When the Shift Hits The Fan!
This blog piece is from a podcast I recorded in March of 2020. At the time, it seemed that there was already commotion in the air in many different areas of life. I could not put my finger on it, but when I began to write, this is what came out. My hope of reiterating it all is that we can see that 2020 hindsight can bring more to light or confirm what we felt and how we have decided to move forward. I do geek out on a lot of things, but always remember to have fun and find joy in the process!!
You were designed to be whole in spirit, heart, mind, and body. You already have everything you need in your spirit to live a good life, and are divinely inspired to become all you are capable of being. Most of the time, you just need to slow down enough to listen in your heart.
Before this catastrophe of the COVID19 Coronavirus debilitated the entire world, there were already signs of breakdown. The political and social scenes have been a debacle with people acting more like barbarians than civilized humans. The world was somehow bound to reach a pinnacle of disintegration. It was just a matter of time, but I’m sure no one expected to be stopped in our tracks by a wicked disease. Actual facts have been pretty obscure concerning this worldwide disaster and how it might play out. Even the CDC guidelines didn’t qualify the situation as a pandemic, although fear took over so many people’s lives. Was it a pandemic or a plandemic? All that aside, I believe that it’s not too difficult to begin seeing some good, some inspiration, some helpers and some heroes in the midst of it, just as in any difficulty or crisis.
Opinions and criticism on all sides are beginning to sound boorish, but a proactive response to lockdown at home seems like it could bring out some good in people and in each of our lives as a whole.
Let me begin with my little part of the world. Halfway through 2019, one domino fell. Then, it seemed as if almost every other week there was another blockage in forward motion. It was as if each domino had barely touched another one so it didn’t fall right away but would eventually tumble and tap another one on the way down.
I usually have a good attitude since life is just that way sometimes. Although, after a few months of this, it became boring to keep putting out fires, and most troubling when I did not have time or energy to work on the next steps to my future. I could not figure out what was up as one thing after another would have a negative effect on a different aspect of my life.
Owning My Journey
One day in January, I decided enough was enough and took a few hours to meditate and contemplate where I was and how I might have played a part in what was going on. Suddenly, it came to me!
Several years ago, I read about the Prayer of Jabez and decided to incorporate it into my life. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s a place in the book of Chronicles, in the middle of a plethora of lists of family names. (1 Chronicles 4:9-10 New Living Translation (NLT)
In the name list of one family, this one sentence story is told.
It says: There was a man named Jabez who was more honorable than any of his brothers. His mother named him Jabez because his birth had been so painful. (It seems that his name was related to him causing pain during childbirth. I cannot even imagine how badly he would have been teased growing up)
The story goes on to say that he was the one who prayed to the God of Israel, saying, “Oh, that you would bless me and expand my territory! Please be with me in all that I do and keep me from all trouble and pain!”
One version says to widen my tent pegs, and another says, “so that I don’t cause pain”.
This seemed like a good prayer to pray a couple of times a week. It became part of a daily habit.
I mention it because I realized what had begun to happen was my territory was about to expand. I have no idea how it will eventually look, but I do know that when territory lines change and when tent pegs are moved, things shift. When things shift, anything is possible. Items fall by the wayside, some break, some are forgotten or left behind. It really is just very messy. A larger tent or area of influence would require larger tent pegs and longer ropes. The old needs to be replaced with the new and the new needs to be stronger than the old. There are times when you need to leave situations, things, and people behind. You also need to be ready to move and grow, to create a void by prioritizing your assets and leave an open space, so that your character is strengthened, and you are better able to take on tasks with higher vibrations. It’s not often easy, in fact an introverted empath like me would naturally be happier with the status quo. At a time such as this, that’s not a good option as only changing oneself and your immediate environment will welcome growth and improvement. After all, part of that expansion in my mind was a quantum leap into success.
It was clear the desires of this prayer were being answered in my life, but it took intentional seeking to see how everything fit together. Clearing out what no longer serves a purpose is not usually pleasant or comfortable. You might experience a feud between what you have been doing and what you know is right. Sometimes doing the harder thing is the only right answer. The pain of the situation might make you react badly or fall into unsavory habits. That is the very time you need to lean into the discomfort and embrace it as part of who you are, then consciously make a completely different choice to be brave, take a step of faith … you know, the only step you can see, right in front of you, not really knowing what comes next, but trusting that everything up to this moment has been preparing you for something new, a life bigger than the current way you’ve been living.
Expansion of your territory might mean expanding your reach, your impact, or influence. Whatever the significance might be for you, know that you have been or are being prepared to handle what will come next. You already have what you need in your spirit. This is the adventure of life, always learning, always growing. You are never too young or too old, too this, or too that. You are also not a victim of circumstance; you always have a choice. Things happen and your feelings are valid, but your choice can always include being grateful and graceful, leaving fear behind, and choosing to savor each morsel of life, living fully in each moment.
Life shifts will happen, sometimes it doesn’t seem like it’s what you’re looking for or expecting. The peculiar thing is that it might be exactly what you need to make you brave enough to make the next big move.
I can honestly say that I don’t necessarily like everything I’ve had to embrace or feel good about what I’ve had to let go. It has definitely given me some disrupting challenges to work out and some heart ache. However, the choices I make are what determine the direction and quality of what my life will become. I am the only one responsible for those choices.
Changing Daily Habits
To correlate the expansion and shift I face as an individual with that which we all share on this planet in these strange and unsettling days, let’s begin to think, speak, and act differently than we’ve done in the past. Hard situations that lead to hard measures are just that … hard, but it is what builds character and strength. Complaining, whining, and arguing rather than discussing and listening with your heart are what lead to separation, isolation, and apathy. These are weaknesses that dampen who you truly are. It’s like trying to keep a new large tent down with worn out small tent pegs and short ropes that don’t even reach.
Our world was in dire need of a major shift. Look for and focus on the good in the situation, in each person with whom you are locked down, and in yourself. We were not made to be self-absorbed, but to be builders of community. That only happens when we serve each other by adding value to each other, by making each relationship and situation better each day than it was the day before. At times like these, it is important to stop and back away from a situation so that you can listen and respond with your heart.
Here are some ways to do that in any urgent situation:
Accept yourself for who you are, you only know what you know in this moment and that’s ok. It’s the same for everyone around you. It’s ok to feel your feelings about what’s happening, embrace them. Know that you also have strengths and capacity to rise above all fear.
Take care of yourself, take care of your family. Do what you need to do without acting from fear, without taking more than you need, but be reasonable and make sure what you do is sufficient.
As soon as things settle down enough, connect with family, friends, and neighbors to make sure they are alright, ask if they need anything and then help where you are able.
Find ways to keep peace within yourself. Any good leader, whether of a family, classroom, business or anywhere else, must have a way to keep calm. Do not deny your feelings, keep them in perspective so that you’re fueling others to only have the same peace until things change.
A Bigger Picture
Look within, but also remember you are part of an entire universe and there is a Divine Life Source, God, someone bigger than each of us. Most of this is just what works for day to day living anyway, it is mostly about being more vigilant and dedicated. Know your priorities and act in love generously.
Do not see this time as a time of defeat, despite how it feels. It is ok to have some degree of apprehension, but don’t let it keep you from making some forward motion. Find time to access your imagination and creativity. It’s actually a great time to revisit your plan, including your plan for life.
We are in this human pursuit together and if we all do our part responsibly, we will all come out the other side intact, having learned and improved in areas of our lives and added to those around us. I am very excited to see the outcome of those of us who use this time to rise above and cultivate transformation of who we are. I would love to hear what you’re doing and your results.
As always, Onward and upward, my friends!