How to be a Minimalist.

Loss and  Downsizing have been married for years sewing seeds of chaos in hearts around the world!  Seeing their destruction,  they set out to heal wounds and ease the pain of those affected by giving birth to MinimalismI’ve bought into the movement recently with a full-scale launch attacking each room and weeding out books, clothes, sentimental junk..etc. My experience so far has been proof I don’t know how to let go. While weeding out books to donate, I kept a book just because of the smell- a musty mix of ink and time perfectly blended. Looking over at bags for donation or dumpster, I thought about where my treasure really is: in heaven or on earth? I thought about what matters to me most.

Minimalism’s core isn’t tossing out all your treasured belongings. You’re eliminating the physical manifestations that success is how much you have. Another personality trait to describe minimalism is how counter-cultural its views are. Instead of success being a new car minimalism suggests we clean the car we have and get new speakers. Easy ways to enhance while saving you the headache of a car loan. Not distracted by an ever-changing standard of happiness, our treasure in heaven is easier to invest in. Kindness, love, peace, and joy are easier to express when we’re not striving to afford what we know we can’t afford.  This doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy life! It just means let God be God in your life and not things.

Here are few ways to start living like a minimalist:

  1. Do a monthly inventory.
  2. Start a donate box.
  3. Track your spending every week.
  4. Start a gratitude journal.
  5. Do a social detox.
  6. Plan your weekends ahead of time.
  7. Clean out apps from your phone you don’t use.
  8. Start slowly with “quality over quantity “as your motto.

How have you embraced Minimalism in your life?  Let me know via social media or leave a comment by clicking the link at the top.

Blessings and Peace-Randa 🙂

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Why Clutter is Killing You

Besides obvious clutter around our homes, there is hidden clutter– messes even the neatest of neat freaks miss every day. These messes are chameleons blending into our routines and hiding right under our noses. No, it’s not dirty dishes or that box of old clothes, it’s your thoughts, fears, and the illusions you cast around yourself while you suffer behind the curtain. Clutter of the soul and mind derail us just as we think we’ve cleaned our spiritual house.We can keep repeating the vicious cycle or let God step in.

Sadly, we only notice a relationship in trouble after a fight, not before. We only notice were out of storage right as we go to take a perfect photo. You see where I’m going. Why should you care? The answer is simple: true happiness and peace of mind. Small is big when it comes to being outrageously happy and that means you must know yourself as well as a human can. Allowing deep-seated issues to clutter up your life leads to regret; regret chains us to our past, stealing our futures.

 In Christ, we are new creations not burden with the sin debt of our past. Our future is wide open, filled with second chances and yet we still don’t understand how the transformation works. To stop living in illusion we have to be changed from the inside out. Imagine inside all of us is a vast landscape filled with, aptly called, inner demons that taunt and goad us to admit defeat. In response, we hold on white knuckled generating an outer image of “okay” and “at peace” when we are far from either.

Dispelling illusions are easy as were not alone. God is aware of every need you have and every issue you have. Nor will He manipulate you because of your sin because He longs to be close to us, to heal us. To have a deeply committed relationship with us. His thoughts about you are all love and wanting to heal you of any hurts because small is big.

Blessing and Peace-Randa 🙂

Top 4 Yoga Poses for Meditation

Downward Facing Dog

There’s nothing like a full body stretch to start your day or your daily meditation. Engaging your shoulders for support with the legs anchoring down creates balance to center your mind with gentle movement.  With just enough core work downward facing dog expends excess energy that can make us jittery when meditating.

How-to: Come on to all fours with wrist under shoulders and knees under hips. On an exhale raise hips to ceiling, palms firmly planted with no pressure on the wrist. Bend the knees if you need too. Don’t allow shoulders to meet with your ears, instead slide shoulder blades down.

