What is “the Sacred”

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The sacred is what someone might consider to be divine, holy, of religious content, or deserving of veneration. What is sacred is different for everyone. When I personally think of the word I consider what is holy for me. This can be a holy moment of meditative prayer. Or, it can be a meaningful photo of what is connected to the divine that I put up on my wall. Some consider the bible sacred, and for others it might be another book they hold to be holy.

We think of these things as holy and sacred because of the connection or ideas they bring up. Sometimes it’s a feeling or sense of reverence. Our bodies were meant for worship and containment of the divine. We are human and yet considered the temple of God. Sometimes when I close my eyes I think of the Spirit of God reflected from my heart and filled into my body. For me, this is a sacred moment. My heart has a sense of expansion with love and adoration of what is bigger and greater than my human self.

To know we house this greatness is also a sacred knowledge, for no one knows this unless they have been enlightened to that knowledge. Once it is known, one can not go back to unknowing. It becomes a solid and righteous part of our existence. To know what we embody and carry is very empowering. When we truly know, the empowerment is greatly expanded. The greatness remains solid within us as long as we consider it holy and sacred. Once our pride starts to think it comes from our humanness we have stomped on God’s power. It happens this way so we will keep God holy, sacred, and powerful in our lives. To do this is to inhabit the ways and character of God. To forsake it is to weaken ourselves, bowing down to what is human, flesh, and ego. This is pride and pride always comes before a fall.

Whatever is sacred for you, it’s best to remember why it is and to uphold it within that wisdom. Sacred time, for instance, is just that because it brings us presence of divinity we can receive in no similar way. To take a holy breath with God, to fill our hearts with the love of God, to enjoy fellowship within the presence of our Creator, is the greatest holy moment we can practice.

Practice is a key word here. Nothing stays sacred for us without sacred practice. We do this to create a habit. Remember, our lives spring forth from the issues we carry in our hearts. Without sacred and holy practice, we enter into a realm of forgetting who we are and why we are here.

To grab a sense of what is sacred for you, spend some special time practicing that moment and then do it daily. You will find it is habit forming. Within days your perspective will change to one that is a reflection of what is spiritually God. Your heart will be changed by being in the presence of holy love. If you are struggling with issues that drain you, or searching for answers, these moments become even more important.

I’m going to ask that you close your eyes for a few moments and simply ask that which is sacred to help remind you of who and whose you are. Breathe deeply. Take in the elements that nurture your being. They are the same elements of the earth. We have breath/air, water, fire/energy, nutrients similar to those that come from the earth’s soil, and space that we have available to fill our lives with presence.

Consider this today. What is sacred to you and what is sacred practice? Make it a habit in your life. Journal the changes this habit brings or adds to your life. Over time you will see what sacred practice does to enhance every part of your existence.

Loving you from here,

Dr Jenine Marie Howry

 

Anxiety is a Multifaceted Issue

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Out of all of the problems that individuals seem to need relief from, anxiety is at the top of the list. This also includes myself. We all have stress in our lives but anxiety is stress on steroids. Meaning to the max, and it can get worse if not addressed. I call it a multifaceted issue because it really truly is. Anxiety is not just feeling nervous or stressed out, it is a syndrome that comes from many different areas of a person’s life. These can be life stress, worries and concerns, emotional upheaval, what is taken into the body that stimulates, and the condition of a person’s spiritual understanding or walk. Some can come from the way a person’s brain is wired and therefore they are overstimulated and very sensitive to outer things that might be taken inward.

If you want to work toward getting rid of anxiety, start with the most obvious. The things that you take into your body can overstimulate you faster than anything else can. This includes caffeine, too much processed sugar, drugs, alcohol, and processed foods. For those of us who are easily adrenally stimulated any one of the things I just mentioned can put the body, and anxiety, into overload. Back when I was a teen, my mom used to love to drink coffee in the morning. She always wanted someone to drink it with her, so I was introduced to morning coffee at about age 14. It was always accompanied by some sort of processed sugar. I never could understand why I always felt so overstimulated. A lot of the time I went on huge drops in body sugars which resulted in hypoglycemia symptoms. Not once did I realize that I was doing this automatically to myself until I was in my 30’s. My doctor had me go off caffeine completely to see if my symptoms would get better.

