52 weeks off the map, Encouragement, Pilates, Plant Strong Nutrition, Spiritual Growth, Uncategorized

Off the Map – 1 month and 3 days remaining

It is hard to believe that we’ve walked off the map for nearly a year now.  It has been a very exciting, challenging and rewarding journey. This might have to be an annual thing – to walk of the map in pursuit of the best life and continuous growth and achievement in life.

Let me go through some of the categories and tell you, 11 months in what has transpired a bit.

Blue Zones Diet – we selected this approach because it is based on longevity and quality of life.  It is not trendy.  It is practical. The first 6 months were HARD.  Hard to readjust to eating healthy and keeping the mindset that food can heal.  But, sometime this spring, as we persisted in being dedicated despite being derailed frequently, it clicked.  And boom..we are in a very sensible groove of healthy eating – lots of plants, a little meat and dairy, little sugar, reasonable healthy fats.  We also started taking the “POWER TRIO” in March.  The Power Trio = a morning shake of Vega all in one + Vibrant Health’s Green Vibrance mixed with non-dairy milk and frozen fruit + our DNA based custom blended nutrition supplement Utrition.  My weight is steady at 118, my BMI and BF% are in health range.  My bloodwork came back healthy in every way including Cholesterol and HBA1C.  Osteoporosis is a factor and we’ve created a plan that began it’s implementation earlier this week.  Blood pressure is still a mystery but I’m delving deeper into this with both my Dr. and a Nutrition expert that happens to be on the Scientific Board for Uforia Science (that makes Utrition). Robert and I feel GREAT.  His blood work is happening next week sometime.

Pilates – My schooling has been nothing short of AMAZING.  the classical method is truly as powerful as I had hoped it would be.  I am getting stronger and more supple each month.  Robert is coming along steadily and feeling better.  My clients are also progressing wonderfully and really, really enjoying it.  Pilates is based on achieving a uniformly developed body so that you can do all the things you need and want to do in life with vigor, zest and pleasure.  It is detoxifying and is truly anti-aging.

Zig Ziglar/ 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Powerful tools to reiterate successful life principles and that methods based on principles WORK to improve life, bring hope and fuel confidence and motivation to pursue dreams. We are both more focused, more accomplished and less stressed.  We’ve started Confidence by Dr. Keith Johnson and Robert is devouring teachings from Grant Cardone while I am reading the infamous book Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.  So, we press on in our pursuit of excellence.

Walker – the devotional meditation book just didn’t work for either of us.  So, I continue to do devotions very similarly to the past 15 years with the addition of following God’s calendar to help me know His timing, His seasons and this makes finding His will and hearing His voice much easier.  I’ve also been learning more about prayer and the discipline of prayer and the power of prayer.

Sabbath Rest  – Oh my.  This is a game changer.  At first all we wanted to do was nothing.  Then after a few months it evolved and now Sabbath rest is a rhythm.  We usually start at the end of the day Friday and enjoy our Saturday.  Having Sabbath permission to rest and knowing that this is an eternal covenant for Gods’ people.  Thank you God for the gift of Sabbath.

Intimacy with God – Well, here’s the truth, He is always available to us if we will set aside time to be with Him.  I have learned to listen better and to talk with Him more.  And because of that I see His hand in my life more easily.  For instance, I have seen this past 11 month how God will really prepare you BEFORE a situation so you can handle the situation.  Graham Cooke teachings have really helped as well as deeper prayer and journaling.

I have grown as a teacher.  Robert has grown as a businessman and as a craftsman.  We are excited about our future and will keep walking off the map to keep growing and pursuing, resting and setting goals to achieve.  We are more certain of our God given identity.  We see our destiny and God has laid out a road map to get there and in that pursuit the outcome is beautiful – we will fulfill our purpose.  Our marriage is even closer and our focus and direction more honed than ever.  We are truly becoming one in a deeper way as we plan out our maps and roads together and experience the challenges and excitement of being committed to continuous growth and improvement.

______________________________

Challenges

As a Pilates teacher I’ve experienced some frustration.  Theres a LOT to learn and I can get easily overwhelmed.  There’s a lot to see as a client moved and I had been frustrated with how little I felt like I could see.  But as I persist in teaching, studying and practicing Pilates myself I can see the method and my understanding of it unfolding so that my clients experience it more fully and receive more of the benefits.

In February, the Lord brought me into a new business as a network marketer selling Uforia Science’ Utrition.  I’m still in “dork” phase with this and sometimes I’m excited about all the personal growth and skill development this will require to be successful and soemtimes I resent it.  But, God handed this opportunity to me..so I will proceed.  I am more than pleased with the product and my clients on it are as well.  We have a few questions and a few things I don’t understand, but I’ve reached out to find answers.

Staying focused and organized.  I tend to believe a lie that says “I can’t think”…well, that’s the enemy telling me that.  So, I’m working on undoing this lie.

I’ve learned a lot of patience this past year – and I needed to.  Now, one of the challenges is to continue to learn the right mindset and make choices  that line up with the right mindset and our destiny.  I am learning a new habit of reflecting each evening on my day so that I can bring to consciousness what I realized intuitively or unconsciously.  This is a behavior and habit of highly successful people.  I’m in process on this.  perhaps it will be on our “off the map” list for the next 12 months.

I hope that you can see my enthusiasm and exuberance also tempered with persistence and patience.  It’s never too late.

( I know this blog is ready for a huge update….not sure when..but I’m aware that it needs an update.)  🙂

Spiritual Growth

it’s all about finding center and rhythm – really!

