My friend Anastasia Montejano has a question she’s fond of asking me whenever I’ve been through something difficult or come to a place of resolution and breakthrough. That question is, “What have you learned from this?”
She asked me that question yesterday, “What have you learned this year?” What a loaded question! A lot of what I’ve learned I’ve been sharing in my Quest for Love series of blog entries. But my answer to her question yesterday was a little different than she or I anticipated.
“I’ve learned what makes greatness.”
I could hear the surprise in her voice. “Really? Just that?” she chuckled. “And what have you learned?”
First I’ve learned what greatness is not. It’s not glitz and glamor. It’s not in the sensationalism or the show. It’s not about doing things to draw attention to yourself.
Greatness is in the small acts of day-to-day kindness, the genuine caring, and the big heart.
It’s like Jesus washing the disciples’ feet. Greatness is in showing other people you care in small, ordinary ways. It’s in making people feel they are important by the way you treat them.
I’ve also learned that a great relationship is built on these principles of kindness and compassion. While I certainly enjoy the chemistry and the passion my husband and I share, there is a deeper richness of connection than I’ve experienced before because our relationship is built on mutual trust, respect, admiration and genuine caring.
I do not know where this awareness of true greatness is taking me, but I feel that I am going to be traveling a much different road than I have before. I am at a time of endings and new beginnings, uncertain as to what will remain and what will depart.
To me, he is a treasure trove of wisdom, resourcefulness, hard work and compassion. He’s a man with a Christ-like servant’s heart. He has the bravery of a lion and integrity as solid as The Rock of Gibraltar, all mixed together with fun and optimism.
I look forward to the adventure that awaits me with him by my side.
“But whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister.”
– Jesus (Matthew 20:26)
A good friend expressed great disappointment that she had spent her life working and striving to do her best, yet she felt as if she had been struck with one disappointment after another. Nothing she did ever took her anywhere solid. Every dream withered on the vine. Why not just give up? Why not stop dreaming, stop believing? It had all been a waste. It hurts too much to hope. Dreaming is painful.
I felt sad for my friend. I’ve been where she’s been. I know those bottomed out points. They may last one to four days, but eventually I snap out of them and come back to who I am — someone who keeps on going, keeps on believing, and never quits. I’m sure my friend will come back around to that as well. That is who she is.
We think that life is about the destination. What if it’s not? What if it’s about the journey and who we become along the way? I’m reminded of a story by an unknown author that explains this well:
There once was a man who was asleep one night in his cabin when suddenly his room filled with light and the Savior appeared to him.
The Lord told him He had a work for him to do, and showed him a large rock explaining that he was to push against the rock with all his might. This the man did, and for many days he toiled from sunup to sundown; his shoulder set squarely against the cold massive surface of the rock, pushing with all his might. Each night the man returned to his cabin sore and worn out, feeling his whole day had been spent in vain.
Seeing that the man showed signs of discouragement, Satan decided to enter the picture – placing thoughts in the man’s mind, such as “Why kill yourself over this?, you’re never going to move it!” or “Boy, you’ve been at it a long time and you haven’t even scratched the surface!” etc. giving the man the impression the task was impossible and the man was an unworthy servant because he wasn’t moving the massive stone.
These thoughts discouraged and disheartened the man and he started to ease up in his efforts. “Why kill myself?” he thought. “I’ll just put in my time putting forth just the minimum of effort and that will be good enough.” And this he did or at least planned on doing until, one day, he decided to take his troubles to the Lord.
“Lord,” he said, “I have labored hard and long in Your service, putting forth all my strength to do that which You have asked of me. Yet after all this time, I have not even budged that rock even half a millimeter. What is wrong? Why am I failing?”
To this the Lord responded compassionately, “My friend, when long ago I asked you to serve Me and you accepted, I told you to push against the rock with all your strength and that you have done. But never once did I mention to you that I expected you to move it. At least not by yourself. Your task was to push. And now you come to Me, your strength spent, thinking that you have failed, ready to quit. But is this really so? Look at yourself. Your arms are strong and muscled; your back sinewed and brown. Your hands are calloused from constant pressure and your legs have become massive and hard. Through opposition you have grown much and your ability now far surpasses that which you used to have. Yet still, you haven’t succeeded in moving the rock; and you come to Me now with a heavy heart and your strength spent. I, my friend will move the rock. Your calling was to be obedient and push, and to exercise your faith and trust in My wisdom, and this you have done.”
