Living Well

Living Well

How has Jesus formed you this year?


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We are all learners. 

As we scroll through social media, as we listen to podcasts, as we watch YouTube videos, or sit in trainings at work, we are learning. 

This is in essence what a disciple is: someone who is learning from someone else. 

  • Maybe you’re a disciple of Instagram? 
  • Maybe you’re a disciple of NPR?
  • Maybe you’re a disciple of AOC or Cardi B? 
  • Maybe you’re a disciple of your boss? 

We are being formed by people and things that are discipling us.

Our character and quality is being shaped as we are discipled. 

Who or what is discipling you? 

You will seek after what is discipling you. 

  • You buy their latest books. 
  • You watch their latest YouTube videos.
  • You follow their latest trends. 

This isn’t inherently a bad thing. 

But it can become a problematic thing if we are seeking after empty things. 

The Prophet Jeremiah says it this way: 

“[they] went after worthlessness, and became worthless.”

We take on the quality of what we seek after. The Prophet cautions us about seeking after worthlessness. Worthlessness i.e. emptiness or that which does not sustain. 

If who or what we seek after is consuming us and not sustaining us, then we evaluate: who or what is discipling me? 

The Prophet Jeremiah continues: 

“Slow down. Take a deep breath. What’s the hurry?

    Why wear yourself out? Just what are you after anyway?

But you say, ‘I can’t help it.

    I’m addicted to alien gods. I can’t quit.’

Our pursuit of worthlessness, can lead us to become addicted to it. 

Have you had to take a “social media fast” because you sensed you were becoming addicted to it? 

The Prophet Poet Allen Ginsburg illustrates this problematic pursuit of seeking after worthlessness: 

“I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked, dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of the night.”

When emptiness disciples us, we become empty. 

We are far removed from the full, whole, and alive selves that God designed us to become. Our character and quality are gutted. We are not formed into our fullest God-designed selves.

Which bring us to the question…

How do I make sure that I’m being formed into my fullest self? 

As image bearers of God, we are our fullest selves when we look like Jesus. 

“as he is so also are we in this world” – 1 John 4:17b

As I seek to be a faithful disciple of Rabbi Jesus, there are 3 important ways that Jesus has been forming me into my fullest self that may also help you be formed into your fullest self. 

1. Allow Scripture to shape the script of your life

A Jewish Rabbi once said:

“You cannot be a disciple of Jesus unless you’re reading your Rabbi once a week.”

Just as we seek after the latest books, YouTube videos, and trends of the others who are discipling us, we ought to seek after our Rabbi Jesus. We ought to know his words and to embody his ways. As we read the Scripture, we trace his path through the gospel narratives and we are formed into his likeness. 

As I follow Jesus footprints through Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, the Lord rewires many of the false constructs and paradigms I’ve prescribed to and brings me into new life.  

How does the Scripture shape the script of your life? 

2. Create moments of silence and solitude to hear God’s voice

God will not compete with your noise. Yet, God longs to speak to you in the stillness. I have a friend who says:

“God’s voice is silence.” 

We live in such a noisy, hurried culture. Both when we’re with people and when we’re not with people. I live alone and I often have Netflix on in the background, just so the silence won’t sound so deafening at times. But I’m learning the sweet taste of silence and solitude. Knowing that God never imposes upon me, but longs to speak, if I’ll give space to listen. 

I’ve sat silently with the Lord many times and found myself weeping as the Lord speaks directly into my soul’s needs. With a voice that is beyond words, the Lord is forming me. Transforming me. Shaping me into the image of Jesus for the sake of the world around me. 

How can you make space to hear God’s voice?

3. Devote yourself to people who shape you around the good news

One of my friends recently painted a beautiful picture of true Christ-centered relationships. She shared that there ought to be an accountability we are held to living into the gospel in our lives. As we are being shaped personally, we are also being shaped communally. Jesus is Lord of me and Jesus is Lord of us. 

Our most precious “resource” is time. I lived my entire 20s filling every moment up with something to do. Usually work-related. I knew a lot of people, spent a lot of time around people, was discipled by a lot people, but wasn’t shaped around the good news by all those people. 

