Edition 9, Issue 35 - 2019
IN THIS ISSUE • What’s Your Passion? • What’s Your Story? • Loving Me – Loving You • Letting Go Cover Photo: Candy Daniels Mt. Buller, Victoria
WELCOME.... The LIFE publication is produced quarterly. Our goal is to motivate and encourage you as you take one step at at time on the path ahead. Life is a journey with many twists and turns, valleys and mountains, laughter and sorrows. It is not always how we start that matters, rather how we choose to live everyday with the options and choices that are before us. Each edition offers articles and life stories (found in the LIFE Talks section) about peoples’ journeys and the joys, struggles and beliefs that they come to along the way. We hope that these will offer you hope, along with tips you can implement as you journey through life. Today, choose to live and love your life!
Table of Contents Edition 9, Issue 35 - 2019 ......................................................................................... 1
What’s Your Passion? ..................................................................................... 2 What’s Your Story? ......................................................................................... 3 Loving Me - Loving You .................................................................................. 4 Creativity ........................................................................................................ 5 The Mind ........................................................................................................ 6 ~ LIFE Talks ~ ................................................................................................ 7 Letting Go................................................................................................................ 7 Happiness .............................................................................................................. 8
What’s Your Passion?
ing a hobby, yet cost may hinder us from pursuing our passion. One of the greatest killers of passion is fear.
For those who are successful at what they do, there is a sense of passion that drives them. Don’t ever try to duplicate what another person does, because we will never know what they have been through to get to where they are. Passion can’t really be duplicated, because passion is original. There can be similarities in what individuals do, but never attempt to duplicate what someone else is doing or has done. Passion ignites a fire in your soul and spirit. In your life, what is it that fires you up, gets you out of bed, keeps you up at night, and perhaps even takes your breath away at the mere thought of it? True passion has a purpose behind it. It not only is gratifying to the passion holder, but it also serves as a purpose and benefits others.
Who doesn't like to have fun? As children, we wake up in the morning with the one goal of wanting to play. This is because play is fun. To get a child to bed is often hard work because they want to continue in their play. Yet as we grow in maturity we tend to forget how to play, and fun dulls from our lives. Our focus changes and we end up getting out of bed because we feel we have to, rather than because we want to explore what the day may have to offer us. Staying up at night is most often not because we are having fun but because worry, anxiety and stress have stolen our peace and we don’t implement self-care boundaries. The space we once created in order to have freedom for fun has gone. Fun and play call us to be creative and expand our imagination as we get to explore the impossible. Often the older we get the more we lose our sense of passion.
I have come to understand that passion is one of God's gifts to us and fulfills purpose. God offers us many gifts that are life-enhancing, some of which are salvation, grace and mercy. These life-giving gifts await our discovery. Once we find them, we have the choice to accept them. These are not hidden very far from us; as a matter of fact, they are knitted in our heart from the beginning of conception. We just need the desire to seek this treasure. For some of us it takes longer just because we have let doubt, fear, opinions of others, etc., pile up on top of the treasure chest of our heart.
Dreams are what we have that cause us to think about our passions. The fulfillment of dreams will often bring us happiness because we are working towards something. Yet moving towards achieving our passions brings us joy, because we find peace and contentment in living from a place driven by passion. Those who are motivated are driven by the passion that burns inside their heart. Let me also say that we can often have more than one dream. In the end they will all lead us towards fulfilling the passion within us. I call this finding purpose. Passion doesn't consider the cost but is aware of it. Passion is what keeps us going, driving us forward and reducing fear of failure.
Today, take a step towards finding your passion. It may lead you towards great adventures, self-discoveries and fulfil purpose.
We may take up hobbies to keep a sense of fun active in our lives. However, we may give even these up if we don’t find reason behind them and only see hobbies as things we do for fun. Some hobbies can often become a pathway that fuel our passion or financially support our passion. Most often we may not even think about the cost (time, energy, money) of pursuLIFE Edition 09, Issue 35
What’s Your Story? Trudy Buchanan “When we deny the story, it defines us. When we own the story, we can write a brave new ending.” Brené Brown Shame loves secrets. In our shameful states we often hide our story. When we take courage and share our own story and experience an empathetic response from others, it helps us to connect and own our story. In owning our story, we can challenge the narrative out of which we live and behave.
Stories have transformative power to allow us to see the world differently than if we just encountered it on our own. Stories are an entry point to understanding ourselves, each other and a different experience of the world. When we hear another’s experience it can change our perspective or opinions. A story makes us see what is different about our world; this can inspire empathy, cause us to act and encourage advocacy. Story is a powerful medium to bring people and communities together, not only to manage conflict and difference, but simply to allow others to be seen and heard. This changes people and communities!