Your dreams whisper to you … heed their call and co-create them with God. This is an extemporaneous piano creation I recorded tonight and set to some of my photography. I decided to also add some affirmations to support you in your dreams. I hope you enjoy it!
If having a joyful life of influence is part of your big vision, I’d love to support you in it…
I once knew a woman who was very driven to succeed in her network marketing business. She decided to devote the next three years of her life to her success. She worked all hours of the day and night and insisted her team do the same. If her team didn’t attend sales meetings until 3am, she’d refuse to support them anymore. She decided she would put everything but her business pursuits on hold for three years. Then she’d retire. She was goal driven and focused, and she knew she would succeed.
Her husband and her children took a backseat to her goal of success. She was excessively hard on her team and even began cutting corners and violating ethics to ensure she was a top performer (or appeared to be). By the end of the three years, she was divorced, had lost custody of her children, and lost her business due to unethical dealings. In fact, her name was completely blotted out of the company with which she had worked.
In my mind, she became the poster child for what it means to create one’s life without checking in with God. She became the supreme example of trying to create abundance on the competitive plain. She constantly “pushed the rope,” and that rope transformed into a noose.
I believe as children of THE CREATOR, made in His image, we are born creators. We can create our lives on our own, pursuing selfish, self-gratifying and vain ambition. We can do this by stepping on others, forcing our will onto others, or by manipulating and controlling (aka force).
Or we can amble through life without any goals or objectives. As the Cheshire Cat told Alice, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road’ll take you there.” And “there” isn’t always the best location.
Most people choose something between these two extremes.
I am an advocate of having goals and dreams, but I believe for best results, we co-create them with God. We step out of the competitive plain onto the creative plain. We check in with God to make sure the aspirations we set for ourselves are in alignment with our highest purpose and soul fulfillment.
– set clear intentions,
– ask for assistance,
– take inspired action,
– operate from gratitude, and
– allow the co-creation process to take place.
What do I mean by co-creation? I believe nature is friendly to your plans when you operate from your highest purpose. Angels, Spirit and the intelligent matter of the universe line up on your team to help you achieve your objectives. The right people will be introduced to you at the perfect time. The optimal resources will be made available to you. The appropriate doors will open for you.
But you must be willing to set a clear intention, ask, listen for a confirmation that you’re on path, and take inspired action. Action is critical. As Wallace Wattles wrote in 1910: “By faith the thing you want is brought to you and by action you receive it.” Do all you know to do. Reach toward God’s reaching, but never force, manipulate or control.
If you are honest with yourself, if you have integrity, what you want is what God wants for you. The powers of heaven are on your side.
But remember the powers of heaven can only be activated upon the principles of righteousness. When we undertake to cover our mistakes, to gratify our pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon other people or upon the elements of the universe, in any degree of unrighteousness, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved. And when it is withdrawn, we are left to ourselves – to push that rope.
Stop back by for my next entry… I’ll be talking about what to do when things don’t fall into place, when doors seem to slam in your face when you feel certain God told you to travel the path you’re traveling.
When you get super specific about what you want, life will bring it to you. When it arrives, you may decide it isn’t really what you want/need after all. That’s okay, be open to tweaking. Use this opportunity to learn about yourself and better identifying what you truly want at a base-needs level.
In my experience what we’re looking for is more the meeting of an emotional need. It’s an experience, rather than a checklist of items or characteristics. Identifying core needs and desired feelings makes it easier to recognize a good thing when it arrives. Many times where God is ultimately leading you looks nothing like your checklist. His answer may arrive in a way you never expected, and it might even be something you would have initially rejected had you only gone by your list and not taken time to discover your true desires and needs.
As my friend Steve Sutton (the trucker) says, “how do you know if you’re on the right road until you take the wrong road?” Sometimes the wrong road is the one that looks good on paper. The right road could be the one that doesn’t meet all the tiny details but meets your core emotional needs and makes you truly happy and fulfilled.
