Living With Gusto

You Are MORE!

 

what-we-believe-about-ourselves

It doesn’t matter what is being said about you.

It doesn’t matter what others think of you.

What matters is what you think of yourself!

And if you believe lies about yourself, then you will act on those lies instead of the truth.

Any words that make you seem “less than” the amazing person you were created to be is a LIE!

Those words may come from the chatter in your brain, just regurgitating things you have heard.

They may come from actual people who are small-minded and have their own agenda.

But whatever the source, you need to STOP listening to the derogatory lies and begin to speak truth to yourself.

Because when you believe lies, you think small about yourself.

It’s pretty hard to launch out of your comfortable, ho-hum, dream-draining life by thinking small.

You can barely rise to doing those things the world needs from you–your purpose for being here.

 

the-only-thing-that-benefits-from-thinking-small-is-your-comfort-zone

“But I don’t WANT to leave my comfort zone! It’s comfortable.”

Ummm, yeah. And it’s restricting and limiting. (Redundant, I know, going for the effect.)

And leaving your comfort zone is like jumping off the high dive.

But don’t you want to be the best you can be?

Don’t you want to realize amazing and wonderful things about yourself–things you never knew?

When we rocket ourselves (because that’s what it takes!) outside of our comfort zone to do those things that our heart really, really longs to do, all kinds of new worlds and information opens up to us! It could become quite an adventure–mine has!

And the wonderful thing is that our hearts and spirits become more fulfilled as we begin to venture out and try things our heart is leading us to do.

**Things the lies make us afraid to do.**

Lies like:

“I am not smart enough for that.

I could never go in front of people.

I really do not have the “look” required for that.

I don’t have the time for that.

No one needs me.

I’m not qualified.

I’m just a ________.” Oh how I hate that word!

The lies (excuses) are limitless.

But so are YOU!!

Limitless.

The only thing holding you back is you.

Stop believing lies and restricting the amazing, capable, beautiful person you are!

You CAN do this! I know, because I did.

 

Love and big sparkly hugs!

Passionista

 

I speak from experience!! Seriously!

If you would like to read more, here are some older posts on the subject.

To Dream (when I jumped off the high dive myself!)

The Lies That Bind

The Lies That Bind Magazine Article (a much longer article in more detail)

Start Anew

 

 

 

 

Inspiration, Words To Help

Numb Choices Aren’t Smart

Focus! It seems we are always hearing how important focus is to reaching our goals and bringing our desires to us. However, sometimes our focus is totally off. We work hard, do what we think we should, spin our wheels, and run faster on the hamster wheel, only to remain stagnant. Why do you suppose this is? Well, one possibility is that when we are determining our focus, our brains are actually numb.

To explain what I mean, here’s an illustrative story from my own archives of experience. Picture this: my husband is sleeping soundly, snoring a bit, only to be awakened by me, legs and arms jabbing him in uncomfortable places, doing the army crawl across his body. I was determined to get to the other side of the bed and out of there. And I was intently focused!

When my husband raised his head, protesting loudly at the irreverent way I was traipsing across his body, I patted his cheeks and said, “Sh, sh, sh, it’s okay,” and continued with determination on my way. But once my feet touched the floor on the other side of the bed, I promptly started my return back across him, telling him to shush, and that it was okay. Then I settled down into my spot and resumed my somewhat-normal sleep.

Was I focused? Very. Deeply asleep? Yes.

So, besides the humor in this story, why am I sharing it? Because it illustrates what many of us are doing. While somewhat “asleep” we are fully intent and focused on carrying out our daily lives, getting to the “other side”, even attempting to achieve goals or dreams.

Sometimes, our minds and hearts have become numb and we are making decisions based on survival, rather than fully living.

Perhaps you are living fully, with a clear brain, consciously aware of life and your choices. However, for those who think “living numb” might apply to you, here are a few of the many ways numbness can occur:

  • when we suppress our emotions and don’t allow ourselves to fully feel.

  • when our busyness keeps us from having precious time with family or close friends and our hearts become resentful and lonely.

  • if our over-spending has driven us to live until the next paycheck in worry or stress, causing our bodies to become overworked and our brains overloaded.

  • when we are trying to do it all, feel as if we are “not enough”, and suffer self-condemnation.

