We mostly have heard people talk about mental intelligence. Intelligence that reflects our cognitive ability to do what we want to do. Emotional intelligence has also gained popularity reflecting our emotional state needed in order to accomplish what we want to accomplish. For example, a steady emotional state helps us to stay calm under pressure. Our emotional state is also often reflected in our relationships. How well do we get along with others, especially those different from us? How well can we partner and collaborate with others to produce a successful product or outcome, whether it is at work, church, at home with family or with an organization.
Another form of intelligence is Spiritual Intelligence. Many have talked about different ways to define spiritual intelligence. However, I define Spiritual Intelligence quite simply. Spiritual Intelligence consists of four factors:
1. Our level of desire to hear from God;
2) The work that we contribute to hear from God, how often do we pray, talk to Him? How often do we meditate, listening to Him? How often do we read His Word?
3. How well do we hear from Him? What is our level of accuracy? When we think that He told us to do something, how often are we correct?
4. What is our commitment to action when we hear from Him? How obedient are we?
Our mental intelligence is only as important as our Spiritual Intelligence. Our emotional intelligence is only as significant as our Spiritual Intelligence. How important is it to do something well with great skill and steadiness if it is the wrong thing to do?
P.S. The desires of our heart and this world are fleeting, whereas whatever comes from God, whatever joy He gives to you- is forever (1 John 2:17).
We often hear people talk about the benefits of Meditation. Meditation is very beneficial:
Meditation helps you to receive guidance from God.
Meditation calms you and helps to reduce stress.
Meditation lowers the risks of many diseases including heart disease and high blood pressure
Meditation decreases the impact of ADHD on performance and behavior.
There are several benefits of meditating. However, we often discuss only one way to meditate. We often think of someone sitting with their legs crossed and their eyes closed when meditating. This is definitely a good way to meditate; closing the eyes especially helps you to relax, in addition to taking deep breaths. However, there are other ways to meditate as well.
As mentioned earlier being still in solitude is definitely a beneficial way to meditate and help you to bring peace upon yourself.
You can use God’s Word to meditate. You can select your favorite Bible verse or the Bible verse most appropriate for you in the moment to recite repeatedly in order to remind yourself, increase your faith on it or to call onto God.
You can use music to meditate. Sometimes I’ll meditate on a certain praise song several times. For example, Captain of my ship by Oleta Adams is a beautiful song that reminds me of how beautiful God’s love is and how important it is to keep Him in control of my life. The melody of the song is just as soothing as the words. Music is a very powerful tool in meditation.
You can use your body to meditate. By focusing on every part of your body you can meditate on the feeling in your toes up to the top of your head. This helps you to tune in to yourself. This type of meditation is often used when praying for healing of certain body parts unto God.
You can meditate with movement. Some people couple meditation with Yoga in order to focus on body movements as a way to center the mind and emotions. You can also use walking or running as way to meditate on your movement and center your mind and emotions.
Once you become really advanced, you can meditate doing anything. You can focus on God and being still during any part of your day, whether at work, home or in the grocery store. Meditating is exercising the muscles of your mind, spirit and emotions.
P.S. Be still and know that He is God. Psalm 46:10
The Dangers of Multi-Tasking
Often, we think that we are saving time when we multi- task. We see it as being productive, when we really are less effective and successful at what we are doing. We are spreading our efforts across many and taking out the best of all of them.
The other day, I caught myself feeding my baby while watching television and working on the computer, all at the same time. I found my energy feeling tension and confusion and realized that I was doing too much.
When we multi-task, we are telling God that He has not given us enough time to get what we need. Clearly, God has given me all that I need. So I need to be more appreciative of that when allocating my time.
When we multi-task, we are hurting ourselves.
1. We are cluttering our minds and making it more difficult to hear God’s regular messages to us. We’re saying to God, “We got this.” We take control at doing our millions of things while we drown Him out.
2. Secondly, we are not enjoying the moment. We need to stop and smell the roses. We cannot do that if we’re speeding by the roses, honking and blasting loud music all at the same time. I was ashamed when I realized that I was doing so much while feeding my new little one, not taking that moment to enjoy the miracle that God has provided. We must assess what is important for us to do and do it and get rid of the unimportant distractions. In that moment, my baby was hunger so clearly that was the activity of importance. Watching TV and doing whatever on the computer clearly could wait.
3. We risk making dangerous decisions when we multitask. We think that the hundreds of decisions that we make each day are small decisions, where to eat, what to eat, with whom to eat, what to wear… When we have no idea, in fact, how one “small” decision will become a large decision and lead to something else. They are not small decisions, but in fact quick decisions. That is why it is important to pray without cease, to constantly listen to God for direction. He may tell you not to have lunch with person who may want to do you harm. Or He may tell you to wear yellow on that day because you’re going to meet the love of your life whose favorite color is yellow. When we hear from God often, every message doesn’t make sense to us, nor does it need to do so. However, we need to listen. Multitasking makes that very difficult.