In the winter of 2016, through a TD Jakes series of messages the Lord gave Robert and I our mission statement and told us that we needed to be fully practical AND fully spiritual.  Here is our mission statement:

To live a long, healthy and prosperous life.

To have intimacy with God and grow daily in wisdom.

To accomplish through Christ, the appointed purposes and dreams God has planned to fulfill through us.

To live an uncomplicated, uncluttered life at God’s pace, in God’s will, fully trusting in His timing.

This is our heart’s desire!  And this mission statement addresses us body, soul and spirit!  It is both fully practical and fully spiritual.

Now, living out this mission statement is where the rubber meets the road.  As you may or may not know, I am prone to anxiety.  The rise of anxiety informs me of whether I am living in balance – fully practical and fully spiritual. So, the question, the area I’m working on is how to stay balanced and in rhythm with God.  That’s really the key isn’t it?  How to find my “center” and live out from that “center”. It starts with knowing that you must live from a “center” and then determining what/where/who is with you in that “center”.  For me, it’s me and God (really the entire trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit). Without center rhythm can not flow.  Think about that – wherever rhythm is needed it must flow from a center..musicians know this, singers know this, drummers know this, dancers know this, all athletes know this…if you’ve every experienced a “sweet” moment on any level it was rhythm.  My head gets it.  My heart gets it.  But really, how to STAY there and live FROM there…..consistently.  Let me reiterate CONSISTENTLY!!

As I reflect and talk with the Lord about this, He reminded me of these three things that address body, soul and spirit.

  1. PHYSICAL Of all the swim practices and open water practices I did in 8 years as a triathlete, there is one swim that I remember most of all.  It was a “breakthrough” swim. During this swim, my body was beautifully balanced in the water, my breathing and stroke were in a rich and perfectly timed rhythm. Because of this balance (I was centered) and rhythm I was able to swim at a pretty fast pace for quite a long time (over 90 minutes if I remember right). It took me years of swimming to get this breakthrough..but, once I had it..I could duplicate it.  And from this swim on…my swimming kept improving to a place of speed and endurance that I hadn’t ever thought I’d acquire.
  2. MENTAL – Stephen Covey in his incredible book called 7 habits of highly effective people puts our daily life into 4 quadrants.  The most powerful quadrant to spend your time in is 2 – which is the non-urgent but very important  (planning, reflecting, assessing and then adjusting accordingly). This is hard to do because we often spend our time in quadrant 3 which is urgent and unimportant (think daily tasks). But the Q2 time drives all the other time in the right direction.  Otherwise, we are ebb and flow instead of making forward progress.
  3. SPIRITUAL – As believers in Jesus we know He is present with us all the time and we’ve been given the power and brilliance of the Holy Spirit.  God calls us into deep and intimate relationship with him.  However, we often don’t spend time with Him getting to know Him.  Or we spend our time learning about Him instead of getting to know Him, personally.  – two very different things.

What do all three of these have in common?  An investment of TIME, focus, learning, reflecting and doing and then waiting for it to all “click”.   #3 drives #1 and #2 right?  God created me, God has plans for me, God has put dreams and desires in my heart that He wants to see fulfilled.  So, I start at #3 – that’s the “center” that precedes everything else.  And when I start in the place I get everything I need for #2 and #1.  How do I know this?  Well, the Word….read on…

Here is my paraphrase of 2 Peter 1: 2-3 (you can find the actual scripture here https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Peter+1%3A+2-3&version=NET

Because God is glorious and excellent, He called me to become His child through faith in Jesus Christ as the Messiah.

And because I answered His call with YES, God has BESTOWED on me EVERYTHING NECESSARY that I will ever need for LIFE (fully practical) and GODLINESS (fully spiritual).

Therefore AS (this is a process) I grow in the rich knowledge (rich=intimacy, knowledge= know His ways) of God and Jesus, God will CONTINUALLY LAVISH upon me His GRACE and PEACE.

So….

to live physically, mentally and spiritually (body, soul and spirit) from a center that flows out into a rhythm of life, it STARTS by finding CENTER.  Center is the relationship with God.  Talking with Him and being with Him so He can tell you who you are and what He created you to do on this earth during this lifetime.  From this center and the relationship a rhythm develops – slowly, over time, with consistent dedication to KNOWING HIM not merely knowing about Him.  And out of this rhythm with Him, you will flow in every area of your life. This is the equivalent of many, many swim practices with only minor outward signs of a great swimmer being developed!  This is the Ultimate quadrant 2 and from this intimacy and time with God all the other aspects of life that we need direction for, encouragement for and wisdom for will flow.  We start with God.  Period. He will reveal and tell us everything we need to know.  He will saturate us with His strength and He will fill us with His Peace, Joy, Love and Power.  From this…center we will find the rhythm of our life. Anything else is merely “poor form” resulting in imbalance and having to try much harder than we need to if we’d just worked on center and rhythm first.

I’m learning that when life pulls, pushes and shoves me…STOP…return to center with God, get some love, get some encouragement, get redirected, get peace, get perspective, get security and safety…get EVERYTHING I need for life and godliness….then move forward in rhythm with Him into all that life is bringing me.

Uncategorized

Off the map #7 of New Mindset, New Results

52 weeks off the map – update # 7

I’m excited to share with you where we are at!  The things we are learning and the tangible changes in our lives since taking this 52 week change of course to go off the map from our usual life.

