I had to share this selfie, because honestly this is the first time I've felt good about myself in a very long time. Not superficially, even though I do like my black cold-shoulder t-shirt. And I am feeling pretty fit from my Combat & Pump classes last week. No, I mean inside, in that place where the light either shines or it doesn't.
Many of you know this page used to be called Clear Rock Fitness, which was the name of the business I created in Ohio. Well, I visited Ohio last week, in part because I had tickets to see ELO (definitely a bucket list concert for me). I could have given my ticket to my brother or a friend, but I really wanted to go. And it was a great excuse to visit my family so soon after moving to Phoenix. Plus, I planned this with my concert friends last October.
I have a habit of writing concert dates in my calendar along with the venue and when I paid for the ticket. So, in my book for July 30th it said "ELO at Nationwide - paid 10/25". I couldn't help but think about how much has changed since 10/25 and how quickly it happened.
Last October, I was deep in a legal battle, fighting for the life of the business I had created. I had four different legal actions simultaneously in process. I was fighting for my intellectual property (you can't use other peoples name, words, photos, etc), equipment, contractual issues and money owed. I wasn't even thinking about closing the business yet, and I certainly didn't know it was going bankrupt.
Now, I was doing this alone. Not that I didn't have emotional support, I did. But I'm single and I relied completely on income from my business to survive financially. So as the court battle dragged on and the legal bills grew rapidly, between 10/25 (when I said yes to ELO) and 12/31, I ran out of money and gave up by closing the doors. [Just for the record, my business had grown every year since it opened, so the story being told is, well, you decide.]
That was almost eight months ago, and the fog is just now starting to clear. What I am realizing is there is TRAUMA at the root in all this. How terrifying it was financially, emotionally.
I was working with a client last week who had gotten in a scary accident a month or so ago. I could tell her decisions since the accident were rooted in lower self, so I asked her to draw a picture of a ladder with ten rungs and number them one through ten. Now, I asked, where was your self worth the day before the accident? She said about an 8. OK, where would you say it was the day after the accident? She said 4.
Exactly. Scary-as-hell traumatic events, losses, betrayals all seem to have a way of knocking us down a few rungs (or more) on the ladder of worthiness and confidence.
I learned this with the death of my parents. With these losses (trauma) came devastating hits to my self-worth.
Now, think about the sort of choices we make when we are at level 8 and feeling strong, empowered, confident, loved. Usually strong, empowered, confident choices rooted in love.
However, what sort of choices do we make when we are at level 4 (or lower)? Often self-destructive choices rooted in fear.
I cannot tell you how tempting lower-self choices have been these last eight months. But I'm here to say this. I ROCKED IT emotionally and spiritually, and I'm so proud of myself. I stayed rooted in love. I asked for help every time I needed it. I meditated and prayed fanatically. ["please God please God please God"]
I let myself feel pain and fear, but I didn't get stuck there. I was David against Goliath and I fought hard! I STOOD UP FOR MYSELF LIKE I NEVER HAVE IN MY LIFE, and even though it meant the loss of my business, I would do it again.
There's something new on the horizon for me career-wise, that I'm certain. And as the fog lifts, I realize that staying connected to my true identity and my authentic self, instead of being tempted into my lower, fearful self was one of the most powerful experiences I've ever had.
For what is a woman profited, if she shall gain the whole world, and lose her own soul? Thank you, God! I get to move forward with my integrity intact. With my soul lit up again. And with the confidence that comes from learning to stand up for myself, for justice, and being proud of myself.
It was really great to feel that rise up today. May you experience the light if you've been in darkness. May you begin to climb out of lower self and into your sacred self if you've been traumatized in any way. May you feel proud of yourself for doing the best you possibly could.
Today, I went to a new church. I got choked up walking in, during the music, walking to my car and then again, driving home.
I felt the incredible duality of making a big change. Church was the perfect symbol.
I found church at a very low point in my life, just after divorce. All my ancient pain had bubbled up to the surface, after being buried for decades. My false beliefs were staring me down, asking, "Now what, smart guy?"
