Category Archives

Authenticity

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.

   February_blog-quote4

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

February_blog-quote2

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

February_blog-quote-400x600

Road Trip

  • January 26, 2016
  • Lis Williams

A note: I wrote this piece sometime in my forties when I was trying to make sense of... Continue Reading

A note:

I wrote this piece sometime in my forties when I was trying to make sense of the chaos surrounding me. I didn’t plan to write it, but once I began it just poured onto the page. When I finished, the last paragraph was not yet written and I didn’t really like the ending. It felt incomplete and, frankly, a little depressing. I decided I needed to write a new ending for the story and for my life. So I added the last paragraph and I can assure you that so far being fifty is fabulous! So if you don’t like the way your story is turning out – then write a new ending!

I decided I needed to write a new ending for the story and for my life.

As a kid, I rode in the backseat of the car. My parents were in the front, and my siblings were beside me. We never wore seatbelts, and yet I felt safe. It didn’t matter too much where we were going, as long as we were together. 

Life was fresh and new.

At 18, my dad died. I was in college at the time, so I moved to the driver’s seat in my 20’s. I was on the fast track. God rode in the backseat. Typically, the music was playing loudly, so I couldn’t always hear Him. 

Life was great.

In my 30’s, I had children. So the backseat was filled with car seats and diaper bags. I asked God to move up to the passenger’s seat. I needed his guidance more and protection for myself and my family. I had never worked harder yet felt more fulfilled than I had as a wife and mother. 

Life was good.

Somewhere around 40, we pulled over at a rest stop. When I returned to the car, God was sitting in the driver’s seat. He asked me to ride in the passenger’s seat. He had some things He wanted to show me; some places He wanted to take me. I was skeptical and struggled to release my grip on the steering wheel.

I’ve had to become comfortable with not knowing the route; seeing things I hadn’t planned on seeing; going places that were not on my map. Not only does He ask me to let go, he urges me to have faith and enjoy the ride. 

On not knowing the route in life: Have faith and enjoy the ride. Click To Tweet

Life is getting harder.

I notice that friends of mine are also riding in the passenger’s seat. Some are taking great trips, staying at fancy resorts and dining at lavish restaurants. Many others, however, are on a far more difficult road than me. Their journeys are stopping at places like divorce court, the unemployment line, doctors’ offices, hospitals and, for a few, the cemetery.

I’ve come to discover that in many locations there is not a car ride at all. The journey only takes them as far as they can walk, on sidewalks and dirt roads. And yet they walk on, often times without shoes and carrying a heavy load on their back.

And so we journey. 

God always offers to provide directions. 

As we travel on, I notice that we make frequent stops to help a fellow traveler in need. We change tires, fill empty gas tanks, give life to dead batteries. We even pick up a hitchhiker or two, allowing them to ride along with us until we arrive at their destination and bid them farewell. God always offers to provide directions. Some gladly accept them, while others prefer to continue down their chosen path, certain that they can make it on their own. The need is always great, and despite our fatigue we drive on.

As the miles rush by, I find myself staring out the window reflecting on the journey on which God is taking me. It’s not at all what I had envisioned. The roads are bumpier, the hills steeper, and the route more winding.  My outdated map had promised smooth highways.

On the journey of life, did the map you made promise smooth highways? Click To Tweet

At times, I’ve considered getting out of the car and letting God drive on without me. Surely a train or plane could get me to my destination faster and without all the hassles.

But something keeps me riding in the passenger’s seat of the car. It’s my desire to know if I can say, “Yes,” as Mary did. It’s wondering if, “Not my will but yours,” are words I can speak as did Jesus. It’s wanting to believe in the promise. It’s aching for the peace and joy that can only come from following Christ.

I have a vision of me in my 50’s. I’m still riding shotgun. But this time we’re in a convertible with the top down, and the wind is blowing my hair. My arms are raised high over my head in victory, and we’re laughing. My map and directions are crumpled at my feet. And this doesn’t bother me at all.  Life is everlasting!

With Love, Lis

PS: I want to hear your story, too. Find AWE Parnters on Facebook or let’s connect on LinkedIn!

My-oudated-map-Lis-Williams-quote

Happy New Year from AWE Partners!

  • January 8, 2016
  • Lis Williams

Happy New Year! Stop! Go back and read that first line slowly. Happy. New. Year. That’s right. It’s... Continue Reading

Happy New Year!

Stop!

Go back and read that first line slowly.

Happy. New. Year.

That’s right. It’s a “new” “year” and it’s gonna be “happy,” right?

If only it was that easy. If only we could just say the words and make it come true. Make our year happy and new. Or even better—make our life happy and new. Not just this year but every year. What if?

In my younger years, I typically felt pretty happy most days. But as time went on, life became more challenging. It finally got to the point where I didn’t feel much new or happy. I felt tired, weighed down and pessimistic.

rediscover happy and new

If my genes were anything like my ancestors, I was going to be around for a very long time, so I sure didn’t want to spend another fifty or sixty years feeling this way. Instead, I committed to doing whatever it took to rediscover happy and new. Only I called it peace, joy and abundance. Because that’s what I really wanted. That’s how I wanted to live.

What about you? Is life turning out the way you had planned? Is it everything you thought it would be? Have your dreams come true?

If yes, then you are likely on your way to yet another happy new year! Rock on, sister!

If not, then what are you gonna do about it? Because you can do something about it. And if that’s what you want to do—this is a great place to start.

The AWE Community is a long time in the making and a dream come true for me. It’s a place where women can come together to be authentic. We can reveal our imperfections, wounds and battle scars. We can tell our stories.

Begin to rediscover who you really are and what you really have to share with the world. Click To Tweet

But more importantly, we can begin to rediscover who we really are and what we really have to share with the world. We can find meaning. We can reconnect with our soul, our passions, our power.

That’s what Spiritual Philanthropy is all about. It’s about connecting with Spirit, however you experience it, so that you can fulfill your life’s purpose. It’s about listening for what your life is calling you to. It’s about clarifying your mission and going for it.

reconnect with our soul, our passions, our power

If you’re looking for a quick fix or just want to know which charity to donate to—this is not the place for you.

If, however, you’re ready to make peace with the past, awaken the new and embrace life more fully…then welcome to AWE & Wonder!

Make peace with the past, awaken the new & embrace life more fully with Spiritual Philanthropy. Click To Tweet

With Love, Lis

PS: Join me on Facebook or let’s connect on LinkedIn!

January_blog-quote-400x600