TRANSFORMATION COMES AT A COST

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As I was struggling to “go up the hill” in spin class this week at peak resistance, the instructor said something that struck me. TRANSFORMATION COMES AT A HIGH COST. She said that THREE times. And at one point, when I was about to just STOP, it was like she heard my inner voice and said, DO NOT GIVE UP BEFORE THE MIRACLE HAPPENS. You are almost at the top of the mountain. You are almost THERE. Don’t stop now. What is it that you NEED? What is it that you are PROTECTING? It’s up there at the top. GO GET IT.

The thing about transforming ourselves is this: something has to go. You leave part of your “old life” behind. There’s no way around this.

Now, none of this is new information. We’ve all read the inspiring memes a thousand times. But timing is everything, as they say. I am going through an uphill battle right now that doesn’t seem to have an end in sight most days. It’s financially and emotionally exhausting. But TRANSFORMATION COMES AT A HIGH COST. I am making some of the biggest changes of my life. As my preacher Rick Warren reminds us often, focus on the PURPOSE, not the problem. If I focus on the problem and the pain and my “old life,” it seems insurmountable. I feel punched in the gut. Small. Defeated and angry. The anxiety and fear that develops is debilitating, paralyzing and draining. If I focus on the purpose, that pain turns to productive power. And I have energy to pursue the new life I believe God has planned.

And as all this was happening in my head with sweat beating down me, I felt this cathartic rush of emotion. Like I was going to cry in spin class. Ha! Just when I couldn’t push the pedal any longer, the resistance weakened and we were going “downhill.” We reached the peak, caught our breath and we were moving forward at a fast pace. 

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Not to make this more profound than it is, but IS KINDA IS! Such a metaphor for God pushing us to our full potential in life. TRANSFORMATION COMES AT A HIGH COST. I’m learning more and more about you all every time I post and you comment. Some of you are dealing with infertility, or being a new mother, or paying off debt, dealing with major health issues, losing loved ones, moving, marriage issues…. Whatever your uphill battle is today that’s taking away your power and feels debilitating, focus on the purpose one pedal push at a time. Stay focused on ONE TASK at a time. And know you are not alone. 

Would love to hear your thoughts- as always- in comments below. Tonight I have set aside time to go through comments on the last few posts!

xoxo

AAJ

ps- workout buddies that push you and hold you accountable are the best! Thank you @iamwillaford.



Verses and quotes I love that relate to this topic. Hope they inspire!

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV)

RALPH WALDO EMERSON:

“Write it on your heart

that every day is the best day in the year.

He is rich who owns the day, and no one owns the day

who allows it to be invaded with fret and anxiety.

Finish every day and be done with it.

You have done what you could.

Some blunders and absurdities, no doubt crept in.

Forget them as soon as you can, tomorrow is a new day;

begin it well and serenely, with too high a spirit

to be cumbered with your old nonsense.

This new day is too dear,

with its hopes and invitations,

to waste a moment on the yesterdays.”

ps- thank you, Mary, for reminding me of this one.





How to get Happy with God given gifts

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I just got home from a workout and am feeling inspired, so I thought I’d put my fingers to the keys. I promised myself next time I felt motivated to share something with y’all, I’d just write it out as soon as I could.

It’s no secret my world is changing. ICYMI you can see a bit of it here and here, etc. I’ve let worry and fear seep into my being lately. I believe in prayer. I believe that God doesn’t want us to worry. And I don’t want to, either. But I am human. Only human. And right now, life has been depleting me.

I ran on adrenaline for so long to get me through a few significant phases. But the “phases” are still coming. Court dates, hearings, money, lawyers, etc. I AM WORRIED, EXHAUSTED AND DEPLETED. My adrenaline is waining. Some of you have commented on my posts. It’s ok. It makes sense.

My girlfriends Kaley, Bri, Ali and Willa have been encouraging me to sculpt out time to workout. And I did. Then I would feel guilty. I have so much to do right now, it felt selfish. But, last weekend, I was with Willa and she really saw it. She saw the depletion. So, she reminded me of something:

God gave us a gift with endorphins. Working our bodies (and minds) to the point of releasing our endorphins is a GIFT. Better than medicine. If you are healthy enough to get out and walk or move or spin or sculpt, DO IT. I know not everyone is, so that in and of itself is a gift. 20 minutes can change your day! I love this article experiment reported in SELF magazine:

All she knows is that she's overwhelmed. So at lunch, she heads to the gym and hops onto the elliptical. As her heart begins to pound, levels of the feel-good neurochemicals serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine rise in her body. So does brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a substance that may protect her brain from emotional disorders and repair damage that stress and depression cause. At the same time, opiate-like endorphins and endocannabinoids (similar to the other kind of cannabis) flood her system, leading to a sense of well-being. Read full article here.

For years, I’ve been an advocate of healthy habits: drinking water, working out (even if it meant jumping jacks and squats in my bedroom), sweating out the bad and putting in the good with your vitamins and supplements. But lately, I let life get the best of me. And Willa reminded me that God gives us ways to be proactive! Keep our minds sharp and our bodies flexible and give us energy. I need energy.

Today was everything for me. I poured out sweat and felt like I left the bad parts of me on my yoga mat. And my God given natural endorphins replaced the old with new energy.

I hope YOU are in an amazing spot in life already (then encourage us with a comment!), but if you are more in my shoes than you’d like to admit…. let’s encourage each other to do what we can. If it’s a walk or run, or yoga—— goooooo! Do it outside for freeeeee. If all you can do today is stand up and stretch…do it. Even for 20 minutes and get happy.

Please. Do it. You will feel better. You will FILL UP. And God can use you for your purpose.