Soul Care Retreat 2017 | Christian Yoga Retreat

9th September 2017 marks a very special milestone for me. It was the first ever retreat hosted by Holy Yoga Australia. It was a Spirit-led, God-breathed success that brought His people together to gather and steep into the goodness of our Heavenly Father. It was a chance for those whom were seeking spirituality to meet Jesus on their yoga mat. It was a dream come true for me.

Who would have known that 3 years ago (back in 2014) when I was yearning for a deeper relationship with Jesus and struggling with how the love of the benefits of yoga could complement my faith journey, that I was capable of leading a spiritual yoga retreat? In the space of 3 years, the Lord has led me into deserted places of loneliness to reflect and grow, and risen me to be the forever young leader in front of crowds like this retreat. And for the opportunities and lessons, I am immeasurably grateful.

The many lessons learned in co-creating and collaborating with the co-hosts of this retreat have been precious. From its inception from a bold and visionary Holy Yoga leader in San Francisco, to the many fears of logistics, turnout, funds, sponsorships…the Lord has proven us unfaithful yet mercifully provided. The number of times, we cried out to the Lord together because the 4 of us couldn’t agree nor connect at the same time. The number of times, our faith withered at the thought of financial challenges. The number of times we put ourselves before the Lord and our fellow co-hosts. How many “number of times” can actually happen within a 2 week planning period??!!!

YET. Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to work through all of our challenges and strengthened us.

To detail the challenges that each of us were all going through in our own lives is pitiful. But in the midst of the planning, every bit of our every day lives were real. 3 of us were going through home moves (interstate relocation, even), 1 of us was living on the other side of the world. 2 of us were going through significantly changes in our professional work lives. While all 4 of us had family to look after. Sure, we all have such challenges but I would like to think that it’s not every day that we move residences nor change jobs. As pitiful as it is, it was real and I honour each of us that through the tough season, we were able to stretch ourselves further for God’s work and ministry. This, is the very heart of our ministry. Sacrificial love. If love gave only when easy, that it isn’t sacrificial.

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So what about the actual day?

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,” ‭‭~ Ephesians‬ ‭3:20

“Wow, just wow.” This has become my favourite expression.  Because words can not describe what the Lord brought to us.

Holy Spirit was present. The people He brought to the place was providence. We knew that each soul and being that we had been praying for was the fruit of love and faith. We knew that our work was done and it was the moment to hand over to the Lord to speak words over these faithful people who had been led here. We knew that this was a sacred space for these people to meet Jesus on their mats. We knew that this was the time to let the Holy Spirit take over all of us. And all that was done in His name.

It was Christ-centred yoga.
It was Community.
There was grace and there was strength.

We all learned to live beyond ourselves in that space.
The fire and water ceremony and heart circle was divine. I sensed that most of us had something deep to surrender and may we continue to do so. I sensed that there was yearning in the room to reach into this world, and be part of a community where we can serve and have purpose. I believe the heart circle was such a reminder.

I am still in awe of the power of the Lord and the privilege I have had to host this event.

I pray that the hearts He has spoke to will continue to open and soften to His voice. I pray that the next retreat will be equally successful in that He will provide as He did and grow us deeper yet still.

Lord, I love you.  Friends, I love you.

Let us build this Kingdom of love together through the unity of the Spirit.
Last but not least, when I speak of provision, our sponsors are those gracious hearts who didn’t hesitate to serve His Kingdom, our community and bless our retreatees. Deep gratitude to each and every one of you. May you reap what you sow.

SPONSORS:
1. Alyssa Mak – Alyssa Mak, Pilates & Yoga Instructor
2. Christian Women in Business – Sarah Jane-Meeson, Founder
3. Luxe Mane Salon – Lily, Hairstylist & Owner
4. Mums With A Mission – Cath D, Founder
5. Quit the Quick Fix – Kate Thompson, Founder
6. Salt + Glow – Roxy, Founder
7. SheSeeks.com.au – Joanne Tweedie, Founder & LifeCoach

Thank you to the lovely Sugar Apple Studio for allowing us this beautiful space.

Thank you to our wonderful creative video partners from Carbon Lily who poured this soul and energy beyond what we had expected, in His name.

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Throw Away Your Health Goals, please!

Have you ever:
1. said to someone, “I’m on a diet”?
2. typed this into Google “how to lose weight in 5 days..”

Google Search -Lose Weight

3. have you looked at Before and After photos and thought, “yeah, I want to try that workout.”?
4. have you wished you enjoyed working out or was more athletic like that girl back in high school?

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of them, then we have something in common and in this post I want to share with you something that changed my life.  I talk about it a lot in themes of my blog but probably not enough.

It’s literally throwing away setting ‘health goals’. It’s veering away from ‘I can do it’ with willpower.  It’s replacing this model of being a ‘goal-kicking achiever’ to being ‘willing’.  And then? No, ‘and then..’.   Yup, that’s it.  Just being ‘willing’.

This was how I started my talk at a recent workshop – Vision Casting & Life Strategies run by Fideliz Cruz.

