Have patience. When it feels like it is taking forever for your goals and passions to take on a semblance of motion, it may feel like it is ‘all wrong’. Do not quit. It may not be the ‘right time’, and when the time is right, you will know it. You will then receive all of the tools that you need to move forward. #godsplans #holyspiritled #patience
I started the new year with no “words” for the year, meaning, no specific words to guide me in any particular direction.
As I look up at my white and bulletin board, I see a collage of many words, sayings, and scripture that I cannot say are “from the past,” as these endeavors are virtuous attempts that I do not assign completed-by dates to. After all, we are always a work-in-progress.
A week or so ago, the words “In the Present” lifted me up and nudged at my heart.
So, what does in the present mean to me? These three words tell me to live fully in the present moment, and this is a list of what I pledge to ensure it happens (in no order of importance):
- I will pick up books and frequently read. I will read the books that I already own and I will purchase new books as the year progresses.
- I will not overthink tomorrow. There is a difference between planning and worry.
- I will breathe (relax) and just be where I am planted right now. Have you ever focused on your breathing and noticed that your heart rate goes down? I do this frequently on my FitBit.
- I will work in God’s grace, meaning, I will not work at my own pace and with God’s strength—not mine.
- I will enjoy every color, scent, or design in my environment as if I am looking at life through the eyes of a child.
- I will laugh often. We forget to laugh, and laughter is an incredible and healing blessing. “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” (Proverbs 17:22 ESV)
- I will not look back at the past (except to be joyous in what I have learned).
- I will continue to rid my home of unneeded items (purge, live simply, declutter).
- I will forgive (immediately) and hold no past grudges.
- I will place no idols above God.
I am sure I have missed some promises-to-self in this short list, but that is okay because I am very much aware of my assignment, to live fully IN the present.
The last pledge, “I will place no idols above God,” deserves some explanation. When I think about idols my mind quickly forms images of statues and other material things that are a part of particular religions or spiritual practices. Idols can indeed be material things, but I describe idols as anything that we worship. This includes whatever frequently takes me away from my walk or time with God. For example, I caught myself watching a plethora of YouTube videos on a particular Christian-based topic, but this went beyond worship or celebration (of God). I became nearly obsessive with learning about a group that is considered false teachers. I spent enough time researching the group that it became obvious to me that it was dragging me away from my bible study and prayer time. It definitely did not come from God. My interest became an idol. I repented and moved on.
I think about the Scripture, “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatevever hard things come up when the time comes.” (Matthew 6:34 MSG)
There is a reason we’ve been told to not worry. I believe part is the reason is to protect our own mental and physical well-being. What good are we if we wear ourselves out into a state of illness? As I say after I don’t get a full restful night of sleep, “I don’t function well.” We must function well. Our lives, and how we serve others, depends on it.
Have you made any pledges for the new year? Did you start the year with “word(s) for the year”?
As a woman, do you find it difficult to find and feel lasting joy?
Do you find yourself digging deep into yourself, looking at what might feel like every aspect of your life and saying to self, “I am not happy with what I do, what my outcome has been this (year, month, week), nor where I am headed?”
Perhaps you have dis-allowed yourself to feel a sense of joy…
- Just because you aren’t defined by what you do for a living.
- Just because you aren’t defined by how much income you bring in.
- Just because you aren’t defined by how outdated your furniture is.
- Just because you aren’t defined by and don’t want to wear all that makeup, or change your hair to the latest style, or the clothes that you wear regardless of the newest fashions.
What if you allowed yourself to feel joy in the simplest of form? What if you allowed yourself to feel joy because today, at this very moment, you are exactly who God designed you to be. You allow yourself to find joy in the things that personally make your heart go pitter-patter. You free yourself to be like a child in the nature that you take the helm and believe in yourself simply because you can, and allow yourself to be her.
You allow yourself to feel joy just because you release yourself to feel joy. Break the chains that bind you to what you believe the world expects you to be. Bound yourself to be who you and God want you to be.
Break the chains that bind you into believing that you have to change because others don’t understand your path. This isn’t their life, it is your’s.
Fearlessly allow joy. Bravely shut off the lies that bound you to what is false.
What is your reality today? Share with me. Let’s set ourselves free together.
P.S. The Proverbs 31 woman, the one that sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. She, indeed may appear perfect in those beautiful Scriptures, but because this is what she does: (Proverbs 31:26) She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue, she doesn’t allow herself to bend here and there as the wind blows. She works hard at this. She IS mindful of what and how she thinks. (Proverbs 31:25) She is clothed with strength and dignity; and she can laugh at the days to come. She isn’t clothed in the latest styles, she is clothed in her style—the style that speaks, “I am bold. I am courageous. I am unique. I am proud of who God designed me to be. I walk in His strength, and I do not hang onto lies that tell me otherwise.”