NEW MINDSET: When I do CCP’s I see what I need to do each day as life changing and exciting instead of overwhelming!! (cap- crystal clear priorities)

Pilates – I’m 6 months into an 18 month program.  This is classical Pilates; as close to getting taught from Joe as is possible.  My body has changed radically – I am so much stronger! Because Classical is more of an exercise regimen and less of a rehabilitative approach – I’m enjoying the challenges and so are my clients.  Now, I’m not disrespecting other approaches to Pilates (like what I learned if my first teacher training), I’m sharing my/our experience.  Which is we (me and my clients) are seeing BIG differences in this approach and our dedication and motivation keep going up, up and up.  On a personal note, the challenges of staying organized and focused in school are huge and CCP’s (crystal clear priorities) is the ONLY way I’m making it.  I’m LOVING the learning – to say the least.  Also, I realize that after finishing this 18 month Advanced program….it won’t take me long to sign up for the Master Teacher program.  Why?  There is so much to learn and the more I study under these teachers, the more I will learn and I want to offer my clients the best in Pilates!

Blue Zone Diet – It took until mid-January and an allergy break out on my eyes (eating too much sugar.  Yes, me..yes, it’s true….) to really completely do the 180 back to how we know and truly love to eat.  Blue Zone Diet isn’t a prescription of eating this and don’t eat that.  It’s a way of life approach to health, wellness, nutrition and longevity (longevity to me means a long life with HIGH quality of life).  As you may or may not know, I’ve never, ever endorsed one particular diet because we are ALL unique.  I’ve tried nearly all of them and learned something about my body from all of them.  What I do believe in are Principles of nutrition and how you apply these specifically to YOUR body is the KEY to health and weight management.  I would say that fundamentally a Blue Zone Diet is a lenient approach to our formerly all vegan diet (which we did for 2+ years and loved it and felt great but ultimately…we wanted more flexibility).  So, what do we do?  We have a meal replacement shake 6-7 days per week which is: Vega One meal replacement (1 scoop) + Vibrant Health Green Vibrance (1 scoop) + Vibrant Health Field of Greens (1 scoop) + non dairy milk + a banana or frozen fruit.  This shake is so HEAVY on nutrition that it keeps us satisfied and full for hours.  Then, for the other 2 meals we will do maybe another shake, some soup and a sandwich and then a Big Dog Salad – a HUGE salad with everything and anything in it – fruit, veggies, a little protein like Salmon or chicken, maybe a little goat cheese, some nuts..and a light dressing of balsamic and olive oil and also a whole grain side like pasta, rice or beans .  So between our shake and our big dog salad the nutrients are DENSE and the calories are low.  I believe that we just can’t get the nutrients we need without supplementation – the shake is our frontline of supplementation.  Recently, we added in a product from Uforia Science called Utrition.  This is a completely individualized and customized blend of over 100 researched and proven vitamins, minerals and plants and herbs to have a positive impact on health especially in the areas of gut and heart health, weight and inflammation management, vitamin D and vitamin B absorption and bioavailability.  You take a DNA test and then they send you your VERY OWN Utrition!   I believe so much in this product that I’m selling it! If you are interestedIf you want to know more, contact me and check out this link: http://www.kpat.uforiascience.com.

Zig Ziglar – We finished up the Born to Win series and it laid a strong foundation for really setting goals, being confident in yourself and dreaming and planning.  Just this morning, we just finished Stephen Covey’s 7 habits for Highly Effective people – oh my…this has given us the nitty gritty for what Zig inspired in us.  Next up we are repeating the 7 habits and writing our personal, family and business mission and value statements.  This will take sometime.

Sabbath – For the first months, we took a distinct full day of complete REST.  Oh my, did we need that.  Now, our tanks aren’t quite so empty.  We are committed to REST however, we are learning that IF conflicts arise (and they absolutely will) we can break that rest up a bit.  So perhaps on Friday afternoon to Saturday morning we rest.  Then work Saturday and then Sunday rest in the afternoon.  Not as ideal, but like nutrition – being flexible is key.  So we learn how to rest.  And it feels so good.

I think what I’m learning the most is how GOOD, satisfying and fulfilling it is to stop merely being busy and to become focused and organized on what matters most.  Truly, we can all spend all our time doing the “stuff” that needs to get done and the stuff we feel we “should” do and then the stuff others want us to do – this busy stuff IS endless.  But, we are pushing those things down the list and making the goals and where we want to be in 1, 3 , 5 and 10 years the priority.  The busy stuff, oh my..it CAN wait..it really, really can wait!!  To be free from the pressure of busy and to be free to engage in the stuff everyday that will change our lives – that is worth going off the map!! When I’m doing the important things that take me one step at a time closer to achieving a goal, I’m satisfied.  Why?  Because  it’s moving me FORWARD.  The little stuff, yes it needs to get done..but it’s too easy to keep doing these little things that won’t really move you forward in life and then where are you in 1, 3 5 or 10 years?  In the same place still thinking you “don’t have time” to do these important things or wishing you’d lost the weight or wanting to exercise or wishing you’d written your book or whatever it is.

NEW MINDSET: When I do CCP’s I see what I need to do each day as life changing and exciting instead of overwhelming!!  Let me tell you…I don’t miss feeling overwhelmed!!  I look at my day and my CCP’s and my heart and mind and spirit lift in response instead of feeling “oh shoot, how will I ever do all this??”

 

 

Let me encourage you:  BE  the best YOU you can be and create the BEST life for you and your family…Push the stuff aside and decide..what YOU really want…and then go off the map with us…..

I’d LOVE to hear your thoughts on this….so share!!

 

Until next time….Thanks for reading…

52 weeks off the map, Encouragement, Pilates, Spiritual Growth

Off the Map #6

Well, I think we are in week 20 or so out of 52.

