Fake Your Way Into Feeling It

Fake Your Way Into Feeling It

~Janet’s Blog

Is there a place to hide here?

My heart was pumping so hard I thought it was going to jump out of my chest. I found myself staring at the exit sign in the church sanctuary just 30 feet away and thinking, “Maybe if I ran fast enough no one would see me escape!?”

It had been awhile since I had sung a solo and accompanied myself on the guitar. After five years of not being able to play, due to chronic pain in my hands, I was still getting back into the swing of things. It had been only a recent discovery that playing, while it still hurt, didn’t result in a huge increase in pain for days. Before the chronic pain began, I regularly played in public. But that was five years ago. Back when I didn’t think about it. Today, I felt like a fake and the EXIT sign was looking quite inviting. The sermon felt like it was going on forever and yet I never wanted the pastor to stop either. Because then I would be next. (more…)

Being Positive in the Land of Negative

Being Positive in the Land of Negative

Joel Lund

~Joel’s Blog

Fake News Can Make You Crazy

We’ve all heard it, usually making fun, “If it’s on the internet, it must be true!” We laugh because we know that there are people who are not, shall we say, as skeptical as perhaps they should be of what they read online.

Last time we looked at how we can sometimes fall into that trap, even though we are usually skeptical. What gets us in trouble? Memes. You know those images that include words of wisdom? They’re often really, really funny. My favorites use pictures from hugely popular movies.  Like the one picturing Boromir, from The Fellowship of the Ring, saying “One does not simply walk…” (which he does in the movie) “into Costco without buying a 70” TV” (which, of course, he doesn’t say in the movie).

We laugh because if we’ve been to Costco, we get the joke. It is hard not to come out of there with things we didn’t have on our list. So before we move on, let’s redeploy Boromir’s famous line: “One does not simply walk into…Costco without bringing a list.” (more…)

11 Things We Learned From Failure

11 Things We Learned From Failure

Or…Some Lessons Are More Expensive Than Others

Joel’s Blog

[This blog first appeared September 27, 2015]

If you have been following along the past few months, you know we have been winding down operations at the office suite we’ve occupied for the past year. In a few days, our business operations will be run from our dual home office. Janet’s recording studio is upstairs. My coaching (and writing) office is downstairs.

To say it has been a “learning experience” kind of doesn’t even get close to it. “Failure” does. (more…)

Persistent Positivity in the Face of Open Loops!

Persistent Positivity in the Face of Open Loops!

Persistent & positive

Persistent positivity…in the face of open loops?

Being your own cheerleader is most important!…and actually, necessary. Your view of yourself and your self talk is the most powerful input you will ever get.

Often I will discover or have it pointed out to me some routine I didn’t finish that negatively impacted someone.  We call it in my house, an “open loop.”  I open windows in the a.m. to cool down the house but I forget to close them before the sun comes around, so the house is twice as hot as it would have been. I feed the cats but forget to put away the catfood afterward.  (I will get back to the catfood in my part-2 blog.) These are the kind of loops that are easiest to leave open because they involve timing but not much thought. I can be thinking about something completely different as I do these things so I may get distracted and pick up on a thought in the middle of my task. Oi!

Here is what I mean:

The windows –  If I don’t set a timer for the closing of the windows I will most likely forget.  There have been times I have remembered early and thought to myself, ‘ it’s too early…I will come back to it’ with every intention of doing so.  Convinced I will, I go on with my day but end up completely forgetting.  I am better off doing something either immediately when I think of it or I need to set a timer.  Really those are my two options.  It’s tricky though because doing it immediately may keep you from accomplishing something else you had planned to do.  It’s good to pause and check first.  If nothing will be impacted, then go for it!

Anyway, back to my original thought – being persistent.  I accidentally tick people off, whether I know it or not.  All I can do is apologize and do my best at being aware of my open loops. (Timers can be a helpful tool.  Just remember to not pound yourself if you forget the timer, too.  Beating yourself up just makes the rest of the day worse.)

Let people express their frustration so they know you care about their feelings.  Whether you mean to do things or not, they are hurt, so let them know you love them by listening.

Try not to internalize their words of anger as attacks on who you are, it’s just what you have done. Now, yes it can be hard to separate those two but if you do you will be able to think more clearly and problem solve how to make the situation better. If you let other people’s anger completely overcome you it will distract you, and just make things worse.

You aren’t stupid, you aren’t an idiot, so just listen compassionately, keep your head on straight and be open to the fact that you just might come up with a creative idea to help improve the situation so it won’t happen quite as often. Be persistent with being persistent. 😉

What routines do you find challenging to complete? Please share. We may be able to help.

Add to the conversation. We’ll be glad you did.

photo credit: Loving Earth via photopin cc

“Drive” Isn’t Only About Driving, It’s About Living

“Drive” Isn’t Only About Driving, It’s About Living

~Janet’s Blog

The Drive to “Drive”

Drive is a song I co-wrote with my friend, Jeff Lowery, awhile ago.  We met through a youth ministers’ local support group in Yakima, Washington.  When Jeff told me he had written songs before and was open to trying out writing together, I just about jumped out of my skin!  The week after I “retired” from youth ministry we started writing together.

Working with Jeff helped me find the confidence I needed to trust my own songwriting abilities.  He would play the guitar and we would write together. After awhile we would take turns presenting an idea of a potential song and then together we would finish it.

Our time writing and singing together was truly a great gift to me.  If you are out there in Facebook-land, thanks, Jeff!

The song “Drive” was our first song. The first verse starts off with,

Drivin’ down the road is an easy thing to do,

just jump in, turn it on and let it go. 

It gets a little harder when a fork comes in the road,

to the left or to the right, how do I know?

Life As A Journey

We often don’t know what is around the bend as we journey through life.  All we can do is pray driveand try to make good choices.  Sometimes our decisions take us further down the road we were on but other times the fork takes us on a wild goose chase.

The words to the chorus, “God is always with you, no matter where you go” I find very comforting.  Knowing that no matter who I am, what I believe or what I do, doesn’t change the fact that God is always with me!  That’s pretty cool!

You can know that throughout your journey here on earth, God is right there with you.

There is an excellent dialogue in the movie, The Stand written by Steven King that takes place between Mother Abigail and Nick, that goes like this. “What if I don’t believe in God?” In response to Nick’s question Mother Abigail gives out a hearty laugh and says, “It don’t matter whether you believe in God. God believes in you!”

If it doesn’t feel like God is with you, maybe there is a reason for that.  Have you given God a chance to be in on your life or have you kept Him at a distance?  Have you stopped your busyness for a moment and tried listening?  Could you possibly not have received the answer you wanted, so subconsciously you are angry at God? Perhaps you have withdrawn?

No matter how we feel about God it makes no impact on the reality that He is right there with you.

Spin on these ideas and see what you come up with. It’s worth it. Laughter returns. Joy bubbles. And you’ll find yourself able to “drive” again.

Add to the conversation below. We’ll be glad you did.

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