Living Intentionally

I have a list of things I need to do daily for my spiritual, mental, and physical health. In the grand scheme of life, they are pretty small, but to me, they are THE DIFFERENCE.

Earlier this week, my mom shared with me how she wanted to take the morning and study her scriptures, but so many little things kept popping into her head to get done. As she started to do all of these things, she stopped herself and sat down and began to read. She said, “I had to let everything else go and do what I set out to do.”

A couple of days later my husband and I were talking about exercising. He said, “I keep telling myself that I will find something, but I don’t. I just need to find it and start.”

As I have thought about these little moments with my husband and my mom, I remembered the book by John Maxwell called Intentional Living. It is a fantastic book that is worth the time. What he talks about in the book is anything we want to accomplish in life is possible if we are intentional about it.

What this means to me is I need to devote focus and energy to the areas in life that I want to improve and change. So many times we are led to believe that life will get better, just wait. Or you can change your weight and health by taking this magic pill. Or if I think it the universe will make it happen.

These are all passive solutions. They don’t work. I know, I have tried them.

What I have learned in my little journey is: LIFE IS NOT PASSIVE.

I have always struggled with goal setting. To me it has been a great idea, however, when I set down on a goal journey, I am often frustrated and disheartened. I have read books, listened to podcasts, attended seminars, etc. You name it, I have done it.

The end result?

I come away with so much energy, set my goals, and then LIFE HAPPENS. The goals get pushed to the back burner and there we are.

Except…

There are those that I have followed through on and they have changed my world a little bit at a time.

Years ago I made a promise to God that I would spend time in the scriptures, particularly the Book of Mormon daily. I knew that if I did this, I would have the spiritual strength and guidance I need. I have missed only one day.

Over 200 days ago I made a goal to study French daily. Back in my 20’s, I spent 16 months in France and Switzerland serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The time there and the language have been a huge blessing to me. So I decided to recapture it.

After a few bouts of sadness a long time ago, I learned that exercise was the best anti-depressant I could ever use. I made that decision to workout at least 4 times a week. That decision has taken me down some amazing paths of earning a black belt in karate, trail running through some beautiful terrain, and pushing myself physically to a point of new strength.

Everything I have devoted focus and energy to, I have been successful. But it takes making an INTENTIONAL DECISION to get it done. I have to set aside all of the little thoughts of “do this” or “you should just rest” or “take the day off” or anything else that wants to pull me down. And more days than not, it is a fight to get these things done.

But when I do… I feel so good.

I am grateful for the inspiration I had this week to look at and see the things that I have been able to accomplish. Finding purpose in life has been something that I have struggled with. Yet, the more focus and energy I give to the things I want to accomplish, the more purpose I find.

It is a beautiful part of our journey to discover and own who we are.

 

Abundance

A couple of weeks ago my husband and I were talking about life as it is, has been and where we want it to be. As we reviewed our past few years of specified growth, our eyes were opened as we saw things, that once allowed us to survive, that now hold us back from moving forward.abundance

I believe it is human nature to survive, however it is human choice to thrive. There are times in our lives for both actions, however to thrive we need to have open hearts and minds to the abundance that is in the world.

We have lived on faith, miracles and the greatest of generosity of those who love us for the past 3-4 years. It has been a path of scarcity, creativity and, at times, painful growth from the inside out. There have been more days than not that required fighting to keep my head and heart above water, hoping that at some point Heavenly Father would deliver us from it all.

And yet, I would not change a moment.

I love how Heavenly Father teaches me. He quietly unfolds the mysteries and answers the questions that are in my mind. I have watched so many people who thrive in their lives, they live and are so open to what the world has to offer them. I have wondered if that is something that I actually could attain, or if who I am meant to be was not that person. I ask a lot of questions to be taught as I am traveling on a dark, rough path. I truly want to understand so that I can have peace knowing it is His will.

As Kevin and I talked about our mindset it became obvious to us that we have lived for so long in scarcity mode that our minds have embraced it as how life is going to be. Truthfully, there was no peace with this realization. I looked at how I have talked, thought and acted as if there would not be enough and we needed to ‘pull in’ ‘hunker down’ and ‘not live’. While these actions are appropriate for very short periods of time to get our footing in rough spots, they are not meant to be long-term.

We were not created in a world of abundance to simply survive.

At some point in our conversation the word abundance was brought up. My mind caught hold of that word and it was as if an explosion took place. Where my mind and spirit was bound down before in scarcity, those walls were literally obliterated. I felt a freedom that I had not felt in so long I had forgotten about. I felt an openness in my mind and spirit….creativity returned, the need to reach out began to peek through, and the ability to receive inspiration opened up.

Each day I have found that when my mind is focused on abundance those things that would weigh me down have no effect on me. It is as though heaven opened up and I am able to understand why things happen at a new level. I see how the hand of God is working in our lives. Things that once caused so much fear and gut wrenching anxiety are now opportunities for ideas, creativity and blessings to be given.

I have found that within abundance we have the power to reach out, the ability to let go and the strength to move forward with faith…even when the road isn’t built yet.

God created this world with abundance everywhere. It is time for us to go get it.

Getting Back Up

Balance is a tricky thing. It is something we all strive to achieve, however it is quite fragile when we think about it. I have learned a few things about balance over the past couple of days…and file9221299618382learning about balance means we don’t always maintain it in the process.

This morning as I was doing a balance portion of my Insanity workout, I noticed a few things that struck me. As I stood there on one foot while kicking with the other one, I took note of the reasons I was having balance checks and wobbles. When my focus strayed from the spot I use to center myself, my balance followed it. When my core was not solid, neither was the balance. When my foot decided the surface I was standing on wasn’t stable enough, my balance decided to take a walk. When I wasn’t centered with my entire body, balance was not an option.Continue reading “Getting Back Up”

Sucker Punch

Sometimes life just delivers a nice little, or big, sucker punch. There is no other way to describe it. You are going along, surviving day to day and then all of a sudden WHAM  WHAM WHAM (it is rarely file0001322654455just one punch, it is more like a flurry of punches) right where you live. It seriously can take your breath away.

It is part of our mortal experience, not my favorite one to say the least. Life was never designed to be constantly easy. Our paths are sometimes meant to travel over rocky, treacherous, dark terrain. As much as we would like to not take paths that look like this, they are the ones that we are meant to go down.Continue reading “Sucker Punch”

Re-focusing….

_DSC8619A few days ago we found out that a distant member of our karate family had lost his wife. They are a young, dynamic family. She was having their 6th baby when everything went wrong. It broke many hearts, including ours. We are a family, bound together by a common love and goal, martial arts. When one of us hurts, we all hurt. Our prayers are with him and the children as they gather the pieces to move forward.Continue reading “Re-focusing….”