This book describes the four core areas of joy:
1. Internal Physical
2. External Physical
This book explores life as enriching experience through the development of each core area. This book provides insightful principles and tools for the achievement of an optimal state of living in a variety of environments and situations.
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Joy for a Lifetime
By Tamika Glasper Valeria Jones
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2011 Tamika Glasper
All right reserved.
Chapter OneThe Basics of Joy
The basics of joy begin with the concept of life as three main areas: the physical, mental, and spiritual. With consistent focus and conditioning of each area, then overall wellness emerges. Each area is further broken down into specifics, known as elements. The basics of joy begin with the elements designed to positively enhance the mind, body, and soul. For now, let's focus on the main areas which result in optimal living.
The principles of joy center on maintaining a balance in the areas to achieve well-roundedness and consistency. Conditioning is creating, developing, and maintaining the tiers at optimal levels for completion and balance. It requires spending time and effort to enhance the potential for joy. It is essential that each component is continually conditioned in order to experience complete joy and harmony. For example, one aspect of joy is the consumption of nutritious foods, while another is the possession of a positive mental perspective. Ultimately, a collaboration of factors lead to joy and well-roundedness for a lifetime. A strong core center in life develops a platform for optimal living with characteristics, such as joy, fulfillment, and wellness through sustained continuum.
Joy is the focal point of a life of consistency and fulfillment. It is the mortar that seals the entire structure of the physical, mental, and spiritual areas. Conditioning each tier to an optimal level releases stored energy in the presence of joy as a result of achievement and consistency in each area. As the stored potential is unleashed, then a myriad of tangible and intangible benefits are brought forth in all areas of life.
Align the Areas
Balance in the core areas of life keeps alignment in the structure to produce optimal results in a productive way. The core areas are the physical (composed of internal and external), mental, and spiritual tiers. The first area of physical conditioning pertains to our eating, exercise, and resting habits. The next area is mental conditioning, which involves our thinking process and how we view life. The optimal mental is centered on high-level, optimistic thinking. The final core area of joy is spiritual conditioning in a connection with a higher power. These are the areas in the core structure of joy:
Core Area #1: Physical conditioning is the nourishment and replenishment of the body. Internal physical conditioning is the inside nourishment of the body, which is achieved through proper food and exercise. The main components of physical conditioning are the type and amount of foods consumed, including the proper amount of hydration, as well as vitamins and minerals. External physical conditioning is the external care of the body. It pertains to exercise for strengthening, toning, building, and resting the body. It relates to how we look in our physical appearance. External and internal physical conditionings are linked because what we consume affects our outer appearance. Included in physical activity are rest and relaxation, which are important elements in physical conditioning.
Core Area #2: Mental conditioning includes our thought processes and perspectives in how we see life, others, and ourselves. It is important for our focus to be on the positive aspects of the person, situation, or circumstance.
Core Area #3: Spiritual conditioning is a replenishing connection to a higher power. It is centered on internal serenity, peace, and quietness in the spirit. Its roots are planted in the tapestry of universal life.
These core areas form the basis for experiencing consistent joy and optimal living for a lifetime. Each tier is interdependent on the other. For instance, pertaining to physical conditioning, when we are well-nourished and rested through proper eating habits and exercise, then we have the energy and mental acumen to perform in the other mental and spiritual areas at our best.
Develop Habits of Excellence
The routine of executing habits in the core areas enhance the probability of success in conditioning activities to nourish and enhance the mind, body, and soul. A habit of excellence is the repeated execution of distinct tasks or activities, which become a part of the natural way of living. A habit does not have to be the same thing done in the same way. It can be different tasks, within the same area, which gives similar results. For an example, habits of external physical conditioning in exercise includes cardiovascular, stretching, or weight lifting. In this area, there may be alternating habits of excellence executed at the same time each day, however done in a different way. A habit of excellence is directed focus with a set of routines to nourish the mental, physical, and spiritual self.
As habits of excellence form, develop, and strengthen in all of the core areas, then a sense of internal fulfillment and wholeness evolves. A well-balanced life of conditioning occurs as we give equal focus to the development of habits for the enhancement of the mind, body, and soul. A basic outline of the day consists of planning activities with estimated time durations of tasks to be performed, including an allotment of time for spontaneous activities. Habits of excellence are developed as goals are identified and developed on an annual, monthly, weekly, and daily basis. There are forms in the Appendix to capture goals and plans.
The development of habits of excellence in each main area of joy includes the implementation of routines that strengthen consistency, structure, and stability in life. A lifestyle is accustomed to a routine, which occurs around the same principles every day. When the body is conditioned for a certain type of food and physical activity, then it craves more of those same things. If we eat nutritious foods and work out, our bodies become accustomed and conform to those good habits. An example of a habit of internal physical excellence is consuming the proper amount of water to cleanse the body from toxins and contaminants.
