First, before I start this journey with you about my little “Bee Happy” routine of late, I want to let you know, Bees themselves have little to do with this post, however I have to admit there is still a lot to we could learn from something so small as a honeybee.
Secondly, I confess to a somewhat compulsive adoration for alliteration. I apologize in advance.
Thirdly, I am already cracking myself up. I will not apologize for that… since we know laughter is good for the soul.
Are you ready for some serious psychological, spiritual and serendipitous support from my little section of the stratosphere? Yup…I went there. This is going to be a fun post, or you will hate my guts, but either way, it’s better than a poke in the eye. EGAD! Do not touch your face!
What do you think is the most beneficial thing you could do right now for yourself on a daily basis as we deal with a global pandemic and quarantine living situations for the majority of the free world? I mean besides stocking up on toilet paper, compulsively washing your hands and practicing social distancing. For those of us who are living, working and able to actively pursue most of our normal activities with extreme boundaries, no doubt, but who have food and running water, a roof over our heads. Besides checking in on and caring for neighbors, friends, and fellow human beings near and far- what do you think would benefit your daily availability to serve others and your ability to function well in light of our current situation?
Enter my “B” routine. So when Plan A has failed and because of the Big C- word of the day- it has. Hence our current new living conditions. Working at home, schooling at home. Some countries on complete lock-down, some still allowing for fresh air with limitations. At this time I am in a coastal town in the USA and have access to my own yard and surrounding area for dog walking and outside exercise. Parks are closed. The nearby town beach and state borders are under serious scrutiny as our Governor tries to protect our small state from the influx of many visitors not heeding mandates put in place to slow the movement of this fast moving, highly contagious virus which is quickly leveling the world.
Stay with me friends…
Pat Benatar may have belted out, “Love is a Battlefield” but right now, life as we know it is a battlefield. Aged myself on that little bit of song nostalgia, didn’t I? The fact remains, in order to be our best we can be for others we need to be BEING our best selves for ourselves first. Say that three times really fast. Just kidding.
Have I lost you yet? If you’re taking in more news than you can handle, be it emotionally, intellectually, or spiritually- you are in a compromised state of being. This is what we don’t want to be right now, get me? Trust me, on any given day my head has a multitude of fireworks going off in all that gray matter, so I have some good practice at managing stimulus and information overload.
It’s all about the Bees…or my daily B words. Whatever works for you. Here’s my Daily B list for stressful days and you go ahead and adjust and apply it for your life now and let me know how that goes for you. Or you can just Beat it! Yup, another age revealing moment for ya. I came up with this randomly as there are certain things I purpose to do regularly, but occasionally find I need to be creative in how I implement them so I don’t get lazy or cease in my commitment. Hence the Three B’s which has now grown into a happy hive of B words…or just Bees if you like!
Daily Bs (or Bees) for Stressful Days
- Bed- Making the bed is my favorite. I blame my mom for this. She was particular about bed-making and so am I. BUT, it’s an easy check off the list and I personally hate getting into an unmade bed at night. So ten points for the easiest accomplishment I do daily! (Most days!) Sometimes I cheat, and pull the blankets neatly up to the pillows – shhh.
- Bible – Reading scripture is a huge part of my life. Studying and meditating on it fuel all of my creativity as well as every aspect of my daily life. I am a student of God’s word. Period. It has to be done daily, that’s all there is to it. I have read through the Bible many times, and I continue to be amazed as well as learn new things about humankind and God. I usually follow a Scripture reading plan each year. I do additional Bible reading but this “B” is about the reading plan specifically so I don’t fall behind, yadda, yadda, yadda.
- Body– This was the main reason I had the epiphany about the “B”s. I really value my time spent in Scripture seeking the Lord in prayer and reflecting on His word. Although I worked in the fitness field for most of my adult life when I came to know God it was like my priorities went all wacky, and slowly but surely I found that I cared less about pursuing and sharing fitness and more about sharing what I was learning from the surprising new Man in my life…yeah, that was Jesus. He shook my world and me up good! However, since I have been somewhat “retired” from the field of fitness I have been a bit…relaxed in pursuing fitness. As in like a snail’s pace. Something needed to change. What helped me was allowing myself to listen to the scheduled scripture reading on audio for the day while I exercised. We do have a small home gym – and I am now utilizing it regularly. This small step was a big epiphany! Movement is so important! Our bodies are designed to move – and sitting all day is so anti-movement! I trained many people in small spaces in apartments and homes and it can be done- so make like Nike and “Just do it!” A little goes a long way. I shared a 30 Day fitness plan many moons ago IF YOU NEED IDEAS -HERE YOU GO.
This is where I started before Coronavirus took hold of the world. It was just my own little list of behaviors I knew were beneficial to me well-being. Still with me? Well, yesterday morning as I sat writing in my journal I had a nudge to share publicly. That nudge I have learned I need to heed. As I considered what to share I realized there are more B’s I practice worth sharing, so, let’s continue- shall we? I will breakdown my behaviors and trust you find your own happy balance.