Little did I know what was coming. Acceptance. Belonging. Worth. Value. Purpose. Unconditional love. Freedom from shame and comparison. I was shocked, because that's not what I thought I'd find at church.
But condemnation was nowhere to be found.
Fifteen years later, here I was without my church home. I often referred to it as a hospital for the broken-hearted. What if my healing was dependent on that place?
I felt grief and loss for not being able to drive up Cooper Road, park in my normal spot, sit in my usual seat and connect with people I know. It was weird. It was also exciting.
It felt like an adventure within an adventure.
As I allowed my heart to be with the grief and excitement all at once, I realized I'd been feeling this duality for some time now. So sad to leave Columbus, while simultaneously being thrilled about moving to Phoenix. Broken-hearted to not live around the corner from my family anymore, while imagining the new relationships I'd have in my new state. Saying goodbye to my home of fifteen years, while saying hello to this cozy little fortress in the sun.
It's both. All at once.
And that feels sacred. Being deep in gratitude for what was, while looking ahead to what I'm being called to next. It's a leap of faith. Leaving something wonderful and known, for something wonderful and unknown. When people ask me what my plan is, I say, "The Holy Spirit will tell me when I get there."
I'm done controlling it. Not my way, Your way. Not my will, Your will. I had six months of eat/pray/love and I learned to let go. I mean really let go and TRUST that there is something wiser and more powerful within me, leading me. I call it God. God was with me today in my grief, and also in my excitement.
God is my leap of faith. Trusting instead of controlling is my leap of faith. Believing that my relationships are so solid that no distance could ever shake them. Believing that I can experience healing and the presence of God in any church, on a mountain trail, on the phone with my niece, walking my hooligans.
It's like Dorothy had to learn, she had the power in her all along. She didn't have to go looking for it. She WAS it. So she clicked her heels three times, and was home.
The spiritual teachings say when a believer experiences a setback, it can be the setup for a comeback. I like that. I can see how things are miraculously accelerating in my life to set my feet on solid rock again. Have you ever experienced that? It's awesome.
WAY better than sinking sand.
As things fell apart at the studio, a new path was coming together. One where I took my writing, coaching and personal training online. When the studio closed in December, I purposefully withdrew from the world and the shoulds, obligations and routines from my past. I knew I had spiritual work to do and that meant cleaning house (literally and figuratively).
During prayer and meditation, I heard very clearly that I was meant to wait, rest, and learn to trust. So I did. My main focus was on the Ignatian prayer exercises I was so fortunate to be right in the middle of. Coincidence? Hardly.
Wait. Rest. Trust Me.
What started to emerge was a love for my online university, the clear understanding that our community/ministry absolutely could continue, and my ministry could be more intentional and focused without the distractions and high cost of running a business.
The words that kept coming up were ministry and adventure. As I thought about that, I realized that any change in our lives is an adventure.
The cool things is, I get to do it online now, from anywhere. I've decided to start in Phoenix, then see the world. I'd like to take you with me.
Here's how you can help:
Keep in touch! Read about my adventures into travel, minimalism, and radical downsizing. I'm only taking with me what I can fit in my car. And the hooligans, of course. Respond to my newsletters and let me know you are still with me. I love hearing from you.
Pray for me. Pray for our safe drive across the country. Pray that the little apartment I choose is just right. Pray that I find a church I love as much or more than the Vineyard. Pray that I meet the people I am supposed to meet, including a kind, spiritual guy that likes to hike with me (must love dogs). Pray that I can continue my ministry and still make it financially. Pray that my relationships with my amazing family are only strengthened by this change, and I get to see them as much if not more than I did before.
Visit me. Sometimes the clarity that's found on a mountain trail is the set up and acceleration needed to find your comeback. It's happened to me numerous times since my first trip to Utah in 2001. I can have you as a guest, or I can host you as a retreat client. If you come as a client, we'll create a personalized visit that can include immersion coaching, meditation, hiking, healthy eating or anything else you are seeking. I mean, Sedona is only two hours away.
