It’s been a very busy time here at “Becoming Today”.
Since we’ve each on our own walk and collectively along our shared path have been ushering in a time of Transformative Tradition, I thought today in order to ensure our continued forward momentum we should look back at some of the insights and steps we’ve been discussing.
Time for more work. If you’ve been with us for a while you may have noticed we are action-centric here at “Becoming Today”. When last we spoke, I asked you to focus on gaining momentum, which I believe should always be focused forward and upward.
We’ve been discussing what prayer is, how to pray, developing our prayer life, praying for our purpose plus how to link all those concepts together. Now we’ll discuss how to apply your purpose.
While we’ve been accentuating the positive much of the past few days, our efforts do cause us to examine the uncomfortable as well. That’s why today we need to approach our dark sides.
See Your Shadow
Since most of us are at least initially unwilling to see or accept anything unattractive or negative about ourselves, most often we are likely to see the shadows of others befor our own. However, opening up to the willingness and responsibility of exploring our dark sides has many powerful benefits including having a clearer focus, a better defined vision, improved relationships, a more accepting and acknowledging attitude, greater creativity, and a more awakened spirit.
All are tools empowering us along our paths towards “Becoming”. So quit putting it off and realize you must embrace yourself and accept your dark side. No more denying or hiding. You have a dark side. I have a dark side. We all have dark sides. The time has come now for us to admit it and free ourselves from it’s negative power and side effects.
Acknowledging your dark side does not mean you have to embrace it.
When you have improved the vision of who you are, then you can shift towards where you want to be. Open yourself up to new possibilities. Dreams do come true. Trust yourself, do what you love and love who you are while doing it. Embrace your times of imperfection with grace and forgiveness and empower yourself to conquer any self limiting aspects.
To live an empowered life you must open yourself to a “Becoming”. Be purposeful in living for great expectations, realizations and continued growth. Empowerment means that you are stronger, bolder, more secure. Better able to deal with those distractions, circumstances and moments of stress. Deciding to empower yourself allows for you to make superior decisions, including having the conscious determination to be “Becoming”. By that action you are committing to continue evolving to the next higher level.
Yes you will still encounter delays, obstacles and troubles. However, accepting the responsibility for your own empowerment, by focusing on who you are and where you want to be, allows for you to live a life that is truly authentic, more rewarding and of significance.
And if you encounter resistance, hold yourself with Grace. Haters will always hate. Gossips will run their mouths and the fearful will try to scare you. Hold your head high, shoulders back and nurture yourself in your new empowered confidence and in who you are “Becoming Today”.
Practice makes perfect. The old adage holds true especially when considering our daily commitments to ourselves. Just like your workout routine, think of prayer as an added form of exercise, in which the results are guaranteed.
Now for exercise to be effective, we know it has to be done earnestly and regularly. That’s why the first step in developing our prayer life is to continuously engage in it.
Psalm 86:3 tells us “For unto You I cry all day long.” King David, motivated by his great desire and monumental need was motivated to remain focused on his connection through prayer.
As part of our regular practice of prayer, it should be done in gratitude. Always with an attitude of thanksgiving and openly expressing our thanks for the outcome. Not when “it” arrives or when it is proven true, but as we ask for it. Give gratitude as you seek showing confidence in your belief that good shall overcome.
However, do not do so pridefully. We should always pray in humility. Ask and gracefully receive.. When we humble ourselves before God we are not only glorifying Him, but also reminding ourselves of how powerful God’s mercy, grace and unconditional love are.
Then you must also pray in faith. As explained in Hebrews 11:1 “… faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see”.
That goes hand in hand with trust. Trusting that God will deliver. Deliver on His promises and ceaseless unconditional love.
Therefore we should trust our belief and have faith in God to earnestly discipline ourselves to ask Him to supply our needs in prayer. In requesting this in sincerity with gratitude and humility, faith allows us to perceive the knowledge that our requests or petitions will be heard and that if what we ask for is in accord with the Lord, that His will will be done, delivering us through His promise, grace and mercy.