Easier said than done! After years of caffeine use I found I actually had to taper off of it very slowly. Hello, caffeine is a drug! Eventually, I was off of it completely. I felt a thousand times better! It’s amazing how much easier it is to handle stressful issues when the body is not trying to process through an over stimulated adrenal system. There were times I tried coffee with caffeine again but eventually had to stop. It’s one thing in my life I can’t handle. My adrenal system thanks me!

Another aspect of anxiety is our thought life. We are what we think and our life reflects the thoughts we harbor. If worry, stress, and concerns, are all we choose to feed into ourselves then stress, worry, concerns and anxious thoughts of the future are all we will reap. This is why positivity and living in the moment are so important. Not that going into the past does not have its good points. To learn, to heal, and to understand, are very good reasons to explore past issues. We grow from understanding and knowledge. That is different than feeding ourselves negative and defeating thoughts. This might take some doing but changing your thought life will produce more positive results than you ever could imagine Positive in and positive out. Positivity helps counter anxiety. Take the Bible’s advice and “Be anxious for nothing.”

Meditate! Calm yourself with breath. Anxiety is real good at making us breath high in our heart area. Can you say, “Prescription for a heart attack?” Processed foods are not the only things that can clog an artery. Not properly oxygenating the blood stream can also reap havoc on the vascular system We are also more anxiety prone when we breathe from the higher heart area. Practice belly breathing during meditation. Even if your mind keeps going 100 miles per hour. Slow down your breath and breathe completely from the belly all the way up to the throat. Then slow it down and just continue with a nice normal flow of breathing. This is very calming and usually works pretty fast.

Where is your spirituality? Everyone has a spirit but are you aware of yours and what you are reaching for? Much to our misunderstanding we are not human beings who have spiritual experiences. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. Whatever you spiritually reach for is what your body, and life, will experience. If you walk in a fear based faith then your anxiety will always be attached to you. What is the opposite of fear? It’s love. Walk in a loving faith and spirituality and you will draw love toward yourself. This gives you a reserve to give to others. First love yourself and then love others. In other words put on your own oxygen mask before you try to help someone else with theirs. Fill your life with loving spiritual experiences. Ask for synchronistic experiences and then look for them. Remember, God is a positive Light, not a force to always reckon with. Nothing of the pure Christ Light will ever harm you. The great sages of the world have always been healers, especially Jesus. So be a sage and work to not only heal yourself but then others as well. What you reap will be magnificent after sowing the very best.

Watch what you ingest. This means through the eyes, ears, and thought life. Sometimes a good thriller on TV is fun to watch but definitely not when anxiety is at a high level in your life. The eyes are the windows to the soul and the ears draw in things that will become our thought life. Watch this carefully! Thoughts create! In addition to this, walk with integrity. Don’t engage in gossip, either starting it, spreading it, or hearing it. Be higher than this. You were made to be a healer, so be that! Walk as the sages of the ages have walked. Nurture love, harmony, peace, and serenity. What you focus on will be also your reward! Don’t you think being rewarded with the good feelings in life are better than with stress and disharmony? Refuse to listen to negative people! Change the subject, walk away, or even state that you can not hear this. Eventually, those around you will get the point. Do yourself a huge favor and dump the junk yard talk, or talkers, and give your adrenal system a break. Your body, your life, your loved ones will thank you!

Loving you from here,

Dr Jenine Marie Howry

 

 

Living in the Present Mindful Moment

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Quite a while back Dr Wayne Dyer came out with his book, “The Power of Now”. Dr. Dyer, (aka one of my favorite bald guys), is no longer with us, but his book lives on. The main idea is living every day in the moment that has presented itself. This does not mean to not plan for the future, it means to not project yourself into it. It does not mean not to look at the past, it means to only learn from it.

