Waiting for the wave

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAScrolling through the posts on the blog, you will notice long gaps between entries.  I had two false starts to launch the blog and disappeared off-line for long spells.  And yet I have never lost the drive to explore this subject with you. It matters too much to me.

The trouble is that the more I explored what having life to the full was all about, the more I realised what a huge challenge I was taking on, and the less I felt equipped to take on the task. Fear is not a generative emotion. I knew I needed a mentor but I didn’t know who to ask.

The most helpful comment came from a friend whose opinion I trust. “Maybe you are simply waiting for the wave” he mused.  His surfing metaphor became an aha moment. I have been standing on the edge, pumped up and longing to get going, but powerless until the wave comes.  The wave that brings energy, order and direction to my cluttered thinking. Waiting and preparing became exciting.

The wave came in the form of a group of women who write. Individual, creative, inspiring and beautiful women. Each with a story to tell, challenges they live with and a heart to share together. Their energy and support has launched me into the wind. You will meet them along the way.

“My time is not yet here”, said Jesus, when his brothers encouraged him to go public with his ministry. The word he used was kairos which means the right moment or season. He did not respond to pressure from other people’s perspective. Nor did he take matters into his own hands to manipulate and outcome. His attention was on a bigger picture which gave him inspiration to prepare and courage to wait for the season to arrive.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens

Within the waiting there is a challenge to prepare and be ready when the wave arrives.

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The magic that is us

Have you ever thought about how unique you are?

Think of this – when you were conceived a random one of  around 35.000 eggs in your mother’s ovary was fertilised by a random one of up to 300 million sperm. The chance of their being another person exactly like you is so small it is negligible.  You are unique!  Now that feels special.

But we are more than unique, we are amazing.  I have watched babies being born and given birth to my own children. Seeing a tiny new body appear is an awesome and tender moment.  But when the baby takes its first breath and cries the moment becomes magical.  A new life has begun.

Understanding the marvel and the magic that is us is key to living our best life. Here is an inspiring glimpse into the excitement of a mathematical modeller as he discovered how technology gave him a window into the magic that is us.

Embrace who you are

Here is a treasure worth sharing.  It is about letting go of who you think you are supposed to be and embracing who you are.

Brene Brown is a research professor at University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. She works to make sense of the messiness that is life, tackling the dark emotions that get in the way of leading a full life.

Whole-hearted

Every day we are barraged with images and messages telling us who, how and what we should be. We are sold the lie that perfection is both necessary and achievable. As we believe the message we also take on board the shadow side of fear, disappointment and shame. Those who are protected have learned to be wholehearted – to have a strong sense of their own worth.

Brene Brown is a great storyteller.  She makes her 10 years of research accessible to us by sharing her own struggles in coming to terms personally with what she discovered.  It changed the way she lives, loves, works and parents.

Listen to her speaking on the power of vulnerability. Her talk lasts for 20 minutes. Give yourself time to hear what she has to say. This is a treat you should not miss.

One of the many take home messages is that we find the most joy in the ordinary moments of life. She encourages us to honour what is ordinary in our lives because that is what is extraordinary.

And the power of the ordinary is that by embracing joy and love with gratitude, we fill our reservoirs with what we need when hard things happen.

Try having a day of gratitude today as you notice all the ordinary moments that give your life meaning. Fill up your reservoir, embrace who you are, and let me know how you get on.

A letter to God

What would you do if you were given 10 minutes to write a letter to God? No time to re-draft, or put it off until another day. You must do it now.

You can write anything you want, but you only have 10 minutes.

What would you say? Would you write about regrets, ask for forgiveness, confront him with questions, spill out bitterness or plead for something to change?

Writing things down helps us to see more clearly what is going on in our lives – where our priorities lie. It helps us to take ownership of parts of our lives that are out of control, and it helps us to let things go.

I sat with 9 others in a room for 20 minutes. A few moments to settle, a brief outline of our task, paper and pen in front of us, and 10 minutes to write.

None of us needed a moment to think. Our pens rumbled and scraped over the paper. Then a sniff from someone beside me, another from behind. A box of tissues passed round. Something deep and moving was happening in the meeting between hearts, minds, paper and God.

We sealed our letter in an envelope and prayed to God, who gives us life and breath and everything else.

In my letter I saw what is most important to me. And as I wrote on the envelope “To my Father” I recognised that I am utterly dependent on God’s character. As I open my deepest longings to him I need to know that he accepts, loves and forgives me.  I feel vulnerable.

The pressure was off and I moved on, stunned by the clarity of knowing what is urgent and important to me.

As I walked home I was already planning what to change.

Dare to give this a go. A brief coffee break that can turn your thinking around. Pour yourself a hot drink and sit down with pen and paper. Before you finish your drink, or it has gone cold, write a letter to God.

I tore my letter up and walked away from it.  Writing things down helped me to let them go and move on.

Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,
for I have put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should go,
for to you I entrust my life.