How’s your swing?

“If you think you are going to hit a home run with every pitch you are mistaken.”

I was discouraged this morning, the writing tank was empty yet there were plenty of ideas. I had time to write yet the process was not producing fruit. Some of my frustration could be found in the quote above namely that at times I am my own worst enemy when seeking to accomplish something. Ideas are like pitches and I keep swinging for a home run. As I type this my mindset is to simply make contact with the ball and see where it goes. There is much more freedom in the realistic expectation.

I wonder how many of us are hung up with unrealistic expectations in our lives?

I think back to one of my favorite movies, Christmas Vacation, where Clark Griswald suffers from unrealistic expectations at Christmas time. He got so wound up with his expectations that he kicked over into a mode where he grabbed a chainsaw and began thrashing away at his problems…..a CHAINSAW! I’m ashamed to admit that I am a chainsaw wielder at times as well. Man, I can get so wound up that I go to a thrashing mode and anything that gets in my way gets hacked and whacked with my chainsaw.

The next time you feel the crazed manic mood come over you, check your expectations about what is going on.

Are you striking out because you are swinging for a home run? Are your expectations in line with a daily life lived with curveballs, knucklers, and fast pitches? Do yourself a favor, read the pitch, and adjust your swing accordingly. What does this look like practically? For me, I simply identified that the pitch coming my way came in the form of ideas to write about. I expected to write the next best blog that would go viral and change the world! My swing didn’t match the pitch because the pitch coming at me were base hit balls. My job is to swing and make contact. This blog entry is the result of slowing down my swing to match the pitch.

How’s your swing?

5 Holiday Tips

  1. Pick up a physical Bible and read one scripture a day. The rustling of the pages between your fingers will warm your soul and nourish your heart. 
  2. Write a handwritten note to somebody with words of sincere encouragement. The act of writing something and delivering it is one of the most powerful ways to impact someone.
  3. Drive slower, everyone is in a hurry so take your time. Why test your stress, leave knowing you will take longer to get somewhere. 
  4. Take rest breaks, like the ones runners take when they are running fast. If you are out of breath, stop and breathe, this sounds so simple yet the drive of the season can leave you breathless then before you know it you will have lost your mind. 
  5. Feed your mind healthy thoughts vs toxic thoughts. Turn off the election news, tune into life-giving news. Jump in the river of gladness and joy, it’s always running and inviting you in. 

Own your cup

It was a blissful morning right around 8:30 with a cool breeze, cerulean blue skies, and a whisp of whimsy floating in the air. The sound flowing through my car audio was the sound of the Bible being read aloud. Life was filling my reservoirs. The reading was followed by a passionate prayer to take on the day. I stepped out of the car and gave a long well-deserved stretch with arms to the sky with a smile inside like a full glass of water ready to quench the thirst of the day. I stepped towards my mission, to encourage 80 workers at a workplace. I was working as a chaplain caregiver to workplaces where I would walk through and offer a word of encouragement and offer care for those who needed it. I strutted up the stairs and threw open the workplace door to find the first recipient of my full cup. I extended my hand with an enthusiastic greeting that invited the person to share. They shared, and shared, and shared, and complained, and rambled, and dumped, and drained. At the end of about 10 minutes, my full overflowing cup was now depleted halfway. I still had 79 people to go and my cup was half drained. With the endurance of a runner, I quickly gathered my stamina and shook off the depletion of the first of 79 miles of running. I grabbed a quick breath of air and walked to my next person to encourage. This person was full of joy and fulfillment. Like an artesian spring, my cup began to overflow with words of energy, encouragement, life, and hope.

Can you relate to my story? Ever walk into work full from the weekend only to be met by a notice on your desk that says, “SEE ME” from your boss? How about the phone ringing first thing with news that your wife has a flat tire and YOU are the only one who can change it? You check the balance of the bank account only to notice that there are purchases from a state you don’t live in for things you didn’t buy! What happens to all of us is usually a state of inner freak out followed by choice words then quickened action to put out the fire or squash the problem or better yet face the music. We can show up as full as an overeating bullfrog yet can be drained within a matter of minutes!

