Lessons from the Book of Job 

Prince William, Catherin, and Harry founded a mental health charity after figures showed the number of female suicides rose sharply in 2015.

The number of women who killed themselves rose sharply last year as the number of suicides for England and Wales reached a 20-year high. According to figures released from the Ministry of Justice, there were 3,899 rulings of suicide in coroners’ courts in 2015. This was more than for any 12 months since 1995 when the data series began.

While the number of men who killed themselves fell to 2,997, 23 fewer than in 2014, the statistics for women increased by 70 to 902. The fewest suicides were in 2007 when 3,007 such verdicts were recorded, and the number has risen consistently since then.

What is it that causes a person to take their own life? The easy answer is to say its’ mental illness, shrug our shoulders and move on. But who assesses what mental illness is? By what measuring rod does one assess if a person is mentally ill or not?

I have ministered to perfectly healthy people who outwardly seem successful, and happy but have experienced an acute amount of stress that caused them to despair for their very life. However, these people were not mentally ill. 

I really believe that some people will not admit they feel suicidal for fear of being labeled mentally ill. However, wanting to die in the face of acute stress, illness or circumstances is not so unusual. 

For example, in the book of Job, we read how he wanted to die and cursed the day he was born. The Bible did not label Job as mentally ill, but we see a very human reaction through Jobs’ despair when there seems to be no hope. 

Lessons from Job 

Job can be a difficult book to understand, however, it can help us in our everyday life. I am studying Job in my personal daily quiet time and found it a wonderful insight into the human condition. None of us need to feel ashamed by having such thoughts, even if an attempt to die has been made. Like Job, we are human, and we are weak at times and may feel there’s is no way out of our circumstances expect to die. 

That’s why, just like Job, we need to be in a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ gives us hope and strength to live each day. Read John chapter 3 & 1 Corinthians as the whole 13th chapter.  

You have Meaning & Purpose.

We were born for a purpose, and that purpose is to love. To be loved by God and love God back and love other human beings. Each of us is unique and very important and much loved by God. We may want to end our life, but God wants us to live life to the full.

 If you haven’t already, give your life to Christ and wait on Him to fill you with His Holy Spirit, and you will have the passion to live out God’s purpose for your life. You will find true meaning and happiness and courage to face the most difficult of circumstances. 

Every day you will be living in God’s strength and not your own. 

Also, if you know someone who is struggling with life, pass this article to them, and pray for them. Be light in someone’s darkness today.

The real problem arises when we don’t know what to do with our troubles. We wonder how on earth do we get through this! And how do we survive this phase of mourning and not allow it to immobilize us in some way? How can we make sense of what is happening?

 This is where the 23rd Psalm helps us. As you read on, I pray that the Holy Spirit of God will minister to you and heal you in this time of grief. Psalm 23 is found in the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament). 

WHAT’S IN A NAME?

It is important to understand who God is. If really difficult to receive healing from someone you know little about. So, let’s take a brief look at the character of God.

So, who is God? There is no name for God as we understand the term to be. God is not a John or an Eric or even a Fred, for example. But what we believe are names for God are actually descriptions of God’s nature, characters, and actions.

For instance, Jehovah-Raah, which means The Lord, my Shepherd. Jehovah is translated as “The Existing One” or “Lord.” It also suggests “to become” or specifically “to become known. This denotes a God who always discloses who He is. A shepherd is the one who feeds or leads his flock to pasture (Ezekiel 34:11-15). An extended translation is “friend” or “companion.” This indicates the intimacy God desires between Himself and His people and can be understood as “The Lord, my Friend.” 

 GOD HAS NO GENDER

I refer to God as Father a lot however it does not indicate that God is a man. To be able to accept help from God. we need to trust who God is and will do what he promised us. Therefore, understanding God will benefit our faith greatly. So here we will briefly discuss who God is. God is Spirit- not a man.

People get hung up on God’s gender, but God has no gender. Why is this so important? I have found that some find it challenging to receive from God because God is a man. Past or current toxic relationships with men cause their relationship with God to become problematic. Therefore, understanding that God has no gender is especially important. 

