I am Second! It’s ok I didn’t do my best today!

I am Second

 

It’s been some time since I’ve last written anything, sometimes I don’t know what to write, so I elect not to. That’s the great thing about writing though, sometimes the end result isn’t what you initially imagined. Sometimes you just have to show up and you can inspire others even if you don’t think it feels right. Besides I don’t write for me, I write because someone else might need the encouragement, so why should it matter if I feel motivated about the topic! I was speaking to a friend yesterday, and she was beating herself up for not feeling like her best, she felt that her day was wasted and it just “totally sucked.” My first response was to laugh, because the day wasn’t over yet, it was only 3pm. To me it sounds like there was still plenty of time to turn the day around. In one of the latest articles I posted, I talked about someone who was in prison, and despite his circumstances, he still found time to be positive. Happiness is a state of mind, it’s not dictated by your circumstances. So what if you woke up late, if you didn’t get the start to the day you wanted. That’s just the start, there’s still plenty of time to be positive and change your attitude. This brings me to my words of encouragement:

Always do your best

There are days when you don’t feel well, and then days when you feel that you can conquer any obstacle in your way. So each day do the best that you’re capable of, if you can only do 40% then do all of it. If you can do more tomorrow, then do that. I learnt this from the Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. When you do the best you can, it puts a lid on the judge, you find it harder to blame yourself for not feeling like you’re enough. For this to work though you have to embrace that sometimes you’re not going to be at 100%, and it’s ok, it’s not an excuse but just learning that you have limits. Taking up this philosophy has freed me from the burden of guilt. Yesterday I didn’t feel like going out, I was tired and wanted to stay in, so I embraced it. I was able to encourage my friend when she needed it (I didn’t initially listen to my inner voice, I thought about texting her, and decided not to, then she texted me later and said she was having a bad day. I almost missed out on the opportunity). I also had a really great conversation with my mom about life and faith, but that’s because I embraced that I wasn’t feeling like going outside, so I did as much as I could do inside. Even though you’re not feeling great, doesn’t mean that you can’t accomplish something great (feel free to tweet that one)

I AM SECOND

Not winning first place isn’t always a bad thing, you showed up to the race, yes someone was better than you. Sometimes being humble and acknowledging that you gave it your all is the bigger winner than being first. The stories that got the most traction in theWinner Podium 2014 Olympics weren’t of the people who got first, there were many stories about athletes who helped others. How their great sportsmanship was an inspiration to others. I use the term I AM SECOND to acknowledge that I am not an island, anything great I do isn’t of my own accord, whether it’s my faith or someone offering an encouraging word. Even the athletes who make it to the Olympics, it’s not of just their natural talent, they were coached and also encouraged by their parents. I AM SECOND because I’m not perfect, I have my flaws, but those flaws makes me human not broken. I AM SECOND because I believe that there is a higher power out there, I call it my faith in God. I AM SECOND because I enjoy alcohol from time to time, I give into temptation and sin, and I even lie sometimes. I’m not perfect, but I believe I was beautifully made, and even in my flaws there is grace and and encouragement that helps me lift up others. I AM SECOND because I choose to not put Money, Sex, Drugs, Alcohol and Stuff as my God. I believe that there is a higher power that holds all of the Universe together, there are too many amazing things that happen for me to think that it’s all just a random coincidence. There is nothing random about thinking of a specific person and a specific problem, only to talk to them and find out that you’re right. I think it’s one of the greatest fallacies that we can do it ALL on our own, at every stage you’ve gotten help from someone. I think we should all acknowledge and give thanks, even for the bad stuff, because we don’t know what worse situation that action prevented us from being in.

What about you, how can adopting the attitude of doing your Best and not always putting yourself first change the way you feel about your life today.  What is Love, is it not putting the needs of another above yourself? Those love songs and poems do they say I love you let me go first, or I love you let me go first so I can face the danger for you. Love is self-less not selfish, love puts others first. So as you practice love isn’t it saying I AM SECOND? Freeing yourself from the thinking that doing your best is always giving 100%, acknowledging that you have limits helps you to free yourself from guilt. Adopting this practice helps you to feel like you’re enough, and that even if you’re not 100%, it doesn’t mean that you’re not giving your best, it doesn’t meant that you still can’t do something great and amazing.

