of rhythm, and a knowledge that this little engine would make it up that hill.
Still learning as I go! Note to self - be sure to block out my calendar when I plan to be out of town. I send out a link to my calendar for folks to schedule a time that works for them. Any appointments I have in my calendar will be shown as unavailable. I hadn’t done this for our vacation and someone scheduled their podcast interview while I was going to be gone. I didn’t want to reschedule, so I packed the mic and “soundproofed” my space. I’m more diligent...
Therefore, I will receive ashes this Wednesday. And I will give thanks for this life, this very precious life. And I will give thanks to God, who alone can love so many that I don’t want to. And I will confess this and many other shortcomings. And I will leave knowing that I am loved into redemption and my life, my very precious life, will be more deeply rooted and grounded in something - in SOMEONE - that will transcend all that I now see and know and understand.
These are a few of the qualities found in effective leaders. It's important for anyone in a leadership position to remember the responsibilities s/he bears and to honestly evaluate one's effectiveness. How are you articulating your vision to others? Are you a clear and effective communicator? Do you inspire others to grow beyond their own expectations? Are you grounded spiritually and emotionally so that you can lead effectively? Good leaders have coaches to help them in their growth and development. And good coaches have coaches, too. I can help you. At Light Life and Love Ministries, we have the tools to help you understand and build upon your strengths. Give us a call!
We aspire to build a life that reflects our faith. We want to be like the 'spiritual giants' that inspire us. But, all too often, we find it difficult to to commit to the spiritual disciplines we set for ourselves. This is frustrating. Here are 5 strategies that will help you find what works for you and incorporate them into your routines. After you find how you connect best with God, and how you naturally pray, things will begin to fall into place. Once you uncover these tendencies within yourself, they will become as natural as breathing. Soon, you will have a rich and nourishing spiritual life! If you would like help in discovering your spiritual personality, click here and take the quiz.
Self-belief isn’t about becoming arrogant or turning a blind-eye to one’s flaws. The belief you have in yourself needs to be focused on what you wish to become. You can have weaknesses. Everyone does. But there is value in being relaxed about your weaknesses and working to strengthen them. A strong belief in yourself is a sure ticket to reaching great success. Build your self-belief and seemingly impossible tasks can become routine.
Did you know that successful people deal with adversity? It’s true. If you read the stories or profiles of most successful people, you will be surprised at just how adverse their situations were. They often tell the stories for others to learn and use to overcome adversity.
Gloria Gaynor was referencing an old flame when she coined these words. To me, they represent a version of myself I broke up with a long time ago. A version of myself that wanted others to solve my problems, to take care of me, to be responsible for my success. I finally learned that that version of myself didn’t love me nor did it want success for me – it wanted company. It was the misery within me, all that was afraid, not enough, less than, and it was terrified to suffer alone. That misery begged for my company and was clever in keeping me close. The best decision I made was to break up with that person.
The food we put into our bodies is critical to the function of our bodies. In the same manner, what we allow into our thoughts is critical to the function of our minds. Neurologists are beginning to understand how our brains clean up after themselves. What they’ve learned is that glial cells, cells that hold our brains together, also take out the garbage and clean up while we sleep.
Unfortunately, sometimes the church casts out the misfits, leaving them to find their own Island For Misfits. In this new year, that's what I'm seeking to do: create a safe space for misfits to explore and discover the love God has for them. Especially for them. I've always believed that God loves ALL the people and that church was a place for ALL the people. Life tries to say that church is for those who have their "stuff" together and live a Godly life. Can't it be both? Is that not the message of redemption? We are ridiculously loved and valued by God! ALL of us - just as we are. My mission in this next year is to make sure people know how much God loves them.
Finding peace in the midst of grief will be difficult at the beginning, and there are really no rules for how long you should take to heal. However, remember that there’s a season for everything. Your feelings of hurt and pain will evolve over time. They will always be with you, but will not always feel suffocating. As you practice these strategies and begin to heal, you’ll be able to grow and evolve with your grief so you can find peace and experience joy again.
Do you want to free yourself from old tension and dive into your life without fear? Do you want to come to a place of deep self-acceptance and self-compassion? By incorporating these 6 strategies, you can come to complete self-compassion and gratitude for your life. You will find yourself reaching for and living your very best life.
"I just want peace, I just want peace within my soul." Does that sound familiar to you? Is that something that you want? We all want that peace within our soul and that peace comes when we accept and live as who we are rather than who we think we should be. Or who think we should be. When we are living at odds with ourselves, there is no way we are going to have peace within.
Hope is an act of courage. Hope requires that we see beyond the mire of our current circumstances into a better tomorrow. As COVID 19 numbers spike, and threats of quarantine loom, many are losing hope. Some businesses are hanging on by a thread - or already gone. Loneliness, depression, and anxiety are quite real, and the shorter days will only magnify their effects. Yet... there are reasons to hope...
Run the race in front of you. Take action on what you can control. To build something of value requires that we take action, and stay in action. It's so easy to get distracted. It's helpful to have an accountability partner. A coach is a valuable asset, whether you are seeking to build a business or build yourself.
There are many reasons we may feel out of ‘whack.’ We may not be spending the time with loved ones that we would like, we are emptying ourselves for others and not replenishing ourselves, we are lost in the grips of grief or anger or disillusionment and don’t know how to find our way back. This year has done a real number on us. To say it has been hard is an understatement. One thing it has accomplished, though, is revealing to us what is truly important and needful for life. Read on for tips to feel peacefully aligned.
The problem is that when we craft our lives around immediate gratification and convenience, we don't grow those 'core muscles' in our souls, like patience, that see us through the difficult times. We need those muscles.
Spiritual masters tell us that growing spiritually happens as we grow in our love of God, love of others, and love of self. Humility is a key component to this growth process. Without humility, we are not able to completely love and trust God. Without humility, we cannot truly love ourselves. If we can't love ourselves, there's no chance to love others the way they deserve to be loved and honored. It sounds antithetical to say that humility begins with loving self. But it does. Love of God and others build upon our ability to love and value self.
To gain wisdom, one intentionally seeks it. Looking within one's self and taking stock of what is there and not there, what is growing and what is dormant, what is fertile ground and what is laying fallow is a giant step toward gaining wisdom. Taking this step with God's guidance and leading? You're well on your way.
Ultimately, it's going to work that way - however you prepare is how you will perform. Practice doesn't make perfect. Practice makes permanent. If you want to perform at a high level, you have to practice at a high level.
Hi, my name is Melissa Ebken, and I'm so glad you found your way here.
I am at home in the difficult spaces of peoples’ lives, willing to listen and to support those who work to grow themselves. I am a trained coach and have consulted with churches in conflict. Not your stereotypical minister, I embrace the Gospel with joy and laughter as I seek to help those around me grow in faith and understanding, always striving to leave people better than they came. An agent of wholeness, I create a safe space for people, especially those who have been marginalized, where they can understand how ridiculously loved and valued they are by God/Higher Power/Spirit, and to experience the difference that makes in life.
I started the Pursuing Uncomfortable Podcast to share the stories of people who have faced life's most difficult challenges, to inspire you to lean into and overcome your own. It's helpful to know that you're not alone in your struggles and to see how others have navigated similar circumstances. You can listen to it here.
Here's what I can do for and with you.