The act of renewal requires action and Renewing Your Mind is no different!
The word renew, as a verb, means to begin or take up again; replenish – restore; according to Dictionary.com.
The taking up of something to restore requires energy and resources, it is going to cost us something. For example, I want to restore the color to my hair. There will be an investment of energy, time, and resources to having my hair colored. There is also a desired outcome or expectation. So if I pay to get my hair colored, I have an expectancy that it will be a color matching my desire and that my hairdresser knows the formula. The cost to this is an investment financially, of time, and faith in the hairdresser’s skills and knowledge.
There is also this unexpected side-benefit that comes with renewing my hair color which is the feeling of refreshment -I have an extra boost in confidence.
I will tie this analogy together as you continue to read.
As a verb, refresh means to make fresh again or provide new vigor and energy, usually through food and or rest. It also means to stimulate (especially the mind); according to Dictionary.com.
When anything gets renewed (remember hair color), there seems to be a refreshing aspect that occurs (restored confidence). It feels natural, and we can almost assume refreshment to coincide with renewal.
The same can occur for our mind too. Assume when you invest time and action into renewing your mind you can have the pleasure of feeling refreshed. Think of it as a Two-For-One or BOGO deal. We just totally scored, right?
As mentioned with the word renew there is action to move into a direction. As with the mind, we are moving in one direction or another. That of which is a course of health or a path of decay, which has the potential to influence the brain and our body.
Dr. Caroline Leaf, the author of Switch On Your Brain, gives us insight into the mind-body connection. She says we are either building healthy thoughts or negative thoughts into our brain. In either event, we are renewing -building physical protein structures- into our brain in one of two directions. Each direction is having the ramifications of health or disease, life or death (Deuteronomy 30:19).
Let’s see what happens when we chose to renew our mind to the Word of God and the manifestations of this renewing. But before doing so let’s look at one more word, mind.
Mind is a noun. It is the state, at any given time, of the faculties of thinking, willing, choosing, and the like. It is a psychical activity or state; as in opinion, judgment, or belief; according to Dictionary.com.
Our mind is the second most powerful thing in the world, God being to first. Our thought-life has the potential to be saturated in toxic or positive thinking. Dr. Leaf likens toxic thoughts to a dead tree.
An unhealthy root system -toxic thinking- can breed disease by causing an unhealthy imbalance in our physical body. Healthy thoughts promote life and health to our physical body, all of which starts in our mind.
Renewing our mind daily, to the Word of God -a healthy root system- rewires our brain to breed health. The health is then manifested by our renewed words and actions because our brain does what our mind tells it to do.
Our physical body will follow its signal according to what has been planted by the mind in the brain.
It’s no wonder why Paul urges us to the challenge of sacrificing our body and to renew our mind (Romans 12:1-2). We are a spirit, who has a mind, that lives in a body. Our body plays out what the brain tells it to do by way of our mind. If we are stuck in toxic thinking, our habits, actions, and words even will be stuck in that too.
I will give you 3 Steps To Start Renewing Your Mind So You Can Get Unstuck
If you are stuck, you may find it difficult to figure out where to start. You may be throwing your arms up in the air and ready to give up. Let me tell you that you are in a prime position, with your arms raised. Take this posture -with arms out and raised- acknowledging God’s goodness and glory. More on this later in step 3 at the bottom.
Before I get into the 3 Steps, let’s visit some scripture that talks about the mind and thoughts.
The following is not an exhaustive list of scripture on renewing the mind. It is a simple list demonstrating:
- The specific order what not to conform to
- Where our mind’s thoughts come from
- What to renew our thoughts to
Scripture is God-breathed. Let’s use it to blow out false and toxic thoughts and use to breathe truth in. Use it to train in righteous thinking and rebuke what falls short (2 Timothy 3:16). We need to establish this footing so we know what to anchor our thoughts in and to.
If we don’t have a foundation in what the truth is, then how do we know our thinking isn’t toxic?
My first point is that Paul gives us a specific order to not conform to the world in Romans 12:2. This may be one of the most common scriptures about renewing the mind but he enlightens us that there is a transformation the occurs during the mind renewing process. Remember we get the BOGO deal when we chose to renew we get the refreshment during the transformation process.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…
I also feel it’s valid to share where our mind’s thoughts can come from. Having been born into this world there are many sinful desires we are exposed to. This corruption that occurs goes against the nature of who God intended us to be. By making a choice to stop engaging in sinful activity we give permission for the Holy Spirit to renew us in our mind (Ephesians 4:22-23).
throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes.
Have you ever felt icky after saying something mean or bad and right after saying it you totally had a check in your spirit that it didn’t feel right? I perceive it as the Holy Spirit helping us check ourselves to renew our thoughts and attitudes, as to not grieve the spirit within.
