Category Archives

Authenticity

From UFO’s to NDE’s

  • June 1, 2016
  • Lis Williams

”…when focusing on talents, we tend to forget that our real gift is not so much what we... Continue Reading

”…when focusing on talents, we tend to forget that our real gift is not so much what we can do, but who we are. The real question is not “What can we offer each other?” but “Who can we be for each other?” — Henri Nouwen

As a kid I was fascinated with UFO’s. I loved to read books about extraterrestrial beings. I suspect it was the mystery of it all and the unanswered questions that kept me intrigued.

As an adult I have that same fascination with NDE’s or “Near Death Experiences”. I’m intrigued by stories of people who have died and experienced life on the other side. Recently, it seems, there have been a number of books written on the topic. I have read them all, but my absolute favorite is Dying To Be Me by Anita Moorjani.

Anita had stage 4 cancer and died when her organs shut down. However, her near death experience resulted in a miracle which cured her completely. In her book, she shares many extraordinary insights, but the most important thing she learned was how we all need to love ourselves and recognize our magnificence. Here’s what she says…

“Only when we love ourselves unconditionally, accepting ourselves as the magnificent creatures we are with great respect and compassion, can we ever hope to offer the same to anyone else. Cherishing the self comes first, and caring for others is the inevitable outcome.”

When was the last time you looked in the mirror and said, “I love you”?

When was the last time you exclaimed, “I am magnificent!”?

I’m gonna guess the answer may be “Never!!”

We don’t like to claim our beauty. We’re not comfortable admitting that we have unique gifts, talents, and strengths. We worry what others will think of us if we “get too big for our britches,” as my grandma used to say.

We don’t want to get too big for our britches.

Not only does this keep us living small, it keeps us from sharing the truth of who we are with the world.

Brendan Burchard says we focus on the “busywork” of life rather than focusing on our “life’s work”.

Think about that. How much time do you spend on busywork and how much time do you devote to your life’s work?

Do you even know what your life’s work is?

What is your life’s work?

Most of us don’t because we’ve never taken the time to really explore who we are and just how we might share our gifts, talents, skills, knowledge, wisdom, experiences, hurts, pains, joys, loves with a world that desperately needs what we have to offer.

It’s possible that the truth of who we are has gotten buried under piles of laundry and bills, hidden behind careers that are unfulfilling or marriages that break our hearts, covered by the responsibility of caring for children or the reality of a broken world.

If so, it’s time to re-discover you!

Re-discover you!

Begin the process of figuring out who God made you to be and how you might live from that place.

There are lots of assessment tools you can use that help you to identify your strengths, personality type, passions, spiritual gifts, etc… And those tools can be very helpful as a starting point, but I’m going to suggest that you already know many of the answers. You’ve lived long enough and had enough life experiences to have a strong sense of who you are at the core.

Carving out quiet time on a regular basis will help you to hear that still small voice of truth within that remembers the authentic you.

Spending time with supportive friends and family can help as well. They often see things in us that we aren’t willing to own.

L. Gregory Jones says, “Holy friends challenge the sins we have come to love, affirm the gifts we are afraid to claim and help us dream dreams we otherwise would not dream…Something transformative happens when someone helps us see potential in ourselves we cannot yet see.”

As I was struggling to overcome my fears and step out into the bigger world and God’s plan for my life, my closest friends and family provided the strength I needed to own my gifts and talents and have the courage to take risks and reach for something more.

I’ll always remember the time I was in a meeting with women from our faith sharing group at church. We were talking about a new project and how I might help get it started. My friend, Mary, was describing my role in the process and said, “That’s her gift.”

Her words were so powerful!

To hear someone who had known me for a very long time and with whom I had worked on many projects, voice what she saw as my unique gift in the world – it gave me wings.

Her words gave me wings!

I knew what she said was true – but somehow hearing it from her mouth solidified for me what I long suspected. I could now take what she said and run with it.

Each morning, one of the affirmations I read from Dr. Christiane Northrup says this, “We keep needing to be reminded of our power, not the fear. Become as fabulous as you can!”

Women of AWE, boldly exclaim the truth of your magnificence as a child of Divine Love!

Women of AWE, shine the light of truth on the unique gifts and talents that each and every person on this planet has to share!

You are magnificent! Own it! Click To Tweet

Loving you for the one of a kind Child of God that you are,

Lis (xoxo)

(c)2016

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Live Your Heaven!