Join my online university. It's so awesome, I can't describe how much you get for only $50/month. I'll try: You get six LIVE strength training classes/week where we can actually talk, laugh and see each other. You get recordings of every workout, so if you travel, or have a crazy schedule, or don't want to have to go to a gym or studio you can still lift. Set the thermostat to what YOU want - haha. Workouts are 30 minutes, and all you need is a pair of weights. This is THE best way to support me, my future, and this ministry while still getting something incredibly worthwhile for yourself.
Begin or continue personal training or coaching with me. It's so easy online, and after a minute or two, you forget that there is a screen. It simply feels like we are together. I already have amazing clients in Florida, Illinois, New York, Arizona and Nevada. Listen, if you have a workout room in your home that you don't use, and you wish you did, this is perfect. I will make you exercise and you shall enjoy it, because we will be busy chatting about life.
I leave Ohio June 10th and my move in date in Paradise Valley is June 14th. I still have a few iterations of downsizing to do. It was such a challenge to let go of STUFF, but I can see how it is opening up my heart to the next chapter. The energy is being cleared out. I couldn't move on to something new, while dragging the past behind me. So I've let it go.
I've already heard from a lot of you, and your heart's desire to declutter, travel more, be brave and adventurous, and finally be free from worry/anxious thoughts. Friends, change is inevitable. But the fun thing is, if you are brave, you get to decide what the changes in your life mean FOR YOU. I choose adventure.
Thanks for checking on me, reaching out and just being awesome.
I thought I'd take the most common questions and answer them for you.
Common question #1. How AAAAAARE you?
I'll tell you what. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle knew what he was talking about when he coined the proverb, "A change is a good as a rest." But resting is pretty fantastic, too. When God broke that whole getting-too-much-identity-from-work thing off of me, he wasn't messing around. I also think that you all gave me an incredible gift by allowing me to share, process and lament the events known as 2018 with you. Being allowed to feel and process everything as it was happening meant that there is very little, if any, residual funk to deal with, and I didn't think that was possible.
Residual funk is not the same as Uptown Funk. We want more Uptown Funk, less residual funk. So process your stuff as it's happening. Feel and deal, if you want freedom.
Common question #2. What are you going to DO?
For now, I'm going to be very, very obedient to what the Spirit inside me answers every time I ask what I should be doing. What should I do today? Rest. Wait. Learn to trust.
On a daily basis, that looks like no alarm clock. Daily workout, yay! Super healthy, whole food. Frequent walks with the hooligans, alone with my worship music, or with friends. Immersion in the Ignatian exercises, a set of powerful Christian meditations I am studying. Reading. Binge watching Downton Abbey (oh, Matthew...). Writing book number two. I found a Netflix fireplace that I can pull up on my TV that burns slowly as it crackles. You can often find me under my heated blanket, the fireplace crackling, hooligans curled up with me as we listen to an inspiring book, podcast or sermon.
It's my own little version of eat, pray, love. It is exactly what I need right now.
As for what am I going to do next? I don't know! I'm waiting for that to be revealed to me. I am willing to wait. Fear would love for me to grab hold of the controls and get moving towards whatever would bring the most safety and security, but I now understand the bondage of that, so I'm trusting the way of the Spirit, instead.
Common question #3. How are the hooligans?
They are wonderful. I've been able to work with them more, now that I am home, and we go for little excursions to the pet store, hardware store and around the neighborhood. If you need a schnoodle fix, just check my Facebook page or stop by.
We are on a mission to simplify and experience more peace, and they are helping. Not really. When I started cleaning out the closet today, they both hid under the bed. That's OK, I was on a roll. I recently discovered Marie Kondo and the life-changing magic of tidying up, and I've thoroughly enjoying the process of de-cluttering, minimalizing, simplifying, downsizing and preparing for whatever comes next.
What is most exciting in all of this is freedom. I found I simply could not be available for my next ministry, calling, relationship or adventure with all the things in my life whose purpose had already been served. What's cool about the tidying up process, is you get to be grateful for all the stuff, not judgmental or shamed. You are encouraged to give thanks for how it all served its purpose. It is only then that you can detach and release it, not from a place of sadness or fear, but love.