Pilates – School is amazing.   I started Pilates about 10 years ago and up until my first teacher training program in 2015, most of my Pilates was at home, on a mat watching classes on Pilates Anytime.  Then, in my first program, I was taught exercises at level 1 and 2. I had a reformer with a tower as my only equipment  at the time which meant I could do reformer, mat and some cadillac exercises.  Philosophically, in my first school I was taught to pick the exercises that the body in front of me needed to move better – strengthen the weak, open the tight, etc.  This make perfect sense except it dismissed the whole “system” of Pilates!  Which, I now know is HUGE.

Today, I have ALL the Pilates equipment and I’m learning the SYSTEM of Pilates. Each exercise on mat and reformer is in a series and the first prepares for the second and the second for the third and so on.  The point of the series is: each exercise is a full body exercise when you complete the series, you’ve done a combination of somewhere between 10-40 exercises that have worked your body in every direction to create a uniformly developed body.  In addition, the cadillac, chair, and other equipment exercises were created as places to take a client to uniquely help them with what they need help with to do the mat and reformer work to their fullest potential.  The entire point of Pilates is to create a uniformly developed body, to facilitate breathing to detoxify the body and to build a supple and strong body capable of doing whatever you want to request of it. BIG DIFFERENCE between the first school and the second school is the SYSTEM. The 2nd difference is how HARD this new way makes you work – wow.  Very challenging but that is what brings the change in the body and RESULTS!!

Results – I’ve had greater results in my body in the past 6 months than I’ve had in the past 6 years. Oh, I got my body out of a BAD way with a bad back…but now, I’m beginning to feel like the athlete I was pre-accident that hurt my back.  My clients are  greatly challenge by this new way of doing Pilates and I can see their results coming faster and they are getting much, much stronger now.  I can also see that they are getting a greater level of satisfaction and enjoyment as well. It was a bold move but the right move.  The other day, I realized that if I spent all this time and money on Pilates just for me and Robert – it would be worth it.  That’s how much I believe Pilates can help us have a better life by having a better body!

Zig Ziglar – We just finished the 15th cd in the Born to Win program.  All I can say is WOW.  Absolutely powerful stuff.  Life changing for sure.  He is Biblically based, morally sound and so encouraging and motivating. His goal setting system is superb and we are just implementing it. Robert and I have experienced improvements in our self-image, positive outlook and ability to see the future and set goals and drive towards them.  We finished the Graham Cooke 16 part Developing your Destiny which married perfectly with Born to win.  These 2 series have set a foundation for realizing our identity, seeing our destiny and will help us to fulfill our future.  Now, we are about to start the 7 habits of highly effective people….It is NEVER too late to adjust course!!  You just need to WANT to adjust course strongly enough to apply the principles and change your perspective and attitude.  And the fact that Zig, Graham and Covey (author of 7 habits) all line up with the Bible and God’s way of living – well win-win for sure.

Blue Zone Diet – oh the holidays were a struggle.  I think one day, at my Mom’s house over Christmas I ate 12 snickerdoodles.  🙂 But, we are on our way.  Lots of plants, whole grains, limited animal products and our nutrient dense smoothies everyday.  The tide has changed.  I’m getting a bit more into cooking and that can only help.  I’ve adjusted my mantra about food just a bit:  Plants for nutrients, whole grains for fiber, fat for energy, sugar is a limited treat, animal products in moderation, organic as much as possible.

Sabbath – Ahhh….Sabbath.  We spent a couple weeks pushing so we could go home for Christmas and sacrificed our Sabbath days.  We will NOT do that again.  It really is the push of the enemy to not let us rest.  The “race” is longer than we know so our pace needs to be slower than we think! We are even more committed to taking a full Sabbath rest from Friday at sundown to Saturday at sundown. It is essential.  We long to be all that God wants us to be and do for Him all He wants us to do and wearing ourselves out by not taking a Sabbath will sabotage our destiny and the enemy knows it.  So, taking a Sabbath is a slap to the enemy and a gift to us.  It is an act of trust and also an act of humility.

 

I know this is long…sorry.  Lastly, I want to finish with CCP’s.  CCP’s are crystal clear priorities.  As you can imagine with Robert’s new business, my Pilates business and school and Glorious Beads – life is FULL.  Most people our age are not starting new careers but are winding up the ones they’ve been doing for 30 years!!  Crystal Clear Priorities are something I set prayerfully each morning – I listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit about what my CCP’s are for the day.  This eliminates a long, never ending “to do list” that constantly made me feel like I was coming up short.  It provides me with focus and clarity and allows me to do the BIG things and let the little things go until the BIG stuff is done. It partners me with the Holy Spirit to lead me about what to do each day.The list of CCP’s is usually 3-5 – never more than 5.  I can typically get these done EVEN with the “surprises” that happen in life. I feel like I’m doing with God what scripture says: that He will lead us and guide us – we just have to pause and LISTEN!!  It gives me peace of mind and best of all it makes me feel FULFILLED.  Now, fulfilled is not something I’m very familiar with.  But, as I practice CCP’s each day and when I stick with it….I end each day feeling fulfilled. Fulfilled, for me is the sense that I did what was important, I wasn’t stressed, I have peace of mind and I don’t feel crazed/stressed or anxious.  I am pleased with the day, pleased with myself.  Fulfilled keeps me from being preoccupied and allows me to live in and experience each day more fully all while keeping my eyes on God and my destiny.  It’s a bit bumpy sometimes because I’ve not lived this way most of my life..but I LOVE the feeling of fulfilled.  I love that God will guide me through the Holy Spirit and this gives me great confidence in my decision of what to focus on and finish each day.  Also, I tend to give myself too much to do each day but when I partner with the Holy Spirit – it’s just enough.  How cool is that?

