Saturday, May 28, 2011

Unit 10: Review

In Unit 3, I was struggling with getting acclimated to the new term, so my stress level was up and my balance was down.  I am thankful that by the middle of the term I was able to find equilibrium, which helped to get some balance back.  I had scored myself as an 8 in physical health and a 6 in spiritual health.  Now, though, I would score myself an 8 in physical health and an 8 in spiritual health.  Yay!  Part of this is the fact that the term is over and I get a break from the extra work, but also because I got into the new rhythm of the term and this really helps with my internal balance.  I was able to make progress in my goals of setting aside specific time to work on school work, as well as study and meditate on scripture to help with keeping my mind set on things above.  This really helped me to keep my mind returning to that which is good for me, instead of things that are harmful.  I also was much better with getting up early to get in my workouts, but those have been set aside for the last two weeks while I visited family.  I will be starting again on Monday.

Throughout this course, I have been challenged to look at things with more depth and intensity.  I have been happy that doing so has helped me to really analyze my internal well-being even more, which has helped to foster more inner strength and resolution to keep moving forward at all times.  The most rewarding things for me was just connecting with my faith even more and finding new ways of application and focus for myself.  The most difficult parts was finding ways to word things so that I would actually implement it instead of conflict with it in what I agree with and believe.  This experience has been great in helping me to wrap my head around the importance of developing this spiritual side of health in addition to the others to foster a complete picture of health and wellness.  I am excited to pass on the knowledge I have learned.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Final Project- Posted

I.                        Introduction:
Health and Wellness professionals must be beyond reproach when it comes to living out the lifestyle to which they are working diligently to help people begin to implement in their own lives.  How else would changes be seen as necessary if the teacher has never experienced the lesson he/she wishes to impart upon the student.  It is wise for all health and wellness professionals to practice what they preach.  The areas that I need to develop are mostly psychological in nature, based on my emotional state thus far.  Working on my psychological facets will in fact help benefit my emotional stability by reforming the way I think.
II.                        Assessment:
In order to assess my health in the various areas of wellness, I have looked to the most basic examples of total wellness and compared to that.  For me, this area is found in the guidance of the Bible and the perfect example of Jesus.  I would say that I score my wellness spiritually as an 8, knowing that there are certainly areas where I need to improve.  I score my physical wellness as a 9 because I do take great strides to eat healthfully and exercise regularly.  I score my psychological health as a 7, because going through this class has really opened my eyes to some of the areas of thought that could really use a revamping.
III.                        Goal development:
One goal I have for myself in each area of wellness is: Physical – to continue with regular strength and cardiovascular exercise 4-6 times a week, especially with this new pregnancy; Psychological – to continue to practice asserting myself when I have something that needs to be communicated without fear of what might happen and so be restrained; and Spiritual - implement a time for intentional meditation and prayer without interruption starting with only a small period of time and then gradually increasing.
IV.                        Practices for personal health:
To foster growth in my physical wellness, I will challenge myself with my intensity when I exercise, as well as display greater discipline during times of food temptation.  I will lift heavier weights, push myself harder with cardiovascular activities, and set a limit for myself ahead of time regarding what I will and will not eat at a special event.  To foster growth in my psychological wellness, I will work on not overtasking myself and being careful to only take on those tasks that are the most beneficial for our family.  When asked to help out with additional things, I will answer with “Let me look at my schedule and I will get back to you” and then take the time to pray about it and make sure it would be a wise choice to do it.  This will protect my psychological health by not allowing too much stress.  To foster growth in my spiritual wellness, I will continue on my journey of life with my God each day.  I will be careful to study His Word, to spend time (even if only a few minutes at first) in prayer and meditation on His Word, and be mindful of these things when life becomes difficult.
V.                        Commitment:
The best way for me to assess my progress or lack of progress in the next six months would be to journal my current state of mind and living and then see how it compares to the same at that time.  The strategies I can use to help me maintain my practices would include accountability with others who are working to grow and be challenged, as well as continue to read and study about the importance of such practices so that even when times of difficulty arise, the value of moving forward and not staying stuck will be so ingrained that I will not be able to just give in and stop.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Unit 8