I pray that each person reading this can experience the miraculous peace, freedom and HOPE that comes from the simple act of tidying up, letting go, and being available for whatever next adventure you are being invited into.
...don't believe me, just watch. (Come on!)
"Occasionally, weep deeply over the life you hoped would be. Grieve the losses. Then wash your face. Trust God. And embrace the life you have." - John Piper
Today in church we sang It Is Well. Do you know the miraculous freedom that comes from lifting your hands and singing, "Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say, it is well, it is well with my soul."?
Change is here. And for some, it's difficult. I get that, completely. But something else has been flooding in as we make room for it.
Can you feel it?
Ever since I came to the conclusion that Clear Rock could not continue with a competitor next door, I began a practice of radical detachment. A Course in Miracles taught me that I give everything in my material world its meaning and value. For example, I hold attachment to the amazing, beautiful treadmills I bought. They make me think of Tread. How excited I was when they were delivered and set up. How much love and music we shared in those classes. How they helped me train for the canyon hike.
So each day, when I enter the studio, I say out loud, "I've given these treadmills their meaning and value. I release all attachment to these treadmills. I set them in your hands, God."
As I do, the excitement, love, music and purpose they've brought to my life root in my heart. I keep the memory. I keep the gift. I release the object.
And so it is with every object as I become aware of it.
I am sure any one of you who has experienced loss, death of a spouse, chronic health problems, an empty nest, loss of a business, or divorce has adopted this same practice, either consciously or unconsciously. Even cleaning out a closet requires detachment and release.
What I am finding as I get good at it, and intentionally practice it daily, is a radical freedom that comes along with making room. Creating space. Preparing for what's next.
I feel the weight lift. The air around me gets lighter. Less oppressive.
"The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak." - Hans Hofmann
The most common question I got these past two weeks was, "What are you going to do?" I am so excited by the answer, it's hard to describe how much so: I don't know!
I have no idea.
But of this I am sure. I am in the midst of eliminating the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.
I must say, at age 53, to sense these endless possibilities is quite exciting. To dream new dreams outright is incredible. I believe God is taking me on a spiritual adventure, the ride of a lifetime. I thought when I got rescued by God that first time, that was it. I was freed from my past and my shame. Now I could hang out, content to serve others within the boundaries of the studio. Safe, comfortable, happy.
But God just expanded my borders. And perhaps yours, too.
How badass is that!
So join me. I pray for your borders to expand. That you muster the courage to eliminate what is unnecessary, or weighing you down. Clear space so the necessary may speak. I believe it will, if only we prepare our hearts to listen. I will be sharing my adventure with you here, and I hope this is just the beginning of our time together. Our walk, side by side, on this path we call life.
And as we experience it all, together, the highs and lows, successes and disappointments, may we always remind one another to say, with hands held high and hearts wide open.
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
I do not know where to begin.
So I'll pray. God, what would you have me do, what would you have me say? What will serve others? What will serve you?
Dear God, your will -
nothing else. - Bobby Richardson
Do you know how hard that is? Nothing more, nothing less, nothing else?
I'm going to tell you several stories, and hopefully show you how miraculously they have been woven together. So, pour a cup of coffee or tea, relax and know that this story is for you. It isn't an accident that you are reading it today.
Integrity for Women
13 years ago, I attended two support groups that rocked my world. One was grief share, the other was Integrity for women. Integrity dealt with shame. I had a lot of it, so to experience freedom from my secret self-loathing was indescribable. Mine was such a transformation, that I was invited back several times to share my experience and tell my story. Eventually, I led that recovery group for several years. The woman who led the group when I participated, eventually became my spiritual director. [Spiritual direction is a practice of being with people as they deepen their relationship with the divine and grow in their personal spirituality.]
Earlier this year, she invited me on a nine month pilgrimage with her and the divine, in something called Ignatian spirituality. This inward path is in the form of spiritual exercises, which "aim to help one conquer oneself and to regulate one's life in such a way that no decision is made under the influence of any inordinate attachment."
