The quality of one’s mental health can be facilitated by the little things we do. We often want to see the big actions to believe we are moving or progressing in life, but the process which is usually dressed up in small, mundane, and consistent steps is important. When you learn to be consistent, certain actions start to feel more natural and become less of a burden, this applies to any new skill that one learns. This skill is vital for one to improve their thinking, processing, and reasoning in life. Learn to empower yourself with healthy thoughts, self-parenting, and positive affirmations. A study conducted by a psychologist at Queen’s University in Canada suggested that on average, a human being has 6 200 thoughts per day. How many of those thoughts are good and positive? It is important to acknowledge our thoughts and to become more self-aware. All sorts of thoughts will continue to come, but we must learn to filter and release the negative ones.
If we can sharpen our cognitive skills, we will surely win some battles pertaining to mental health.
A friend of mine, Zandi suggested I prepare a quiz to help people assess themselves mentally. I thought it was a brilliant idea. To those of us who are still having challenges with our mental wellness, this blog post is especially for you. If you believe you are mentally healthy, please do take note of this as well, you may gain some wisdom that will help you become an even better version of yourself. Being mentally healthy provides us with skills to cope with life’s situations and difficulties. It does not mean we are equipped with potions that make our problems disappear, but it certainly empowers us with the necessary tools to tackle challenges and even thrive despite any negative encounters.
Without taking too much of your time, I found a perfect quiz for you compiled by Sapien Labs. They are a non-profit organization founded in 2016 with a mission to understand and enable the human mind. This mental health quiz allows you to take an honest journey with yourself so that you are informed about who you currently are and how you possibly present yourself to the world. Please use the link below to complete the quiz.
The walk of a Christian is very interesting, it has its highs and lows. The important thing is that we do it with God, in partnership- not only focusing on doing things for Him but directing our energies towards doing things with Him, with His constant guidance on which way to turn.
In my walk with God, I have realized just how much of a Father He is. God provides for us in ways we can never understand. God has His plan for our lives, if we can move away from our inflexible ways of how things should be done, we can see how much work He is always up to. We can learn to imitate His ways and apply them in our lives.
In today’s post, I want to share on a concept that I got recently introduced to. Therapists and coaches speak a lot about it. It is called ‘self-parenting’. I will summarize my findings and interpretation of this concept. As you go through this post, remember that God is the ultimate parent who created the concept of parenting and allows earthly parents who are willing, to tap into the grace of parenthood and to excel in it. God is called the Father of the fatherless (Psalm 68: 5), Heavenly Father (Matthew 6:26), and Everlasting Father (Isaiah 9:6). He is the perfect example of what a father should look like.
Psychology Today released an article on self-parenting 101, describing the simplest way to look at what this concept means and how you can apply it in your life
“Consciously, actively, begin a practice of self-care. Decide to be that good parent who is automatically on your side, without you having to defend yourself or prove why you deserve their support. Be that friend who assumes that the way you experienced it was the way it happened, who takes your goodness to be a given. Be that big brother who when you get bullied on the playground leads by asking the question, ‘What did that bully do to make you feel this way?’ Be all of these– for you!”
In short, self-parenting is the conversation between two voices, your current self and your mature self that will help you treat yourself better and become more responsible in your actions.
Looking at some of God’s characteristic traits, we see that He loves us dearly, even before we were in a relationship with Him. God takes care of us and provides for our needs. God heals our wounded souls; He directs our paths and corrects us when we have missed the mark. God is patient, He listens to our distresses and encourages us when we feel hopeless. God gives us wisdom when we have no idea which path to take, He forgives us and forgets our transgressions. God helps us grow into the best versions of ourselves and wants us to be accountable for the way we live our lives.
