Tag Archives: Religion and Spirituality

Monday Musings: Do streaking and productivity hacking have validity?

“Rule of thumb: The more important a call or action is to our soul’s evolution, the more resistance we will feel toward pursuing it.”

Steven Pressfield

Today, January 30, 2017, I kick off a writing streak. Notice, I said writing, not necessarily posting. You may or may not be privy to the musings of my mind during the next 30 days as I attempt to improve upon, and even solidify, my calling as a writer. It is possible that what I put on paper will not be fit for human consumption, and that is ok. Not every basket that Lebron gloriously puts in is seen.

They, the powers that be, say that in order to be an author, blogger, or writer (individual that puts words on paper), you must actually be engaged in the practice of regularly writing. This sounds like common sense, except that it is not entirely true. I have long been a self-proclaimed wordsmith and dabbler into all mediums communication related, except that my writing has yet to be read by many people. Sure, I’ve actually been published on a few websites and in a smattering of periodicals. I’m also positive my Master’s thesis was perused by at least 4 people, of whom I have no doubts lined up with eager anticipation to devour it. (We will pretend that payment to do so did not effect their decision to read my work.)

However, to be a writer, in my opinion, you actually need more than words on paper, but an audience with which to share, mothers and spouses not included.

This is where the 21st century has been simultaneously kind and cruel. The kind part is that the internet, blogs, and social media has given everyone the opportunity for an audience. The cruel part is just a repeat of the kind part.

I do not know what it is that holds me back from doing some of the very things that:

  1. I feel called to
  2. People tell me I’m good at
  3. I actually enjoy once I get started

Steven Pressfield, author of many international bestsellers, would say that I’m just a victim of the “resistance”. Resistance is the unseen powerful force that holds us back and tells us lies. Steven may have popularized the concept of “resistance” in his completely life changing and worthwhile read “The War of Art”, but the apostle Paul seems to be the OG because he so eloquently stated in the bible that he was battling it every day.

15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. …..19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.

.Romans 7:15 and 19 New International Version (NIV)

 Alas, here is where the Monday Musings come into play:

  1. When I don’t do something I’m compelled and called to do is it a sin even if the very act itself is not a sin? (IE: I love to write. Feel called to write. Entertain and inform people when I write but, outside of work, past academic achievements, leadership responsibilities, friendly communications, and public speech development, I rarely write).

    Wow! I’d just rather not think about it.  Or, better yet, is the very thing I so expertly push aside the exact thing God is wanting me to think about in 2017?

  2.  Do I have things to say that people actually care about? Well, I guess that remains to be seen. I know one thing, I’m going to try my best not to let imposter syndrome or fixating on “results” hold me back. What good is chasing results if you’re not even putting in the work worthy of a result?
  3. So called experts tell you to have a specific audience in mind and narrow the interest window of those you’re writing to achieve maximum success, but I want to write about all the things that currently are the sum of my life. The good news is that other experts say to write about what you know about and that real life stories and experiences are the most fascinating things one can share. I guess I’ll figure out which expert is correct, the one who tells me to exclusively focus on food, fitness, leadership, theology, women’s issues, family issues, or any topic I chose so long as I choose just one of the above topics, or the expert that says to write about what you know about and love?I can’t let my “fear” of covering the various topics that fuel me hold me back. At some juncture I will maybe settle into a cohesive pattern and rhythm of what is the best for me to share and say, however, until then, the resistance can keep lying, but I’m not listening.
  4.  I will test the “productivity” hack who shared with me that streaking is the best way to start and solidify a habit. The truth is a “productivity” hack is kind of an oxy-moron. Sure you can hack your brain and your life systems some, but at the end of the day success, productivity, time management, financial success, a hot body, and emotional wellness can only be “hacked” if you regularly use 4 letter words, well, at least one 4 letter word WORK.

What, if any, topics would you like my rabbit chasing brain to cover on this blog?

