Thursday, July 15, 2010

Awareness Acquired at the Airport

I'm sitting at the Birmingham airport, during my 3 hour layover, on my way to the EWN International Conference in Dallas. Airports are the "Gold's gym" for the gratitude muscle workout. It's guaranteed I'm going to witness angry, impatient, or overwhelmed passengers in need of the We GET To message. Today was no exception.

I was at the computer station near the customer service desk when a mother in tears, who had been asked to deboard a plane with her two small children, was accompanied by the stewardess to a computer to see when her next flight option was. I'm not sure what happened, but I overheard the young mother calling the flight attendant, from the plane, a bitch. I knew this frustrated mother was the perfect candidate for an I GET TO bracelet but I'm never completely confident that what I have to offer will be embraced. As is the case when presented with this type scenario, I GET TO risk the rejection, buck up, and deliver the message.

She turned as she felt my approach, began to cry more, and allowed me to give her a hug before I spoke. She said, "I'm just overwhelmed." I shook my head and let her know I understood. Then I shared with her that there was a time when I would have been overwhelmed by the 'test' also. I too was once a young mother overwhelmed by the trials and energy required in being the caretaker of precious, precocious, small miraculous beings. However, I hoped by offering her the awareness I now have, of mothers being overwhelmed with the news of a child's illness or passing today, that this wouldn't be considered such a bad place to be. Maybe she would no longer be overwhelmed given my share. I'm not sure it helped her as I'd hoped, but I GET TO let go and let God water the seed I planted for Him. A valuable lesson in surrender that I still GET TO practice.

I haven't been doing all that well at the surrender thing lately. I submitted a video for Oprah's search and even though I felt strongly whether or not the video was selected, it was still a winning experience, I quickly picked up the rope for another exhausting tug of war. Dreaming and releasing. Hoping and releasing. Discouraged and releasing. Disappointed and releasing. I wore myself plum out. Getting all worked up about outcomes isn't the way to peace. Sometimes it's hard for me to believe I still GET TO struggle with that when I let go and found peace through the most disappointing of all outcomes - a child not healed from leukemia. (I started to say a child lost to leukemia, but I don't see it as us having lost her as much as Heaven having gained her)

I'm now about to board the plane destined for Dallas, TX and experience a weekend get away. I wasn't sure if it was coming at the best time or worst time. I've compared myself this week to my pregnant, hormonal days- tired and emotional beyond explanation. However, I feel myself able to reclaim my power and am ready to inspire and be inspired. Letting God water the seeds that I've been created to plant.

By the grace of God; better and better, every day in every way,

Monday, July 5, 2010

What Are You Saying?

Over the course of the last 5 years I've come to realize how the words I speak affect my life; they can subconsciously drain me of power or if I choose to be aware if them, give me strength. I choose the latter. I've become aware of what I'm saying and it's made all the difference!

Words to eliminate and their replacements:

1) Get rid of "can't"

Can't means 'I don't want to,' plain and simple. I learned this most effectively from Julie Whitt; a young woman determined to qualify herself for a lung transplant by pushing herself through strength building exercises. As she used coin rolls for upper body workouts and remained hooked up to her oxygen tank for long walks and low intensity workouts, she showed us with her actions, "Where there's a will, there's a way." She could have easily said, "I can't. The mountain is too high; the obstacles too many." But in that sweet southern accent she would say, "Can't means don't want to."

2) Get rid of "wanna" (want to)

I was in Florida getting ready to do a triathlon for the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society. Jonnae was back home in the hospital going through aggressive chemo to condition for her bone marrow transplant. I called to report to what time I would be starting in the morning and said, "I wanna finish in 3 hours and 45 minutes." She said, "MOM?... You wanna or your gonna?" WOW! I think that was my "aha moment" for experiencing the power one word can give. As soon as I stood corrected and said, "I'm gonna finish in 3 hours and 45 minutes" I felt the surge of conviction and the gift of self empowerment. I knew without question I would indeed reach my goal. It was incredible. Like I had stepped into Superman's phone booth and exited with super human strength. :0)

3) Get rid of "have to"

I was watching a Joel Osteen service one Sunday and was intrigued when he suggested replacing "have to" with "get to." I remember coming home and telling Jonnae about it. We both agreed it made sense. Weeks later, she was getting sick in the bathroom from chemo and began to cry tears as she said, "I hate this." I answered with, "I believe we GET TO have chemo and should be grateful," I thought what the heck am I saying and why I am I saying it now? However, following this 'divine counsel' we found ourselves again experiencing a miraculous, super human transformation from the power of one word. Realizing we have a diagnosis and have a hope for a cure when others do not...We GET to have chemo. We have insurance, so many can't afford the care they need...We GET to have chemo. We have a children's hospital 15 minutes from our home, some drive hours to get to it, some in foreign countries don't have that option at all, we GET to have chemo. Even when we were preparing her funeral, as I kept hearing in my head, "I have to bury my daughter" I asked God to help me find a GET TO. Instantly I heard an voice within say, "You don't HAVE TO bury her body. You GET TO release her spirit into my loving care. And you GET TO, because you got to be her mother." Again...a miraculous shift from victim to victor occurred.

4) Get rid of "busy"

I recall having a conversation with my dear friend Rena Reese, founder of 'Soul Salon International' and stating how busy I had been. She shared with ne how she had chosen to eliminate that word. I think she may have even asked me what I thought that word implied. Upon reflection, I realized it sounded like I was making an excuse or complaining. Most of the time we're complaining or suggesting we are burdened by all the things we GET TO do when we use the word busy. I have replaced it with 'actively engaged in life' (but active would suffice.) If we are 'busy' it means we are healthy, able to think, act, react, and move. It means we are ALIVE. That's a great thing! I want to think about that as I convey to another that I GET TO do so many wonderful things as I succeed in accomplishing many tasks in a day or week's time.

5) Stop "spending"

If you say you are spending time, money, or energy what are you saying? The definition of spend is to expend, wear out, exhaust, or use up. Does that convey something positive? Wouldn't invest be a better word to use? If we ask I spending or investing, which would be more empowering? So I pose myself this question...."Do I feel like I'm spending or investing?" If I am simply exhausting myself through using up time, money, or energy maybe I need to reconsider my actions. If I feel like I'm investing, I feel much better about the choices I GET TO make. After all, life is about choices. We have much more power than we acknowledge. We can choose to make excuses and be the victim or we can choose to take ownership, empower, and be the victor. The consciousness that comes with the choice of one word makes all the difference.

Consciousness is what transforms the victim to victor. Being aware of the word's we speak and taking ownership of power we've subconsciously been giving away makes for an incredible shift. Here's to being victorious together!

With Gratitude Always,