Courage in Choas

I would like to give you an assignment today. It may take you a day to accomplish…it may take you all year. The timeframe of completion is not important. Instead, the decision to accept this assignment and purpose to complete it IS. What is the assignment? Answer this question,

What are practical ways that I can display courage in the midst of chaos?

We are all told to ‘take courage’ when things appear to be spiraling out of control in our life. Have you ever thought to yourself, “how exactly do I take courage when I am afraid of what I am seeing around me?” A quote by Nelson Mandela is the first step in answering the question – accepting the truth that courage does not mean that you are not afraid.

Accepting the Presence of your Fears

Courage is defined as “the ability to do something that frightens one”. Yes you may experience fear, concern or worry. BUT, you will not stay in that space of fear, concern or worry. You feel it and then walk towards it. What does that look like? For me, that looks like cancelling the inner dialogue that bombards my mind as I manage a project that I am inexperienced in. The situation did not change externally, but I made the decision to change internally.

Confront the Chaos

Sometimes, we fall into the trap of avoiding the chaos in our life and world. We believe that if we do not engage with it, we will not be impacted by it. “Yeah, I see that mess over there, but if I begin to deal with it, it will hurt or be uncomfortable! I don’t want that!” And your plan may seem to work for a time…until your energy is sapped by your avoidance mechanisms! It is tiresome to continually strategize how to avoid a person, location or conversation. Picture yourself as the little girl in the image above. Your destination is straight ahead, but so is your personal ‘chaos’. You can decide to trek through the grass and unpaved pathways. Even though this path is unclear visually, it is safely away from the chaos you are seeking to avoid so you reason that it is worth a try. But, we all know that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. The same holds true with our confrontation of the chaos in our world. See it. Accept that it is there. Remember that the discomfort is temporary and then move towards it.

So, now it is your time to think about your strategy for having courage in the midst of chaos. Our world is moving in a direction where navigating through chaotic situations will become a necessity! Prepare your heart and mind by considering the answer to this assignment. Share your thoughts with me! You can connect with me here WordPress or on Facebook at Atmospheres of Wellness.

Are You Using Your Tools?

ARE YOU USING YOUR TOOLS?

No matter what situation you find yourself experiencing in life, there is a tool required to successfully overcome it. And the unfortunate thing is that many people get in the thick of the situation and realize that they have no idea how to use the tools available to them.

A tool is defined as “a device or implement, especially one held in the hand, used to carry out a particular function”. Doctors have tools. Lawyers have tools. Architects have tools. Builders have tools. Writers have tools. Artists have tools. Everyone who creates in this world has TOOLS. And that includes YOU!

What would happen if a doctor had the instruments available to sew up your wound, yet had no idea how to use it? That is what many of us look like in the spiritual realm. God has provided us with every possible resource to live a prosperous and abundant life. We pray and ask for His help and when it provides it, we do nothing with it. Why is that? Well, here are a few that I have come to understand:

We don’t know what a tool is

We don’t know we have them

We don’t believe in them

Let’s unpack each one of these…

WE DON’T KNOW WHAT A TOOL IS

When we look at a hammer, we know that it is used to hit something else with. When we look at a ruler, we know that it is used to measure distance with. But, let’s consider for a moment that you didn’t know these basic things. What if you used the hammer to cook with, or used the ruler as an instrument? Is it possible to use these tools for these purposes? Yes. Is this the correct, intended use? No. Will the benefits be the same? No. The same is true for the spiritual tools provided for us by God. The tools of our spoken word, our faith, and the power in our beliefs.

Our spoken word has the ability to create. We are made in God’s image and He created EVERYTHING with the spoken word. And if we are unaware that our words create our reality, we will mindlessly speak words that we do not really want to manifest – “I can’t handle this!” or “I wish everyone would leave me alone!”. Consciously, we know this is not what we want, but the subconscious mind has NO sense of humor and will take this repetitive statement as fact. The misuse of this valuable tool will yield results that touch every area of your life.