  • when there are so many difficult things that happen to us that we just can’t allow any more feelings in order to survive.

Many of you have no choice in some of this. Having limited resources or being without a job and just barely making your bills—or not being able to pay them at all—creates a horribly stressful situation. And I truly do understand how one could stuff emotions because of being so overwhelmed by the things that happen in our lives! Please do not feel pressure or criticism from me if you are a bit numb right now. I get it because I’ve lived it.

Another life-point: things hurt and it isn’t easy. Life is hard, contrary to how some people believe it should be. I hate to go all “old school” on you, but for 99% of us,

most of what we have gained in life has been through hard work, making correct choices, and learning from our mistakes!

I don’t really see any other way around it.

And if you are someone with the idea that you shouldn’t have to feel pain, disappointment, grief, loss, disillusionment, and other less-than-desirable emotions, then realizing these are all part of the fullness of life might help you. Otherwise, after experiencing all of these you could be setting goals and choosing your focus while angry, hurt, and numb.

So if being numb means being dazed, dead, senseless, or asleep, what is the opposite? Being alive, awake, responsive, sensitive, and compassionate.

Wouldn’t you rather live like that? But how?

For me, it meant taking care of some personal and emotional business. It was a process (oh how we hate that word) and took time (what? you mean it isn’t instant? I want INSTANT!). It also meant I had to deal with my tendency to believe lies and not let others influence how I felt about myself. You can read about that process in my post, Are You Believing Lies? 

Ways To Awaken

  • Contentment and gratitude. These are some of the most important ingredients to living fully! Simplistically, being grateful for what we have rather than lamenting what we don’t have can really change our lives. This is such an important element that many have adopted the habit of writing a list of things they are grateful for each day. Doing so directs our focus toward our abundance rather than our lack. (For starters, if you are able to read this you are more blessed than two billion people who cannot read at all.)

  • It takes time to rid ourselves of limiting lies and behaviors, but it’s so very worth it! We also need to take the time to sit quietly and reflect. I know that we are filled to overflowing with tasks and expectations and burdens, but might I suggest that you take even ten minutes a day to merely sit and reflect? Or meditate and let your mind rest. We all know that thirty minutes of daily exercise is benefiting to our physical health. Likewise, time to sit without distraction and turn inward to our feelings can bring us mental and emotional health.

  • Read. Research. Get outside of your own abilities and let others guide you. In my case, I had no idea my spirit was dying and my brain was numb. I knew I was miserable, but wasn’t conscious of why. There are many authors to help you.

Perhaps you have heard the illustrative story of the frog in boiling water. The story goes that if you put a frog in a pot of cold water it is perfectly content to hang out. Start heating up the water and the frog is still just fine. But eventually the boiling water will kill the frog, when it could have jumped out at any time to save its life.

How does this relate to us? Many of us don’t even realize that we are like that frog, in a pot of rapidly heating water. What we need is someone to alert us—to turn off the flame for us and help us save ourselves. And that is why I suggest that you seek out available resources or find a friend to help you.

4) Talk to someone. Find someone in your close circle of friends whom you trust and can confide in.

It wasn’t until my friend identified the abusive situation I was in that I realized my life was slowly killing my spirit.

And at that point, there wasn’t a whole lot of life left in me. I was performing all of the expected tasks—mom, wife, teacher, daughter—but my spirit and self-will were dying, and my shining light had become quite dim. I had become numb.

Give your friend permission to tell you what they see in your life and habits. Listen with your heart, not a self-condemning agenda. Love yourself. Give yourself grace. You are amazing, and the fact you have made it this far in your journey shows that you are a fighter!

Perhaps you want to do something different in your life. I realize my suggestions are minimal, but they are intended to be a launching pad for your actions to become more fully alive. Select some of the items listed to incorporate into your life and make the determination toward regaining consciousness instead of numbly living.  You are worth that, and the world needs your shining light.

Why is it so important to live fully alive, and not numb? Because we need to make choices as our true and authentic selves, rather than as a replication of others’ expectations and opinions of us.

To be emotionally healthy, we need to allow time for our emotions, and our brains, to settle and heal. Instead of being a shriveled up version of ourselves, we need to be the full, glorious person we are created to be. Then we can experience authentically and make sound choices. Then we are more able to direct our focus and reach the goals we desire.