#3 My Revival
As we continue our shared journey along this path of “Becoming Today”, it should not be a surprise that while we “travel” together, no two routes are identical. Most times they are more like rivers than highways. Traveling forward with an ebb and flow, meandering at times rather than the constant buzz and speed of an Interstate.
Recently I journeyed away from familiar surroundings on a trip that took me places I hadn’t planned on and taught me lessons I didn’t even know I needed.
I’m calling this somewhat unexpected, yet intensely needed course correction, “My Revival”.
That’s not how it began, but when I had a chance encounter with a woman of prominence, who walked up and spoke to me it’s what I just blurted out. I told her I was on”my own revival trip”.
In that brief moment of complete vulnerability and honesty I realized that’s what it was and I was being led to some deep questions and answers.
For 11 days I appeared to be wandering, but was being guided, my every step directed.
I appeared to be traveling alone and never was.
Most thought I was exploring the “wilderness”, but rather it was leaving no stone unturned in me.
It was a long overdue expedition, far more than a temporary diversion I thought I needed. In retrospect it truly was a tour of my soul, an examination of self, community, the world in general and how I need to be relating to humanity.
I’ll be sharing a bit on this over the next, oh let’s be honest I have no idea yet how many days it will take, because I have so much to share with you.
“My Revival” has reinforced my calling to be an ambassador. An envoy of all the possibilities that exist for ourselves and each other. To be an emissary of what we should expect and where to seek (and receive) the answers.
We can all find them, but first there is something required of each of us. To take a proverbial leap of faith. That’s where we’ll jump to next, here on” Becoming Today”.
It was not one but many significant leaps of faith that I had to take to allow myself to be led over these past several weeks.
During my somewhat unexpected, yet intensely needed course correction, I appeared to be wandering, but was being guided, my every step directed.I appeared to be traveling alone and never was.
I had to intentionally decide to act without doubts, without worries with nothing short of courage.
The strength of our intention determines the power of our actions. I was determined to find answers and I did. I was focused to overcome and I did. I was committed to being guided and I was.
First I had to overcome the fears of taking any trip. The news of recent weeks of the resurrengence of the COVID-19 epidemic was just part of my initial concerns. I had to have faith in my understanding of the science and common sense practices that could allow me to travel without fear of becoming a statistic.
To further compound my hesitancy, I was greeted with the information that I was being led to one of the top 5 states with the highest rates of new infections and hospitalizations.
Nevertheless I trusted (obviously went) and was rewarded in ways I never imagined.
Secondly, I had to overcome a multitude of fears, concerns and repressions related to an intensely personal set of situations. During the time of my revival was a significant anniversary.
It has been three years since I suffered a life altering accident. One that I accept as life changing but not in any of the ways I was told I would have to .
During this time I had to literally learn how to stand and balance again. After several days in intensive care it was nearly a year before I could stand for more than nine seconds without falling over.
I had to learn how to refocus my vision, overcome visual hallucinations, walk again, and it was nearly two years before I could attempt driving. Now I found myself getting into the car for a 4 four hour triphers. and doing it unaccompanied.
That alone is cause for concern. A woman traveling by herself to an area where I knew no one and had never been before.
Yet dedicated to practicing Faith over Fear I knew I could do so again without becoming a statistic or a footnote on the evening news.
Faith is the assurance of things we hope for, but have not yet received. Faith is also the confidence, belief and trust in things that are not seen. Faith must be present before a prayer can be answered.
Faith is hard work, but its rewards are truly remarkable.
We are being granted the potential for momentous change and growth. Are you ready? Are you willing to accept this time of “Transformative Transition”?
In order to do so, let’s make sure we are communicating clearly with each other. Let’s begin by examining this phrase of Transformative Transition.
Transformative is defined for our purposes as “causing a marked change in someone or something.” Meaning a significant, noticeable, appreciative difference.
Transition can be explained as “the process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another”.
So let’s agree to understand Transformative Transition as a period of life altering change. Fostering growth, unlocking new opportunities, learning new behaviors and coming into acceptance with new ways, attitudes and truths. It is a time in which we can choose to alter our realities for the better
Sounds good to me. As I’ve shared often this year, I have no desire and truly see no reason to go back. Back to normal? When in your lifetime has everything ever truly seemed normal? And what exactly does that mean.?