“God is working in the entire cosmos, but the clustered, covenanted, and committed people of God are his primary plan for expressing Jesus’ prayer, ‘may God’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven.’” – Dan White Jr. 

We are shaped by the people we are “clustered, covenanted, and committed” to and shaped for the greatest mission of all time: God’s will on earth as in heaven. If we want to do God’s will, we need to be devoted to the people of God. 

Who are the people you are devoted to that are shaping you around the good news? 

We are just 7 weeks away from the end of the decade and from the beginning of a new decade. No doubt you have learned a lot this year. No doubt your character and quality has been formed this year. My prayer for you, even as you read this, is that you’ve been a learner with Rabbi Jesus. But if you haven’t, there is still an opportunity to become a learner of Jesus, to receive by faith through grace the gift of salvation and the invitation to become a disciple. Receive him now. Rabbi Jesus formes us into our fullest selves – the image of God for the sake of the world. 

  • How has Jesus formed you this year? 
  • How might he be inviting you to be formed in 2020? 

Together, let’s live alive,

sg

Living Well

How do I live alive?


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Many Christians will believe in Christ. Few Christians will become like Christ. 

“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” – Paul’s Letter to the Church Community at Philippi

Kenosis : A process of being emptied of one’s personal will to become entirely receptive to God’s will.

The way of Jesus is counterintuitive and contradictory to our culture norms. It’s this counterintuitive and contradictory way that we need in our world now more than ever. This is the way to live alive.  

Jesus demonstrates the fullness of love and life by hanging on a cross. 

A cross: a structure of pain and humiliation

Jesus hung. Emptied. Poured out. 

Jesus models a revolutionary pathway towards alive living. The deep, life-giving transformation that we are all seeking. 

We have been colonized into pathways of living that are fast and furious. Consumerism tells us that life is about accumulation. Success tells us the higher we climb, the greater we become. 

But in a moment, we could lose everything we’ve gained.  

In a moment, we could fall off the ladder of success that we climbed. 

“What good would it do you to get everything you want and lose you, the real you?” – Jesus

Jesus doesn’t climb ladders. Jesus doesn’t accumulate wealth and power. He takes the form of a servant. Jesus – the servant king – came not to be served, but to serve and to give his life for us to find our lives. 

As Christ followers, we believe in this Jesus. The Jesus who descended, who emptied himself, passed through the penalty of sins – death, and resurrected to life, so that we could be resurrected to life. This is the gospel truth we cling to as Christians. This is the sacrificial love that we proclaim. The death walk of Jesus. 

Yet we struggle to become like Christ in the process of kenosis

We struggle to follow Jesus’s model of alive living. 

We lose ourselves, the real us, to accumulation of power and wealth. 

Let’s be clear…

Kenosis is not pain for the sake of pain. 

Pain on its own does not produce transformation.

We see in our lives and the lives of those around us. 

Pain can produce more pain. Pain can produce anger, rage, discontent, bitterness, control, passive-aggression, not-so-passive aggression, and on and on. 

But what if Jesus’s example of being emptied, so that he could emerge in the fullness of glory, is a pathway towards living alive? 

What if what’s so revolutionary about Jesus is that he empathizes with our human condition of pain and personally demonstrated a way towards living alive through the pain? 

What if becoming like Christ in kenosis is the pathway towards the lives we were designed to live? 

It’s when we become like Christ in kenosis, where we face ourselves in the darkest depths. Where we have an opportunity to be refined by the fire. Where the gold in us is separated from the impure dross. Our self-serving, self-dependent, self-gratifying ways are purged in the descent. Our false selves are stripped away. We are detoxed from the colonization of our fast and furious culture. We are truly made new. Not by means of self-help, but through self-sacrifice.

We are already bearing crosses. Becoming like Christ in kenosis empowers us to bear our crosses, so that the pain of our crosses don’t destroy us. When we follow Jesus’s way of bearing a cross, the pain doesn’t produce pain. The pain transforms us to live alive. 