To me, this sounds like good parenting skills. The concept of self-parenting encourages individuals to apply the above-mentioned set of skills to themselves. It says love yourself dearly and take good care of yourself because as you learn to love yourself you will give the same love to others- we can only give to others what we have. This concept says where God has given you financial freedom, provide and build according to your needs and godly heart’s desires, be a blessing by showing up as an adult- an adult knows how to take care of themselves. It also teaches that it is good to encourage yourself, stir up the gifts on the inside of you, and remind yourself of your worth when situations bring you down. When you find yourself going back to old ways of being harsh towards yourself, allow the “mature” side of you to correct you and remind you of the deliverance you have been given from negative mindsets. When you find yourself messing up, which we all do at some point, be mature enough to recognize your shortcomings and forgive yourself. Once that is done, be accountable enough to start practising smarter ways of living life. Know when to defend yourself when others enforce abusive tendencies towards you, advocate for your healing and allow yourself to improve and get better. Spoil yourself when you can and do activities that will cheer you up and remind you of your worth, the little things go a long way. Stop the habit of shaming, rejecting or talking down to yourself, when you make an error, acknowledge it without referring to yourself as “stupid”.
Our Heavenly Father has given us an outline when it comes to parenting, let us imitate His examples and start practising “self-parenting”, teaching our minds of our worth and giving ourselves a chance to be our best. When you find yourself forgetting how you should be treated, take your bible, and read. Ask Holy Spirit to minister new ways of how you can learn from God to take care of yourself, and of course, once you are taken care of, you may find it easier to take care of others too. Fill your internal cup and allow God to make you whole, it prevents you from going around aimlessly trying to force or manipulate others to fill you up. This results in healthier relationships both with yourself and others. Be a great self-parent!
You must understand that this concept is not advocating for isolation or selfishness, neither does it diminish the importance of relationships or fellowships but it is designed to help individuals look at the mirror and be accountable for who they are before they even start to engage externally. It is meant to remind us of the responsibility of self, which we often neglect.
I am focusing on issues that are related to self-love a lot lately because a lack of this may result in negative circumstances, for instance, being harsh towards oneself has been known to be one of the contributors to depression. In all the negativity we channel towards ourselves, we forget that self is God’s creation that must be nourished and taken care of, sometimes by other people but all the time by our selves.
I wish you more grace, healing, and love as you continue to journey towards self-discovery!
“For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus”- Galatians 3:26
Mental health and disorders affect all of us. This isn’t limited to age, race or gender. Let us educate and empower ourselves, for ourselves and our society. A little bit of knowledge goes a long way. Our teenagers have access to loads of information but let us help them find the right knowledge to build them up, for informed decision making.
Below, are a few slides that will help teenagers in their journey of understanding mental health. It contains facts and tips to help them know the basics and what they can do to live healthier- mentally.
For questions or more information, hit the contact button & we will get back to you.
If you are like me, then you probably have not always made enough time to nurture yourself, simply because life gets so busy. There are aspects of my life that I do not compromise on, such as spirituality- I try to nurture a relationship with God as much as possible through the grace He has given me. I have become more self-aware and I am able to take note of what goes on with my emotions and mental state, these are work in progress and I continue to learn about the best practices. The other aspects of my life need a lot of attention and I am becoming more open to improving these.
Dr Revel Miller, a psychologist writes about how every human being has 7 aspects within them. These include self, behavioural, social, physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual aspects. In his article, he mentions how it is good for each of us to assess where we currently are in the “wheel of life”. He also mentions that being aware will help us improve in the weaker areas. If this interests you, go ahead and read his article at the link below.
In this blog post, I touch on 4 of these aspects, i.e. self, emotional, mental, and spiritual. Join me as I share my journey of how dealing with my spiritual life first led to improving the other 3 areas. Pray for me, as I intend to improve the remaining areas mentioned by Miller.
A few years ago, I studied psychology and so I have always had an interest in things related to mental health. I took a detour in my career path, which is far from psychology, but the curiosity about human behaviour continued to grow. I must admit though, for the longest time, my silent analysis was always towards other people and hardly towards myself. I think sometimes I got overwhelmed with my internal struggles that the thought of taking time out to make sense of it totally paralyzed me. Other people seemed like good projects to help refine what I have always believed is my natural gift and that is being a “born counsellor”. As great as it is to assist with some of the wisdom the LORD gives you, one can only go so far in life without paying sufficient attention to oneself. As an individual, it is vital to know that you matter, and are accountable to God for who you are and how you use your gifts and live your life, as much as you are accountable to being a light in other people’s lives. It is quite a simple principle, but I had hardly paid much attention to it until I realized that my internal problems seemed to be getting worse and more intense. I then had to shift the focus to myself and try and understand why my emotions and mentality was so affected. As Christians, we expect life to go more smoothly for us because we have a Saviour who paid a high price so we may live a better, more successful, and prosperous life. The reality is that trouble is unavoidable, none of us can escape it. Even Jesus states that we will have problems in this life, but we must take heart because He has overcome the world (John 16:33).
