Falling Apart Yet Held Together

 My life is a hot mess at any given time of the day. Hell it’s a mess even in my sleep and if you were able to join in my dreams you would see the truth to that statement. I do not have it all together. I fall apart on a regular basis because I have a damaged heart. My soul has been burdened with so many heavy weights in this world that I often reflect on how I have survived as long as I have. The answer?  God.

There is no strength left in me. I am tired. I am worn.  My heart hurts at the sufferings I see in my world. I strive for goodness and see less and less of it in others. My peace waivers and my soul aches for unity and love to flood my fellow man. I work hard to show that love to others and some receive it while others stab my words with daggers flying from their tongues like warriors of discontent. Its easy to feel the glow of love but it is devastating to feel the blows of negativity.

 Even in the mundane aspects of life the devil seeks to destroy my joy. He takes the daily joys of motherhood, friendship, and family to dark places in an effort to slowly scrape away the bonds so lovingly created and gifted by God. But God. But God. But God.

God has already gone before all of Satan’s attacks. God has held everything together from the beginning. ( Colossians 1:17) He is El Shaddai, the God of sufficiency and almighty power. In Him there is no sting in death, no suffering in sorrow and peaceful, joyous living in the treacherous trenches of daily living here on earth.

 In Him the devils advances are nothing more than an annoying mosquito bite that aggravates temporarily but disappears without any more thought. In Him, strength returns with a flood of fury, peace encompasses our lives bit by beautiful bit, and day by day our resilience is a glorious example of His everlasting love.

There is no need for fear. There is no room for doubt and negativity when the doors to our heart and mind are open to God’s unfailing word and never-ending grace and mercy. He is the healer of all hurts. He is the army that destroys the devil’s minions. He is the power and the glory that heals all of the earth. Negativity has no place here. Satan has no place here. Only God. Only God.

We will have days where we feel misunderstood, shaken to our core and beat down by the evils in this world. There is no question about that. There are days that, in my imperfection, I am falling apart yet His Word is the glue that holds my fallen mind, body and soul together when I feel like falling apart.

Are you falling today? Will you let Him hold you together?  No matter where you are and how dark it feels, pick up the Bible and see light. The light is there, you just have to seek it.

Plenty of Room at the Table

“There is something to be said about space. Space is needed and perceived in many different ways. Sometimes we need space that is empty, void of noise, people and things. Other times we need a space filled with love, encouragement and the presence of loved ones. Then there are times that space gets filled with things that we enjoy or things that we don’t need, things that are required and things that are “just because “. One thing remains constant with sis e, it needs light. It needs light to see the love and encouragement. It needs light to see the emptiness. It needs light to see desires and hopes. No matter what space we desire, we need light to enjoy it. Without light, it’s just a dark space.

Jesus Christ is the light we need to fill our spaces. Today as I sit at my new “space” I watched the light gently engulf it when the blinds were opened and it made me think of all the times my space has been dark, but when I opened my heart to Christ He lit up my soul and changed my life. Whatever space you take up today… let His light fill it for you. Feel His presence and know you are loved”

This is a quote from my Facebook page from several days ago.  The theme of the table has stuck with me. I have meditated on the importance of the table and how Jesus spent His last supper at a table with His disciples. What a symbol the table is: one of unity.  On that night, Jesus and His disciples sat together in unity.  This morning it hit me, I need to sit at the table with Jesus.

The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread. (1 Corinthians 10:16–17) ESV

The word “participation” in the ESV version can also be read in the AMP version as “sharing” and “communion” in the ASV.  When we come to the table with Jesus we are sharing and communing with Him. We are participating spiritually with Jesus at His table and there is always plenty of room.

I have often referenced my journey with Jesus as a walk.  I am always walking with Him. This week I have realized its time to enter a season of nourishment.  It is a time to sit and eat a spiritual meal with Him. To break bread and have meaningful conversations with Him.  It’s time to meet Him at the table.

 

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Trauma Focused Yoga

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Practicing yoga comes with many benefits: flexibility, stress relief, focus, and strength. One of the major benefits, in my opinion, is the release of trauma trapped in the body through trauma focused yoga. There is a growing amount of evidence showing that yoga, modified for a therapeutic practice, is a truly amazing tool for healing and empowering those who have experienced trauma. In a trauma focused yoga practice each individual is given the tools to connect with themselves in an empowering way.

Trauma Sensitive Trauma Centered Yoga (TSTCY) was created by David Emerson in collaboration with trauma expert, Dr. Bessel van der Kolk. Trauma focused yoga practices are solidly based in trauma, attachment theory, neuroscience and yoga.

It’s a treatment that we’ve built specifically for complex or developmental trauma because there’s a real need for good treatments for this condition that is being treated with other things that weren’t made for it, like Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, talk therapy or prolonged exposure that are being superimposed on complex trauma and not working very well.”

 

According to research, trauma focused yoga can have greater beneficial benefits effects in alleviating traumatic stress symptoms as most medications. In all research groups the stress related symptoms were minimized or alleviated.

“Trauma is not just an event that took place sometime in the past; it is also the imprint left by that experience on mind, brain, and body.” – Bessel van der Kolk

“The challenge”, Bessel van der Kolk explains, “ is to learn how to tolerate feelings and sensations by increasing the capacity for interoception or sitting with yourself, noticing what’s going on inside— the basic principle of meditation. They need to learn how to modulate arousal. Trauma-sensitive people have their sense of time thrown off and think something will last forever. Their challenge is to learn how to notice what is happening and how things can and will shift, rather than running away or turning to alcohol or drugs to self-medicate. Yoga helps regulate emotional and physiological states. It allows the body to regain its natural movement and teaches the use of breath for self-regulation. What is beautiful about Yoga is that it teaches us—and this is a critical point for those who feel trapped in their memory sensations—that things come to an end. While doing certain asanas, uncomfortable sensations may be evoked. But, by keeping time as they stay in a posture for a limited amount of time, they get to observe that discomfort can be tolerated until they shift into a different posture. The process of being in a safe space and staying with whatever sensations emerge and seeing how they come to an end is a positive imprinting process. Yoga helps them befriend their bodies that have betrayed them by failing to guarantee safety.

Another important aspect of Yoga is utilizing the breath. It’s very striking that there’s nothing in western culture that teaches us that we can learn to master our own physiology— solutions always come from outside, starting with relationships, and if those fail, alcohol or drugs.

Yoga teaches us that there are things we can do to change our brainstem arousal system, our sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems and to quiet the brain.”

I will add the final and most important aspect of a trauma yoga practice in my studio: Jesus Christ. I believe a Christ focused trauma yoga practice invites healing. It opens our hearts and minds to the healing presence of the Holy Spirit. My classes can include scripture or prayer, or I often pray for each of my students silently. I invite the Holy Spirit into each class and pray healing over all of my students. Jesus healed me through the use of talk therapy and trauma focused yoga and I believe He can, and will, heal you!!!

In a trauma focused practice I simply lead a class that helps those who have experienced trauma learn how to calm their minds and regain safety in their own bodies. It is a practice unlike other yoga practices in that it allows the body to release emotions stored within our muscles and cells. It gives back a sense of empowerment and choice to those who have had no choice and felt powerless.