4 Things About Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, is literally marked on the forehead of observant Christians. To start off the Lenten journey, I have gathered a few misconceptions and things I was not aware of earlier in my Catholic Faith Journey.

imagesAsh Wednesday, the first day of Lent, is literally marked on the forehead of observant Christians. During Lent, the Church asks us to surrender ourselves to prayer and to the reading of Scripture, to fasting and to giving alms. The distribution of ashes reminds us of our own mortality and calls us to repentance. In the early Church, Ash Wednesday was the day on which those who had sinned, and who wished to be readmitted to the Church, would begin their public penance. The ashes that we receive are a reminder of our own sinfulness, and many Catholics leave them on their foreheads all day as a sign of humility.

To start off the Lenten journey,  I have gathered a few misconceptions and things I was not aware of earlier in my Catholic Faith Journey.

Is NOT a Holy Day of Obligation  All Catholics are encouraged to attend Mass on Ash Wednesday in order to begin the Lenten season with the proper attitude and reflection, Ash Wednesday is not a Holy Day of Obligation.

It’s A Day of Fasting  Ash Wednesday and Good Friday are obligatory days of fasting and abstinence for Catholics. In addition, Fridays during Lent are obligatory days of abstinence. Unlike fasting in some religions, which require abstaining from all food and drink during fast dates, Catholics are permitted to eat one full meal and two smaller meals. Read here for the differences between abstinence and fasting.

Where does the Church get the Ashes? Ashes are from the Palm branches of the previous Palm Sunday. On Palm Sunday we celebrate Jesus’ return to Jerusalem when he was greeted by crowds waving palm branches. The ashes used on Ash Wednesday are burned palm branches mixed with holy water or oil. 

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You MUST keep the Ashes on ALL day  Wearing ashes throughout the day on Ash Wednesday helps us remember why we received them in the first place. Those who feel uncomfortable wearing their ashes outside of church, or if they get in the way of your daily duties, should not worry about removing them. Also, if your ashes naturally fall off, or if you accidentally rub them off, there is no need to be concerned.

 I do not claim to be nor am I a Catholic Expert . I am your average Catholic exploring the Faith and sharing things I have learned throughout my journey. I’ve included links to help you read explore into each subject and beyond. If you have further questions regarding the Church, I highly recommend you talk to a Priest, Deacon or other person of authority and proper training. 

Have a Blessed Lent! 

-Adrienne

7 Intention Filled Actions for a Better You!

Many start their New Year’s Resolutions January 1st, or somewhere around there. Let’s face it, the Holidays are incredibly busy leaving me not much time to figure out real solid goals & intentions for the New Year. Instead of quickly compiling a list of goals or resolutions right at the start of the New Year, I decided to take a Yoga Group’s Instagram Challenge.

Many start their New Year’s Resolutions January 1st, or somewhere around there. Let’s face it, the Holidays are incredibly busy leaving me not much time to figure out real solid goals & intentions for the New Year. Instead of quickly compiling a list of goals or resolutions right at the start of the New Year,  I decided to take a Yoga Group’s Instagram Challenge.

This seven day Challenge gave me a chance to really focus on what, where , how and why I’d like to improve. After this seven day Challenge and much reflection, thought and prayer, I’ve come up with my 7 Intention Filled Actions For A Better Me. 

Fitness:

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For the next year, I will work on Acro Yoga with my sweet minis, Summer, Autumn, Ryan & Skylar. Spending time, capturing moments and moving more! Maybe even get my husband in on it. Oh yes of course this includes pinchas, handstands and other funky things. 

Knowledge:

One of the many benefits of Yoga is it’s a great antidote for muscle imbalances and misalignment. My knowledge goal is to learn more of which poses aid in healing & incorporate more of these basic yoga poses to myself, students & clients.

Relationships:

10326526_1101241993220328_434665821_n(1)Maintaining healthy relationships is incredibly important to me but I may not always be great at it. As stress arises, I tend to runaway or lash out at the ones who mean so much to me. The pictures represent each part of my life. 1st- I’m a Catholic Christian & God has to be at the center for me. If He’s not….well everything kind of goes down the drain. Without Him, I’m nothing. Our relationship hasn’t been the greatest the last 2 months, I’m not going to lie . Totally my fault….. but that is changing. Next my kids, my husband, my sisters (I have 3) & family/extended family- including my girls’ step mom, half brothers & father. Finally, my students & clients & of course the Move More Fitness family.

Health:

I’ve decided to change my diet up this year. Instead of my normal Protein/Superfood Shake, I’m trying something different. Same idea, just different products & ingredients. After 6 years of being on the same product, my body needs a change. I will omit as much wheat from my diet as I can. Please note, I’m not claiming it is bad for a person and believe me I had my fair share. Growing up Italian we lived on bread & pasta. I’m finding that my body just doesn’t like it like it used to. Oh….I will be eating carbs, don’t get me wrong. My point is , listen to your body. It will talk! I will also continue to take my Wheatgrass shots , as I fully believe it is the cure all! Seriously. Get a shot! 

Bad Habits:

There are several bad habits I’d like to break. The biggest is negative thinking. Find those triggers and nip them in the bud. If thoughts start to come into my head say “Bu-Bye”.

Mindfulness:

I’d like to be more mindful of recognizing others good deeds and make an extra effort to show appreciation. Especially to my Husband and family.

Reflections & Blessings:

I have had many bumps, turns, detours in my life and I know it’s not over. I thank God He has never left my side even though I may have put Him on the back burner. The same with my family. They have never ever left my side and what a beautiful blessing to have such an amazing family who’d do anything for me and my children . Reflecting back….I have not taken full advantage of my blessings. I mean that’s the idea, God blesses us and wants us to share His gifts. I want to make sure I do everything -parenting, business, teaching, training, social media, and whatever else is thrown my way- the way He intends me to do them. It will be very hard and I may not adhere to everything but I’m ready and willing.

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Ponder these areas one day at a time and create your own 7 Intention Filled Actions for a better you. Please feel free to share! I believe if we state our intentions to one another, we will most likely follow through with most, if not all!  

 

I wish you all a healthy and happy New Year. I hope this gets you thinking of changing just one small thing in your lifestyle to be a tad healthier, happier & nicer. 

-Adrienne Vose