If anyone can master the power of living in the present moment, I kid you not, it is truly a gift. Living in the present moment takes away the temptation to project assumptions on people’s intentions or the outcomes of life. It takes away the stress of feeling like the future is hopeless. We are then given the opportunity to trust and allow life to unfold with ease instead of causing dis-ease.

Another benefit is more meaning to the life lived and the feeling that life is moving way too fast is slowed down. Life is more enjoyable this way. That is not to say bad things won’t happen. It means, no matter what happens we honor the present moment honestly and truthfully. It means there is no worry about outcome so we are serene and mindful about how we are going to act on what has been presented.

If the moment brings sadness, then we honor our experience by tears. God gave them to us for a reason. If the moment brings something precious, then it is even more precious because we have mindfully slowed down our processing and can enjoy it. One reason we focus on the breath during meditation is to stop our brains from racing out of control and giving honor to the power of just being alive. Have you ever tried to just close your eyes and concentrate on breathing for 5 minutes? If meditation is not your regular practice then you will find it is so hard to keep your mind from going every direction. It seems to race out of control with thoughts, ideas, and “stuff”. Suddenly those 5 minutes feel like a lifetime.

Remember the saying “A watched pot never boils?” It only feels that way because all concentration is on that one moment. It feels like it takes forever! Every moment lived mindfully in the present is just like that! It is like time is slowing down and things that are normally missed are now called to attention. Insights are sharper and intuition can come through easier. Appreciation for the beauty in life becomes a part of life. Living in every mindful moment is powerful because we discover what is normally missed or ignored.

When a woman is in labor, every painful contraction feels like it lasts an eternity. She is forced to be mindful and to live in that moment because labor pains are very hard to ignore! The result; the birth of a beautiful new baby boy or girl. That moment of joy is only highlighted by the mindful passing of the pain it took to get there. Life can be like that! Our joys are mindfully much more wonderful because honoring the painful parts make them so much more amazing.

Do you see how living in the present moment is a gift? In life there will always be shadows, but they only cause the light to look so much brighter! When we refuse to slow down and allow our minds and actions to race through life, we miss this! It does not mean we just sit and do nothing all of the time. It means our minds can be trained to live each moment like it is eternity while we are active or not. We pay attention to even the little things that normally are missed.

Take a moment to just close your eyes and let the breeze just feel good on your face. Pay attention to only the breeze and how good it feels. When thoughts start to race in your mind just let them go by bringing focus back on the breeze. In mindful meditation we focus only on the breath. Just think of it going in and then going out. When thoughts come we honor them, let them pass, and turn focus back on the breath. It’s hard at first but meditation in this way trains us to be able to slow our thoughts down and get more focus in life. Remember focus is important because we draw toward us what we focus on. In that moment there is a choice. Focus on the racing of your mind, or the beauty of the breath. Focus on the heat of the day or the relief of the gentle breeze. Focus on the painful parts of life or giving it honor and trusting for a solution.

It takes practice, but practice has its rewards. It’s almost like a miracle when a solution to a problem presents itself because we have taken the time to slow down and be mindful of the experience. Practice it daily and you will see how issues seem to almost solve themselves. When things are hard, be mindful that the lotus flower blossoms in deep thick mud. That’s how life will be for you. When the mud hits you, then you will have learned to only blossom!

Loving you from here, and mindful of that miracle,

Dr Rev Jenine Marie Howry

Addictions: Is There a Way Out?

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Before I begin with this blog post I want to say that addictions in our country is one of the hardest issues we deal with. The complications an addiction can bring to one life are so saddening. It often goes from wasting precious time to the loss of life. Regardless, addiction is not only a personal illness or disease. Addictions to substances or actions affect everyone the addict is in connection with. The worry, the concern, and the stress caused by being in connection with an addicted person can wear away at the life of those who love them.