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I think I have Reverse FOMO!

FOMO

In this Digital age where everyone’s thought’s seem to be online for all to see, even the thoughts that should probably stay in our heads! I’ve been in a Reflecting mood lately, looking at my actions and how they reflect where I’m trying to go with my life. While others seems to be doing things because they fear that they’ll miss out, and are probably over-sharing. I feel as though I’ve not done all that I can to get the kind of future that I desire. I’ve let fear prevent me from not moving forward, fear of failing, fear of changing my goal when I’m too far along, fear if others would embrace me as a Life Coach. Fear, Fear, and what if scenarios plague my mind. I write because I’m a struggle daily to keep on track, I don’t write because I have it figured out, or because I’m somehow perfect and I’m doing better than everyone. Writing is an outlet for my thoughts, and partly because I want to encourage others who might be struggling. If you’re like me you try to figure out your problems on your own, and you only seek help when you’ve come up against a wall. Not to worry there is hope for me, at least I know I’m stubborn, and that’s what I’m intending to change this year. If you’ve ever said those words ‘I wish someone had told me …”

I’ve come to embrace the weekends now, on Saturdays I can go to church and strengthen my faith, then I can spend Sunday exploring and getting energy from nature to make it through the week. As always many of the inspiration I have comes from the message in church, or on my hikes. Last week I spoke to a friend, although we ended up mostly talking about me; I do feel bad about that. When I did listen, I heard a frustration from her, and that burning question, “Have I made the right career choices?” There are some days when I feel as though I’ve taken several steps back, and others when I feel accomplished for what I’ve learnt about myself. Luckily the self-doubt didn’t last long, and I noticed that a few thoughts that I’ve written about seem to be coming together. As I mentioned earlier I feel that fear is taking control of my life, but through vulnerability, living with intention, and being action oriented, there might be hope after all.

One of the first keys talked about in this Sunday’s message is Vulnerability. Being vulnerable seems to be the fastest way to let others see the real you, to have real intimacy (into-me-see), to let your walls down and show that you’re not perfect. Bearing your flaws for all to see isn’t the easiest thing to do, plus sometimes some people can’t handle seeing your flaws and nakedness. Although it’s frightening to imagine that someone will know about all of your skeletons, imagine how much more real your relationship will be. They know the real you and you know the real them, there’s no pretending, no lying or trying to cover up your flaws. For me being in a relationship with someone for 5+ years and then find out they were hiding a mega skeleton in the closet, that’s one of my biggest fears. Relationships take time, and a lot of emotional energy, energy that isn’t magically replenished if you break up. By being vulnerable and showing all of you, it helps give a deeper connection, and this applies to all relationships, not just in a romantic setting. Imagine how much more satisfying your relationship will be if they know the real you, and they still love you. That you’re loved in spite of your flaws, or that you’re loved because of your flaws, and that they make you human. Just as in other relationships, if I show all my flaws to god, he will embrace me for who I am, and we can have a deeper intimate connection. Because yet another person has talked about this today, if you’ve not seen it check out Brene Brown’s TED Talk on “The Power of Vulnerability”

Relationships also require that we’re Intentional about our love. With work, kids, friends, church, soccer, tennis, swimming, etc. Missing OutIt’s not surprising that you don’t have time to continue to nurture and grow your relationship. My faith is strong now, but if I don’t continue to center myself and stay grounded in God; it’s easy to get swept up with all of the many cares of life. It’s always interesting and a great reminder to hear our Pastors say that they have to regularly reconnect with God. It reminds me that we’re all human, and no matter who you are, you still need to take time to keep your relationship healthy. So what are the non-biblical implications, with all the cares of life, we have to make an active effort to continue to “Date” our spouses. I heard a story on Facebook recently about someone who’s married but he’s still dating by Jarrid Wilson “I’m dating someone even though I’m married”. So no one gets upset, I’ll say that he’s talking about dating his wife, so I encourage everyone to check out the article. So just as I’m pursuing God and him me, remember to pursue your spouse, because if we’re not intentional, it’s easy to get distracted by the cares of this world.