Let's remember that phrase: inordinate attachment
inordinate: unusually or excessively large
attachment: attribute importance or value to
Safety and Security
In 8th grade, my dad died suddenly. My mom was already ill, and got much worse after his death. In Maslow's hierarchy of needs, I still had my physical needs met, but I'd lost my sense of security. The world was not safe. This rooted down in my sensitive soul like a poisonous weed.
I didn't know that, I was 13.
I spent the next 40 years trying to meet my belonging, love and self-esteem needs. But I had skipped a level without knowing it, so the foundation of these things was always shifting sand. I had no rock to build upon. All I knew was to co-create my life with this fear of being unsafe, which meant for every single decision I made, I first sought counsel from my Security Need to see what to do next.
Every single decision.
Clear Rock Fitness
When I was almost 40, my life toppled over like a house of cards. If you take a layer out at the bottom, the whole things collapses. Security and safety were being filled by counterfeit things, not the real deal, so there was no sustainable foundation. OK, I thought, if marriage and family and children and a house with a fence and a good paying job and 401K aren't gong to give me the security I crave, I'm done with them. I am done.
I left my corporate job and started personal training.
My food, water and warmth needs were still met with this career change (well, maybe not warmth), and my need to belong, love and be loved, and grow personally were rocking my world. Still, I felt like a wanderer. So, in 2010, I opened the studio and it was beyond my wildest dreams. My very own place. I believed with all my heart I had found what I needed to fill my Safety and Security layer. As long as Clear Rock was OK, I'd be OK and I can out-work anyone.
As long as Clear Rock was OK, I'd be OK.
And, holy wow, did it feel like it would always be OK. I owned it. I was in control. I was even in control of my control (haha thanks, Marie). As it grew, I started to notice these grooved-in patterns and groundhog day-type behaviors:
Bailey the Schnoodle
My two schnoodles came along at the same time as my career change in 2004. Maggie and Bailey, my fur kids. I also bought a house on my own for the very first time. I had it. My safe place. My fortress. And my little noodles to keep me company. Sorry, no men allowed. They can topple the house of cards and take all my stuff.
As long as my little castle, and Maggie and Bailey were OK, I'd be OK.
Then Maggie died. The feeling of responsibility and guilt overwhelmed me, as did the sense that I'd lost control of my control.
So, I bought Bailey a shirt. Does anyone remember what was printed on it? Of the hundreds of doggie shirts in the store that day, what are the chances I came home with one that said: Security
At the beginning of this year, I reorganized the studio. I did not consult God. I consulted my fear. My lack. My poisonous weed. The anxious thing with which I have co-created my life since 8th grade.
I truly believed the changes I was making would cement the studio in safety and security for many years, until I was ready to retire.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
- Proverbs 3: 5-6
I didn't consult God. Instead, I consulted my:
The Real Story
It's tempting to get caught up in the worldly, material story. The 611 Park Meadow Road story. The drama, betrayal and desolation. How it all toppled. I know it feels like our family has been scattered. But that is not possible. Not height, nor depth, nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the love of God. Or each other.
The real story is a divine story.
I have written across my bathroom mirror the following:
What is God inviting you into?
Learn to wait. Trust God.
How could it be, anything other than God himself, that wove Integrity, my 8th grade, the studio, Bailey, Ignatian spirituality, and this reorganization together into one amazing tapestry of healing! I never, EVER would have seen that this lack, this deep need for safety and security was running my life and keeping me from God's best for me.
I don't think I ever knew what it really meant to trust God.
Or find God's strength in my weakness.
Or lean on him instead of my own understanding.
Or turn to him instead of my own ways to deal with pain, loss, and betrayal.
I lost my business. I lost Bailey. Possibly my house.
And do you know what?
I am SO grateful.
I see the grace. I see what God is up to and why. There is more for me and there is more for you. But not if we keep co-creating our lives with fear. Or some poisonous weed. Or lack. Or anxiousness.
God wants to co-create with us on every single little thing. Moment by moment by moment. He is trying to set us FREE from our past, from our wounds, from the lies that keep us from being the spiritual warriors we were created to be.