We all have a unique light to shine, a place in our world that only we can fill.

Our wisdom, experiential knowledge, gifts, talents, and abilities are needed. But most of all, you deserve to live with a spirit that is fulfilled and alive, not one that is slowly dying and has become numb. That’s a waste of a very good, precious, and worthy life–yours.

So what about you? Have you ever experienced being numb? If so, will you please tell me about it?

 

You are so important! 

Love and big hugs, Mimi

 

Inspiration

Sing Your Heart’s Song!

“Be filled with the fullness of the Spirit of God

and your hearts will overflow with a joyful song to the Lord.

Keep speaking to each other with words of Scripture,

singing the Psalms with praises and spontaneous songs given by the Spirit!

Always give thanks to Father God for all things and every person he brings

into your life in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

And out of your reverence for Christ, be supportive of each other in love.”

Ephesians 5:18-21 The Passion Translation

 

I’m here, sharing my heart with you, 

Passionista Mimi

Living With Gusto, Mimi's Messages

Promise…Potential…Profusion!

We are like this flower….

FULL of promise, potential, and profusion!

God created us to bloom!

To be full of life and color.

To spread His joy, love, and kindness.

Right where you are, right now.

Don’t wait for everything to be perfect.

You have a light in you!

See how gorgeous this flower is?

That’s you, my love, in all of your created beauty.

Just like you are.

We need your unique beauty.

Just bloom.

Show your color!

Shine your light in this world!

We need your touch.

 

And I’m rooting for you!

Love and hugs, Passionista

Living With Gusto

Live Life With Eyes and Heart Wide Open!

It seems that many of us go through life flinching, with our arms flung out across our eyes, wary of what might be coming our way. We guard our hearts against deep, emotional interactions in order to stay safe. Because for us to embrace living with our eyes wide open and with our hearts made vulnerable might seem like a death wish.

In fact, it is a death.

A death to fear.

To living boxed in.

To feeling less-than.

In order to receive all this world holds for us, we need to partake of it to the fullest! And how can we possibly do that if we are shying away from experiences and emotional investment?

As long as we are afraid of feeling deeply–whether it be grief, remorse, loss, rejection, or joy, fulfillment, love, and excitement–we cannot reach our full potential in life. And I dare say that we won’t have the satisfaction of a truly fulfilled spirit.

Most people welcome the “positive” feelings, but really, really do NOT want to feel the “bad” ones. Perhaps as a child we were taught that feeling anger, sadness, disappointment, and depression was wrong and that we needed to “buck up Buttercup” or “act like a man”. Whatever our reason, beside the obvious one that they hurt, many of us do not welcome those less-than-desirable emotions. And this stifles us and our creative power.

Picture a bubbling brook gurgling its way through the countryside and liken our “bad” emotions to the sediment and rocks found in it. What is that stream without the rocks and sediment? Stagnant, because IF it is gurgling through the countryside, following the course as it’s meant to, there WILL be sediment and rocks in it! Same with us: living in our flow and to the fullest means “rocks and sediment” mixed in.

We, as humans, are designed to create. We are makers of a vast assortment of things, using words, art, wood, electronics, music, material, paint, and problem solving, to only list a few of the amazing ways humans create. Creativity flows from an open spirit, not a spirit that is fearful or stagnated by suppression. (Have you ever felt “stuck”?)

When we open our hearts to others and to feeling deeply, we will realize that even more passion and creativity flows. True, opening our hearts to feel emotions makes us vulnerable, and allows us to experience “bad” emotions too. So we have to be brave! We have to risk it. But that is what living an adventurous life is really about, isn’t it? Taking the risk and not living with regret.

Perhaps you have already heard that when you experience deep grief you are also able to experience an abounding joy. Something about how allowing that depth for the bad emotions creates space for the good, and I agree.  I’m no therapist, but I’m speaking from experience. Having been “wired” for feeling all emotions deeply, there were many times I was ravaged by them. But I must say, on the other end of the spectrum I also feel joy, excitement, and love very deeply. So much so that people are amazed by and drawn to my joyful energy (or so they say). So yes, I believe that when the well in our spirit is created by allowing even the undesirable emotions to be felt deeply, there is a larger space for all the wonderfully nourishing ones as well.

