Thursday, September 25, 2008

Gray and Grayer

Sometimes there are clear cut choices that need to be made. Other times the choices just seem like various shades of gray. Darker, lighter, but still gray. Hard to discern the "right" thing to do there, especially when the outcome is important.

The latin word for certainty is "certus" which actually means "to sift". At those gray and grayer choices, we must sift through all of the information given us through our senses, our past, our dreams, our relationships, our faith . . . and determine what is certain. What do we believe in all certainty?

Standing on the ground of certainty may not change the shades of gray, but it may however, help us by deduction understand the shades we WON'T choose. Sometimes just knowing what we AREN'T about helps us see what we ARE - and then we can get about doing it.

Sift out some shades of gray today -

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

There Is No Arizona

So I'm in Arizona networking and promoting my new book. The toughest part of this whole process for me personally is getting places. You see, I'm directionally challenged. It takes me 3x as long to reach my destination because even with a GPS in my car, maps and printed Google Maps, AND my palm pilot - I still get lost.

Seems unreal, but I honestly cannot understand what I'm seeing in correlation with what I need to do. Funny, but that is also the biggest challenge right now in my personal life. I see the map (the Bible), I'm listening to the sermons, counseling with wise friends and leaders, and still I feel like I'm wandering around lost.

The first couple of days it made me frustrated. On the freeway cursing I had almost convinced myself to go back to Utah immediately. However, by yesterday I had become more familiar with the names of the routes, having criss-crossed them now in my wandering SO many times! And when I took a wrong turn I could almost feel it in my gut - ok, that doesn't feel right - and I laughed and turned around. (a few days ago I would have been a half hour away before recognizing the mistake)

This is what most of us avoid like the plague - getting "in there" - right into our weakness so completely that we're at the end of ourselves. I hate it honestly. But the last few days I've also come to appreciate my own tenacity. I don't want to give up. I want to work through it and learn this thing about directions, maps, and feeling confident in new places alone.

I'm going to encourage you to see your challenges today under a microscope - how are you keeping yourself from growth out of your own fears? And what could you learn on a deeper level if you just allowed yourself the room to fail? Take a new course today and recognize that even being lost is a good thing. It teaches us how to find that sense of direction and navigate anywhere.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Facing Facebook

The new technology allows us to connect better than ever. Or wait, does it? The other day I was coerced into creating a Facebook account. "This is the latest, greatest way to keep in touch with friends and family!" I was told. Very quickly after creating it I was flooded with requests to be this person's friend, answer this person's writing on the wall, join this network . . . whew! Being a friend was complicated! Now I find myself clicking here and there, yes - we're friends, who are you?, can't keep up and I'm wondering when I will have time to really SEE my friends in person?

And then I received an email from my friend Mark who is on a 30 day pilgrimage in Spain. (Camino De Santiago) He is walking for 30 days. Just walking. And I'm sure thinking, meditating, reflecting . . . away from technology.

And I have to ask myself if we're somehow spinning our technological wheels without satisfaction - all longing to connect with something truly bigger - bigger than a computer. More real than a friend on Facebook. And more eternal than the late night hours spent online.

Friday, September 12, 2008

When Push Comes To Shove

My girlfriend Karla established a rule for her two small children to encourage them to be more loving with each other. The rule went like this: If one of the children was hurting for any reason (sickness, hurt feelings, or injury) it was the responsibility of the sibling to sit by, and soothe and comfort the other until the pain had passed. Each time Karla would witness this behavior she would give the empathetic child a candy. This began quite a wonderful relationship between the two children.

Then one day, Karla babysat my then 3 year-old daughter. Seeing the rewarding process, and wanting some sweet treats too, my daughter proceeded to push the little boy. When he fell, my daughter looked up and held out her hand. She anticipated getting a yummy piece of candy! In her childish interpretation, my daughter had missed the most important part of the lesson! We can all laugh about it now years later.

Sometimes as adults we are just as confused about what will bring us positive results. We miss essential pieces of the equation. Sometimes we focus so much of our energy on the END result that we miss who we could become through the journey - which is the biggest reason we're here!

The character traits - empathy, compassion, encouragement, kindness . . . those are the gold nuggets . . . are you cultivating them or just holding your hand out for a yummy piece of candy?

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Jump In With One Foot!

Ho hum. Another Wednesday morning. Same old, same ol'

Is this YOU??? Is this your life?? Are you reading this out of sheer boredom with your chin in your hands, looking for a pick-me-up because your life is . . . well, life-less?

I've got some exciting news for you today friend so perk up. You don't have to wait til next month, next year or ten years from now to start living your dreams. You can start today. Honest.

I've just finished a book called "Why Not Start Living Your Life Today" by Eric Delabarre and I've come to some AMAZING realizations. Any dream that you REALLY want can begin today. Absolutely. I knew I believed this on some levels but Eric's book honed in on what really makes it happen. Let me begin by telling you a story about one of my clients.

Suzie (not really her name) came to me frustrated and depressed. She had no passion in her life, she was frustrated with the day-to-day and felt like her life had no point. (sounding familiar friend?) As we talked it was clear that she had nothing in her life that made her giggle, get excited, or dream big. I asked her, "Suzie, what do you love? What things make you happy or have made you happy in the past - I mean REALLY happy?"

Suzie thought for a minute. I could tell it had been a long time since she'd even pondered it. "Well, when I was younger I took equestrian riding lessons. I loved horses. I could be myself around horses. I don't do anything with horses now - it's been ten years."

We began talking about what she would want to do if anything was possible and her eyes lit up "wow, if I OWNED a horse, now that would be incredible! What if I owned a couple horses? What if I taught lessons to teenagers, what if I certified in some horse training and took care of other people's horses . . . " her voice got more and more excited, louder and louder and by the time we were done with our session Suzie was so excited about horses she was crying.

That was five years ago. Today Suzie owns horses, teaches horses and enters local parades on her horses. That coaching session changed Suzie's life.

Translation - because you're sitting there thinking, "yeh, but I'm not Suzie. There are things that I want that don't even exist in my life. I can't even BEGIN to picture how that would change."

Here's what Eric says in his book that is the key I believe. He says you've got to get in the stream of your dream. The STREAM of your DREAM.

Quit watching from the sidelines and complaining about it. Get in even if it is a toe, a foot, even if it can't be two feet yet.

For example, if you've always wanted to be a writer? Start writing something - anything. If you've wanted to write music, get an instrument and take a class. If you want to travel, update your passport. Whether or not you go anywhere - be ready!

As you start taking steps and dreaming your dream, entering the stream of your dream with one horse riding lesson, or writing one song, or jogging a mile, you will FEEL the energy of your dream. That stream and energy will pull you downstream further, the next step will push you downstream further and further.

I want to go to Paris. I picked up some audio CD's from the library. In my car I'm speaking French and I'm giggling - I know I'm on my way to Paris. I'm collecting pictures of Paris, I've got my passport out and I'm updating it . . . even found a song about Paris . . . I'm LIVING the excitement of going to Paris right now. I'm feeling the passion right now. I'm so excited about Paris right now. The planning is part of the whole dream.

So friend - even if you're jumping in with what logic says is only one foot - still jump. Get in the stream of your dream and you'll be surprised how great the water feels . . .