When we hear Jesus invite the disciples to “deny themselves, take up their crosses, and follow him”, that invitation sounds terrifying to us. It’s too much, we think. We look at the pain and humiliation that Jesus endured on the cross and we twist kenosis into something masochistic and abusive. What kind of Savior would ask me to endure such hardship. Any twisting of this invitation to true discipleship is not the pathway Jesus is offering. 

Jesus is not inviting us to live some alternate reality of our lives – sequestered, secluded, and separated from our life. Jesus does not condemn our lives as bad or good. 

On the contrary, Jesus wants to make us new, so that we can live our lives to the fullest. He gives us a pathway to live alive in the life He’s given us. Jesus longs for us to live alive in every corner of creation. Jesus wants you to carry your stories of love and life into your families, your offices, your neighborhoods, your gyms, your schools, and every place you live life.

The true invitation is to deny our false selves, take up the crosses we already have, and follow Jesus in being emptied of our personal will, so that we can be filled with the will of God. A greater will. A will for us to experience life and life abundantly and share that life with others. A life that is not fast and furious, but whole and purposeful. 

Yes – Jesus’s invitation is a radical reordering and reorientation of our lives. We are asked to live with the Lord reigning over every part of our lives. But it’s a pathway to alive living. It’s a counterintuitive and contradictory pathway far greater than the empty ways our culture offers us, because it’s true transformation. 

The way of Jesus is a new way to be human. 

I don’t want to just believe in Jesus. 

I want to become like Jesus. 

I want to become Christ in kenosis

Being emptied of all that is false in me and saying as Christ said during his most painful moment in the Garden of Gethsemane before his crucifixion: 

“Not my will, Father, but Your will be done.” 

May we boldly follow Jesus’s pathway towards alive living.

May we be transformed into portals of love and life for others to discover life and life abundantly.

“All I want is to know Christ and to experience the power of his resurrection, to share in his sufferings and become like him in his death, in the hope that I myself will be raised from death to life.” – Paul’s Letter to the Church Community at Philippi

Together, let’s live well,

sg

Living Well

When Pigs Die


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Every day for the past 5 weeks, I’ve been getting to know a madman. 

That’s right – a madman. 

I’ve been meditating about an encounter that Jesus and his followers had with a madman. 

The encounter begins with Jesus inviting his followers to go to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. During his three years of public ministry, Jesus’s teachings and healings are a training ground for his faithful followers who will become trailblazers of the Jesus Movement. The disciples are in the School of Transformation with Jesus. 

So, when Jesus says to his disciples: “Let’s go to the other side”, I get the sense that Jesus is inviting the disciple to the other sides of themselves. To the madness within themselves. 

The invitation is the same for us who follow Jesus: “Let’s go to the other side.” 

One intriguing act happens that is a crucial part of transformation. 

Liberation for the madman comes when the pigs die. Jesus sends the demons – that once raged inside of him – into a herd of pigs. The demons lead the pigs over a cliff into the sea and they’re gone. 

What do the pigs have to do with us? 

Why did the pigs have to die? 

Wrestling with the pigs has confronted me and transforming me on the slow process toward living well.

So, if you’re someone who is open to a little confrontation as a means of transformation read on…

To understand the pigs, we need to understand a little bit of context. 

Pigs were considered unclean for Jewish culture. The presence of pigs means we are not in a Jewish community. This also means that it would have been scandalous for Jesus and his followers to be anywhere near the unclean pigs. 

Because this is not a Jewish community, the pigs were the number one source of income for this community. They were a commodity and had great value. 

What do the pigs have to do with us? 

The pigs were what the people valued. What they were attached to. The stuff of their lives. The pigs provided for them. Protected them. Preserved them. 

We may not have physical pigs in our lives, but we all have pigs. Pigs are the things that provide for, protect, and preserve us. Our family and friends, money, status, titles, houses, cars, phones, businesses, privilege, education, and countless other valuable commodities. The pigs are our attachments.  

What has confronted me about these pigs is how I’ve depended on my pigs more than on my God. 

How I’ve depended on my money (and my ability to make money) to provide for myself and others.

How I’ve depended on my titles – as a lawyer, as a pastor, as a friend – to protect me. 

