Plenty of people have compared the weights we can lift to the weights we carry in life, whether we call them weights, trials, or maybe even chains. This blog will look at how I lift weights a little differently, in the gym and in life.
I’m taking a Strength and Tone class on Monday nights. This usually involves a step bench, weights (“light” and “heavy” as designated by each individual), and sometimes a bar, resistance band, or ball. I always have extra weights handy, because my left side is weaker than my right from a stroke. Needless to say, I work out to the best of my abilities. I can do everything I’m asked to do (try telling me I can’t – I dare you!), but it usually looks different or takes my muscles a minute to coordinate themselves.
Recently, I was doing overhead lifts and I could feel my left-hand over-flexing, bending back too far. I didn’t have to drop the weight. I just had to change my grip!
The beauty of taking a class like this is that there’s always freedom to do what works for me.
Let’s look at some of the choices I can always make:
- Do the exercise as it is prescribed – Sometimes, I can do exactly what I’m given to do. That’s great!
- Change the way I do it – One of the best ways I’ve learned to do push-ups is with a hand on a weight – it takes pressure off of my wrist. Maybe you can’t do something the same way as another person – so do it your way!
- Do more – I can lift more on my right side, so I always have a heavier weight for that side or I do more repetitions with that side. Sometimes we can do more in one way than another! I can listen and give advice way better than I can cook.
- Alternate – Sometimes I can’t do both arms at the same time, but I can focus on one at a time. How true in life is this one? If there’s more paperwork to be done, my house can stay messy until I can finish the paperwork and then pick up the cleaning – unless there’s something more fun!
- Drop the weight – Oh, I do not like this option! Well, maybe I should. Maybe I need to rest for a few seconds. Maybe, I need to reclaim my balance. I’ve come to realize that if I’m going to be any good later, sometimes I need to take a break.
We all have trials in life that aren’t as simple as managing hand weights during a workout. Sometimes we don’t have all of the choices available to us in every situation. For example, if you’re a single mom, there may be weights you cannot drop, but you can move them around. You can lift them differently. We always have choices that we can make, if we will learn to slow down and consider them.
The Journey Training is like weight training for your life. It can train you to identify your weights, equip you with exercises, and help you lift more effectively, all while strengthening you in your life! Are you ready? Enroll in the next class and get pumped up!
Have you ever spent the majority of a day in the airport? I had that experience not long ago, on my birthday no less! It was enough to come unglued, but thanks to the tools I received from The Journey Training, I made the most of that birthday!
I was excited to fly from Atlanta to Tulsa on my birthday to enjoy time with friends before a glorious weekend of serving with The Journey Training. The weather wasn’t so glorious though – tornado watches and severe weather predictions throughout the southeast and other parts of the country. I prepared for a delayed flight and allowed for a slow commute to the airport.
I wasn’t surprised when the flight was delayed, but the cancellation threw me for a loop. I mean, I understood, but I’ve never experienced it. I’ve only heard horror stories. I got in a line that was about 20 people deep. There were a lot of cancelled flights. When it was my turn, the agent looked at my options and got me on a flight, also connecting in Houston, several hours later.
Shortly before boarding time, there was another delay. In the best-case scenario, I would just barely have enough time to make my connection in Houston. But it wasn’t the best-case scenario, at least not while looking at it from the current perspective. Frustrated and tearing up, I considered my options. I then heard God say to me, “Stay the course. Call Stacey, a friend in Houston who I had not seen in 8 years. So, I call. Stacey answers! Yes, she is in Houston! Yes, she’ll pick me up! Yes, I can stay with her!
Not only did I not sleep in an airport or get a hotel room, I got to spend the final moments of my birthday with a long-lost friend. It was a great way to end the day! At 7:45 the next morning, I was on that first flight to Tulsa and we could now resume regularly scheduled programming!
Yes, it’s quite a story but what I hope you hear in this story is how the choices I made played a role in that day. I couldn’t control the weather, traffic, cancelled flights, or even if a friend could change their plans for me. Yet I still had choices every step of the way.
What did I choose?
- I chose to be prepared for bad weather.
- I chose serenity when I couldn’t change the weather, lines, flights, or crews.
- I chose to make the most of my time in the airport.
- I chose to go with my gut and stick with my flight to Houston.
- I chose to ask for help.
- I chose to embrace an impromptu reunion.
We all have choices to make, no matter what the circumstances. In The Journey Training, I learned that no matter what happens to me, I still have a responsibility to choose how I will respond to them. And that can lead you to serenity!
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.
Have you ever had a child, who rarely requests food, specifically ask for macaroni and cheese? Have you ever opened a packet of powdered cheese sauce from the box, only to find it has gone rancid and congealed? Have you ever had both happen simultaneously? If you have, then you have surely learned this lesson already.
Sometimes, you need to find a different way.
In this instance, I knew how to make a cheese sauce from scratch, so I began to make a roux with butter and flour. I had just added in some milk to create the basis for a sauce when I realized the only shredded cheese in the refrigerator was mozzarella. Not the ideal cheese for macaroni and cheese. But I was undeterred. My daughter wanted macaroni and cheese! She only asks for a specific food maybe once a week. I was not going to let her down!
I found a block of Velveeta in the back of the cabinet and diced it into small pieces and melted it into the sauce I already made. Success! While it was thicker than usual, it was still macaroni and cheese and my daughter gobbled it down. I had made it happen. I was supermom!
