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?
I learned to make guacamole from my dear aunt, Liz, a number of years ago. She taught me a certain way and for a while, I did exactly what she had showed me: I diced the avocado, tomato and red onion, added in some lime juice and cilantro, and stirred it all together. Then one day, my husband asked me to mash it all together, providing me an opportunity to stop and think.
That moment, that decision, was a gift. It allowed me to truly examine why I was doing what I was doing. It presented a crossroads to either continue with the way I had been going along or to take a turn and change directions. So often we choose to continue on down the way we have been going without thought, on auto pilot. But when we embrace the pause, we take a step back and evaluate the WHY of our actions.
Another gift was presented to me in the guise of guacamole. I chose to mash the avocado into a creamy paste and fold the tomatoes in. My husband and I chose to substitute milder green onions for the stronger red onions and we incorporated garlic powder, because we like garlic. Each decision was reached together.
This is the power of compromise. Finding something that bridges the gap without either party feeling like they have gotten less. We may not get everything we want, but sometimes what we get is even better than what we wanted in the first place.
In The Journey Training I learned tools that help to bridge the gap in communication and find solutions that benefit both parties. I also learned the value of pausing my life for the training weekends and discovered the most amazing things about myself and others.
“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:13 NIV (New International Version)
I’m going to guess that almost everyone has heard this verse before, or some variation of it, whether you identify yourself as a Christian or not. It’s a verse that is typically taken very literally and it moves us emotionally to feel and believe that the ultimate display of love is to die for someone else. That’s how I grew up understanding it anyway and that interpretation was certainly reinforced during a 20-year military career.
Am I the only one that sees it that way? Are we supposed to look at it only in that extreme way? Or is it possible that we can also look at it in simpler terms?
My purpose for this blog is not to try and prove that any particular viewpoint about this verse is “right or wrong”. I’m not a theologian and I certainly don’t have the right to tell anyone else what to think. Most importantly, I do not diminish what Jesus Christ did for us on the Cross or what any service member / first responder has ever done in their service to our country and communities.
I’m simply curious about the possibility of a different perspective on this and if a different perspective could help lead us to a greater love for each other.
When we choose to think about this verse and other things in extremes, we tend to think and believe that we can only make a difference by doing something big, or difficult, or ultimately final.
A Different Perspective:
What could life and love be like if we choose to think about this verse and other things in a much smaller and simpler way?
What if we choose to put our phones down or turn off the TV when our children or spouses want to sit with us and be held?
What if we choose to change our plans when a family member or friend calls with an urgent need?
What if we choose to stop what we’re doing and really pray for someone when they ask for prayer, instead of just saying “I’ll pray for you”?
What if we choose to really listen to someone else so they feel like they’ve been heard and appreciated?
What if we choose to leave our job or ministry when our family needs us more?
I’ve come to believe that “laying down one’s life” can mean dying for someone else (the extreme) and it can also simply mean giving your full attention to someone else in their time of need. It’s taken me a long time to see this simpler perspective. The examples I listed above are actually from my own life and struggles.
The cool thing about this simpler perspective, every time I have chosen to “lay my life down” for someone else I have received “greater love” than I gave.
What do you think of when you read this verse? What do you believe? If this blog has made you think, or if you want to think about things like this more, join us at The Journey Training.
Things in life are often a matter of perspective. We see this in mentality, actions, beliefs, and just about everything else! We read the bible and, if we take a scripture by itself, might get a perspective that was never intended – or maybe it was!
I always thought I needed to sow to reap. I mean, that’s what it says in the bible, right? What you get is inherently related to what you give, right? Well, if that’s the case, grace would have nothing to do with it.
I don’t always get what I deserve
At first, you might think of not getting what you deserve as a negative thing. I mean, you worked so hard at something, and you’ve never even gotten a “thank you.” Why wouldn’t I get what I deserve! Well, sometimes my perspective is “thank God!”
If we always got what we deserve, we’d probably be in big trouble! How many speeding tickets would you have, even for going 1 mph over the posted speed limit? I mean, your license might be revoked! And what about your thoughts. If every time you judged someone, you in turn were literally judged, where would you be? I don’t know about you, but I’m glad I don’t always get what I deserve!
Investments don’t always have a direct return
I know people who view every relationship as an investment – something that they will someday get a return for. They tend to give with an expectation that you will give back and they will reap the benefits of their gift. To me, this is a sad perspective on giving.
