Fearlessness vs. Bravery

Our goal in life shouldn’t be to “be fearless“.

Think about it… there are things and situations in life that are very much fear-inducing: getting a bad report from the doctor (then following that up: medical procedures), getting our works published, starting that new class/degree, stepping back into the world of dating after the death of a spouse or a divorce, getting that positive pregnancy test, starting a new job, etc. There’s so many variables and unknowns and new things we’re  being faced with. It can be frightening and uncomfortable.

We can’t not feel fear. It’s there. It always will be. It’s impossible to genuinely be “fearless”, that is, to be without fear.

A better, more noble goal is to be BRAVE.

It means we feel the fear and yet still go forward anyway. It means being courageous.

I used to always tell my kids to “be fearless“. That is, until this last week when my little girl had an earring infection.

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As I started to clean her piercing, she started saying, “I’m scared, momma.” Then it dawned on me: of course she’s scared. She’s scared of pain. That’s a very real thing. That’s a very valid feeling. How could I tell her to be fearless? Fear is very real.

So I pointed this thought out to her. I said, “you’re right, honey. This is scary. It could be painful. I’m going to try my best NOT to hurt you, but I *have* to clean this infection or it will get worse and even *more* painful. You know how momma used to tell you to be fearless? Well I was wrong. You need to be BRAVE instead. You’re going to feel this fear, but you have to do this anyway. But you know what? I’m RIGHT HERE WITH YOU. You’re not alone. We’ll do this together.”

She did it scared. She was so brave.

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This week, I myself am going to be putting my “bravery” muscle to use. Today (7-19-18) at 7am, I will be having an ablation procedure on a varicose vein that’s been bothering me for YEARS.

Starting around my 4th or 5th pregnancy, a vein on my right leg became varicose. I then had to begin wearing compression stockings during each of the following pregnancies (I’ve had 8 full-term). It would get so swollen, inflamed, painful, itchy… and to boot, it was ugly. Perhaps I’m just being vein, I mean, “vain”, but I really don’t like the way it looks. [LOL. I had to add that in, apologies. ;-)]

But now that I’m done having children, that vein is STILL causing me problems as it hasn’t gone away. It still gets irritated and flared up and achy. And it’ll only get worse if I don’t get it taken care of now. Plus, having a vein like that increases my chances of getting dangerous blood clots.

The ablation process is outpatient. It’s routine. It’s pretty low risk. If there IS any sort of issue, the hospital is literally next door. It’s pretty painless (thank you lidocaine). Success rate is high. I’ll have a gorgeous/pain-free leg. Woot woot.

BUT… I’ve never done it before. This is all new territory. I’m not going to lie, it’s giving me butterflies in the belly.

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But I’m going to feel the fear and do it regardless. I’m going to be brave and step boldly into this new experience. I’m going to focus on the fact that I won’t be alone during this procedure: my hubby and God will both be with me. (Plus, my hubby promises to take me out on a lunch date later and buy me a tenderloin from the most amazing food truck in our county. #worthit)

So anyway… I leave you with this: be brave (rather than striving to be “fearless”). Do the scary thing anyway. Trust that God has your back and that you’re not alone. Stop focusing on what could go wrong, and instead focus on what could go right!

Live awakened. Live fully alive.

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#bebrave    #youarenotalone    #Godiswithyou    #feelthefear   #doitanyway   #doitscared   #liveawakened    #livefullyalive   #livebyfaith

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Regret Is Worse Than Fear

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Fear is such a difficult thing to deal with. It feels so very real. It quickens the heart, it pumps the adrenaline, it clouds our thinking, it makes us break out into cold sweats.

It can be terribly uncomfortable.

But that’s all it is: a feeling. Almost all of our fears are imagined, derived from “what-if” thinking or “the unknown”.

If we’re stepping out into new territories, there’s almost always going to be butterflies in the tummy.

It’s ok. It’s normal.

Go ahead and feels those nerves, but do “it” anyway (whatever “it” is for you).
-The sting of regret of a missed opportunity is oftentimes so much worse than the “feeling” of fear that you felt in the beginning.
-The frustration and jealousy of watching others step up to the plate and do the “thing” you were scared of doing (but wanted to do) is so ridiculously tough.

The only difference between you and them is that they stepped up and said “yes”. And there’s a darn good chance they said that “yes” with flutters in their belly, especially if they’ve never done it before either.

Is there something you’re wanting to do (or be) but the thought of actually pursuing it makes you nervous?
Are your excuses really just your way of avoiding feeling fear?
Do you find yourself jealous of others that step into success?
When you look at your past, do you feel regret or grief over missed opportunities?

Let’s start feeling the fear and doing “it” anyway.
Let’s learn to start saying “yes” to the things that energize and thrill/excite us.

Live awakened. Live fully alive.

