She shares her heart at Surrounded By The Spirit – Finding the Presence and Grace of God in Everyday Life.
Ceil describes herself as, “I am a Wife, Nurse, Mom and Nana of three, living in the Midwest. I am trying to see the movement of God in every part of my life.” She is obediently “writing it down” . . . telling her story and sharing her faith. She is a wonderful blog friend who faithfully blesses me. I know she will be a blessing to you too.
How to Stay Perfectly Balanced with Focal Points
I’m back to the gym now that the weather is cranky and cold. I started a few months ago, not because I wanted to (because I didn’t!), but because it’s just too cold to exercise outside.
One freezing morning, I grabbed my water bottle and headed out. After locking up my coat and keys, I went straight to the gym area. It’s about the size of a swimming pool; wooden floor, two walls with windows, two with mirrors. I joined four other people, already intent on their routines, music pumping through ear buds to keep them energized.
I grabbed the equipment I needed and got started. My first exercise required a stability ball, which is an outsized inflatable rubber sphere. Some people use them as chairs at their work desks. Because you’re sitting on a chair that can roll away, you’re forced to tighten your abdominal muscles to avoid falling. Perching on the ball, I grabbed a 2.5-pound weight in each hand. Lifting up one leg, so I’m balancing on one leg and the ball, I’m supposed to start pumping the weights over my head.
Well, I haven’t done this exercise for about six months; so apparently over the summer I acquired abs of oatmeal. As soon as I lift my leg, it looks like I’m doing a new dance. My body is shimmying all over that ball. Best of all? I get to watch myself flailing, like a giant inflatable tube-man, in the mirror in front of me.
You’d think that I would have the decency to be embarrassed. I’m easily the oldest person in the room. The others are planking and grunting and jumping up on platforms eight layers high. My challenge? To stay put on an overgrown balloon without falling. (Hands over eyes.)
But instead of being mortified, I think it’s funny, so I started giggling. Not surprisingly, that doesn’t help.
Finally giving up, I put the weights down. Concentrate Ceil. What did that trainer tell me when this happened before? Oh right! If I concentrate on one spot, straight ahead of me, constant and immoveable, I’ll be able to maintain my balance. You know what? He was right.
Having a focal point really works. And not only in gym routines, but in my spiritual life too. Every day I meet challenges that make me a bit wobbly. Oh, I have good intentions. I just lose focus. So I wondered. What are some of my spiritual focal points? What do I concentrate on to keep me balanced?
This is what I came up with:
I cherish my family and the people God has given me in friendship. That love moves me to offer myself in acts of kindness, with a ready ear to hear and a heart ready to forgive.
God created me to make a difference. That belief challenges me to see the needs of the world, and to do something positive to address them.
Daily prayer reminds me that I am a sacred, beloved child of the Father. It also convinces me that everyone I meet today is too.
God wants his followers to have a strong spiritual core to keep them upright when hard times come. We all have our own sacred guiding principles, our own ‘North Stars’. Remembering and acting on our guiding lights ensures that we will be stronger and more effective images of Christ in our world.
How about you? What core values guide your life? I’d love to hear about your focal points are in the comment section.
A little more about Ceil:
Ceil Ryan is a wife, nurse, Mom and Nana living in the Midwest. After working more than twenty years, she hung up her nurse’s cap to start writing and blogging full-time. Her passion is sharing personal stories with an emphasis on faith and encouragement.
You can read more from Ceil on her blog: Surrounded by the Spirit