The last area has to do with knowing your purpose or gift. If you know yourself, you’ll know what you’re capable of. Religion has been around for a long time, but sometimes people’s wrong beliefs about what God is like, causes them to walk away from faith all together. I’ve always been evidence based rather than on emotions. Sometimes we do things and we feel guilty, and then we assume that others will judge us. In that case I ask, what actions are they showing that they’re judging you? Have they said those magic words, “I won’t have done that?” or are they saying “it’s ok everyone makes mistakes, lets figure out how to fix it.” It should be quite easy to see that the lather is more concerned with picking you back up after you’ve fallen, so why do we sometimes think that inside they’re judging us? This is where vulnerability comes in, if you’re connected in a real and genuine way, you’ll be able to know how the other person actually feels. There’s nothing worse than knowing despite any of your actions or what you say, someone continues to think that you mean something different. So for me that means that I will go to God’s word to see what he says, instead of letting the judge in my head dictate how I feel. From a relationship perspective, by knowing you’r partner’s real thoughts, it should be easier to know how they actually feel, rather than going with your thoughts. Although this post is not about communication, it’s a very big part of the conversation. As I’ve painfully learnt, if only one person is using good communication skills, you’re still going to end up with misunderstandings. Sometimes it’s ok not to agree with everything I say, if you keep agreeing with me I’ll think that you share my point of view.

It’s always great to see things come together! These are a few things that I think will help me walk better in my faith, but like most of the things I write, this has implications for life and relationships in general. I’d like to add another piece here, I’ve kept you reading thus far. What I say are just some of my thoughts I’ve taken out of other things I’ve heard this week, I post them here because they are a few of the ways that I can make my life better. It may be beneficial for some, but may not apply to others. If you tend to look at the messenger and try to figure out what qualifies me to write these things, you WILL miss the message. I don’t claim to be an expert, like you I’m in the trenches and struggling, and some of what I say may not even work. Even though I have these thoughts, I still have to keep myself grounded each day, some days I do much better than others. If you find that you’re judging me as you read what I write, my advice is to stop reading, and perhaps either don’t read my comments again, or come back to it when you’re in a better place to be open to a different perspective. I understand that part of putting myself out there is that I’m opening myself up to criticism, and there’s a fine line between constructive criticism and criticism. For the critics my last comment is this: “If you’re not in the arena, also getting your ass kicked, I’m not interested in your feedback” – Brene Brown.

 

Thank you for the Traffic Today!!!

Prayer

As the day comes to a close, because it’s a special day, yes I know it’s still Valentine’s day, I take time to say thank you. As most people lament about their love interest, or their potential ones, I wanted to take some time to say thank you. I’ve been pretty bold about talking a bit more about my faith, and telling others more about my journey, so this is no different. A few weeks ago I had seen a post where someone shared a kind of a conversation they had with God, they asked why he had let so many bad things happen to them. Like any loving parent God listened first, then he explained how each act, saved the person from something worse. What follows is a bit of a story like that one, but of my day. I tend to downplay many situations, and some of you are thinking “yeah right!” But I had to stop and think of what the situation could have been instead. So I hope this helps bring some comfort to each of your lives that read this.

This morning on the way to work the traffic was worse than usual, so instead of going my usual speed 70+, I was forced to go slower. It was also raining a bit, so I had to use my wipers. As the traffic began to free up, I noticed something strange, a weird flickering on my hood (As I listened to K-Love, they were playing a song by Tenth Avenue North “Times” made specifically for today, where God was talking to us, he was telling us how much we were beautifully made, and how much he loved us), when I sat up and looked closer, I made a horrific discovery. The hood for my car was not closed, it was starting to flap in the wind because I was now going faster. Although the latch is partially broken, the security feature still worked, and it was preventing it from coming all the way up. I pulled over, and closed it shut all the way (I had some work done on my car yesterday, and it looks like the mechanic didn’t close it all the way). There shouldn’t have been traffic at that point in my drive, but without traffic, my hood could have completely opened up, and I might not have been here to share this story with you. Even when we think things are bad, God could be saving us from something far worse. So today I said ” Thank you God for the Traffic this Morning!”

