Grace

I found this poem, Letting Go, by an unknown author in Pastor Charles “Chuck” Swindoll’s book, The Grace Awakening.

It’s become my favorite new thing because saying grace is easy … LIVING grace is hard.

“To let go doesn’t mean to stop caring,
it means I can’t do it for someone else.
To let go is not to cut myself off,
it’s the realization that I can’t control another.
To let go is not to enable,
but to allow learning from natural consequences.
To let go is to admit powerlessness,
which means the outcome is not in my hands.
To let go is not to try to change or blame another,
I can only change myself.
To let go is not to care for,
but to care about.
To let go is not to fix,
but to be supportive.
To let go is not to judge,
but to allow another to be a human being.
To let go is not to be in the middle arranging all the outcomes,
but to allow others to affect their own outcomes.
To let go is not to be protective;
it is to permit another to face reality.
To let go is not to deny,
but to accept.
To let go is not to nag, scold or argue,
but to search out my own shortcomings and to correct them.
To let go is not to adjust everything to my desires,
but to take each day as it comes.
To let go is not to criticize and regulate anyone,
but to try to become what I dream I can be.
To let go is not to regret the past,
but to grow and live for the future.
To let go is to fear less and love more!”

Inhale Love, Exhale Fear…
Inhale Acceptance, Exhale Denial…
Inhale Powerlessness, Exhale Control…
Just Breathe…

#JustBreathe
#Grace

Change

The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn” ~Alvin Toffler.

The rate of change in the world is has gotten exponentially faster with the potential to leave us in perpetual confusion! Author Alvin Toffler described this phenomenon as Future Shock but the way to counter any shock to our systems is to embrace change from a place of stability.

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.” Mathew 7:24-25 NIV

Inhale Change, Exhale Instability…
Inhale Diversity, Exhale Uniformity…
Inhale Renewal, Exhale Stagnation…
Just Breathe…

#JustBreathe
#Transformation

Renewal

Our cells are renewing daily; if they weren’t, we would die. If we are not also growing spiritually, mentally, and emotionally, we might as well BE dead. We have to develop our spiritual muscles through prayer, meditation and study, exercise our emotional muscles by being present in our relationships and just like we would our biceps or pectoral muscles, flex our mental muscles through exposure to new information.

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12: 2 ESVbook-912724_640

Inhale Growth, Exhale Regression…
Inhale Labor, Exhale Laziness…
Inhale Production, Exhale Decline…
Just Breathe…

#JustBreathe

Break With to Break OUT!

Moving toward a desired destination sometimes requires severing ties with habits, behavior and people we were previously associated with and connected to. But the discomfort and pain is temporary as long as we keep moving forward.

It’s when we get stuck in the pain that a break with can lead to a break down instead of a BREAK OUT! Process, but don’t wallow in the pain. Keep it moving.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” 2 Corinthians 5:17, NIV

Inhale Break With, Exhale Discomfort…
Inhale Break Through, Exhale Pain…
Inhale Break Out, Exhale Breakdown …
Just Breathe…

#JustBreathe

Decision Making Secrets … from Sequence!

I played the board game Sequence for the first time over the holidays. I know it’s been around for a while but our family usually plays Bid Whist so it was new to me. If you’ve played the game, you know it can be kind of slow…unless you have trash talking Bid Whist players at the table! If you haven’t played, the object of the game is to place 5 poker chips on a board in sequence based on the cards in your hand.

It was a great demonstration of how people make decisions. Some spent (what seemed to me) an interminable amount of time pouring over the board, looking at their hand, back at the board…I kept suggesting we incorporate a timer!

Others seemed to go with their gut… or maybe they had a predetermined plan. But most players took their time to make the best decision.

Why people make the decisions they make was also on full display. Those motivated by a sense of competition were of course significantly more vocal than those who just like to perform well.

I’m a pretty quick decision maker so once I picked up the basics, I was off to the races … when I finally got a turn. But I missed at least one opportunity to win the game for my team because I was so focused on MY plan to Sequence, I didn’t see it

Isn’t that how it is with leadership? You see an opportunity, formulate a great plan but fail to get a win for your organization because things have changed by the time you’re ready to execute. I was reminded of three keys to executing a plan of action that I learned in the Air Force.

Make sure your execution plan is flexible enough to react to new realities.

At one point in the game, I was so busy fending off efforts to block the sequence I was trying to create in one corner that I missed a chance to complete a sequence on another part of the board!