The areas of joy, in combination with habits of excellence, produce optimal joy through thinking positively about life, taking care of our bodies through nutrition and exercise, and being spiritually connected to a higher power. When time is taken on a daily basis to develop and strengthen the mental, physical, and spiritual areas, then fulfillment and balance become a part of life on a consistent basis.
Joy is experienced as the physical, mental, and spiritual areas become balanced by implementing habits of excellence in each area on a consistent basis. The presence of joy expands through this conditioning. Through the enhancement of the core areas, the center of joy forms, solidifies, and grows through all times.
Keep a Journal
In writing in a journal or notebook, you capture your thoughts, feelings, and ideas. With pen and paper, dreams and goals move from the abstract to the concrete. Writing in a journal, enhances the probability and efficiency in achieving goals and making adjustments in plans along the way. Documenting thoughts also assists in our recollection of thoughts and ideas, which enables us to share and benefit from lessons learned.
Life events, ideas, thoughts, and dreams are captured in a personal journal in any form or method. One way to create a simple journal is to obtain a binder, with section dividers (hole punched). This allows the sections to be modified for specific needs. Then label the dividers as Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Annual, Multi-Annual, and Misc. to capture your goals and thoughts in this format.
The basis of the areas of joy is centered on the development of the mind, body, and soul. A journal is one of the tools in maintaining habits of excellence through the journey of life. Fulfillment happens as activities are initiated and completed within the core elements. This results in a strengthened mental, physical, and spiritual self and leads to an existence in the hierarchy of ultimate living. Let's explore elements within each area in a top down approach, beginning with internal physical conditioning.
Chapter TwoInternal Physical Conditioning
Beginning at the top, the first area in the structure of optimal living is the physical. Let's first explore the internal physical as it relates to the tangible and intangible benefits of conditioning the body internally. Within the structure of joy, each area or tier is composed of a number of elements that give each level its form and shape. The elements within internal physical conditioning are consuming proper nutrition, keeping hydrated, and monitoring health on a periodic basis. As the inside of the body is properly nourished, it establishes the basis for positive effects in other areas of life. Internal physical conditioning affects levels of energy and stamina. It contributes to a sense of wellness to perform in other areas.
One of the elements of internal physical conditioning is the consistent consumption of proper nutrition to enhance mind, body, and soul. It creates a ripple effect when the body has the proper fuel that it needs to perform, as it spreads to the other areas in life. Healthy food and drink serve as fuel for growth and energy for exercise, which releases hormones and chemicals that result in a positive internal feeling, or mental conditioning. This reaction has an effect on the mental and spiritual areas. For example, with enhanced energy, we are able to give praise, worship, and proper focus in our spiritual lives. Other aspects are hydration or liquid consumption to condition an optimal state of health. When the physical body is properly maintained, then it is able to perform at an optimal level.
There are internal and external benefits for a body that is well-conditioned. The external benefits become evident in our physical appearance. A proper diet enhances the quality of the cells in the hair, skin, and nails. The food we eat affects our complexion, mood, energy level, attitude, and brain development. Thus, the three main elements of internal physical conditioning are nutrition, hydration, and internal climate based on the benefits of these items to the physical body.
Consume Proper Nutrients
Proper nutrition is the daily consumption of foods that fuel the body in a positive way. It is one of the key elements that affect all the other elements in a life of joy. Good vitamins, nutrients, and minerals are the building materials used by the body to make new cells, maintain existing cells, and combat harmful invaders. A body with good internal physical conditioning is well-nourished with the essentials to create and maintain strong, healthy cells made from strong building material.
The basic "proper" foods provide nutrients to carry out the functions of cells. The body needs nutrients in the forms of healthy carbohydrates, protein, water, fats, vitamins, and minerals. Good sources of these nutrients are fruits and vegetables. Juicing fruits and vegetables provides wonderful sources of energy and nutrition that are easily digestible. Advanced preparation and planning of meals help to stay on a good, nutritious track, especially when traveling, it is good to be prepared with a bag of proper nutrition of healthy food and drinks. The body requires the consumption of balanced meals in order to replenish essential vitamins and minerals.
The keys to good nutrition include balance in the type and amount of foods consumed. It is important to satisfy the body's demands with foods high in nutritional value. The nutrients in food are used by cells to create energy the body needs to function throughout the day. What we feed ourselves is what we feed our cells. In addition to the types of food, proper nutrition means paying attention to portion size because overeating brings unnecessary demands on the body. Staying on track by selecting healthy foods reaps substantial benefits for the body in performing its functions and activities. When we eat, we should think about whether we are eating to sustain an optimal existence. After food is processed and cooked, how much nutritional value are we getting? Are our bodies getting enough useful material for fuel? These are questions to ask as you eat and drink.
