To use the words of Graham Cooke, Robert and I have “gone off the map”. It simply means that we are charting new territory that we haven’t been in before and our old “maps” won’t do us any good!
Let me explain. Robert and I are at a very exciting juncture in our lives. At 56 and 61 we are truly beginning NEW careers (as most our age are winding down). Robert is several weeks away from buying a new business and I am starting Advanced Pilates Teacher Training. We are also more committed than ever to have a deeper intimacy with God, more committed to our health and we really want to become all that we can be. See, we believe God put GREAT things in each of us. However, because of many, many variables, the critical factor in becoming all that God designed us to be and achieving the amazing destiny He designed for us is OUR THINKING!!!
Quite frankly the way we think and look at life and ourselves is a problem. So we decided that in light of all the things mentioned in the above paragraph (careers, health, intimacy with God, achieving our potential and reaching our destiny)we needed to employ proven methods to help us as we go off the map into determined and focused pursuit of becoming, achieving and reaching.
Why methods? The simple fact is that methods WORK to change minds and build new behaviors. So, for health fitness we chose Pilates (that probably seems obvious) but this method of exercise builds strength, flexibility, stamina and mental clarity – all things we need, especially as we age chronologically. For health- nutrition we chose The Blue Zone Diet. This may not seem as obvious. Blue Zone Diet is based on how people living in the “blue zones” around the world eat. Blue Zones are cultures that live longer and healthier than other cultures on our planet. That’s what we want – a long life with good health. For spiritual we have selected The Walker Meditation method along with listening to the teachings of Graham Cooke. Why? Biblical meditation leads to revelation which leads to renewing our minds and thinking differently. Why Graham Cooke? Because we feel that is who the Lord wants us to listen to as we seek deeper intimacy with Him. Also, because rest and peace are things we desire much, much more of and Graham is an expert. And lastly, for our overall careers and life balance(financial, social, family, recreational, career spiritual, physical and mental – Zigs program helps you balance all of these) we have selected to follow and study this year the Born to Win method from Zig Ziglar. We’ve committed to these methods along with committing to Friday night to Saturday night being a day of Rest (the Biblical word for it is Sabbath). Rest for 24 hours – not in a religious, legalistic way. Rest in a Biblical and obedient way. The Lord took a Sabbath rest after 6 days of creation and He modeled this for us. He also told us in the Bible that Sabbath is an eternal commandment – eternal. See, we’ve decided that God is right and that our American pace is insane. So, that’s a high level view of our 52 weeks of going off the map!
After our first week, I decided that I’m going to blog a bit about this journey.
Week 1: As part of this 52 week journey, I made a commitment to annihilate fear and it’s partners doubt, worry and anxiety. So as I focused on rest and peace…the little bugger anxiety went in to overdrive trying to keep me from rest and peace. My blood pressure rose, my heart rate elevated and the physical tension was intense. The first week of Pilates school took 15 hours of time and the “pressure” I felt to make sure I finished the first week on schedule put me in agreement with anxiety. But, I fought…I would say no with my will and spirit, but physically my body didn’t adjust much. But, I kept saying no mentally and asking God to show me how to respond opposite of anxiety. God reminded me of the teachings He had given me last year (see God always prepares us before He takes us off the map) and told me to focus on Crystal Clear Priorities. Oh yeah…CCP’s – well everything else had to take a second chair to getting Pilates studying, reading, lectures and practicing done. Yes, I took Saturday as Sabbath, despite knowing that Sunday would be probably 5-6 hours of Pilates school. CCP’s worked! I found a little sliver of peace and a reasonable slice of fantastic focus! Several nights I was up in the wee hours, praying and reading and settling myself down in God’s presence. It can be hard to choose to get up, even if you’re not really sleeping, and go read and pray and be with God – but, when I returned more confident, loved and peaceful, the sleep I did get was quality sleep. I’ll take that as a victory for week 1!! Even though anxiety was present, I remained committed to peace and rest – this is what a wise Pastor once described as focusing on direction and not perfection!!
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