Amen, sisters…let’s do this!
What does fake it until you make it mean? It does not mean to be someone that you are not (outside of your value system). It is always important to be your genuine self, but develop the mentality that you can do what you set your mind to doing.
If you want to write a book, when are you starting?
I you want to change jobs, have you sent the first application?
If you want to obtain a degree, have you talked to the financial aid office (or applied for your first class)?
You can do this. Fake it until you make it.
Be the person that you intend to be today. Guess what? This person is you, you just need to give her permission.
From an article that I wrote several years ago, “We have so much to give, so much we can do with imagination. We are the master gardeners at whatever we do. We are writers because we think we are. We are weavers because we think we are.” Do your research and take the step!
What can you do today for your tomorrow? What do you want to do today, and is something holding you back? What successes have you had in your life where you “faked it” through steps in the process?
I have a coach, which has added to the benefits that I see in coaching.
All of us have skills and values. I am organized, dedicated, on-time, focused (on God, family, friendship, and business…in that order), and I know what my life-mission is.
With this being said, I always walk away from an hour of coaching with something new to think about. My coach, and any dedicated coach, prompts the client to open discussion focused on their needs.The client knows best what they want to achieve in each coaching session.
So, I go into the session (as a client) with an agenda, and I walk away with valuable insight into what I needed/wanted to talk about in that hour, as well as a plan of action to keep me accountable, and afterwards, I always end up in deep thought on things that I never would have dreamed of. These are positive, growth-inspiring results!
I coach because I live my life to encourage and support others with their God-given paths. With myself being coached, I give accolades to what I personally have obtained from investing in myself.
Take a look at what I have accomplished through recent sessions with my coach:
- Organized. I can write out a list or outline and set myself to work in a snap of a finger. A coach, however, watches for what I have not outlined, such as, celebration points, too much of a push, or too little, meaning, procrastination. In a 10-minute span, we mapped out the start and finish plan for an entire book. This plan went beyond the nuts and bolts of writing, it also included breaks and “toot my horn” moments. These are necessary things, but it took a coach to point what I had been missing out on. How can I inspire and encourage others if I do not share?
- Dedicated. When there is work to do, and I am the responsible party, I focus and dive in. A coach opens us up to endless dedication. When I tell a person (coach) that I am going to stick with the program, I do stick! The human side of me whispers in my ear, oh, you do not have time for that plan, but the other human side of me says throw out the old me, and I stick with it like glue!
- Values. A coach ensures we include what we value in our daily lives and work. Work too hard? The coach points us back to our family. Work too little? Our coach asks, “How do you plan to provide income?” A few weeks ago, my coach identified that I needed to put myself first in my daily life. I always ask others, what have you done for yourself today? This self-care should not come last in our priorities. Guess what happens when we put our needs last? What comes last, may not come often enough, if at all.
- Accountability. A coach helps to keep us on the hook. I’ve felt the squeeze of pressure, pressure that I would not have applied to myself. This is reasonable pressure because I see the results. I have had the mindset that I can manage what I have applied to myself in life, with God’s help, and that I did not need someone else to tell me what to do. While that is true, I have now learned that I do not always see the obvious.
Years upon years of life leads us to a habitual state, and we believe that our way is the right way. Picture a flower that can see inside their own bud. It is quiet, beautiful, peaceful, and it feels right. It is smart to hold that beauty from others? What happens when we share? We encourage others, and they may even see hope for themselves, and follow suit. While coaching is not about telling a client what to do, it is about polishing the edges, so what we do shines through with light.
What are doing for yourself today? Are you taking care of and investing in yourself? Do you set the example that others will see and want to follow?
Share, Encourage, and Learn
Feeling overwhelmed by the little transitions in life is one thing, these types of bumps in the road tend to pass quickly. Sometimes, though, all of the moving parts drag out and become feelings of overwhelm.
Seeking the Truth
If you find yourself in a period of challenge filled with life changes, ask yourself, “What is the truth?”
Is the truth that you have too much to do, and can you cut some of your responsibilities out? Can someone else help during your time of transition?
Is the truth that you are experiencing normal ‘small things’ or transitions in life, and that each piece will pass? Or, are you dealing with one or two larger issues that you must address in order to move forward? Is there nothing that you can do to make these one or two larger issues go away? If there is nothing that you can do, then your truth is that you need to let it go – release it mentally.
