I am so excited because today I begin a new weekly series called, “A Lesson In…”
This is going to be an ongoing series designed to support you in your GROWTH.
Having fallen into the title of being a “Growth Coach,” I have come to learn firsthand how important growth is.
It’s also one of my greatest values.
Most say: “If I’m you’re not growing, you’re dying” and yes, that is true, but here’s WHY you’re dying…
Because if you’re not growing, you’re staying in the land of comfortability, which is the enemy of progress (thank you very much Greatest Showman). I’ll say it again, if you’re not growing, you’re staying comfortable.
What’s wrong with being comfortable? Well, nothing unless you want to get what you’ve always got, have what you’ve always had, and do what you’ve always done. Cuz that sounds lovely…
Nothing you want lives in the land of comfortability. Sure, we might feel safe, secure, and stable but that is the beginning of the end. We begin to put so much attention on staying comfortable, being safe, secure, and stable that we are lacking true meaning, success, and enlightenment. Which is why we’re depressed, depleted, and lacking in motivation. It’s why we’re constantly worried, stressed out, fearful, doubtful, and afraid. Why? Because we are so ME – focused. We are so focused on keeping ourselves safe, secure, and stable that we only have eyes for me, myself, and I and that keeps us in scarcity…. And all of a sudden, there’s not enough, there will never be enough, there’s never been enough, and boom, in walks STRESS.
Which means, if you’re not growing, you’re likely stressing out. And let’s be honest, stress does WEIRD stuff to us. It pushes us to retreat, to seek answers in the bottom of a bottle, in outside sources, in news, the media, social media, and we begin to frantically find the answers “out there.” Stress than creates anxiety, more fear, worry and doubt and then we blame our stress on external factors.
All because we weren’t growing. This is why growth is so important!!
So looping it back together, yes, if you’re not growing, you’re dying.
And lets be honest, the world doesn’t need more dead people… it needs more ALIVE people, AWAKE and ALERT and ALIGNED. We need more people living bold, living clear, and unapologetically chasing their dreams.
So how do we grow?
If growth keeps us alive and living alive helps us accomplish our dreams, then how do we grow?
- We learn.
- We apply.
Information without application is empty.
But applied information is where the magic is!
Hence why I’m doing this new series, “A Lesson In…”
In my short, but rich life’s experience, I have learned two things:
- There is a lesson in everything. Everything. God is teaching us all things in everything. IF we are paying attention.
- We will continue to circle the lesson until we learn it, until we apply it. That’s why the girl keeps saying, “I always date the bad guy.” Or the guy finds himself saying, “I can never get ahead.” Why? Is it because all guys are bad? No. Is it because there is no way to get ahead in this life? No. It’s because the lesson being presented isn’t being learned.
So every week, in all things we are going to LEARN LESSONS so we can APPLY LESSONS so we can GROW and become the person God designed us to be.
And I think in times like these, there are lessons everywhere. COVID has provided an INSANE OPPORTUNITY, yes I said it, INSANE OPPORTUNITY to learn so much. We’re learning about our fears, our misaligned priorities, we are learning about where we put our trust, where we put our faith, we are learning about mental health, the family unit, we are learning about health and how to heal our bodies, we are learning how to be resilient… there are so many lessons IF we are willing. IF WE ARE WILLING…
Because truth be told, lessons are everywhere, it’s more about, do we want to learn it so we can apply it?
So here we are, Lesson #1: A Lesson in Willingness.
The Bible says, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21
Do you know what “treasure” means?
It means your attention.
That’s literally what it means in this scripture. It might as well read, wherever your focus is, there your heart will be also… wherever your attention is, there your heart will be also.
What has your focus?
What has your attention?
The news? Social media? What your neighbor has? What you used to have? Your fear, worry, doubt?
What has your focus? What has your attention? What has your treasure? Cuz guess what? It has your heart!
And whatever has your heart, has your life. “From the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.” Luke 6:45
That’s HUGE. This is huge you guys.
Your life’s results are a result of where your heart is at and your heart is at where your focus and attention are, it’s where your thoughts are at.