Let’s Take a Look at the Bottom Line of Addiction and the “Whys” 

I’m going to just put this out there. It’s pretty simple actually. Every addicted person feels that they lack pleasure in life and need a substance, action, or even person, to bring comfort from the difficult feelings one has. For some reason every addict seems to believe that life is supposed to be blissful, joyful, and problem free all of the time. NOT TRUE! Life is a learning journey and there is no way any life will ever have complete peace all of the time. This world is filled with problems from relational to humanitarian. It might seem simplistic but one of the greatest battles to fighting addiction is for an addict to first come to the understanding that life will have challenges and will not always “feel” good all of the time. Going by feelings instead of faith or practical knowledge is probably the first mistake any addicted person makes. We all feel and all can be sensitive to one thing or another. Yet, being driven by feelings alone can create a multitude of issues.

Bottom line, we are not meant to be comfortable all of the time. Masking the hard issues in life by using a substance or situation only stops a person from receiving the life lesson they need to grow up as a human being. What is the result? Stunted growth; especially spiritual growth.

So what about the pleasure centers of the brain? 

Our brains are an amazing part of our creation. The brain is meant to control our bodily functions, guide our lives and record them. We also have pleasure neurotransmitters that are like carriers to the rest of the body. They tell us we are having a good experience or not. Sometimes they can control how we look at life if we allow them to. For instance, someone who has depression usually does not maintain adequate serotonin in the brain and therefore “feels” depressed. An anti-depressant can be given to help the brain maintain serotonin in order to correct the problem. Depending on the person, the same can be accomplished by helping the brain maintain the right level of dopamine. Both of these neurotransmitters are like “feel good” connectors. Those who have issues with neurotransmitter imbalances struggle with every day life and being able to enjoy life’s simple pleasures.

Much to our misunderstanding there is a way out of addictions and what they do to the brain chemistry. The neuro-pathways of the mind can be rewired by meditation, affirmation, and also hypnosis. Spiritual practices can also be just as uplifting as an anti-depressant given that the practice is created as a good habit in life. There is a way out! If you struggle with addictions of any kind you can correct the imbalances in your brain that life has created and actually overcome the addictions that plague you. Also, learning how to deal and cope with life’s setbacks is a real important part of the process. Dedication and desire come into play because without these nothing else will work out. If you really want out of the addiction trap the good news is there is one! The decision that you must make is if your dedication and desire are strong enough to really work on making the necessary changes. Often if a person experiences enough pain created by their addiction it can be enough to create a strong desire to change and heal.

Your life is waiting ahead of you! Why not consider making the change from being trapped in a nowhere life to really living the life you have been given! If you need help in this area, please call and find out how you can overcome your addictions!

++IMPORTANT Note: Detox from any substance such as a drug or alcohol is a very serious process and should not be attempted alone. Please seek medical attention before beginning any other process or along side a new process. Your overall health must be assessed. Remember, if you have been altered for a long period of time your entire body has been altered down to a cellular level as well. 

Loving you from here,

Dr. Jenine Marie Howry, PhD.  832-484-8306

Life Lessons by Jenine Marie 

Do You Have Anxiety, Panic Attacks, or Stress? Breathe On….(Two Videos)

pexels-photo-321576.jpegI can’t believe myself at times when I check my body and realize I have held my breath or have forgotten to breathe completely. Stress, anxiety, and just plain life, can cause us to shallow breathe. It is so important for us to breathe correctly for vitality, ease in life, and regulation of our bodies organs, especially the heart. In these two videos I talk about belly breathing and also what is called Ujjayi breathing. Both help open up the throat space, bring ease and tranquility to the mind, soul and body.

In the book of Genesis God breathed His breath into Adam and life began. Breath is life! Bring life to your body, senses, and organs by breathing correctly! Enjoy!