Upward Facing Dog

Loosen and relieve tension in you back while opening your heart to all possibilities and words of wisdom God has for you as you meditate.  We sit hunched over our desks, dinner tables, and steering wheels all day closed off from the world waiting to lock ourselves away. Break out of your shell for just 5 minutes a day with an open heart and, who knows, you may find yourself overwhelmed with joy. 

How-to: Lay flat on your belly with your wrist still under your shoulders, elbows pointing back toward your hips. On an exhale, push up with your hands planted firmly into the ground. Don’t allow shoulders to meet with your ears, instead slide shoulder blades down. Don’t allow your behind to stay clenched as it will put pressure on your lower back and limit the heart opening quality of the pose.

Cat/Cow

You will be working more kinks out of the spine here, but the focus will be on linking your movement to your breath. Losing awareness of our breath in meditation allows our focus to drift from our intention. You can even do a modified version of Cat/Cow in the car and at work when you need a meditation break. 

How-to: Begin as you would for previous poses’.  With each inhale, arch your back. With each exhale, round the spine and pull in your belly for some light core work- if your up for some adventure bring your left knee in to meet your nose. Repeat on the right side to stay balanced.

Wide-Angle Seated Forward Fold

Simply put, this pose is all about surrender. Surrendering our past hurts, betrayals, and whatever else to the will of a loving God. In our time with Him, we come so burdened down by life that we forgot how blessed we are. In Wide-Angle Seated Forward Fold, we put our bodies into action instead of just entertaining the idea of what surrender means. Give all you are to Christ and you won’t be disappointed. Scared, yes, but not disappointed.

How-to: From a seated position, create a wide space by separating your feet in opposite directions.  With a deep inhale bring your arms above your head and lean forward leading with your heart. You can stay here or reach out to grasp your feet for a deeper hip opener.

Happy meditating!

Blessings and Peace-Randa:)

Photo is from UnSplash.com and taken by Tim Marshall

Escaping Discouragement

Ever feel like a crazy guy living in a bomb shelter thinking the government is out to get him? This is how I see being discouraged: trapped and paranoid. Allowing these feelings to persist taints everyday life keeping us from progressing into our best selves. Although discouragement is a natural part of life not taking action to snap out of a trapped mindset will keep us in the bomb shelter.  And just like a doomsday prepper, gear up mentally and physically to fight off the evil effects of discouragement.

Realize your part in the discouragement

A pattern is great for a skirt or fancy suit, but knowing our personal patterns on how we deal with discouragement is crucial. No matter how tempting it is to say “It’s not my fault!” we do have a role in allowing discouragement set in. Maybe jumping into a challenge we know were not ready for at work, getting back with an ex who hurt us, or giving unmerited advice to a friend. Think back to a time when a habit caused you to be discouraged when the outcome wasn’t what you expected. Better yet, what habits caused someone you love to be discouraged because of how you responded or not responded.

Start a list of what is right in your world

List everything that encouraged you from past experience, inspiring quotes and verse’s, and awards you’ve won. Any event or memory that uplifts you. Recite God’s promises regarding what has discouraged you out loud as to dispel bad energy. I do this by thinking about what I have accomplished and what has happened in my favor. My favorite verses to say out loud is who God says I am, not who I say I am.

Don’t Dwell, Get Moving

Take a walk, do yoga, anything that gets you physically moving: STOP thinking about your discouragement! Focusing on your discouragement will lead to rapid growth of a virus programmed to halt your progress of becoming who God made you to be. Have a to-do list you’ve been avoiding? A bathroom needing cleaning? Start there! By completing your to-do list you have a whole list of positive achievements to focus on. Using active movement manifests in the spiritual world a weapon of mass destruction to breaks deadly chains. 

What methods do you use to prop yourself up? Let me know in the comments below.

Blessing and Peace-Randa 🙂

How to Make Meditation not Boring

blog-postIs your meditation  practice is putting you to sleep? Don’t think your not  any good or give up. Remember, every healthy lifestyle habit gets old. Encourage yourself by referring back to your journal to  keep you accountable and reignite that spark; recall those Aha! Moments. For ideas on keeping your practice alive keep reading. Also leave a  comment below how you spice up your practice, I’d love to hear from you!

