This is a ‘new’ season for me. It’s a time when I am FIERCELY taking on some issues in my life- mostly related to my health.
For the last 12 years, I’ve slept more than I’ve done anything. There have been so many days spent trying just to get the most important thing done. I’ve talked about getting serious about my weight, and my blood sugar.
For the last 5 years or so, I’ve been choosing one BIG thing to focus on. One year it was a new coaching program for Green Hope Coaching. Another year it was following up on a coaching credential and certification. Of course one- or two years I spent writing and publishing the book, Lovely Traces of Hope.
This year I knew that I had to make ME the focus. I chose to be intentional about me. I made an appointment with a Dr. that specialized with endocrine issues. I committed to a 21 Day Detox. I cleaned out my fridge and goody shelf and started to create a new menu for the week.
I love pondering mornings. I love to ponder. So I don’t demand anything of myself on these mornings;
I turn off the alarm,
lay in bed till I feel like getting up and if I don’t feel like it, then I just stay put,
put on my ‘comfy’ clothes,
make sure I eat a healthy breakfast (I want to be able to think clearly.),
choose my favorite ‘wordless’ music station on Pandora, otherwise I spend all my pondering time singing along.
grab a blanket tablet of paper and a good writing pen,
and I ponder.
It’s mornings like these that allow my body to catch up with my mind and heart and spirit. They are usually running ahead and if I don’t intentionally give myself some time to reflect, I end up getting all tangled up a few days down the line.
This morning when I flipped on Pandora, before I could click on my ‘wordless’ stations, the song Seasons of Love, began to play. The lyrics start like this:
Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Six hundred minutes
Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Moments so dear
Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Six hundred minutes
How do you measure – measure a year in a life?
I’ve been fascinated with this song for a lot of years, but I thought it was especially poignant since my ‘ponderings’ for the morning had been largely focused on what I want to be true of this new year.
Wow! There are only 525,600 minutes in a year? Considering that one day holds 1440 minutes, that means we have already spent nearly 20,000 minutes of this new year! I’m not usually into numbers, but this morning it caught my attention.
I am quite excited about this word. Over the last 10 years my words have been Hope- Hope & More HOPE! I had that word for several years. It’s a great word, but it was a desperate time for me.
One year the word was TRUST, another year it was BE STILL. (I know technically two words, right?) Last year my word was FINISH which was appropriate since my goal was to complete the Lovely Traces of Hope book.
These were all great words and they were significant to me at the time, but they all had a urgency to them, desperation is still the better word. Even being still was a challenge word at the time.
Below, I am REPOSTING a post from a year a go. I wrote this during my first ever writer’s conference- TRIBEWRITER’s in Franklin, TN last August 2015. I remember being scared, excited, sick to my stomach and sure this was my next right/write step.
Today as I prepare to attend my second Tribewriter conference, I read this post agin. I am in awe of all that has happened in a year.
A year ago, I spoke the words “I am a writer” for the first time. A year ago I declared that I would finish writing and publish a book.
Now it is done. It took a great deal more to complete this task than I ever dreamed, but I have a book to show to the Jeff Goins as I thank him for helping me own who I am and for introducing me to Christine Niles and others who inspired and challenged me through this process.
I don’t know what I will learn this year at TRIBEWRITERS, but I’m scared, excited, sick to my stomach and sure this is the next right/write step. Pray for me!
As a child, did you ever wonder what you would be when you grew up?
I did often. It had everything to do with being a mom, and working with music and worship in the local church. And if I happened to be married to a pastor, that would be all the better. I never wanted to be anything else.
But today I sat in a room full of people and realized that is not who I am anymore. I still have the same gifts and abilities. I still love music and prefer to use it to lead others in worship. I still have a husband who thinks about ways to teach God’s word and loves to talk about church leadership.
The fact that I am not what I once was used to feel like failure, then just loss. But today I came to see in fresh ways that all that WAS is part of all that IS. All that I have learned is part of all that I now share.
From the memories of all that I am from to the discovery of the voice that has always been within me, I am still me.
I’m more aware!
I’m more raw!
I’m more real!
And that is good.
Today I came closer to identifying and becoming content with who I am!
I am an entrepreneur. I own a business.
I am a coach and a speaker.
I am part of a tribe and I am a leader of tribes.
I am also a writer!
It is out of who I am now that I will write. It might suit you and it might not. I might speak to the core of your issues and I might not. I might write out of the suffering more than the healing and I might not.
But I will write because I must. I will continue to explore who I am coming to be because I will not go back. I will continue to share the truths that I am being taught.
I will not count the past as lost, or wasted. I will see it for the training ground it has been. I will not fear the present or the future because I have known the hand of God in bringing me to this point. I will trust it as I continue on.
Today I have seen more of me.
And it’s ok!
So are you!
Who are you today? What do you need to embrace in this day?
Today I want to share with you a friend of influence. Her name is Pat.
Pat is has been a long time friend, though recent years have brought us together more purposefully. She has been my coach as I launched into business. I was her matron of honor a couple of years ago at her wedding. She has listened to me through so many transitions of life – and I to her.
Our favorite thing to do is grab a table at Touches of the Heart in Glandorf for lunch and stay till they close. Julie, the Touches host, knows when she sees us to put on another pot of coffee. We will be there a while. Pat and I are never at a loss of words to fill an afternoon.
I have spent that last few weeks struggling with finding energy to do life- but more significantly returning to the grief tunnel as I processed some of the chapters for the manuscript I am writing. The more I tried to get deeper into my story, the less strength I had to do it. I had spent 10 weeks grappling with the emotions and wondering if I could actually write them down.
I felt so alone. No one can do that except me!
