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


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!!

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