This month, we’re talking all about redefining wellness. What does wellness look like in your life? Have you ever stopped to define wellness for yourself? As we will uncover this month, wellness goes far beyond just getting a workout in or choosing salad over a burger. Wellness is a whole-self journey that encompasses every aspect of our lives. To kick off our talk on wellness, we wanted to share Cassie Dennis’ story from our archives. In a bold step of faith, Cassie followed God’s call to leave her job, without having a plan for the next step. And what happened next gave her a fresh perspective on the fact that wellness isn’t a destination but rather, a journey.
You have a great story about trusting God. Would you mind sharing it?
The last half of 2013 was a testimony of waiting on the salvation of the Lord. I felt God calling me to leave a job I was working earlier that year, to transition me into the next step He wanted for my life. Naturally, I asked for 10,000 signs that it was Him before mustering up the courage and assurance that indeed I heard from God. So I took the leap and resigned.
It was no walk in the park after I left. I endured some hardships both financially and spiritually. Spiritually, I struggled with the fact God asked me to do something that only led to a test to trust Him, despite what I saw with my eyes. I had to become convinced in the midst of uncertainty that He was still guiding me.
With my bank account next to nothing, I landed part-time employment at a massage center in Dallas doing massage. I randomly called the massage establishment in desperation to find employment. They were not even advertising to hire a therapist but found me to be the right fit and hired me. I worked faithfully, earning just enough to get my needs met. While there, I stumbled upon a client who I now am forever grateful for meeting: founder of 4word, Diane Paddison. Still holding out for God and battling why He asked me to leave my last job only to enter a struggle, I stayed loyal to the massage job. And God blessed me with a great position. It’s almost like He sent me there just to meet Diane. If not, I do not know how else I would have met her.
When it comes to prayer and faith, why do you think we struggle with surrender and leaving the results in God’s hands?
Surrender is a very humbling process not all people want to be first in line for. I think our struggles with this surrounds a couple of different things. Sometimes we may not have had enough history in our walk with God yet to know that it is safe to leave things in His hands. If you struggle with trusting God, rest assured He really does want the best for us. And it can take going through situations of having to put your faith in God a few times before realizing it truly is okay to leave it in His hands.
Another area that could cause this struggle is human experiences of disappointment. For instance, situations where you entrusted things to people in the past or maybe even presently and they did not hold up their end of the deal or failed you. As a result, the hurt was damaging where you feel too fragile to give God a try to see if He will come through.
Lastly, I would say fear, which is a natural response to the unknown. It is only when we let fear trample down our faith and trust in God that we must rebuild the courage to not let those fears win. A helpful approach is to read scriptures that bring truth to our heart of why God can be trusted. It is then that we can triumph in our trust in Him and overcome our fears.
As a wellness counselor, how do you see our physical bodies affected by our spiritual nature?
A healthy body does not only mean a healthy physical body; it means a healthy spirit as well. It is a holistic approach to being healthy—literally mind, body, and spirit. Spiritually, our hearts should be free of heaviness and wounds so we can walk passionately in the will of the Lord. Physically, we should be taking care of our bodies by engaging in physical activity, proper sleep, managing stress, and eating nutritiously. As a result, we are at our best to do our best. Both a healthy body and spirit are closely correlated to being disciplined. If we battle being disciplined in our spiritual nature, this same hurdle can affect the goals we have for our physical bodies as well. In order to be in the best shape spiritually, it takes commitment and desire, just as with our physical bodies.
If you exhibit discipline and perseverance in your spiritual life, draw upon these same good habits to achieve your wellness goals.
Our bodies need to be running optimally in order to fulfill the spiritual life and calling set before us. A lack of energy and tiredness, or continued unhealthy habits that make us susceptible to failing health, will indeed affect us spiritually. With deep sincerity, I encourage us all to pursue a healthy body and spirit. The rewards are innumerable.
What is the best thing we can do for our bodies? For our souls?
The best thing you can do for your body is value it. Learn basics about how the body works, what it does to keep running in homeostasis (balance) everyday so we can meet life’s daily demands both personally and professionally. Please realize your body needs you just as much as you need it. It cannot run on junk food, three hours of sleep, bitterness and unforgiveness, unnoticed high blood pressure, and other harmful habits. How can we expect so much from our wonderful body when scarcely giving it what is necessary to run efficiently?
This is not a slap on the hand, but rather it is a passionate plea. Give your body love, sleep, and nutrients. Take your body out for a walk, run, dancing, or some form of physical activity. In return, we nourish our souls because we have a clear conscience and removed fears about the state of our health. Why? Because we know we are doing right by our body.
What is the best way for busy career women to achieve wellness?
One thing I often think to myself is ‘wellness’ is not a destination or developed habit, it is an ongoing journey. As we all know, our body changes as we age and the body will have different needs throughout our life, therefore tend to your body and grow with the changing needs. I hope you are inspired to be the best version of yourself not only for you, but for those around you. Wellness is achieved one step and one choice at a time. Best wishes in your journey toward optimal well-being!