While we all hear rhetoric about getting back to the good old days of 2019, I believe we should all be focused on becoming our future. Making this moment our best ever and living aspiring for even better days ahead.
And I know I’m not alone if you look in the right places. Others are talking about the opportunities and advancements these past nearly 18 months of unexpected shifts have taught us.
In part one of my sharing on this experience we discussed how Faith is the assurance of things we hope for, but have not yet received.
During my recent journey away from familiar surroundings on a trip that took me places I hadn’t planned on and taught me lessons I didn’t even know I needed.
As I shared it took leaps if not complete jumps of Faith over fear, as for 11 days I appeared to be wandering, but was being guided, my every step directed.I appeared to be traveling alone and never was.
During these moments of clarity I was able to completely focus, move beyond chronic pain and other past traumas and recognize that in every moment the potential for our Becoming is alive and energized.
It takes a degree of clarity to be able to focus our intentions and then in a mere moment of release we empower our faith to deliver our needed results or solutions. The strength of our intentions determines the power of our choices and the resulting actions.
We must remain committed and follow through in listening to and acting upon our inner guidance. It is with determination plus perseverance that we are allowed a life of good intentions, and to truly thrive.
Not just survive but to grow, develop vigorously and Always Be Becoming.
In that commitment to achieve our desires, to activate our intentions we must remain steadfast in our faith.
As it is written in Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV):
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
Forbearance is patient self-control, restraint and tolerance that gives us the strength necessary to surrender to the Spirit in Faith and then Trust, Believe and Receive.
To achieve this state, first we must allow ourselves to be vulnerable. A term often misused or misunderstood in today’s culture.
Vulnerability is not exposing yourself or putting yourself at risk as the simple dictionary definitions suggest vulnerable is to be explained as “susceptible to physical or emotional attack or harm”.
Rather allowing ourselves to accept vulnerability grants us the ability to open ourselves to new levels of understanding and intimacy with the Lord. It deepens our walk in Faith and strengths each of our and our collective strength along our shared journey of Becoming.
Allowing for accepting vulnerability as a tool of empowerment, is best defined as the “willingness to show emotion or to allow one’s weakness to be seen or known; willingness to risk being hurt or attacked”.
In allowing myself the freedom to practice this, I realized that I needed to spend time alone to get back in touch with what is being put on my heart.
In putting my Faith into action and actively without reservation demonstrating my confidence in God I learned that fear is a liar. It’s not conceived by God, and it is fear that is constantly telling us false things to hold us back.
In the Scriptures we are instructed numerous times to not fear anything.
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
Now I understand that decisions are something that apparently more than a few people have trouble with. As for me, I belong to the schools of thought that teach,….
What happens when you make a decision? Either it works. Or it doesn’t.
Seems simple enough but even in my own family I’ve documented resistance to the idea.
However you will never be able to find out if you are right if you’re not willing to fail. Allowing yourself to be vulnerable and make mistakes, which we all do, is how you can learn to hear from God.
Where there is risk, there is always the potential for reward. We must choose to act in those moments and not react to circumstances that develop from our lack of action or the outright refusal to act, decide or choose.
Where there is risk, there is always the potential for reward. We must choose to act in those moments and not react to circumstances that develop from our lack of action or the outright refusal to act, decide or choose.
However you will never be able to find out if you are right if you’re not willing to risk failure. Allowing yourself to be vulnerable and make mistakes, which we all do, is how you can learn to hear from God.
In order to do that we need to expand our circles of understanding and influence.
The “Circle of Life”, is much like the song shares:
“It’s the circle of life
it moves us all
Through despair and hope
Through faith and love
‘Til we find our place
On the path unwinding
In the circle
The circle of life”
It is the essence of daily movement, not to be running around in circles, but rather to keep the circle rolling, moving forward, building with increasing momentum lifting us all a little higher.
This living ellipse, constantly in movement, symbolizes the universe being sacred and divine. The idea of life as a circle or a wheel exists across multiple spiritual and religious beliefs and spheres of philosophies.
For myself, I first learned of it as the Sacred Hoop, these days more often or not referred to as the Medicine Wheel.