Well, He’s a father, right? He’s a he – The concept of a genderless God can be confusing.

So let’s take a brief look and see. 

In Christianity, the Hebrew scriptures are referred to as the Old Testament. Here, God is a He. The ‘he’ simply is an allegory for His authority and creativeness. The Hebrew word he is usually not written out, but more understood from the verbal form. Then he is used as a reference to God not to be confused with the Latin HE, which refers to one’s gender.

 All the names of God in the Scripture are simply a description of his actives in creation. By this, we then understand who God is. Therefore, the is He is referring to the Infinite Being (Ain Sof), who is the creator of the universe and is above all divine names. So, God is not a he or she (Numbers 23.19-20). God is a spirit.

Jesus taught us to worship God in spirit and in truth (John 4.24). A spirit is a genderless being who is eternal, beyond time and space. God is the Alpha (the beginning) and the Omega (the end) of all things. Beyond time and space (Revelation 21:6). It is the eternal creator who lives in you by his Holy Spirit so you can succeed, “you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you” Philippians 4.13.

 We could grapple with meanings of words all day, but the vital point to grasp is that God is Yahweh, which means, I Am who I Am. It is not God’s name but describes the Eternal Divine. God in Christ is above all names, in other words, God just IS. God is past, present, and future. God is a timeless, genderless Spirit being whose essence is love.

God The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit exist as One beyond the universe or human imagination and yet present with us in our worst fears and the most profound grief. God shows himself in Christ, on earth. I know it’s mind-blowing, but that same Christ lives in you, who we call, the Holy Spirit. Colossians 1:27-To them, God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 

To place that into today’s understanding – Christ is the matrix of all that is. Christ IN YOU the hope of glory. ( the promise of beauty). How wonderful!

God is also depicted widely in Scripture as having female attributes. This is a beautiful metaphor depicting his nurturing character. We see this clearly in many scriptures, and just for an example here Deut. 32:18 “You forget the rock who begot you, unmindful of the God who gave birth to you“. Here we understand that God is not a rock, but the allegory is used to describe the steadfastness of God’s nature. Likewise, ‘he’ is also used in this way. Job knew the steadfastness of God and place his trust in this infinite being.

In my book ‘NOTHING GOOD ABOUT GRIEF: from grief to recovery’ I go into this in more detail.

 When we know who God is, we come to understand God in Jesus Christ, securing us in our journey through our darkest valley. 

You have meaning & purpose because God loves you and has a wonderful plan for a happy life.

If you want some ideas and tools to relieve and manage stress, check out the course in the top menu.

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4 WAYS SELF-LOVE CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE – For good mental health

THE TRUTH ABOUT SELF LOVE- 4 TIPS to Self-love, and why it is important  WATCH THIS VIDEO

FOR MORE ABOUT HOW TO BE SELF COMPASSIONATE FOLLOW THIS LINK- https://www.moonrosemindfulness.com/post/how-to-love-yourself-3-tips-to-mindful-self-compassion

NOW, let us LOOK AT how to have self-compassion

  1. Forgive Yourself 

Forgiveness means that you accept what has happened and your behaviour and be willing to move past it and move on with your life without worrying about things that cannot be changed. As a therapist, I learned this approach to self-forgiveness, which is also the Biblical way to forgiveness. Jesus taught us to forgive others- however- we need to forgive ourselves as well! Matthew 6:14 14For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 

The below method suggests that four key actions can help you to forgive yourself. 

The 4 R’s of Self-Forgiveness 

  1. Responsibility 
  1. Remorse 
  1. Restoration 
  1. Renewal 

Forgiving yourself is beneficial for any good mental, physical, and relationship health.  

Letting go and offering yourself forgiveness can help boost your feelings of wellness and improve your self-confidence. The act of forgiveness can also positively impact your physical health. Have you heard the expression “he’s eaten up with hate”? Science and the Bible tell us that unforgiveness can manifest itself negatively in our physical bodies. If we can’t forgive ourselves, then it will be impossible to forgive others impacting our relationships.  