  • Guided Meditations or  Audio Devotionals

If silence is  becoming louder than the atom bomb or you need a jumping board try audio mediations. I love to use these when I’m not able to sleep and my brain won’t stop screaming at me about the task awaiting me tomorrow. An audio guide is perfect because there are hundreds on any topic you want. Also, most guided meditations are free-try Youtube, Podcast, and apps.

  •  Start with Exercise

Sometimes sitting down to meditate first only increases our unspent energy. Go for a run, try vinyasa yoga, or lift weights to create room for calm reflection. Even combine yin yoga with your meditation so you get the benefit of stretching while centering you mind. I find moving meditations to be great ways to relax after working all day or on the weekends when I have more time since in yin yoga you are holding poses longer.

  • Invite Family and Friends to Join

Life is better when we can share our experiences with others, so why not share our meditation practice? Teach mom, dad, partner, and friends how mediation has helped you. Think of it as a way to bond.

  • Tea Infusion

  Hand mudras and their meanings can be a hassle if all you can think about if  your pinkie is where it should be. Tea is the fix you need: using a tea mug that has lid is ideal as burning yourself is not fun. Use a tea that has a scent that wakes you up and at night to help you sleep is a great way to combine two healthy habits.

  • Any combination of the above!

I pray this gives some ideas and I look forward to hearing some of your own.

Merry Christmas!- Randa 🙂

4 Easy Steps to Start a Meditation Practice

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Welcome to Meditated Faith! I am glad you stopped by to learn about this amazing tool that transforms lives. But before we begin let me explain what meditation is: Meditation helps us clear the mind and create space to reprogram the brain to work more effectively so we can make decisions that align with our intentions and relationship with Christ. Keep reading to find out how.

  • Pick a Time.

Because we lead so many different lives it is vital you pick a time that suits your life and needs. Instead of feeling frustrated when starting a mediation practice be open to trial and error. Remember to enjoy mediation instead of treating it like a to-do list item to check off. Think of it as a mini-vacation and visualize a calming image.

  • Journal.

Like dreaming, mediation presents to us the landscape of our minds for us to observe without judgment so we may make needed changes or reveal a truth.  Using a journal to track you observations will make reflection easier. It helps to write our prayers as they are not just whispered words with no substance, but are  now a formal request.

  • Pick a Posture.

Search for mediation postures and you will find a whole list of them. Try a few various postures to find the one that works for you because if your tense or your knees you won’t reap any benefits. Try laying down  for a night mediation to help you sleep or walking if you sat at a desk all day. Whatever works for you will only increase you desire to make mediation a habit which is the goal.

  • Have Patience

Starting this journey deeper into your faith and your relationship with Christ will require patience because it goes against modern culture along with our overactive minds. Mediating helps us “take captive” negative thoughts we want to change because we are taking the time to observe them which leads to us being aware of the danger they represent.  Remember, change doesn’t happen overnight.

To help you get started applying the above information here is a simple practice:

Pray as you normally would then, state your intention out loud. It can be “I will be fearless.”, “I will walk in peace and joy today.”,  or ” I will embrace open doors God puts in front of me.” These are just examples, feel free to include those you’re praying about in intention statements as well.

Next, Sit comfortably in a chair or on a cushion (a bed works fine). Begin to breathe and notice if your breath is choppy or smooth. Inhale and exhale letting your thoughts flow through without engaging them or linking them to others. Now state your intention mentally and ask God to provide His wisdom about the intention and continue to breathe however long you are comfortable.

Once you are finished make notes in a journal concerning your intention and any revelations you had while meditating. Mention your emotions before and after you meditated or even rewrite your original prayer to track how God has moved in your situation. 

That’s all you need to do to meditate successfully! My prayer is your relationship with God will grow from learning to tune in to His still small voice. Thank you for reading this post and feel free to comment as I would love to hear from you!