Church last week was about what happens when our integrity and employment collide. This service brought up a lot of old ‘stuff’ for me, that I have long dealt with, but never truly let go. It was extremely refreshing, because I feel like for the first time in years I was spoken to, and the decision I made 3.5 years ago was confirmed as the right thing to do. This was a blessing, as I have carried a lot of weight around in my heart for way too long.
This constant questioning of whether or not I did do the right thing, left me uncertain about my ability to make decisions. Now I feel more confident if I do indeed follow my gut and heart, I will be lead in the best direction. In addition, through my experience in a previous job I was left constantly feeling like a failure. This has created a lot of insecurities in my abilities, and has led over the past several years to me telling myself a lot of stories about what I can or can’t do, my worth, and my value, which has limited me, and caused me to hold myself back.
Service was so powerful for me, because in my heart I know that for the entire time I was in my previous career I indeed acted with integrity, with heart, and soul. I gave it my everything, and at the end of the day, that career wasn’t for me, I wasn’t for it, and parting ways for the ‘right’ reasons was extremely worth it. Thanks to this realization I also feel like I can finally stop telling myself these stories, or lies about my capabilities, my strengths or my talents, and I can create new stories. I no longer have to feel like I am inadequate at certain tasks that this other job left me feeling like. Yay!
As much as I have questioned my previous action to boldly walk away from something, as many of my friends and family would say, “was stable, and amazing money, and opportunity”.. it was actually the perfect thing to do. I stood strong for my beliefs, I didn’t succumb to pressure, and I walked away from acting out of character. In addition, this bold effort forced me out of my comfort zone. The absolute best part in it all is that it opened the door of opportunity for me to finally pursue a long standing passion, and turn it into a career.
Now I am blessed with a wonderful career, in the most amazing industry, that I am seriously passionate about. I am never asked to compromise integrity, if anything it would be shun upon. My personal values, morals, and my beliefs completely align with what I do. And, I get to encourage, inspire, and influence other people into a healthy life through nutrition and exercise that I not only believe in, but live. To me, it is living proof that doing the right thing for the right reasons, no matter how difficult or impossible or challenging it may seem in the moment, will always lead to a better outcome, and it is worth it. The best options aren’t always the easiest options, but they usually end up being the most rewarding.
IF you ever find yourself in a compromising position, ask yourself if you are prepared for a life of compromise. Chance is that if a boss or partner or owner of a company asks you to do it once, they will ask you again. While it might often seem like that is your only option, remember that we ALWAYS have a choice. Choose the path that most represents you and what you believe in - don't settle - don't succumb. Even when the alternative seems impossible, have faith, in God, and yourself, that doing the right thing - will always yield better results, and bring you to a better place.
One of my mentors always talked about something called the 3Rs, which included: Resentment, resistance, & revenge. The three have potential to be very destructive, and one can lead into the next. Today I just want to talk about the 1st one: Resentment. Resentment comes in many forms... Maybe we resent someone because of something he/she said or did. Maybe we resent something that happened to us that we felt we had no control over. Maybe we resent how our life looks. Maybe we resent the choices we have made in our life. Maybe we resent giving to someone or doing for someone, when it isn’t reciprocated in the way we had hoped or expected.
I think at the end of the day, resentment is normal and somewhat natural. Everyone feels it sometime at some point for some reason. The key is to not let the feelings consume us or effect our actions moving forward in a negative way. We don’t want to resist our natural feelings, but we want to be self aware and recognize when we might be feeling a certain resentment, assess why, and have a practice of letting it go, before it gets ahold of us.
Of course, many times, it depends on why the resentment occurred or creeped in to begin with. Was it because of something in my control or not? If it was, then what will I do about it? What is next? IF it is something to do with my expectation I placed on someone else, then perhaps I need to learn to not create expectations to begin with - as that is a sure way for disappointment. Was it something I fell short on or didn’t accomplish or complete? Then what steps can I take to make a change and get it accomplished? Is it the way my life looks? Then what way do I want it to look and how can I get there? Was it something someone else did or said? Then let it go.
