Belief Beyond Boundaries
How Should Christians Meditate?
Meditation is a word that gets thrown around a lot these days. Many times, it is referring to Eastern meditation, however, Christian meditation can prove to be quite helpful, even more so than Eastern meditation, but like any kind of spiritual activity, it does take some discipline in some regard in order to get the most out of it. Let's go through the steps.
Step 1: Relax and Fill Your Mind
In order to relax, either sitting comfortably or lying down, close your eyes and take some time to simply breathe in and out, focusing on the exhale. With eyes closed and slow relaxed breathing, relax each part of your body individually such as your arms, hands, legs, feet, head, face, and chest. Shake out any feelings of tension. After a couple of minutes, slowly integrate worshipful praises to God, either in your mind or audibly, focusing on his glory, his wonder, his love, and majesty. He is the creator of all. Picture this love in your mind, whether it be light, a hug or embrace, or however it presents itself to you.
Step 2: Bring Something to Reflect on
Whether it be a psalm, a prayer, a biblical law you'd like greater clarity on, or a challenge you'd like wisdom about, meditate on this as you continue to feel the gratitude and wonder of God. If your mind becomes distracted, simply acknowledge the distraction and bring yourself back to a state of gratitude and love of God. If you find yourself falling asleep, you can try sitting in a different position or take joy in the fact that you may have needed some well-earned shut-eye.
Step 3: Receive
Be ready to receive an answer or a response. Picture in your mind what that response looks like. When I pray for healing, I like to picture a Godly healing energy surrounding myself or another person in my mind. I also picture myself touching the hem of Jesus' robe.
Why is a state of gratitude and love so important?
The Lord works on only the highest wave lengths of energy. When we mediate in a place of gratitude and love, this propels us into this higher, more elevated, energy state that makes it easier for us to hear his voice.
What does the Bible say about meditation?
As you read through my blog posts, you may get the feeling like it can be truly hard to create a routine that supports all of the suggestions I've given so far. First, I want you to understand that this does not happen over night. For me, this has come with years of practice making slight changes to the way I use my time, little by little, step by step, with small adjustments being made on a regular basis. If all you start with is a time block of 15 minutes per day, that is a great start! You can adjust this as you slowly rearrange and change your level of effort over time.
With that said, you might be wondering how I organize and achieve all the things I've suggested. I use tools that help me stay focused throughout the week so I can make the most of the available free time I have. First, let's look at some of the digital tools I use to help keep me organized and focused and then a little bit about what my routine looks like each week.
The "Done" App
The most important tool I use is the Done App (not a paid promotion). Basically, I can program in any task or habit along with what my goal number for the week is. It then provides a colored bar that tells me what my progress is. I can then click on a habit in my list whenever I accomplish a task. Over the course of the week, I keep my eye on the progress of every goal or habit I have. You can accomplish the same thing with other apps or using your own online spreadsheets, but I personally like how this App feels and the level of intuitiveness it offers.
Timers and Alarms
I keep track of how much time I have been working on a task simply using the timer and alarm I have on my phone. This helps me with time blocking so I can either keep track of how much time I have been spending on a task while also limiting my time on other tasks. You can read more about time blocking in a previous post I wrote titled "The Power of Time Blocking" here.
Journals and Logs
Using journals and logs, I keep ongoing attention to various things like gratitude, bible reading, prayer, and wisdom. I use the Done App to ensure I've accomplished my entries each week or day. See my post titled "Journaling Your Way to Success here.
Weekly Preparation (First Day of the Week)
Goal Session - I look at my habits and goals and determine what needs to be improved, what I've accomplished, and what I need to adjust to become more effective with each goal if an adjustment needs to be made.
I review all the habits I have established, look at the ones I did not succeed in the previous week and make a mental commitment for the following week if necessary. I also have a point system that gives me points for each activity to give myself a measurable performance indicator I can use to gauge my performance over time. For more information on Habit Tracking, you can read this post titled "How to Track Habits" here.
Once I have looked at what I would like to accomplish for the week, I add all the items to my Task List (aka To-Do List). I use the "Tasks" program in Google. It allows me to store details and check off each item I accomplish throughout the week. Paired with Google's Email, you can move emails write into the Tasks program if needed as well.
On the first day of the week, I allocate any money I have saved from the previous week to various goals I am currently saving for. I do this by listing out all the items I want to save for in one column. In another column I record how much I've saved so far. Finally in the last column, I record how much I still need to save. Some examples of things you could save for include an emergency fund, home or car maintenance, travel, or big purchases.
I plan out my meals on the first day of the week to get it out of the way. For this, I simply think about what meals I want to have in the coming days, write them in an email I send to myself, place links to the recipes, and record the main ingredients I will need. The great part is, once this is done, it can also double as a shopping list.
On all the other days of the week, I simply keep checking off activities and habits from my To-Do List and Done App whenever I have time. These 2 tools work like my command center for things I want to achieve. I go in understanding that I will never achieve everything I am hoping to do, but the important part is having everything laid out in front of you in an easy-to-access location such as a phone or on your laptop in order to keep your motivation easy and strong.