#nofear   #bebrave   #liveawakened   #livefullyalive   #doitscared   #stepoutinfaith

 

 

Eating Intuitively

Totally geeking out over here!

My newest book purchase has finally come in: *Intuitive Eating*.

It’s something we did as children (that is, we intuitively ate). But through diet culture or peer influences or poor teaching from family/society/media/(and yes, the health industry itself) etc. many of us have lost the art and skill of really listening to our bodies when it comes to food.

You know the scenario: we restrict something (be it carbs or calories or whatever)–> we do good for a time–> temptation creeps in–> we start feeling weak–> we eventually eat the “forbidden food(s)” (sometimes even bingeing)–> we feel like a failure– > we are riddled with guilt–> then (like we always have before) we get “back on the bandwagon”–> we try again–> we hope this time we have a bit more “willpower” to reach our goals.

But what if there were no more bandwagons to get on?
What if we could quit “dieting” for good?
What if there were no more “no-no” foods?
What if there were no more feelings of failure?
What if we could freely eat the foods we love without guilt?
What if we knew with clarity our hunger and fullness cues?
What if there were no more binges?
What if potlucks, family dinners, eating out, etc. no longer freaked us out?
What if we could actually feel good in our own skin/love our bodies?
What if the scale had no more power over us?
What if it was possible that food could stop consuming our thoughts all the time?
AND YET WE COULD *STILL* GET TO A HEALTHY (sustainable) SIZE FOR OUR BODIES?!

Well, I’m giving this IE thing a go with my bestie.

I’m ready for some food freedom!

Live awakened.  Live fully alive.

#intuitiveeating   #foodfreedom   #befree   #nomoredieting   #lovethebodyGodgaveyou   #nomorecondemnation   #nomoreguilt   #youarenotafailure   #youweremadeperfectly   #behealthy   #itisnotaboutbeingskinny   #stopbeatingyourselfup   #livefullyalive   #liveawakened

Am I resisting Happiness?

On my personal Facebook profile awhile back, I posed the following question:

If fear & failure weren’t an issue, what would you do/pursue/invest in that you’re currently not? Just curious. Let’s dream a bit.

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I received several amazing answers like “creating resources for at-risk youth”, “teaching baking”,”being a stunt woman”, “being a politician”, “starting a restaurant”, “being a mortician”, “starting an apple orchard/cidery”, etc.

Fantastic, very eclectic responses! Got some big dreamers out there!

So, this was *my* response:

Me? I’d get serious about writing. Instead of dreaming (cluttering my head) and having thousands of half-written documents (cluttering my filing cabinet & computer & flat surfaces) I’d put myself out there and blog, write (for myself and other writers/bloggers), get articles and books published, etc. Every time I think about getting consistent with my blog I keep thinking things like “someone’s already said this before… probably better” or “what if this offends someone?” or “can I deal with potential ridicule or critique?” etc. Or the infamous “you can’t make money blogging… besides, who’d read your stuff anyway?” ugh

A friend of mine commented on this thought and said,

I once heard someone say that instead of self doubt they would think “why not me? If they can do it – why not me?”. Why not you? You don’t have to be the first to say it – if you say it well, someone out there hasn’t heard it! If that wasn’t true pastors and teachers would be out of a job 

Her words struck a chord.

Why NOT me?…

So what if someone’s said something similar to what I’m saying? I will word things differently. And I will reach a different audience.

And how often do we hear the same thing over and over, but it’s the repetition that finally makes it stick for someone?

Or someone words it JUST the way we needed to read it/hear it at that moment… it spoke to us in a language or tone that really jives with us.

And maybe it’s not even about being repetitious. Maybe it’s just, “hey, that person lives a very different lifestyle. They do things very differently.” Maybe that different perspective and view would be helpful, insightful, or encouraging to someone else.

Anyways, no longer am I going to let fear dictate my actions. Even if I’m not the best or most eloquent writer… that’s OK. I know with my words that I have stuff to contribute to society.

So what about you? Is there anything that you’re hesitant to do or start? Are you stopped in your tracks with self-doubt? Do you hear voices that say “I’m not good enough”… “would people even be interested in what I could contribute?”… “other people are already doing this/what I have to give isn’t anything new”… “would I even get followers/viewers?”… “I could never ______”… “who am I to do _______?”… “what I want to be and do is so big but I’m so small/I’m just a _______”…

Stop it! Just stop listening to those voices! Don’t give them anymore space in your brain!

What you think eventually becomes action (or inaction). Scripture says multiple times to guard your mind and heart and to only think on things that are lovely, excellent, praiseworthy, and right. We now have the science to understand that our thoughts can actually change our brains, cells, and genes. The brain/body connection is something I’ve been getting into lately and it’s an absolutely fascinating read! We’ve only begun to scratch the surface on how powerful the human brain is. But God knows because He created it. And He knows that what we think is ridiculously powerful– so guard it. What we think dictates what we do. Think right–> do right.