I know we have a transition to go through, and we will miss seeing each other at 611 Park Meadow Road. But brothers and sisters, the story is just beginning. God wants your heart. God wants you free from fear. God wants to heal you completely.
Nothing more, nothing less, nothing else.
I'M READY, BUT HOW?
I have a picture that might help explain the very difficult question, "OK I'm ready to change, but how?"
What am I supposed to DO?
That is a point of confusion and frustration for many of my personal training and coaching clients. It's understandable, because there are a thousand different messages telling us how to change, what we need, what's missing, what to eat, how to move and what will finally make us feel good enough.
I like to imagine I am a transparent glass filled with clear water. Every fear-based LIE and false belief I receive into my heart is a drop of blue dye.
I will only be good enough when I am thin. Drop.
My worth is dependent on how much I have. Drop.
My past mistakes have gotten me too far off course. Drop.
Success is measured in terms of material reward. Drop.
It is too late to make a significant change in my life. Drop.
I will never live my purpose because I don't know what it is. Drop.
I don't measure up. Drop.
I am simply a sum of all my choices. Drop.
I am damaged, defective and I don't matter. Drop.
I am too broken to have any impact in this world. Drop.
The water in the glass gets bluer and bluer. This is my faulty belief system. One that is based on my works and my failures. It's a visual representation of my score card and blue = failing.
Many people believe the answer to "But, how!" is to pour the blue water down the drain. The problem with that is the empty glass. An empty glass with no beliefs in it is vulnerable to the next thing. The next quick fix. The next guru. The next self help book. The next diet. The next workout program. The next get rich quick scheme. The next lie.
My empty glass won't stay empty, yet it gets filled without me consciously and mindfully choosing what goes in.
That's how I lived my life for a very long time. I'd empty my glass, and it would just fill right back up with the same false beliefs I was living under before. Then, I'd repeat the same pattern, just with a different job, town, gym, house, diet, bank account, relationship.
I was constantly working, but never getting anywhere.
What I finally realized I was failing to do, was fill the glass with what I actually wanted to rule my life: authenticity, integrity, peace of mind, worthiness, purpose, joy, love, compassion and grace.
So I stuck the full glass of very blue water under the faucet and turned the water on. As the clear water poured into the glass, the liquid ran over the side. At first, it was all blue. Then lighter blue. Eventually, it ran clear. When I held up the glass, it was clear.
The false beliefs were gone.
The lies about my worth were gone.
But I wasn't vulnerable to the next batch of lies. My cup was full. I knew the Truth.
Who are you listening to for your beliefs? I was listening to the media, punks from my school, ex-boyfriends, magazines, political arguments, people from my childhood, and fear.
No wonder my water was blue.
I finally went to the Source for the truth. The source of my worth, identity and purpose. The source of love, peace and grace. Once I was filled up from the source, I could see the schemes for what they were, and keep walking.
I was doing some research this week on why we may know what to do, but still don't do it.
Everything kept bringing me back to the same idea, so I thought I'd share.
From Don Miguel Ruiz: Be Impeccable With Your Word
"Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love."
How does that translate into my health and fitness?
What happens is we make a small promise to ourselves. I'm going to lift. I'm going to walk. I'm going to eat vegetables.
We are, in a way, giving ourselves our word. We are making a promise to take care of ourselves. To honor the body we've been given.
We mean it at the time. Our intentions are good. Then, life happens.
What is the first thing we do? Break our word. Break the promise of self care we made to ourselves.
It's a small violation, but a violation nonetheless.
I have found that one every now and then doesn't hurt too much, but the act of violating my own promises, over and over, is devastating to my soul. I stop believing in myself. I stop trusting myself.
I start saying things like, "I don't have any willpower." "I'm lazy." "I lack self discipline."
It's rarely the lack of a workout, or a couple sugar cookies that are the problem. It's the violation, the broken promise and the slippery slope of worn-away self trust.
That's why the workout itself, or the small change to something healthier for a snack, is so much less about the workout or the snack.
