Breaking Bad

Monthly Series: What’s Love Got to Do With It

good habits 2

Point to Ponder:
What bad habit is interfering with you being your best and that you need to eliminate from your life, right now?

iGnite Neissa

Neissa Brown Springmann

Many times I’ve partaken in iGnite’s awesome bi-annual ten day Body Re-Boot, which is a form of a fast, however; while I’ve always been intrigued by a full-on fast, I’ve never committed to a spiritual fast because the thought of consuming liquids only for 40 days sounded terrible (I’m not sure why I thought I had to be like Jesus and fast for 40 days and 40 nights–duh)!. That said, our church started a 21-day fast on January 11th and I decided to participate. Ultimately, I was curious to see what I would learn, how I would grow and what God would reveal to me, hopefully.

Prior to starting, I researched the fast and learned that like our Body Re-Boot, fasting from certain things were recommended, however I could choose to fast from anything that I felt was interfering with my overall well-being, quality of life, relationship with God and/or what I was abusing and using to fill physical, mental or emotional, spiritual voids. (There are so many…where would I begin!)

Originally, I thought I would go for the gold and strive for the top tier fast, which was drinking only liquids, light juices and broths, HOWEVER after only the first day I demoted myself to the second level fast, which was the Selective Fast. This fast was eating and drinking only fruits and vegetables–mainly smoothies, teas, and salads (and yes, no caffeine or sugar!)

Joyfully, today is day 21 and while my fast has not been easy or perfect, it’s been great, I feel really good and I’ve gained a ton of additional knowledge and awareness, such as, I absolutely abuse food and use it for more than just fuel and an energy source. It’s an unconscious and emotional filler for me. Most interesting, the cleaner my whole body became, the cleaner my non-dietary decisions were also. For example, I haven’t wanted to watch negative, wasteful and worthless television. With two small children, I usually don’t get to watch much adult T.V., however it, nor tabloids are appealing. It seems extreme, but I don’t want to contaminate my mind and spirit. I have great stamina, I want to be outdoors more, and I am more playful and patient, especially with my children, and my words are more kind. I even feel like I gained more time because I wasn’t lamenting over what I was going to eat or spending extra time eating when food actually wasn’t what I needed more of. I also asked God a lot of questions and I received some answers. Could it have been that food is so much of a distraction in my life that it prevents me from being able to communicate, connect and hear God and my spirit? No doubt!

Before the fast my diet wasn’t terrible, but it definitely wasn’t great. Over the past eight months (really three years) I have accumulated some pretty poor habits that are not just dietary. I pushed my margins beyond my healthy limits and I haven’t been making consistent good and clean choices. Ultimately, I wasn’t treating my body, mind or spirit like a temple and therefore temple-like qualities and characteristics were not being produced. All in all, I needed to do the hard work and break some serious bad habits and replace them with good, wholesome and life-giving habits.

Throughout the month of February, we of course will focus on love, and the goal each week will be to partake in actions that contribute to loving yourself more, loving your life more and showing love to the people who you love so much. You deserve to have the best of yourself and the people you love deserve to have the best you too! Therefore, for this week, the emphasis is choosing a bad habit to break and replacing it with a good habit, as this will give you greater access to loving yourself and others.

Admittedly, breaking habits is not fun or easy, however it’s vital to occasionally evaluate where you are in your life, what you are doing, and determine if you need to add healthy margins or remove restrictive ones. To make this action more fun, I recommend printing the Break a Habit printable. Then, after you’ve given it intentional time, thought and/or prayer to which habit you are going to break, begin filling out the printable and counting down your 21-days of breaking bad and a more awesome you!

Action Item:
Choose a bad habit that is interfering with you being your best and that you want to break. Print the Break a Habit printable, fill it out and begin your 21-day countdown to breaking the bad and creating a more awesome you!

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