We make meaning in life, not only from the experiences in our lives, but from the narrative we tell ourselves about those experiences. Sharing our story helps us work out who we are alongside the other. Sharing our story can elicit empathy from others, helping us to source self-compassion, find alternative narratives from which to live and provide us with authentic relationships to help rewrite our story.
Storytelling allows for debate and difference, creating raised awareness. Storytelling preserves and honours memories, history and heritage. History serves as a model, not only of who and what we are as a result of where we have come from, but also of who we are able to become. Through story we can learn what to champion and what to avoid. Everyday decision-making around the world is constantly based on what came before us. Hearing the stories of others inspires us to see what can be achieved, thereby motivating us and providing hope of a better future. It can motivate us from apathy to action to help find purpose and passion.
What’s your story and who are you sharing it with?
“We are the authors of our lives. We write our own daring endings.” Brené Brown Rising Strong
Story can be affective, helping us to feel and connect. It stimulates different neural pathways than facts and figures, transporting us to a sensory space. It is an alternative form of data that still informs us, but in a way that fires the imagination often restrained by facts. Story allows our minds and imaginations to be extended and to connect to others’ stories. LIFE Edition 09, Issue 35
Loving Me - Loving You
boundary violations by another will be attempted. However, through taking the time and discipline to learn and know who we are, which is known as self-development, we are able to define and guard our boundaries. In doing so, we create healthy spaces and healthy relationships with those around us.
Amorelle Blom Love! What is it about this universal word, which is heard in almost every song, portrayed in its various forms in films and so widely written about? Whilst being a powerful force, love is also one of the most misrepresented and misunderstood words in any language or culture. Atrocities, as well as acts of benevolence and bravery, are done in the name of love. It can also evoke a myriad of responses, either negative or positive, based on personal circumstances and significant life events, be they past or present.
Let’s consider the ‘loving you’ aspect of relationships. In the context of marriage, the healthiest position is when two people love each other from individual separateness. This does not mean they are independent of each other, but rather interdependent. The opposite of this is a co-dependency, which is unhealthy and most often leads to control and abuse. The same can be said of any relationship. A healthy love means loving another, but if they went away for whatever reason, you would miss them and grieve for them, but you’d still be alright. Conversely, an unhealthy dependent love is that which says, “I can’t live without you”, “I need you in my life to make me better”, etc. This kind of love is parasitic in nature and is not genuine love at all. However, this type of love is what is most commonly conveyed in song lyrics and depicted in movies and is a malady within relationships.
Love, contrary to how it is usually referred to as a feeling or emotion, is an action, or an action verb. At the core of every human heart is the need to be loved. We pursue this madly, usually without restraint, often resulting in pain, disappointment and disillusionment. Some, feeling so disillusioned, declare that they will never allow themselves to love again. Walls go up, leading to either social or emotional isolation, or both. This is not living at all, because we were created for relationship and it is within the context of relationship that we learn and grow. And to grow and thrive, we need healthy relationships, which starts with ‘me loving me’. This is not a narcissistic love, but a healthy love of self, which requires us to know who we are individually, apart from others. This understanding leads to a defining of our personal boundaries, which when maintained, can lead to healthy and fulfilling relationships.
Healthy relationships are vital for our mental and emotional health and wellbeing. Understanding self is where it all starts. It is indeed a quest worth pursuing, because from this place of healthy self-love comes the ability to love another in an equally healthy way. So let’s learn to love well. Recommended reading Cloud, H., & Townsend, J. (2017). Boundaries: When to say yes, how to say no to take control of your life. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
What are personal boundaries? Much as a fence around a house stipulates where one property ends and another begins, a personal boundary defines who we are and who we are not. It also clarifies what our responsibilities are and what they are not. Since we are constantly interacting with people, be they family members, a spouse, friend, lover or colleague, LIFE Edition 09, Issue 35
Shane Cook • Most people would immediately place themselves amongst the large choir of individuals who would tell you "I'm not creative at all". Speak this long enough and you will begin to believe it and live it.
How would your thinking be different if you recognised that living in you is the creative God whose very nature and character is creativity? The opening verses of the Bible begin with "God created...". He is not into cloning, but originality. He created three primary colours with up to 10 million different hues that our human eye can see. Think about the infinite array of shapes and form, or the created textures of rough and smooth along with all the varieties in between! One cannot but be astounded by the creativity on display as we look throughout creation. We too are a marvel of creation. With nearly 7 billion people living on the planet, there are no two people alike. Genesis 1:27 lets us know that we are created in the image and likeness of God. We are to be like Him. We are designed to be creative.