Though widely used the later term is not of original origin and much like many names and even identities of the indigenious residents of Turtle Island, was derived by the language and believed understandings of European influenced settlers of what we today call the Americas.
Due to language differences, the Sacred Hoop has many different names amongst the tribes. However the concept is the same.. The Sacred Hoop is symbolized by a very basic, yet perfect shape: the circle.
It is widely accepted that the Sacred Hoop is a symbol of life additionally representing perfection plus infinity as the circle has no beginning nor end. There can be many reasons behind the meaning of the circle itself among Nations. These range from representing the stages of life; to Earth or other heavenly bodies including the Sun and Moon; as well as aspects of humanity.
Using the parlance of our times, the Medicine Wheel serves as a reminder of the need for each of us to balance all aspects of our being; the Physical, Intellectual, Emotional and Spiritual.
When we allow ourselves to Become unbalanced, it results in diseases of the body, mind and / or soul. Since disease has its origins in the combination of two words, “dis” and “ease” meaning, ‘distance from God’. If our circle of connection with the Creator is broken then we lose focus, balance and control.
When used in ceremonies the Sacred Hoop’s movement is circular to the right. In a clockwise, or “sun-wise” direction. This helps to align the petitioner with the forces of Creation.
Coming to recognize these insights should help to enlighten why we should Always Be Becoming or seeking to expand our movement, actions and the many circles within our sphere or influence of life.
In the Scriptures, the passage often referred to as “A Time For Everything”, outlines the many changing seasons we all experience in life. It outlines the constant cycle of “Becoming”. In fact 28 specific times or seasons are mentioned in this one passage.
Now on “Becoming Today”, as part of our examination of ourselves and our shared paths we’ll take note that not included in those examples is a very important aspect; none of the 28 mention a time to quit
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, is perhaps so revered and often quoted because of its poetic approach towards life. It balances 14 distinct elements we all experience at one time or another, and some more than once. It reinforces our constant state of Always Being “Becoming”.
It teaches and reminds us that life is a mix of joy and sorrow, pleasure and pain, harmony and struggle, and life and death. Each season has its appropriate time.
Some are difficult, and still we know that we must never give up and continue on in Faith, trusting in God, believing his plans for us are always based upon good purposes and joyful outcomes.
As the passage begins “There is a time for everything,…..”
Included among the lessons learned in studying these verses is that we are to accept each day as a gift from the hand of God because He has a reason and a time for all things.
There is much wisdom to be gained in understanding this concept of
“There is a time for everything, / and a season for every activity under the heavens.”
When we live our lives in faith we are “Becoming” our destinies as we comprehend and embrace the power in always trusting God. Our lives truly reveal their meaning and purpose when we rely on His wisdom, timing and goodness.
Much of “Becoming” involves embracing the need for change, it is the only way in which we can truly grow, develop and realize our potential. Life is a process. A repetitive one/ We learn, grow, become then question, learn, grow and continue “Becoming”.
Today’s post will require participation on your part. After all, it’s designed to help you clarify your vision, accept your purpose and determine the next step to take along your individual path towards “Becoming”.
Begin by asking yourself some questions. There are no wrong or right answers, since there are questions you are asking yourself about your Self.
Undertake a self examination of your past, present, and future making sure to base
your questions focusing on your hopes and dreams. These are intended to build a foundation for undertaking some life changes.
I know, someone over there says “that’s not easy” and I hear her on the other side saying “change is tough”; Yes, nonetheless it is required to continue growing, developing and living.
Asking yourself hard questions plus answering them thoroughly and honestly can help you determine how ready you are to achieve your goals, makes dreams come true and truly live a life of “Becoming”.
Quite simply you are preparing to clarify your life’s purpose. For some this may be their first exploration, for others it may be time to revisit earlier lessons learned and for others yet, we realize this is an ever-developing aspect in life. Therefore as seasons change so may our focus, needs and wants.
An example of this from Scripture is the Apostle Paul. He knew, understood and accepted the mission to which he was called.
He lived a very “Becoming” acknowledging God had called him to preach the gospel (Ephesians 3:8-9). He devoted his energy, talents, experiences and opportunities to accomplish this purpose.
