Some of you will see this title and think, “Why would you want to do that?” Others may find it pretty easy to understand. When you struggle with a food addiction, it’s never easy. Who knew that a croissant could bring awareness and freedom, thanks to the tools I received at The Journey Training and a friend who I met there?
My friends and I were having a magical breakfast at The Leaky Cauldron in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. My meal came with a croissant. I can normally say no to croissants, as there are breads that are much more satisfying and calorie-worthy to me. I told myself I didn’t need it. I offered it to my friends at the table who were not gluten-free. They both politely declined. I even offered it again, and then I just left it on my plate.
I finished breakfast first, and a little voice whispered in my ear: “They’re still eating and you’re done. Just eat it.” I gave in and regretted it.
A little later I was talking to my friend. We are so transparent with each other. The Journey Training enabled us to do that – to go deep and feel safe. She said, “I know you offered it. I was surprised when you ate it, but didn’t want to say anything and hurt your feelings.”
A huge light bulb came on. I struggle with food addiction and I have shed a lot of tears over the years when people have made comments about what I’m eating. I have an inner monologue that says, “They think I’m fat. They think I’m eating way too much. I’m a pig.” I’ve learned to recognize these negative lies. We call them tapes, the stories we make up in our heads. My friend knows this about me and didn’t want me to make up any stories.
I thought about it and had a huge revelation! It wasn’t about WHAT she says, but WHEN to say it. I could see the difference now! I shared with her that if we are eating and I’m clearly trying not to eat something, she can suggest I not eat it or help me get rid of it. That way, she’s helping me do what I’ve already decided beforehand that I want to do. However, if I’m enjoying my food or already eating it, she can just let me eat it. That was a huge awareness for me because I can now communicate this need for support to others.
Two powerful tools from the training were at play here.
I distinguished between the truth and self-limiting beliefs. It was true I didn’t need to eat the croissant. It was true that my friend could see that. It isn’t true when I make up stories that people think I’m a fat or that they are controlling my food because they suggest I don’t eat something or that I don’t want it from their perspective. They are simply trying to help me.
I communicated what I needed from my friend. In The Journey Training, we learn to ask the question, “How can I love and support you?” This allows the person to share how they need love so that it will be received as love and not misunderstood or received as something else. You can also tell others what you need from them instead of waiting for them to ask you the question.
What’s your croissant? What do you want sometimes, but need to avoid most of the time?
Do you have beliefs you tell yourself that aren’t true? Do you wish you had someone to hold you accountable when and where you need accountability?
Do you feel like you need better skills in communicating love?
Have you ever seen a big puddle, but stepped in it before you could stop yourself? Or worse – dog poop? As someone who is legally blind, people are always warning me of these kinds of things. Sometimes I process the warning and avoid it in time. Sometimes I step in it anyway.
Several months ago, I REALLY stepped in it. No one was there to warn me not to, but the signs were all there. I made a political post on Facebook. I wasn’t aligning with one side or the other. I was merely posting a question. I knew who’d I hear from and what side they would take. There were also some surprise contributors. Despite my genuine intentions, it got out of control quickly, with more arguing than I would have ever wanted. It led to one friend completely backing out of the post, out of respect to me, but unwilling to continue engaging in the debate. I was frazzled and no one’s mind was changed by all of the back and forth comments.
One of the “takeaways” from The Journey Training is that it goes beyond the training weekends. You are equipped with tools for living what you’ve learned. One of the tools I received was the PAUSE button. Basically, STOP, THINK IT THROUGH, THEN ACT. Unfortunately, I didn’t remember what I had learned!
I should’ve paused to think it through before I commented. I should’ve paused to think about the consequences. If I had hit the PAUSE button, my intuition would have predicted the ramifications of my post.
After the fallout from that post, I took time for reflection and received some wonderful feedback to help me learn from what happened. I didn’t just remember what I had learned or remind myself to pause, I created action steps that define what PAUSING means for me.
ACTION STEP #1 – I was challenged to NOT be the first to comment on any posts or statuses. Not only does it keep me from saying the first thing I think, but it also gives others the chance to share and shine.
ACTION STEP #2 – Facebook fasts. Just like food, sometimes we need a break from social media to cleanse ourselves and change a habit. Fasting removes the overwhelming “input” out there. Plus, I can’t impulsively comment on something I’m not seeing!
Maybe you can relate to this experience. If you can, I hope you find some value in these steps and possibly put them into action yourself.
The other great lesson I learned from this experience was the importance of surrounding myself with wise counsel. The Book of Proverbs in the Bible is filled with wisdom! For instance, Proverbs 27:17 (NLT) says, “As iron sharpens iron, so one friend sharpens another.” Surround yourself with people that will be honest with you and care about making you better. Ask for and accept their feedback!
The Journey Training is a group of people that help sharpen one another. They offer unique perspectives that help with all of the trials and triumphs we face in life. Best of all, they do it without judgement! If you’re looking for some tools to stop “stepping in it”, or you’re looking for some iron to sharpen you, consider enrolling in the next class!
Fear, shame, anger, and heartbreak…all emotions I felt in one week. By Friday, I was exhausted. By Saturday, I was aware of how much better I was for them.
The fear arose from a health scare of someone on the favorite person list. The shame came from negative perceptions of myself. The anger and heartbreak built up from letting things boil slowly over a month’s time until I was cooked…like a frog.
If you don’t know the metaphor of the boiling frog, it is said that if a frog jumps into a pot of boiling water, it will jump out, but if the frog is in a pot of cold water, as the water heats up and begins to boil, it will not perceive that it is being cooked and will boil to death.