WE DON’T KNOW WE HAVE THEM

Have you ever met someone who was a billionaire and didn’t know it? They are living a regular life, doing regular things with regular people. They expect regular things to happen in their lives and don’t really expect much from themselves and others. Then, one day, the message is delivered that they are actually wealthy and all their funds have been in an account awaiting their authorization to release it! Can you image that? Everything you could POSSIBILITY need has always been available to you yet, you did not know you had access. Well, that is the majority of the people walking on the Earth. One thing you MUST understand – there is NO LACK with God. If you are living a life in alignment with His will, you have NO lack. I understand that the natural world around you may say something different, but that is not the truth. The truth is this world is abundant and we need only ask and believe to receive what we desire. But, when we have not done the work to discover these truths, we walk through this life as a unaware billionaire.

WE DON’T BELIEVE IN THEM

I believe that this position is the worst of them all. Ignorance can be shifted with revelation and reception of truth. There is very little to be done with rejection of truth when it is rooted in hurt and lack of understanding. You may hear many people proclaim, “It’s not that deep! You don’t need to do all of that.” Many people do not believe that the actions they take and the words they speak have lasting impact on the world around them – including family and friends. They accept a belief that their actions only impact themselves and no one should care what they do. They see no connection between themselves and their neighbor and they end up missing out on the beauty of connection. When a door is closed, you should not force it open – especially when it has been closed on purpose. Forcing open a closed-door damages not only the door, but the thing used to force it open! Leave the information at the door and believe that one day, they will open it and let the information in.

So as you are walking out your journey in life, figure out what tools you need in order to live the life you desire. It does not just ‘happen’…there is WORK to be done once you have activated your FAITH to BELIEVE it is POSSIBLE!

Do You Want to Get Well Part 3 – Take Action

Today, we continue this journey through a very motivational scripture in the Bible. We will discuss the next step – Take positive action!

“Jesus told him, ‘Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!’ Instantly, the man was healed! He rolled up his sleeping mat and began walking!” John 5:8-9a

Walking

This week, we are talking about taking positive action. After hearing the excuses and knowing that this man has a life that does not match his reality just waiting for him to receive, Jesus SPOKE direct, sharp words of instruction:

Stand up

Pick up

Walk!

Let’s break down these 3 steps and apply them to your our life.

Stand up

There comes a time in your wellness journey when you realize that ‘enough is enough!’ I have been in this position long enough and I want MORE! Have you ever taken a ride down the “Lazy River” in an amusement park? You just allow the flow of the river to take you where IT wants to take you. Now, imagine that your child has gotten too far away from you and you want to get closer to them quickly. What do you do? YOU STAND UP! You want to go from where you are to where you want to be immediately, right?

Friend, I have to share this very plainly…

You have been sitting down accepting the ebb and flow of the lazy river of life. When you are ready to go a different direction, you make a conscious decision and plant your feet and your faith for this shift. This man, who was an invalid for 38 years and living in the place where healing is stirred, DECIDED that today was the day his healing would come. I know he decided because he stepped out of his comfort zone and stood up after lying by the pool most of his life. He took positive action!

Pick up

What has been your crutch for most of your life? What is that thing that you have leaned on to support your lack of action? For this man, it was his bed perfectly positioned by the Pool of Bethesda. He was close enough to the pool, yet just far enough to make excuses for his lack of effort. Personally, I have used my lack of knowledge in a particular subject to be my crutch – “I can’t do business because I don’t know marketing! Everyone else knows so much more than me!” The truth is – I can do business and be successful because I have DECIDED to learn more about marketing and perfect my craft. I have decided to take that comfortable fear and keep moving forward with it. This invalid picked up his sleeping mat (his crutch) and moved forward from his old place of comfort towards his new belief system.

Walk

When you close your eyes and imagine your ideal life, what do you see? How far off is that vision from your physical reality? That gap, however large or small, is your walk! In order to walk, you need belief, direction and confidence. All of these components are within you right now. There is NO THING you need to wait for and NO ONE to wait on! Just walk…

Thirty-eight years is a very long time to allow excuses and fear to shape your life…

One day is too long to allow excuses and fear to shape your life…

Today, choose to stand up, pick up your ‘mat’ and walk!