And really, why would you want to stifle yourself from feeling life? We have a depth of resources within us, usually just barely tapped by us. Working through difficult emotions to let our light shine can produce some of the most amazing pieces of our lives yet.

Our world is over-saturated with visual assault which can actually cause us to become numb. We have seen it all, bombarding our senses at a rapid-fire pace. A prime example is the weather channel’s flashing of the top stories. Or the movie theater’s practice of showing the loudest, fastest-moving clips during previews. It’s actually so bad that my special-needs son, who is fearful of something scary showing up unexpectedly on any screen, hides outside the theater until the previews are over. Perhaps we have all grown a bit too numb. That much visual impact on a daily (hourly) basis causes desensitization.

So how in the world do we return to seeing with “new” eyes? Eyes that are wide open?

Turn it off!!!  Seriously, stop bombarding your senses with so much visual garbage. Be brave enough to stand the silence. Be brave enough to spend time outside without ear buds in your ears. Take a chance on going to dinner with a friend and actually looking them in the eyes and talking! No telling what you will discover about each other. And while you are there, notice your surroundings and the people next to you (who each have a story, you know). How can we possibly have room in our creative spirits to create if it’s full of the garbage our world shoves in our faces and ears every day? Make room! (Oops, did I just raise my voice at you? Hmmm, guess I’m called “Passionista” for a reason).

There are many practices you can use to begin to experience life fully: meditating, visiting art galleries, camping, hiking, (without devices), even–daringly–taking a “vacation” from your electronics. Find what works for you. For me? I need lots of quiet. My brain runs at full tilt, and in order for me to harness the creative flow, I must have no other distractions. You will know what works when you do it–your spirit will be at rest and rejuvenated. Then

Once you begin to look around you in wide-eyed wonder, you will discover treasures, opportunities, and reasons to be awestruck, which will enhance your life and creativity. And let me remind you that “creativity” is not limited to artists, but to every human alive. We all possess the creative spirit within us.

It takes bravery to embrace living with your eyes and hearts wide open, but I would encourage you to choose it.

Be BRAVE!

You will find that a whole new world awaits you! And I’m rooting for you!

Big hugs, Passionista Mimi

Inspiration

You Can’t Carry It All, My Friend

Happy Sunday morning. I just wanted to share something with you.

I was praying for the babies and also for the essential workers that people have given me, praying for their protection, peace, health, and safety of their families. Nothing unusual about that. But this morning I felt an additional burden, that I wanted to just carry all of these precious people, and it felt a bit overwhelming.

As a highly-sensitive person, I do sense things very deeply, and my heart cries out to keep these people safe. I want to wrap my arms around all of them. But it’s a very heavy load to carry. Don’t get me wrong, I am so very honored to do this. But what I have to remember, as do YOU, we CAN’T carry these kinds of burdens. God carries them for us.

As I was pondering this, I saw the picture I’ve drawn of me holding all the babies, and then God’s hands cradling me, wrapped around us all. HE is carrying the people I’m praying for. I wish I were an artist. Cuz it was the neatest picture.

I know that God carries our burdens, goodness I’ve known for a long time. I’ve written in my blog about it, I’ve talked to others about it, I’ve even sung about it.

Sometimes I forget. I take it all on myself.

Have you been doing this?

Taking all the burdens of the world, your family, your safety, your future onto yourself? As if you can make everything work all by yourself?

I’m here to tell you that it’s a huge burden, and leads to stress and burnout.

I’m so blessed and thankful that I can call on the name of Jesus and trust in my heavenly Father to take these burdens. My responsibility is to pray and lift them before His throne, asking in Jesus’ name. HE does the rest.

Really cool visual, huh?

Be blessed, my friends.

Passionista, Mimi

Honest, Keepin' It Real, Mimi's Messages

Quit Yer Yappin’ And Pray!

Fear divides us. And I know that there are so many things that cause fear right now. I’m not down-playing the dire situation our world is in. But honestly, how does it help us to bash people, to write ugly comments about our leaders, to become hateful about certain people?

