An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible fight between two wolves. One is evil — he is anger, resentment, false pride, guilt, self-pity, arrogance, regret, lies, superiority, and ego. The other is good – joy, peace, love, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.”
Back in the days of the Garden, God gave us containers called bodies. Their purpose wasn’t to separate us from Him. Their purpose was joy. Their purpose was beauty and creativity. They weren’t meant to be a wall between us and God. They were meant to be a vehicle to walk with him and enjoy the scenery. They were created with arms to hold each other with as we communed with God. They were designed to give honor to Him, because He had a purpose for them. And never in all of eternity did God want to be separated from us — or for us to be separated from Him. In fact, the whole rest of the Bible story is a story of God going to the ends of the earth to get our attention, to get our souls to turn our containers around and look at Him.
My coffee cup, when there is coffee in it, feels warm to the touch. When my water bottle has cold water on a hot day, its contents somehow affect its exterior, sweating the evidence of its contents on the outside. We can not deny that what we put into a container has a direct effect on its external condition.
Open your mouth and taste, open your eyes and see how good God is.
The more I work with my health coach, Michael DeSanti, the more the obviousness of the mind/body/spirit/purpose connection is becoming clearer and clearer to me, in an abstract, floating above my head kind of way. Our bodies can be a wonderful, beautiful tool that we use for a purpose that is greater than our own, something that we can use to understand God and our own selves better. Or it can be the excuse we use to not become everything we were created to be.
We can continue to feed it junk, and when that junk makes us feel miserable and tired, now we have an excuse not to go out and live our God-purpose. Or we can make a choice to exercise our body and make it strong, to refuse the momentary pleasure of the starchy white bread for the long-term benefit of feeling mentally sharp and ready for action.
Success is simply a series of choices. Pamela Waldrop Shaw, a ridiculously successful National Sales Director with Mary Kay always says, “Days accumulate.” And what are days but a series of choices? A litany of decisions to sit on the couch or go for the run, to nurture a hurt or to practice aggressive forgiveness, to eat the high fructose corn syrup or make the extra effort to mix some honey and some mustard together and put it on your darn salad. Because really, it’s supposed to be HONEY-MUSTARD dressing — what else needs to be in there? Why is there a list of twenty ingredients on something that’s supposed to be HONEY and MUSTARD?
There is a woman who I admire and think is amazing. She has a beautiful God-dream to create a restaurant for the hungry — a soup kitchen, yes. But a soup kitchen filled with dignity and respect, where people can come and eat real food at real tables with real utensils and white-tablecloth service. A place where the soul is fed as much as the body.
But something is stopping her. A feeling of lack, of fear, a difficulty and an obstacle. And her soul is sad within her for this unrealized dream. But I believe in her, and I told her so. She knows who she is and if she is reading this I will say it again: I believe in you. And more importantly, I believe in God’s ability to make it happen in you!
“I don’t think the way you think. The way I work isn’t the way you work.” God’s Decree. For as the sky soars high above the earth, so the way I work surpasses the way you work and the way I think is beyond the way you think. Just as rain and snow descend from the skies and don’t go back until they’ve watered the earth, doing their work of making things grow and blossom, producing seed for the farmer and food for the hungry, so will the words that come out of my mouth not come back empty-handed. They’ll do the work I sent them to do, they’ll complete the assignment I gave them. — Isaiah 55:8-11
The work I have been doing with Michael DeSanti has helped me to better understand that my own productivity, my own value and purpose are intimately tied in with the health and wellness of my body. Does this mean that someone who is completely out of shape can not make great strides toward their God-purpose? Of course not. But I’m coming to understand more and more that the state of my body is in no way separate from the state of my mind or my spirit. And when I support all of them holistically, I am so much more able to live out every day with joy and wonder, making successful choices along the way.
Sometimes, we all have trouble asking for help. But sometimes help is exactly the thing we need the most. Taste, and see that I am good. God doesn’t want us sick and tired. He wants us vibrant and alive, to enjoy our bodies so we can commune with Him without distraction. But often, the very thing we need help with the most is the thing we are afraid to be vulnerable about. I’ve seen people who desperately need help managing their finances turn down the very offer of help they need. And I know many people who are unhealthy and out of shape are too embarrassed and uncomfortable to seek advise from an expert like Michael.
Well. I still haven’t seen a tape measure in Michael’s office. There is still no shaming scale. What there is, however, is a gentle encouragement to make the right choices, the freedom to use information, to let my days accumulate, to plan the series of my decisions and set myself up for success.
The old Cherokee continued. “The same fight is going on inside of you — and inside of every other person, too.”
The grandson thought for a moment, and then he asked, “But grandfather, which wolf will win?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
You can learn gently from Michael DeSanti, too. Just reach out to him at firstname.lastname@example.org . ***This email has been corrected since this post went live — ****
Don’t forget — there will be lots more great information about Michael, finding your God-purpose, and more on www.sheselevated.com. Be sure to keep checking back for updates as we get ready to launch this amazing website this fall. Meanwhile, you can enjoy some more blog posts there, and like us on Facebook ( she’s elevated ) and follow us on Twitter @sheselevated.