If I choose to give only to those that I will receive from, I am limiting the influence that God gave me to have. Instead, let’s try something different. Let’s look at a different perspective of the sowing and reaping principle.
Johnny Appleseed’s way to give
The legend of Johnny Appleseed suggests a different view on giving. What if instead of giving to get, we decided to get to give? Do you think that outlook may be different? If everything you give is an investment to acquire a return from, you might be disappointed. But if everything you get makes a new way you can give, whether you see the return or not, you might find disappointment of not getting what you deserve a little differently.
When I was told of the legend of Johnny Appleseed, I heard of a man with a bag of apple seeds traveling the countryside and planting apple trees everywhere he went. My first thought was “Why would he plant a tree and leave it behind, never even tasting the apples of so many of the trees he planted?” Then I thought of it differently. He reaped his reward with every seed he planted. It was the satisfaction he received when he did what he felt he was called to do – plant his seeds, and in turn, allow others to taste the fruit of his labors.
Can you get to give and receive for only self-satisfaction?
When I and the other facilitators of The Journey Training give of ourselves, we don’t give to get. Many may believe that we have gotten paid salaries to facilitate the training we created. That is not the case. We have received something, and in turn we feel a calling to plant seeds that others will taste the fruits from. When a trainee walks out from the training room and back into their world, we know that there will be many people who will benefit from what they have learned, including themselves. That satisfaction – that we are making a difference one life at a time – is a fruit we don’t have to see to taste. And I am here to tell you that it tastes sweet!
What is The Journey Training?
The Journey Training is an experiential learning process that is packed with tools you can use for your life. We have found that the traditional seminar doesn’t often result in sustainable change for most people. At The Journey Training, we give usable tools to facilitate lasting change.
Most people go to seminars and receive great information, but leave with very little application. They have been given many new truths, but unfortunately often leave with questions like “how do I implement this in my life?”
With our experiential learning environment, people get both awareness and tools that they can return home and immediately begin to implement into their lives; tools that affect change. We believe for something to change, simple teaching is not the answer, but rather having the tools that lead to new ways of thinking is.
Enroll in The Journey Training today, and begin to see success in a different way.
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What is it that defines you? Is it your Job that defines who you are? Is it your money that defines who you are? Maybe it’s your stature, your looks, or your title? It might even be who you’re married to. If any of these define who you are, BEWARE! They all can be taken away.
Change your definition
If you define yourself by works, material possessions, or even your name (if I were a Kennedy, I might feel entitled), then maybe it’s time for you to change your definition of you!
So what are you worth? That is a loaded question. If you believe your worth is tied to any of these things, you are fighting a losing battle. You will never be able to do enough, have enough money, or even have a title high enough to be immune to the world’s definition of failure. I’m not saying that money, great works, or nice possessions are wrong. But if you place your worth in these things, one of two things usually happens: you’ll either find that there is never enough, or you’ll soon find out that you cannot be content without them.
Define your worth in your purpose
Defining yourself in what you do or what you have will eventually lead to a great big failure. You’ll never be able to “do” enough to feel complete. It is a thirst that can never be quenched, so you’ve got to change your definition from your “stuff” and your “works” to who you were created to be.
It’s not a feeling or a title that will fill your soul, it is serving others that will fill you up! The Beatles had it right when they said, “All you need is love.”
It’s a way of life. You see, if we spend our time trying to do things to make us feel good, or we think that if we have what we want we’ll feel worthy, then we’ve got it all wrong. It’s in our being that defines who we are. That’s why we are not human hav-ings or human do-ings – we are human BE-ings! We must learn to reach deep inside of ourselves to find our worth. Validation cannot come from outside of us. And it can’t come from only you. But alongside a God that has defined you with an infinite worth, you’ll find your purpose.
Two lines stand out to me in The Beatles song, “All You Need Is Love”.
The first is “Nothing you can do but you can learn how to be you in time.”
The second is “Nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be.”
Do you want to change your definition of you? I do. Look around right where you are – not where you wish you were – and find an area to serve or a person to help. Through that you will quench your thirst, and possibly stop trying to quench it with other things.
Each month in The Journey Training we meet people with a false or low opinion of themselves. Often they are oblivious to the changes that need to take place. Invariably, by the end of their Threshold weekend we see them leave invigorated, ready to change the world that they are a part of – right now – which in turn is a stepping stone to being who they really want to be.
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