Even if you don’t believe in God, or you believe in Spirituality or that the Universe is looking out for us, you can appreciate this story. It shows that even when we think what we’re going through is bad, perhaps this bad situation could be preventing you from experiencing something far worse. Today I was thankful for bad traffic, and bad California Drivers, because I know that they saved my life. I choose to believe that God was working his way in that situation, you can believe in whatever it is you believe in. Regardless of our beliefs, what seemed like a bad start to my day, was actually a beautifully divine way to protect me from something much greater. So what about you, what bad is happening in your life? What’s the alternative, what other situation could you be in if you weren’t in this one. Just to be clear, I’m not saying that every bad thing is a way that God is saving your from something else. I know that there are some very horrific tragedies in life, but what I am saying is to think about the role God or the Universe plays in your life sometimes.

Feelings of Peace and Calm!

Peace and calm

 

There’s something majestic about watching a calm ocean, it seems to evoke a feeling of peace that rises from deep within your soul. Well that’s kind of how I’m feeling this past week. I’ve talked previously about aligning your heart and mind, I’m starting to do the same in my life, and boy does it feel good. For a few months now I’ve been battling where to go with my career. For the past week I started each day with a simple prayer:

“Speak to me, I’m listening. Show me I’m looking. Lead me I’m willing to follow.”

By listening, and letting myself be led, I felt that the last thing to do was act. I’ve made it a goal to live 2014 with Intention, meaning that every action I take each day, will be for a purpose. I didn’t want to live another year with my life not meaning anything. Life is too beautifully complicated to not live each moment. I felt that I should follow my passion, stop chasing money and things that don’t actually make me happy. My current job gave me access to some of the things I’m passionate about, but it also had a lot more things that didn’t motivate me. Additionally it didn’t give me the kind of time I needed to LIVE a more fulfilling life. I decided to stop wrestling with that, and do what I thought was best, stop doing what I don’t like, and start doing more of what I’m actually passionate about.

Following your dream is indescribable at this point, at no point within the past few days have I been able to find one negative in myHand of God decision. I’ve also felt this great peace and calm from deep within me. I’m not naive in thinking that it’s all sweet dreams and lollipops from here, I know that my journey will be littered with trials and temptations. Just so happens I learnt a few valuable things this week. God has helped me this far, and there’s no reason why he won’t see me to the next step. In life we are granted opportunities, some take us closer to our path, others may not be as ideal a path. We have a choice to live our life, we can choose to do it on our own, or we can trust that our faith will lead us in the right direction. My career goal is to be a Counselor/Life Coach, however that goal is not the root of my happiness is not what makes me happy, it’s discovering who I am along the way that’s the real happiness. I may not actually end up being a Counselor, but in my journey I’ll live a happy purposeful life. By creating space, it creates room for other opportunities to manifest.

In the past week I’ve learnt a few things worth noting:

  • I feel content with my life right now, and I’m willing to go where the journey takes me.
  • Following my passion makes me much more happier, more than money or anything else has up to this point in my life.
  • I feel peace radiating from deep within me, that tells me I’m making the right decision.
  • My faith in God is strong, I know this road WILL not be easy, but that’s another opportunity for me to go deeper into my faith.
  • I’m at a point in my life where I’m ready to trust God, and live a life of Love and Kindness. I’m certain that he is working in my life, and I’m here because it’s where I’m needed.

Even though my journey has just began, I’m committed to taking it one step at a time. I’m listening, looking, and ready to follow. It’s God’s will for my life, not my will that I want God to make happen. Even though this quote may mean different things for others, I think it’s a good way to have a conversation with others about what their Faith means to them.

“When Christ calls a man, He bids him come and die” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

 

Patience Redux!!!