Creativity killers include routines and ruts. Change the lens. Deconstruct a situation and rebuild it in another form and see what the result is. Stretch your thinking beyond the known. The known is your mediocrity. Anyone can live in the known. For many the known is their ‘good enough’. Creativity looks beyond the known, the good enough; it looks for another life form to give breath to. Where do you get your inspiration from? Creativity thrives in imagination and possibility. Allow your imagination to run wild. Throw out any thoughts or voices that say “impossible”. Our history has recorded those who were told “impossible”, but who chose to do differently anyway, with great success. In some cases, they have become the new benchmark of creativity in their fields. Ideas need to be revisited, reshaped and refined. Failure is not the result of attempting, but the result of giving up. One person’s failure is another person’s success. Creative people are permanent learners, perpetually asking the questions "why?” and “how?". They refuse to live in the predictable. Your worst critic is going to be that inner voice which consistently aligns with those who tell you why, in their opinion, it cannot work. Make up your mind that you are going to live in creativity. This is a new season to bring out things you never thought possible. Become a pioneer of things thought impossible.
Taking the building blocks of creativity into consideration, is it possible to innovate and pioneer new horizons and things unthought before? How do you incubate this creativity? How do you nurture and germinate new thinking patterns that allow you to dream outside the prescribed and the predictable? It has been said that creativity is a muscle that when worked gets stronger in your life. •
Use other language rather than words. Any form of language has limitations. That's why God gave us the language of the Holy Spirit called speaking in tongues to speak to Him, because there are limitations in our human languages. How can you communicate and articulate without words?
LIFE Edition 09, Issue 35
Allow space, pictures, technologies or diagrams to enhance how you see and communicate. ‘Speak’ in opposites, connect the unconnected, combine things that seem unlikely to work together and see what begins to formulate. Look everywhere for inspiration. Take that literally – everywhere you go, look through different eyes. Some of the world’s greatest inventions and achievements came from people looking at things from a different perspective.
that we make time on a daily basis to stop and reflect on the things that need our attention. We can then attend to these, ensuring that we don’t leave anything that needs action on the day for another day.
Candy Daniels How often do you or would you like to upgrade your mobile phone or computer? Do you consider the upgrade because you would like a newer model, something is wrong with your current model, the hard drive is too full, or because you are just tired of how slow the computer is?
Let’s return to the analogy of our mind as a computer. On a daily basis, hit the Shift+Delete button to get rid of all the junk that has entered or has been downloaded from spam that comes in invited and uninvited. Just pressing Delete keeps the junk in the system (the negative thoughts, uncontrolled anger and fear, bitterness, unforgiveness, unrealistic expectations) and overloads and hinders us from progressing. It will take over at some point. If we don't establish and maintain appropriate boundaries to safeguard ourselves, we may be taken advantage of, lose our identity, be misled from our passions and dreams, or even forget what our purpose in life is.
I am not a technology wiz nor do I know all the terms used, but I know that there is always some new thing available just to make life 'better or smarter'. We spend time, energy and money on making sure that no one can hack into the computer and that it has the best antivirus software, etc. We password protect to keep our information safe from intruders. Our mind is like a computer system that keeps us living. Do we consider protecting it from intruders? We jam our minds with stuff which is more often negative than positive. We don't think twice about what we let in. This causes us to crash, potentially leading to burnout due to overload or system failure or perhaps identity theft. All because we didn't see the need to protect our most valuable asset, our mind.
Take some time to consider what is in your mind. What is ‘in’ is what will push the ‘on’ button and influence behaviour. What have you been letting in that is doing you damage? Things enter our mind through our senses, necessitating careful consideration of the environment in which we place ourselves. Protect your mind or it may become a battlefield. If you feel that your mind is already a battlefield or if you need to recover or even rediscover your identity, then it is time to get some support. Consider that it may be time for a reboot or an overhaul. Either way, remember that you are worth it.
What if you were to consider the mind as your heart; the place from which blood and oxygen are distributed and filtered in the body. With this perspective think of the importance of guarding your heart. Truly it is our ‘intention centre’ and everything we say, do and are flows from within it. It is the home to our beliefs and identity.
Next time you reach for anything that could impact on the wellbeing of your mind and how you control your thoughts, consider: “Is this guarding my heart or making it vulnerable?” Whether it be good or unhealthy, we become like what we allow to influence us.