Okay, lastly, let’s look at an example of what we are to renew our thoughts to. With such a chaotic world and all its distractions, Paul again directs us on what we are to think -truth, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy, these are worth keeping in mind.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.
Sister, I know it’s tough. It’s not expected of us to never have a negative thought or feeling, after all, God created us to think and feel. However, our mind is a battlefield and this is where the Enemy likes to play us. It is up to us to choose how long we stay with something negative and the choice to begin expending the energy to actively renew our thoughts to the Lord’s truth and rebuke the toxic thought.
Do not allow the enemy to take advantage of your thoughts. He is a cunning jerk that can and will stop at nothing to dismantle your fellowship with Christ. So be alert and mindful of thoughts coming in, going out and what keeps circling around again.
2 Corinthians 11:3
But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.
Do not live with the mindset created of this world.
At this point forward, commit that you will stop living under toxic thinking. As thoughts and circumstances come and go, let your thinking, feeling, and choosing about them go as well if they do not serve you or uphold to Philippians 4:8 standards.
So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking.
Renewing the mind is a daily action. It is not a process that is ever fully complete by reading a book or attending a weekend conference. Although I do encourage you to stay plugged in, read and attend events, I also encourage you to be mindful of your thoughts daily, moment by moment, second by second. Train your mind to be aware and proactive -this is the action part- and rebuking what is from the Enemy. Do not let the Enemy gain a foothold from unresolved thoughts and emotions (Ephesians 4:27) but take them back to the truth.
2 Corinthians 4:16
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.
Essential Oils For Concentration and Focus
Moving on to essential oils, there are oils that can help with mental clarity in two aspects, physically and emotionally. Here are a few of my go-to oils if I mentally want to take something on or wrestling with toxic thinking. There are more options than what is suggested here, but this is a good start with some of the more common oils used for concentration and focus. Keep in mind, these can be used in the diffuser, make a roller blend (see the Refresh and Renew custom blend recipe), or applied individually topically or inhaled.
Body Systems: Cardiovascular, Muscles, and Bones
Emotions: Promotes feelings of renewed strength; relaxes the mind and helps recover from negative habits
Body Systems: Immune, Respiratory, and Nervous
Emotions: Aids transition and change; to receive knowledge or something new
Body Systems: Digestive, Immune, Respiratory
Emotions: Nourishes mind and aids concentration/focus/clarity; cleansing- helps with releasing negative feelings and makes room for joy, energy, alertness.
Body System: Digestive, Immune, Respiratory
Emotions: Clears and balance (heart/mind) space
Because there are different approaches to the process of renewing your mind. The experience I guide my clients through incorporates biblical scripture, essential oils, and action steps. Point being, the goal here is for you to get unstuck
-experience freedom- so you can begin living your life in motion and to being the renewing process. This is what I like to call Upscale Living.
I want to make it crystal clear, you can follow the steps even if you don’t have your essential oils yet. It’s the power of the Holy Spirit that moves on your behalf. The essential oils just help with positioning the mind, body, and emotions into a place where you can more easily let go and receive because they smell amazing and work at a neurological level.
Alright, are you ready? If you want this in a detailed PDF format please see the link here for more detail.
Here we go!
3 Steps To Renewing Your Mind
PRIME: Alignment Prayer & Oil Application
Apply the Refresh & Renew Blend (or any of the oils suggested above) to your chest and inside wrist, next recite this prayer in the privacy of your heart:
Body submit to my soul,
soul submit to my spirit,
spirit submit to no other spirt except the
Holy Spirit of the living God. I choose to be a person who walks in the Spirit and is covered
with the blood of Jesus Christ.
STEP 1: Thanksgiving
- Ask Holy Spirit to show you one toxic thought that has been plaguing your thought-life
- Imagine the toxic-thought in your hands and carry it to the feet of Jesus -place it down
- Acknowledge, confess, and receive forgiveness
- Aggressively acknowledging what the Lord has already done, begin with “Lord, I thank you _____”
STEP 2: Praise
- Imagine that Jesus is holding your hand, while clasping your hands together praise Him with, “Lord, I praise you
STEP 3: Worship
- While maintaining focus on God, and not your toxic thought, raise your hands (or however worship looks like for you -singing, dancing, sitting still, closing your eyes, taking deep breathes, etc.) and posture your heart to Him as you enter into worship.
(The Thanksgiving, Praise, and Worship steps have been adapted from Dr. Caroline Leaf’s book, Switch On Your Brain)
This process can be repeated countless time throughout your day while using the Refresh & Renew Blend (see recipe below) or any of the oils listed above. Do these steps especially when you get stuck in your mind and have a difficult time shaking it off.
Remember that renewing your mind is a daily process and can be done by completing the following steps when we catch ourselves going into a toxic thought.