Is the truth that you are doing too much for others, and possibly ignoring what you need (or must) do for yourself? Is the truth that you need to learn to say no to others in order to take care of your own self? It is okay to take care of yourself. It is okay to say no to others in order to engage in self-care. It is more than okay…and in fact, it is necessary!
5 Steps to Help Sort Out Overwhelm
When the many cause(s) to your overwhelm seem larger than life and affect your daily successes try these 5 steps:
- List the issues or items that you are leading your stress.
- Assign a life transition title, such as, financial, relationship, home, work, business, to each item.
- Determine the outcome you want for each item.
- List one step that you can take today towards reaching that outcome.
- Make the choice to take that action!
When we are caught up in frustration and stress, we fail to realize that many of life’s changes are natural and common shifts. By breaking them down, and assigning a title, we see each transition with objective eyes.
By taking one small action step today, you can claim progress!
Reach Out to a Listening Ear
Sometimes, it takes an extra pair of eyes or ears to help us sort through overwhelming transition periods in our lives. When you seek a support person, you should reach out to someone who will be honest with you, and someone who cares. This can be a life coach, a counselor, or a close friend or family member (depending upon your emotional and mental needs). Remember this one thing, it is okay to seek help!
Summing this up: Life will always be in some form of transition. Learn to handle each change objectively from the start. Develop a mindset that recognizes the feelings of stress and nip them in the bud with “What is the truth?” questions. Avoid the self-limiting thought pattern, “I will be happy/stress free once (this) happens/changes.” Instead, determine what you can do (small steps) as soon as you notice lingering stress, and determine what you cannot do (and let it go). It is a process!
I am journeying back into the work-force as I see the approach of my 60’s. I will be giving you glimpses into this journey through this blog. So, those of you considering a mid-life return to the career world, follow along with me.
A few initial pointers from a recent job-seeker (me):
A simple resume’ involves deep thought. What experience do you have? Be honest, of course, but do not be afraid to be creative. I have been self-employed for 14 years, so I included all of the “hats” that I have worn in my resume’. Also, use an up-to-date resume’ template as your guide.
Go into the interview with confidence. Ignore the horror stories about employers that only want to hire young adults. Remember, you are settled in life…meaning, your children are raised, and you know what you want, and you know where you want to go with it. You also have a strong work ethic. This is exactly what a potential employer needs to hear!
To be point blank with you, going back to work feels liberating. We still “have what it takes,” right? Yes! We can step right back in and pull that weight, right? Yes! We are more than capable!
My desire to return to my career began with an urge to help others, to be a part of the team, and to help a woman that needed to retire. Then, my own desire to bolster the income (and health insurance) of my family kicked in.
You never know where God and life will lead you, and I believe we should all remain flexible, to the point we do not look at change as something of a burden, instead, look at it with shear wonderment. Go forward and do what you need to do in t(His) world! Then, tell your story.
Mid-life coaching partner, women with purpose and mission-filled lives.
Doing it now is the best choice, as long as we have a solid plan in place. A plan that includes specific and measurable goals to keep us on track. With this in place we remain focused on the outcome, and we do not walk down paths that lead us astray from our vision — picture a straight road versus a narrow one with sharp curves and branches that leave us wondering which way to go.
The decisions that we make in life that are “on a whim” are usually things that we have always wanted to do, but fear had always stood in our way. Think about that!
Not doing it at all is a good choice when we know our goal is not meant to be. These are dreams that make no sense at all, not even to ourselves, and they always lead to bad outcomes.
Doing it later can be a very dangerous choice if filled with procrastination. A decision to move ahead later, accompanied with a measurable and dated plan is smart, but we often allow excuses to follow close behind.
Major delay excuses –
- I am afraid of change.
- What if it does not work out?
- What would people say?
- I will do this after I feel less stress.
- I will do this when I have more time.
- I need to feel (physically) better first.
- I have never done this before.
If you recognize yourself in any of these major excuses, ask yourself these questions: When will I not fear change? What is the worst thing that can happen if it does not work out? Does it matter what other people say? What would have to happen to make me feel less stress? When will I have more time? When will I feel better physically, and what can I do now to feel better/take a small step even though I do not feel 100%? How do I do it?
Minor delay excuses –
- I’ll do this after my kids leave home.
- I do not have the money.
- My house is not big enough/too small.
- I live in the wrong area.
- I need training/education.