I have learned such a great variety of things in this class that it is hard to settle my mind on only two being the most beneficial, but, since I have to, I am going to say that the Subtle Mind exercise and the Human Flourishing one (found on page 145-146 of Integral Health) are my choices.  The Subtle Mind exercise was a significant challenge for me because it called me to begin practicing the taming of the mind...not such an easy task, but a worthy goal.  I am still not great at this, but I am definitely much better than I was when this class first began.  At least now I have a tool for getting the mind to be still.  The Human Flourishing exercise held some great value because it helped me to remember some key times in my life where I have really experienced this heightened state of being, where everything seems perfect with a balance of complete wholeness, happiness, and health.  As I mentioned in my discussion post, the best experience I had that really brought all of these together was my first home birth experience.  It was such a healing experience after a very unsatisfying first birth, hospital birth experience.  I was able to really experience the entire event, which brought such an amazing empowerment, knowing that I was capable of something so amazing, even though difficult.  I felt complete and fulfilled and in such awe of my form.  It was one of the most blissful experiences of my life.  When I recall how I felt after that birth, I have a tangible goal to attain and seek in my every day encounters.  This is certainly not easy or natural, but it is definitely valuable and I look forward to the challenge and the benefits of character I will receive.  I will continue to use this exercises and their guiding principles in my daily quiet time to help foster the renewing of my mind, which is essential to growth.  I can be still and quiet internally through the daily practice of this discipline.  I loved the concept of letting the thoughts come and go without giving them and food to grow.  The first time I did this, I was blown away at how little emotional reaction I had to such a serious thought.  Right then I could see the benefits of this discipline.  Also, just recalling and re-experiencing the times in my life where I felt whole, happy, and healthy help me to bring it into my present reality.  Whenever I am struggling, I can refer to these memories and remember my intentions to experience that state all the time.  Between these two exercises, I know that I will be very blessed.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Unit 7

The most obvious wise person I know of who was the epitome of all the definitions given for the person we were to visualize was Jesus.  Picturing myself standing with Him and being with Him is not something that is new for me, but I really enjoyed this time of just focusing on doing it.  I especially enjoyed the reminder of seeing myself becoming more like Him in His mannerisms and speech, which I constantly think about as I interact with various people on a regular basis.  The best part about my faith being applied to this exercise was that I was not just "visualizing" something that I did not truly believe to be happening, but this is something that I know to be happening inside of me throughout the course of my life.  I AM becoming more like Christ through each and every day's struggle and transforming experience that kneads out the lumpy spots of my character and replaces them with a smoothness that is found only in Him.  I loved this exercise.  Spending time with Him is always refreshing.  Being involved in this class and in these exercises has been very helpful though in helping me to intentionally consider my ways and assess whether or not they were what I wanted them to be.  I am very thankful for the reminder.

The saying "One cannot lead another where one has not gone himself" is an absolutely applicable statement.  As a healthcare professional (or in my case wellness protector of the family), my personal experience with growth is an imperative if I want to teach my children to do the things I know to be good for them.  The concept "Do what I say, not what I do" should never come out of the mouth of any leader, so it is essential that I, as the parent and leader, exemplifies what is right in life, and how my beliefs influence my behaviors.  Without a change or connection between my beliefs and my behaviors, I will not be able to effectively teach and help to mold the well-being of my children.  I know that if I want to lead them in the way that they should go, I must be on that journey with them, leading through my own personal walk and example.  There is no difference to my situation and what should be in place for a typical healthcare professional.  We must walk the walk before we can talk the talk =0)

I can continue to implement spiritual and psychological growth in my personal life through continuing to develop my relationship with God by the reading of His Word, its application in my life, and centering myself through prayer and meditation that is in agreement with what He says to be true.  This is what I have experienced and know to be true and my truth is continued to be stretched and further developed as I continue on my journey and walk with Him.