That means, whatever has your attention has your life.
So that creates the question, what gets your attention?
Generally, whatever is loudest. And let’s face it, our world is loud! Very loud. In these times, it’s loud, very freaking loud, but if we’re honest, it was loud before too. Yet, we’re scrambling to know what to do next. We’re scrambling to figure out where to go and how to get there but I’m wondering if we’re willing to do what needs to be done to actually head and to find our greatest answer.
So perhaps it’s not about knowing but rather be willing to know.
Are you willing to hear?
Are you willing to know?
Are you willing to obey?
Because in the Bible there are countless scriptures that proves after knowing comes obedience. After insight, action. After identifying the answers comes doing something with the answer. It’s hearing and then taking steps of faith. It’s finding Him and obeying Him. But that’s hard. Getting still in a loud world and then obeying His path and His leading takes faith and those are both hard.
But if we want the answer, a better life, our circumstances to change, we can’t keep doing what we’ve always done so we have to get quiet and we have to be obedient, but this all begins with WILLINGNESS.
“Keep this book of Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” Joshua 1:8
Meditate means to empty the mind (thoughts) so ultimately your heart can speak. It’s allowing us to empty ourselves (our fear, worry, doubt, mind chatter) so God can speak and be heard. It’s about getting out of our own thoughts, literally shutting off the prefrontal cortex of our brain (which meditation does), and allowing you to concentrate, think deeply (FOCUS) on God’s truth. Why? Because He’s gonna speak. He will show up. I don’t doubt that. I’m just wondering:
- If you’re willing to actually get quiet,
- If you’re willing to obey…
Because in my experience, when God speaks, His truth will BLOW YOUR MIND. When He speaks, it’s going to be different than what you thought. It’s going to lead you out of your comfort zone. It’s going to be counter – culture to your life. It’s going to be different, subtle, simple. #simplestupidhard
And, it’s going to require faith.
“Faith is the SUBSTANCE of things hoped for (heard), the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1
- Do you see that word? SUBSTANCE! That literally means “physical matter; solid presence.” This is legit you guys. Why? Because when God speaks, it is PHYSICAL. It shifts the atmosphere. It is a solid presence.
This will require us then to take action, to live accountable to what we heard. Not accountable to someone else, not our cousin’s, sisters, boyfriend, not to fear, worry or doubt, but to Him and what you heard! It requires willingness and then obedience.
So here’s the lesson…
Do you want clarity?
Do you want to thrive? Do you want to know what to do next in any area of your life?
Then you have go to put your attention and your focus on the right things, place, stuff, thing… on HIM! Let it seep down deep into your heart so when you look up at the world around you and see chaos, you can go back within you, within the words He’s given you and simply say YES (willingness).
Despite what you see, are you willing?
Despite what you feel, are you willing?
This is a practice. Meditation is a practice. Willingness is a practice. Some say meditation is a way “to train your attention and awareness.”
You have to train your attention.
You have to train your focus.
You have to train your awareness.
You have to train yourself.
You’ve trained yourself to watch the news, social media, to listen to everybody else which means, you can train yourself to listen to you, to listen to God, to listen to that still small voice that will not compete with the loud.
“But Julia, my doubt is loud. People around me are super opinionated. The news. COVID.”
You have to train yourself to put your attention somewhere else. It’s likely not going to come easy my friend. But what’s the alternative? Keep doing what you’ve always done? Why, so you can get what you’ve always got?
No thank you.
When you get quiet, when you train yourself to be willing, God will speak to you. Ideas will come. Answers. Innovation. It will come and my question is this, will you DO SOMETHING WITH IT?
So today, what’s the lesson? Be willing.
Learn to say YES to the still quiet place. Say YES to surrendering and accepting things for what they are. Be willing to let go of control and be willing to hear. Willing to know. And willing to do something about it so that “you can be prosperous and successful.”
Subscribe and tune in EVERY WEEK for “A Lesson In…”
And don’t forget, pass this along to someone else who needs some support in this crazy ride we call life.