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  • Lenten 40 Challenge

    Mindfulness provides a simple but powerful route for getting ourselves unstuck, back into touch with our own wisdom and vitality.
    —Jon Kabat-Zinn

    We invite you to adopt a health-promoting habit for forty days. You determine the personal lifestyle practice—mind, body or spirit—which fosters greater wellness. Commitment and passion rather than the size of the change are key. To kick start your thinking, examples from recent health and lifestyle research will be displayed. Here is a sample:

    • Adding healthy fats to one’s diet such as avocados, olive oil, almonds and fatty fish
    • Fasting 3-4 hours before bedtime until breakfast to allow the body to detox, repair and burn fat.
    • Centering through prayer, meditation or movement such as yoga to reduce cortisol and insulin spikes. 
    • Create a gratitude journal to cultivate an attitude of gratefulness.

    To avoid viewing this invitation as another task in an already busy schedule, we ask members to approach their Lenten practice with mindfulness, and to practice with presence and non-judgmental witness. You might think of it as adjusting the focus on a camera before taking a photo. In this way, a forty day mindfulness practice reinforces commitment to change.

    Lent is the season we recall the forty days and nights Jesus spent fasting in the desert prior to beginning his public ministry. The season also lends itself to a time for our self-improvement. Jesus calls us to live a more abundant life and offers a way in John 12:24:

    Jesus said, Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain: but if it dies, it bears much fruit.

    Habits die hard, but once broken the change is rarely regretted.

    —Kathleen Zagata for the Health Ministry Committee