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.
Over the past few months I have had to deal with some physical issues that have led to the doctors putting a lot of limits on what I can and cannot do. I’m the type of person who loves being around others and usually hates having to depend on others for anything. In fact, for the last 5 years I’ve generally faced life with a “God and I can do anything” attitude, staying strong for my kids, family, and friends. So when the doctor said, “ You can’t drive for at least 2-3 weeks. You can’t lift heavy objects or even walk without being attached to a tank of oxygen,” it kind of threw me for a loop.
At first, I was tempted to go into a dark place, feeling sorry for myself and wondering how on earth I was going to get my kids to and from school, pay bills (without working), and basically keep life going at all. I felt like I was being given a sentence of isolation and being punished for something I had done. Fortunately, I had friends and family that reminded me of some things I learned through my experience with The Journey Training.
In The Journey Training I learned that I always have a choice and I was challenged to see circumstances that I face from a different perspective. Even the Bible says, “My brothers and sisters, be very happy when you are tested in different ways…” (James 1:2) In every situation, we have a choice on how we view it and respond to it.
I was seeing the restrictions placed on me by the doctors as a sentence of isolation and a form of punishment. I was dwelling on the fact that I couldn’t get out and do all the things that I enjoyed and be around those that added to my happiness. I saw myself as weak, stuck in the house, alone and broken.
As I was talking to a friend about my situation, they gave me a different perspective that I could possibly choose to see. They brought to my attention that there are people who pay large amounts of money to go someplace where they can be alone, have time away from everything and to refocus. They told me that I was being given this kind of opportunity for free.
A light bulb went off in my head and made me say “hmmmm”. How could I look at my situation differently than a sentence of isolation? How could I turn this situation into a window of opportunity? What could I do during this time of limitation that would take me closer to my dreams after this season of rest was over?
As I contemplated these questions and realized, I actually had a choice, new thoughts came to me. I could: spend more time with God, journal about where I wanted the next phase of life to look like, allow myself to get the rest I needed to heal properly, spend time dreaming more, and a multitude of other things. Instead of focusing on the “bars on the prison window”, I could focus on the light of the sun that was shining through it and all that the light could possibly represent.This brightened my attitude, increased my energy level and allowed me to enjoy the season I was in instead of dreading it.
What are you facing right now? Are things that are beyond your control placing limits on what you can do? How can you turn your focus from the prison bars to the sunshine? The Journey Training and the friends I made there have truly changed my life and given me tools that help me in everyday life continue to reach for my dreams and actually live life rather than just exist in it.
Have you ever seen the movie “Titanic”? I remember the first cruise I ever took. Shortly after the cruise had started everyone had to go on deck to their muster station to watch a demo about the lifeboats. I just kept seeing that movie replaying in my mind.
In one of the scenes in the movie, as the ship is going down, the lifeboats are about to fill up and people are starting to make decisions about who should get on the life boat. Everyone starts giving their reasons for why they should or should not be on the lifeboat.
I remember thinking, “What would I do in that situation?” I knew the answer immediately. I would give up my seat. I had lived my whole life doing for others, choosing to give up my seat for someone else and never thinking of saving a seat for myself. I always put myself last because I thought that was how it was supposed to be. As a Christian I felt it was my place to always be last.
When I attended The Journey Training, I was at the lowest point in my life. I felt like I was stuck with no place to go. My gas tank was completely empty. I felt like I was lost and just wandering around with no particular place to go or anyone to turn to for help. In fact, I thought asking for help would be a sign of weakness. That was my state of mind – saving everyone else and sacrificing my life as if it was what God expected me to do. That was my story and I stuck to it.
Before The Journey Training, the thought never entered my mind that I was valuable, that I am was worth saving, and that I needed to start seeing value in my life. Now I know who I am and I realize that God has a much greater plan for me! I will never forget what I’ve learned and I’ve shared these revelations with several people to include my 18-year-old grandson. My new story says that I am just as important as the next person, that we all matter and have value. My mantra now…”Harry lives!!!”
Are you stuck? Are you tired and out of gas? Do you need a new perspective or challenge? Do you need a life boat? Do you want direction or need to ask for some help? If your answer to any of these questions is “yes”, please consider joining us for the next Journey Training class called “Threshold” March 3 – 5, 2017. You won’t regret it!
So, our lives don’t always end up looking like our dreams that we had as small children, right? Life sure can throw curveballs!
I mean, if you had asked me as an 8 year old, where I would be in my mid 40’s I would NEVER have told you that I would be a divorced, single mom of 3 teenagers. In fact, that kind of thought wouldn’t have even been an option in my mind. However, like most of you know, life throws us some curve balls from time to time.
One of the major curve balls I experienced was after 19 years of marriage; my high school sweetheart/husband looked me in the eyes and said, “ I no longer choose you. I want a divorce.” In that moment I wanted to crumble to the ground and disappear, however, for the sake of my children, I knew I had to be strong. So, I decided, ok, if this is happening, I’m going to have to turn into Wonder Woman – nerves of steel, able to carry the world on my shoulders – in order to keep life moving forward for my kids. My plan worked great for a while. People who knew me would say things like “ wow, you are so strong,” “ I could never handle this as well as you are, how are you doing it?” On the outside I was focused, determined, and unaffected by the curve ball life had just thrown me. My kids didn’t see me cry and they saw mom doing her best to make life as good as she could for them.
