The dream started back around 1995, and what I remember most was the bright red color of blood. I could see it all day so vividly that I could barely focus on work. That’s when I first investigated dream symbols. The first thing I learned was that this impressionable and frightening dream was shouting to me: “PAY ATTENTION!”
I was standing in a subway station waiting for the train when a man approached. He was dressed in a business suit and tie, shined shoes and not a wrinkle out of place. He had a pencil in his pocket. The pencil was his weapon; and when he came at me, I was frozen, my feet stuck to the platform like I was cemented there. He stabbed me. And the blood … well, I’ve already talked about the blood.
This was a repetitive dream. Several times a week it haunted me. But thanks to my new friend the Internet, I found information on interpretation and it said my dream was shouting. The violence was the shout. The blood was the shout. And the message was, “PAY ATTENTION!”
The starting line for authentic living isn’t always a pretty white stripe. The moment we realize we’re cemented into place – and that place isn’t what we really wanted … the moment we realized we’re dressed the way someone else wants us to dress, or we’re working in an environment where we never wanted to work … or we’re waiting and waiting for a train to move us forward to that place we want to be — well, that was the starting line for me, and I’ve been on the journey ever since.
Authenticity is a choice, a transition, and a challenge. And it’s the most exciting approach to living I can think of. So if you’re in that place, your toes on the starting line, your adrenaline pumping, ready to go, I encourage you to run, walk or dance your way forward. And, hey, there are plenty of us ready to join and encourage you! So if you need some company, contact me! Come back. Leave a message. Let’s do this. Authentic Living – there’s really no other way to go.
“I want to ask you a question,” my father said. “I hope you won’t be insulted.”
“Sure. Go ahead,” I responded, curious about what would come next. I was visiting him in his Florida home; we hadn’t seen each other in perhaps ten years. But my father has a reputation for eccentricity and you never know where his thoughts are leading, so I confess to a little apprehension.
“I’m trying to figure out this facebook thing. And I want to ask you: are you really that person you present yourself to be on there?”
If you click the “About Coach Connie” tab on this website and scroll down a bit, you’ll see that “Authenticity” is one of my top life values. Authenticity: I am who I say I am.
“Yes, I am that person,” I said with a chuckle. “I’m purposeful about what I include on social media because I definitely want to be honest about how I present myself online.”
“Good,” he said, “because I think some people are not. And that’s what I don’t like about this electronic communication stuff.”
Authenticity is a challenge. Do I know who I am? Am I leading an authentic life? Am I on the quest to allow the “real me” to blossom and flourish in the world?
I’m dedicating the rest of July and the month of August to the topic of Authenticity. We’ll have a guest blogger, provide some resources, and ask some personal questions. I hope you’ll participate in the conversation. Let’s be authentic together and share in the adventure!
Have you ever had a thought that just would not leave you alone? Seriously. You think the thought, and then you think, “Hmm, that’s interesting,” and then you go back to doing the dishes or singing the song that’s playing on your car radio? Then, three days later, you’re in the grocery store and the guy behind you in line says something to you and, for unknown reasons, that thought pops back in your head? And on and on it goes – until you actually tell someone.
This blog post is coming from one of those thoughts. You see, sometimes I dismiss those thoughts as unimportant or as … nothing. Ironically, “nothing” is what my thought is about. “Nothing” or the lack of it.
Now that you’re totally confused, hopefully you’ll hang in with me for the big revelation…
“Nothing” is impossible.
That’s it. That’s the thought I haven’t been able to shake for months now. “Nothing” is impossible.
The Bible tells us a couple of things about “nothing” and “all things”
Now, when I talk about these verses with people and when I’ve heard them preached, it’s as if the words “nothing” and “all things” are modifying the truly important words: “possible” and “impossible.” And please hear me – I’m not arguing against that. We teach that “God” and “Possible” are inextricably joined in both instances, and that’s true, and that’s fantastic news.
But guess what? I’m a fussy grammar person. I don’t know what every grammar rule is called, but often I can tell when something is incorrect, and it sets my mind to thinking about how it should be…or could be. So, I haven’t been able to shake it from my mind that there is another way to understand this phrase:
“Nothing” is impossible.
Consider this possibility: With God, there is no such thing as nothing. Or, with God, everything counts. Add to that the idea that “God uses all things for good” and we’re really rolling into something big here! Because “nothing” is impossible. “Everything” is possible and “nothing” is impossible. All I’m doing is putting the emphasis on the actual nouns in each sentence which are “everything” (or “all things”) and “nothing.” And if “nothing” is impossible then YOU matter! And your decisions matter. The way you treat the earth matters and what foods you put in your body matter and that flower growing on your lawn matters and… we are all joined together because with God, “All-things” are possible and all things work together for good. With God, there is no such thing as “nothing.”