It's about the promise. It's about keeping my word.
I spent years violating my own promises. The consequence of that was very low self esteem, and a complete lack of trust in my own ability to follow through. Especially in health and fitness.
The way I turned that around was by learning to only say I was going to do something, if I was absolutely committed to doing it. I had to learn to keep my promise, especially to myself. Once I started to become more impeccable with my word, my self-trust began to grow. I started to believe the things I said.
Most of us are committed to keeping a promise when we make it to someone else. We need to practice that same level of integrity with ourselves. The experience of actually trusting in our own word is life-changing.
It is then, when we know what to do, we gently and confidently do it. And just like that, the battle is won.
Building a business, creating art, writing a book, raising a family, getting healthy and fit, saving for retirement. All these things require one thing. Perseverance.
When I hear that word, my mind often takes me to mile 25 of a marathon, when everything hurts and I'm shuffling slowly towards the finish line praying for it to end. Perseverance is suffering, right?
But what if perseverance is also the only way to grow? What if it is the WAY OUT of old patterns and frustrating behaviors, and into new life?
I love the message I heard today. It said when we find JOY as we face our battles, this is the result of supernatural intervention from the Spirit. Joy in spite of pain. Joy in the MIDST.
I love that. Have you ever experienced this?
I am experiencing it right now in my entrepreneur life. It's been a weird year, and nothing went as I had originally hoped. But the JOY I've found is incredible, and I know it has come from turning to God in faith, over and over. With the little things and the big stuff.
The more I trust that everything that happens can be scooped up with a big shovel, dumped into a spiritual recycling machine, and turned into a miracle, the more I grow. The more peace I experience. The more JOY!
Friends, I know many of you are fighting battles right now. They may be for your health and fitness, your peace, or even your worth and identity. I get it. I've been there, then I had a radical experience. I was changed.
Here's what I know. It probably would not have happened if I had quit trying, and I know it would not have happened if I had continued to rely solely on the mind (mine) that had created the problems in the first place.
So this week, I would like to encourage you to be brave. Quit quitting, stop relying solely on your own strength, and do something different. Reach out for help, get connected, share your struggle with someone, let yourself be seen. As you open your heart to the possibility that this battle can be won, it gets a lot easier to pick up your sword and start fighting for it.
Fight for your health.
Fight for your fitness.
Fight for your peace.
Fight for your worth and authentic self.
Do the work that's in front of you, and trust God to handle the rest. God's weapons are way better than ours, anyway. Weapons of the Spirit bring truth to confusion. They bring miracles from the rubble. And they bring joy in the midst.
I had an epiphany last week. A major one.
I flew to Savannah, Georgia a few weeks ago to meet up with family for some beach time at Hilton Head.
My plan was to get an Uber when I landed in Savannah, which would get me to the beach an hour or so later. I've taken Uber many times and have never had a problem. I don't want to scare anyone away from independent travel. I do want to share with you why it is important to trust your gut and not be afraid to speak up.
While I waited for my luggage, I checked prices of both Uber and LYFT. LYFT had a $10 off promo code for me, so I requested a ride, got my bag and headed to the curb for pick-up.
If you've never used these services, you can see the little car icon on a map on your phone, as well as a photo and rating of the driver who is coming to get you. I watched the little car icon do some weird shenanigans. Oh great, I thought. Does he not know his way around this airport?
Ignore Clue Number 1.
A few minutes later, I saw a car head down the lane where the taxi cabs line up. Realizing that was wrong, he backed up and came around to the curb pick up lane where I was waiting.
Ignore Clue Number 2.
He pulled up and, over very loud exhaust, asked if I was Sue. Yes. He loaded my bag in the trunk and I got in.
Ignore Clue Number 3.
We headed out of the airport and onto the highway. I noticed that he was using his phone for music, and didn't have the GPS pulled up with the map of my destination. I asked him about it. He said this was his first LYFT, and he didn't know how to use the app. He had just signed up today.
Ignore Clue Number 4.