As a prequel, be prepared to hear about my marathon training, what I’m eating (or not eating), coffee, books I’m reading and reviewing, my family, my friends, my public speaking and communication endeavors, my church, leadership, and anything else I’m compelled to share.

Do not worry, I am confident that by February 28, the final day of my streak, daily writing will be such a habit for me that you will have me around for a very long time, thus, will have ample occasion to hear/read it all.

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Who is my neighbor?

The difference between who you are now and who you want to be is the work you put in.

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I am super proud of my husband. You have to admit that he is a rock star. When we first started dating, he told me that his dream was to be a rock star. Although I’m pretty sure this was tongue in cheek, when you decide to plant a church you have to be willing to wear many, many hats and Jonathan has been totally owning the drummer hat. We are, however, accepting applications for the Bridge Church drummer position in case you were wondering. Jonathan would give up that seat in 3.2 seconds if somebody able AND talented wanted it.

On Sunday, after playing with mad skill, Jonathan continued our Parables Sermon Series at the Bridge Church with the parable of the Good Samaritan. (Luke Chapter 10 is where you can read the parable).  This parable speaks to me every single time. I think we have all been guilty of being so busy, even busy with good things, that we neglect the greatest calling that we have, and that is to serve, bless, and minister to those around us. Too many people are more interested in getting people to COME to them that they fail to GO and tell or GO and show or GO and share.

An individual who is more interested in building barriers rather than bridges has missed the heart of the GOSPEL!

Barriers can be big or small. Sometimes barriers aren’t even spiritual, but they are cultural. We don’t want to step outside of our comfort zone or interrupt our schedules. We are inherently selfish. I know this to be true because you have to TEACH your children to share. They aren’t born wanting their sibling to have a turn on the swings, they have to be taught that. We must learn to teach ourselves to share of our time, talent, and treasure and look at people with the same compassion that Jesus looked at us. Jesus came to save the entire world and his mission on earth was only 33 years long and his ministry was only 3 years long and yet he was never too busy to be interrupted. He didn’t hang out with “church” people or religious elites all the time, he focused on the least of these. My challenge this week is to ask myself who I can serve and to focus less on my to do list and my ministry and my mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional health and see who I can pour into. Not that I don’t already do this, but we could all be significantly better at being intentional in every interaction we have on a daily basis. You may think you know somebody, but it could be what you don’t know that could cause you to miss a God given opportunity. You don’t know their hurts, fears, failures, private lives, or prayers. Lend a hand!

When I went on my run this morning, because the morning was nice, there were lots of people in their yards trying to get a few things done before work, or people walking to their cars to leave and I tuned myself into my surroundings. Do you know that I heard 5 different languages spoken just around my subdivision on that one run? Literally portions of the entire globe are residing in my neighborhood. By reaching out to one neighbor, you could affect not only individuals, but families, networks, regions, and nations. There is no time to not live your life on mission. You can’t keep your distance and make a difference!

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We practice Meatless Mondays as part of our routine. This was last nights dinner. Besides the hours spent gathering a super fancy plate and place mat, this “Taco Salad” meal is super delicious and quick. A HUGE bed of Spinach with Tasty Bite Madras Lentils on Top (Purchased at Costco. They also sell this brand at Whole Foods, Earth Fare, Trader Joe’s and other places but it is way more expensive there than Costco). You top the lentils off with organic salsa (Costco brand Kirkland of course), and a dollop of plain Greek yogurt or fat-free sour cream. This is filling, amazing and less than 400 calories.

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Could my life be filled with anymore cuteness or greatness? I think this picture is evidence that it could not be.

Have you ever heard of part-time vegetarianism or Meatless Monday’s? Do you practice it?

What can you do today to serve your community, starting with your neighborhood?

Have you  noticed most pastors wish they were rock stars? Their favorite move is to sing loudly into the microphone at the end of service, even if that’s not their gift. I have observed this 87% of contemporary churches.