Mini Yoga Learnings | WIP

WIP – Work-In-Progress

Working on improvement but that's what life is, right? A work in progress.

Earlier this week, I had the most relaxing and positive start. God spoke Hebrews 12 over me and at that point, I thought I knew what He meant. Then a series of events turned the emotional needle the opposite direction. Now I ponder over Hebrews 12 and have a more profound perspective. Just when you think you know… What can I say? Life is a constant WIP. Yoga is a great reminder of that.

“Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father?” ~ Hebrews‬ ‭12:7‬ ‭NIV

Advertisements

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.

 

Living My Dream in Kids Ministry

 

From a young age, I’ve been blessed with a gift of teaching and a way with kids.  Most kids get along with me and I them.  It’s something that I’m very grateful for.

Growing up, I’ve volunteered at Child Care centres, youth groups and most recently assistant helping with kindergarten and school kids at my son’s school.

Last year, I was given an opportunity to be employed by the Kids Ministry at my church.  It was a tough decision but I turned it down, feeling that the time wasn’t right.  I knew that God will call again if that was His plan.

This year, I am honoured and take pleasure in re-visiting this dream.   Not in an employment capacity but to serve Him when I can.

Kids.  They are our future.  They are the responsibilities that God has given us to grow His Kingdom.

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. ~Psalm 127:3

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth. ~ 3 John  1:4

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. ~Proverbs 22:6

You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. ~Deuteronomy 6:7

All your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children. ~ Isaiah 54:13


But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” ~Matthew 19:14

 

 

 

Dealing with Frustration in Ministry Work | Holy Yoga

Let every preacher take note: Amid the frustrations and hardships of ministry, the most Christ-like thing is to stay focused on your calling, give thanks to God, and go on preaching the Gospel.”  ~ Joel Beeke

11053186_158476034495588_1055598166441986455_nNehemiah no doubt faced many long nights filled with the temptation to quit. Sometimes the calling God has placed on us seems far too costly. But the absolute best thing we can do is keep our eyes fixed on Jesus with grateful hearts. So let us join together today in praising His Name, wherever we each may be in this life of doing ministry for Jesus.

Thank you, Holy Yoga Ministries, for supporting us Holy Yoga Instructors every step of the way.

Halfway there. So close yet so far away | Holy Yoga Journey

 For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you. (Romans 1:11, ESV)

I’m more than halfway through immersion and this week, I’m flying out to Minnesota to finish off my training at retreat. 

This training is everything and more that I had wished for.  As my husband would say, “Many can only dream about such experience and discerned calling from God. What a huge blessing.” Indeed. 

I had wanted to post a lot more regularly about my progress but, as our teacher had warned, this program is full on! Since immersing myself into the training, daily priorities had to shift.  I’ve had days where the dirty dishes had to wait ( yes, very difficult to do but remembering “eyes on Jesus” being the focus of the immersion made it easier ). Let alone keeping up blog posts!

In the past 6 weeks, every weekday morning has been religiously dedicated to bible study and holy yoga practise.  I’ve made a conscious effort to use pen and paper for my journalling instead of reaching for their digital counterparts, such as Evernote. I’ve resorted to the digital bible already, so I think using or and paper for journalling is a happy compromise. Low and behold, it definitely helps with calming the mind and structuring thoughts. Perhaps I should use pen and paper more often.

I found my daily journalling to be very grounding. I was talking to a friend about it the other day and here’s how I described it, 

“You know what I’ve realised? It’s really hard to be a bad person when you have to read the bible every morning and immerse yourself in His Word.  You can be angry overnight, woke up on the wrong side of bed even. But when you quieten down and meditate on the Word in the morning, all of yesterday’s anger/sorrow is disolved and you start your day renewed, filled with energy and love.” 

It’s amazing how God touches you. You only need to try a little and He does most of the work for you. He is so faithful.

Combining my scripture journalling with the holy yoga practise is just powerful. You’ve just poured yourself with the living water mentally, then you move on to a physical devotion and meditation to worship Jesus on the mat. What better way to start each day!