  • May 19, 2016
  • Lis Williams

“We have to accept that the human culture is in a mass hypnotic trance. We’re sleepwalkers…That’s why the... Continue Reading

“We have to accept that the human culture is in a mass hypnotic trance. We’re sleepwalkers…That’s why the Buddha and Jesus say with one voice, “Be awake”. — Richard Rohr

I love the Polar Express! Every Christmas as I read that book (yes – I still read it even though my kids are grown) I cry when I get to the last pages about how the bell has stopped ringing for so many. I always swear I won’t let that to happen to me.

At the end of the movie version, the Conductor looks at the little boy and says, “One thing about trains. It doesn’t matter where they’re going – what matters is deciding to get on.”

Living with “awe” is like that. It’s deciding to get on the damn train rather than standing at the station!

And then once you’re on the train it’s about paying attention to the scenery and not just the destination. It’s living more intentionally, more fully, with more awareness.

You’ve probably heard people talk about being more present and living in the moment. That’s living with “awe”.

It’s stopping the rat race, getting off the treadmill, slowing down.

Breathe.

It’s recognizing that God doesn’t care so much about what we do but rather who we are. How do we show up in the world?

How do you show up in the world?

I’ll give you an example. We have two postal carriers on our block – our regular guy and the guy who fills in for him every so often. And they show up completely differently!

Our regular guy walks very slowly, with his head down the entire time, staring at the envelopes in his hand, avoiding eye contact at all costs. My kids tell the story of the time they were out playing. One of them fell off his bike and was lying on the sidewalk wailing. The postal carrier just kept walking -right around him – never acknowledging his presence.

The fill in guy shows up completely differently. He’s looking up, smiling, happy to start a conversation with you. He evens stops to shoot hoops with the kids in the driveway. I once told him that my son would always remember him as his favorite mailman. That’s living with “awe”!

We rarely look up!

Why is that?

Why are we so busy?

When did we become so important that the world can’t function without our harried existence?

We rarely look up!

I don’t think we have to wait until we die to experience heaven. I believe we can experience heaven – the kingdom of God – here and now. When you open your eyes and begin living with “awe”, you realize that it’s been here all along.

Mark Nepo says, “Rather than finding heaven on earth we are asked to release heaven by living on earth.”

Embrace the “awe” that is your life - then go out and live your heaven! Click To Tweet

Love, Lis

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Life in “awe”

  • May 5, 2016
  • Lis Williams

“Don’t drink at the water’s edge, throw yourself in. Become the water. Only then will your thirst be... Continue Reading

“Don’t drink at the water’s edge, throw yourself in. Become the water. Only then will your thirst be quenched.”                                    — Jeanette Berson

When I decided to re-invent myself, one of the things I really wanted was to live with more “awe”.

For quite some time I had felt a “restlessness” – like something was missing. I had a wonderful marriage, two great kids, all the necessities of life and more – so this didn’t make a lot of sense to me.

It was as if I felt that there was a deeper, more magical way of living and I wanted to experience that.

There’s a deeper, more magical way to live.

Every so often, I would read about or meet someone who seemed to be living that way – so I knew it was possible, but I wasn’t sure how to get there.

About that time, I read what would become one of my favorite books of all time – A Million Miles In A Thousand Years by Donald Miller. Here’s the introduction:

“If you watched a movie about a guy who wanted a Volvo and worked for years to get it, you wouldn’t cry at the end when he drove off the lot, testing the windshield wipers. You wouldn’t tell your friends you saw a beautiful movie or go home and put a record on to think about the story you’d seen. The truth is, you wouldn’t remember that movie a week later, except to feel robbed and want your money back. Nobody cries at the end of a movie about a guy who wants a Volvo.

But we spend years actually living those stories, and expect our lives to feel meaningful. The truth is, if what we choose to do with our lives won’t make a story meaningful, it won’t make a life meaningful either.”

“If what we choose to do with our lives won’t make a story meaningful, it won’t make a life meaningful either.” – Donald Miller

Maybe this hit me in the gut because I drove a Volvo. Or maybe there was more to it.

I started to wonder whose story I was living. Was this the story that God intended for my life when He knit me in my mother’s womb? Or was I living someone else’s story? A story written and directed perhaps by my family of origin, friends I had met along the way, my schools and churches, or society.

Whose story are you living?

In Life’s Golden Ticket, Brendon Burchard describes it like this, “It is a quiet dissatisfaction with yourself, with who you have become. You feel there is something more inside you, and you have come here searching for ways to dig it up and unleash it into the world. Deep down, you know you are more than what society has said you are or told you to be, and you are here to begin the great quest of proving it to the world and to yourself.”

To be honest, I felt like I was playing small. Like I was told I could only go so far but no further.

I felt like I was playing small.

And then, of course, there were the fears. (I’m a six on the Enneagram so fear comes naturally to me.) There was always so much to be afraid of. And stepping out in life was sure to invite challenges, struggles, and heartache. Who needs more of that?