P.S. “It is useless; it is like chasing the wind. It is better to be satisfied with what you have than to always want something else.” Ecclesiastes 6:9
There comes a time, for most of us, many times, when we look at our lives and realize that something is just not right or something needs to be realigned. We realize that something is missing or we are doing too much of something that is taking too much of our time. Ultimately, we realize that whatever is wrong, whatever is misaligned, needs to be evaluated and corrected in order for us to fulfill our greatest achievements and efforts in life for today and the subsequent future.
I want to talk about five steps to obtaining holistic renewal in our lives. There are many elements of our lives that when they are misaligned, they negatively interfere with the other aspects of our lives. The five elements that I want to discuss today include our mind the mental area, our spiritual area and relationship with God, our physical area including what we intake and what we exert also known as diet and exercise, and our social area also known as our relationship with others. If any of these areas are messed up or off- balance it will affect other areas.
Let's talk about the first step. Our mental makeup is considered by most to be the ultimate navigation for everything that we do. I do know that it is a large influence on everything that we do. It is important that the intentions that we have in our minds are aligned with the actions that we take and the decisions that we make. It is important that our energy focus remains consistent with the goals that we have decided in our mind. If we do not take the time, effort, and energy to place intentions in our minds and make decisions regarding those intentions we will be very confused and live very passive, disoriented, unorganized, and possibly dysfunctional and low achieving lives. So the first step in holistic renewal is to review our intentional life goals. If we cannot identify our intentional life goals then that means that we need to develop such intentional goals for our lives, which may include placing intention toward where we are already giving our energy and efforts. Our intentions should be aligned with how we spend our time and give our energy.
The second step for holistic renewal is to conduct a spiritual inventory of ourselves. We can do this by asking ourselves certain questions and exploring our responses. How is our relationship with God currently? When was the last time that we spoke with him? When was the last time that we listened to God? How often do we speak to God? How often do we listen to God? When was the last that we took the effort to thank God and show our gratitude for what He has given us? Other important questions include: how authentic are we living our lives? Does the way we spend time align with what we claim to be the important priorities in our lives? Do we do what we say is important to do? Do we refrain from doing what we say is important for us not to do? Are we honest with others regarding what is important to us? Regarding what we do? Does our character, our regular habits reflect what we believe that they should reflect? Do we have the right balance in our lives? Are we placing the right value on people and things in our lives, in the right order?
The third step is to take an inventory of our physical intake. That is referring to our diet, what we normally eat. Many people have different rules regarding what they choose to eat on a regular basis. Some people eat whatever and whenever their heart and emotions desire. Some people do not eat meat. Some people do not eat certain types of meat, for example beef or pork. Whatever physical intake/ diet you choose should align with the goals that you choose for your life. For example, if you need eat 500 more calories than your body needs, your goal should be to have a heavier physical package. If you choose to eat 500 fewer calories a day than your body physical makeup needs, then your goal should be to have a physical makeup that is malnourished and lacking full strength and energy. There are health risks when under eating and/or overeating. When we make a decision to do either one, we are saying that we accept the health risks associated with our respective choices.
There are many types of food to eat, including meat protein, non- meat proteins, vegetables, fruit, starches, refined carbohydrates, fiber, milk products and other types of foods. It is important to be aware of how these different types of foods affect our body. There are general benefits and cons to eating any of these and definitely cons to eating too much. Every person's body is different. Therefore, some of our bodies are more sensitive to some of these foods than others. Some of us may even be allergic to some of these foods. It is important to observe and study how your body reacts to these different foods so that you know the best way for you to eat and how much of them. What balance of foods gives you the most energy? What balance of foods gives you the body makeup that is healthy for you?
The fourth step of holistic renewal is taking inventory of our physical exertion. How often do we exercise? Some people need to exercise three times a week. Some people need to exercise five times a week. Some people need to exercise for an hour a day. Some people need to exercise for 30 minutes a day. It is important to exercise and sweat. It helps to build physical strength, energy and endurance; it helps to clean out toxins from our bodies. It also helps us to maintain healthy emotional balance by increasing endorphins that give us positive energy and feelings.
The fifth step to holistic renewal is to review our relationships. What relationships do we currently have in our lives? What are our relationships at home, work environment, church, extended family, friends, and civic organizations? When we think of the people and organizations, with which we have relationships, how do they make us feel? Do they help us to achieve our intentional goals? How important are our relationships to us? Do we contribute and give our best in our relationships? Do we receive appropriately in those relationships? We should be able to rank the importance of our relationships among the individuals and organizations of our lives. When we look at our relationships, we should be able to identify how they can be improved. Is there something that we should do to contribute more? Should we request more from our relationships? We should make the best effort to make our high priority relationships the best.
In completing our five steps of holistic renewal, we must make sure our mental and spiritual goals are aligned. We should review all elements of our lives and make sure that they align with our mental and spiritual goals. We must ensure that our focus and intent is aligned with what we believe that we should be doing. This renewal process is not a once in a lifetime exercise. This renewal process should be reviewed with some regularity. It should definitely be reviewed when you know that your life is not achieving what you believe that it should be achieving. We must make a continuous effort to be in tune with ourselves.