  1. Remind Yourself – No more People Pleasing.  

Have you heard the expression keep your opinions to yourself? Well. That’s the philosophy I was brought up with, as were many of my generation. As a result, I became fearful of what others thought of me. To this end, I expressed no personal opinion of my own in case someone did not agree with me, and I would upset them. To avoid upset, I learned to keep my opinions to myself. Unfortunately, this led me to the weakness of people-pleasing. The problem with this approach is that one forgets what is important in their own life and tends to live ‘through’ other people’s experiences, which I sad. 

I began to observe the same behaviours in others and saw what resulted from their lives down the track. Therefore, I decided that I would no longer be a people pleaser and that my opinion does matter. After a struggle of years, much sweat, and tears, I finally rid myself of such behaviour and began to value myself. In valuing myself, I was able to love myself.  

  1. Do Things That Make you Happy. 

Someone once said, ‘you were not born to live to just pay the bills then die’. No, you are more highly valued than that! 

If you are happy, you will be more productive, motivated, and fulfilled. So when the alarm sounds, you will bounce out of bed in the morning, ready to begin ad brand new day with its challenges. However, if you are unhappy, you’ll be more likely to pull the covers over your head when the alarm sounds because you just can’t face your day. 

If you are happy within yourself, it will become self-evident. You’ll automatically spread positivity, love, and joy, and Others will notice and want to be around you. After all, who wants to cosy up to a grump? 

So, think about what makes you happy and ensure you engage with those things regularly. Don’t get so busy that you have no time to do the things you enjoy. Maintaining happiness takes effort because it is a state of mind, and then doing those things that make you happy will reinforce that attitude. 

Thank you for visiting me here; I hope this post was helpful.  

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  Virtual hugs, I look forward to your visit to my next blog post! 

  Paula Rose Parish 💕

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I look forward to your next visit here and remember…….

LIVE in HOPE, FAITH & LOVE because Your Best Life is Yet to Come! 

Paula is an Ordained Minister, Blogger, Podcaster, Course Creator, Published Author and has a Master of Arts in Counselling and many other qualifications and a lifetime so, I have heaps to share with you.

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20 Tips on How to Eat Mindfully to Stop Over Eating to Improve Health -PART ONE.

As you know, I am a big fan of Mindfulness. The reason why is that the consistent practice of Mindfulness brings to our Mind, Body & Spirit peace, health and wellbeing.

When we eat, Mindfulness comes into play because when you enjoy your food and are at peace when you eat, it aids your digestion and assimilation of your food, therefore crucial to your overall health. Mindfulness is also a great practice to stop you from overeating. This works when you get into the habit of the sensations in your mouth, throat and stomach, and notice when you feel full.

In this post, I will give you 20 Tips on how to eat Mindfully. If you are following me, you will know that this is not the whole story, of course, but a snippet from my new book about Holistic Living, which features Mindfulness and issues around mental health, that I am in the process of writing. It will be published and made available to you later in the year – so keep a lookout for that!

This article is a snippet from my new book about Holistic Living, which features Mindfulness and issues around mental health. It will be published and made available to you later in the year (2021) – so keep a lookout for that! Also, If you struggle to make self-care a priority or do not know how to start your holistic mindfulness journey, check out my course, which will be available in the Summer of 2021- subscribe free to this blog to get updates on this! I am launching another website soon dedicated to Holistic Mindfulness, so keep a lookout for that going live! Please follow me here, or subscribe to my newsletter to get your updates on this. 

WELL-HABITS

If you are busy like me, you may tend to eat on the go. We grab a bite or two wherever we can. Without thinking about it, we eat in our cars, at our desks, walking up the street or in front of the telly, and before you know it, we have polished off far more than we should have! We lament at our growing waistline or that sickly feeling that comes with overeating. 

 This approach to our meals may become a habit but is not an ideal approach to eating and may cause digestive problems. To eat mindfully, we need to develop god Well- Habits as I call them. When we develop the habit of eating mindfully, it will just come naturally without any deliberate effort. The well- habit of tuning in to all the sensations while eating will make it a more meaningful experience and be healthier for you in the long run.