Focus on your responses for a while, then ask yourself
What is my life’s purpose? My mission? Where do I direct my focus? And why? Write down ( or type) your answers. Keep them where you can refer to them as a roadmap or guidebook for orienting your path.
#10 Who Are “They”?
Does anybody really know? It’s one of those questions that if we are not, we probably should be asking ourselves on a regular basis.
The individual ways we can realize our own Transformative Transition will vary greatly. No two people are alike, nor are we created to be the same. Embracing our differences and affording each other the compassion, dignity and respect which we are due ourselves will help to form our own maps along this journey.
So that’s why we have to ask the question, who are “they”? Why are “they”motivated or feeling obligated to weigh in on, or attempt to influence your personal path of “Becoming”.
Even for those not walking our combined paths,or those who may be and don not yet realize it, I think many times everyone is faced with the question.
Who are “they”?
While especially in recent times we are all confounded with this issue of “They”–”They” say this, “They” want that, “They” tell you what “They” believe you should or should not do, “They” amplify their voices about what “They “ oppose and “They” insist you are going about it all wrong.
Even though “They” are vocal, make a lot of noise and seem to always have something to say about us, our beliefs or desires, do any of us really know who “They” are.
So my first reaction when I get hit with a ‘well “They” say… is to respond ;often a bit too passionately…
I don’t care!
Anyway, who are “They”?
And maybe “They” need to be more concerned about themselves.
Then when I regain my composure I get back to or focus for today on Who Are “They”?
Life has revealed to me many times over that “They” are often a special interest group, some kind of extremist or a vocal minority. If these are the cases you really need to consider your sources. If “They” are without you asking for their opinion feeling obliged to not so gently correct your beliefs, philosophies or attitudes, you may need to see who “They” really are.
Too many times in recent history we see individuals and groups claiming they are one thing, when really they aren’t . In fact may “They” can be motivated by the complete opposite of who they are allegedly standing up for or trying to “help”.
We see this regularly. Groups that claim to be Christians that publicly encourage violence against others. Organizations that in the name of religion organize terror attacks against differing beliefs and elected officials who despite affirming oaths do anything but serve the public interest.
These are all examples of some of those blood boiling times when I want to scream, I don’t care! Anyway, who are “They”? And maybe “They” need to be more concerned about themselves.
But when I step aside from my emotions, I realize I do care. We do need to be concerned not only to protect ourselves but also to offer level headed responses for others to understand something is amiss with the claims of “They”.
Then there are “They” who we do know. People in our own circles who suddenly may come against us. Loved ones who try to prevent our forward momentum, even family members who are well intentioned, but perhaps are less motivated to be Becoming than we are.
You can not create a state of “Becoming”, if you aren’t willing to let the former or current realities go.
For many of us that will require stepping away from or distancing ourselves from some of the “They”. Some who have been important and close in the past, but perhaps they are lagging or choosing to remain behind . Others could be determining that heir new season is different from the one that we are each embarking upon.
So Who Are “They”?
While I can offer clues or possibilities the truth is for each one of us Who “They” Are is something we each need to explore for ourselves.
#11 It’s Up To You
That brings us to today.
The quality of our lives is determined by knowing who we are and what we want to be Becoming.
The only one who can determine that is you. So we’ll wrap up with some more questions for you:
What do you value?
What is truly important to yo?;
How do you motivate yourself?
What do you really want out of life? ( Not what others want of you, not what some say you should, but truly what you want).
What are your greatest talents or skills?
Which of your talents gives you the greatest sense of satisfaction?
What are your biggest weaknesses?
What do you do to overcome ( grow beyond) them?
What are the values dearest to your heart?
How is the “public you” different from the “private you”?
What are you most proud of in your life to date? Why?
What do you hope to achieve in life?
What three things would you like to change most about yourself?
I promised it would involve some work today, but if you were not willing to accept the challenge, then I suspect you wouldn’t be reading this now.
Do the work, devote some time and be honest with yourself.
Pray for guidance and the support you need, the enlightenment you desire will be revealed, as you continue your “Becoming Today”.