I hope this is helpful to you! If you have any questions, please feel free to ask in the comments below and I'd be glad to answer them. Have a great day!
Identify Your Purpose
I've wrote a little bit this week and last week about finding your purpose. Last week, I wrote an article titled, Turn Your Dreams Into Action (Click Here) that addresses this a little big too. I hope you too are starting to see your own purpose as you work through my posts. That is really what life is all about isn't it? I want to ask you something, but before I do, remember that finding your purpose may not be something that changes the whole world and it doesn't have to be complicated. Your purpose can also change! Right now, my purpose is online evangelism and goal inspiration using this blog as my medium.
Have you thought about a purpose you could pick today and kind of just roll with for a few months and see if it becomes a passion? It really is a simple thing. No need to overthink it. I'll wait here and see what you come up with if you already haven't. Think about your skills or interests along with something that is very meaningful. Could you combine them? For instance, aside from this blog, I love to sing and have developed that skill to a degree. Bringing Christ into people's lives is also important to me. Perhaps, someday, my purpose will then be to serve Christ through music. How about you? Got something for me?
Now that hopefully you've come up with a couple ideas, think of a couple ways you could get involved. Could you spend one moment per week being involved with this? Whatever it is, try it for a few weeks. You don't even need to commit beyond that. This is your moment to try out a few new things. Even if you don't hit the moon, I promise you won't regret trying. Do me a favor and also if you haven't started a Goal Road Map, please do that. This is just a journal that keeps track of all your goals and aspirations. To remind yourself of your current purpose, please write that on your Goal Road Map now.
If this post has been helpful for you, please comment. Also feel free to share. Your support is always appreciated.
Plan a Trip in 10 Easy Steps
1. Make a list of 10 bucket list type places you would like to visit in your lifetime.
2. Pick the next one you'd like to visit.
3. Write down 5-10 activities you can do while you are there.
4. Where would you like to stay? Hotel? B&B? Camping?
5. Do you need plane tickets or car rental?
6. Based on your activities, rental or tickets, and cost of stay, how much will this vacation cost?
7. How much money can you save each week to accomplish this trip?
8. Based on that amount, how long will it take before you can take your trip?
9. Now make a list of food and supplies you can bring with you.
10. Enjoy your trip!
Turn Your Dreams into Action
I want to ask you a question. What do you need to feel fulfilled? Have you asked yourself lately? Let's do an activity today. I am going to ask you a few questions and I want you to make a few lists, even if they are short and only 5 items long. Write them down in Google Docs, Microsoft Word, or even on a sheet of paper.
What are 5 things you'd like to achieve in your lifetime?
What are 5 things that bring you the most joy in the world? Could you make time for these regularly?
If you had no barriers at all, name a few careers you would have or would like to go into.
If you could help the community, what are 5 ways that would interest you?
If you could learn how to do anything, what are the top 5 things you would choose?
If you could travel anywhere, what would be the next 5 places you would travel if you had nothing stopping you?
Okay, now review your answers to these questions. Can you identify any goals? Don't worry if they don't seem achievable yet. If a goal were instantly achievable, it wouldn't be a goal. See anything that would really improve your life? From this list, write down 5 things you think you would enjoy striving for. Once you identify some, write down a few tasks after it you could work on for a couple weeks that would help you get closer to that goal. Perhaps you need to break the goal down into a few more lists, very basic tasks, etc. Also, remember that some goals can take a lifetime to achieve. That is okay if you have a goal like that! The main thing is that you are striving to achieve it in some way.
If you'd like more definition to these goals, think about SMART goals; Specific, Meaningful, Actionable, Realistic, Timely.
After this week, look at your list of goals at the beginning of each week and determine if you are on track. If so, keep working. If you become stalled and are no longer making progress, this is the time to ask yourself what is holding you back and revise your tasks if needed to get yourself motivated again. In the future, understand that your progress on every goal will ebb and flow. Sometimes you will make great progress all at once and sometimes progress will feel like an uphill battle with little progress. This is just part of the process and must be expected. The main thing to understand is that just taking the time to revisit your goals each week, regardless of your level of motivation, to determine if there is anything you can do, is very important. Regardless of the struggle you may encounter, over the course of time, know that great progress will be made and you'll be very proud of yourself.
If you found this helpful, be sure and let me know in the comments. Have a great day, friends.
Gratitude Activity #1
Today, I would like you to start something that could make you feel better about your life. You can try it for week or two and then stop if it does nothing for you, but doing SOMETHING is better than nothing.
Whenever you feel a sense of gratitude or have a sense you feel thankful, I'd like you to write down something really quick. Here are some examples:
After 3 days:
I would like you to sit down once per day and write down 5 things you are grateful for. They can be people, circumstances, health situations, job, family, blessings, acts of kindness, etc.
Keep writing down the random thoughts of gratitude you have throughout the day that you did for the first three days.
After 1 week (or two weeks if desired):
I would like you to compare the list of RANDOM thoughts of gratitude from the first 3 days compared to the rest of the week or two (when you wrote down 5 things you are grateful for) and see how the activity of writing down those 5 things has impacted how often you have random thoughts of gratitude.
Let me know in the comments below how this activity worked for you. Enjoy!