I experienced seasons of intense discouragement; the type that says give up. The type of discouragement that leads to constant complaining and nagging even when blessings are being ushered into your life. I knew that this was not your normal discouragement that we all go through, somehow it felt like a very heavy and dangerous spirit. It is almost as though you are in a very dark pit and there is no way of getting out of it. You can be surrounded by people but that soothes you for a moment because that overwhelming wave will come after you as soon as you end your conversation. I functioned well at work and on other projects/ ministries I was involved in and that led me to a state of confusion, thinking perhaps I could be imagining or exaggerating the “dark wave of discouragement”. I had episodes of this, that would come and go. Based on what I had learned in psychology and in all the other material produced online, I had to admit I had a serious problem, and something had to change.
After going through some difficulties in life, I decided to renew my commitment to the LORD Jesus Christ, I found that my life and what the bible spoke about did not tally. I needed the peace of God that the bible spoke about. I remember meeting an old man on the Gautrain in Pretoria most mornings, there was a peace that surrounded him that I could not describe. He was a pastor and soon became a confidant, he showed interest in my life and spoke so lovely about His God and the relationship they have. I knew those meetings were God-ordained. Although these were based on just 15-minute train or bus trips, they blessed me and created a desire for what this man had internally. There was so much confusion inside of me and I did not want to live that way anymore. What goes on inside of you, will determine how you see the external world.
I desperately needed change and I was willing to do whatever it took to get these discouraging moments of sadness and anxiety far away from me. I started to restrict what I listened to and participated in, limiting it only to the word of God (bible reading, regular worship, consistent fellowship with God, sermons, etc). Our ears and eyes are gates that allow things to take root in our hearts, if you listen to enough negative and degrading things, that gets stored somewhere on the inside of you. Your soul will start believing that as truth. I was ready for a new chapter and that is exactly what God gave me. It slowly changed my perception, therefore improving the state of my emotions. It placed a healthier sense of identity within me. I realized how much God loves me, and that He is enough for me. God became my Friend and an Encourager. His word has become alive in many areas of my life. I must admit, His timing and the way He does things are completely different to mine, and therefore I still experience some struggle with adjusting to His timeframes, but despite that I continue to see His faithfulness in my life.
When I started to grow spiritually, it spilled onto my emotional and mental states. I soon realized the changes I needed to make in those areas. Personally, I found strengthening my spiritual life made it much easier to deal with my thoughts and the emotions I went through. I learned to apply the word of God to my difficult situations through declaring scriptures over myself.
We all have different ways of coping and dealing with situations. I by no means am saying you should give up anything like I did, that worked for me but the same approach might not work very well for you. However, I would like to encourage you to assess the information you allow into your life, make sure that it is valuable and contributes towards your confidence and true sense of identity. What we allow in impacts our self, emotional, mental and spiritual aspects. Assess how you treat yourself, have conversations with yourself more often to find out what your soul is longing for. Many times, we get so caught up with the busyness of life, but neglecting our inner selves or our wounds may cause us more damage than good. Somehow when you start dealing with one of these areas, you become more encouraged to improve in the ones lagging. Take some time this weekend to look at where you are with the 7 aspects of your life. Remember, you do not have to be doing extremely well right not but being aware of the neglected areas will help kick start your journey of improvement.
We are all a work in progress. Your wellness matters, you matter, take good care of yourself.
“Behold, I will bring it health and healing; I will heal and reveal to them the abundance of peace and truth” -Jeremiah 33:6
We are made in the image of God, which means we are supposed to be like God in the way we think and behave. However, sin came into existence before we were even born and that tempered with the “perfection” of the human being. Thank God for our LORD Jesus Christ who paid a price on the cross to bring restoration to our relationship with Heavenly Father. Thank God for the authority He has given us to speak life into our dead and hopeless situations using the powerful name of Jesus. As straightforward as this sounds, it can be a process and it effectively happens through relationship with God. This means healing, conquering addictions, restoration of joy, and having a peaceful mindset might not always be instant or happen overnight, these require effort and consistency; as the bible states we are being transformed into the image of the LORD Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 3: 18).