 

Until next time.  Thanks for reading.  This off the map stuff is exciting and challenging and very rewarding.  I’m thrilled we’ve gone “off the map” with God!

52 weeks off the map

Off the map #5

Well, here I am on Monday of the 10th week of going off the map! Remember that our purpose in going off the map was to change our lives – our health, our relationship with God, to think differently and to become the best we can be.  Let me start with the easy stuff first and update you on the categories and how we are doing.

Pilates:  Robert continues his practice – yay.  My personal practice is going great and I’ve upped to 2 private lessons per week.  Pilates School is going good – my mind is getting sharper about studying and memorizing and thinking/assessing – all of which are requirements for the program.

Blue Zone – Well, something switched in the way we think (finally!) and we are in a pretty good groove.  Yay!  We are both still a little high on sugar – but much higher on the Big Dog Salad and daily power nutrient shakes.  I’m feeling better and know that sugar will keep notching itself down in my life.  Here’s my new phrases: Sugar kills my brain.  Fat kills my heart.  Veggies and Whole Grains bring mental clarity, longevity and energy. This helps me choose more carefully.  The heavily documented and researched links of sugar to alzheimer’s and other brain problems is very convincing and in societies where very little sugar is eaten, there are very few incidents of alzheimers and the like.

Zig Ziglar/Graham Cooke – The quote in my Zig day planner today is:  The single greatest cause of poor self-image is the absence of unconditional love.  As we go deeper into our Graham on Developing your Destiny and deeper in Zig regarding developing a healthy self-image – it’s very clear that both of us are starting to “get it” and believe what God says about us!  I have had some situations that in the past, prior to these 10 weeks, I would have had a much harder time handling.  But, we a strengthened sense of Identity and an improving self-image I can be a lot more steady on a daily basis and surprises more readily without believing they are my fault, or that I caused it or that I’m being rejected.  Oh, yes…I look forward to continuing this journey for 42 more weeks.

Walker Meditation – we took the 30 day challenge.  Robert did ok.  I did pretty good.  I have such a strong devotional “system” already that I don’t think this method is better than.  I’ll stay with my current method.  However, I think if someone is not journaling or reflecting and meditating on the Word and messages heard; this is a GREAT system to begin doing just that!

Sabbath – Ahh…..Love, Love and Love.  What can I say?  The more we take our day of rest the more rested I feel.  Even with a full schedule and a lot of loose ends and some big surprises lately, I’ve rolled with the flow.  Sabbath is helping me to go deeper into God’s peace and rest.  It’s also a natural “pacing” – knowing that an intentional rest is coming…I can stay focused and steadily on task during the week.  Mentally, I’m getting better at “shutting down” the thinking circuits so I can just BE and ENJOY.

 

On the more reflective/philosophical note:

The word fulfilled from that last post is now a standard by which I assess how I’m doing.  If I am not feeling fulfilled, I check in to ask, “why not?”  Once I understand why not, I try to adjust.  Sometimes this is not so easy.  The past couple of weeks, my sleep has been rough.  My brain has been so active studying and learning – both for school and for all the things in this “off the map” stuff we are doing.  With Robert buying and business, changes at church, changes in friendships – my brain circuitry went a bit wonky.  So, I finally (yes, it took me awhile) we to the Lord in 2-way journaling.  Ahhh….in that time with Him, I expressed all my loose ends and asked Him, “how can I settle my brain down?”  His response is below as recorded in my journal.

 

The Lord said to me:  Oh Kimberly,  it is a full set of circumstances right now all lined up.  It’s ok to have your circuits lit up – quite natural actually.  So, deep breaths.  I’m enough.  I have you.  I’ll never leave you until I’ve given you everything I’ve promised you.  Find some REST in knowing that while your circuits may be lit and disconnected, I am fully operating and in perfect control.  And no, we don’t have to tighten up the circuits and reconnect them all at once.  I have all the time in the world because I am the creator of TIME.  So, it may seem to you like these things need to be taken care of sooner and that they are just “running around” willy nilly in your mind.  But, take them captive….just place them in a box, close the lid. Quiet yourself and allow me to guide you in the right way at the right time to deal with each and every one of these. Rest my love, rest knowing I am sovereign and I’ve got you.  You’ve done a fabulous job navigating and I am so pleased to see you walking out your transformation and the renewing of your mind in the circumstances that I’ve allowed to come your way.  I’m not asking you to shove things aside or bottle things up…just to gather all that’s in your mind up and put it under my sovereignty and remind it all that is’t subject to MY TIMING.  No urgency, no striving, no fretting.  Allow the lights on the circuit of your mind to start dimming and settling as you embrace  these truths:  I am your Abba Father and I love you without reservation, perfectly. For all of eternity you are my daughter.  Rest your mind knowing that Jesus is sitting at my right hand and he is interceding for you each and every moment of every day.  Know that the Holy Spirit is your guide and comforter and you are FILLED with Him.  Know that you are in Christ and Christ is in you.  Know that you know that you know these things and allow these powerful, truths to settle everything that feels lit up and undone.  Let it wash all over you and all through you.   Breathe in my love, breathe in my peace..my shalom and let it wash all over you.  There you go.  Enter my rest.  Claim my rest.  Rest in my rest.  Feel yourself unwind as you put all these loose ends that require attention aside.  Trust me to lead you to sort them all out at the right time.  Breathe in my shalom.  Exhale the chaos.  Breathe in the truth that I work ALL things out for good.  Exhale doubt, exhale concern, exhale any confusion. Trust me and at the right time, we’ll open the box you’ve put these loose ends in and together, we’ll handle them ok?!  