It’s easier, isn’t it, to hunker down, stay in your safe cocoon, and bide your time until it’s over.

But let’s be honest. That’s not living! That’s existing. And I wanted more out of life.

So I started to wonder why the most quoted passage in the Bible is “Be not afraid”. Could there be something to that? Is it possible to stop living in fear and instead begin living with faith?

And then there was one of my favorite scripture passages that says, “I came so that you might have life and have it abundantly.”

Wow! Dish me up a plate of that, please.

Is it possible that life wasn’t meant to be so scary? That we weren’t supposed to suffer so much? That we could actually live with peace and joy and abundance?

If so, I wanted in.

Recognizing that this would take some work, I began reading books like Wired for Joy and The Chemistry of Calm. I learned that we can actually re-wire our brains away from fear and toward joy.

I started listening to Hay House CD’s, podcasts and radio shows by authors and speakers who seemed to be living more positively, like Wayne Dyer and Dr. Christiane Northrup.

I began watching Oprah Winfrey’s show, Super Soul Sunday, which I just can’t get enough of!! I watch my favorites over and over again.

And slowly, things began to change. I felt calmer and didn’t worry so much. I stopped thinking about all of the things I could be afraid of and instead started thinking about all of the amazing things I wanted to do with my life.

I stopped asking... What if? And started saying... What if!!!! Click To Tweet

And I made out a long list of what my life would look life if it were magical. Here are just a few of the things I wrote…

  • I wouldn’t be afraid. I would let go and let God.
  • I would embrace the guidance and power of the Holy Spirit.
  • I would be grateful for all of my amazing blessings.
  • I would surround myself with positive, optimistic, supportive, enthusiastic, nurturing, fun-loving people, and stay away from the toxic and negative.
  • I would seek out adventures and experiences that were life giving.
  • I would engage in activities that feed my soul.
  • I would pursue my calling with passion.
  • I would be free.
  • My spirit would soar.
  • I would light the dark and heal the world!

Donald Miller says, “A good storyteller doesn’t just tell a better story, though. He invites other people into the story with him, giving them a better story too…It’s as though God is saying, Write a good story, take somebody with you, and let me help.”

The AWE Community is in the business of writing better stories for ourselves and for women and children around the globe. I hope you’ll join us!

XOXOXO, Lis

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Ignore the noise and listen to Truth

  • April 15, 2016
  • Lis Williams

Here’s another guest post from Kathleen Gawlik, founder Pure Purpose Coaching & Consulting and also my sister. Read her post... Continue Reading

Here’s another guest post from Kathleen Gawlik, founder Pure Purpose Coaching & Consulting and also my sister. Read her post on The Counterintuitive Path to Peace & Joy here.

I had a tough day today in the middle of a tough few weeks.

I feel like I have been working virtually nonstop. Progress seems slow, and I can’t seem to make a deadline no matter how hard I try.

So today, as I drove home from a very challenging appointment, I struggled with the thoughts going through my mind.

“Maybe I’m just not cut out for this type of work…I’m not good at this…All of the opportunities that God has been sending my way seem to be drying up…What will happen if it keeps getting worse?”

With each new thought, my world seemed darker and darker and I felt smaller and smaller.

My world seemed darker and I felt smaller.

I have a history of being pretty hard on myself. Can anyone relate?

Thankfully, God has been guiding me down a different path in the past few years, and this new path has included a lesson in self-care.

Self-care goes beyond pedicures and buying ourselves a new pair of shoes – not that there’s anything wrong with that. Sometimes it just comes down to being as caring toward ourselves as we are toward others.

How are you treating yourself?

This includes speaking to and treating ourselves with the same (or dare I say more) kindness that we would show someone we love or care about. The truth is, many of us treat strangers or people we don’t like better than we treat ourselves.

Self-care is less about earning something and more about grace which is by definition undeserved.

So on the day when your performance is less than stellar at work or at home, maybe that’s the very day we need to take the gentlest most loving care of ourselves – treat ourselves to whatever it is that we most need to nourish our body and spirit, whether it’s time with friends or time alone with the Lord.

It’s only recently and with God’s encouragement that I have changed my strategy of how I respond to myself when things don’t seem to be going well, and I’m not pleased with myself.

It seemed so counterintuitive at first. If I’m not performing and accomplishing what I should be in the way I could be, shouldn’t I buckle down, work harder, talk a little tougher to myself? Doesn’t it make sense to go down every negative path I can think of to make sure I understand how much pressure I need to feel to do better and how bad things could be if I don’t?

Ok, I realize that when I put it that way it seems like a pretty poor motivation strategy. So why do so many of us fall into it?

