This is Going to Hurt

This is how I know my brain is functioning optimally – I might be inspired but find that I lack that the motivation to do anything other than shopping, browsing, and surviving another day. However, today, I’m doing more than just survive – my laptop is open, and my words are blowing free as the ocean’s salty breeze into the world. The prospects of a new beginning and its uncertain end is daunting. Sometimes, when I have a great idea and maybe even a daring one, instinctively, like most of us do…I hesitate. Mistake. Big mistake.

Here is why you have to be figuratively crazy to walk out of that cushy job or even the crappy one that barely pays the rent – we dread failure and the often shameful and public consequences of making a mistake. In psychology, it is referred to as the “Spotlight Effect,” where we perceive that we are continually being judged by others. This triggers paranoia and self-doubt and sets off an alarm in the brain which then goes into overdrive to protect us from danger or hurting ourselves.

The brain is doing its job when it magnifies all the risk implications, the certain pitfalls ahead, the strain on the body, mind, and resources that executing a grand adventure would entail. It knows we have three basic human needs – food, clothing, and shelter. Anything beyond these is asking for pain, and when the brain senses an overreach, it acts as an exceptionally effective lever. It will respond to your hesitation and uncertainty with a resounding, “No, we are not doing that !”  Our brains would also love this excerpt from The One Song* poem by Mark Strand (1990 U.S. Poet Laureate & 1999 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry):

I prefer to sit all day

like a sack in a chair

and to lie all night

like a stone in my bed.

 

When food comes

I open my mouth.

When sleep comes

I close my eyes.

But we are not sacks or stones, and yes, we do need to eat and sleep but manifesting our ideas makes us thriving human-beings and is an ongoing and painful growing process that requires planning, strategy, and taking chances. Let’s not analyze our plans to the point of paralysis or death. Per the Spotlight Effect, the perception of being under constant scrutiny is unrealistic. People pay less attention to other’s mistakes and failures than we think. Another reason we have halls of fame and awards, the focus goes to those who tried and failed till they eventually had success.

That’s why Mel Robbins, author, and speaker, said, “Motivation is garbage.” This might come off as extreme, but I think people confuse the need to survive with motivation because she explains that we are never going to feel like doing the things that are tough, difficult, scary, or new. And so we can right now, stop waiting for motivation and just make decisions that we will follow through on.

We are one risky decision away from a totally different life. Our futures are determined by micro-moments of insanity and boldness, slight shifts in perspective, and crucial decisions to be kinder and bigger. And when you are at a crossroad, tell your conscientious brain before it stops you that, “Yep, this is going to hurt.” As the Good Book says, “Write the vision, make it plain, run with it…and at the end, it will speak.”** Till we get to that end, let’s embrace the pain that helps us evolve.

 

Sources:

* Poulin, A. 2006. Contemporary American poetry. Boston, Mass: Houghton Mifflin. p.586

**Habakkuk 2:3 (para.)

Image Credit: Pixabay

How Do We Make Decisions – By Revelation or Information?

making right Decisions

What works for you – Revelation or Information? I watched a very interesting program on Dreams and Mysteries and had to reflect on how I have made decisions all my life. How do you decide between the Spiced Ginger Latte or Chai Tea Latte at the coffee shop, who to marry, where to live, when to move or change jobs, which college to attend or in my case when to get involved with an intensive and exhilarating 90-Day novel-writing workshop?

John Paul Jackson, author, teacher, speaker and founder of Streams Ministries International and host of the show, related how decades ago, searching for an apartment in a new city, he walked into a building and when the resident manager saw him, she exclaimed, “Young man, you’ve got a gift!”

Thinking she meant a physical gift, he said “No, I don’t.”

She disagreed vehemently and asked him to take off his wristwatch and hand it to her, he did and she put the watch to her ear. She stood still, rubbing it…weird!

Then she said, “You just broke up with a girl, whose name starts with an ‘X’ – in three days, you’ll be receiving a letter from her asking you to come back.”

She stopped abruptly and stated, “Well, that’s all I’ve got.”

(Yeah, right…we know the drill!)