So, I learned a LOT about how to quiet my brain and how to give Him all the loose ends.  Wow huh?  The more I understand I am HIS DAUGHTER….the easier it is to just rest in that and look out at life from that perspective!

So, as we continue to stay off the map – growing in many areas I say to you – this is WORTH it.  To commit to changing at any age, to collaborate with God, to connect with Him and to know that although this requires focus, humility and challenge…the other option is not an option.  The non-option is to stay the same.  I say Lord, bring on the change!!

 

52 weeks off the map

Off the map #4

I want to start with a definition.

Fulfilled: Feeling happiness and satisfaction. Providing happiness and satisfaction.

 

Last night, as I was winding down and heading to bed, I felt a certain way.  This is a new feeling.  I’ve been feeling it more and more frequently.  So, I decided to pause and reflect and ask the Holy Spirit, what is this?

The Holy Spirit answered fulfilled.

 

Oh, wow, fulfilled.  I can get used to this feeling.  Happiness.  Satisfaction.

With Pilates school, I’m learning the skill and art of setting crystal clear priorities (CCP).  I mean really saying, “what HAS TO GET DONE?”.  Then I do that FIRST, to completion.

 

This IS not being busy – I have been busy in my past.  It’s about intentional choice and that means that every moment is more alive, more real, more of an experience.

School may be what thrust me into this high level CCP lifestyle. But CCP’s have increased my enjoyment, experience and presence in more of my moments.

This is NOT about planning every moment.  But because the crystal clear priority things were completed fully; I could decide of the non-critical things what to do or not do.  In last week’s case, I truly enjoyed and relaxed throughout our entire day of Sabbath on Saturday and on Sunday I applied CCP to what was on the “to do” list and was able to have an impromptu coffee date with a friend AND sit and watch an entire football game with Robert – no guilt, no distraction…just pure enjoyment of the time. Let me say, it is amazing how much “to do” can truly wait without negative consequence!!!!  Please reread that last line, because it has the potential to radically change your life!!!

Yes, I think that Pilates school has been a gift on so many, many levels and this feeling of fulfilled is one I’d like to keep experiencing more and more of.

Update:

Pilates – on track and on target. The more I practice.  The more I learn in School.  The more i LOVE Pilates and the more I want to help others experience and understand this incredible method of body/mind/spirit exercise.

Blue Zone Diet – added beans, sugar reduced and big dog salads are going to be reintroduced this coming week.

Zig Ziglar/Born to Win/Graham Cooke – Developing your Destiny – truly an impressive body of work with incredible wisdom. I see both Robert and I growing tremendously from flooding our mind with Biblical thoughts, encouraging words and strategies to Win in every area of life. With Graham, our idea of who God is for us and all the “upgrades” and opportunities God presents is really enhancing our understanding of Abba Father and Holy Spirit along with how much of what Christ did for us was about FREEDOM and FAVOR in THIS life!

Walker Meditation – This is going ok.  It is a beautiful system for getting mileage out of any spiritual message you watch or listen too.  I mainly use it for Sunday sermons and meditating on those scriptures and thoughts through the week.  The nice thing is the timing.  Our church updated Mission/Vision/Goals/Values recently and so our messages have been going over those – again, God’s timing because this dovetails beautifully with Born to Win and Developing your destiny.

Sabbath – What can I say?  I am a believer that the Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath.  As we are intentional I can see both Robert and I not being so “empty” and “striving” during the week.  I imagine that the compounding effects of a Sabbath rest every 6 days will be like compounding interest in a bank account!  God truly knows best what’s best for us!!

Thoughts???  I’d love to hear them.  Please share these posts if you feel encouraged and blessed by them.  Thank you so much for reading!!

52 weeks off the map

Off the map #3

Well, we are ending our first month “off the map”.  This month has gone by so fast! Perhaps it’s all the “new” we are incorporating at once at some level.

What we imagined, or more accurately what I imagined is we would launch ourselves in more deeply upfront.  Instead, it’s more like wading in the water, feet, ankles, calves…you get the idea.

So, here’s a quick recap and then I’ll share some “aha’s”

Pilates – School has been a huge shift in my world!I I’m enjoying every moment of it but it’s been a radical adjustment.  I feel like I’ve got a bit of a “groove” on that feels like a “win”.  Because of this radical school thing, I’ve ended up battling some anxiety and while me and the bully anxiety went a few rounds, I struck some deep blows!

Blue Zone Diet – uh, well,  not good at all here! Sugar consumption way down and veggie consumption on the rise.  Whole grains and beans – I’ll tackle that in October.  Step by step. Forward although certainly not perfect..but direction over perfection!

Walker Meditation – one week in and we are both loving it.  It’s a well organized spiritual journal and spiritual focus system.  Robert has set timers on his phone so that he can take several minutes serval times a day to reflect and meditate.  I reflect before I start work and during my lunch break.  I can see the power of these consistent small moments.

Born to Win – We are listening to Zig each morning right after listening to Graham Cooke. It is amazing how these 2 powerhouses from different generations and with different approaches communicate nearly identical things about identity in Christ, and truly being born to win.  With Graham we are listening to his Developing your Destiny mentoring series.  Often, we will listen twice or even 3 times to a particularly eye opening teaching.

