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?
If you answered “Yes” to any of these questions, The Journey Training is for you!
Sign up today!
Cars, children, finances, marriages, friendships; what do all these things have in common? There may be several correct answers, but the one in my mind is that they all take maintenance in order to avert a necessary crisis response.
If you give your car regularly oil changes, put gas in it regularly, give it a tune up every now and then, you can often avoid or at least catch larger problems before they hit crisis mode. If you spend a little time communicating with your children everyday, stay involved in things that they are involved in, and ask questions on a consistent basis, you have a better chance of avoiding huge problems or at least catching them early. Making time for your spouse (such as a regular date night), making them a daily priority, and communicating in an open and honest way daily, can often lead to less crises in a marriage. I hope you get the point I’m trying to make.
So, I want to take this to a different level. In The Journey Training, I learned the benefit of loving and supporting others in my life. This wasn’t totally a new concept for me but it gave me a different perspective on the subject. Previously, I thought it was my responsibility to guess how to love and support others in my life and basically hoped that they would guess right when it came to loving and supporting me.
In The Journey Training, they suggested the idea that it could be better to just ask the person how they would like to be loved and supported. You see, everyone receives love in different ways. What I think may help them or show them love, isn’t necessarily what they need or want. I liked this idea and decided to use it outside the training room to see how it would really work.
I started asking my kids, friends, and even coworkers how I could love or support them. I got so many different answers that I would never have thought of. However, as time went on, I found that I only asked people the question of “how can I love and support you?” during times that I knew they were in crisis. Sure, this showed the person that I would help them if they were on fire. But did it communicate to them that I really cared enough about them to show love and support on a more consistent basis (maintenance versus crisis)?
Matthew 22:39 says, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” I started thinking. I wanted to be known, loved and supported by others on a consistent basis, not just when I was experiencing a crisis in my life. Then I realized, if I asked those I care about regularly how I can love and support them in day to day life, then maybe when they hit crisis mode, I would at least have a base line for what they need even if they didn’t know what to ask for in the moment.
Sometimes a little bit of effort, every day or every week, will pay off in the long run when we, ourselves , or those we love need it. So, don’t be afraid to
ask the question or to answer it if someone asks you; how can I love and support you?
Last Sunday, at Conduit Church, Pastor Darren Tyler shared this quote by Sheldon Vanauken with us:
“The best argument for Christianity is Christians: their joy, their certainty, their completeness. But the strongest argument against Christianity is also Christians–when they are somber and joyless, when they are self-righteous and smug in complacent consecration, when they are narrow and repressive, then Christianity dies a thousand deaths.”
It was one of those quotes and moments that didn’t sink in completely until later in the day. I do consider myself to be a Christian man, a follower of Jesus Christ. I don’t just go to church for the heck of it. I have made the choice to believe what I believe about God and Jesus and to try to live my life according to those beliefs.
And yet this quote and other parts of Darren’s sermon really made me think.
Do my actions match my beliefs?
Not always. When my actions don’t match my beliefs it’s usually because I’m not truly being present in the moment and I misinterpret a situation. I’m on some kind of lazy auto-pilot just cruising through the day and I react inappropriately to even the smallest thing that I perceive to be a slight. In those moments, I can be somber and joyless, self-righteous and smug, narrow and repressive. I’m probably anything other than the Christ-like example I say and believe I want to be.
I will never be perfect, but that can’t be an excuse for making choices that lead to behaviors that don’t align with my beliefs. I hope and pray that the number of times my actions and beliefs don’t match has decreased over the years as I’ve become more mature in my beliefs, my faith. Like anything else in life, it takes practice to get better at something.
The opening quote for this blog focused on Christianity and Christians. But the question I asked can apply to anyone. Do my actions match my beliefs? If they don’t – what do you want to do about it?
Here are a few things to try that can help:
- Be present in the moment. Be intentional with your thoughts and time.
- In the heat of the moment, if you can, STOP your initial thought and count to 5. That can often be enough time to allow yourself to consider your options and make a real choice about what you will do or say next.
- Learn to forgive yourself and others. We often get stuck in a series of actions that don’t match our beliefs because of unforgiveness.
- Strive to be a little better or do a little bit more today than yesterday. Small improvements add up to big results.
To learn more about The Journey Training, visit us at www.thejourneytraining.com. Hope to see you in the next class!
It was my Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. I was awakened and rattled by weird dreams, then I felt anxious all day. This was compounded by issues that come up when I have had non-stop family time without alone time, due to helping them move into their new home. Add to that a mental battle with body image, and you have a Triple Trifecta of Terror. I was nearly crying or beginning to cry most of the day. Have you ever had days like that? I just needed that day to be over, and began looking forward to a day by myself the next day.
The next day! Left on my own with a free day, I probably would have done a lot of little things. I would’ve enjoyed having the TV to myself because it was just hooked up. I would’ve had it on in the background, done some chores, looked at Facebook, and made some phone calls. I probably would’ve exercised and gone down to the lake. All fine things to do – right? Fine, but not what I needed.
Before my family left me for my personal day, my Mom said she felt led by the Holy Spirit to encourage me to take a day away from TV, Facebook, and my phone and make it a silent retreat. A day for just me and Jesus. She interrupted my plans, but I knew in my heart she was right.
In The Journey Training, participants and the team each pick a word or phrase they want to claim, or get out of the training weekend. To get what you want, you have to know what you want. As I started my day, I too claimed a word for my day. It was TRUTH. With everything I did, from reading and praying, to just listening and looking at the lake, even resting, I did it with the purpose of obtaining truth. I knew what I wanted, I went after it, and I got it! All because The Lord used my Mom to interrupt my plans.
We are faced with interruptions all the time. As much as I like Facebook for the positive interaction, it can also be a bombardment of negativity. As much as TV in moderation is ok, it can also be a constant noise. As wonderful as it is to catch up with friends, sometimes I need to turn my attention solely to my friend, Jesus.
Thankfully, my Mom just sat across from me and interrupted me verbally. Jesus had to knock Saul (later known as the Apostle Paul) off his donkey to interrupt him (Acts 9).
Do you feel weighed down by spiraling anxiety, fear, shame, or other junk? Do you need something to knock you off your donkey or just interrupt your To-Do List with something positive for you? The Journey Training is all about that! No, they won’t knock you off your donkey, but they will help you claim what you truly want and deserve!
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!