Once , when I was in South Africa, I was exhorting a class on their King & Queendom history and saying how proud I was to finally be on African soil, because I was now home. And I told them how I felt it was a privilege to meet them, and how much they were blessing my life to be present with them. A young lady spoke up in this class with while teaching & proudly informed me – quite “prophetically” and ingeniously that “We Are All Trees.” She was speaking to our strength and endurance as an African people and speaking very proudly of her heritage and inheritance. Every since this day occurred in May of 2003; I haven’t been the same.
I stand a little taller, I teach a little firmer, I smile a lot more, and I speak up for myself. I haven’t lost my voice. These four words have transformed my life. And perhaps it’s why I love trees so much .
One day while in the woods in Tulsa, Oklahoma- I merged two photos and this photo came to be. I believe spiritually, it was a reminder of my Strength, Resiliency. Depth, and Virtue . I’ll never be the same .
I am in Dansville, New York today. Just left a really pensive session about family, & what it means to me. I admired the atmosphere; being surrounded by mountains on each side. I kept taking in the views, and exclaiming how beautiful the mountains were, and one of the residents of the community said to me: “Oh those aren’t mountains, they’re hills.”
I smiled and said to myself…”They’re mountains to me.” You see, whether they are mountains or hills depends on the person. The power mountains give us – and the power the hills give us – they may be the same … or not .
I recall a time enduring a very difficult season and it was like my drives in my car during this season of my life were instructing me. I was traveling through a small town and there was this particular part of town where I noticed once – that the mountains had reduced in size!
I wondered to myself : “How did that happen!?” And I realized internally, my perspective had shifted.
Just like that.
Sometimes the life seasons we endure cause us to shift and change (snap!) just like that.
Driving those those small towns I had being enduring a really hard season in my life. And the trees and the mountains were so meaningful. They reminded me of how powerless I am, in comparison to the beauty of this world, and God’s power. God was teaching me. Informing me of my perspective. Stretching me…molding me… shaping me and causing me to shift.
I love mountains and I love hills.
The point is, no matter whether they are mountains or hills, they still encourage me. They still inspire my soul. They still make me think about the wonder of this world and how small I am in it,.. and sometimes my perspective, too.
Get away from the hustle and bustle in life and reflect?
I do, quite often.
I had some epiphanies about my intuitive power this week, because I spent a lot of time alone.
I went on a business trip with my husband and was in a foreign city; a place I was unfamiliar with, but loved the space and experience it offered me.
People walked down the street, and I decided: Do I stay on this side of the street, or cross over? I felt vulnerable. I took Lyft, for the first time. It felt safe. But it was a first. As I experienced Lyft, my driver joked: Do I look like I’ll hurt someone? ( I thought to myself: “What does looking like you’ll hurt someone look like?“) And then I checked her license plate number. Yeah…she was old and about 85, but I still took precaution, cause I was in a new space, and this was my life.
I have significance .
I have worth.
Truly…It wasn’t about you.
Sometimes it’s not about them, it’s about us.
When you’re in a wide open space, ( i.e. feeling all alone, isolated, or a bit off track …) ; you don’t have to many familiar faces;… everything feels uncomfortable, and life presents different realities… and sometimes you have to breathe, relax , and just take it all in.
Think about what you really want…
Think about what you really need…
Then do that next right thing; make that extra effort, do one more thing in that positive direction to help catapult you reach the next intuitive state in life. Think higher… be better… demand more.
I felt this way, over the course of the past four days – on this trip where I needed to make good use of my time… And though vulnerable as hell, I took care of myself and I was safe. Self-doubt tried to creep in about some decisions I’d made in regard to safety; but then I thought: ” I’m worth making this safe step. Err on the side of safety, Jenn. Even if it does cost ya, a bit.”
My intuition spoke to me.
It spoke to my worth. My value.
Your intuition will speak to you.
Do you listen to it, or do you choose not to listen in those vulnerable spaces?
Do you block it our with rationalizations and self-judgements? Or other-judgement?
Or do you lean in, and evaluate those thoughts and…think again?
Your intuition is your spiritual self . And everyone has a soul, a body, and a spirit.
I have been thinking lately of what makes me happy.
I’ve decided not to settle for less than what genuinely makes me happy. Eating well, spending time with friends, traveling, talking to friends and catching up especially if I haven’t seen them in quite some time…
I decided laughing isn’t underrated. I just need to find stuff that makes me laugh more.
I was sitting in a room today at breakfast time , in public and the laughter of a little kid just reminded me that I don’t giggle enough . And also- how much I love the laughter of little ones.