Your weight affects every interaction you have with yourself and others. In your business it determines what photos you put on Facebook, whether you feel comfortable making videos or not, being on stage, leading a retreat, or even putting your pictures on your website. Personally it impacts your dreams, traveling, sex, relationships, and basically showing up for life!
The only way to eliminate the excess weight and maintain a healthy, vibrant body is to get down to the root of WHY you’re hanging onto the extra pounds. If I were to give the root issue a name, I’d say it boils down to one main thing for most people. Find out what that is in this FREE Audio, “Create Your Amazing Body – Look and Feel Fantastic.”
So many of us never go for our dreams because we can’t see HOW we’re going to get past the obstacles that loom before us. Or we never set out because we don’t know every step it will take to arrive at our destination.
Don’t let the important desires for your heart be held hostage because you don’t know how they can happen! In this video I talk about how to create your own amazing life by letting go of how it will happen…
Join me for the next How to Create Your Own Amazing Life Workshop starting in January 2014!
Lately I’ve been going through some major changes in my business and personal life. In the end, I’ve come away with a deeper, more poignant understanding that what really matters most is our relationship with the Lord — our ability to ask, receive answers and act upon inspiration as it comes.
When we have the ability to seek, hear and act upon the Spirit, we have everything we need. Markets may change, economies may falter, marriages may crumble, businesses may suffer setbacks, but if we have this lifeline to God and to His infinite wisdom, we have everything we need.
This is one reason why I’m wholeheartedly focusing all my “eggs into one basket” — helping faith-based entrepreneurs ignite their light, life, love and faith in a lifestyle business. Yesterday I re-launched my IgnitePoint.com site around this focus, and I’d like to invite you to take a look at it. If you like what you see, please subscribe to our daily updates there. I’ll be posting business and inspirational tips (called IgnitePoints) on the site 5 days a week and introducing you to some wonderful people who will inspire, teach, and help you succeed.
Each weekday the home page changes and reveals a new piece of inspiration or instruction. If you provide your name and email on the site, you’ll be able to receive these “IgnitePoints” in your email — http://www.IgnitePoint.com.
When I was little my dad would ask, “Would you rather be the prettiest girl in the class or the smartest?” I knew he thought I was smart, and I liked the attention I got for it. I always answered, “The smartest.” For most of my life I’ve never thought I was pretty or beautiful. I was born with crossed eyes which were repaired in an operation at 9 months, but had a lazy eye for years. I had horribly buck teeth. My mom got me braces. My brother made fun of my legs and compared them to a “metal bar” – as in formless and straight.
So when I met my future husband, and he thought I was so beautiful and liked my legs, I never quite believed him. I chalked it up to “love is blind.” He was seeing what he wanted to see.
It wasn’t until I was in my forties that I began to be interested in feeling beautiful. I got in shape, took Carol Tuttle’s Dressing Your Truth course, and people began to comment about my attractiveness. A back-of-mind vanity warning fired occasionally, but overall I’m enjoying myself. I feel great when I’m in shape, and I enjoy looking nice. I don’t do it for others. I dress, fix my hair and put on makeup most days because it makes me feel good. I do it for me.
As time progressed, I began noticing in my meditations with the Lord, He would tell me that I am beautiful. My husband will occasionally ask, “Why are you so beautiful?” Still, I wasn’t owning it. I figured, I’m a 46-year-old woman who’s in shape, maybe that makes me stand out or something. Besides, I know beauty fades with time. We all can’t stay young and beautiful. But I look at my mother who is 80, and to me she is the most beautiful woman in the world. She has always been beautiful, but she improves with age because the beauty comes from within her. It radiates from her soul, through her eyes, and a warm glow surrounds her.
She walks into a room and love enters with her. That’s the kind of beauty that endures.
Yesterday I was on my Create a WOW Book Mentoring call, and prepped to do some energy shifting around money mindset. I had my list of affirmations handy and was ready to shift that energy for the folks on the call – using the method in which I’ve been certified.
I’d written a blog that morning, “Yep, I’ve Been Terrified to Share My Message Too” and sent it to my mentoring group earlier in the day. I began the call by asking them if they’d read it and what, if anything, stood out to them.