So there it is. My nagging thought. My revelation. And now you might be thinking, “what does this have to do with life coaching?” My “nothing” revelation is important to coaching because it says something very important about YOU and YOUR PASSIONS and YOUR DREAMS. It says that they are SOMETHING because they are part of “All-Things” and because there is no such thing as “Nothing.”
All things are possible with God. And God is in all things. And – wow – I don’t know about you but I am excited by that thought! May God reveal to you the possibilities that lie in all things for you – and that you, surely, are part of all things. Please let me know if you have any thoughts about this – and have a beautiful day!
This is the level of community and authenticity that opens the shell of the seed buried under the ground and grows your beautiful life. Thanks, Coach Em!
I had attended church my entire life. I had known Christian community—I had close friends in college, I had worked in the church forever…and yet I was still struggling with issues related to a pornography addiction I had years earlier. I knew that to get the healing I needed, I had to find true, authentic community. And I knew I couldn’t find that on Facebook, Twitter, or social media. Instead, I had to step away from the computer and boldly into a place where I could find the face-to-face accountability that I needed to move forward out of addiction.
image courtesy of Stuart Miles / freedigitalphotos.net
These days, it is easy to “find” community online—to say that we are talking to others, relating to others, and being honest with others because we are connecting with others through social media. But putting all my “junk” into an online forum, staying behind a…
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Sometimes, imagining yourself as a seed under the ground, pushing up through the dirt … the act of pushing up through the dirt can seem easy compared to those times in life when you wish your problems were as light as gardening soil.
I recently read that the weight of the stone which covered the entry to Jesus’ tomb weighed somewhere between 1-2 tons. On the light side, one thousand pounds.
How do you grow your beautiful life with one thousand pounds of solid rock standing in your way?
You have to know the weight is only of this earth – and you are so much more than earthly. The tomb could not hold Jesus and, through the power of Christ, the tomb cannot hold you.
Come to me,
all you who are weary and burdened,
and I will give you rest. 29
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am gentle and humble in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls. 30
For my yoke is easy
and my burden is
Have you ever wished you could blossom into your beautiful life without first being planted into the cold, dark ground?
Have you ever wished you could blossom into your beautiful life without having to break through the shell that surrounds your heart?
Have you ever wished you could blossom into your beautiful life without having to feel the pain of the push up through the heavy soil? Without suffering? Without ever being so fully human?
Then, accompanied by the disciples,
Jesus left the upstairs room and went as usual to the Mount of Olives.
There he told them,
“Pray that you will not give in to temptation.”
He walked away, about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed,
“Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me.
Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”
Then an angel from heaven appeared and strengthened him.
He prayed more fervently, and he was in such agony of spirit
that his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood.
Most of you have learned about DNA in the genetics section of biology class. As I understand it, our DNA contains genetic information about who we will grow to be physically: How our cells will grow and divide.
That’s not the DNA I’m talking about. I was never good in science and I don’t aim to be now. The DNA I’m talking about has to do with our spiritual identities. I’m talking about our Divine Natural Abilities. I’m talking about the identity God plants in us when we are in our mother’s womb. The DNA that tells us who we are from a perspective of purpose.
None of us decided how tall we’d be or what color eyes we’d have or whether our fingers would be long and slim for piano playing or if the details of our faces would be even and balanced enough for us to be considered “pretty” or “handsome.” Of course we can manipulate some of our features with surgery when we’re older (if you’re into that sort of thing) – but at our core, we have a certain body to work with which was given to us rather than chosen by us. What we do with that body is up to us of course. The same goes with our spiritual DNA.
I believe we were all given certain Divine Natural Abilities by God which, if we nurture and develop them, will help us serve others and to grow into our happiest, healthiest, most amazing selves.
But how to you know your Spiritual DNA? You can’t take a picture of it with a microscope. And while there’s a good chance others in your family share some aspects of this identity, you can’t really look to anyone else for the answers. Self-reflection, prayer, and strong, honest relationships often bring out our Divine Natural Abilities as does a willingness to remain aware of your instincts and follow them into opportunities where your will discover yourself. Your values, your talents, your interests, and those undefinable moments when you feel compelled to speak to a person you see on the street or accept a job that seems a little unusual for you or just say yes to an opportunity that grabs your attention seemingly out of nowhere – all of these things can be your DNA shaping you into your God-ordained life.
It’s just an idea, and I like it. As a Christian Life Coach, one thing I do is help people discover your spiritual DNA, nurture your talents, and develop the life God has prepared for you.
I’d love to have your feedback. What would help you live more fully into your spiritual DNA?
Your voice is your instrument. Sing!