I vividly recall the look in the audiences faces as I introduced this new concept of not having to ‘rely on your own willpower’  (not ALONE anyways) and replacing this concept with ‘faith’ and ‘willingness’.  There were confused faces, skeptical faces and raised eyebrows.  Until I showed them this….and then people were interested in what changed my life.

WillingnessOverWillpower

The left was when I was pregnant (I tried to find photos of post-pregnancy but I couldn’t find any. Surprise! And frankly it doesn’t make a difference because I looked practically the same) and the right was when my first born was 1 years old.

I was filled with willpower to lose my 25 kilos.  And I did it.  You see, I eat willpower for breakfast.  In fact, it’s my biggest enemy.  Because of this false sense of security, aka willpower, I have suffered from bulimia, anorexia, depression, anxiety and ended up in hospital many times in my life.  But at least twice for suicidal attempts.

My experience has told me that ‘willpower’ and kicking ‘health goals’ doesn’t sit quite right.  I’m sure some can relate, and others are like, “I kinda prefer to have your willpower.” And perhaps you sit on the other end of the spectrum, where you dream of your goals and never seem to be able to achieve them.

This is where I fault the system.  Relying on willpower sucks.

Willingness, on the other hand, is powerful.  It’s not judgemental.  It’s kinder.  It fits well for those who kick goals and those who don’t do so well with goals.  Either ways, we’re trying.  You can’t fail if you’re still trying, right?

Now, of course the questions is then, willingness to ‘what?’   I can’t answer that question for you but it must be something that is greater than your own being.  It must be sustainable.   Mothers can relate to this easily.  You are willing to sacrifice your needs for your children.

For me, it’s surrendering my willpower to control, to change things, to do things in My plan, My time,  My will ….to God.  You saw it coming, didn’t you?

Yup, here I am preaching again.  And get this.  I do it not because there is any specific gain.  It’s not a goal I’m kicking.   I preach because my life has changed since I’ve really picked up the cross and followed Jesus.  And I passionately feel it to share with you.

I’ve realised that He loves me in whatever shape, size or form I am.  He loves me no matter how many goals I kick or not.  There is no scoreboard.  In fact, because He loves me so much, it doesn’t matter if I put on a kilo or two every now and then.  He teaches me about balance and learning to love my body so that I am WILLING to treat my body with love and care.  Bring on a juice detox and do it with joy! Bring on a degustation and eat it with joy!  If you turn your eyes on Him, you’ll KNOW how important it is to stay healthy.

With this new lifestyle, I’m so thankful that my Vision is clear and my Lifestyle Strategy is rooted in a good place.  Everything I do, I turn my eyes to God and really trust in His health plan for me.  Not my own.

Today, if you’re wondering whether you could explore something different for your health goals, take time to ponder this verse from the Bible:

“For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit,”  ~ Romans 17:14

Further to this, a genuine feeling of emptiness can sometimes be real and needs attention, too. Read more here.

 

The Bold & The Beautiful

This month of February 2016, my ministry’s theme is being BOLD and being BEAUTIFUL.

What do those words mean to you?

 In the past, being BOLD to me meant having a strong opinion on something; standing so firm on a worldly view and being ready to engage in rigorous debate over the topic.  Since growing my relationship with Jesus, BOLDNESS means something very different. It’s a very subdued steadfastness that doesn’t involve any quarrelling, debating, revolutionary ideas, attempting to make a difference in societal matters, highly controversial social-economical subjects. Being bold simply means standing firm in my faith and delivering the gospel in a peaceful and steadfast way with prayer and hope that those who hear of the a Good News can have an opportunity to learn about salvation. With this new definition, I have found so much liberation. I am no longer a slave to the worldly views or comparisons of society.  Now that I’ve had a taste of this freedom, ‘freedom of speech’ seems an oxymoron to me.

My boldness is rooted in the Word:

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, first to the Jews and then to the Gentiles.” ~Romans‬ ‭1:16‬ ‭NIV

 As for BEAUTY. Modern society has really distorted the definition of beauty. There is much talk and campaigning about true beauty found in the heart and not from the looks but I wonder why cosmetic surgery (not for trauma but for enhancement) is the fastest-growing in the medical field. How often do I hear friends talk about ‘botox’ and preserving one’s looks but neglect to mention how to preserve one’s soul. I, admittedly, have to remind myself every morning, when I look into the mirror, that true beauty is not found in merely what the eye can see.  I am so thankful that I have Christ in me to give me such joy and save me from captivity of idolising my body and outward appearance.

Again, I turn to the TRUTH and this is what God has to say about ‘appearance’.  In His eyes, we are all good enough and we are all beautiful because we are wonderfully and fearfully made in the image of the perfectly, beautiful God.

But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” ~ 1 Samuel 16:7

Jerusalem Cross Meaning | All The Way from Jerusalem

A prized possession from dear cousin returning from Jerusalem – A hand-made Jerusalem Cross (aka Crusaders’ Cross). The best Christmas gift… Thank you! 🙏🏻

The Jerusalem Cross has also been accepted to be an unofficial symbol of Christian Deism. It contains memory helps that point to twenty words that paraphrase the statements that Jesus used to describe the essence of his message. The 20 words are: “There is one God. I will love God with all my heart and love all others as I love myself.” — [Source : Wikipedia.com]