How I’ve depended on my relationships to preserve me and my sense of worth. 

The first time we hear the instruction to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength” comes directly after we are told: “The Lord our God, the Lord is one.” 

God, speaking to a Israelite community, invites them to a monotheistic faith and dependence that was radical for them. They had a polytheistic worldview with demi-gods for every sphere of their lives. For the economy, for politics, for family, for fertility, for war, for everything. They could not make it through the day without intersecting with a different god for every sphere of life. For each god they engaged in a host of practices to show their faith and dependence on those gods for provision, protection, and preservation. 

To say that the Lord is one and to love the Lord with every sphere of their lives was a radical reorientation. Now, every sphere of their lives was reoriented around the Lord. 

We may not live in ancient Israelite culture, but we certainly have demi-gods for every sphere of our lives. They may not look like carved lifeless statutes, but anything we put our faith in and depend on more than God for provision, protection, and preservation is a demi-god. 

We all have pigs. The pigs in and of themselves are not inherently bad. Putting our faith in and dependence on them more than God is contra to our lives as followers of Christ. 

Why did the pigs have to die? 

The picture of these pigs dying confronts me, because darkness and brokenness that rages inside of me can only truly be liberated when the pigs die. 

This is the good news of the gospel: when I encounter Jesus the darkness and brokenness that tried to kill me, could not destroy me. Jesus cares so deeply about me that my demons won’t be able to kill me. But they will kill the things that I’ve tried to depend on more than God. 

I am learning what it means to seek first the kingdom of God – the reigning of God – in my life. 

I am learning what it means to reorder and reorient my life around Jesus and not around my pigs.

I’m learning that the darkness and brokenness among those who profess to be followers of Jesus is rooted in the veneer of monotheism. 

You and I proclaim that Jesus is Lord, yet we live polytheistic lives – depending on our pigs for our provision, protection, and preservation. We sing songs on Sunday about Jesus being our defender and our portion, but our actions betray us.

We construct our own protections and close off the messy parts of our lives guarding against raw conversations with God and our family in Christ. We carry – with closed fists – the money we earn to ensure our own provision leaving no room for generosity towards God and others. We cling to statuses and titles to preserve our place in society at the expense of a true devotion to the mission and body of Christ. Our faith is in God and all the other gods we depend on for living. 

But if this encounter teaches us anything, it’s that liberation comes when pigs die. When the attachments of our lives are crucified, we resurrect to a new life in Christ. We are set free from the demi-gods that we have relied on for our provision, protection, and preservation. Now, Jesus is enough. 

In my new life in Christ, every sphere of my life is reordered and reoriented around Jesus as Lord. My new self is putting off the old self and seeking to faithfully follow Jesus’s ways, words, and will. I am free to live the abundant life I was designed to live. 

This is where transformation happens. 

Liberation comes when pigs die. 

Three Practices to Reorder and Reorient Your Life Around Jesus

(These are the action steps that the Holy Spirit has been revealing to me in my process of transformation)

  1. Surrender your time : For me, this has looked a Sabbath. A full 24-hour block to experience rest and the presence of God. It’s teaching me to make adjustments to my weekly schedule and tasks, so that I can walk freely into this space with God. 
    • What do you do with your time?
    • What does that reveal about your priorities?
    • How might God be inviting you to reorder and reorient your time around the Lord? 
  2. Surrender your talentFor me, this has looked like using my unique package of skills and strengths as an attorney for church planting and for serving those around me.
    • What are your skills and strengths?
    • How can you use them “on mission” for Christ? Among your spheres of influence? Among your church family?
    • How might God be inviting you to reorder and reorient your talents around the Lord? 
  3. Surrender your treasures : For me, this has been the hardest one in this season. We are in the beginnings of church planting and my salary is not fixed. But every dollar is a blessing from God. So, whether it’s a little or a lot, I must faithfully follow God’s instruction to tithe 10% of everything. Trusting that 90% blessed by God is greater than 100% not blessed. It also means giving offering weekly and finding other opportunities to give generously. 
    • What is your relationship with your finances?
    • If you’re a follower of Christ, are you tithing to your church family and/or another church family who is blessing you?
    • How might God be inviting you to reorder and reorient your treasures around the Lord? 