Before we get to the place of full and evident transformation, there is a journey that must be embarked on, this looks different for every individual depending on God’s plan and one’s willingness to partner with Him to gain victory over difficult situations.
A therapist said to me “healing is a lifelong process”. I agree with this to some extent because as much as the LORD has given me victory and healing over many wounded areas, there are still things that are undealt with that God is only revealing now. So I continue to heal, I continue to allow God to use His oil to rub over the places that are still raw and hurt. For as long as we live on this earth, we must continue to be perfected towards being more like Christ, as written above, it is a journey.
If we were living in an ideal world, the one God created in the beginning, before sin came to reign over human beings, we would all be healthy beings. We would have healthy bodies and souls. However, the reality is that we go through different life situations that attack the health of our mental state. We hardly have time to deal with the blows given and simply carry on with life. As we continue with life, the wounds remain unhealed and can lead to mental distresses, problems and disorders. The lack of a mentally healthy state will affect the way one lives their life. It can affect their emotions and thinking, this usually trickles over to all other areas of one’s life. Mental health challenges are real, and some people may not have the courage, support system, knowledge, or resources to access help in time.
Many times, the thought of this breaks my heart. I get impacted by this because I know what it’s like not to have a healthy mental state. And yes, everyone has bad days and bad seasons but that’s not what I’m referring to. I am referring to intense, ongoing mental distresses or mental illnesses that can even cause impairment in functioning. Journeying with the concept of mental health and having a passion for seeing people get healed led me to the idea of a new initiative, called Assorted Mental Matters where we offer clarity and assist individuals suffering or impacted by mental illnesses.
Assorted Mental Matters is a project under Well-Watered Gardens. Through this initiative, we host webinars where we unpack mental health and disorders. We will look at it from a three-dimensional approach, i.e. clinical, spiritual, and client-based. These three approaches will broaden one’s understanding of mental health and illnesses. It helps one understand what can be done differently to see change. These discussions/ webinars are designed for people like you and me, who go through difficult challenges but have no time or resources to slow down and seek help. These are designed for those for those of us who experience and battle with seasons of depression, anxiety or loneliness. These are also designed for men and women who are living with mental health conditions/ disorders and find it difficult to cope. Through these webinars, wisdom will be shared for those supporting family members and friends who are experiencing mental health challenges.
These webinars/ discussions will be conducted once a month, for an hour on zoom. It is a platform for individuals to assess how healthy they are, mentally. Through this, we are building a support system that is focused on healing for all who are affected.
Three guest speakers will talk us through the 3 dimensions. This is an opportunity to empower ourselves and others. Let us learn, grow and heal together as we tackle mental health for better solutions. The dates and times will be announced soon, please join us over the next several months.
“Beloved, I pray that in every way you may prosper and enjoy good health, as your soul prospers”- 3 John 1: 2
May the grace of God, His love and perfect will continue to take root in your life.
We have made it through 2020 and I pray that God may continue to give us the grace to finish this year strong and to enter 2021 on a positive note knowing that He still has a good plan for our lives. We have lived through one of the toughest years but I hope that despite the difficulties and confusion, we have found meaning and purpose on why we are still alive.
To those who have lost loved ones, may the Greatest Comforter give you peace and comfort. To those who experienced depression/ anxiety/ loneliness or any other mental health problem or condition, I pray you may find the counsel you require to ease your burdens. To those who lost jobs, may God open double doors of increase and provision. To anyone who encountered painful and difficult circumstances you cannot even talk about, may His joy flow into all those broken areas. We don’t have all the answers, but we can be confident that through it all, the love of our perfect God stays constant and absolutely no situation will ever change that. The human mind often wants an explanation as to why certain things happen but unfortunately, we might not have all the answers we desire. May God quieten you with His love, may He sing over you (Zephaniah 3: 17).
May you be reminded that you are God’s special and unique child. He is madly in love with you. It’s not so much in “feeling” it but in knowing and receiving it into your heart. May this love transform you; may it bring you into constant fellowship with a loving God. May it cleanse you, give you peace and new identity.
