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May I encourage you to either take notes digitally or with your favorite journal pad & pen? You will want to write down these 3 key points. You want to allow the message to come to you and as it does, I have complete faith that you will be inspired. You will get recharged! And you will come up with even better ideas than the ones that I share here.
#1 Practice Your Faith
There are some people out there that are not going to act on #1. Why not? The reality is that there's a large portion of people that don't have any faith and they live their life much like a “candle in the wind”; they are getting blown away. They may not have a solid foundation or moral compass to keep them centered. You may be asking, “So how do I practice my faith?” Well, I suspect most of you reading here have heard the “Serenity Prayer”.
“God grant me the SERENITY to accept the things I cannot change, the COURAGE to change the things I can & the WISDOM to know the difference”.
Let’s examine the three major aspects of the serenity prayer.
“…accept the things I cannot change..” Now for all you control freaks out there (and I'm qualified to talk about this because I'm a recovering control freak), the reality is you cannot control all of the variables that exist in your life.
“Don’t swim against the tide.”
If you refuse to accept the things you cannot change, you will endure much misery.
“…the courage to change the things I can...” My goodness this is a big point but it seems to be one that people often forget. You might say, “Well Marvin, I don't need to change anything about myself. I'm just fine.” You're not just fine. None of us are just fine. “But, why can't I just stay like I am?” Because 'homeostasis' (as it relates to personal growth), is a total myth. Staying exactly where you're at is total BS. Don’t fall for it people!
“You're either growing every day or you are dying every day!”
Your body is made up of trillions of cells and billions of your cells die every day. More importantly, billions of new cells come to life everyday. In fact, according to Scientific American, your body replaces 'all' of it's cells every 80-100 days. So, the equivalent of your entire body is fully replaced avery 3 months (mind blown)! The takeaway? Every single day you are in a state of renewal; a transformation if you will. Stop for a second and think how powerful that is. We should all be amazed and astounded at the scale our own potential for transformation.
Just to the right of me I have a 2 foot pile of some of my journals. (Side note: I lost 34 journals in the Katrina flooding – ouch!) Everywhere I go I’m always taking notes. If I'm listening to a speaker I take notes. If I’m reading a book, I read with my journal & pen nearby. If I watch a documentary (anything Ken Burns creates), I TAKE NOTES and you should too. In fact make a note quickly now to remind youself to start taking more notes.
What's even better about taking the notes is I go back and read the notes. You might ask, “Marvin, why do you have to do that?” The answer is that I don't have to do it; I choose to do it. Marvelous people, there is only so much that you can retain hearing someone speak or teach. Taking notes is critical for your attention and your comprehension as you grow. I can’t tell you how many times I have taken notes (say six months to a year ago) and then I go back and read my notes. I'm often shocked how much my mental processes & perspectives change during that period of time. May I encourage you to view yourself as a constantly transforming, constantly evolving “masterpiece in progress”. Enjoy the process of working on yourself. Learn to accept and embrace the fact that this process will never end and appreciate the fact that this is not a penalty for being human, it's the tremendous opportunity that being human provides us all.
Get EXCITED about GETTING BETTER!
So practice your faith and practice the serenity prayer. Accept the things you cannot change. Have the courage to change the things you can and the wisdom to know the difference.
Ahh yes! Just breathe. Close your eyes. Focus on your inner being.
Believe me, you actually do have the answers that you need to overcome your panic. But you must have the courage to make that choice. I said you must have the courage to make that choice.
Practice the habit of working in 25 minute intervals & at the end of your interval, focus on slowly, DEEPLY BREATHING in.
#3 Find Your Happy Place
Allow me to give you 2 examples of my happy places. Perhaps it will help you to identify your own happy places.
There is a gorgeous meandering River just outside of New Orleans. It’s called Blind River. And every day in my commute I cross a bridge over Blind River. Imagine thousands of beautiful Cypress trees. Water lilies everywhere. Birds abound. Racoons scavenging for their morning breakfast. Blue herons & white egrets are plentiful.
More specifically, there's a Cajun fishing shack that sits over the water. If the termites left, this old camp would surely crumble😊. But I love that fishing camp and just looking at that scene when I cross over that bridge. Every time, for years now it has evoked wonderful emotions for me.
Why? Because you see, when I was 7 or maybe 8 years old, my Daddy, in a 16 foot leaky “bateau” (flatboat) with an 18 horsepower Evinrude motor would take me fishing. Literally in front of this very same Cajun fishing shack that I’m describing. Boy, was it exciting! (I’m getting goosebumps while I type this). Waking up pre-dawn and goin’ fishing with Dad. With a cane pole, a red and white bobber, a line, a “bream hook” and a carton of worms. We would catch a mess of “bream” (bluegill).
Can you see that scene in your mind's eye? Can you sense the emotion evoked by just this one memory?
My speaking event in Phoenix was now completed. My departure flight was not until the next night. We were at the Sanctuary Resort & Spa at Camelback Mountain (https://www.sanctuaryoncamelback.com). The famed Troon golf course was less than a 30 minute drive (https://www.TroonNorthGolf.com).
Mountains. Streams. Perfectly manicured greens & fairways.
I was the first to tee off. I was alone on that golf course. Heaven on earth. The rabbits, chipmunks and other creatures scurried beneath the sagebush. The doves cooed through the canyon. I didn't see one single person the whole 4 hours. Not even 1 lawnmower. It seemed as if the famous Troon golf course had opened just for a small town Cajun boy to experience perfection. Y'all!! It was spiritual.
There’s something about fresh air and the scent of the freshly mown grass. It was lush, colorful, quiet and perfect solitude.
What’s your Happy Place? Have you visited it lately? When can you schedule to be there soon?
Make the time...just for you.
After your visit, write to me about - I'd love to hear about your place.
Until next time.
Peace, love and gumbo!
Marvin LeBlanc, LUTCF, CNP
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