When Seasons Change


By Mike Fenton 
Heart & Soul Health Coaching

          As we approach the fall of the year and as the days become shorter, for some, it can mean a significant change in their overall state-of-mind. For those that are solar-powered (rely on sunshine for energy) it can mean not having as much energy, feeling lethargic and in more severe cases, it can lead into depression. We should not let that happen, we should instead focus on the “son-shine”. “Son-shine” is what we get when we have a relationship with the son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ.
     When we rely on the things in life that we know are ever-changing there will be disappointment. When we rely on the things that do not change (the love of God) there is no disappointment. That is why a healthy soul is very important in the trilogy of Total Wellness (when mind, body and soul ALL come together as one in good health. I believe a healthy soul is the glue that holds it all together as we achieve the other two (healthy mind/healthy body).
     Whenever we feel like life is a roller-coaster it is good to audit each portion of our lives in order to know where this roller-coaster feeling is coming from, is it:

  • The food I am eating (diet rich in sugar, refined carbohydrates, caffeine/alcohol usage)
  • The sleep I am getting (not sleeping well, shift work, environment)
  • Living a stress-filled life

     The point is, the many ups and downs we experience in life can be minimized and or eliminated by simply listening to our body, paying attention to our environment and tying it all together. In some cases you may need/want to start a diary of how you are feeling and when, and not only when you are down, but also when you are in good spirit as well.
     There is so much that we can do for the good of our own personal health and well-being at half the cost of seeing a doctor. It may also be much less than the price of some prescription drugs. Make the decision today to take control of your health and make Total Wellness a part of your life. 

“The only way you can sustain a permanent change is to create a new way of thinking, acting, and being”.
Jennifer HudsonI Got This: How I Changed My Ways and Lost What Weighed Me Down, 2012 



Does Anybody Really Care?


“Happiness is more than good health and a bad memory”.

  –Mike Fenton Heart & Soul Health Coach


     Last month we pondered the question: Is Anyone Listening? We can sometimes get that feeling when talking with others and feel that nobody is paying attention, or in some cases while in prayer. Our prayers are not answered in the time frame we hoped for and therefore we assume that nobody is listening.

     If we let this assumption stay inside us we open ourselves up to a more serious problem, that being, we may get the feeling that nobody is listening because nobody really cares. Is there no worse feeling than the feeling that nobody cares?  Most folks hope to have someone in their life that cares for them.

     Just as the Lord our God is all listening He is also all caring! We are reminded of that in 1 Peter 5:7 which says: “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you”. We should never feel as though nobody is listening or that nobody really cares, pray to the Lord he is listening, and He cares for us more than we will ever know.

     But in God’s eyes I am a sinner you say, how can God possible care about me? We must remember that we have all sinned in God’s eyes, however when we ask for forgiveness our sinful past is no longer remembered. Hebrews 8:12 states: “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”

     Our God is a loving and caring God. So when we are in doubt or wondering if someone is listening or if anybody really cares, it is important to remember that HE does, and the best part is, He listens, loves and cares even when we are at our very worst. Yes, even when we are at our worst!



     August Reflection – Luke 12:6,7 (6) “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God (7) Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows”.


Is Anybody Listening?


“Happiness is more than good health and a bad memory”.
  –Mike Fenton Heart & Soul Health Coach

          When life’s issues happen upon us and we are looking for someone that will listen and perhaps help out we can sometimes feel as though we are speaking but no one is listening. When this happens we become frustrated and look for other ways to find comfort. This month’s main topic talks about how some folks will turn to eating or drinking to find comfort and why that is not a good idea.
     Despite what we feel, we have someone who is always listening and better yet someone who is willing to help if we will only allow Him to; His name is Jesus Christ. We read inPsalm34:6 “This poor man called, and the Lord heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles”. It matters not whether we are rich or poor, nor what color or nationality we are, if we ask in faith our Lord will listen. Isaiah 45:22 says “Turn to me and be saved, all you ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other”.
     The best part is our Lord never changes. You will not get one answer one day and a different answer the next. We can’t always say that about the people we know. The book of John talks about how when our soul prospers and we are led by God that He will direct us on a direct and easy path.
     So the real question isn’t – Is Anybody Listening? Rather the real question we should be asking ourselves is – Am I talking to the right person?
     Life came with an owner’s manual; it’s called The Holy Bible and in it you can and will find answers to any problem you may encounter. Life can sometimes be hard, but it becomes even harder when we try to seek answers without God’s help.