Here’s the good news. All you have to do to change it is be nicer to yourself.

Try being nicer to yourself.

It may take some time to begin to recognize what you’re saying and doing that may be more hurtful than helpful. But it’s amazing how much brighter the world can feel and how much more motivated and productive we become when we begin to be our own encourager and treat ourselves with love.

And, we’re not on our own. When we take the first step of just being aware of how we treat ourselves, God meets us there and carries us forward.

Ok, so back to my depressing drive home today. Once I began to realize that what I was saying to myself wasn’t very positive or encouraging, as only God can orchestrate, I turned on the Christian radio station to hear Casting Crowns singing,

But the giant’s calling out my name and he laughs at me

Reminding me of all the times I’ve tried before and failed

The giant keeps on telling me time and time again,

“Boy, you’ll never win! You’ll never win!”

But the voice of truth tells me a different story

And the voice of truth says, “Do not be afraid!”

And the voice of truth says, “This is for My glory”

Out of all the voices calling out to me

I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth

Well, that message seemed pretty clear and only confirmed that I needed to take action and stop being hard on myself and negative about my circumstances.

So I began to consciously change my thoughts and listen to the voice of truth. “This is just one of those tough days; God is still in control, and He will never leave me or forsake me; It is unlikely that others are judging me and my performance as harshly as I am; I am fearfully and wonderfully made, and God has plans to prosper me and not to harm me – plans to give me hope and a future.”

Once I got home, I sat down, put my feet up, and did some therapeutic writing.

Thanks for listening!

Love, Kathleen

Kathleen Gawlik received her BA in English and MA in counseling from Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida. She completed her ICF-approved training as a Christian Coach through Christian Coach Institute and founded Pure Purpose Coaching & Consulting, LLC. She now helps women weather the storms of life and find their value, unique purpose, and peace as Christ’s Beloved. She is a Christian Coach, Counselor, Consultant and Motivational Speaker.

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Take Care of You

  • March 31, 2016
  • Lis Williams

“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” – Lao Tzu Theologians... Continue Reading

“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” – Lao Tzu

Theologians the world over may dispute what I am about to say – but that just makes it all the more interesting, doesn’t it?

In the Judeo-Christian tradition, the first commandment is, “Love your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”

The second commandment is, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” It’s this second commandment that I want to spend a little time talking about with you.

If the second commandment is to love your neighbor as yourself, then I would submit to you that if you ain’t doin’ a good job lovin’ on yourself there ain’t no way you’re doin’ a good job lovin’ on others. Let me explain.

Are you loving yourself?

I’m a big fan of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. But a story I read from one of the earliest books almost ruined me. As I recall, it was about an athlete whose life motto was, “I Am Third.” He went on to explain that God came first in his life, then others, and finally himself. Being young and naïve I decided that this was a motto I, too, should adopt.

Now that I’m older and wiser I can assure you that this is ABSOLUTELY NOT the way for Women of AWE to live. It is in fact the quickest way to ensure you end up burnt out, angry, and resentful.

You see I was raised to be a good girl. Do what you’re told. Clean up your messes. Don’t color outside the lines. And by all means, take care of those in need!

I developed a “Savior of the World Complex.”

So like any good little girl I developed what I call a “Savior of the World Complex”. I grew up believing that if I didn’t take care of it, who would? If I didn’t “fix” people they might continue to live their lives in utter hell. If I didn’t discover the cure for cancer, end world hunger, and lead the world to peace once and for all – then surely no one else could possibly play a part in this and do it as well as I could.

As I look back now, I visualize myself carrying a backpack. Anytime I came across someone in need I would ask if I could carry a bit of their burden. Most were happy to hand it over, so I put it in my backpack and carried on.

As you can imagine, the backpack became heavier and heavier over time. I began to experience chronic neck and shoulder pain. This lasted for years until I finally got sick and tired of the pain and was determined to find a way to relieve it.

This led me on a journey to discover the link between our emotions and our physical well-being. I began seeing a physician specializing in integrative medicine who suggested I work through a book by Dr. Howard Schubiner called, Unlearn Your Pain.

Unsent letters set me free!

One of the most healing practices was the encouragement to write “unsent” letters to people in your life – whether alive or dead. The theory was that our physical pain can be caused by unexpressed rage and that by writing about it we can release it.

I was skeptical because I didn’t feel any rage. Maybe a little anger here and there, but good girls don’t feel rage!

So I began writing. And lo and behold the rage just spilled onto the page as if I was vomiting up years of emotion held captive. I was amazed! Who knew??

Good girls don’t feel rage!

And there wasn’t just rage. There was grief, and guilt, and fear in there as well. All just stuck inside waiting to be released so that I could be set free.

