This year, I am challenging you to live more intentionally. That means being aware of your goals, focusing on them regularly, and taking steps toward your goals. The first step, is to choose a word or intention for the year. Do you know what God is asking you to bring into your life in this season?
In previous articles I have asked you to think about it, pray about it, and now I am asking you to dream about it. Get a little storm going on in your brain that will stir things up help you make connections and rediscover forgotten passions.
My new favorite thing to help me explore and organize my thoughts is Mind Mapping. Have you heard of this fabulousness? Above is a picture of what it could look like.
Take a blank sheet of paper and start by drawing a single point in the center. This is the main theme for the map. For more organized folks it would be the header at the top of the page of an outline. Everything connects to that topic. It could be “2015 or “passions” or “[insert your chosen 2015 word/phrase here], or anything else that resonates with you on your intentional journey.
Circle that center topic. Don’t use a box. Don’t box it in. (You’ll see why later.)
Then choose one sub-category like home, career, spirituality, relationships, etc. Then for each of those categories start listing and branching out from there and listing all the things you could learn about, or are feeling called to do, or feel (or felt) passionate about.
For people like me, whose brains are cluttered, you can start to organize your thoughts and think some new ones. All you compartmentalized and organized-thinking folks might just see patterns you never saw before. Or it could be that you rediscover an old passion, which can become a new priority!
Dust Off Your Passions
If we are not aggressive in reaching our goals, over time, the daily drudgery of life and routine can overshadow any dreams we may have once held. Instead of reaching out for them, we store them deep down in the basement of our brain.
Maybe you always wanted to write that book, but kids and family responsibilities took up your attention. You wanted to compete in a triathlon, but… and you wanted to own your own business, but…
Eventually, all your “buts” got in the way and you just put those dreams away and let them collect dust. Meanwhile, you are marginally happy with the life you have, and you’re just waiting until [insert life event here] when you can finally enjoy every day.
If you are not careful, your “buts” will become your prison: the 4 walls, floor and ceiling that prevent you from realizing those dreams (or even dreaming the dreams) you want.
It’s so easy to live within the box and meet everyone’s expectations of your life and role. You start young in the school box and graduate to the college box, then the job box, the spouse box, the parent box, the scouts box, the church box, the bible study box. Boxes, boxes everywhere.
It may be safer to phone in your next step along the journey without pushing the limits of your box. But safer and easier are not the same as healthier or happier or even Godlier.
I don’t know how much experience you’ve had with God, but take my word for it, God’s plans never fit neatly in a box. His plans are unconventional and counterintuitive (a.k.a. completely outside the box) because His plans for your journey are tailored specifically to you. You are unique and magnificent. The last place you belong is inside a box.
The Importance of Living Beyond The Box
God wants you to enjoy life every day before, during, and after that life event you are waiting for (retirement, marriage, kids?) For that to happen, you cannot live according to the world’s cookie cutter expectations.
Galatians 5:1 says, “So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.”
Give yourself permission to dream beyond your own expectations. Surrender yourself to the plans God has for your healthier, happier and Godlier life. Somewhere between your passion and surrender you will find purpose.
So take out that blank sheet of paper and start mapping!
Have you already decided on your word or phrase to focus on in 2015? I want to hear all about it! Leave yours in the comments. Name it and claim it! …and then get mapping! A better life is yours for the taking!
|Ginny Priz is a Christian coach, writer and speaker. Ginny has overcome her own drama with a birth defect, alcohol, panic disorder, and codependency. She has a passion for guiding others toward the same peace and freedom she has come to experience. Ditching drama is possible for anyone “armed” with God and the Serenity Prayer! It’s never too late to start your own Serenity Journey.|