I tried to explain how it worked. I asked him about himself. He said he was from Charlotte, was 23 years old, had just gotten out of the Army, and was trying this out for extra money. He asked how he got paid. I said you get paid a percentage of the fare. No money exchanges hands between you and I. He asked what percentage he got. SO I GOOGLED IT FOR HIM.
Ignore Clue Number 5.
After he pulled up GPS on his phone, he said that he didn't have enough charge on his phone to make it to Hilton Head. We pulled off the highways and stopped at a small convenience store so he could buy one. There I sat, in a strange, loud car in the dark somewhere on the border of Georgia and South Carolina thinking, what is going on here? Am I safe? Where are we? Who doesn't have a charger in their car?
Ignore Clue Number 6.
I was relieved when we got back on the highway, but only after he made a wrong turn out of the convenience store and started driving away from the on ramp. My heart skipped a beat, until he turned around. I said nothing. NOTHING.
Ignore Clue Number 7.
We drove along for about thirty minutes before coming to a toll booth. I kid you not. He said, "What's this?" I said, "It's a toll booth. I don't know what LYFT's policy is on who is supposed to pay, but I don't have any cash." I did find 5 quarters in the side pocket of the door near me, and handed them to him. He threw them in the toll basket and we proceeded through.
Ignore Clue Number 8.
I was so grateful to make it to the condo where I was staying. When we pulled up, I showed him how to end the trip on his app, and I showed him how it triggered the end of the trip to come up on my phone. I got out of the car and walked up the small ramp to the entry doors, shaking my head.
I quickly put the whole crazy ride out of my mind and had a wonderful time. I made very sure to check the driver's credentials of the Uber I took to return to the airport a few days later. He was a pro! 2,390 Uber rides, five star rating. Now I know to check.
I called LYFT when I got home, and got a full refund for the ride. But that isn't the problem.
The problem was me not cancelling that ride when my gut told me he didn't know the airport.
The problem was me not getting out of the car the moment I found out it was his first ride and he didn't know the first thing about using the app or being a professional driver.
The problem was me sitting in that convenience store parking lot feeling at risk, but being too damn afraid to be rude, or offend, so I stayed. If I had not been such a doormat in that moment, I would have gotten out of the car, grabbed my bag, went into the store, and told him, "We are done here."
In the past, I would not have owned "doormat" behavior.
I mean, I was a person who spoke up for myself. Right?
I am a person that, when I get angry or concerned, I often ignore the gut check that my intuition is giving me so that I can be nice, liked, inoffensive, accepting, keeping the peace, not disappointing someone, or whatever. Even if my safety is at risk.
Sometimes we get the exact right lesson at the exact right time. This is one of those. I am so grateful to see this so clearly, and have the chance to practice it. Here's what my practice sounds like.
Hell freaking no.
No, thank you.
It's so empowering!!
I look back and think about how many times I said yes when I meant no. Or didn't speak up when I wanted to, but was AFRAID. What to schedule. What to cancel. What behavior needs addressed. How to handle people who come to the door. And yes. Allowing an employee to put their name on the lease despite the gut check. Because it was there.
In our health and fitness, this shows up as acquiescing to another's needs before our own. I've heard the same issues for years. We eat, cook and serve what's good for (requested by) them, not us. And we give away our sacred me time/fitness friends/workout/walk outside time just to make sure we are nice, liked, inoffensive, accepting, keeping the peace, not disappointing someone or whatever. We do not disappoint.
WOW. What am I afraid of? What a random, clueless 23-year-old LYFT driver thinks of me? Enough of this. Enough.
"For women, there’s a myth that we’re supposed to do it all (and do it perfectly). Saying no cues a chorus of inner shame gremlins: “Who do you think you are? You’re not a very caring [person]/mother/wife/friend/colleague."
Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves, even when we risk disappointing others. We can’t base our own worthiness on others’ approval (and this is coming from someone who spent years trying to please everyone!). Only when we believe, deep down, that we are enough can we say “Enough!” - Brené Brown
Founder of LYBU, Specialized In Home Personal Trainer for Women 40+, Coach, Speaker and Author of I Know What To Do, I Just Don't Do It ©