Y’all, our strongest weapon is prayer! God is the source of our strength, our faith, and our love. And He is the One who will bring an end to this virus. It IS scary. Do I worry? Sometimes. Do I doubt? Sometimes. But do I pray? All the time.

Did you know that you can keep up a steady stream of communication with God as you go throughout your day? You do not have to “assume the position” on your knees or with hands clasped. You can position your heart toward God. He has promised to be listening and waiting. He is a wonderful, attentive listener.

I like to focus part of my prayers (actually most) on thankfulness, because it really clears my mind and puts things into perspective. Perhaps you think it’s easier for me because I have food and shelter, and my family is healthy. My heart goes out to those of you who are heartbroken and struggling. It really does, and if I could help you, believe me I would.

So your thankfulness may sound more like this, “Thank you God for your love. Thank you for dying for me so I have the hope of a joyful life here on earth, and the promise of being with you when I die. Thank you for the sacrifice of your son, so I may become a child of yours. Thank you for the air I breathe, the beautiful world you created, the sun and rain, and the peace you bring to my heart.”

As I go throughout my day, my heart is turned toward God. I ask Him for wisdom dealing with my kids. I ask Him to provide for us financially. I ask Him to turn my worry into faith in His provision. And I ask Him to protect the mamas and unborn babies He has assigned me to pray for.

I thank Him for my washer and dryer. I thank Him that my children can tell me they love me. I thank Him for you, my readers, and ask that my words will touch and help someone’s heart.

Y’all, this whole blog thing is for YOU. It is an outpouring of love, and my desire to help.

So I do pray for my readers. Consider yourself blessed. 🙂 

And if the shoe fits…….try a little less yappin’ and a little more praying.

All said in love.

Passionista Mimi

Mimi's Messages

Praying For The Babies

On March 20, 2020, as I was spending time with God, praying against the COVID-19 virus that was overtaking the world and now our country, I felt led to start praying for the unborn babies and the mamas who carried them. I put on my Facebook page that I was doing this, and if they knew anyone who was pregnant let me know. Well, that list has now grown to 105 babies! Eleven have been born during this time and they are all healthy. No virus!

But besides these eleven miracles, here is what else is happening. (God does not waste an opportunity!)

*“Warrior Women” are uniting to pray for these babies.

*It’s bringing us together, creating a connection between us.

*We are focusing on others, not on the virus, and on something positive, rather than negative.

*We are being reminded daily that there are “others” out there and we are not alone.

*It is giving us hope, and it is wonderful to focus on new life.

*And it is helping our own spirit to pray for someone else, to have a purpose.

I know that even in the best of circumstances sometimes babies are born with problems. But by faith I am asking God that these will be healthy, that they will be protected from the virus, that their mamas will feel peace and calm, that all of their physical needs will be met, and that there will be joy in the home and family.

I am not telling this story to bring any notice to myself. I am truly honored to do this. And thankful I have the time, as I am sequestered at home these weeks.

I’m sharing this because you may want to do the same thing. And as usual, God intended this prayer focus for more than what I thought it would be. That’s God’s economy. 

If you do start a prayer focus like this, PLEASE let me know.

I pray that you are well, and the ones you love are safe and well also. Let’s unite in praying for our country and world.

Many blessings and hugs,

Passionista Mimi

 

THE WHY:
Rather than make this post too long, I put this part here so if you are tired of reading you can quit now.  But maybe you want to read something about me, personally, so here goes:

In 1993 I believe that God told me I’d have a ministry with babies. You see, He had given me a passion—not just a liking or enjoyment—but a passion for newborn babies. If there was a baby in the room, I was the one who ended up holding it, and most likely feeding and rocking it to sleep. So this “nudging” really isn’t unusual.  

In the last decades, I have been honored to pray over pregnant mamas and their unborn. It is always a delight! I had never birthed any children, but the passion for infants never left me. It led me to become a foster parent, so I could receive infants from the hospital until their adoptive family could take them (moms had twenty-one days to consider before it was final).  I had my own ideas of what this meant, but of course, God had His purpose in mind. I envisioned my doing this over the summer in between teaching. Hahahaha!

And so my adoptive journey began when I fostered two precious babies, starting with the first in 2000 and the second in 2001. I was married at the time, and we believed (after a LOT of prayer and consideration on my part!) that it was God’s plan for us to adopt these at-risk children in 2002. Little did I know that over the next eight years I’d become a single mom, and then, tragically, end up parenting completely on my own. I also didn’t know they were special-needs children.