Then, I met some wonderfully amazing people at The Journey Training, who challenged me to see relationships, my life, and myself from a different viewpoint.
At the Journey Training, they created a safe place for me and gave me full permission to feel. They had shown me that life is not meant to be done alone and that its highly important to be real with others.
They share a quote by Walt Anderson; “ We’re never so vulnerable than when we trust someone – but paradoxically, if we cannot trust, neither can we find love or joy.”
Because of the curve ball life had thrown me, I had stopped trusting and had lost my love and joy for life. I thought I was showing my kids how to be strong and move on but in reality I was modeling how to hide your emotions and be fake.
I decided to take the new knowledge and tools that the Journey Training provided me and make a change in my life. I opened up and was real with some awesome people who truly cared about me. This reopened my heart to the joy and love for life. I also realized that I needed to implement these tools with my kids in order to help them.
Now, as a parent, I don’t share everything with my kids because they don’t need to shoulder adult responsibilities. However, I was able to open up and be real with them about what was happening in our lives and how I felt at times. By being vulnerable and real with them, it gave them the opportunity to trust me even more and to find their voices to share with me what they were feeling. It brought us closer together as a family and I looked like Wonder Woman to my kids while still being as vulnerable as a lobster in my time of growth and adjustment.
When we try to be the super hero, we shut others out and isolate ourselves. When we choose to be vulnerable and real and trust others, we allow for them to step into their amazing vulnerable selves and we can do this thing called life together. Only then are we open to fully feeling and experiencing the great love and joy our Creator truly desires for us in life.
Have you ever thought everything’s going just fine, and then…BAM! You realize that you’ve been blind to things unseen? I have. It’s hard for us to realize that there are things that we just don’t have the ability to see without help. Yet we walk through life, often thinking we see it all and know exactly what’s going on. This attitude can be the very thing that is holding you back from your dreams!
When I was a music major in college, I took recording and sound engineering classes. The equipment we had back then pales in comparison to what’s available today, but the concepts are the same. I learned that the human ear can hear frequencies between about 20 hertz and 20,000 hertz. So I asked the question: are there frequencies beyond these limits? And if so, how would we know?
Well, you cannot hear 10 hertz, but I promise you can feel it! If you want your bass to really move the audience, get speakers that can handle sounds at 10 hertz. You won’t hear it, but you’ll know it is there! On the same level, what about above 20,000 hertz? Well, blow a dog whistle and see if you can hear it. You can’t, but a dog can. A dog can hear between 60 hertz and 44,000 hertz – twice as high as we can hear! And if you think that’s something, a porpoise can hear up to 150,000 hertz! I wonder what that sounds like, don’t you?
We see our own lives and actions from our own perspectives. It is almost impossible to see it otherwise. I was in an interview with two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist Gina Kolata with the New York Times last week when she asked, “When you were gaining the weight, when did you first realize how big you were?” Well, it was when I could see myself from a different perspective when I first really knew. I saw myself on video from the neck down – we often focus on our face when we see pictures – and I was shocked. It was then I knew how bad things were and something had to change.
You see, our lives and habits change a little bit at a time. We gain a pound a week, not 10 pounds a week. We become closed off by choosing to avoid others one time, then twice, and so on. What we do every day becomes normal, so those unhealthy changes – those things that are holding you back from being all that you can be – happen slowly and become our new normal. We need a different perspective.
We all hate it, but we all need it. If you want to know how you are really doing, ask for some feedback. You might not like what you hear, but it may give you the information you need to better yourself. We are all sending off frequencies we cannot hear, but some of the people in our lives hear them loud and clear! So ask for feedback – a different perspective – and then weigh it carefully. As my friend Tennie McCarty said to me, “You place feedback right up here on your shoulder and see if it weighs heavily on you. If it does, take it to heart and use it for your improvement. If it doesn’t, let it roll off your back and leave it behind.”
I sent a text out to everyone I knew a while back and asked, “What is my greatest strength and greatest weakness?” The most common strength I got was determination. The most common weakness was impatience. I’ve since worked on my patience, and while I’m not perfect, I’m a lot better than I used to be – thanks to that feedback!
You never know, the feedback someone gives you might be the reason you keep bombing those interviews, or why people keep you at a distance. You might not intend to be sending off those frequencies, but maybe they’re the very thing that you are sending off. The only way to know is by asking. And after you hear the feedback, say to the person you asked, “Thank you for caring enough about me to be honest.”
In The Journey Training, I see people come into their Threshold weekend sending off many negative frequencies. By the end of their weekend, I see them standing taller, smiling more, and sending off frequencies that are much more serving to them. Perhaps you’ve encountered a recent Journey graduate and thought, “What has happened to them? They seem so happy and energized!” Well, the same can happen to you, my friend. Just go to The Journey training and sign up for the next Threshold class and begin to see those things you’ve been missing!