My connection with God has been strengthened far more than I could ever imagine since starting my Holy Yoga journey.  I once thought that I was one of those ‘logical people’ who would be able to digest the Scriptures in a pragmatic, matter-of-fact way, allowing me to live out the deeds through the knowledge. No, God has proven me wrong. The Scriptures are very personal, as it is and should be. It is a personal revelation and experience that once you have experienced, you will feel.  Not just ‘know‘. You will FEEL

Some days I sit back and wonder how I could have done what I have done in the past 6 weeks – managing 2 kids, running the household and having all the energy to dedicate to the Holy Yoga training.  I tell you, none could be done without God’s grace. And everything can be achieved in His glory. 

Thank you, Father. Thank you, Jesus for calling me into this path. 

It has been wonderful.

Now that I am nearing the end of the course, I have mixed emotions of excitement and anxious on what the next steps will look like.  It feels like the end is near yet it is only the beginning. Lord, I need not fear because I know that You called me into this. I just need to trust. 

Next week I’m off to the U.S., transitting through LA to Minnesota. I can’t wait to see what the Lord has planned for us at retreat. I can only imagine all good things!

P.S. I’ve registered for the Therapy Program! Very exciting news and yes, another year of study ahead of me. I’ll save story this for another post. 

Love, Josephine xx

Holy Yoga | Son Series Challenge

This is one of my first social media challenges… You know the ones where you have to hashtag the challenge name? My friends have tried to lure me to do food ones or a-photo-day ones in the past, but I’ve avoided them because of the level of commitment required. I mean, a photo a day! That’s quite a lot of work, which frankly, I have prioritised to do other stuff. 

With this Holy Yoga one, though, it comes timely as it started together with my instructor immersion training. It couldn’t have come at a better time.  Not only did it help me breakdown each pose and encouraged me to learn more about my own anatomy. Most importantly, it made me practise the discipline of daily devotionals and meditation. I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it.

The biggest learning for me was to genuinely “let things go” when they aren’t perfect. With each day and each pose, I got better at it. 

“I have seen a limit to all perfection, but your commandment is exceeding broad.” (Psalm 119:96, ESV)

Each pose was a breakdown of the Holy Yoga Son Series C and the final project was to produce a quick video with a personalised flow.  The photos were mostly taken inside my own home or in the neighbourhood. How blessed I am to live in a city where I can just walk out and be in the great outdoors.  Thank you, Lord, for everything you bless me with. 

  
And here’s my final project for this challenge below!  

Purpose vs Call in Life vs Calling

 Is there a difference between our Purpose, Call in Life and Calling?

As we prepare ourselves for the Holy Yoga Ministry, our first session focussed on establishing the difference between our Purpose, Call in Life and our Calling.

This session was led by Brooke Boon, founder of Holy Yoga.  She highlights the importance of understanding and differentiating the 3.

For those of you who are also interested in how we can articulate this differentiation, have a go first! Below is my version as part of my reflections from my first Holy a Yoga class. 

So, what is the difference?

Our Purpose – To glorify God, to do all things in His honour and praise Him. 

But for this purpose I have raised you up, to show you my power, so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth. – Exodus 9:16

To have a relationship with God and do all things in His glory. To glorify Him. 

Our Call in Life – The Divine invitation to embrace salvation.

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, – Ephesians 1:7  

Not to be confused with our ‘calling’, our call in life is accepting Jesus Christ as our saviour and following His walk in life. No one can make this ‘call’ other than our King above; or through His chosen authorities. God’s dominion alone. We do nothing here but simply ‘respond’. We do not have any dominion over others’ acceptance of Christ but to serve our calling and walk with Christ. 

Our Calling – Serving Him and surrendering into God’s authority. The Christian walk.

I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, – Ephesians 4:1-2

This is our serving, or our response to our Call in Life. Our calling is our expression of glorifying of God and doing His work as he pleases.  It is the Hebrew answer, “Hineni” meaning “Here I am”.  God’s calling may not always be obvious if you have not encountered His revelation. But trust in Lord and do everything in the name of Christ, for that can be your simplest form of fulfilling your calling.

Amen? Amen. 🙏🏼