Once the emotional and physical turmoil began to subside I could begin to see things from a newer, healthier perspective. I realized that by putting everyone and everything before myself I was worn out, angry, and lost. I couldn’t even remember who I was. Who was I before I gave it all away?

In Gift of the Redbird Paula D’Arcy says this, “…I see how prone I am to run headlong into people’s needs. But by living in this way, I give away pieces of my life. Important pieces. Pieces of my energy, my time, my strength. On the basis of assumptions (This must be right) as opposed to intentions (I choose to go this way), I have given over ownership of me. Willingness to help is healthy, but a need to help is not.”

You can’t give if you’re empty inside.

It’s not that you stop helping others or sharing yourself with the world.  It’s the realization that to do this most effectively we must care for ourselves first.  You can’t give from an empty well.

Not only was I hurting myself by putting everyone’s needs before my own, but by playing “Savior” I actually dis-empowered people by teaching them to rely on me rather than themselves and God.

You must find the healthy balance between giving and receiving and recognize that sometimes the best gift is to show someone just how powerful they are.

Sometimes the best gift is to show someone just how powerful they are. Click To Tweet

Here’s what self-care looks like to me…

  • Taking time for my spiritual practices
  • Working through difficult emotions
  • Sleeping well
  • Eating healthy
  • Exercising in ways that I love
  • Taking baths
  • Learning how to say “no” without feeling guilty
  • Staying away from toxic people and situations
  • Laughing more
  • Pursuing my calling
  • Having fun!

If you’re like I was, always putting others first, I urge you to consider a new way of living.

Women of AWE need to be healthy and whole in order to empower women and children around the world.

What does self-care look like to you? Share with me on Facebook.

Giving you permission to take care of you,

Lis

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The Counterintuitive Path to Peace and Joy

  • March 24, 2016
  • Lis Williams

Here’s another guest post from Kathleen Gawlik, founder Pure Purpose Coaching & Consulting, LLC and also my sister. Read her... Continue Reading

Here’s another guest post from Kathleen Gawlik, founder Pure Purpose Coaching & Consulting, LLC and also my sister. Read her first post on Becoming Unstuck here.

I’ve realized that I’m an expert on surviving Life Altering, Faith Shaking, Foundation Crumbling, Worst Nightmare events.

I’ve lived through so many tabloid-worthy crises that I should have a PhD in preparing for, walking through and recovering from life’s train wrecks.

Find joy and peace in life’s storms.

Thankfully, I am blessed that God has brought me, or more accurately dragged me kicking and screaming, to the point that I finally know better how to find joy and peace in life’s storms.

Just as importantly, I have learned how to enjoy life in between the trials because, let’s face it, storms are a part of life.  That is why learning to find and celebrate every opportunity for joy in life is Essential!

My friend and I were talking today about how we have finally learned that during life’s storms the secret to peace and joy is often doing the opposite of what we intuitively think we should. (She, by the way, has also faced amazing loss and challenges in her life.)

Be Dependent on God

Ok, how many of us have been taught that it is good to be dependent on anyone or anything? Dependent is not something that most people want to become. It’s almost a dirty word.

When I think of who we are encouraged to be in our culture, I think of words like – Independent, Responsible, Self-sufficient, Self-made, Unstoppable.

That was the person I wanted to be, and there is a place for these character traits, but it’s not in our relationship with God. This is the one place where we are called to be childlike forever.

Instead of shouldering our own burdens, we are asked to lay them at Jesus’ feet and trust that He’s got it. We are told to rely on Him.

And instead of hearing “You made your bed, now lie in it,” we experience Grace – God’s unmerited favor – and learn the true meaning of unconditional love and forgiveness.

Once we experience this supernatural love and grace, it’s much easier to feel peace and joy in the midst of life’s challenges.

Relinquish Control to God

Once again, what independent, responsible adult wants to relinquish the remote control much less control in any critical area of life?

Many of us who have been brought up to have a relationship with God may think when we hear this that it makes sense. After all, He’s the all-powerful Creator of the universe!

But when we’ve done all we can do and there is truly no human hope in sight, instinct says hit the panic button and try to get control of the situation in any way we can. All the while God is saying, “Do not fear.” “Be STILL and know that I am God.”

The moral of the story is that God is always right. The right, effective response is praying, doing what has to be done, waiting on God for everything else, and trusting Him.

Staying calm and focused on God and His immeasurable Love and Grace may require energy, but it will be energy that produces a positive outcome of peace and joy.

Trying to retain control in life is like swimming upstream. We may think we are capable when the current it gentle, but when we hit the raging rapids, we will quickly fail in our own strength.

