Stillness

Learning to sit with conflict and uncertainty is a skill, much like riding a bike.

When you feel like you’re falling, steer into the fall. Lean into it instead of away, and you’ll be alright.

Have you ever tried making decisions when you’re upset or uncertain? It’s extremely trying.

Sometimes, the best thing we can do for ourselves is to stop making decisions altogether. To learn to just sit and listen to the still, small voice that’s says don’t run. Don’t lean away. Take each day as it comes. One at a time. Lean into the not knowing. Carry on, because everything is going to be okay.

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When You Start to Feel, Do.

Recently I have been reading, Carry On, Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing some of my favorite passages from her book, ones that I find especially wise and/or inspirational.

The below is paraphrasing but I think her point remains.

“When you start to feel, do… When you start to feel unloved, go find someone to offer love. When you start to feel unappreciated, go find someone to appreciate and acknowledge. When you feel unlucky, make yourself write down two recent blessings.”

The point is, to not let yourself wallow. This strategy of, “When you start to feel, do” is fascinating and new to me. It seems to be based on the underlying premise that we’re all connected, a belief which I hold dear. It makes sense to me as a concrete and tangible way to sidestep wallowing and overthinking ourselves into despair.

When you start to feel, do.

Control vs. Letting Go

There are really two ways of going about our day to day lives.

Either we’re striving and trying to maintain control (a fruitless effort, by the way, which leaves us exhausted). Or we’re relinquishing control to God, and trusting that He will bring us what we need each day.

There’s a distinct and noticeable difference between how good our days are, depending on which mode of being in which we’re acting.

When we’re striving, the people around us can tell. It says to them that there is something more important which we need to accomplish. Something more important than being present with them and letting God work. When we’re trusting God with all of our needs and desires, we’re at rest. And people around us can see this, too. They wonder how we’ve found such peace within the whirlwind of our daily lives. We’re a living testament of what it’s like to know God.

What it really boils down to, is that all of our striving and trying to gain control, makes the statement: “I don’t trust God.” And that hurts Him.

He’s already proven to us His goodness, grace, and love. Why would we not trust Him to take care of us on a daily basis?

Life becomes so much easier when we learn to let go, and let God. With every single aspect of our lives.

If you want to write, read.

The number one advice I have for other people interested in become better writers, is to read.

I find it fascinating that whenever I’m going through a dry spell in my writing, I’m going through a drought in my reading.

The opposite is also true. As soon as I begin reading a new book, the creative inspiration and ideas begin to consume me in such a way that I have no other choice but to write.

The two activities are directly and positively correlated.

Reading serves as mental stimulation. It provides us with renewed inspiration.

As a general rule, we are readers first. And writers second.

So if you want to write, read.

A Woman being pursued is most beautiful

Have you ever noticed how a woman is most beautiful when she’s being pursued? When she’s falling in love…

This is because that’s when a woman’s most important questions are being answered. At the core of every woman are the questions of, “Am I beautiful? Am I captivating? Am I worth fighting for?”

When a woman is being pursued, she lights up from inside because her questions are being answered. Yes, you are beautiful, captivating, and worth fighting for!

Think of Toula in My Big Fat Greek Wedding. When Ian finds her and begins to romance her, she comes alive. There’s a new shimmer in her eyes and her beauty begins to radiates from within.

Contrastingly, when a woman feels unloved and not worth pursuing, her inner light dims. She goes about her days hiding her innate beauty, believing that she’s not beautiful or worth it.

What if we could have this glow that comes from our most important questions being answered, regardless of our circumstances?

We can.

In fact, as women, we’re supposed to.

We were designed to be beautiful, radiating, captivating, and worth pursuing.

And guess what? The God of angel’s armies is totally and completely in love with us. He’s pursuing us everyday. He thinks we’re captivating, beautiful and worth fighting for.

The Creator of the universe has already answered all of our most important questions!

If we can truly understand and internalize this truth, then we become free to share our beauty with the world and our inner radiance will never go dull again.

Women of the world, we’re beautiful.

 

New Year Resolutions

New year resolutions are a funny thing. They’re usually abstract goals with no real objectives attached to them and thus, they rarely stick.

