Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink or about your body. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?Matthew 6:25 (NIV)

My primary goal in life is to change the conversation about what it means to be healthy. (Well, not my only primary goal. World peace is also high on my list!) As important as it is, I feel passionately that our culture is overly focused on the physicaltaking 10,000 steps, eating the right fruits and vegetables, keeping our bodies fit and fine. We are body, mind, and spirit. It seems we forget what Jesus said about what is important. His Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5–7)  includes the scripture that opens this post and also these words: But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well(Matt. 6:33).

In the time that My Quiet Spaces (MQS) has been helping us find quiet time with God, we’ve been blessed with the writings of women who understand our sacred nature. As we open the new year, here are 5 posts from the MQS archive that give attention to our whole selves as I do. I do include body-stuff, nutrition, and exercise, because that is what I do, but I want to highlight how vital it is that we keep all parts of ourselves in harmony and union.

5 Basics of Handling Conflict – Patricia Wilson

There are 5 basic ways of handling conflict: taking control, working to maintain peace, working for a win/win solution, withdrawing from the situation, and giving up. Which is most like you and why? 

My thoughts: Conflict creates mental stress and tension in our bodies. Learning how to lovingly handle conflict keeps you well.

Learning to Let Go and Let God – Patricia Wilson

Maybe we have to reach a point where we realize we can do nothing about a situation. No actions that we take are going to change it. Nothing we say will make a difference. We are powerless, hopeless—desperate. And then we finally let go. 

My thoughts: Giving our problems to God allows our minds and spirits to relax, creating more wellness for our bodies. Pray and relax. God’s got you.

Praying for Others Through Contemplative Coloring – Sharon Seyfarth Garner

When I color and pray, I am better able to focus and stay centered on God. Praying with mandalas has provided a much-needed breath of fresh air to my spiritual life, creating a tangible connection between my hands, my head, and my heart. Prayer no longer feels like something I should do but something I want and love to do. 

My thoughts: Coloring helps to connect body, mind, and spirit. Praying for others adds peace and joy.

Tools for a Safe [Quiet] Space – Kristen E. Vincent

Use your journal to explore what phrase or word you want to use with the prayer beads. You may choose a question (Are you with me, God?) or a phrase (I’m afraid, Lord; comfort me.). . . .Whatever you do, use the beads to create a quiet space that will help you hear God’s words of healing. 

My thoughts: Like coloring, prayer beads make the connection between body, mind, and spirit. As your hands move, you are centered and calm. An opportunity to be still and know God.

Writing Fits into Your Journey – Jane M. Herring

Keep a journal or piece of paper with you this week. When you feel overwhelmed or rushed or disconnected, write down all the sensations of this feeling—physical, emotional, mental. 

My thoughts: Writing has been my way of releasing stress, relaxing, and renewing for as long as I can remember. Writing is my way of praying and centering. Use writing—whether poetry, song writing, or writing letters—to give yourself healing and joy.As you sit in your quiet space, also reflect on what you can do this year to add more colorful fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to your menu; on how you can meditate while you walk, climb stairs, or practice yoga; or on how joy makes life more interesting and vibrant. In 2018, begin with spiritual health, and all other things will take their proper place.

Here is an update on my growing paperwhite plant. I hope you were able to try something from the 12 days of Christmas.