 

Loving you from here,

Dr. Jenine Marie Howry, PhD

Jenine Marie Coaching and Ministries LLC

832-484-8306

Don’t Pass This One Up! “This is the Air You Breathe”!

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Jenine Marie Coaching

 

I never thought in a million years I would end up teaching myself how to breathe properly! Not to mention, I used to actually make good money teaching women how to breathe right. Our very first action here on earth right after birth is to take a good deep breath. There is a reason for that. It brings life. One would think as an automatic function of the body it would be something we would not really have to think about. This is not so and I will explain to you why.

  1. Women spend a lifetime learning to suck in their stomach! Think about this one for a minute if you will! I’m willing to bet you have been taught to hold your stomach in because it is lady like to do so. Not only that, you have been bombarded with advertisement all of your life that tells you women should have a flat flat stomach. Am I right about this? (I’m not putting down those who have a flat stomach, that is great! I am saying it really should not be a requirement). If you have had kids like I have, it is going to take a whole lot more than just sucking in the air and tucking it all into your jeans! (Contact your fitness coach about this one!) Admit it; you have spent a lifetime learning to make sure that roll in your tummy does not exist by sucking in your stomach. Women pour themselves into clothing that causes us to have to almost turn blue. Have you ever seen those new whole upper body garments that help women make their shape look more hour glass? I think to myself, “Right, that is going to make me feel 100% great while I spring out of the house turning blue from the, “ah hem“, pressure! Honey, this has got to stop!
  2. The anxieties we attach ourselves to in this world cause us to pause our breathing way too much. So, now check this one out! Think about the next time you feel fear, anxiety, or some worry. (Heck, even when good things are happening and excitement takes over we do the same thing). What is the first thing that happens? You hold your breath or breathe very shallow! Witness this in yourself. When you get upset or anxious, just notice your breathing! It becomes shallow and sometimes you might even hold your breath all together. You know this is “truth” here and I feel you nodding!

So, work with me right here and now. Take a moment and completely exhale. Then push your tummy all the way out while slowly breathing in. Now when you exhale, slowly breathe out and then let your tummy just move out to where it is comfortable. Doesn’t that feel heavenly? This relaxes the entire body! Promise me here; for the duration of this article, keep your tummy in the relaxed position. It’s ok! I won’t tell anyone! *wink*

I’ve heard it said that it takes at least 21 days to create a habit. Just think of all of the 21 day segments that have been in your lifetime in order to create the habit of breathing too shallow, holding your breath, or sucking in your stomach until you almost have to breathe into your chest. Honey, life is stressful enough without keeping this habit. I mean, just thinking about what I’m going to make for dinner sometimes sends me over the edge! I’m not going to advocate that you work on this for a strict 21 days. If you are like me, you might not even complete it that way. But, I am asking you to try to be mindful of your breathing. You can create a new habit of breathing right.

Here are some suggestions.

While driving, remind yourself to breathe. I always tend to breathe in my chest when I am in traffic. Chest breathing or upper body breathing does not allow enough oxygen to the body and brain cells.  When you lay down to sleep or take a nap, breathe deep and then blow it out. When you wake up in the morning, let a descent breath be your first priority before your feet hit the floor. When showering breathe in and out the good steam in the shower and let it clear out your sinus cavity for the day. We live in a world filled with toxins and pollution. Let your shower time be a time for a clean body and clean air. Right in the middle of reading, writing, or paying bills, breathe deeply and slowly. Put messages on your phone and computer desktop to remember to breathe! Schedule a phone reminder to beep every hour or so and take the time to breathe right. Let your body relax into life. A life at ease is one with less stress and physical problems. If you remember just some of these suggestions you will begin a new breathing habit. Trust me in this; your body will thank you!

Pass this article on to a few of your fellow breathers. I promise you all, a little more oxygenation will bring a lot more vitality!

Inviting a breath of fresh air,

Pastor Jenine Marie Howry

http://jeninemarie.com

**Photo credit from Dollar Photo Club