He stood stunned and thought, How did this stranger know about the breakup and the girl’s name?  He grabbed his watch, and bolted out of the apartment fast! He found a trash can and flung the watch inside, wanting NONE of her energy.

What do you think…was that revelation or information?

making right decisionsMerriam-Webster explains that REVELATION is a usually secret or surprising fact made known; an act of making something known usually in a surprising way. If you are spiritual, then revelation is usually the revealing or disclosing of some form of truth or knowledge through communication with a deity or sometimes supernaturally.

INFORMATION on the other hand is like yesterday’s news– knowledge that you get about someone or something; facts or details about a subject, derived from study, experience, or instruction. Information is NOT a secret, it already exists and is easier to find.

In John’s case, the break-up was not a secret, their circle of friends and family probably knew about it. It’s also possible that the heartbroken girl had written a letter and already mailed it. Just like the simple flutter of butterfly wingseverything we do is coded and woven into the fabric of the universe.  That was information peddled as revelation.

A price tag would have been attached if he had taken the bait and asked for more. This is the trick of the trade by psychics, fortune tellers and mediums, they know “things” and that’s the surprise, because we can’t imagine how they know what we’ve done or been through. We are wired to seek wonder and so we’ll pay for more.

“We make decisions everyday – while some are trivial, others are huge, life-altering choices that requires you to look beyond the present, weigh consequences and ask the hard questions. Who do you ask ?” AD

Back to the 90-Day workshop decision. It was an expensive course, would require grueling self-discipline and time – three major currencies where on the table.
I bookmarked the website, visited at least once a week, debating if I even had enough of the three to spend. I prayed and asked the Omniscience, All-Knowing God to help me decide.

making right decisionsI had the Information – the website, sample lectures, reviews and experiences from past students, bio of the faculty members, the cost and discounts, success stories, character of the founder but still I couldn’t decide, until the night before the deadline. (I’m sure you ever been at many crossroads in life – armed with all facts, but still can’t decide)

Then, I had this vivid dream of a huge faceless man, calling me from across the street, to come over and get into the RED EXPRESS BUS with three numbers starting with a 4 on the headboard, that had just pulled up and was waiting ( it seemed for me) at the bus-stop. I turned and walked to towards him and the red bus.

If you know how to interpret dreams, you’ll understand why that morning with an overwhelming sense of peace, I knew what to do and without fear, I enrolled. Revelation came in that dream.

Some people are born with a defined, innate gift of revelation, folks who felt strange growing up, who just knew things and could not explain how. The good news is that EVERYONE can hear from God for themselves and when we ask Him, pray or press in, He speaks through His word, dreams, visions and that intuitive sense of “knowing” or “something-told-me” that we have all experienced.

“The gift of revelation is NOT the messages you receive, it’s the ABILITY to receive messages.” John Paul Jackson

The gift of revelation isn’t the signal or messages, but the hardware, like a “human satellite dish” able to receive and send messages, so before you go into ask someone to “see” for you, you have to determine who the prophet or psychic is tuned to. When this gift is directly from the Creator, it requires dedication and character to keep the messages unadulterated while dark forces would prefer the seer NOT have any character at all.

making right decisionsSo when natural-born seers became unscrupulous and lose their connection from the original source, they have to find a counterfeit, an alternative and these dark forces are always willing to transmit, like a computer virus seeking a host.

They’ll take anyone who opens up to them through the medium, and enslave both the psychic and their paying customers. And they usually start with INFORMATION – the yesterday’s news about your life. Once the virus gets downloaded, hell is let loose! That’s why people report nightmares and a sense of heaviness afterwards.

The offense in our minds, is often necessary to expose what’s in our hearts. Paraphrased from D&M Notes

I understand this is not for everyone, but there are steps on Dreams and Mysteries to clean out hard drives of compromised lives and cut off the counterfeit one who manipulates information and sends people desperate for immediate answers down the wrong path or a sidetrack. Some people even treat something this serious as entertainment!

Discerning the source of the advice that guides our decision-making is crucial. We need both revelation and information. Information we can get by the natural process of reviewing the pros and cons, but when we need insight and revelation, it’s always about the SOURCE, that brings peace and ONLY PEACE.

Prompt: Can you tell the difference between information and revelation?