This past month was a blur. It sped through filled with wonderful things. My calendar was more like a puzzle that needed pieced together just so for it to end as a work of art, otherwise it would’ve been a jumbled bunch of chaotic stress.
Thankfully I knew that before it started. I could feel the momentum and sensed the coming month had potential to be packed. If I wasn’t careful I knew it would get the best of me.
The reality is that I like wonderful things – time with friends, new work projects, teaching more classes, leading others, and on and on. And I’ll take a guess at saying many many other people feel the same way. Enjoying great things is a great thing.
But in our fast paced world, I also think a lot of us have learned the truth that too much of a good thing will always be too much. If we are not careful, our lives will be filled with yeses to everything that comes our way leaving us feeling stretched too far and wondering why that happened or why we are doing any of it in the first place.
So before this season began, I gratefully sat down with a friend who reminded me of the importance of creating a vision. Here she shared her own world and how the season ahead of her deserved a vision so she could live it with health and valor. Right away my eye brightened. I knew I would be creating a vision for my upcoming month. Picking a season, a length of time and asking: What matters to me? What brings me life? What makes me depleted? What will need to be done and what can wait? And creating a path from those answers so my season too could be lived with grace, peace and joy.
With that vision in mind, I could craft my life in a way that led to more life. To feeling rested and known despite a loaded schedule, feeling prepared and excited for work and leading despite a calendar with little room. Because we all know this verse to be undeniably true:
Without a vision toward health, we will always choose the cake, the latte, the decadent right in front of us – especially when we are tired or in need…starving. Without a vision toward completing what matters, we always choose the new friend invite, the extra phone call, the TV show at our finger tips. Without a vision, we choose social engagements that keep us “connected” but unknown and under-encouraged. Without a financial vision, we’ll choose one more outing, one more pair of shoes, one more latte on the way to work. Without a vision toward feeling rested I know I will all too easy choose one more app, one more social feed, one more chapter in book, one more snack, one more late night phone call.
Yet before we know it, we are over weight, over stretched, over spent, under slept, under nourished, frazzled and in need of a lot of things to replenish us and bring us home again to our healthiest space.
If you’re like me, if you love wonderful things, or if this season ahead involves something new for you – how can you pause, take a moment and ask yourself “What things matter and what things don’t?” “What would be helpful to focus on and what could wait until a later date?” You’ll know the right questions to ask. Your healthiest moments and what composed them will whisper them to you.
I can tell you now from experience, this is not easy. It will be hard to say for a length of tim “No thanks. That would be really nice but, I can’t right now.” to kind invites, to fun junk food/spending/entertainment, to stimulation over sleep and rest.
What I can also tell you is it will be worth it. Your season will end, you may need a new vision for the next small length of time that’s arising, but you will be grateful for having the nourishment you needed to face the new day and to feel sane despite the swirl of activity around you.
It’s up to you now. Will you join me in visioning? Will you continually pause when you feel depleted and ask “What do I need? Where can I focus? How can I stay alive and well in this moment/day/week/month/season….life?”
May we all find grace, peace & joy anew.
Extra Musings and Random Thoughts
Pic above is from waiting for the train to Philly a few Fridays ago to see Bear’s Den at Free at Noon at WXPN. My dad and I took this trip and it was 100% worth it. Bear’s Den was incredible and I loved each moment with my dad. If you’re a music junkie, 1. check out Bear’s Den! and 2. if you’re in the area, taking the train to The World Cafe for Free at Noon concerts and grabbing a bite at Sabrina’s Cafe is such a great way to spend a Friday.
So much great music this past month I haven’t streamlined the playlist yet – but here’s solid listening for your October.
Just finished the book Mindset by Carol Dweck. Very good read. She poses research and the concept of either having a fixed or growth mindset. Good book to help you see how you and others can learn to grow in life, health, relationships and not be afraid to fail.
Had the great privilege of seeing Mike McHargue in person at my alma-mater Eastern University. I got to travel with two loved ones to hear him speak on faith and doubt. Ever since hearing him on the RELEVANT Podcast months ago now I’ve fallen in love with his humble, contemplative, faith-filled heart. He’s incredibly intelligent and yet able to articulate his faith in Christ. His compassion is so deeply refreshing. I highly recommend checking out his podcast and read his new book (can’t wait to jump deep into my copy!).
As always – thank you for reading!