“If you grow a healthy tree, you’ll pick healthy fruit. If you grow a diseased tree, you’ll pick worm-eaten fruit. The fruit tells you about the tree. Matthew 12:33 (The Message)
The last few days I have been talking about small changes we can make in our life that can deliver big results if practiced over time. I explain to my clients that we are physical, spiritual, and emotional beings, and that we need to pay attention to all aspects of our being to be healthy.
So, in considering some small disciplines, I suggest that they choose one little discipline that they begin to practice in each of those life areas- physical, spiritual, and emotional. For example, physical might be a 15- minute walk, getting to bed 15 minutes earlier, or rising 15 minutes earlier. Emotional might be downloading an app that helps awareness or mindfulness, or maybe journaling for a few minutes each day about the best thing that happened that day. Spiritual might be a 10- minute devotional, or reading, or listening to music that moves your soul.
Really, whatever they choose is fine. I simply say to them, choose simple and achievable. You are worse off saying you will do it and then not doing it, than never having started at all.
I ask my clients to give me a quick check-in on where they are on each of those levels in their life. Just a “quick and dirty” snapshot of where they think they may be. I give a range of 1-10, with 10 being the best, and 1 the lowest. “How would you rate your physical, spiritual, and emotional health right now?”
They come up with an answer, and it is totally subjective, of course. But it gives us a baseline, and therefore a way to measure. I then might say, “You indicated a “5” on physical, what might you need to do to get that to a 5.5?” I may do the same for the other scales. I also ask my client where they want to start. It could be in any of the dimensions, because improvement in one dimension improves the others. They are all connected.
As you can see, I like to be practical and specific. This gives the client control of each of the areas of their life, and they can see that taking charge with a behavior change will affect emotions positively.
Actions come before feelings- we don’t wait to feel good in order to take action- we take actions in order to feel good.
Prayer: Father, we are made so intricately and interconnected. Help us to work on health in all areas of our life, Amen.