Saturday, February 28, 2015

As You Step Forward

As your Falling Instructor, one of my responsibilities is finding appropriate coursework that you will find helpful in your own falling with grace journey.

I can go on and on about better ways to fall. Today I'd like to share with you a great tool to help you get off your tush. 

Sometimes when you finally get back up on your feet and brush yourself off, you realize that you've been left behind. Life just went on without you even though you were just catching your breath for a minute. 

Suddenly you find yourself in unfamiliar territory without a path, trail or map to follow. It's OK. This isn't just the Scout Den Mom telling you it's going to be OK to be lost and alone. I've learned that this is the opportune time to make adjustments in the course of your life. 

Let's open that big backpack of life and sift through it's contents. It's time to purge what's not necessary for the journey and load it back up with some must haves. 

A few months back I found myself unloading my own life backpack and really seeking out some wisdom to help me find my next step. My roles in life had drastically changed. Added to the items I knew I'd be carrying from now on were the symptoms of Sjogren's Syndrome. Those items were just things that I'd have to learn how to carry. 

I've been a fan of Danielle LaPorte for a long while. Her Truth Bombs really resonated with me and I found her writings to be really helpful. 

There was a great deal of applause for her new book The Desire Map and I was anxious to read it. But when I went to the store, her earlier book The Fire Starter Sessions really demanded my attention. 
From the cover: A soulful + practical guide to creating success on your own terms.

When you've found yourself alone in the middle of the wilderness which skill do you need first? Starting a fire or reading a map? A fire is quite nice. 

If getting on with your life required the use of a text book, this would be it. Only this text book is worth every penny. 

As I often do when reading a book I purchase the audio version. Sjogren's Syndrome limits the use of my eyes each day and when my eyes get too dry I can still continue the book with the recorded version. I am so glad that I did and I'd recommend it even if your eyes aren't taxed. It really doubled the impact for me. 

Danielle's accent is quite Canadian and having grown up in Upstate New York I rather enjoy hearing it again. Plus, she can really deliver her prose the way she meant it to be heard. It's like sitting across from a trustful friend. You know, the type of rare gift of a friend that will tell you what you really need to hear but in a way that won't leave you sobbing. 

With The Fire Starter Sessions Danielle LaPorte gives the reader the benefit of her own life's experiences and backs every segment up with solid council. Each page is packed full of quotes and separate ideas to expand the scope of the learning range.

At the end of each section she provides worksheets of sorts. Every good text book provides one, eh? But let me stop you before you get all squeamish about homework. This is where the golden stuff happens. There lies all the brilliant glimpses of shiny gold your ideas will turn into. 

Honestly, it's good stuff. I would also suggest that you take each chapter nice and slow. As they say in the south, "Chew on it a while." Let it really sink in. You owe it to yourself to get the most out of this.

I also love the expansive room on each side of the page for the reader to scribble those ideas out directly in the book. 

I love this quote from the Collaborative Paradigms segment:

"Your worldview is precious study- And it should guide the guest list of who you invite on your bus." 

This really was powerful for me. In the past I had given up opportunities to collaborate with other writers. I was in the process of learning how to adapt to my illness, which severely impacts my writing. Jumping on someone else's bandwagon would've only made things worse. If I'm going to make this thing work I'd have to drive my own bus, with my own route. 

The love of the bus idea is genetic as my Grannie Annie would ride off into places unknown in her VW Bus. A full tank of gas and a pretty morning were all it took for her to set off on an adventure. 

What is your adventure? What have you been wishing you could do if only this or that wasn't in the way?

"You know stuff that other people don't know. And when you know stuff that other people do not, you're in position to be of service. Ideally, you want to be of service to others in a way that feeds your spirit." (page 180)

A friend once shared this wisdom with me: By being self conscious and too timid to share your gifts it's actually being selfish. 
It's true when you think about it. We were all given so many talents, skills and inventiveness. Sharing those gifts are really God's intent for us. Really. 

So, right about now you're probably hearing those little dream killer voices telling you can't. 
Watch this:

I'll leave you with another great quote.