Have You Asked Lately?
Point to ponder:
Do you ask for what you want and need or do you just wish, hope and want for it?
To circle back around to last week’s journal…the one where I referenced my husband losing his job and praying that God help me control my mouth as well as give me words of wisdom for him. Well, there’s more to this story. Knowing the interesting time that we are going through, a few weeks ago a friend sent me a link to several uplifting podcasts from author and motivational speaker, John O’Leary. John has a free podcast series titled, Live Inspired, and in his podcasts he interviews inspiring and very interesting people, such as the author of The Shack, William Paul Young (the podcast is outstanding!) . Upon researching John’s incredibly story, I learned that, at the age of nine, a fire exploded and burned 100% of his body. He was given a one-percent chance to live, lost all of his fingers and had to relearn how to walk, write and feed himself. Needless to say, he lives to share his life-giving lessons from his story in hope that he can create a spark in the lives of others, and after listening to several of his podcasts, he is for sure creating more than a spark-size impact in lives.
One of the first podcasts I listened to was last Saturday afternoon. While Russell and the kids went to the pool and I stayed at home to tackle our piles of dirty clothes, I realized that the house was perfectly quiet, leaving me with the unique opportunity to learn something and be inspired while doing the mundane laundry chore. The podcast I chose was of John interviewing Christine Hassler, a life coach, author and speaker. Like everyone, Christine has her own crappy-turned-awesome story that as a result led her to finding her purpose and passion and has provided her with the personal and professional direction and wisdom that she so openly shares. While Christine’s entire podcast was perfection, her suggestions as to how to stay in “the flow” and experience a continual life rhythm (so we don’t get side-tracked) are:
Breath of fire for 3 minutes upon waking. Short fast breath through the nose and into the lower body. This calms the very active mind.
Mediate for 10 minutes and journaling, clearing out thoughts and anxiety.
Make a to-do list for me and one for what I’d like God to help with.
Exercise every day. Yoga or the gym.
Turn off devices at least one hour before bed. Write things that happened that day I’m grateful for.
Increase your awareness. You have choice. You are not a victim of your life.
Christine has no children so after Christine went through her list of her daily practices, John asked the million dollar question that I actually wanted to ask, “For those people who have children, have full-time jobs, work multiple jobs, are single parents, etc., they are laughing at the idea of getting one of these done each day, more less finding the time to fit every practice into their day. So, what wisdom do you have for them?” Christine’s response was quick and simple: “Shorten the length of time by which you do each one. You can meditate for 1 minute, exercise for 20 minutes ” Duh! Of course!
As a result of Christine’s inspiring suggestions as well as her commenting that our evenings are connected with our mornings, I decided that I would practice making a to-do list (brain dump) each night before going to bed, as well as make a to-do list for God and write down what I am thankful for.
I began experimenting with these practices last Saturday night and the outcome has been enlightening. In the past I have started gratitude journals and they/I always flop, however, this time around, it’s a completely different experience. I look forward to thinking about the day from start to finish and remembering the unique or even routine things that happened, people I met, friends I talked to, hugs I received, etc. Giving myself the time to reflect has caused me to be more grateful throughout the day and be more aware to look for things to be grateful for, like the hummingbird who accompanied us after class on Friday as we all sat around, cooled off and talked, or for the sweet phone calls with friends, taking or picking up my kiddos from school, them giving me a big hug and enjoying great conversations with other moms.
Next, I thought the to-do list before going to bed would only wind me up, but it has actually done the reverse. Getting everything out of my brain and dumping it in the notebook has freed up my brain, and I am sleeping more peacefully and sound. I also wake up with a clear and focused mindset, knowing exactly what I need to tackle for the day.
The night-time practice that has made the greatest impact is creating the to-do list for God. At first I thought this was a bit harsh, like I’m bossing the Creater of the Universe around, but more than that, it’s basically a prayer journal that is rocking my world, in a good way! I have written down difficult and challening personal and professional “asks” that I have little physical control over, and instead of being daunted by the things that I wish, hope or need to happen, I write them down for God to do. Each night I go back to the previous lists of my to-do’s for God and what He is answering is nuts! Things that there is no way I’d be able to accomplish on my own, he’s answering, quickly! In the words of Shayna Grenewitz’s father (my sweet friend and San Diego iGnite member), I’m learning, “If you don’t ask, you don't get.” and/or, “ask and you shall receive.” Now that’s life-long wisdom.
Finally, in the podcast interview, one of my favorite lines by Christine is that “inspiration pulls us forward”, and I can assure you that listening to inspiring podcasts, being around inspiring people along with diligently writing down what I am grateful for each night and giving the “out of my physical, mental or emotion control” to-do’s for God is pulling me forward. In addition, for months and maybe even years, my husband has been praying and asking God for patience. He was praying for this in hope that God would grant him patience with our children, but he never specifically asked this. He just prayed for patience and interestingly, now seven weeks without a job, his patience is being tested. When we realized this last week we both laughed and can only appreciate God’s sense of humor. Moving forward, we’re staying super specific.
Get specific and write down and ask for what you need and want.