There are two places in my home that I automatically deem as my place of peace. These two rooms are my bedroom and bathroom. There are the two places where I can always hear and call on God. Zen despite its mystical connotations is your place of meditation, your place of peace. For some, it may be the basement or the kitchen. Make sure that you have some place in your home where you can seek and hear from God. Make sure that you have a place where you can be free and transparent with your creator. Make sure that you make time and space for zen in your life.
What do you have an active interest in? What are your hobbies? What do you enjoy doing in your downtime? Where would you volunteer? What cause would you donate to? What organizations do you support? The answer to these questions is where your passion lies. Your passion is a byproduct of your purpose. Pursue your passion until your passion pursues you. Be zealous!
Most of us could use some rest. We carry the weight of responsibility, positions, and expectation on our shoulders. We all need to take a break and rest our weary souls. How do we lay our cares on God? We pray and leave our concerns on the altar. How do we rest? Have faith that God will take care of you. Allow the peace of God to infiltrate your heart and mind. When we trust God, it’s easy for Jesus to take the wheel.
Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV) “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
When was the last time you took a long hard look at you? When was the last time that you searched your soul? When was the last time you asked yourself, “what do you want?” When was the last time you acknowledged your fears? I know, mirror work is hard, but it is necessary. You can’t ask more of others than you are willing to do yourself. Nobody is gonna love you, like you love you. Love yourself. Hug yourself. Kiss yourself. Encourage yourself. Forgive yourself. Take care of you.
Shonda Rhimes issued a challenge in her book, The Year of Yes. Say "yes" for a year. She chronicles how saying "yes" changed her life. My immediate thought was that there is no way you can say "yes" for a year. There has to be some balance. Rhimes explains that she had to learn when to say "yes" and when to say "no," and often times she was saying "no" to the very things she should be saying "yes" to. It's a hard balance. Many of us don't learn this lesson until our bodies physically tell us "no!" We should evaluate every opportunity through the capacity lens. What is the capacity lens? The capacity lens asks the question,"just because you are capable, do you have the capacity? What will this "yes" take from me and is it worth it? Am I operating on a full tank or a quarter tank? Am I giving out of my abundance or my need?" There's nothing wrong with saying "no," but make sure that you are saying "yes" for the right reasons.
Are you willing? Are you able? Are you ready? Sometimes, the major decisions in our life have more to do with our mindset than our capabilities. We weren't there yet. We couldn't wrap our mind around it. We weren't mature enough. We hadn't lived long enough. We didn't trust God enough. We didn't trust ourselves enough. Our faith was shaken. We were scared. We were afraid. It happens, but in order to get where God wants us to be, we have to assuage our doubts and fears. We have to take the first step. We have to be willing.
"Wholeness does not mean perfection: it means embracing brokenness as an integral part of life." - Parker J. Palmer
I don't think we truly appreciate our wholeness until we are broken. We don't appreciate our health until it fades. We don't appreciate the goodness of today until we encounter the challenges of tomorrow. We don't appreciate what we have until it's gone. Why can't we live in the now? Why can't we have an attitude of gratitude? Why do we spend so much time looking for our next that we don't relish in the present? Today is a blessing. Today is all we have. Tomorrow is not guaranteed. Just be and enjoy being.
"You don't need another person, place or thing to make you whole. God already did that. Your job is to know it." - Maya Angelou