This started a conversation about scarcity (which would lead very well into the money mindset material I intended to cover). But the conversation was so great, that for the full hour we discussed two main themes – scarcity and what to do with outer/inner criticism. I never covered the material I had on my lap. The participants shared their brilliant insights. Many of them are energy-shifters themselves and discussed their modalities, their ideas. People were opening up and sharing brilliant ideas and epiphanies. The hour passed seamlessly. Behind the scenes, I quietly cleared blocks I saw coming up for the group.
I directed the conversation a few times, chimed in with a few of my thoughts here and there. But for the most part, the call was a beautiful example of Quantum Collaboration and co-creation. Yet why was I so unsettled at the end of the call? I felt as if I’d done something “wrong.”
This morning I decided to meditate, ponder, and pray a bit about this. Why had the call made me feel uneasy? I think it boiled down to the fact that I felt like I didn’t “do” anything. It wasn’t me being the wise one imparting knowledge or the energy shifter making things happen. Would my mentoring group realize I hadn’t “done” anything and go away?
Yet, I had played an important role. If I hadn’t, none of it would have happened. I set the stage, offered insightful talking points, and chimed in when I felt like I should. This is what I do:
1) I attract good-hearted, amazingly brilliant people.
2) I bring them together in ways that they can interact with each other in a safe loving environment where they are valued.
3) I am able to reduce or eliminate judgment and criticism.
4) I share a bit of wisdom, set talking points, get out of the way and let the infinite flow through the group.
Result: Quantum collaboration happens and the sum is far greater than the parts.
There’s an analogy I love that portrays the power of unconscious collaboration:
“Honeybees are driven to pollinate, gather nectar, and condense the nectar into honey. It is their magnificent obsession imprinted into their genetic makeup by our Creator. It is estimated that to produce just one pound (0.45 kg) of honey, the average hive of 20,000 to 60,000 bees must collectively visit millions of flowers and travel the equivalent of two times around the world. Over its short lifetime of just a few weeks to four months, a single honeybee’s contribution of honey to its hive is a mere one-twelfth of one teaspoon.
Though seemingly insignificant when compared to the total, each bee’s one-twelfth of a teaspoon of honey is vital to the life of the hive. The bees depend on each other. Work that would be overwhelming for a few bees to do becomes lighter because all of the bees faithfully do their part.” (M. Russel Ballard, “Be Anxiously Engaged,” Ensign, November 2012)
Pondering upon the honeybee reveals that we are all going about our lives, engaged in our own “magnificent obsessions,” oblivious to the collective impact we’re making on the world. The honeybee certainly doesn’t know he’s creating honey that will be drizzled on your biscuit one morning. He is clueless to the rippling impact of his actions. And so are we!
Studying this analogy, I realized I’ve been measuring my value as if I’m a honeybee – busily working to gather pollen and make a tangible product – honey. But I am NOT the honeybee in this analogy. I am the flower. It’s my job to be beautiful, to attract beautiful people, and to set the stage. My pollen is talking points, bits of wisdom. As my friend Phil Davis says, it’s my “Marnie-ness.” My job is simply to be beautiful, to be me!
What an amazing paradigm shift for me! This word, “beauty” (that I never knew what to do with) is who I was born to be. Those compliments of “you’re beautiful” that I continuously deflected are truly what I am and why I am here. From now on I’m “owning it.” It’s not about vanity. It’s about being who God created me to be – a flower who attracts beautiful people and sets the stage for magnificent obsessions to play out in quantum collaboration. Rippling impacts for good result in the world when I show up and be me. WOW! I love it!
If this post resonates with you, you might want to find out where you are in the Light Bearer Process. You may take my Light Bearer Assessment here. It’s fast and free!
I’ve worked with people for years, encouraging them to share their messages. I’ve promoted so many wonderful people and seen the greatness in so many. Yet, I also noticed that a lot of people will do anything and everything but share their messages.
I had a fair idea of why they weren’t sharing — fear, self-doubt, and overwhelm. Yet, this paralyzation had me stumped. Of course, it was easy for me to be stumped because I didn’t have a burning message to share in those days. I thought my message was that YOU have a message. That’s a safe position to be — telling other people what to do when you haven’t really done it yourself.