And trying to take life on our own or trying to take the lead and leave God in the dust only leads to exhaustion and ultimately crisis.

Peace and joy can be found when we give up trying to swim the river on our own, take God’s hand and climb into His boat. Then, we are no longer fighting the current but have caught the flow of God’s amazing adventure for us.

Kathleen Gawlik received her BA in English and MA in counseling from Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida. She completed her ICF-approved training as a Christian Coach through Christian Coach Institute and founded Pure Purpose Coaching & Consulting, LLC. She now helps women weather the storms of life and find their value, unique purpose, and peace as Christ’s Beloved. She is a Christian Coach, Counselor, Consultant and Motivational Speaker.

Soul Care

  • March 1, 2016
  • Lis Williams

“You are not a human being in search of a spiritual experience.  You are a spiritual being immersed... Continue Reading

“You are not a human being in search of a spiritual experience.  You are a spiritual being immersed in a human experience.”  – Teilhard de Chardin

Take a moment and really think about what it means to be a spiritual being having a human experience.

Doesn’t that make you think about life differently?

Doesn’t that make you wonder if you’re living the way you’re meant to live?

Doesn’t that have the potential to change everything?

And it begs the question–if, in fact, we are spiritual beings what are we doing to care for our spirit?

What are you doing to care for your spirit? Click To Tweet

For most of my life I was a do-er with a capital “D.” I prided myself on how much I could accomplish. I loved having a “to do” list and I loved, loved, loved checking things off my list. I was the queen of multi-tasking. And I thought this was exactly the way life was meant to be lived.

Having children changed everything for me. All of a sudden I could no longer make out my “to do” list and be sure to check everything off by the end of the day. The precious beings that had taken over my life didn’t appear to have a clue about how important mommy’s list was to her sense of self-worth. 

My “to do” would have to wait.

They constantly interrupted me with their petty requests for food, shelter and clothing. They demanded love and attention as well as clean diapers, kisses for boo-boos and a daily dose of hugs, giggles and pure fun. It took me years before I surrendered and decided my “to do” would simply have to wait.

It was these same adorable children who brought me face to face with my fears. The thought of anything bad happening to them was overwhelming. And as the chaos of the world swirled around me I knew I had to find a place that felt safe.

So I began to pursue my spirituality more fully. Praying was something I had done since I was a child, so I started talking with God more frequently. I had a lot to say and a lot of requests to make. But I rarely had time to stop and listen.

As I continued on my journey, the idea of meditating kept showing up. I understood that ideally I was supposed to meditate twice a day for 20 minutes at a time. 

Two things came to mind:

How on earth will I ever find time?

BOR-ING!!!!

As a life-longer “do-er” I just could not imagine what good could possibly come from sitting still for 20 minutes and trying not to think about anything. 

But curiosity got the better of me so each morning after the kids left for school and I had my breakfast, I ascended to the third floor of my home and camped out on the overstuffed chair where I used to read to my children. Technically you’re supposed to sit up straight with your feet on the floor–but I’m a bit of a rebel so I do it my way.

Listening, rather than talking, has changed my life.

Does it surprise you to hear that now I can’t imagine beginning my day without meditating?

Does it surprise you to hear that listening to God rather than always talking to him has changed my life? 

Does it surprise you to hear that slowing down, becoming a “be-er” as well as a “do-er,” and taking care of my soul has transformed me in ways that I never could have imagined?

Become a be-er as well as a do-er.

Dr. Bud Harris says this, “The results of this kind of work are not immediate and spectacular. Nor can they be idealized as easily as self-actualization. The results show up as we reflect on our lives and, over time, we realize our life has slowly become miraculous. Do we dare to live this way? Do we dare to live a life whose arc will follow a pattern determined by the Self, not by our culture, our egos, or our fear?”

Some mystics taught that the human soul comes from God and that the last thing that God does before putting a soul into the body is to kiss the soul. If you haven’t felt that kiss in a long time I want that for you.

Feel God’s kiss on your soul.

We are spiritual beings having a human experience. And to be most fully alive we absolutely must nurture our soul. 

We must re-discover our true self. We must rest in God.

Contemplation is this resting in God. Get there by any means you can–prayer, meditation, spiritual reading, journaling, time spent in nature, art, music, dance, whatever. But get there!

Women of AWE who light the dark and heal the world must ignite the flame within so that we can share with those whose light has dimmed or been extinguished altogether. 

Women of AWE must align with our Source so that we can receive the guidance to know our path and the courage to follow it. 

Now here’s a question for you…If God wrote your “to-do” list what would it say?

If God wrote your “to-do” list what would it say? Click To Tweet

Share your answers with me on Facebook and I’ll see you back here soon.

