Every other week when I sit down to write this column I brainstorm a list of what I hope will be most meaningful to my readers. What will make a difference? Can I encourage someone, provide comfort for someone or just make someone laugh with me?
But really, I don’t have to work at this very hard. I look for common denominators in my life in the weeks surrounding and share my stories. I’m so honored that so many of you are finding value in it.
Last week I celebrated my 48th year of life and continue to seek out different ways to do it better. I want to live my best life and during the past week I’ve had three themes that just keep showing up in my learning and thinking. (I’m not a detective, but even where I come from “that’s a clue.”)
The first idea that I have encountered repeatedly is “You need to take care of yourself first.” It’s not a new concept to me, but one that I frequently ignore. There is a reason that the flight attendant tells you to use your mask before helping anyone else.
If you are not cared for physical, mentally and emotionally, you can’t help those that might need it. I’m learning that “care” means loving yourself and self-affirmations on the bathroom mirror. Feeding yourself good, healthy foods. Getting enough rest, sunshine and exercise.
Saying “no, I’m sorry I can’t help you” is perhaps the one that I will struggle with as much as giving up my daily Dr. Pepper.
But I’m all in! I am committed to changing in hope that it will help me live my best life. As someone just asked me “Are you the chicken or the pig in your egg and bacon breakfast? The chicken is involved, but the pig is totally committed.”
The other concept that keeps showing up is passion and purpose. I’ve been reading a book called “100 Days to Brave” by Annie Downs. I’m reading it because despite how brave I may seem, I’m really not at all and I need to be brave to make the changes in my life to live my best life.
On day 32, Downs wrote about the difference between a dream and a calling. “Dreams are different from your calling. Your calling is sure and strong. Your calling, the thing that God has placed in you for the good of the planet and the good of your heart, isn’t going anywhere. … where your burdens and your talents collide.”
“God’s gifts and God’s call are under full warranty – never canceled, never rescinded.” Romans 11:29
I am more than happy to follow what I believe is my calling, “if” and there are a thousand or more “ifs," but mostly it boils down to “will my calling provide a paycheck?"
Just today I heard “Go where your passion is and the money will follow.” So I’m going to continue to work on being brave and not dilute my calling.
The final thing that keeps showing up is the idea that “we need to let our light shine so other people can see it.”
In church on Sunday, Pastor said “We can change ourselves or add fluff to make us appear better, but we are the same people. Historically the church has been secretive and nothing attractive, but the church grew because of the light that shown. We need to let our purpose, our light shine to continue to grow.”
What are the themes in your life saying to you? Are you committed to “the best life?”