Develop the habit to become aware of your bodily sensations when you are hungry and the right time to stop feeling that hunger. It’s a habit to be developed for you to become aware when you feel satisfied and had enough to eat. Practice the following TIPS in a location where you can be at peace.

TIPS

  1.  Find a quiet space and make it enjoyable. 
  2. Put your food on excellent dishes.
  3.  Use good cutlery you enjoy using.
  4.  Sit down in front of your food and take several deep breaths. 
  5. Notice the colour.
  6. Notice the shape of the food.
  7. Notice the texture – is it appealing to you? 
  8. Ask yourself, how does it smell? 
  9. Notice how the food makes you feel (excited, reminiscent, happy or anxious -other). 
  10. Notice these things as you begin eating. 
  11. Slow down, Don’t rush to eat- take it slow.
  12. Move your hand slowly toward the cutlery, being mindful of tips 1-8. 
  13. Begin to eat Mindfully.
  14. Watch your hand move the utensil toward your mouth, becoming aware of the smell and notice if you start to salivate. 
  15. Notice how your body reacts to the food near your mouth, and notice your teeth chewing the food. 
  16. Ask yourself, how is the food positioned in my mouth? Begin chewing slowly. What are the sensations in your mouth, on your tongue? 
  17. Notice what tastes you are experiencing -such as salty, sour, and sweet? 
  18.  When you swallow, become aware of the movement of your throat, and try to become aware of the food entering your stomach. 
  19. Ask yourself, can I feel it in my stomach? Is it empty, complete, or somewhere in between? 
  20. Notice when your stomach begins to feel full.

Continue to eat the meal this way, noticing as many sensations as you can.

 In a few days, my next blog post will continue How to Eat Mindfully to Stop Over Eating- to Improve health, so keep a lookout for that!

Thank you for your time. I hope this post was helpful. If it was, I would love to hear from you. Feel free to contact me and share any thoughts you may have.

If you feel you would like further support through prayer, counselling or coaching, or speaking, please contact me. Details of How to get in touch with me are found in my home page’s top menu.

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 Paula Rose Parish

How I started Journaling Mindfully and the struggles I encountered -Part One

Being Mindful means being more intentional in your choices to good mindfulness habits. As I have pointed out in my past blogs, there are also many additional physical and emotional benefits to a  Mindfulness practices

 Mindfulness practices have been researched extensively and shown to: 

· Decrease stress by lowering levels of the stress hormone cortisol. 

· Reduce rumination and overthinking. 

· Help maintains owering levels of the stress . Improve relationship happiness. (Yaaa)

· Improve memory, concentration, and performance. 

· Reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. Improve sleep. (nite, nite)

· Just as exercise habits will change your body, mindfulness habits will literally reshape your mind. (renews your mind)

· Protects against mental illness and provides natural pain relief. 

· With the repetition and consistency, mindfulness creates changes in your brain function and structure. (always a plus)

Probably one of the easiest ways to start your Mindfulness journey is through journaling. The act of reflective journaling is a way of practising Mindfulness, and It is Free!

 Mindfulness journaling is used as an intervention method because it lowers depressive symptoms, anxiety and overwhelm. Mindfulness is so easy to implement. It can be practised anywhere, and only requires your time and consistency.

Despite the ease of implementing Mindfulness, like any new habit, it can be overwhelming for beginners. Where should you start? Should you implement a daily meditation session, mindful eating, mindful exercise, or mindful walking? The answer is you should start small, with one thing at a time. Then when it becomes a Well Habit, you can move to the next thing.

In this post, I share with you how and why I started with reflective mindful journaling, and how I struggled with it at first. This is not about journaling for organising but for self awareness. This is not the whole story but a snippet from my new book about Holistic Living, which features Mindfulness and issues around mental health. I am in the process of writing it. It will be published and made available to you later in the year – so keep a lookout for that! If you struggle to make self-care a priority or do not know how to start your mindfulness journey, check out my course, which will be available in the Summer of 2021- subscribe free to this blog to get updates on this! Maybe you are at the beginning to start a habit. Regardless of where you are on your journey, I hope you will find something useful here- if so, please let me know down in the comments. 