Through digestion, the amount and type of nutrients we consume fuel the body. Digestion is a catalytic process of breaking down foods into material that the body either uses, stores, or eliminates. Digestion begins in the mouth, where saliva and teeth break down the particles in smaller forms that can be transported through the body. The substance, either food or drink, travels down the esophagus where it is moved in a wavelike motion down into the stomach. Traveling from the stomach to the small and large intestines, food and drink become further transformed by gastric acids and enzymes. The consumption of foods with proper nutritional value contains digestive enzymes that further aid in the digestive process.
Foods that contain natural digestive enzymes are fruits and vegetables that bring life to the body. Consuming fruits and vegetables closest to their natural form allows the body to send nutrients to certain areas in the body that need the creation, repair, or replenishment. This fulfills the purpose of eating, that is, to bring nutrients and energy to the body. The nutrients from fresh fruits and vegetables can be used relatively quickly to strengthen the immune system.
Ideal healthy living supplies the body's needs in carrying out activities related to growing, healing, and existing. Complex carbohydrates, such as fruits and vegetables, as well as good fats, such as olive oil serve as sources of energy for the body to carry out its functions. Protein provides elements of basic building blocks of cells, muscles, and organs. Sources of protein include fish and even some vegetables. Sources of fiber include brown rice and vegetables, which assist in eliminating toxins and wastes from the body. Eating habits of excellence develop by consuming nutritious meals, which are in balance of carbohydrates, protein, fat, and fiber.
Improper nutrition can introduce harmful bacteria and toxins, in the form of chemicals, pesticides, and preservatives into the body. An accumulation of excess toxins and wastes have negative effects on the body in addition to reducing its efficiency and performance. The digestion of highly processed foods can cause havoc on the body, due to their lack of enzymes. With a lack of digestive enzymes, other enzymes that normally build and repair cells are taken from their normal tasks in order to assist in the digestion process. When there is a lack of nutritional value in the foods we consume, the ability of the body to perform at optimal efficiency is reduced.
The type of foods our bodies crave is based on what we normally eat. Therefore, the more nutritious foods that we eat, the more cravings we have for that food group. Healthy internal physical conditioning includes the consumption of foods such as oranges, grapefruits, apples, protein shakes, natural applesauce, soups, salads, and fruit and vegetable juices. Depending on an individual's level of physical activity, the body may require more internal nourishment. It is important to pay attention to the type of foods we eat because good food has a positive effect on our organs, such as the brain, heart, and kidneys. A full understanding of what we eat, how much we eat, and why we eat leads to effective weight and health management.
Feed the body consistently by eating good nutrients in moderate portions throughout the day, while alternating meals and snacks. Let's say the day starts at 6 am, consume an apple or fresh fruit along with a glass of water or protein drink. Then at 7 am, consume a full breakfast. Have a snack at 9 am, and partake in lunch at 11 am. This is followed by snacks at 1pm, 3pm, and 5 pm. At 7pm, it's time for a full dinner meal, followed by a healthy 9 pm snack or protein drink. Even though you are eating frequently, some meals are merely snacks. Use your journal to record your meals frequently to ensure that you are meeting your daily calories requirement. Initially it will take time to identify the calories of the food you eat; however, previous journal entries serve as references for calories of foods and drinks. Your recommended daily caloric intake depends on a number of factors, including your physical activity level, age, and gender. The recommended daily caloric intake and number of calories for foods are available for reference in a number of published sources. On days of increased physical activity your calorie intake may be higher than other days, therefore subtract the calories burned during the physical activity from the total calories consumed. Below is an example of a daily eating plan, which can be kept in your journal in the Daily Goals sheet, to monitor your habits according to your calorie requirements for your body.
Excerpted from Joy for a Lifetime by Tamika Glasper Valeria Jones Copyright © 2011 by Tamika Glasper. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents
Chapter 1: The Basics of Joy....................5
Chapter 2: Internal Physical Conditioning....................11
Chapter 3: External Physical Conditioning....................21
Chapter 4: Mental Conditioning....................29
Chapter 5: Spiritual Conditioning....................35
Chapter 6: Joy in Times of Trouble....................41
Chapter 7: Putting It All Together....................43
Chapter 8: Transform Dreams into Reality....................49
Chapter 9: Joy in Academics....................59
Chapter 10: Joy at Home....................63
Chapter 11: Joy in Relationships....................67
Chapter 12: Joy in Marriage....................71
Chapter 13: Joy in Parenthood....................75
Chapter 14: Joy for a Lifetime....................79