Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Saying No

I was talking with a coaching client recently and challenged her to think about what she wanted to say yes to in her life.  What were the most important things and people and opportunities?  What were the important pieces of her job?  She'd been experiencing some health problems and had to re-enter her job and her life slowly.  We discussed what was in her life that was taking her time but were not things she was really passionate about.  They were good things but they were extras.

I challenged her to say "no" to some things in her life. And then I found myself saying, "You know, saying "no" is a spiritual discipline."  I don't know where it came from but once the words were out of my mouth, I realized how true they were.

Saying "no" often does not feel good.  We hate to disappoint, we hate to be the ones to say no.  Sometimes it takes faith to say no.  You do not know that another opportunity will come along but you know this one is not the right.  It's easy to feel valued and important if we are always available and saying yes to everyone.  However, if we say yes to everything in our lives, we miss out on what we are really created, gifted and called for.

In coaching we know that to say no to some things means that you are able to say yes to others.

What do you want to say yes to? How can you practice the spiritual discipline of saying no?

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Slowing Down

The last few days have been about slowing down for me...but you probably guessed that from my entry title.  It started with my computer.  My mac book pro, which is usually a trooper, started running ridiculously slow.  By Thursday, I would click on a web page or a program I needed to open and had time, while it was loading, to complete other small projects.  I just could not get in a hurry.  But night though, I became aware that something was very wrong.

After speaking with an IT friend, I learned that part of my problem was that I had ridiculously low crazy, scary low memory.  I had to go through my music library and start purging music.  I spent two and a half hours on this project!

By Friday, I was working to back some important know, like my sermon for Sunday and my doctoral dissertation.  I spent some quality time with the apple geniuses that evening and after working on it for about three hours, they finally found what was wrong.  I'm not an IT person and so I don't really understand what was wrong, but it's fixed.

But, then yesterday, while driving home from a board meeting in Greensboro.  I got stuck in crazy traffic over and over and just had to sit.  There was no need to get in a hurry.  So, by last night, I was embracing the slow thing.  I took a long hot bath with a good book and a fun drink.  I found an app that actually has helps guide your breathing so you slow down. Kind of like meditating...and at first, I thought, this is ridiculous.  But after five minutes of slowly breathing, I felt amazing!!!!

At a recent conference I attended, we discussed the idea of Sabbath as being a day when you do not rush.  You may get things done, but the crazy pace of life we normally experience, is noticeably missing.  There is a faith that what needs to get done will get done, and so there is a peace to your actions.

So.....slow down.  Take a few deep breaths...literally...go do it now.