     July Reflection –    Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” 

Don’t Eat the Meatloaf!

Meatloaf is certainly one of the great American comfort foods and one that most of us have enjoyed at one time or another. But why do we eat comfort foods to begin with? Well each person is different but the underlying reason I believe is the same, it is to comfort us, hence the name comfort food. But do we really want to look to food to ease our problems and comfort us? Sadly for some their answer is yes. People eating their troubles away are just as common as an alcoholic drinking their problems away.
The problem with that strategy is that the comfort we receive is short lived. We also find that eating or drinking our problems away does not address the root of the problems we’re having and therefore leaves us vulnerable to have the same situation happen to us again and again.
When a decision is made to treat the symptom and not the cause we find ourselves forgetting about determining the root of the problem and instead we take the easiest way out and “eat the meatloaf”.
There are a good number of people that could get themselves off prescription medications and save a lot of money simply by eating better and having some form of exercise as part of their daily life. Yes it requires an effort on our part but the rewards make it well worth the extra effort.
If you have not yet noticed we are entering into the age of self-accountability. WE are going to have to be responsible for maintaining good health or we WILL pay the consequences for not doing so such as:

  • Paying higher healthcare insurance premiums.
  • Paying increased prescription medication costs.
  • May affect our ability to retire from work.

     Yes our ability to retire from work! I have seen more folks that have had to go back in to the work place in order to get healthcare coverage from an employer because they could not afford to purchase it on their own.
Unfortunately,most folks don’t take this into consideration because they have no idea just how expensive it is going to be.
Make the decision today to live your life in the state of “Total Wellness”, start to live life on your own terms. It will taste better than any meatloaf you’ve ever had and the comfort you receive will be eternal.

My choice; my responsibility; win or lose, only I hold the keys to my destiny.

-Elain Maxwell


Feel as Though You’ve Had Enough?

When the trials of life push us to the limit and our hearts are the heaviest it may seem as though we are hitting dead-end after dead-end or road block after road block, it is then it may become easier for us to feel as though we should just throw in the towel and give up. Instead of dwelling on how stressed, how tired, and or how overwhelmed we are, we should learn and take heed from what is written in Nehemiah 8:10 (NIV) which reads(10) Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength”.

     We must focus on our Lord’s inexhaustible strength, our Lord’s unlimited power, and know it is through our faith we can take comfort in knowing even though things are not going as we would like here in this physical world through the work we do here (and what Christ Jesus did for us on the cross) we will find our reward in heaven. Hebrews 10:35 (NIV) says (35) So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded”.

     Satan wants us to tire; he wants us to throw in the towel because he knows when we have given up hope he can move in. We must look to God for our direction because by doing so we will avoid many of life’s dead-ends and road blocks which can tire and rob us of our strength.
     June Reflection –  Lamentations 3:24-26 (NIV)  (24) “I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him. (25) The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; (26) it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.” 

Road Blocks in our Journey to “Total Wellness”

Over the last 3 months in my monthly newsletter I defined my vision for “Total Wellness”. The March newsletter talked about the importance of having a healthy mind and its role in “Total Wellness”. The April newsletter talked about the importance of having a healthy body and its role in “Total Wellness”. And most recently the May newsletter talked about the importance of having a healthy soul and its role in “Total Wellness”.
We know that as much as 95% of all disease and illness evolves from stress so it is beneficial for us to have and keep a healthy mind. We know we must eat nutritionally sound food, and we must have some physical activity in our life because it helps us maintain a healthy body. A healthy body makes us feel good about ourselves, and when we feel good about ourselves, we take control and feel empowered to live life on our terms. We also learned that a healthy soul can give us a more tranquil life because of the inner wisdom and peace it provides us.
What about those road blocks that can sabotage our attempts to find “Total Wellness”? Well, the first thing we need to do is identify what the road block is. Is it a road block to a healthy mind, a healthy body, and or a healthy soul or maybe worse a combination of all three? Once we have identified what the road block(s) are we can more clearly focus our efforts in that area.
While some road blocks can be more easily overcome such as finding a different route home that does not pass the ice-cream shop, others can be more frustrating and demoralizing. In either case we must remember they can be overcome! Getting past some of our road blocks may mean we have to change the way we look at and approach life’s obstacles, and in some cases we may feel as though we are powerless to make the changes necessary to get past them. We must remember in those times The Bible says the Word of God can change the things we cannot change on our own. As D.L. Moody once said “The Bible was not given to increase our knowledge; the Bible was given to change our lives”.
I started the year 2013 off with a Soulful Inspiration entitled S.S.D.D. (Same Solution Different Day) in which I asked the folks who were looking to create change in their life to ask themselves the following questions:

  • Have I made this decision before?
  • What solutions can I identify in the past that have not worked?
  • What new solution(s) am I going to try this time that will help me to make the change I want?

If you are trying to get past a road block in your life you can ask yourself these similar questions:

  • What have I tried before to overcome this road block?
  • What have I tried before in the past that did not work?
  • What new solution(s) will energize and motivate me to succeed this time?

I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.

-Michael Jordan


A Healthy Soul is Crucial in Our Journey to “Total Wellness”

“Total Wellness” – Part 3 – The Soul

By Mike Fenton 
Heart & Soul Health Coaching

A healthy soul is the third part in the trilogy of “Total Wellness”. Wikipedia defines soul as: The soul, in many mythological, religious, philosophical, and psychological traditions, is the incorporeal and, in many conceptions, immortal essence of a person, living thing, or object.

Soul is also a synonym for spirit, mind, psyche or self and that is how we should relate to it when thinking about our own “Total Wellness”. In Proverbs 20:27 (NIV) we are reminded that The human spirit is the lamp of the Lord that sheds light on one’s inmost being”.

Most people that have their soul in a state of wellness live a more tranquil life because they have more inner wisdom, inner peace and knowledge. Most work to change the consciousness of humanity and to enlighten others in order to create love, peace, and harmony for humanity.

The power of the soul can teach us soul healing, soul prevention of sickness, soul rejuvenation, soul transformation of every aspect of life (including relationships and finances), and soul enlightenment. It offers us a practical means to empower us to apply all of these teachings. We are asked in Proverbs 18:14 (NIV) “The human spirit can endure in sickness, but a crushed spirit who can bear”?

When our soul is in a state of wellness we have the power to do or be all we desire. You are, and will be, as you believe yourself to be.

You are in control, your will supreme; self-empowerment is your will in action. Believe in your worthiness to be as one with the Creator for that is divine truth, for we are all of and from the One.

Underneath the flesh overcoat with will and desire to know our self  we can open the door to our soul, our inner awareness, our power to be all that we are, and we can find our soul purpose.

The words of The Bible can inspire us to explore our life purpose and leave us with a feeling of inner excitement inspiring us to want to know more.

Inspiration in reality is a realization of a truth already known, it is this inner awareness that inspires us to take hold, acknowledge it, and therefore desire to make it real in our own way.

 With “Total Wellness” (when mind, body and soul all come together as one in good health) we feel a new sense of empowerment. We are happy with who we are, where we are, where we want to go, and what we want to do.

 Because when we believe in ourselves we take back control.

What’s for Dinner?

“Happiness is more than good health and a bad memory”.

-Mike Fenton Heart & Soul Health Coach

     We spend a lot of time trying to eat the right foods because; too much of this raises my cholesterol or too much of that gives me high blood pressure. Those are all good things to keep in mind when feeding our “physical” bodies especially because when watching what we eat can keep us OFF the prescription medications.

However we must also think about our need to provide food for our soul! Food for the soul comes in many forms as it is something we do that makes us feel good inside or perhaps enlightened after doing it. It may come in the form of reading a good book that has a positive or inspiring message. The Bible is one of those books which provide great optimism for the future.  For example, 2 Corinthians 4:18 (NIV) gives great focus in (18) “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal”.

A warm or inspiring conversation with a friend or loved one can feed our soul. Or how about the great feeling we get after doing something that is for the benefit of someone else? Giving to a favorite charity or doing volunteer work? All are great food for the soul and things that make us feel better about ourselves while at the same time helping others.

However it is we like to provide food for our soul we must always understand the importance of it. By feeding the soul through reading scripture we can find both strength and rest through inner peace. We find strength in Isaiah 40:29 (NIV) which says (29) “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak” and we can find peace in Matthew 11:29 (NIV) which says to (29) “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls”.