Let’s start taking charge of our thinking right now, today! Believe that God wants us to live fearlessly and fully for Him. He imparts upon us dreams and drives and passions. Certain things will energize us. Each of us has a unique take. A special creative spark is ours and ours alone and God desperately wants you to share it with the world. He made you for a plan and a purpose. Don’t miss out on it because of fear. Tell fear where to stuff it.

Do something today, even if it’s ever so small, to step out in faith and begin pursuing your passions and desires. God gave them to you for a reason. They’re yours alone. Let’s be faithful and use our gifts and talents for the Lord. He’s rooting for us.

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Live fully alive! Live awakened.

 

#livefullyalive   #fullyalive   #liveawakened   #stepintoyourfreedom   #useyourGodgivenpassion    #thinkright   #thinkpositively   #stepoutinfaith   #bebold   #befearless   #whyNOTyou

 

Your Love Awakens Me

This past January, my family and I began attending a new church in our community. One of the very first songs we learned was “Your Love Awakens Me” by Phil Wickam. You can listen to it here:

With as many times as I’ve heard and sung this song, I still love it. In fact, this past Sunday they sang it again and the church totally rocked it.

I think I’ll always love it.

One line from this song really stands out to me: Your love awakens me.

When we can begin to really grasp the width and breadth and depth of LOVE God has for us… when we finally realize that He is FOR us (and always have been)… when we can finally see He’s our biggest fan and wants the absolute best for us (He’s got plans to prosper us… to give us a hope and a future)… and when we can finally wrap our minds around the truth that any and all condemnation that was once on us because of sin was completely taken away at the moment of salvation…

… in a very real sense, we have been awakened

Walls between us and God are broken.
We’re no longer bound by the chains of sin.
We’re covered in grace and LOVE.
We’re brought out of the darkness and into the light.
We’re fully alive (abundantly… eternally).
Death has been conquered for us.

In a word, we are free.

So as believers in Christ, let’s live FREE and FULLY ALIVE!

Live Awakened.  Live fully alive.

#Yourloveawakens   #liveawakened   #Godsloveforus   #nomorecondemnation   #livefullyalive    #freedom   #livefree

Chocolate

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I love this quote.

But upon further thinking… I realized something: with as awesome as chocolate is, there are still people out there that *don’t* like it. How? I have absolutely no idea. But they do exist.

So, if not everyone likes chocolate, or are at least “meh” about it, then you can be *guaranteed* that there will be people out there that don’t like you or are at least “meh” about your existence (for absolutely no understandable reason).

And that’s OK.

We were not placed on this earth to please people! We will die inside trying. We will fail in our attempts. We will miss out on the full and abundant life that God has for us on this planet. We will lose so much of our time and energy with this useless/impossible/futile pursuit. We will waste our potential. We will not be truly benefiting society with our skills and talents and abilities.

We will not be true to who we really are…
We will lose ourselves…
We’ll only be left feeling frustration, anger, resentment, and disillusionment…

Just be the *flavor* you are! Not everyone will like it. But some will. Many will, actually. Be who you were created to be. Focus on pleasing *God* instead. Pursue your dreams and passions. Do your thing. BE YOU.

Live awakened.  Live fully alive.

Do It Scared

For my birthday this year, my bestie got me this flamingo journal. (She totally knows me!) I’ve officially turned it into my “Do It Scared” record book.

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Each day lately, I’ve been striving to do at least (1) thing that is scary or butterfly-in-the-tummy inducing. Not enough to send me into panic attacks. But just enough to say “this makes me uncomfortable”.

I’ve become convinced that living “fully alive” actually means living outside our comfort zones.

Sure our comfort zones allot us some amount of peace. We know what to expect. We can let our hair down, so to speak. We can rest. We can be totally ourselves.

But the minute you really put yourself out there and do the things that are energizing and exciting and dream-fulfilling and passion-pursuing… you oftentimes just stepped out of your comfort zone. And sometimes it’s frightening and can even feel kinda yucky (esp if you’re not used to it).

But that’s where the “good stuff” is. When you allow yourself to be stretched (even if just a little) and you do something new that you’ve never done before… or do something you’re not good at (yet).

If it thrills you but excites you both at the same time, you should really try doing it.

Start small. You don’t need to move mountains at first. Just talk to that new person… make that phone call… apply for that job… start that blog… fill out that application… try that new place out… sign up for that class…

God promises us life, life abundant. Don’t let fear stand in the way from you fulfilling the life you were created for.

Live awakened.  Live fully alive.

#fearless  #livefullyalive   #abundantlife   #stepoutsideyourcomfortzone
#dosomethingnew   #bebold   #beyou   #doitscared   #youhaveapurpose