My friend owned a day-spa. Seriously, this is a great friend to have. I was her guinea-pig when it came to new techniques and treatments (for free no less).
In the treatment room hung a poster: Ten Rules of Brushing. I’ve stared at that sign during facial masks, body wraps, and yes…while being waxed (something to take my mind off the pain). Reading this sign often, seeded it’s wisdom in my brain—which became a routine.
Not that it matters but some of the rules were:
- Brush your Hair – it’s relaxing, brings natural oils through your hair, and stimulates your brain
- Brush your Teeth – obvious…
- Brush your Body – dry brushing your body (before bathing) is quite good for you… some say it makes you lose weight (ehh??)
- Brush your Tongue – again kinda obvious…
- Brush your Face – nothing exfoliates better
- Brush under your Nails – for a germaphobe like me, this is another obvious
- Brush your Cuticles – doing is this with oil is the best thing for dryness
- Brush your Soles – again obvious, especially during the summer when we’re barefoot or wearing flipflops
I haven’t seen that poster years, but it has stuck with me. That’s a good thing and brushing all those things produces a positive healthy benefit in my life. If I had my way, I’d add three things at the bottom of that poster that have to do with the heart, mind, and soul.
- Exercise your Heart
- Exercise your Mind
- Exercise your Soul
And if “exercise” isn’t your thing (can’t say I blame you) then how about the words Move OR Feel. Every day we benefit by leaps-and-bounds if we Exercise—Move—Feel our Heart, Mind, and Soul.
We are used to the seeing the order of those cliché words “heart, mind, and soul.” Maybe because we’ve heard it time-and-time again in scripture as part of the greatest commandment. But when it comes to my list, SOUL takes first position.
More than anything else, every day I need to move my soul. And usually this is in solitude—be it through reading, music, prayer, art (a favorite of mine), meditation, or just sitting in nature and soaking it all in with wonder. Our souls need to be stirred. Personally, I need to activate the spiritual part of myself to feel grounded and connected. With certainty I can say that when the busy times in my life take over—where I was too task oriented and too chaotic to stop—really stop—and let my soul be moved/felt/exercised—I began to spiritually die.
So, number one priority, do something DAILY for your soul—your spirit—your connection to God and all that is much greater than we can ever understand.
Second most important part of you is your heart. I’m not talking emotional feelings—I’m talking about actually feeling your heart beat. The cardiovascular part of things.
Yes, this means exercise—and I’m not a fan of that word. Yet I know it’s so important, so I do better by thinking in terms of needing to feel my heart beat. I can feel it with a brisk walk, returning a couple of grocery carts to the “right place”, dancing, or going to the gym and doing the gym-thing.
All I know is that when I can feel my heart beating hard—then I’ve accomplished the second most important type of “move / feel / exercise” for the day.
MIND – PART I
Lastly there is your mind—and by that I mean addressing your emotions, the full range. We can’t stuff or ignoring any. Thoughts are like small children; they must be addressed, welcomed, and properly taken care of. If you don’t take care of your thoughts, then just like children—they get out of hand, unruly, and can become a mess without some loving discipline.
The hardest part can come from giving special attention to the thoughts that bring pain. But it’s also the most important. Those thoughts include: abandonment, envy, greed, anger, prolonged grief, shame, unforgiveness, and fear.
There is hardly time in this short post for me to properly cover the importance of this topic. Aside from personal coaching, I have a handful of books that I’d highly recommend. But for now, just know that we must pay attention to our minds and what we allow ourselves to think—or dwell on for longer than necessary. Especially when the thoughts are UNTRUE.
MIND – PART II – IS IT TRUE?
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things (Phil 4:8).
Some of the greatest teachers in my life on this subject have taught me to ask myself a simple question when it comes to “move / feel / exercise“ my mind (thoughts), and it is this: IS IT TRUE?
“IS IT TRUE” has changed everything for me. It has allowed me to step outside of my situation and become the therapist in the chair—rather than my woeful self on the couch.
It’s easy to feel lonely, unimportant, unloved, ashamed, stupid, inferior to others that have WAY MORE TALENT AND SKILL then you think you’ll ever have. But then I have to ask myself: is it true? And about 95% of the time I come to realize my thoughts are not true. For whatever reason we are geared to think poorly of ourselves.
Example: if I’m sick in bed and have a friend who doesn’t call/email me for two weeks, I could assume they don’t care about me. I’m worthless. Which makes me depressed, or angry, etc… I might even start to wonder what I did to make them not love me. I’m fully convinced and might begin to shame myself with a zillion little reasons why my thoughts could be true. BUT if I take time daily to observe my painful thoughts and ask, “ Is it true?” then I can usually discover the truth. Which typically is something about how my friend’s life is ultra busy, they’ve got some personal drama, yet they deeply love and wish me well. When I consider the truth it removes my painful thoughts and puts me back to focusing of what is noble, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, praiseworthy, and above all TRUE.
NEED A REMINDER?
Just like that “brush” poster I read often and it became part of my memory and routine—maybe you would like a reminder about your heart, mind, and soul. If so, I humbly offer this for you to print and place wherever you deem best.