Clarity

Today I woke up with a renewed sense of clarity, and I really felt great about the future. I still don’t know how tomorrow will go, but boy am I excited to see where it’s going to take me! For the past few weeks, I’ve been encouraged and seen that I’m on the right path. They’re places that I’d like to go, and I think my faith is taking me there. Although the future is uncertain, I don’t feel burdened by that uncertainty. I’m actually really excited and feel like I want to go out and shout from the mountain top. Actually I’m heading out on my  Sunday Hike/Run, and I will be on a mountain top at some point, maybe I will shout from that mountain top; hopefully I don’t scare some of the other hikers.

So what is it that I’m so confident about, and feel like I finally have clarity about? Lately I’ve really been focusing on my Purpose, and my specific Gift. I’ve felt that it’s really important to be able to give of my natural talent, and I’ve wanted more than anything to be in that place in my life. Ultimately I see myself being a Counselor/Life Coach, that’s something I can be excited about everyday. Although I have a good JOB now, it’s not related to my passion, and I so desperately want to be on a path that gets me to my dream job. I’ve been trying to practice being Patient, and recognizing that if I continue to persevere, I’ll eventually get to my goal. I was reminded by a friend what it means to be patient. For as long as I’ve known her, she’s been in a job that she was not happy with. Just when it seems that all of her life was falling apart, it all came together. She’s so in-tuned to who she is, she now has a great job that she’s beyond excited about, and all aspects of her life seem to be going the way she thinks it should. After what probably seems like a lifetime, she’s in her season of growth. What that reminded me is that she was patient for years, she’s worked at the kind of life she’s longed for, and now everything is playing out perfectly. Although she’s seems to finally be on the path she’d like to be, there is plenty of work ahead.

Patience 2Thinking about her success, to some level made me a bit jealous, I’d like to have my season of growth now too. I think I had an “ah ha” moment today. Ok so I want to be a Counselor/Life coach, what do I know right now to make that come true? What do I still have to learn so that I can nurture and grow that career when it finally comes. My moment of clarity came in looking at where I am in a different way. It’s not that I’m not on the right path today, but that what I’m doing today is preparing me for what comes tomorrow. So that when I do get that awesome career, I’ll have all the right tools and training to be successful. I’ve been talking about embracing where I am, but I don’t feel as though I’ve completely embraced it. Despite what I may think about my current job, what if even it is helping me for what comes next. Instead of seeing it as something isolated, looking at it as part of the larger purpose, I’ve seen it as an opportunity for further growth.

So what does all of that mean. It’s time for me to stop focusing on things that are far in the future, it’s time to live in this moment, to be aware of what I can learn for my current circumstances. It’s important to acknowledge that ever aspect of where I am now, is an opportunity for growth. Most importantly I should trust in my Faith, I’m not quite sure what the future has in stored for me. I can be assured that it will be great, I may not even become a Counselor/Life Coach. That’s ok too, it’s more important for me to have the maximum effect to others despite the role. From my friend’s example, I can also rest assured that when it works out, it’s usually perfect. By trusting and having faith, things work out much better than I could have hoped for. So this is what I’ve learnt and what I have to look forward to.

  • Enjoy my life, go out and live every moment. Each moment is part of a larger plan to get me to where I’m needed the most. Even being single is a good thing. I know that especially during the Holidays it’s hard to do that. If I’m looking for love, what better way to attract it by being happy, and showing love to all those around me.
  • My life is playing out just the way it’s supposed to. I trust in God, and I can rest assured that he has my back. I’ve made a lot of great progress this year, I know myself even more, my faith is stronger than ever. I’m one day closer to love, and having that dream job. It’s time to enjoy where I am, go out and LIVE.
  • Sure I’m not as happy as I’d like to be, but I’m on the right path. Every aspect of my life now is preparing me for the next, and I’m learning what I need to be successful later.

What about you, are you in the same boat as I was? Are you frustrated that you’re not moving at the pace you think you should? Rest assured that you will get to the future you desire, but also recognize that you may not have all the right tools now, and your current life is preparing you for the next. Whether it’s your current job, your relationships, or other aspects of your life. It’s all preparing you for what comes next.