Admittingly, I have fought the battle in the past several months over and over again with this emotion. For me it has been ongoing practice of being extremely self aware when this emotion is present, yet, non-judgmental of it. IF in judgement of resentment, then this is when resistance occurs. Therefore, it is important to just be aware, not resist. Fighting the feelings isn’t necessary, as it doesn’t work. What I have learned through time and experience is simply acknowledging it and letting it go... I feel it - I recognize that it is natural & normal - but not necessary - I ask myself where it came from and why? And then, I let it go. Often this ability to “let go” occurs through prayer. I am not strong enough alone to always let go of my crazy thoughts or feelings. Only through God am I able to grow emotionally, mentally, & spiritually. Phillippians 4:13 - I can do all things through Christ which strengthens.
Service yesterday at New Life, was once again, nothing short of amazing. Pastor Ron talked to us about Workaholics aka Living to Work OR Working to Live? We talked all about Kind Solomon and how he was this King who had everything anyone could ever want - all the money and riches. So what did he do with all his time and money? He worked... and he worked a lot, but in the end he has a profound realization. Ecclesiastes 2:11 shows this realization:
But as I looked at everything I had worked so hard to accomplish, it was all meaningless - like chasing the wind.
There was nothing really worthwhile anywhere.
Solomon didn’t do anything immoral or wrong in his work, quite opposite really. He created parks, gardens, groves, and farms... Everything he created was useful and beneficial for many, But that isn’t the point - it doesn’t matter what benefit the work creates, it was still just work, and in his end he realizes that it lacked true value. Pastor Ron expressed that you can spend your whole life working and doing good things with morality, in alignment with your integrity and purpose, but you can still get to the end of your life and be at net zero, if this is ALL you focus on. Why is this? Because work alone isn’t enough. Takeaway #1 was that LIFE is GREATER THAN (>) WORK. He then goes on to explain a LIFE ECOSYSTEM.
He expresses that with ALL ecosystems in life, there needs to be a balance for it to function properly. OUR personal life ecosystem (which he expresses is the MOST important ecosystem in the universe) is three EQUAL parts.
When one part of this 3 part system dominates any other, then the ecosystem is destructed. Often, however, many people find themselves giving excess time, effort, and focus in category #2- WORK. One major reason this happens was explained by Pastor Ron in a service several months ago on ‘Identity’. Many people view their identity through their ROLE. They become “what they do”. They also define their worth through these roles, and what they do. Often times, their work becomes their identity (although sometimes it is another role, like being a parent becomes their identity). There are two major issues with defining our identity through our roles / work.
Therefore, it is essential that we truly focus on embracing all three components of our personal ecosystem as equal as possible, and through a God context, whereby we can then flourish and thrive. This service was hugely important for me, and couldn’t have come at a better time, as it was an important reminder for me. I used to be great at nurturing the explorer side of myself. As of late, I have noticed that I have put that side on the back burner and given way for more work. I realize that almost everything I do now or focus on is somehow work related. I have had this insane need to learn more, learn more, learn more, do more, practice more, be more, serve more, more... more... (always feeling like there is too much to learn and not enough time, finding myself stressed)
And while that is all great and it is important to nurture the fire in our bellies, and keep the flame lit - It is equally important to nurture the explorer and family as well, to maintain an appropriate balance. I have rationalized this need to learn more, and do more for work, because I feel like it is my purpose to serve as many people as I can, and fitness and my work is the outlet I choose to do so. Therefore, I felt that if I was doing my work in service to other’s to improve their quality of life and enrich their experience ultimately for God, then I needed to be super invested. However, I realize that I also need to still be invested in my personal self, doing the OTHER things I love, and spending some of my time with the family I have here (my closest friends), nurturing also my personal relationships.
The reality is I have found myself saying WAY too often “that there isn’t enough time in the day... I just need a few more hours...” But the truth is - there is enough time in every day. I just need to set more realistic expectations on what I can accomplish, and realistic expectations on how much time/focus I will put into everything, balancing it out more appropriately, so that then, when my focus is on learning something new, I can actually learn it, because I am not ‘burnt out’ or in ‘information overload’. Additionally, when I am spending time with friends I can “be all there” focused on them and our experience together, rather then on what I need to do still today or the next. Lastly, I can be more committed to blocking out fun, exploration time, without suffering a guilty conscious, feeling like “there are so many things I should be doing instead”, or worse, not even blocking the time, out of overcommitment to everything else. Time for a shift, because in balance, everything is of more quality, making it totally worth it.