A plan is a great way to help you focus your vision but don’t let your plan turn into blinders that prevent you from seeing what else is going on. Circumstances change; make sure your plan is a springboard not a concrete block!

Communication is key to executing your plan.

In Sequence, team members CAN’T talk to each other; in business, they often choose not to. But the beauty of a team is the diversity of perspectives. So first, make sure your team is as diverse as you can make it to include gender, race, age, strengths, experience, etc.; second, make sure you are creating space for all member to point out the pitfalls of your plan as well as protect it to mission accomplishment.

Sometimes to see the perspective of the other person, you have to sit where they are sitting, be where they are or trust them to make the decision.

I realized that I was missing possible sequences primarily in one corner of the board. That’s because from where I was sitting, they didn’t look like sequences. I had to rotate the board and look at it from all angles to see ALL the possibilities.

Your reality is really your perspective; your team members may have different perspectives. Simply communicating conflicting realities may not result in understanding; sometimes intense interrogation and even immersion in information that is unfamiliar is required. But getting all the information available to determine the best possible action is worth the discomfort.

Good leaders are able to articulate a vision and plan of execution that attracts those who see themselves contributing to the vision. Great leaders invite their team members to expand the vision and create the best action plan.

Renita Alexander, Leadership Unlocked

Authenticity

People treat us the way they see us treat ourselves.

If we respectfully reject disrespectful behavior aimed in our direction, our action conveys a sense of self, maybe even an inward calm.

If we are comfortable asking for what we want and consistent in our refusal to accept less, we will attract more of what we desire.

There is a risk in demanding what you desire, what you deserve. It could mean you loose what you have. But it could also mean you get what you want.

And isn’t it better to be without, than to settle for less than what you really want?

The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.” ~ Joseph Campbell

Inhale Awareness, Exhale Disregard…
Inhale Authenticity, Exhale Safety…
Inhale Acceptance, Exhale Detachment…
Just Breathe…

#JustBreathe
#Authenticity

Energy

What you take in from the world can influence what you put out into the world. When you take in negativity, you will spew anger, frustration and fear. When you take in positivity, you will send waves of love to everyone you encounter.

Be intentional about what you watch.
Be deliberate in choosing whom you listen to.
Be conscious about what you put in your body.

And even if you accidently encounter negativity energy, YOU get to choose how you respond. Choose positivity.

How you experience everything is up to you. Your reactions need not be automatic or similar to ones you have had before… ~Neale Donald Walsch

Inhale Positivity, Exhale Negativity…
Inhale Intentionality, Exhale Accidentally…
Inhale Deliberate Response, Exhale Unconscious Reaction…
Just Breathe…

#JustBreathe
#Energy

Resistance

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” Newton’s Third Law of Motion

There will be resistance. You’ll wake up from a dream that felt real, see the vision clearly, feel the knowing intently and immediately the voice in your head will demand to know “Who. Are. You. … to think you can do this?”

It will be so loud, you’ll think it’s someone else and perhaps it WAS someone else…but you’ve internalized the voice, and now believe the thought and you’re thinking it so loud it sounds like someone is speaking.

The way to quiet the voice is to feel the fear, face the fear and pursue the dream in spite of the fear.

For every dream, there is resistance.” ~ Steven Pressfield

Inhale Action, Exhale Inaction…
Inhale Movement, Exhale Obstacles…
Inhale Assistance, Exhale Resistance…
Just Breathe…

#JustBreathe
#Dreams

Perfection

Sometimes the fear that keeps us from pursuing our purpose is hidden under the guise of a quest for perfection. But God doesn’t require us to be perfect to start our journey to purpose, He only requires us to be committed to His call on our lives.

Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Galatians 1:10, NIV

Inhale Commitment, Exhale Perfection…
Inhale Compliance, Exhale Perfection…
Inhale Creation, Exhale Perfection…
Just Breathe…

#JustBreathe
#Fear

Fear

Our fear keeps us from so much that is promised to us! But if we can believe that God loves us, wants the best for us and is for us 100 percent of the time, what is there to fear?

”For God does not give us a Spirit of fear, but of power and love and self-control.” 2 Timothy 1:7 NET

Inhale Love, Exhale Fear…
Inhale Faith, Exhale Fear…
Inhale Belief, Exhale Fear…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe

Image by Gerd Altmann, Pixabay