 Allowing my pigs to die is hard work. 

But keeping them alive will keep me from living well, because I’ll live divided instead of whole. I’ll live proclaiming Jesus as Lord on Sundays and my bank account as Lord on Mondays. 

Liberation comes when pigs die. 

Together, let’s live well,

sg

Living Well

We Are Not Okay


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We have an epidemic of people who are not well. 

I am. You are. We are not okay.

A little over a year ago, I had the biggest leadership fail of my life. 

For years, I’ve been leading teams and working alongside people with a commitment to building people up into the fullest expression of themselves. 

But one day, I walked into a room full of people I cared about deeply and tore them down. I demeaned them. I made them feel worthless. I spoke at them from a place of pain that had nothing to do with them. I was not well. Something in me broke. 

Even in my apology, I apologized for the wrong things. I still spoke from my brokenness. The internal bleeding from my wounds now bled all over them. Inflicted wounds onto them. Hurt them. 

We have an epidemic of people who are not well.

This sentence woke me in the middle of the night several weeks ago and has continued to whisper to my soul. 

I wasn’t sure if it was the first sentence for my next book, my next sermon, or my next conversation. It may still be all of those things. I’m still wrestling with it.

But the sentence won’t stop. 

The shootings in El Paso and Dayton. 

The border crisis. 

The corruption in Puerto Rico. 

The president. 

The squad. 

The couple next to me in the coffeeshop. 

The toxic thought patterns on loop in my mind. 

The whisper repeats: We have an epidemic of people who are not well. 

We are emotionally unhealthy. Mentally unhealthy. Spiritually unhealthy. Physically unhealthy. Every dimension of our humanity is unhealthy.  

We are bleeding all over each other. Our wounds are inflicting wounds on others. The carnage is multiplying.

What will it take to stop the bleeding? 

In 2007, during undergrad at the University of Central Florida, when I was introduced to an Orlando-based organization at a Switchfoot concert called “To Write Love on Her Arms”. They are a movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide. The founder, Jamie Tworkowski, got on stage and told the story of a friend struggling with depression and suicidal ideation. Then he quoted Donald Miller, saying:

“We’re called to hold our hands against the wounds of a broken world, to stop the bleeding.”

It’s been about 12 years since I heard that quote, but as I’ve been hearing the whispers of this sentence on repeat, I’ve been reminded of that quote. Of our call. That instead of inflicting wounds, we are called to hold our hands to wounds. 

How can we hold our hands to the wounds without first dressing and addressing our own wounds? Our own pain? Our own brokenness? Our own evil? 

I am still a work in progress. Dressing and addressing wounds is hard, slow, and scary work. 

Shortly after my leadership fail, the turning point for me to begin the work happened one day when I was complaining to a friend. She interrupted me and said: “Sarah, you don’t sound like you are living the abundant life that Jesus came to offer you.” 

Her words stopped me. Stunned me. Stirred me. 

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” – Jesus

Speaking to the Pharisees (the leaders and teachers of the Jewish law) and his followers, Jesus compares himself to a shepherd and the gate of the sheep pen to help them understand the freedom and fullness of life he came to offer. Jesus contrasts that freedom and fullness with the life the thief offers. A life that is deceptively and sneakily taken. A life that is massacred into pieces like an animal about to be sacrificed. A life that is cut-off from its source. 

Jesus wanted them to know the distinctiveness of being part of God’s family: We are offered a life of intentionality and purpose where we are sustained and thriving in every dimension of our humanity. The evil that separated us from fully living is redeemed through Jesus who reconciles and restores us to wholeness. 

Even though I’m part of God’s family, I was not living into the distinctiveness of God’s family. I was not living abundantly. I was living asleep. My life wasn’t truly me. My life was in pieces. My life was cut-off from its source. I was going through the motions. Trying to numb the pain inside me. Until the wound cracked wide open. Internally bleeding all over me. Bleeding all over others. 