Stopping and choosing to smile is a conscious decision, these days. I chose to smile with great intent when I joined my church, when i married my husband, when I found two special friends who made me smile… a lot. I chose to smile when I sat in this beautiful garden space this morning.
Choosing to set myself in places that make me feel happy, and comfortable and loved, are important. So I must commit to more. Join me as I think about what makes me happy, daily, weekly… if you haven’t asked yourself very intentionally – “what makes me smile?”
It’s so very interesting how patience plays into our care of the soul. Almost two months ago, I left Tulsa Oklahoma, tense and overwhelmed and anxious. Across country moves just seem to impact me in that way. I’ve done two of them, in my lifetime. And as much as I plan to be calm and take time off in advance, it just doesn’t work out that way. There’s always something to be concerned about:
Will there be enough income for the transition ?
Will we like where we are going?
Will totally dislike the cold?
Wil I make friends easily?
Will I enjoy my job?
So I’ve been out of work now for almost two months. I didn’t plan on that. Just took them a month to have me approved. It’s like, really? (They don’t manage job contracts as smooth as they used to .)
Okay, so now I’m in this place of much more calm and grace and gratefulness. It seems like no matter the amount of time it took, it took this ‘much needed ‘ time to rest and rejuvenate and re- order my steps.
Everyday I’ve tried to stop and be grateful for at least one thing, then I’d acquiesce ll over again . And breathe. When I’m anxious and uptight , I tend to forget to breathe , and I tend to forget to express thanks for where I am.
I really didn’t think I needed this, but apparently my soul knew I needed it. I’m currently in central NY in a beautiful hotel for the past few days – soaking up sunny days and breathing in fresh fall air. Enjoying time as the trees change into their beautiful autumn hues. And I have time to do this, so I’m thankful.
So the next time you’re complaining about how long something takes, just stop and think about where’s the grace in it. What are you grateful for?
Where does your soul align with the process?
And how much are you frustrating grace in the process?
Receive the good, and abandon the eat that isn’t quite helpful.
What keeps you motivated? I remember grappling with this question over a period of time- maybe ten years. I didn’t realize I was ‘grappling’ because I was sincerely depressed in my life. it’s extremely hard to be happy when life sucks.
I was so discouraged with myself. I couldn’t remain motivated. But I was also depressed, in a long marriage that had run its course, and I need a new take on life.
With motivation, it seemed as though I’d start, feel good about myself & my life, , then I’d lose motivation . Couldn’t seem to figure out why, though .
I didn’t connect my love life, my relationship, and my sadness to my motivation. My love life was not loving. My peace had been invaded. I was living life out of desperation and dependence- not in faith and with resolve.
I needed an encouraging partner, I needed to value myself and my friendships and have friends that helped motivate me and kept me accountable, and I needed self-care. Once I began to prioritize these values, my life began to change.
Once I had had a friend who was willing to help keep me accountable and kind of tutored me in this area, it seemed to help. I would keep her accountable for a few things, and she’s do the same for me.
For a while, we realized we weren’t using our time right. So we’d study a few things about developing margin in our lives and that helped immensely. It helped to have a friend who cared. We even prayed together about what our goals were and what we wanted to change.
I made the connection as i gained wisdom, that motivation comes from within. It’s a discipline of the heart and soul. It’s being specific about what you desire, then finding the courage within, and the support to pursue it. I didn’t come to this realization until the age of 38 years old . Wish I did. I might have been more focused, much sooner.
Sometimes we live thinking there’s so much more out there than what we’re living. The truth is, we haven’t really lived until we’ve possessed what our soul really desires.
For instance, my soul wanted the best visit to a beach, last weekend. And I sought it out until I got it . Small choice… yet very meaningful for me. I had the best experience and memories on that beach… because I was ‘open’ to receiving it.
And … of course, I went with my best friend …(He enjoyed it too, after I asked a few times. Check out that smile.)
So here’s some questions to ask yourself about Motivation:
The first question is:
1.”What does your soul (your mind, will and emotions) desire?”
The second question is:
2. How important is it to you? Is it really something your soul needs?
The third question is:
3. How do you make room in your life to do it? ( I highly recommend getting a partner.) ☺️
And sometimes you have to just try several ways of meeting the needs of your soul, before you find out. Pull out some paper and brainstorm some tactics that might work.
Do you need to go to that special place ‘right after work’ so it really happens? Do you need to get a babysitter on Saturday morning while your kid is still in bed – for a few hours to make it happen ? Join a club similar to http://www.MeetUp.com? Find and accountability partner?
Or do you simply need to just be spontaneous ? Spontaneity was my focus word this year- guess I made it happen.)
Just remember: How ‘you possess your soul‘ and how someone else ‘possesses’ their own soul , may be totally different.