- Believe– No matter what is happening, I wake up in the morning and believe that God is good, in control and on His throne. I call this my Rise and Shine time! Further, I know that if I don’t have full understanding or knowledge, I know the One who does. I rest in that. Do I have moments of fear, doubt, frustration ? Worse than that on occasion, I confess. And I have battled both depression and PTSD by His grace, and know the darker side of grace, which no one likes to talk about. But that’s a whole other post. As a matter of fact, I may write a bit about that tomorrow for the Lent series, so I don’t keep you hanging. Believing God brings hope.
- Brain- OK, I added this when I realized since this crazy season started the past few weeks I completely bailed on my Bible Memorization Plan and partner and I wanted to put it back in place. So I am working on that. But for Brain, I think learning of any kind can be a morning or daily routine addition. Learn a new word every day or something you can break down into daily digestible bite-sized bits. Maybe pick a country a day, or a state a day. a foreign language word a day. Just using the brain is key.
- Breakfast– Unless there is a reason I should not have breakfast I usually make it part of my routine to have a healthy breakfast. That might be a smoothie, an avocado with pecans or fresh fruit and oatmeal. I don’t really overthink food. I like to keep things simple. Food is one of those things I could easily forget about because of my racing mind and big ideas so I have to purpose to make it happen, hence why it’s on the list.
- Beauty- I love beauty. I believe beauty ministers to the soul in a way that is powerful and profound. God is the Author of beautiful things and everything created. Where do you find beauty? What is beautiful to you? For me I know it when I see it, or hear it, or smell it, or create it, or appreciate it. I promise if you look for beauty daily, God will open your eyes to it and all the wonders of His love. Sometimes beauty is not truly recognizable until we know and trust the unseen beauty of God. Meanwhile, take a walk outside and find a flower, a stone, a tree or…something beautiful. Watch a child, look up at the stars. Inhale…and exhale, which leads me to my next “B”.
- Breathe– I think the hardest part of this Coronavirus is the insidious way it attacks the body, lungs and …ultimately the breath. From the beginning the breath is life, intrinsically we know this…”The life of every living thing is in His hand, as well as the breath of all mankind.” Job 12:10. It’s hard to conceive of this one thing being so clearly extinguished, on such a mass scale by a virus. But as I consider my God, the One who holds the breath of all, I know even through this horrific pandemic He will bring new life, hope and even new breath. One thing I learned from many years of teaching Pilates, stretching and yoga-based classes was managing the breath. Practicing breathing exercises and deep breathing for relaxation and to keep the lungs healthy is wise, practical and needful. Breathing seems so basic, but adults tend to use a lot less of their lung capacity than you’d believe. Want to lean how to breathe best ? Watch a baby. Then get ready to inhale and exhale along with them while they sleep. Chances are you will fall asleep by their side! I used to teach 30 minute relaxation classes including breathing techniques in corporate locations. Executives would fall asleep during these sessions. In the middle of the day! So, work on awareness of how you are breathing. Once you are aware you can work on lengthening the out breaths and in breaths. You can do this. There are plenty of helpful breathing videos and tips available if you look around.
- Breakthrough- I don’t know about you, but the virus that is keeping us from connecting in person can’t keep us from falling on our knees in prayer. AND no need to fall to your knees literally unless God leads you there, because if he puts you on your knees, he’ll pick you back up …but some of our knees are not so good with the kneeling aspect of prayer and God is looking at our heart attitude, not our worn out knee joints. If our hearts bow and bend before Him, He sees. He knows. He hears. You can believe that for sure. Pray for a breakthrough. Pray for your family, your neighbors, your friends, and enemies, pray for every tribe, tongue and nation. If ever a time for breakthrough in prayer – in unity in prayer, it is now. Pray. Pray. Pray. AND remember, in Jesus Christ, we have our High Priest and can boldly approach His throne for grace (by His grace!) as we need it. Do you need God’s grace, mercy and forgiveness today? I know I do.
I also have a couple of Bs to beware of during a crisis or stressful time.
BEWARE of both blaming and bitterness. I promise if you are looking to blame or fault-find you will struggle to find anything redeemable in most situations. I’d suggest that blaming others accomplishes nothing, BUT it’s not true. Blaming others accomplishes something…it creates division, discontent and resentment. It damages outlooks, reputations and fosters discouragement and despair in others who may not know all the details of a situation or circumstance. It can lead to false accusation, and hate. Bitterness along with discontentment are the children of a critical spirit. Don’t adopt them. You’ll be sorry. But so will those you influence. Stressful times are tough enough. Stick with the better B’s. And perhaps learn a bit about the Bees while your’e at it.
If you have hung in for this whole post, which my hubby would skim and reply “TLDNR” which means, too long did not read, I thank you. I hope you are BLESSED by what this blog today (couldn’t resist!). I mean , we’re all a little bonkers, lately ( Ha!).
If you have any Bs too add, let me know. I’m always up for a brainstorming session with like-minded beings!