I didn’t stay in the pot…
I know that as some of my friends and family read this, they will worry about me, either that I had to endure those feelings or that they didn’t. Take heart in knowing this: I didn’t live there. I didn’t die.
Each of those feelings DROVE ME SOMEWHERE.
The fear of my friend’s health scare drove me to the reminder of what really matters. I could feel what the fear felt like and it reminded me of the bigger picture.
The shame drove me to lose the lies, reach in and reach out for wise counsel. It drove me to taking action.
The anger was enough to force my friend and I to deal with all the little issues I’d let slide. In the past, I boiled so fast that I literally exploded and when the fuse blew I created scenes that I felt horrible about. This time, I knew that I couldn’t deal with the issue in that moment. As soon as I identified the anger, I told the other person that I was too angry to deal with it right then, so we tabled the conversation until a calmer moment…and we are better for it. Our friendship is stronger for it.
The heartbreak drove me straight to worship. In my brokenness, God was there, ministering to me and loving me through it.
These feelings were not fun. The moments surrounding them were painful. The Journey Training taught me how to accept my feelings, take responsibility for them, and also how to RESPOND to them.
“We fix our eyes on what is seen, not what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:18.
WHEW! You made it through Christmas! You know what comes next. That’s right – it’s time for New Year’s resolutions! That wonderful motivational time of year when we make all kinds of commitments to new goals. In order for us to achieve these new goals we must make some sort of change in the way we are living today. Our heart says we can do it and for a brief period of time, our head agrees. And then something happens and we resist the changes we need to make even though we know, deep down, it’s what we really want. Resistance to change can expose itself in many ways, from foot-dragging, to self-sabotage, to even outright rebellion. Studying universal sources of resistance gives us the ability to see when we may be resistant to change. Here are several warning signs to watch out for:
Excessive Uncertainty: To some, change can feel like walking off a cliff blindfolded. This anxiety can cause us to push back from anything we view as “change.” We all naturally seek self-preservation and safety, so it is common for people to choose to remain where they are to avoid the uncertainty of change. As the saying goes, “Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t.”
Everything seems different: Change naturally brings new things into our lives. But we are creatures of habit. Since we are often lulled into daily routines, change often jolts us into consciousness, often in uncomfortable ways. We can resist change if it shines a spotlight on things we’d rather have stay the same.
Loss of face: Change is a departure from the past. We can perceive change as admitting that we have done something wrong that requires a change. If we buy into that thought process, we often resist change to save our ego and perceived reputation.
Concerns about competence: If change means that our current skills become obsolete, we often resist change so that we don’t have to learn new skill sets. If things would only stay the same, we would not have to feel like we are not up to the new task.
More work: Change is indeed more work. Those closest to change are often overloaded and resist it in an effort to reduce the load.
Past resentment: The ghosts of the past are always lying in wait to haunt us. Old wounds can be reopened in times of change.
Ripple effects: Change can create ripples and affect others around you. These ripples can lead to disruptions in routines, workflow, and even in the way we think. Sometimes the people around us do not want us to change.
Have you already found yourself resisting change to something you really want to do? Do any of the examples listed above sound all too familiar? Are you ready to make a change that sticks?
Come join us at The Journey Training in January. You will learn tools and methods that you can immediately apply in your life and make changes that last and bring you the things you say that you want most in your life. Don’t resist this opportunity – I promise you won’t regret it!
Fear can be paralyzing and make us feel like there’s no way out. Annie Downs, a speaker and author of the book “Let’s All Be Brave”, recently delivered a message on fear. She posed this question in response to “What if?” questions of fear in our lives: “… And then what?” This really hit me because I HATE feeling STUCK and it helped remind me of so many things that I learned in The Journey Training.
I’m a planner, always have been – always will be. I remember making college plans from a young age. I thought I was destined for Harvard, Florida State, or Notre Dame. I always thought I knew what career I was going to choose – everything from Chairman of the Board or lawyer to an actress on Days of our Lives.
I pursued both medicine and nursing in college. In my mind, it didn’t matter that I’m legally blind with a left side weakened by a prenatal stroke. There were still plenty of things I could do in those fields! Well, those plans didn’t pan out. And I vividly remember when it occurred to me that I MIGHT not get an acting contract and marry one of the actors. I was devastated!
The day I got rejected from nursing school, my Dad drove up to my college to have dinner with me. He was expecting to have to pick me up off the floor. And then what? I made the choice to believe that I was going to be okay, that GOD HAD BETTER PLANS FOR ME.
I actually went to the University of Georgia for my Bachelor’s degree, the University of San Diego for my Master’s degree, and now I’m a Special Education teacher. There were a lot of steps in getting there, a lot of tears cried, and a lot of plans that changed.
Fears can stop us if we give up and let them – or we can choose to do something else instead.
Your boyfriend breaks up with you. And then what? You enjoy more time with your friends and you go meet new people.
You don’t get a job you wanted or you lose your job. And then what? You keep networking and applying for other jobs.
Your weight loss methods aren’t working as you hoped. And then what? You try something different.
We can’t completely stop fear from entering our lives, but life doesn’t have to stop when a fear is realized. We can choose to find an answer to the question, “And then what? It usually just takes one small step to begin working through the fear. I’m not saying it will be easy and we don’t have to do it alone.
No matter our circumstances, God doesn’t give up on us: “I’ve never quit loving you, and I never will. ” Jeremiah 31:3
Are you feeling stuck somewhere in your life? Do you feel like nothing is changing? Are you afraid to make a move because you don’t know what to do next? Consider enrolling in The Journey Training’s next class. There’s your first small step and to answer the question, “And then what?”