Do you nurture all three parts of your ecosystem? If not, where do you find you spend most of your focus and energy and time? IF you are spending too much time in one part neglecting another, make a shift TODAY with me! :) I will set forth the same challenge Pastor Ron sent us with: Every morning ask yourself: How will I nurture the family, the worker, and the explorer in me today? (Notice the question contains ALL 3 parts- not just one) Good luck!!! <3
Do you find it easy & fun to hit your workouts, but lack the motivation to consistently improve your mobility?
A few reasons WHY mobility is IMPORTANT for YOU!
What is this mobility stuff???
Mobility not only focuses on lengthening short or tight muscles, otherwise known as stretching. It also focuses heavily on soft tissue issues, joint capsule constraints, range of motion limitations, and more.
It includes a variety of mobilization tools such as single lacrosse balls, double lacrosse balls, foam rollers, rumbler rollers, and super bands.
An excellent resource for taking your mobility into your own care is www.mobilitywod.com
However, if you feel uncomfortable getting started, you can always ask a friend to join you, or get help from a trainer. I am extremely passionate about this stuff, because I know it works, and I would love to help you out!
I currently hold a Trainer Certificate for Movement & Mobility through Crossfit. I offer 30 minute and 1 hour sessions. Message me for details & let's find a plan that works for you, and get you started today!!!
In the book, The Primal Connection, Mark Sisson (one of my all time favorites!!!) provides an awesome exercise on how to expand your comfort zone. I thought it was really fabulous and wanted to share! I strongly encourage everyone to give it a try - it will take 10 minutes of your life, and if you follow through, could drastically improve it.
Here is what he says to do. On one large piece of paper make a giant circle labeled comfort zone. Inside write 15 skills currently inside your comfort zone. Outside of circle fill in anything that is outside your comfort zone but that you desire to accomplish. Then he says to add to both lists everything you can think of related to your personal, professional and life affairs. Get super creative - fill in everything you can think of that you are comfortable with, and everything you can think of ever desiring that makes you uncomfortable. Next he says to circle the FIVE most important things you have listed "outside of your comfort zone". Then jot down some action steps you can take, next to each of these items to get comfortable with them. Lastly, take action! As you complete some of these tasks your comfort zone is growing. Repeat this cycle often.
IF you haven't read The Primal Connection, I strongly recommend it. It is a wonderful book, and even if you think living like "a caveman" isn't your thing, there is something in here for everyone. Everything he teaches in this book is related to things in life we could all get better at to improve the quality of our life & those around us!! He outlines simple steps along the way, and realistic small changes we could make that would have drastic impact on our overall well being.
What happens when you have this burning feeling inside. This fire in your belly. This flame so intense it consumes every ounce of your being... but the external factors do not coincide? I don’t have an answer -I wish I did - for this is how I am feeling, and it is an answer I am seeking.
For the most part I am someone who, admittedly so, constantly questions herself. I have spent most of my life incapable of making concrete decisions, never truly feeling like I can grasp exactly what is best for me, or what I most want. I constantly second guess my decisions, and often, as embarrassing as this is to admit, regardless of the decisions I have made, I have found the flaws in them, which I feel I do unconsciously only to reaffirm to myself that I am a horrible decision maker. This only makes every decision thereafter even harder. This is a long vicious sabotaging cycle I have experienced for most of my life. I wish I could say that today I am free of this cycle and that I am suddenly this amazing decision maker, but I can’t. While I am definitely vastly better then I used to be, I still have potential for tremendous growth.
I do believe that what happens for me more often than not is that tricky little four letter word creeps in strong and takes hold. That four letter word? FEAR. What if I am wrong? What if I am not good enough? What if it’s not the best decision? What if I fail? What if no one else understand? What if it makes someone else unhappy? What if the other person doesn’t feel the same way? ... What if, what if, what if... Fear... The desire has to trump the fear. It (the desire) has to be stronger, so that it can break fear down, smashing into the ground, shriveling it up until it doesn’t speak any longer.