So the next time you’re wondering “what’s for dinner” take a moment to think about what am I going to feed my soul?


May Reflection: Romans 8:10 (NLT) (10) “And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God”.  Romans 8:11 (NLT) (11) “The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you”.  

A Healthy Body is Crucial in Our Journey to “Total Wellness”


 “Total Wellness” – Part 2 – The Body

By Mike Fenton 
Heart & Soul Health Coaching

A healthy body is the second part in the trilogy of “Total Wellness”. The body is the physical home to our spirit and the exterior of our heart & soul. It reacts to what it sees, feels, wants and needs via a signal it receives from the brain. It carries out that signal through bodily function. In fact, if your hand, foot or any other body part starts functioning independently of the brain, something is terribly wrong.
We should want to keep our bodies healthy so that we don’t risk the chance of not being able to enjoy the simple everyday things we can sometimes take for granted.
Knowing that being overweight or obese brings on a whole list of problems from diabetes to high cholesterol to high blood pressure (which ultimately leads us to higher costs for health insurance premiums) we should use good judgment when eating and practice portion control.We can get more by eating less! In Proverbs 25:16 (NIV) we are reminded that “If you find honey, eat just enough—too much of it, and you will vomit”.
It is also very important that we use good judgment in what it is we eat and the amount of physical activity we have in our life. A poor diet and or lack of exercise can make us feel lethargic and most often we will not be as productive as we want/need to be.

A large part of the reason for the health crisis today is that were eating the wrong foods. Foods that are:

  • High in salt content (most of this sodium comes from processed foods and not from our salt shakers)
  • High in saturated fats – regular cheese, pizza, grain-based desserts, fried chicken and fried chicken mixed dishes, sausage, franks, bacon, and ribs, dairy desserts, burgers, tortillas, burritos, and tacos, beef and beef mixed dishes, reduced-fat milk
  • High in Solid and Trans Fats
  • High in added sugars – soda, energy drinks, and sports drinks, grain-based desserts, fruit drinks, dairy desserts, candy, ready-to-eat cereals, sugars and honey, tea, yeast breads, misc. other foods

Also on the do not eat list:

  • Fast Foods
  • Refined Grains

Instead we should:

  • Eat more fish & seafood — at least 8 ounces a week
  • Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Substitute healthy oils for solid fats (such as margarine)
  • Lower your sodium intake
  • Avoid fast foods
  • Exercise more (start out slowly, maybe short walks and gradually work your exercise routine upward)
  • Read food labels (many foods we assume to be healthy really are not)
  • Substitute whole grains for refined grains
  • Eat more beans and peas (fresh)
  • Get plenty of fiber, eat more Beans — navy, pinto, black, kidney, white, great northern, and lima, 100% Bran ready-to-eat cereal, Split peas, lentils, chickpeas, or cowpeas, Artichokes, Pears, Soybeans, Plain rye wafer crackers, Bran ready-to-eat cereals, Asian pears, Green peas
  • Get more potassium from – Baked potatoes including the skin, Prune juice, Carrot juice, Tomato paste, Beet greens, White beans, Tomato juice, Plain yogurt (nonfat or low fat), Tomato puree, Sweet potato, baked in skin
  • Vitamin D (sunshine while out on that walk is a good source for vitamin D), Salmon, sockeye, Rockfish, Tuna, Orange juice, Sardines, Whole milk, Whole chocolate milk
  • Eat/drink more nonfat or low-fat dairy products
  • Replace high-fat meats with lean meats
  • For some Americans, drink less alcohol (moderation, most things in life are okay if done in moderation)
  • Get off your SOFAS

Source – WebMD 1-31-11

Each year the televisions get bigger and better offering us the latest in technology. The computers get smaller and more compact. Now we can even surf the internet with our phone. This is great, BUTwe are not getting enough physical activity in our lives and because of that we are seeing higher than normal rates of diabetes, high blood pressure, elevated levels of cholesterol and heart disease. Surely those are conditions you don’t want in your life.
Baseball great Mickey Mantle was quoted as saying “If I knew I was going to live this long, I’d have taken better care of myself”
The habits we form now both nutritionally as well as in how much physical activity we have in our life can and will directly affect our quality of life both now and in the years to come.

Next Month –  “Total Wellness” – Part 3 – The Soul