What Are the Ashes All About?

You are dust, and to dust you shall return. Genesis 2:7

Today, many Christians throughout the world are celebrating Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. Lent is a time when Christians prepare for Easter by exercising spiritual discipline such as fasting, repentance, or study. Ash Wednesday has been observed since the tenth century. 

Some denominations place ashes in the form of the cross on parishioners’ foreheads. Ashes are an ancient symbol reminding humans that they are of dust and will return to dust. Through the ashes, we remember our humanity as well as who we are and who we can become. 

Affirmation: I affirm those who exercise their faith. 

Coaching questions: If you’re a Christian, what does the season of Lent mean to you? If you are not a Christian, I hope this information expanded your understanding of the Lenten season. 

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Photo by Ahna Ziegler on Unsplash

Ever Considered Fasting?

Periodic fasting can help clear up the mind and strengthen the body and the spirit. Ezra Taft Benson, American farmer, Secretary of Agriculture under President Eisenhower, religious leader

Japanese cell biologist Yoshinori Ohsumi won the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2016 for his research on how cells recycle and renew their content, a process called autophagy. “Why should I care about this?” you’re asking. Because motherless daughters—early loss daughters and daughters who have/had mothers with dementia in particular— are frequently concerned with their health and longevity. 

Ohsumi’s research shows that fasting activates autophagy and autophagy has a role in protection against inflammation, cancer, and in diseases like dementia and Parkinson’s. So, whether you simply fast from 7 pm to 7 am or take on a bigger challenge like 4 pm to 7 am or go to periodically eating two meals a day, fasting is something you might want to consider. 

Affirmation: I try new things to improve my health.

Coaching questions: If you’ve fasted in the past, what was the outcome? If this is a good time in your life to bump your fasting up to a new level, today is a good day to start. 

P.S. Fasting also aids in weight loss.