Happy holidays, wishing you a restful time. Let’s connect again in 2021.
I was lost and found by grace. What I mean is that God met me right where I was in my brokenness and shame and I still couldn’t be bothered. I wanted God to love and accept me for who I was then; because in my own right I thought I could fix myself and then hand over my life to God.
At some point in my life before sanctification took its course I had a religious mind-set. I worked extra hard to please people, and by all means to earn God’s approval and validation. So I was into works rather than receiving the grace of God and any other promises for that matter. I wanted God to be proud of me. I didn’t want to ask for much or be of any trouble if anything, I needed to prove I could be a good daughter but it was never my truth because deep down I wanted to be like other Christians who testify about the stuff God was doing in their lives. I stumbled upon grace and I now understand there is absolutely nothing that I could ever do that would separate me from the love of God, I can’t earn His promises by works, they are attained by faith.
The Holy Bible is filled with stories where Jesus met lepers, demon-possessed, and the sick hiding in their sicknesses and restored them to wholeness and that’s exactly what He is still in the business of doing today. He comes where we are to restore us to wholeness by grace. Grace is not a license to keep on sinning or to remain in our weaknesses and it is not a quick fix to our weaknesses either, “We plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain” – 2 Corinthians 6:1
The grace you had yesterday is obsolete today, grace is the overflowing favour of God and we can always draw upon it as needed. Many a times we tend to endure certain things in life and forget that we have access to this grace in our moment of need. Let us make a habit of drawing on grace now, rather than later.
I found Grace in the darkest places of my life. These are the times that forced me to be still, to go slower, and to recognize the hand of Almighty Father over my life.
I like how Grace has identified things in my life that I never saw. I love how when I found myself at my lowest points, a Special Presence would always surround me and lead me to scripture that painted a completely different picture of who I am. It’s the very Presence that says I am victorious although all I see and feel is a failure. That Presence has a set of eyes that are so big, they see beyond my constant mistakes & bad decision making. Grace gives hope in hopeless situations. This Grace is consistent and does not seem to change its perspective on how it sees me. I simply found myself without a choice- I had to give this Grace an opportunity and listen to what It had to say.
Over and over, consistently, constantly Grace would repeat the message of love and mercy on my errors. Grace saw me through seasons of discouragement and insecurities. Grace said, “I see you, you are unique & special to me, made in My image for Kingdom purpose”. I took a chance because the words Grace spoke to me gave me life and hope in those difficult situations.
Grace is here for both you and I. It will pursue you, it reaches to the very depths of our souls, we simply cannot hide or be too far gone for Grace to find us. Grace says, “I love you and I will never let you go”. I found that this Grace is not a thing but a Person. A Person known by different names. Depending on how you have encountered this Person, you could call Him Friend, Heavenly Father, Healer, Miracle worker, Deliverer, Almighty God, or El Shaddai, etc. I found He is also called Love, He is called Gracious God- Grace, that’s who God is.
Beloved of the LORD, He wants to extend all grace and mercy to your tired bodies, to your disappointed hearts, and your immovable mountains.
Let me introduce you to my Faithful Friend and Lover. Grace, here is your child reading this article. Child of God (insert your name), meet Grace, also known as God, Alpha, and Omega, or Yahweh. Grace is here to meet you at your point of need, come as you are.
Grace, this is one of the popular terms you will hear in the charismatic churches, we use it so much that I wonder if we all understand it, but maybe we do. Perhaps the reason we use this word as much is that each of us has encountered the underserved love of a perfect God. This experience can change something internally- to know you are loved in your imperfection.
Grace is a form of God’s love, representing His favor and mercy on us. It helps us gain a better understanding of how Heavenly Father feels about us. Grace will find you in your worst state and deliver you to be a better individual. God loves us so dearly and doesn’t wait for us to be perfect and clean before He can extend His grace. He pursues us while we are drowning in our pits or failing dismally in self-righteousness. Through this, it becomes clear that without Jesus, we don’t deserve much. Thank God for His grace because it helps us recognize that our lives were paid for, at a high price and we have citizenship in heavenly places.