In The Journey Training, we often talk about how you can make it from point “A to B”. Sometimes, your first attempt won’t work out the way you originally planned. But along the way you can learn to improvise and even blaze your own trail.
In the movie Finding Dory, the quote “There’s always another way!” has often inspired me (and my friend Alison) to “just keep swimming”.
If you try to do something and it doesn’t work, don’t stop, try another way. If you can’t see another way, ask others for help. There’s always more than one way to make Mac and Cheese!
My school does a huge Art Day in the Spring and it’s amazing! This year we had painters, a potter, a whole cafeteria of activities for the kids, even a bagpiper and Vincent Van Gogh showed up! What was really amazing though was how one drawing could remind me of a very important lesson I learned in The Journey Training.
One of the artists was a caricaturist. If you’ve never seen a caricature, it’s a cartoon-like drawing that magnifies the most obvious features of the person or subject. I had one done years ago and was excited to have another. The teacher was the subject and the students got to watch. Despite my eagerness, I knew what the artist would pick up on because I remembered it being distinct from my last one. I knew when he finished, I would see a very large forehead and striking jaw. I’m self-conscious about this, but wanted to participate anyway. To involve my kids more, I had them tell the artist what I liked. One said coffee and another said football.
Then came the unveiling. Sure enough, he did a great job! I had a coffee cup and yes – a large forehead and jaw.
As I said, I predicted it, so it was an easier pill to swallow. I struggle with self-image issues, but my experiences with The Journey Training continue to teach me I don’t have to live there. We all have parts of us that are striking. It may be a jaw or large thighs. It may be a tall height or type of hair. It may be a bad temper or the tendency to hide behind happiness.
Those characteristics don’t define us. They just reveal aspects of ourselves that we are giving off. People may notice my chin, but that doesn’t make me ugly. People may see that I’m trying to be happy even when things aren’t good. It’s not bad, it’s just an experience.
The Journey Training gave me the freedom to receive and embrace feedback. It’s like a caricature, but this one can draw you into a better life!
It’s spring and I hear many people talking about planting flowers and prepping gardens. Have you ever planted a garden? If so, were you successful at your attempt?
Let me ask you some other questions.
- If you planted a corn seed did you expect to harvest tomatoes?
- Did you plan ahead to decide what kind of results you wanted from your garden before you started randomly throwing seeds in the ground?
- Once the seeds were in the ground, did you just forget about them and hope for the best, or did you have to care for them?
As I was thinking about my friends and those that I know have been successful at having gardens, I started comparing it to my life. Successful gardeners start with a plan – they start with the end in mind. You have to know what kind of fruits and vegetables and you want to end up with and then make a plan for the care and maintenance of them. Then, you have to get the right seeds in order to get the desired result.
Do you have a plan for your life? Do you know what kind of life you want to have? In The Journey Training, I learned that I was living too often on autopilot, expecting my life to just work itself out without having a plan. Not only was I not picking the seeds that would give me the desired results, I was allowing others to plant seeds that I didn’t want in my life. The “seeds” I’m talking about are thoughts and beliefs. I believed negative or limiting things about myself that were not going to get me the life I desired. The Journey Training helped me replace those thoughts with “seeds” that would take me closer to the life that I really wanted and helped me make an outline of a plan to get to my dreams.
I now have a plan and I start out every day nurturing the seeds that will produce my dreams. I tell myself things like:
- I am a bold, beautiful, and balanced woman after God’s own heart!
- I am a child of the King!
- I walk in abundance and always have more than enough!
- I choose joy today!
- I choose to live fully engaged and pursuing my purpose and passion!
- I make a difference in the lives I touch!
In this way, I am nurturing the seeds of my dreams and starting to see them grow and develop in new ways.
I encourage you to think and dream about what you want your life to be and start taking steps today to plant and nurture the seeds that will grow into those dreams. Take it one day at a time and have patience and watch your dreams grow.
For years I’ve heard, “Don’t read into that” or “Don’t take it personal.” Ugh! How can I not take it personal? You’re saying it to ME about me! Let me give you some examples.
I’m told “I don’t know if it is worth it to drive back
Meaning: I’m trying to figure out my timing.
My interpretation: Alison’s not worth seeing.
Reality: He did drive back to spend time with me!
Someone doesn’t “react” or comment on something I post on Facebook.
Meaning: There could be lots of reasons.
My interpretations: a) It’s not good, b) they’re tired of me, c) the list goes on, and on, and on.
Reality: a) They just didn’t see it, b) They love me anyway, c) They have their own stuff going on, d) It meant something to others.
Guy flirts a little, gets my number, and talks to me.
Meaning: He’s just super friendly.
My interpretation: What does this mean? Is there something there?!!!!
Reality: Mr. Right won’t leave me wondering!
The Journey Training provided me with a tool so incredibly helpful and freeing about these moments. I learned about these tapes, these programs that we all play, in response to what’s going on around us. They may be based on something from our past or something else altogether. Acknowledging them as the stories we are making up is the first big step to overcoming them.
I received a text from a friend about some messages she was receiving. She was fretting over their meaning. I told her not to read into it. As soon as I caught myself saying that, I thought, “Wow! It’s like looking into a mirror.”
That’s the thing about these tapes and programs. Sometimes we need someone with another perspective to show us the light!
If you find yourself reading too much meaning into things or the idea of tapes and programs resonates with you, I really encourage you to check out the next Threshold class through The Journey Training! A new perspective and freedom await!