Yes You Are!

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I could not sleep last night.  Let me take that back, I actually went to sleep, but only got about three hours before I woke up and was wide awake, after some tossing and turning, I finally realized that I was not going to sleep, so I decided to get up, do my workout and update my blog.  As I am sure many of you know, I have been trying to get healthy over the past couple of months.  I have totally changed my eating, maintained regular exercise, saved off 25 pounds and am feeling the most energetic that I have in my entire life.

I was working with four young guys yesterday, which are at least half my age or younger and I kept cracking on them, because they were letting me, the old man show them up.  I got up this morning, thinking about how blessed I am to get to live the life that I live.  I am a part of an amazing ministry called Grace Place that ministers to people everyday in some of the most incredible and meaningful ways ever.  I have a growing, fun and profitable business that allows me to meet new people from all walks of life.  I have family and friends that love me, are there for me and that make life worth living and sharing.  I could go on and on, but I don’t want this post to be so long that you don’t have time to read it.

Bottom Line:  We are all blessed!  Yes, life may sometimes throw us a curve ball, but there is always a purpose and as we pursue it, we become better and stronger.  Take a little time today to think about all that you have to be grateful for.  Enjoy the blessings that God has surrounded you with and above all – make sure that you are living blessed!

A Letter To My Friends!

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One of my favorite authors, Henri Nouwen said:  “When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand.”

This is the person that I want to be, but have recently come to realize that I have fallen short of being.  I have become good at giving advice, because so many people ask for mine.  I have gotten used to providing solutions, because there are so many people that have needed me to do that.  It is my natural instinct to try and provide a cure, because I don’t like to see anyone suffer.  While all of this is good and necessary, it sometimes gets in the way of my being able to grow in meaningful and lasting friendship, because people feel that they have to live up to some expectation.

Sometimes when I offer advice, solutions and cures, it is frustrating to see them fall on what I often mistakenly perceive to be deaf ears and bruised hearts.  This has caused me to get caught up in the manipulation game that so much of the world wants to play in and what gets in the way of genuine, caring, meaningful and growing relationships.  I am not God and I have got to learn to trust Him to take care of the stuff that is above my pay grade.

I want to be a real friend!  I want to share the pain of those that I care about, not judge it, correct it, manipulate it, advise it, solve it or cure it.  I want to touch the wounds of those I love with a warm and tender hand, not a hand of correction or perfection.  I want to be this kind of friend, because this is the kind of friend that I want and need.

Please forgive me for where I have fallen short and for where I may have failed you.  It is not because of a lack of love for you.  It is not because I believe myself to be better than you.  It is simply because I am a man and I often miss the mark, but I am learning and promise to try and do better.

Thank you for being my friend and as I work to provide you with true and meaningful friendship, I hope that you can find the grace to maybe do the same for me, because the truth is:  We all need each other, if we are going to live blessed.

Trusting Your Instinct – Learning To Empower Thought Over Feeling!

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For the past couple of months I have found my instinct, intuition, feeling, spirit giving me information, but I have not wanted to accept it.  My heart and head teamed up and out voted instinct and spirit.  In my heart, I knew that things did not add up and I knew that what my instinct/spirit was telling me was right and so I asked questions, got the answers that my heart and head wanted and refused to listen to my instinct/spirit.  But my instinct /spirit is a pesky little thing, so it would not let it go and just kept on and on.  And so the war raged on and I walked through life living in a continual argument with myself.  (This is an impossible argument to win!)

Over the past couple of days, my instinct/spirit has been proven correct and my heart and head has taken a pounding because of it.  Life teaches us to think things through and the problem with this is that often our over thinking actually clouds the reality of our vision.  An instinct and the voice of the spirit is much more than a thought and one of the problems that I have discovered in my life is this:  When I treat my instincts/spirit as a thought, I actually limit them, their power and their effectiveness at helping me to get to the right place in my life.

There is a big difference between thinking and feeling.  Thinking is something we do with our head and heart, while feeling is something we do with our instinct and spirit.  The problem comes for us, when we blur the lines and allow it all to get mixed together.  Do you know the difference between a thought and a feeling?  I mean really think about it – what is the difference?  Most people really cannot began to explain it, because they have never really taken the time or pursued the discipline of thinking through their feelings and feeling through their thinking.

If you can’t describe it as a sensation, whatever’s going through your mind is not thought, but feeling. Learning to tell the difference between thought and feeling is very tricky, especially when, we override our feeling/instincts/spirit with mind/heart/thoughts.  Add to this the power of our often very active emotional reactions to those thoughts and “WHAM!” – . We often feel something, ignore the feeling, decide something else is true, then have all kinds of emotions about what we just made up and give the thought power over our feelings and then it’s on and we are headed on an emotional roller coaster ride.

If we are going to trust our feeling/instincts/spirit, then we must learn to quiet all of the other noise of life.  We must step out of the messed up social training that we get from media, internet and even messed up family and step into the quiet place of who we really are.  This is where we begin to hear what we really need to hear, so that we can see life as it really is.  This does not always feel good, because there are going to be some residual thoughts that linger hoping to have a say in the direction you are going, but push the thoughts aside and give your feeling the full attention it deserves and you will notice that your emotions become positive, even though the situation might be negative.

When we give our feeling the attention it deserves, then our instincts kick into gear to take us places where the spirit is able to help us live the life of blessing that we were created for.  Stop empowering the war within and decide to just pay attention and do the right thing.  You will be glad you did, because you will not be able to help living blessed!