We all have an invisible cup inside. Our cup is either full, empty, or somewhere in between. It is extremely important for you to know you have a cup and for you to know what level your cup is at. The level of your cup determines your ability to function at a high level with optimal efficiency and vision or at a low level with an inability to see yourself or your situation. To be clear, your cup determines your ability to see the world around you accurately and to see yourself in this world. It is a big deal to be able to see accurately. Imagine you are a pilot flying a plane full of people yet have zero visibility. Zero visibility is super scary! Here’s the point, you are that pilot and you are leading your family, or you are leading yourself, maybe you are in charge of a business or a group of people. Zero visibility is not only scary it can lead to bad results quickly. Being able to see accurately is vital to life and living yet with an empty cup your vision leaves making you dependant upon air traffic control (if you are lucky) or dependant upon your instincts to fly with zero vision.

The opposite effect is just as powerful, a full cup gives you crystal clear vision with an ability to see super clear. Have you ever been at 10,000 feet on a clear day? This is life with a full cup. You can see for miles and miles. With a full cup, you can’t miss! Your instincts are sharp, your vision is good, stamina is high and relationships are easy! Why would we ever settle for a drained cup? The problem is most of us are drained and don’t even know it.

Here’s what I want you to do. First, I want you to identify the fact that you and I have this invisible cup inside. Understand that this cup is paramount to your ability to see and to function at a high level. Second, I want you to be able to identify what level your cup is at. If your level is high you are functioning at an optimal level, if it is low you are probably struggling with problems you can’t even make out clearly. Third, I want you to practice owning your cup and ensuring that it is full. Take responsibility for your own well being, make choices to ensure your cup is at the highest level possible. Fourth, I want you to make it your goal to identify the level of those around you, at work, home, at the dinner table. If your kids are acting up I guarantee their cup is empty. If an employee is not performing at an optimal level, find out what is draining their cup.

Imagine yourself showing up on Monday morning with a full cup rather than an empty one. Better yet imagine showing up at the end of the day and being able to identify your spouse’s cup level or your kid’s cup level. Armed with this new ability you can win wherever you are whatever stage of life you are in. Don’t believe me? I challenge you to test this out. Answer these simple questions: How full is your cup right now? What can you do to fill your cup? How can you be a cup filler for others?

Go change the world by owning your cup!

 

Anger

Anger is the wind that blows out the lamp of the mind.

Ever been angry? Dumb question I know. Imagine a puppy pulls out in front of you in traffic and you slam on the brakes, this is what anger is like. Anger is a physiological form of pulsating arousal that causes our breathing to quicken, eyes to focus intensely and our hearing to become singular. What does all this mean? It means you turn into a giant hammer looking for the nail. Bad news for you if you yourself are the nail. Anger turned inward becomes depression, anger turned outward becomes rage. In all of these episodes, you lose your mind because of your body trying to regulate itself. Simply put we get into a state of fight or flight. Sadly some of us are stuck in fight or flight everyday. Should we get angry? Of course we can get angry, we must learn where to direct the hammer in a healthy way to keep ourselves from hurting ourselves and those around us.

Application:

What is one thing you can do the direct the hammer toward a healthy place that will not harm yourself or another?

The Feathered Reminder

“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” Matthew 6:26

God knows we worry. He thought of us when He created the birds. You see the birds are our constant reminder that God will take care of us. They sing a song everyday that is a reminder that your heavenly father loves you and will provide for your every need.

Next time you get caught in a worry trap, stop and listen. Listen for the birds. If you can’t hear their song you are too busy or too worried. When you do hear one, focus in and let the tune calm your worry. The birds sing the same song each and every day. The words go something like this, “I love you, I love you, I love you, don’t worry, don’t worry, don’t worry”. He told me to tell you.

Application:

What is one thing you can take from this to calm your worry? Share your story with us!

Water always wins

We can’t make a wave, we can’t fight the wave, might as well surf the wave.

Waves come at us daily in the form of circumstances.

Fighting with life’s waves leaves you all wet.

Resisting life’s waves will break you.

Surfing life’s waves will thrill you.

Application: 

What is one wave you can identify that is crashing on you that could be surfed?

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