Sending soul kisses your way,

Lis

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Becoming Unstuck

  • February 23, 2016
  • Lis Williams

We’re so fortunate to have a guest post from Kathleen Gawlik, founder Pure Purpose Coaching & Consulting, LLC and also... Continue Reading

We’re so fortunate to have a guest post from Kathleen Gawlik, founder Pure Purpose Coaching & Consulting, LLC and also my sister.

I am blessed to have Lis as my big sister. As sisters, we have had the pleasure and pain of sharing our individual journeys from being stuck and living from fear and self-protection to the life-changing and sometimes painful process of emerging from that stuck place to soar as the women that God created us to be.

Don’t get me wrong. We are, of course, still people in process–just ask our kids! But we have learned first-hand the freedom that comes once we begin to shed the weight and restrictions of our wounds, pain, and fear. We’ve also learned how to find True North when we become confused or lose our way. There was for us and is for you, Dear Friend, a beautiful, joy-filled life waiting beyond the pain, sadness, fear, insecurity, people-pleasing…

So, how do you get there?

If you’re anything like us, slowly, painfully, and imperfectly, but my only regret is that I didn’t do it sooner. The peace, joy, and ultimately the healing were waiting for me all along. In reality it was not as much about a better path as it was about making the choice and accepting God’s offer to take His hand and make the journey together. It is at the same time a simple yet not easy step to take.

For Lis and me, and I think for many, the difficulty comes in letting go of control, expectations, entitlement, resentment, pain, etc. It is deceptively empowering to hang on to these things even when we’re told they are destructive. If we can hold them tightly enough and twist them, ourselves, and those we love into tight enough knots, at some childlike level we think we can keep the hurt and pain out, or buried, or simply at bay even though we learn over and over that pain still comes and that this strategy doesn’t work.

My only regret is that I didn’t do it sooner.

So, Beautiful Friend, we want you to know that there is Hope–Great Hope for greater peace, joy, and, very simply, LIFE–abundant LIFE. God is waiting with His hand outstretched to you. Depending upon your experience, that may feel comforting or scary, but I assure you He is safe. There is no one safer and no better Guide and Companion for your journey.

Meet with Him as often as you can.

Seek Him like you would a new or potential love.

Talk with Him, listen to Him, and just be with Him.

This is the essence of prayer and meditation, but it’s really as simple as spending time with Him like anyone else you love and value or see the potential to love and value in your life. Soon, you will realize there’s nowhere else you’d rather be and no one else you’d rather spend time with. And things will begin to change, in you and in every area of your life–just watch.

Things will begin to change, in you and in every area of your life.

One change may be that you see God placing special people in your life who are on similar journeys and who can be flesh and blood companions. When this happens, you have received a very special gift–one of the many that you will begin to notice on a daily basis.

Other potential companions on the journey are professionals who are able to walk alongside you to help you get unstuck. When the issues that are keeping you stuck focus primarily on pain from your past, the right counselor can help you determine what you need to do to work through these issues and to allow healing and growth.

Who are your companions on the journey towards unstuck? Click To Tweet

Sometimes, being stuck means that you know where you want to go, but you are struggling to know or take the steps that will lead you there. In this case, the right life coach can be a welcome partner who will help you clarify, plan, and follow through.

Lis and I are praying for you in this process.

We know how difficult and painful it can sometimes be, and we are standing in the direction of the finish line rooting you on. Don’t lose Hope. Believe that something better, infinitely better than you can even imagine is waiting for you, and you don’t have to find it alone–There are companions, and there is Hope.

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The wound is the place where the light enters you. -Rumi Click To Tweet

Kathleen Gawlik received her BA in English and MA in counseling from Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida. She completed her ICF-approved training as a Christian Coach through Christian Coach Institute and founded Pure Purpose Coaching & Consulting, LLC. She now helps women weather the storms of life and find their value, unique purpose, and peace as Christ’s Beloved. She is a Christian Coach, Counselor, Consultant and Motivational Speaker.

Where are you stuck?

  • February 12, 2016
  • Lis Williams

“Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our... Continue Reading

“Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.”                                     – Brene Brown , The Gifts of Imperfection

In her book, Inner Compass, Margaret Silf says that “the broken spots in our souls are the very places God wants most to meet us. He longs for us to see our need for Him.”

Let’s explore where and why we can get stuck in our brokenness.

The most obvious ways we’re stuck are external. 

We might be stuck in a dead-end job. Or we might feel stuck in a difficult marriage. We might be stuck at home with whiny, snot-nosed children or caring for elderly parents. 

Whatever your circumstances, these places where you’re stuck are real, and it may be time to figure out just how to make the situation you are in better.