We make mountains of minor excuses. I call these types of excuses minor because they usually depend on some action in our life that is currently out of our immediate control (but are do-able or fixable). If you see yourself in any of these, or similar excuses, ask yourself: What can I do today to move one small step closer to making this happen? Is this a valid excuse, or can I move towards my goal today even though I am in these circumstances? Can I take a class next week (even a free one to just get started)? Can I rent a space or a room? Can I rent a room out? Can I commute several times a week? How can I fund this today? How can I save a small amount of money beginning today? Can my children, or spouse, help me in large and small ways, and how do we/I implement that change?
Be Careful with Your Verbiage
Be mindful of your verbiage. Notice if you are using wording that is non-committal. What you say may end up being what you think, followed by what you do not do!
Look at the differences in these statements:
“I think I can do it.” versus “I know I can do it”, or, “I will do it.”
“I may try it.” versus “I am trying it,” and better yet, “I have scheduled a date and time to do it.”
Motion is Movement
The day you take the first step, the day you take action, you are making the choice to move forward. You are in motion. Motion is measured by movement — and not at all by speed!
God speed to you!
Mary L Humphrey, LBC
Paint your life masterpiece today!
Can we just put the brakes on? No, but it might feel good for a short while. So, our thoughts through these twists and turns commonly are:
- What’s next in my life?
- My energy is drained, each and every day!
- How do I move to the next chapter?
- What more can I possibly do?
- I feel overwhelmed, out of balance!
- Something seems missing.
- Am I on the right path?
- Where is God in this?
- I see no connection with my future.
The number one thing that helps in these situations is to realize you are not alone. You may feel singled out, but you never are.
Try breaking your situation down into small manageable pieces, and give yourself permission to think about your own welfare. Women are natural care givers, the care giver must be mindful of her own mental and physical needs!
- What’s next in life? (What do you want to do? What excites you the most? What gives you the most energy?)
- My energy is drained, each and every day! (What drains your energy the most? How can you turn that around?)
- I see no connection with my future. (What goals do you have? Which direction do you want to go? What small steps can you take to begin – or continue – your walk towards your future?)
- Where is God in this? (Pray, even if you feel God is not there — these are the times for patience as he never stops molding the plans that he has for you. Meditate on scripture. Apply scripture to your life.)
A friend that listens, one that looks after your own welfare, is also key to surviving transitions in life. Seek out groups or activities where you can meet other women that are in comparable life cycles, or possibly mentors that you can follow or consult with that have been in similar shoes as yours. If your circle of friends do not meet your needs, branch out. Find that harmony.
Start a new interest — something that builds your inner-strength, like a class or physical exercise. This boosts your mental and physical well-being, and both work in unison.
I hope you found this article helpful.
I look forward to your comments, and if you need a listener, I would love to hear from you.
All of us experience transition in our lives. How we manage these shifts, and how we perceive them, prevents crisis.
When we are in a transition, we are:
- in a passage
- experiencing development
- experiencing transformation or realignment
- at a turning point
When transition takes on a sense of urgency and feels like big trouble, or a mess, it becomes a crisis.
There are several ways to avoid major stress as we enter crucial points in life:
1. Develop a healthy mindset – expect that life will change. When we believe that life should forever remain the same as it is today, we are living in a bubble that will burst. When the big pop happens, major disappointment follows.
2. Acknowledge each change. When we foresee the turning points, each choice we make helps to build a strong bridge that carries us over transitions.
3. Take time for yourself. Women tend to take care of everyone but themselves. They manage their home, their career, their family, and they often put themselves last on the priority list. It is okay to be a caretaker, however, the most efficient women take time to ensure their personal needs are met. This means that their health (physical and mental well-being) are nourished — otherwise, the crisis becomes larger due to a lack of energy and frustration. How can you take care of others if you aren’t taking proper care of yourself?
4. Be honest with yourself. What are your needs? What are your capabilities? What do you want to do in life? What makes you feel energetic?
5. Make a plan. You may feel like you have no time to strategize, but when life gets busy, and it always does, the passage from a small and troublesome change grows to a monster-sized crisis in a snap!
6. Find and embrace quiet time. Quiet time = thinking time. Keep a journal to record your daily struggles, joys, and thoughts. Writing is very therapeutic — it helps to sort out your own ruminations, and leads to answers. Meditate and pray. Again, because women are natural caretakers, they tend to not seek out help. If you are a believer, pray for your needs. Take care of you!
7. Find a listening friend. A friend that listens because they want the best for you is priceless. We are living in a very busy world, which leaves people focused entirely on their own daily lives and deadlines. Get off of the merry-go-round and find someone who will listen.
Please, feel free to reach out to me if you need help with this!