The LORD wants to show us double portions of His grace. The world has suffered and seen a lot of disappointment this year, but God was not surprised with what happened, neither was He blinded to it. We may not be able to explain what happened and why it had to happen, but God knows it all. The Almighty God is not done with us, He will have the last say. Sometimes we already have predefined ways of how grace, favor, and mercy must be packaged. We decide that it must look like financial increase, health, stability, etc. that could be part of it but what if God wants it to look like heart transformation, forgiveness, and restoration? Would that be less of a blessing? It is good to regularly inspect and clean up the condition of our hearts. We must align ourselves to the Holy Spirit and what He is wanting to do in our lives this season. He knows what we need more than we do.
God wants to extend His grace, love, and mercy this month, grace in His way. Be still and you will see what grace should look like in this time and season; you may be pleasantly surprised at how much you will enjoy God’s version than yours.
I pray you may have an open heart this month and allow God to take His rightful place, remember His plans for your life are good- His plans, not yours. Grace, grace, and more grace be upon you in December 2020, may you end this year strong. May you testify of the LORD’s goodness in the land of the living.
Isaiah 30: 18 “Therefore the LORD will wait, that He may be gracious to you. And therefore, He will be exalted, that He may have mercy on you. For the LORD is a God of justice; Blessed are all those who wait for Him”
We have all gone through difficult situations that make us question who we are. Just when we thought we had it all figured out, or when we thought we had finally made it to the places we desired to be, life comes along and brings challenges that make us question the core of who we are. Depending on how you perceive your challenges, they will either make you completely doubt yourself or they can serve as confirmation of what your purpose in life is.
Who does God say you are? Do you know how the LORD perceives you or are you living uncertain of your purpose and calling in life? The calling we have over lives is not only limited to a religious setting but to every place that we set the soles of our feet. Your workspace, your family, and friendships can be a place of calling where you can minister the gospel of the LORD Jesus Christ in how you live your life. Let me give you an example of my life, my name is Unathi- a South African Xhosa name which means “with us”, this is referring to God’s presence. I have discovered that God has given me a responsibility to carry His presence wherever I go, not because of my worthiness or greatness but because it is a mandate and task that Heavenly Father has given me. He gave me a scripture which serves as a foundation for my life- Psalm 91:1 “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty”. The responsibility that comes with this is spending a lot of time with God, I therefore cannot afford to compromise on spending quality time with Him. In that special time, God pours Himself out and instructs me on what to do next. When I don’t spend as much time, I operate from an empty place and do not minister from a place of overflow. To operate in purpose, I must do my part and He shows up and provides me with all the tools I need to do life. So, I ask again, who does God say you are? If you do know, are you operating in alignment with that revelation? If yes, then good- may God expand your territory and bless you even more. If you do not know, perhaps it is time to get into the presence of God, pursue Him so that you are fully aware of who you are, following His will and purposes. You will be pleasantly surprised at how much is waiting for you.
God invites you today to partake of His table of righteousness, He has prepared the most delightful nourishment that will bring you fulfillment and purpose. Whenever we receive an invitation, we have the option of either accepting or rejecting it. The same applies to the invitation given to us by Heavenly Father, we must decide.
“Take your seat at the table!” A quote I learned from my former boss. When God reveals who you are and what He has called you to do, do it. Be active through obedience. Partner with God and continue to refer to Him as you operate in your place of purpose. The Holy Spirit is very practical and can teach you how to do your job more effectively- He knows all things. Taking your seat at the table means you choose yourself, not from a place of selfishness but from a place of knowing that you are accountable for your life. No one else has been ordained to do what God has called you to do, yes the work of God must continue and God can allocate that task to someone else if you are not willing but chances are you will do it in a very unique manner that will minister in great ways. Be who you are, take your seat at God’s table and eat of His word. Wrap yourself in His identity for you. You are who God says you are, show up like that.
I pray that today you will choose to accept the invitation to dine with Him and allow Him to serve you a different menu than what you are used to, He is God that knows your beginning and your end, He wants to be present in your daily life and walk with you in intimacy. That takes deciding friend. God is awaiting your response; He is excited to sit and fellowship with you, so you can get to know Him better and know all He has called for you to do in this life.
Psalm 23: 5 “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies, you anoint my head with oil, my cup overflows”