Honestly speaking, I can probably count on one hand in my life that I have just all the way through the depth of my being felt so incredibly sure about something or another, or had such an intense burning desire toward something, that the fear dissipated. Luckily with most of these occurrences, the external forces aligned. But that brings me back to the question of what to do when they don’t? Again, I don’t have an answer. When I don’t have an answer I pray, and pray often.
I have found myself in this type of situation as of late. At first all of my certainty was so strong. Every feeling inside me aligned, faithful, intense, on fire. And there is no fear. How can there be? When you feel something so strong that you feel it into your core, then how can you feel fear? You can’t - you just put your faith in the fact that you wouldn’t feel like something was so so right, if it was actually so wrong, or so you think. This confidence lasts a while, but old habits dye hard, so eventually, fear in its tricky form begins to creep in - tries to take over. Fear reminds me how foolish I am, how silly I must be, asking myself how I could even trust these strong beliefs in my mind, when everything outside me proves me wrong? But does it really?
I have read that in those moments when you feel so at peace, like you are exactly where you are supposed to be, doing exactly what you are meant to do, that you are indeed on the path God created for you. I suppose the stronger I develop my faith, the stronger I will be at feeling confident in my feelings, in my decisions, in my actions, and in my place in life. It is crucial for me to trust that HE will guide me and that if I veer off HIS path, HE will always lead me back on. HE will not guide me astray. If it feels wrong it might be wrong, but if it feels so right, even if in the moment the external doesn’t align, then it’s still ok to trust that it might actually be right. Most importantly, I think it is important to be stronger then the fear. The best thing I have found for me in the last year to overcome my fear is through prayer. <3
Today at Church we started a new series titled, “Take Your Job and Love It”. In Pastor Kevin’s message we went over Genesis 2:15 - “Then the lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it.” Two highlighted words in this verse were cultivate and keep. He explained that cultivate translates to create, while keep translates to serve, or to give great care. He gave us two key questions to ask ourselves, stating that if we could answer these questions and in turn let these answers impact our actions, then we can find fulfillment in any job/career/work/school...
These two questions are:
1. Who am I impacting?
2. How am I creatively making their lives better?
This was an awesome service, but the best part is how full of gratitude my heart felt through the whole service, knowing that not only do I get to impact and creatively make the lives of my clients improved, or so I hope, but I also get to do these two things through one of my biggest passions and something I already love.
It is honestly so rewarding to watch clients grow and change their life for the better, to help them find new passions, to strengthen skills they didn’t know they had, or talent that was previously untapped, and discover beauty they’ve always possessed, but couldn’t see. I always tell myself if I can make a true difference in one person’s life then I should be happy - but I know that isn’t enough... I know I want to play big... because the truth is - in my lifetime I should impact & creatively improve as many people’s lives as possible, especially those lives that God puts on my path.
With that said, then it is also important to remember, that my ‘work’ extends far beyond the walls of a gym or the virtual world for a support group. My work extends into all facets of my life - I feel that for true fulfillment and living my purpose, which is simply to serve, then I should also always look for ways in every other facet of life that I can impact someone and creatively make his/her life better.
Do I reach out to other people at church? Do I smile at a stranger passing by? Do I remember to always tell everyone I connect with to have an amazing day? Do I look people in the eyes when I have a personal interaction? Do I remember to set my phone aside and give my undivided attention to the person sitting across from me or right next to me?
They all seem like such simple tasks, and some might ask, “well how does that make their life better?” ... but the truth is - sometimes a quick glance, a sincere smile, a gentle touch is all someone needs to make their lives better - and we wouldn’t even know. And, it’s the little things that are so easy to do, yet so easy to often neglect doing.
If you haven't asked yourself those two questions about your job - I would recommend doing so! Especially if you feel that you lack fulfillment in your work. I also challenge you to then broaden your horizon and think in what other areas of your life you can create fulfillment by impacting others and making their lives better! <3