Then Pat called- she connects with me in one way or another nearly every week. This time she called. We talked about my health, rejoiced over our families, shared what we are learning about ourselves, about God. Like I said, we rarely run out of words.
Then she asked about the book. I told her I haven’t written much for 10 weeks. We talked about how my health and lack of energy seemed directly connected to the book. She said, “Kathy, do I just need to come and sit with you while you write?”
Ah! There it is! So many days I had wished for someone to be with me in this journey. I had not said anything because I know that I am the only one who can write my story.
But Pat saw me!
She invited herself into my pain.
She asks the questions others are afraid to ask.
She listens to my ramblings as I come to find my own answers.
No, I don’t need her to come write with me. But I did need to know someone saw what I needed and was willing to be an answer to my need.
Pat, I am filled with gratitude for the influence you have had on my life. And just so you know, I’ve completed 5 chapters and rethinking 3 more. Thanks for spurring me to finish what my heart must do!
Yesterday we celebrated the 5th anniversary of GHC. I admitted that I’m not where I wanted to be in business and in life. But during this journey I have learned a great deal. Some things are brand new to me, others are things I am learning again for the first time.
But after the weekend at the first ever TRIBEWRITER’s Conference, (hence #tribeconf) I came to own I have been on this journey of writing most of my life.
Jeff Goins, founder and host of the TribeWriter Conference, (Superman in another life) spoke directly to me (though he doesn’t know it) on the very first session.
He challenged us to:
Let go: of expectations, of fear, of shame (feeling that we Should Have Always Mastered Everything). Here we go again. First thing he says and I’m already having to open my hands to what God might be wanting to do here.
Embrace the mess: How did he know I woke up in the middle of the night in a sweat, wondering if I was going to show up and be shown up for the mess that I was? He asked us to partner with the community regarding the issues we have. I did! I found great encouragement and accountability in the process.
Become a more true version of yourself:
Be you! Not someone else, even if you admire them.
Believe in yourself. Action follows belief.
Try something new this weekend. That was easy! Everything had some newness to it.
While the weekend was full of excellent speakers with very practical resources and action steps for us, I probably could have left after the first speaker and felt like I got what I needed.
I have struggled ever since Leisha died feeling like I need to write to finish her book, but have been in a battle to rediscover who I am really not just as a writer, but as a woman. All I thought about myself had been put into question when my daughter died. I blogged a bit about this during the weekend. You can catch it here.
But Ally Vesterfelt, of Author Launch really spoke to this as she shared her father’s story as he was near death. As a clinical psychologist and marriage counselor, he had worked with all kinds of people. But his first article as he fought to live was “Dying is easy, Life is hard to do!” Yes it is! I can attest to that! I never considered that Leisha had the easy road in dying. The rest of us had to fight to live.
Ally was just getting started with her challenge to me. Her next thoughts made me know I was going the right direction.
We find our voices when we are most likely losing them.
One of the most painful things is to lose the sound of your own voice.
FIGHT for the truth, the rawness, and the realness of your own voice.
Finding your voice starts with finding yourself.
Wow! For her to speak directly to the battle I mentioned earlier means she is familiar with the pain of it. I have been there for the last 9 years. Finding my voice by finding myself. I can identify that it must be truth, it will be raw, and it must feel real or it feels disingenuous to the process of healing.
“More than likely you will find your voice on a path you least wanted to go down. Sometimes the sufferings, not the healings, are the source of greatest transformation of our life.”
She was right! I knew she was!
I was being changed through the sufferings. I didn’t want to suffer. I tried to avoid the suffering, but I knew it when I embraced the ache and walked into the darkness that the greatest transformation occurred.
As I work to finish Leisha’s book, I reconnect with many layers of grief in order to share what I have learned from the last 9 years. That has been part of the mess I have felt recently. But I wouldn’t change the process. I am much more aware of who I am and what I was meant to say!
I understand that I must find my own voice before I can truly help someone else find theirs. While I hope that the book will be used to change one person’s life in an effort to change the world, I know that writing this book has and is changing me.
The story I’m getting ready to present to the world in a few months has been in process for most of my life.
I’m a writer! I have been a writer! I need to write if just to change me!
How’s your story coming?
P.S. Thanks Jeff Goins! For letting go, embracing the mess and becoming a more true version of yourself. You have modeled for me and given me courage to do that same.
Thank you Ally Vesterfelt! For sharing out of the raw, real, truth of your own story. I am one who is changed because of it.
Just because I didn’t write life lessons from all the other speakers doesn’t mean I couldn’t have. I am still just processing the first one. Thanks to all of you for your time, availability and genuine support.
I’m already signed up for TribeWriter 2016. Join me?
You still see his handsome features, the ones that attracted you to him when you first met. You see the lines that are forming on his face, just as they are on yours. You know that look when one eye brow seems to clamp tighter around his eye, while the other one remains the same- as if one part of him was uptight and the other part relaxed.
You look at her, years of motherhood and caring for a family and her world have changed her. But peering from behind all that are the eyes of the beautiful, young girl that won your heart so long ago. She still reaches up and plays with that small tuft of hair right by her ear as she is deep in thought or developing some creative vision.
You love him! You love her! Really love from a place so deep you never knew it existed.
I have struggled to find the right WORD for the new year!
I usual pick one, or a few to remind me what I want to be about.
For the last two years I chose
GIVE the gift of PRESENCE
GRAB HOLD of FREEDOM
TAKE PLATFORMS to INFLUENCE
They have been good words which continue to remind me what I want to be about. I made progress in each area but have significant steps that remain. You may not know what I mean by them. But I do. I read them over regularly in an effort to stay focused on my purpose.