Say not "peace" in time of war. We are not in a time of peace and prosperity. It seems like it came to our nation in a flash but it has been brewing for many years. I was going down the wrong road by giving into anger against people who want to take down this country and its values. Every day I began with a blank slate and then as the news of each day's events begin to stab at my heart I became tense and enraged. I looked for common sense but it was hard to find. It took me the whole day to move into prayer for those that are operating in darkness. I finally would fall asleep after much mental turmoil and then the next morning the whole thing would begin again. I wrestled with arming myself with weapons, confronting the opposition through posts and comments on social media, and hitting the streets with a sign. What would my sign say? Something like "you can't change the past" or "responsibility vs. blame." How about "believers lives matter." Oops that isn't on trend. I reached my peak of outrage and I knew I had to find a way to continue with my life as a soldier of Christ. Now, I wake up each morning and I say a prayer for people who are lost, empty, and following the master of deceit. Then I put on my spiritual armor which allows the news items to bounce off me. I take up my sword which is speaking the Word of the Lord. It is always the same, the children of the light against the children of the darkness. I will not waste my time thinking about the people who anger me through their words and actions. I will only battle against the principalities of darkness and not the flesh. I need to know who is the enemy. If I look to man to defeat, I will have to battle every minute of every day and I will become exhausted. I will lose the war. If I chose to tune out the events of the day, I will be a victim of retreat. I don't want to sit and pray all day either. I need to go about my life, be active, do good to my neighbor, and pray with all my heart against the prince of darkness. I am grateful to be a child of Christ and I will be unafraid to stand up for what I believe. I accept my assignment, my destiny. The spiritual army is forming and we are ready for battle. God protect us.
There is much controversy about reopening the country after a shelter in place order due to Covid-19. But what about the opening? During this "pause" what opened in your life? What did you find yourself thinking and doing during this forced quarantine? Did you realize something about your work? Your relationships? Did you remember God now that busyness disappeared? We were without work, sports, entertainment, family visits, weddings, funerals, and handshakes. The only connection with the outside world was through a screen. We zoomed, we facebooked, we tweeted, we watched Netflix and Amazon Prime, oh, and Disney too. We learned how to cook, bake bread, eat leftovers, trim our hair, do our nails, and use dish towels. All the while, we had more time. Did God stop the world so we could find that small opening to be with him, acknowledge him, and to reflect upon his love and that we are helpless without his guidance? All things can vanish in one swift second and all the knowledge we have as humans is not a guarantee to save us and keep us safe. Man will work on the reopening but God works on the opening, the small window where we can have a glimpse in our hearts that our true safe home is with him in heaven. Whatever the new normal will be, some will benefit and some will not, some things will be lost and some new things will be gained, same as it always has been on this earth. As long as we seek the opening to God's kingdom through the love of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit within us, we will have eternal life free from all the dangers that surround us.
Photo courtesy of unsplash: Roan Lavery
Inspiration for this piece based on a Homily, Sunday streaming Mass at Saint Albert the Great, Huntingdon Valley, PA.
The Deacon at my Church parish told a story last Sunday when we were still able to congregate before "social distancing." His first job was as a UPS driver. Each morning there was a meeting about the routes and a pep talk. All the trucks were loaded from the night before by the midnight shift. The way the truck was to be filled is that the last delivery was loaded first and each parcel followed according to the next address. The first delivery would be the farthest out on his route and then all the rest of the deliveries would culminate to the his last delivery which was the closest to his final destination, right back where he started, the UPS storage facility. Invariably, his truck was never loaded that way. Boxes were thrown in there haphazardly. There were even deliveries that weren't part of his route. He would end up going far out of his way and he wasted a lot of time going off his route. He likened this experience to life itself. You have a goal and you plan your steps but things happen and on your way unexpected events occur that take you off your path. You need to be flexible and adapt but most importantly you can get through it with God's help and then he said, "let your last delivery be, the Kingdom of Heaven."
Did you ever have that "aha" moment? You were confused about something. You kept adding things, options, thoughts to an issue, a goal, or a desire yet you found yourself stuck. Then in an instant you had the answer, the way. It is a quick flash in your head that you know is right. The moment is clear.
It is great when this happens but is this something you can depend on?
What if there was a formula that you could use to reach more of those "aha" moments and reduce the amount of confusion you experience?
Actually there is a formula. Here it is.
Clarity = capacity - contamination of thought
Instead of adding or piling on things in your life, try subtracting instead.
How many self-help books or how to webinars do you need to be clear?
You have a capacity that you were born with and to align yourself with that potential it is better to eliminate the contaminating thoughts that swirl around in your head. These thoughts are in the way and cause continued, habitual confusion. All you need to do is stop these thoughts from taking over and you will be open to that clarity you long to possess. It isn't about gaining the tools or knowledge, it is about subtracting negative thoughts from your unique spark inside you.
I incorporate this formula in my coaching practice and witness my clients having more "aha" moments that lead them to true clarity.
The credit for this formula goes to Jamie Smart, a terrific coach, author, and speaker.
I am grateful to my Web Developer Edison Leon who worked with me on building my new site. He is a rare and special person who made the process easy and enjoyable.
I want to tell you a story about WHY I created this new service, The Essential Coach.
I founded ShiftShape Coaching in February, 2002 to guide individuals through their career journeys. The last couple of years I moved away from coaching and I was concentrating on other things.
Then one day this past January I had a lovely dinner with two friends and things seemed pretty normal. We left the restaurant and as we were driving down this dark country road we heard a very loud boom. Not knowing what it was, my friend kept driving even though the back windshield blew out entirely. I had shards of glass all over me since I was seated in the back seat. I realized that the roof was an inch away from my head and I was bent down in my seat. We pulled over and I got out of the car to inspect the damage. It was a tree limb that had come crashing down and smashed my friend's car. She later had to purchase a new car.
No one could believe that someone could walk away without a scratch like I did. People kept saying that it was a miracle and God saved me. But I felt like this was more of a wake-up call. I knew God was telling me to do something. I remember my mother used to say, "what do you need a house to fall on you?" In this case it was a tree.
I answered the call and focused on coaching again. I chose the image of a tree in a beautiful lavender field where only one path bears fruit. That is how I see the process of coaching. There are many paths to choose but the one where you do the work with a coaching partner renders the one that grows.
Regina Freedman, M.S.Ed. ACC
I am a credentialed coach with The International Coach Federation. I focus on career and business development through a faith-based perspective. With my masters in Counseling Psychology, and my faith-based approach, I bring an understanding of what may hinder you from achieving your goals. I enjoy working with groups as well as one-on-one coaching. My clients get results. Aside from coaching, I am a writer and speaker.