Do You Want to Get Well Part 2 – No Excuses

Let’s continue our talk on the topic, “Do you want to be well?” Last post, we touched on the condition in which the Messiah found a lame man at the Pool of Bethesda and the compassion He showed as He asked, “Do you want to be well?” Now, here is the response:

“Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.” – John 5: 7

Have you ever listened to someone that only complains about what others will or will not do for them? Or have you had a conversation with a person who does not see their own faults, yet can clearly define the faults of others? How do you feel about this person? I often think of this verse when I am in the midst of those who can only see what they do not have. Although I understand the human limits of our natural vision, we must see farther than that! We must yearn to see the truth beyond our natural reality.

Sometimes, I believe we lack faith because we don’t know our worth. Think about it…

The Messiah sees your condition and knows the pain of your journey. He comes to you specifically and directly asks you a simple question. You do not answer the question, but instead you complain about not having help to get healing.

You were offered healing…

Yet, you rejected the invitation to be healed.

Doesn’t that sound silly? Who would ever do that?! Do any of these scenarios sound familiar:

Have you ever purchased exercise equipment only to never use it more than once?

Have you ever registered for a training course to further your business only to cancel it days before because the travel is too inconvenient?

Have you ever purchased vitamins and supplements that would support your health journey yet never actually taken them?

These are all examples of ways you were offered healing, yet rejected the invitation to receive the actually healing. You wanted it, but didn’t desire it. Wanting does not require commitment or responsibility…it is very close to wishing. But desire! That is a totally different thing. Desire is ignited when you have accepted the truth that IT IS POSSIBLE and then take action to acquire it. The lame man only wanted to be healed before Messiah came into his life…it was just a wish with no real possibility of possession.

As I continue to study these scriptures, I realized that one very important shift occurred. This man initially heard ‘a man’ asking a basic question. He did not realize WHO this man was and the authority He possessed. Once that connection was made, he did not hesitate to believe that his deepest desire was possible! He acted and believed and WALKED!

Excuses are directly tied to your level of belief. They are fueled by a deep seated doubt within your heart that only God can expose, remove and replace with power and purpose. Take some time today to think back on areas in your life where you make excuses for not believing. You know exactly what I am talking about! Now, what is one thing can you do right now to believe that it is possible and WALK towards it?

I will back next week to discuss the next phase in the wellness journey – TAKE POSITIVE ACTION.

Until next time….

Live WELL!

Do You Want to Get Well?

“One man had been an invalid for 38 years. When Jesus saw him stretched out by the pool and knew how long he had been there, He said, “Do you want to get well?” – John 5:5-6

The Pool of Bethesda…a connection point between the sick and healing. A place where those who were broken, ill and rejected went to be well. I have been reflecting on this scripture and have learned some powerful lessons from it. Ironically, this lesson started 2 years ago on my 38th birthday…

In that year, I reached the point where I knew a change was needed in my life, yet I did not know how to get started. Notice, I didn’t say I didn’t know WHAT to do…I did not know HOW to get started. Does that sound familiar? Many of us have a pretty good idea of what needs to be done to start shifting the course of our lives. The challenge is in us taking action to simply start! My personal solution at that time was the same as Jesus’ direction to this lame man…”Get up and walk!” For 30 consecutive days, I walked 2 miles a day. When I felt tired, the weather shifted or I just didn’t want to do it, I got up and walked! And it changed my entire life! So, what about you? What tools will you use to “Get up and walk”? What is something that you know to do yet, are struggling with the ‘how’? I challenge you to start small and be consistent. The life you desire and envision is possible!

I will be unpacking this topic over the next few weeks with tips to walk in your wellness. Join me again next week as I start from the beginning and discuss lessons I received from verses 2-14.

Choose wisely and be INTENTIONAL with your day!

…Blessings!