Sabbath – AHHH…We look so forward to Friday evening through Saturday evening.  Honestly, it helps me “push” a little during the week knowing that a rest IS coming.  The long term implications of a weekly 24 hour rest are looking brighter and brighter to us.  As always, the Lord was right…man wasn’t made for the Sabbath, the Sabbath was made for man!!

 

Aha’s

  1.  I’m learning when to push and when to brake.  I’m basically  just a pusher! I’ve counted on God to help me push through some school work when I wanted to just not think or do and His strength has been sufficient for me.  I’ve also learned that during a week (like last week) when the load is a little lighter..don’t push ahead, enjoy a bit less work but also take time to review some of the stuff learned – a compromise that was right on.
  2. Patience with myself as we adjust to new routines.  Like my devotions are now in the evening instead of the morning since with listen to Graham and Zig in the morning.  Many evenings I’ve flat forgotten to do my devos!  Now, I ENJOY devotional time…but I’ve done it in the morning since 2004. In the past, I’d have beaten myself up good for forgetting to do devos. Now, through God’s grace and the renewing of my mind,  I’m able to say, “‘m on my way…It’ll all come together, God loves me and He’s ok with this”.
  3. Special times: Robert and I sitting with our earphones on (we share a pair) on the patio love seat listening and learning together in the mornings is…PRICELESS.  To share our thoughts and what “hit” us is such good conversation and to be so “together” in this from the start is so awesome.  Again, I think the long term implications are bright!!
  4. Lastly, this thought is a HUGE and a new one and not fully processed.  Recently, I’ve experienced some relationship difficulties that look very much like relationship difficulties I have faced in the past. The shame I have felt.  The confusion.  The”I’ve been wronged” again of pride/anger.  The “I’ll love ’em anyway but just stay in a safe spot”.  The fear of an “end” to another relationship.  UGH…Then, listening to Graham today, he said that WHAT IF theses repetitive things was God showing us “come this way.  Come around. Come up.”  And it hit me – I immediately saw a brick wall and each time I see this ole brick wall, I turn and RUN.  Today, I saw God inviting me OVER the brick wall – He tossed a rope over and said, “Come on…I’ve wanted you to come up over this wall when you were 15 and every time you’ve run into this wall since then.  Will you come over the wall this time??”  I replied, “Oh Lord YES…help me come UP and OVER so the brick wall can be behind me and I can move FORWARD.”  That’s all I know right now.  When, I’m up and over…I’ll share more!

Thanks for reading.  Sign up to follow the blog if you enjoy these.  I’d also love to hear your insights, questions, etc….

52 weeks off the map

Off the map post #2

16 days “off the map”.  Off the map simply means doing  things and thinking differently to gain a different result.  This is my second post about our journey committing 1 year to doing things differently.  Methods are central to our off the map – to do things differently you need a new way to do things and methods are powerful at helping us do that.

Quick recap of our methods

  1.  Sabbath each week – God took one after 6 days of creation.  Jesus said in Mark 2:27 that the Sabbath was made for man.  The “race” of life is long and so the Sabbath allows us to have regular rest/refreshment/restoration.
  2. Blue Zone Diet – Based on the diets of cultures around the world who live healthy lives the longest.
  3. Zig Ziglar’s Born to Win – a method that teaches how to live a balanced life in the following areas: physical, mental, spiritual, recreational, family, career, social and financial.  At it’s core is that God made us to WIN!
  4. Pilates – Yes, I’m a teacher, now in AdvancedTeacher Training (started the same day we started this off the map journey) BUT, it’s applying the principles in my own practice more fully and Robert hasn’t done Pilates – but now he is!
  5. Walker Informational Retrieval System – that name sounds so unlike what this is.  This is our biblical meditation and reflection method.  It took over 25 years to develop and we are actually starting this Sunday with the sermon we will hear on Sunday.  Renewing our mind comes in large part from getting revelation and transformation from Scripture not simply “knowledge”.

Ok, so 16 days in…what have I learned or experienced since we drove off the map in a big way:

  1.  Pilates School and my Pilates practice are like peanut butter and jelly.  The more I study, the more it informs my own experience of the method.  And the more I experience the method the better I feel physically, mentally and yes spiritually.  See, when our bodies feel GOOD and we can just do what we want without undue effort or restriction or limitations or pain/discomfort – it releases energy to spend in other ways!  As for Robert he is just beginning and I’m starting him in exactly the way I’m learning in school.  He is in the investing phase of just doing the work and soon he’ll begin to reap the benefits.  He started just this week because I wanted to learn in school first. So, to be continued!
  2. Blue Zone Diet – Hmmm, I’d say this hasn’t truly begun.  We’ve cut out junk and sugar but haven’t yet fully adopted the philosophy in practice.  At first I felt some “failure”.  But part of what I’m learning is that we began and it was that – a beginning.  A change in direction, following a new map.  So, it is ok to take time in adaptation.  The BZD isn’t all that different from how we’ve eaten in the past; but what is different is my time and my willingness to do a lot of cooking (I’m unwilling).  So, I have to explore new ways to incorporate this.  This week coming up, it’s about getting more beans in.  Small steps.  Hopefully by 1/19 we’ll be in a nice groove. Robert has lost at least 5 pounds and he is thrilled!!
  3. Sabbath – Ahhh…we take ours from Friday evening to Saturday evening.  I can’t tell you how much I look forward to this time!!  It’s not hard to make a slight “push” to get the priorities (crystal clear priorities) done so that Sabbath can be enjoyed.  It’s not a time of doing “nothing” but there is a mental approach of rest/relaxation and putting life on “hold” for 24 hours.  Again, we are learning here.  So, what I’ve learned thus far is a little extra “push” during the week is worth it and a little mental commitment to rest on Sabbath is worth it.  For me, it can be hard to stop pushing and doing.  Luckily, Robert is very good at saying “shut it down and let’s relax.”!!!
  4. Born to Win – This is perhaps where I think we will find our biggest leap forward over this coming 50 weeks.  Zig is rather contagious!  It’s very clear when you listen to him how RIGHT he is!!  What I really love is that He reiterates God’s truth that we ARE born to WIN. Balance for us is hard..isn’t it for most of us?  And Zig’s approach is beyond helpful in this and also in keeping a frame of mind that is positive.  We are still working on our “goals” – doing it Zig’s way makes you REALLY think before setting a goal and causes us to break them down.  Do what you know to do and we’ve you’ve done that, you’ll see what to do next.  I believe too many people never really get goals accomplished because they can’t see all the steps from start to finish…well, no one can..but ya gotta take a few steps first!
  5. Walker – nothing to report.