We’re going to have to face the truth.

Another way to explore our stuck places is to look inside ourselves. 

We can get stuck in sin.  Sin is not a topic we like to talk about. It can feel icky. Depending on how we were raised, it can even make us feel really badly about ourselves. So we prefer not to go there.

But in order to get unstuck, we’re going to have to face the truth. We are all sinners, but that doesn’t make us unlovable. We may struggle with feelings of jealousy or pride. We may find that we’re judgmental or prone to gossip. We may have a tendency to lie or cheat or steal. 

No matter where we struggle, God is there waiting to forgive us.

And just when you thought you’d covered it all–there’s one other place where you might find yourself stuck–and that is in your woundedness. 

Some of us grew up under really difficult circumstances. And the wounds we carry are gaping holes in our hearts that we think will never heal.

Others of us have not faced traumatic experiences, and yet, just growing up and making our way in the world can leave us wounded and battle scarred. 

Making our way in the world can leave us battle scarred. 

Our wounds can show up as guilt, shame or resentment. They may manifest themselves through anger or even rage.  They can be seen in our fear, worry, anxiety and depression.

It’s really difficult to face the pain of our woundedness. So we push it down, bury it, focus on more positive things. 

But we can only run for so long. At some point in our lives, usually by mid-life if not before, things begin to surface and we realize that we just can’t fake it anymore.

But here’s the good news. It’s o.k. It’s all o.k. You don’t have to hide anymore. You don’t have to pretend. God doesn’t want you to live in bondage any longer.

Despite your sins and wounds, you are good and you are loved. Unconditionally.

God is your healer. God is your Savior.

You are brave!

The journey that you’re embarking on can be scary and takes great courage. But you are brave!  And you are not alone. God is walking right by your side.

And the AWE Community is right here with you.  To encourage, inspire, and empower you to heal yourself and heal the world.

When you’re tempted to turn around and go back to your old ways–don’t! 

Just keep moving forward one step at a time. I promise you–it will be worth it! 

God is just waiting to shower your life with peace, joy and abundance.

How will you keep moving forward? Click To Tweet

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I’m Not Superwoman

  • February 3, 2016
  • Lis Williams

I’m gonna come clean with you. I’m not perfect. There, I said it! Oh, and while I’m at... Continue Reading

I’m gonna come clean with you.

I’m not perfect.

There, I said it!

Oh, and while I’m at it…I’m not Superwoman either. I can’t do it all!

I’ve tried and failed. I’ve made mistakes and fallen flat on my face, sinned and been wounded. And I’ll keep doing it.

Yet, here I am. Alive and breathing. Upright and striving. Taking epic chances. Pursuing bold dreams.

I’m strong. And courageous. And passionate.

You are, too! I already know this about you.

Because if you were drawn to the AWE Community you are looking for something better. A better way to live and a better way to give.

A better way to live.
A better way to give.

Not just for you. But for your family and friends, for your community and the world.

Here’s the thing, though. I know you probably don’t want to hear this, but I have to be honest.  In fact, I promise to be honest with you always because I care about you.

If you want to get to peace, joy and abundance. If you want to get to dreams come true. If you want to live life more fully. You’re going to have to do your work.

I’m not talking about your job here. I’m talking about your inner work. The work of the soul.

Do your work.
The work of the soul.

It’s the kind of work where you lay down your shield, take off your armor and stand naked in front of the mirror just staring at your reflection.

When you start to do the work, you start asking the serious questions of life.

Who am I? Who the hell am I?

If I’m not just a daughter, sister, wife, mother, friend, employee, volunteer, triathlete, rock star or astronaut…then who am I really??

And what is stopping me from being all that I can possibly be?

What is stopping you from being all that you can possibly be? Click To Tweet

What wound, or sin, or failure, or excuse, or regret, or fear am I hanging on to? And why on earth won’t I let it go?

If you’re still holding on—it’s time dear sister. It’s time to work through it and let it go.

It’s time to work through it.
It’s time to let it go.

Because if we want to be at our best. If we want to pursue our calling. If we want to be light in the dark and heal the world—we have to heal us first.

I know it’s scary. I’ve been there.

I know it’s a lot easier to just keep going about life the way we have. Stay busy because then you don’t have to feel.

But I can tell you that there’s no better feeling than the freedom of releasing the past, embracing your truth and becoming all that God created you to be.

I’ll be waiting for you right here when you’re ready to move on. You have to do this in your own time.

But please don’t put it off too much longer. Life is waiting for you. And the world needs your unique gifts and talents, your love and compassion, your strength and your beauty.

Life is waiting for you. Are you ready to get started? Click To Tweet

Sending My Love and Encouragement,

Lis

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