It’s taken me a year to cultivate a greater self-awareness about my pain and brokenness that led me to bleed and inflict wounds on others. The work is not done yet, but I’m living into the wholeness that Jesus came to give me. 

My journey has taught me that I’m not the only person in God’s family who was living asleep. In fact, I’ve come to believe that the reason Jesus speaks this message to the Pharisees and his followers was because they were not living in freedom and fullness. 

Could the same be said of the people in our churches today? 

That followers of Jesus are not living in freedom and fullness? 

That leaders and pastors in our churches are not living in freedom and fullness? 

We have an epidemic of people who are not well. 

The epidemic is in our churches. 

Could it be that the Church is causing the bleeding, instead of stopping the bleeding? 

That we are inflicting more wounds because we are not dressing and addressing our wounds? 

That rather than being beacons of light, love, and life, we are part of the pain, evil, and darkness?

My friend and I were talking about the brokenness of the political and legal systems. As an attorney, I am more convinced than ever that these systems are broken. That the whole system is broken. While we talked, I shared that the reason I shifted from lawyering to pastoring is because the people who create the systems are broken. People – me, you, us – we are the root causes of the brokenness we see in the world. I made the shift from lawyering to pastoring, so that I could be part of the healing work in people’s lives. 

As a Christ-follower and as a Pastor (learning how to transition from a youth pastor to a lead pastor), I’m more aware than I ever that the Church has failed. We have failed to edify, encourage, and equip people to live into the freedom and fullness that Jesus came to offer us. Majoring on the minors. Being known for what we’re against, instead of what we’re for. Hiding in our church buildings like ivory towers that people fear entering because we shame and guilt trip people through behavior modification tactics. Editing out the things in God’s word that are inconvenient and uncomfortable for us. Watering down what it means to be set apart and to be transformed into the image of Christ for the sake of the world. Failing to teach the full gospel, including the realities of sin, evil, and darkness. 

What will it take to stop the bleeding? 

For followers of Christ to follow Christ. 

I know this may sound like a simple answer, but if we truly fix our focus on following Christ, we will come alive. We will find the path to live well in wholeness for purpose. 

There’s a moment when John, the disciple whom Jesus loved, witnesses an interaction between Jesus and a man who has been invalid for 38 years. Jesus is entering Jerusalem for one of the yearly Jewish celebrations. He enters through one of the gates of the city where there was a pool surrounded by multitudes of people with a range of diseases and sicknesses. Legend has it that an angel of the Lord would stir the waters and the first ones to reach the pool would be healed. So, the multitudes of sick people laid around this pool waiting for something to happen. Jesus sees the man who had been laying on a mat for 38 years – unable to move. 

Jesus asks the man:

Do you truly long to become whole? 

The man begins to make excuses about what’s keeping him from reaching the pool – from receiving the healing from the waters. 

Jesus says: Get up, take up your mat, and walk. 

In an instant, the man does something he didn’t realize he could do, but Jesus knew. Jesus knew the potential for the man to be healed from the disease. 

Jesus calls him to do something he didn’t know he could do. 

We have an epidemic of people who are not well. 

The epidemic is in our churches. 

But if we truly long to become whole – to come alive and live well in wholeness for purpose – there is light for our darkness. There’s opportunity for healing. Jesus still sees our potential. Jesus still heals. The wounds in his hands heal our wounds – they stop our bleeding.

As we dress and address our wounds, we become the hands that hold the wounds of the world. We can stop the bleeding. We can offer the healing for the epidemic: Jesus. It’s always been Jesus, it will always be Jesus. Jesus is our path to wholeness and purpose. 

Here’s a starting place towards dressing and addressing our wounds

Take 10-15 minutes to write and doodle your response to the following questions: 

  • Do you truly long to become whole? 
  • Why do you truly long to become whole? 
  • What will wholeness look like for you? 

The path to wholeness and purpose, begins with having a clear sense of our “why”? Healing takes time. Understanding why we want to heal anchors us for the journey ahead. 