So that is the “data part of this post.  Here’s the more personal part.

Starting school the first two weeks was HARD! I was stressed and I’m committed to learning to live each day in peace/rest – UGH.  My second week went better and I learned to just settle in and as I learned more how to use the system and where to find the time and how to study.  This week, is week three and my heart rate and blood pressure are back to normal! I had such fear that I would be stressed like I was the first 2 weeks for all 18 months of school and I knew I’d blow up if that were the case.  Well, satan is a liar and so is fear!  I’m sure as I take a first written exam or write my first case study or have my first exam where they watch me teach a client…the stress will elevate…but, I can know that it is temporary and in that I can take deep breaths and just do my best.  Going off the map in so many areas of my life is killing my “perfectionist” tendencies…because I don’t have a choice – a HUGE bonus I hadn’t thought of.  I can either go back to my old map…or be patient with myself on the new one.  I’m not going back. 🙂

Mentally and spiritually – the first two weeks were rough.  When there is anxiety it is hard to hear the Lord and hard to calm the physical response to the anxiety.  So, in week two I accepted that my body was in a physical state of anxiety and allowed my mind/soul and spirit to move toward rest and on faith believed that my body would respond.  This week, Ahhhh…it did!  So, again…rough spots are temporary not permanent.

The KEY to getting rid of the anxiety was listening to 3 songs so many times if they were a record, I’d have worn out the record.  The other key was “setting” my mind to not give in or give up to the anxiety.  See, David killed Goliath with one of 3 stones.  He picked the 3 and then picked the one.  My one stone for anxiety is REST.  So, I’d stop or pause in my day and listen to these 3 songs to give me the mental/soul and spirit realignment or to help me stay on track if I was on track.

It is our heart’s desire that by sharing our journey – the ins and outs, the ups and downs, the victories and failures that others will be encouraged.  Especially others that are like us 50+ and bravely starting new things!!  It’s not too late for any of us!  Still breathing?  You can go off the map too!!!  🙂

Next post…more on being off the map and on how I’m learning to not be a people pleaser…..

Here is the first of the 3 songs https://youtu.be/sIaT8Jl2zpI

The other 2 are from Lauren Dangle and they are: https://youtu.be/URFOBc69xig

https://youtu.be/Br1q_i1RHPU

52 weeks off the map

52 weeks and we are going off the map!

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!!

Thanks for reading.  Would love to hear your thoughts.  If you want to keep reading, please sign up and follow this blog! Please share with others as you feel led!

Spiritual Growth

7th anniversary part B

Part B

Number 9:18 and 22,23 NET

At the commandment of the Lord the Israelites would begin their journey, and at the commandment of the Lord they would make camp; as long as the cloud remained settled over the tabernacle they would camp. 19 When the cloud remained over the tabernacle many days, then the Israelites obeyed the instructions of the Lord and did not journey.

Whether it was for two days, or a month, or a year, that the cloud prolonged its stay over the tabernacle, the Israelites remained camped without traveling; but when it was taken up, they traveled on. 23 At the commandment of the Lord they camped, and at the commandment of the Lord they traveled on; they kept the instructions of the Lord according to the commandment of the Lord, by the authority of Moses.

 

As I worshipped this morning the Lord spoke to me about the cloud.  The cloud is His grace and His anointing for us.  The cloud signifies His will and where He has placed us. It is so important to stay or move with the cloud.  It’s not hard to identify when you are in sync with the cloud – because even in the difficult stuff you see, feel and receive the Lord’s power, provision and perspective. Why?  Because you have His grace AND His anointing!

The hard part (for me at least) is the relinquishing of my will to His will. When, I can put myself in the place of agreement with God then the grace and anointing are with me!  When I am not in agreement with God then it’s like moving through sludge and mud!  Sometimes, I stubbornly stay when the cloud moves.  Sometimes, I run ahead of the cloud.  But more and more and more…I just want to be covered by the cloud, in the cloud, surrounded by the cloud.  Why?  Because it’s the safest, most secure, most exciting place to be.

 

Lord, I believe you.  I choose to agree with you. I relinquish the need to understand and to try to see further ahead than what you are showing me.  Lord, help me to stay focused on what you’ve told me and to keep believing with confidence, hope and expectation.  Lord, you are so exciting, so good, so powerful and I want to live,move and breathe with you. Lord, thank you for reminding me today of 7 years ago – thank you for that remembrance and may it light a fire deep in my spirit, body and soul to believe what you’ve told me and shown me for the future.  Thank you for your cloud.