People tell me this is my “calling”. Honestly, I believe every parent has a calling; to be the best mom or dad they can be, to provide all the love and nurturing their children need, to be an excellent role model, and to love with their whole hearts. (Side note—it’s been said that babies do not come with an owner’s manual. Amen to that! And there’s nothing like trying it at age 48 with a newborn who doesn’t sleep, followed by another one the next year who didn’t either—or eat!)

True to His faithfulness, and that He equips those whom He calls, God has provided strength, wisdom, energy, and a closeness with Him I’d never had (funny how reaching the end of ourselves puts us at His feet!). He will do the same for you. And that’s another story for later.

Supporting verses:

 “Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

“God is able to make all grace abound in you so that having everything you need, you may abound in every good work.” 2 Cor. 9:8

“May the God of peace equip you with everything good for doing his will.” Hebrews 13:21

Inspiration

Way Maker, Miracle Worker, Promise Keeper, Light In The Darkness

Put this where you can see it often! Right click, save, print it off.

Worship God with me! Call on His name. Petition the throne of heaven for God to move on our earth! 

Here’s the video if you want to join me. Way Maker

Way Maker

You are here
Moving in our midst
I worship you
I worship you
You are here
Working in this place
I worship you
I worship you
You are here
Moving in our midst
I worship you
I worship you
You are here
Working in this place
I worship you
I worship you

 

Way maker
Miracle worker
Promise keeper
Light in the darkness
My God
That is who you are
Way maker
Miracle worker
Promise keeper
Light in the darkness
My God
That is who you are

You are here
Touching every heart
I worship you
I worship you
You are here
Healing every heart
I worship you
I worship you
You are here
Turning lives around
I worship you
I worship you
You are here
Mending every heart
I worship you
I worship you

 

Way maker
Miracle worker
Promise keeper
Light in the darkness
That is who you are
Way maker
Miracle worker
Promise keeper
Light in the darkness
My God
That is who you are

You wipe away all tears
You mend the broken heart
You’re the answer to it all
Jesus
You wipe away all tears
You mend the broken heart
You’re the answer to it all (to it all)
Jesus

Way maker
Miracle worker
Promise keeper
Light in the darkness
My God
That is who you are
Way maker
Miracle worker
Promise keeper
Light in the darkness
My God
That is who you are

You are here
Touching every life
I worship you
I worship you
You are here
Meeting every need
I worship you
I worship you

Songwriter: Osinachi Okoro

May God hold you and keep you safe.

Blessings, Mimi

Inspiration

Come On, Shine That Light!

 

Right now you may not feel much like shining. I know. It’s a turbulent and strange time in our world. But, guess what? YOU are important. Oh, I know, you are aware of this. That’s why you are trying to stay well and not get this virus. Your kids, husband, parents, friends, co-workers need you to survive.

But that’s not what I’m referring to here. You are important because you are YOU and no one else can be who you are with your unique mixture of personality–the things you love and hate and are passionate about.

The things that stir your soul or make you want to pull your hair out. You notice people that tug at your spirit and cause you to reach out to them. You see things that need to be done. You see injustice and evil that lead you to pray. You speak as only you can, with words from your fabulous heart. You create so much out of nothing–ideas, things, occasions, answers to problems, gatherings, love–as only you can create.

I’m here to encourage you to shine your light, my friend.

In the scriptures, “light” symbolizes God, faith, holiness, and truth. If you have it, please shine it!

 

John 1:5  “The light shines in the darkness and darkness cannot overcome it.”

(Goodness, doesn’t our world live in dark times, and don’t we need to shine our light?!)

And this is how we have light to share:

John 8:12  Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

 1 Peter 2:9 “But you are a chosen people…that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.”

John 12:36  “Believe in the light…so you may become children of light.”

And then, because God’s light has shown on us and is in us:

“Nations will come to your light, kings to your sunburst brightness.”

 

People are drawn to the light.

SHINE BRIGHT!

 

I’m here, shining with you. Encouraging you. Praying for your blessings.

Light-shiner, encouragement coach, Passionista,

Mimi