My Struggles

I have been on this planet for a long time now in my 66 years of life. Like you dear reader, I have experienced trauma, joys and much sorrow. I am also very dyslexic, so I shied away from anything to do with writing as much I could. Through the years, I tried journaling but never was consistent with it. Due to my dyslexia, writing caused me GREAT anxiety and overwhelm. So, I would abort my efforts only after a few weeks.

Then I discovered Mindfulness, and everything changed for me. All my life, I have enjoyed practising holistic living but never really ventured into mindfulness territory. I was always busy, busy, busy, and stopping to be mindful of what I was doing seemed almost a waste of my time. 

Then one day, I escaped a very abusive marriage which caused me to be physically ill, developing bodily weakness and I became susceptible to colds and flu. The lifestyle of abuse I was under wreaked my immune system, making me feel like an old lady before my time – not only in my body but in my mind as well. I spend over a year with women’s aid and had weekly counselling. I was still working full time, and no one knew what I was going through. I am the ‘stiff upper lip type of person, which has served me well because I ‘just got on with things’ despite the circumstances. However, although I didn’t want to let that go of my stiff upper lip attitude, I had to acknowledge that being busy, busy, busy, was hindering my recovery.

Then I had an accident that ripped my shoulder, and two of the main tendons snapped. I lost the use of my arm for three months. The divorce went through, now living alone, I was trying to manage one-handed which was not easy. I prayed and cried and repeated that – a lot! I didn’t have a strategy for recovery, I was becoming an invalid and thought of taking early retirement. I lamented about my situation as I crawled up the stairs on my hands and knees. I was so weak. Of course, my tendency to ‘get on with it’ kicked in. I couldn’t allow my life to down the gurgler- or my Lord Jesus would not allow that to happen either. So, I accepted that I had to slow down. I had physically slowed down because I lost the use of my arm. I could not drive and took over 3 months off work. However, my mind was still in work mode; it had not slowed me down permanently at all. So, I surfed the web, bought books to study, researched the mind and its workings, and discovered Mindfulness. From then on, I began to practise mindful journaling and approached everything I did intentionally, including my faith. But it didn’t last. I could not grasp ‘the mindful thing’, and as my shoulder healed, I began to drive again and returned to work.

Then- 

That very same year, I was involved in two car accidents. Neither of them were my fault- thankfully! The first one happened when a bike slammed into the passage side of my car, causing me whiplash and many emotional and financial problems, which added to the trauma. It wiped out the whole side of my car, which was in the workshop for 10 days. After I got my car back, then only three days later, I was sitting at a 6-way roundabout ready to enter the motorway – WHEN – bammm!!!!

A humungous lorry slammed into the back of my newly repaired car- wiping out the back end, sending me into shock! The driver said he didn’t see me- (I didn’t believe it). Everyone was stopped, including me as we gave way to our right, and the guy didn’t see me! Anyway, my car ended up in the same shop, and I then became very ill.

 I obviously didn’t the message slowing down message through my head. Was this God speaking to me? Who knows, This situation was was what caused me to make a vow to myself and God, to slow down physically and mentally (after all I was no spring chicken any more). I asked God to help me to get a grip on this mindfulness thing because I knew that this would be my way to the lasting healing of life.

 So over time, with starts and stops, I began reflective journaling. I did it for six months straight – Amazing! I would sit down at 6am, with coffee in hand and pray, read scripture and then journal. I enjoy it, I found it helped me to get out of bed, looking forward to putting pen to paper. Its was a struggle, but happily I can tell you that the habit continues till today. the journaling habit gave me the confidence to write two books during the COVID lockdown, and I regularly write blog posts, one of which you are reading.

Well, dear reader, this is part of my mindfulness journey, I hope you enjoyed it and was of some help to you. My next post is part two; lookout for that. In that post, I will outline a few basic steps to get you started on your mindfulness journaling journey.

If you are struggling as I have, you’re in good company – just keep going!

Thank you for visiting me here, I hope this post was helpful? Then please like, subscribe or  leave a comment with any questions you may have!

 If feel you would like further support, please contact me. Details of How to get in touch is found in the top menu on my home page.

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I look forward your visit to my next blog post!

Paula Rose Parish