New Habits

Wellness has everything to do with how we take care of our body, heart, soul, and mind. 


Here are some new habits I’ve developed over the past 5 months, which greatly improved my wellbeing:

Habits that Improved my Physical Health

I make a healthy and filling breakfast for myself every morning when I am home.

Relative to the average New Yorker, I rarely drink coffee.


Habits that Improved my Emotional Health

I sing every morning at home. Singing makes me happy.

I explore and address any unhealthy feelings I wake up with and unhealthy feelings towards others I’ve been harboring or harbored during the day or for a time and work to break that down (resentment, anger, hurt, arrogance, malice, envy, insecurity).


Habits that Improved my Mental Health

I don’t look at any social media or work emails until I finish my morning meditations regimen.

I don’t pick up my phone when I wake up. 


Habits that Improved my Spiritual Health

I read the Bible, worship, and pray every morning. It took 2 decades to desire and grow this habit, a year to develop this into a daily habit, and another 5 months to repot that firmly into the morning portion of my day.

Why add morning/more structure to my habit? 

My faith and relationship with God has become very important to me over the past couple years, and I wanted to start reflecting that in the way I spent my day and where I was placing my mental, emotional, and physical energy. No one has full control over their day or their mind, and I wanted to make sure I can give the thing most important to me a genuine attempt at my undivided attention at the very least. 


*disclaimer*

It’s actually really difficult to compartmentalize the effects of these things and I would actually say that’s not the right way to approach our wellbeing.. because in fact, every action, every repetitive action (habit) influences and bleeds its effects onto every space of our being, whether one is aware of it or not.

I’ll use as an example developing the habit of setting firm boundaries around how we use our phones. Not engaging frequently with our phone helps us focus and supports our mental fortitude, but it also helps our emotional health with not being unhealthily interested in the lives of others that we don’t know at all so we can be focused on our beautiful lives and the lives we do care about. Not using our phone frequently also helps us give our dopamine hits a break, so that our physical body and mind is not dependent on the dopamine hits of notifications, emails, and external validation. It helps my spiritual health because I’m staying in a focused mindset and attending to things that matter to me (like my faith) with more presence and with more respect. 

A large part of your happiness, lasting happiness, has to do largely with how you fill your well. Mine took a very long time to fill up, but it’s now producing so much good water and strength for me.

How does your well look right now?

On Respecting Authority or Differences in Opinions and Considering the Harm Done If We Choose Otherwise

"I met those of our society who had votes in the ensuing election, and advised them:
1. To vote... for the person they judged more worthy.
2. Speak no evil of the person they voted against, and
3. To take care their spirits were not sharpened against those that voted on the other side." 
- John Wesley, English cleric, theologian, and philanthropist
The following are questions I entertain and often, given the current climate of our country:
  • What does it mean to really respect instituted authority, respect entities, and respect individuals despite encountering drastically differing opinions, values, or personalities?
  • What does it mean for our mental and emotional states when we choose to do the opposite?
Surely the thoughts we express can be of potent criticality without adding to toxicity.
I wake up this morning desiring to understand how to do this better and authentically in all circumstance… how about you?

My Faith Grounded Musings:

Romans 13:1 on Submission to Governing Authorities

“Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.”

As a Christian, I can rationalize the validity of this command or “rule”. When one considers the grounding tenets that define Christianity, a quick survey will reveal some very constant albeit complicated narratives that frame our faith: an everpresent dance and balancing act between the subject of God’s sovereignty, having free will and its impact, and the concept of time that is not linear or as we see it according to modern physics. Following God is not about always having the answers and the whys to everything from the start (I would say I struggled with this question as a believer my whole life until maybe about last year!). Sometimes a situation requires obedience before we are able to see and understand 20/20, even with a controversial verse and command such as this that many Christians either outrightly ignore or struggle with (including myself!)

The fact of the matter though is that God’s word is God’s word. When we say we give our life over to him, we are surrendering our right to picking and parsing things we like and dislike, accept or reject, and that includes where we stand on the merits of the Bible’s commands. When one accepts the truth of the Gospel, the only requirement for being “Christian,” this implies a full and total acceptance of the Bible as the living word (Hebrews 4:12: “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”).

*For context, the word of God referred to the written or spoken word of God, and the Bible is accepted as the word of God.

“Hi Sunshine, it’s Mr. Peel!”

Artboard 2 copy 3Hi Sunshine_square format

I was catching up with Christine over ZOOM because we haven’t seen each other since the Corona Virus started hitting New York City very hard and was eating a lot of clementines.

I started making a little square mound of it while we were talking (I always find I need to do something with my hands to stay focused :D)

When my sister came over to the table to see what I’m up to, she laughed at the little mess I made and joked about it being art.

I laughed too, and then thought, “why not?”

And so I whipped up this draft for the day

My cute orange peels :). Thanks for feeding me today.

 

 

Draft 0

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March 29, 2020