Together, let’s live well!

sg

“There’s a difference between curing and healing, and I believe the church is called to the slow and difficult work of healing. We are called to enter into one another’s pain, anoint it as holy, and stick around no matter the outcome.”Rachel Held Evans

Living Well

Setting a Sustainable Pace for the Rest of 2019


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July is an odd month.

The 1st week of July ought to be a national holiday. 

The 2nd week of July feels like starting the year over again and relearning how to do life. 

Then we settle in. We find a pace for the remainder of the summer. 

If we’re honest…for the remainder of the year. August and September sneak up on us and then it’s go, go, go until the holidays. 

The odd pace of July can trip us up for the rest of the year if we don’t seize the opportunity for a reset. 

How do we set a sustainable pace towards living well? 

A couple of weeks ago a friend asked me if I could run 5 miles. I’m a pretty casual 5K runner. 3 miles gives me a good opportunity to listen to a podcast, to disconnect from the world for 30ish minutes, and jump back into my day with fresh energies. 

But for some reason when my friend asked me this, it made me think: “Can I run 5 miles?” What changes do I need to make to my running flow to make this happen? 

The first day I tried, I ran 4.7 miles. Then, on July 4th, I did a CrossFit workout (my first one ever!) that was mostly running, but had other movements mixed in throughout the workout.

After that workout, I realized if I mixed certain movements into my running flow, then I could develop a sustainable pace towards this new goal I had of running 5 miles. 

In the 3 times I’ve run since that workout, I’ve included circuit movements into my running flow, and my pace towards 5 miles has been more sustainable. 

Small resets can set sustainable paces. 

Here are 3 small resets you can do this month to set a sustainable pace for the rest of the year.  (And during any moments when you need to reset to set yourself up for living well.)

  1. Reset your vision 
  2. Reset your mindset 
  3. Reset your values

1. Reset your vision 

Vision sets us on the journey towards who we are becoming and where we long to be. Clarity keeps us from wandering aimlessly and keeps us towards growing meaningfully. 

  • What is your overall life vision? 
  • How did you want to make moves towards that vision this year? 
  • What areas are you thriving in? What areas are you neglecting? 
  • In the areas that you’re neglecting, what specific small moves would you like to make before the end of the year?

Micro-movements are still movements. 

If you started the year saying: “I want to go to the gym 3-4 times a week”, but you only go one time a week (maybe), you may need a reset on this vision. 

Instead of being disappointed in yourself and not making steps towards your vision, think about the small moves you CAN make. A small reset can go a long way when it’s done towards an aim. 

2. Reset your mindset

We get a beautiful opportunity in July to realize that maybe the pace we originally set for ourselves was too fast. Instead of feeling guilty for moving slower than you wanted to move, seize the moment for a shift. 

  • When you first started the year, how did you see the opportunities in front of you? 
  • How do you see them now? 
  • What would it look like to reset your mindset, so that your perspective is not limiting, but expanding and making space for the months ahead?

Remember, micro-movements are still movements.

Even if your perspectives about your circumstances and situations feel bleak, the year isn’t over, you still have time. Shift your perspective. See things differently. Flip it around. Make space for the possibilities. 

3. Reset your values

Our values are the guiding principles that direct us. We all go through moments when our actions don’t align with our values. This is why we need a value reset every so often. A reset will ensure we’re being guided by our principles. 

  • What are your 5-6 core values? 
  • Reflecting on your current season, what one value do you need to guide you most? 
  • What will that value look like in practice? 

Last time: Micro-movements are still movements.

Practicing our values is hard work. Focusing on one value – the value that adds the most value to your pace right now – will guide your steps more intentionally.

In my new book, Color Me Yellow, section one focuses on uncovering our voices. I guide you through 3 foundational aspects of uncovering your values, mindset, and vision. Each chapter has exercises to help you towards clarifying these foundational aspects of yourself. 

Without clarity about our values, mindset, and vision, we will find it challenging to find ourselves. And find it challenging to set sustainable paces in our lives, so that we can live well. 

I’d love to be on the journey with you towards living well and clarifying these foundational aspects of yourself, so get your exclusive signed copy of Color Me Yellow today. 

Adelante, 

sg