The mind is responsible for our mental, emotional, physical and spiritual wellbeing. It needs daily renewing in order to keep us functioning at a level that is productive. It needs to be fed with truth, peace, laughter, healthy connections, nutritious food, sleep, adequate movement and rest. It is highly recommended LIFE Edition 09, Issue 35
~ LIFE Talks ~
did our own thing. I have discovered over the years that I don’t mind having things organised for me. I become unhappy, however, when I feel I am being controlled by others’ organisation. That sounds contradictory, yet they are different things. Giving away my control to another is different from letting go of perfection and planning.
Letting Go Jodie Chambers
Brené Brown talks about trusting yourself and others as a vulnerable and courageous process. I guess on my first reading of her book I skipped past this bit thinking it was something that I could do. However, I’m beginning to see that it is a little scarier than I first thought. Being vulnerable to the outcome of choices I make that have not gone according to plan can take a lot of courage.
Brené Brown is a well-known author, researcher and speaker, most noted for her work on the subject of shame. I have enjoyed listening to and reading some of her material and recently picked up her book Braving the Wilderness for a second reading. I remembered getting some insight out of it the first time and decided to see if I could glean some more. In the book she talks about belonging and what that means. I am currently in a season of ‘letting go’, so the concepts of belonging to yourself and letting go of fitting in resonated with me.
The truth is we are not in control. We are more out of control than in control. We can’t control other people, we can’t control other environments and we can’t control other situations. We do have control over ourselves and how we behave, think and react in relation to ‘the other’. (did I interpret this correctly?) This is where the real letting go happens.
I feel like I have been here in this space of letting go before, however it seems to be deeper and harder this time around. My questioning has come about through a passage in the Bible from Exodus 4:2 where God asks Moses, “What is that in your hand?”. What is in my hand? Well, I think my fist is so tightly closed that the answer is ‘nothing’. To open my hand would mean that I am letting go of something.
Are you able to let go of the other person, the environment or situation and take control of your own emotional state? Are you able to do this while respecting your own boundaries? Can you be vulnerable enough to ask for help while taking responsibility for your actions? Can you do this as well as being nonjudgmental towards others and their boundaries? It sounds quite complicated, yet the simple fact remains you are not in control of anything or anyone except yourself.
Holding on can be about controlling a situation or event. I want to have control over what is happening in my environment and, perhaps, if I am honest, to control the people around me. If I can control these two areas in my life then things will be manageable, or so I would think. However, life doesn’t seem to work this way. Life is about changing and growing and we do this best when we allow others in to influence us.
Let me finish with a short story from my trip. We had to change flights from the international terminal to the domestic terminal. There were construction works going on and we became a little lost and couldn’t find our connecting plane. In the end we just managed to make the flight. Along the way, however, I had to let go of my need to catch the plane and allow the
Control can hinder how things evolve and are created as well as bring conflict to a relationship. Recently my husband and I went on an overseas holiday. It was mainly an organised tour although there were some parts where we LIFE Edition 09, Issue 35
events to unfold in front of me. I started to become anxious at the idea of missing the flight. However, ultimate control of me making the flight was with the airlines. It was not up to me as to whether I did or did not catch the flight. It would not have really been a big problem if I missed it. It would have made a good story to tell like so many other travellers who have missed planes or become lost in airports. My behaviour towards those travelling with me, to the airport staff and to my husband was in my control and would bear witness to my character. They say that a person’s true character shows in times of stress.
Chorus Happiness Where can you be found? Happiness I’ve looked all around The places I know we’ve been The places you went with me Oh happiness Verse 2 I’m sure I saw you just the other night But I can’t seem to work out where you are
For me, letting go and being in the moment is about my faith in a God who loves me. The question God asked Moses is in my own ears as I hear Him ask me, “what is in your hand?”. I need to open it and let go of my control and allow God to place His hand in mine and lead the way.
You’ve gone so far you’re almost out of sight The void between us now has gone too far Chorus Happiness Where can you be found? Happiness I’ve looked all around The places I know we’ve been The places you went with me
Bridge They say you don’t know what you’ve got
This story has been written in the form of a song. If you wish to use it or would like the music to it contact us and we will connect you with Catherine.
Until it’s gone and you feel lost Without the fullness in your life You’re used to
They say you don’t know what you’ve got
I’m sure I saw you just the other day
Until it’s gone and you feel lost
But I can’t seem to find you anywhere
I wish that I could smile
You’re missing now and it seems that I’ve misplaced
Like I used to
Something I once had, enough to share Pre-Chorus
If you have a story that you would like to share with us, get in touch with us via email firstname.lastname@example.org
I took you for granted, now I see Because you’re hiding and I’m in need LIFE Edition 09, Issue 35
LIFE Edition 09, Issue 35