Then everything changed when I realized I had my own message. Eight months after discovering it, life kicked me out of the nest and gave me the impetus to fully commit to this new path. As I’ve taken this flying leap, I now know WHY people are paralyzed! It’s downright terrifying!
Ironic, it’s a main phase of the Light Bearer process that I’ve been teaching for the last 3 years — you will come to the point where you’re tested on the very thing you’re teaching.
I’m realizing that the paralyzation comes from mad, scrambling, short-circuiting thought patterns. Some days I’m getting a handle on my message and how to share it, and the next it’s slipped like sand through my fingers. Doubts and fears have taken its place. One step forward, two steps back. It’s crazy the things that go through your head when you set out to share the message you’re here to share. Here’s some of the nonsense that’s been running through my mind…
– If I start sharing, then I’m giving my good stuff away and then what will I have to share? What if I don’t have more to share later? What if this is all there is? What if I share it, that’s all I have to say and I’m done and I gave it all away? Now what?
– What if that’s all there is to me? I put it out, I’ve said it, and I’m done, and I have no other purpose in life. I’m just done.
– What if I share it and people don’t respond to it. I’m here to share a message that no one cares about. Of course, then, that means they don’t care about me. It becomes personal — because my message doesn’t matter, I don’t matter.
– If I pour my heart and soul into this – give it my all and really do it and it falls flat, then what is there left to me? A J.O.B. doing something that bores me for the rest of my life. As long as I’m “working toward” sharing my message, then I have hope and something to look forward to. But if I actually do it, share it, give it my all, and it falls flat, then I am the ultimate failure.
– It’s safer to hold back some because then you have an excuse for why you didn’t succeed – it’s not about you and your message anymore then.
– What if my message is so complicated no one gets it? What if it’s too hard to explain, to quantify; and the learning curve takes so long that I go down in financial ruins waiting for people to “get it.”
– What if I throw myself 100% into this and it’s all a mistake. I’ve burned my bridges, now what?
– What if this is all pride and I’m being arrogant to think I have a message that is this important, but really it’s all just a lie.
– Pride goes before a fall. To think I have this big message is just me being full of myself. Risking everything for it is just pride, and I’m going to splat onto the concrete.
– What if I succeed? There’s a lot of responsibility with that, and I’m not ready to take on that responsibility.
– If I succeed, I give up the freedom to hide and play small. And it’s feels safe to play small.
After getting all those crazy thoughts out of my head and down in written form, I decided to work through each one and craft truth statements to counteract them. I’ve installed these in myself. If they apply to you, let’s install them for you too!
– I let go of scarcity thinking around my message. I have a lifetime of wisdom to share about it.
– The more I share about my message, the more comes and the richer and deeper it becomes.
– I’m here to share a message that people will respond to, be transformed by. I let go of the false belief that God would send me to this planet to share a message that is irrelevant.
– I let go of connecting my value to my message. I let go of connecting my value to other people’s opinions.
– The fact that I exist makes me priceless and of infinite value.
– I make money from my message. All of creation supports me as I live on purpose. I tap into the greatest levels of abundance as I live true to myself and what I’m here to do on the earth.
– I let go of fear of failure. I let go of the need to hold a part of myself back.
– All of creation is conspiring to help me share my message in a way that resonates with people and they are drawn to it.
– All of creation is orchestrating my success.
– My message can be conveyed with clarity and simplicity, yet with a depth and richness that I can study and expound upon for a lifetime.
– It’s in my highest good to fully commit to my message.
– It’s safe to give it my all.
– I let go of the need to play small. It is safer for me to play full out and live large.
– I let go of the fear of pride. I release the notion that I would have a great desire to share a message that would cause my demise.
– I trust that I will be comfortable with any responsibilities associated with success.
– I trust that I will be prepared and strengthened for everything I’m called upon to do as I live my purpose.
– I trust that this is a joyous journey and that I enjoy the responsibilities and activities associated with success in living my purpose and sharing my message.
I hope these affirmations are helpful for you and that you can internalize them for yourself. They’re true for you too! Accept them, you have something to do that only you can. We need you. The world needs you. Rise to your calling and let your light shine!