I think we should call them new year habits instead. Because this is what we’re really after, right? To rid ourselves of old habits that no longer serve us and form new, better and healthier habits in their place.

We’re creatures of habit. Whether we want to go to the gym more, eat healthier, or spend more time with friends, if we want the change to be long lasting, it needs to become a habit.

Research says it only takes two weeks to form a habit. So if we do something every day for two weeks, it’ll likely become a routine part of our life.

This is my hope for you, for everyone, and for myself. That we form new habits. Habits that will serve to further our goals for the year ahead.

Happy New Year!

To Whom Much Is Given, Much Is Expected

I’ve never understood when artists are greedy, and yet I meet so many who are. It’s ironic since essentially artists are in the business of sharing- their talents, struggles, joys, and journeys. But if the main motivation behind sharing your talent is because you expect money in return, then your passion is money, not music. And you’re in the wrong business. I strongly believe that as artists, we’re given gifts and it’s our duty to share them, even if that means holding three jobs down to be able to do so. In the end, you have to know and believe that your gift alone is a treasure worth far more than any amount of money. And to whom much is given, much is expected…

The Pattern of Personal Growth

Have you ever noticed how your greatest moments of personal growth occur?

There’s a pattern to it, I’m convinced.

First, a challenge. A challenging life circumstance or situation. Something comes at us sideways when we least expect it. A loss. Break up. Health problem. We don’t feel equipped to handle it, yet somehow we do. We’re faced with an obstacle and we pull through.

But we haven’t grown yet.

Next comes vulnerability. We share our experience of this challenge with another person. In all of our raw honesty, we open ourself up to another. We share in our weaknesses and by doing so, we experience vulnerability.

Then we reflect. Only after a difficult challenge and shared vulnerability, can we pause to really reflect about what exactly we’ve just been through. What we’ve grown through. How we’ve grown. And in our reflection, finally, our great moment of personal growth arrives. Clothed in compassion and humility. Void of all judgment. An “Aha” moment.

Challenge. Vulnerability. Reflection. In that order.

I believe that all of our greatest personal growth experiences follow this pattern.

Inspiration is Like a Butterfly

Have you ever noticed how inspiration often comes at the most inopportune times?

When a million other things are vying for our attention. Or when we’re right in the middle of something else. Like a shower. Or a run. Or when we’re simply not in the mood to write. Because we’re tired. Or hungry.

Have you ever had a brilliant idea come to you out of nowhere? A sudden flash of insight that you promise to write down later.

But when later comes, no matter how hard you try, you can’t recall what is you were supposed to write down. Maybe you remember the general idea, but the words are no longer fully formed, waiting to flow effortlessly from mind to paper. The inspiration is no longer a sudden flash, but rather a struggle to be grasped. And it’s brilliance is lost.

I think inspiration is purposefully inconvenient.

Because, you see, inspiration is ultimately a gift that wants to be shared. It’s constantly searching for the right receiver.

Inspiration demands attention. And it determines who’s rightfully worthy of it by arriving at the wrong time.

If we’re not willing to put time on hold, stop what we’re doing and fully receive the inspiration in the exact moment it arrives, then like a butterfly, inspiration simply flutters off to find another mind somewhere else. It wants to be with a person who recognizes its worth.

“I Don’t Have Enough Time”

“I don’t have enough time.” Does the phrase sound familiar?

Of course it does! It’s an all too common compliant. We all think we don’t have enough time. It’s our great problem. Time urgency.

Or is it our great excuse?

What if we actually never have had a time problem? What if our real problem is with priorities?

The truth is, at the end of the day, we all do what matters most. PERIOD. 

Often when we feel anxious or in a hurry, it’s simply because we’re not doing the one thing that we should be doing.

So let’s try to help each other. As the year draws to a close, and holiday season makes for busier and busier schedules, let’s map out our priorities. I challenge you to do this and then share your list of priorities with a trusted friend. Ask that person to hold you accountable. Then, watch as your daily tasks unfold with greater ease and your “lack of time” becomes less of an issue.

Cheers to doing better with priorities!