“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.
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!