Here I am a woman in my 60s and one who went to Catholic School growing up, admitting I don’t know how to pray. Now granted I know prayers such as the Our Father and the Hail Mary, I mean I do know how to say the rosary (at least the word side of it). But in December when I faced the prospect of participating in the 21 Days of Prayer I came face to face with the fact that I really didn’t know how to pray. Again I can go through the motions, I’ve been doing that for years, but if I was being totally honest I’d have to admit that I wasn’t connecting with my prayers.
So in true Celeste Messer form I began doing some research on the subject. (My typical sources; Amazon, Google, Youtube) I found a lot of good stuff. The answer’s always been there but I wasn’t ready to look I guess. Par for the course of my faith. Turns out that the Our Father, a wonderful prayer in and of itself, also provides the perfect template for prayer.
It’s still hard for me to ‘loosen up’ in my prayer time and it’s hard to be totally honest with God and not fall into the pat phrases of prayers I’ve known since I was small, but I’m getting better.
As mentioned in previous video I am spending the month of January focusing on my relationship with God. Churches all over the country participate in this annual event. Kicking off the New Year in prayer, prayer for ourselves, for our families, for our communities, for the country and the world. They encourage their congregations to set aside the month to push reboot on your life, get centered and bring God back to the forefront. Through the prayers many will also fast, that can take many forms. You can give up something (I’m doing a combination of Daniel fast and water fast through the month), also if possible they suggest you remove distractions, for me this means giving up television. Then you spend the extra time in prayer and reading the bible. This is a totally new experience for me. Today makes two weeks for me since I started right before New Year’s Eve weekend. I wanted to ring the new year in with a different focus than years past. I already think it’s helping me get centered.
Over this month I hope to build new habits. Habits that will hopefully stay with me through the rest of the year. I’ll admit I’m not giving up tv forever but I do think when I turn it back on my choices will be different as to what I watch.
I feel this month is a critical part of my journey to finding my purple. Who knew??? I’ll let you know how it goes.
It’s never too late to change your life…BUT you have to take steps. They don’t have to be big steps but you have to show up in your life. Tracking my activity helps me be accountable. And it’s been my experience that if you show up and say yes in your life in whatever aspect(s) you want to change consistently it’s almost IMPOSSIBLE that you don’t move forward. So if you aren’t happy with your life then come up with some baby steps that you can do the entire month of November. Then come December you’ll look back and see the progress you made. C’mon, get a head start and begin your new life today!
I got a message at church yesterday (One Chapel in Kyle, TX) that I needed to hear. There were two parts that really spoke to me. Here is my take on the first part of the message…how I needed to hear it. Maybe it’s a message for you as well…
Let me start off by saying that I know this is an oversimplification. I also know that it may offend a few readers but here goes…Praying isn’t always enough. Yes I do believe in miracles but many if not most of our prayers require that we step up and do our part. (have you heard the old joke about the man on the rooftop in a storm praying to be saved? Several people come by to rescue him but he says no and keeps waiting for God to rescue him. Then he gets to Heaven and asks God why he didn’t rescue him. God tells him I did. I sent those people to save you and you refused. The man didn’t his part.)
Another frequent example; Praying to lose weight or strengthen the body and not getting off the couch or putting down the donut, is like praying to win the lottery when you aren’t willing to buy a ticket. You have to face the facts. Purchasing a lottery ticket is a requirement for winning the lottery (yes someone MAY buy it for you but really what is the likelihood of that?).
So praying for something (and again I do believe in the power of prayer) is typically only the first step to getting what you want in life. It’s not the whole enchilada. The message I got Sunday was that we must be willing to put hands and feet to the prayer. That might be eating less food, going to the gym, walking around the block …something that moves you in the direction of what it is you want…then things will start to happen.
It’s simple…it’s not easy…but it’s simple.
If you are like me the next question is what action should I take? Followed almost immediately by how long is it going to take? Unfortunately the answers aren’t always clear. Sometimes there are messages out there for us if we are willing to listen. For me this week I got the message loud and clear that I need to be proactive with my health. Yes I’ve been going to the gym so that is a start but I’m not getting the results I want and I have to face the fact that I’m not seeing the results because I’m not pushing myself.
I spent most of my 50s feeling stuck, waiting for something to happen to change my life. I didn’t allow the kids to take my picture because I wasn’t happy with how I looked. My finances weren’t doing well with my divorce and the recession. I went over a decade (and still counting) without dating. Just wasn’t interested in opening that door.
It wasn’t until this year that it really got through my thick skull…no one was going to rescue me and it was unlikely I’d win the lottery. And even if I did I doubted that money was going to change everything, though admittedly I’d love to be in a position to find out. So I decided I had to make some changes. I had no idea where to start so obviously I started by cleaning out my closet.
Yep that was my first step. It had NOTHING to do with anything yet it got me moving. Cleaning out my closet (and it took several days ’cause I REALLY cleaned it out) was a metaphor of my life. I had stuff I didn’t or couldn’t wear. I had things that I didn’t know I had and things that who knows why I still had them. In other words it was a real mess. I let things build up instead of letting them go.
I turned up the music and starting pitching and it felt good. For weeks afterward I would go stand in my closet and admire it. It made me feel lighter somehow. I didn’t tie it to changing my life until weeks later but indeed I think this was the starting point for me.
The second thing I did was add a few things to my health regime. I wasn’t ready to start exercising yet (though I know I needed to do strengthening exercises for my bones) so I added simple things.On the advise of an ayurvedic practioner I started drinking Coriander Tea (2x a day for 40 days) to help with my thinning hair . She said it would help kick start my thyroid. It did. I began drinking nettle tea, chia seed/water mix every morning. I added turmeric to my diet. I began drinking more water. I didn’t commit to a diet change at first but I did begin adding things. It was easy and again it was a baby step in some forward direction.
I then ‘discovered’ Youtube. I’d heard of it of course but didn’t see why I’d want to watch it. But the girls (my four daughters) I know watched beauty videos so I figured it was as good a place as any to figure out what kind of makeup, hair color, products etc were recommended for ‘older’ women. Based on what I found I ordered makeup. Now I hadn’t been wearing much. Didn’t even take it with me on the Camino de Santiago 500 mile walk I did in Spain last fall. Not because I was against makeup, but I had given up. I didn’t pay much attention to how I looked since I didn’t think it mattered. (Really sucky attitude…) I made a commitment to myself that I’d put makeup on, mess with my hair a bit and get dressed EVERY day whether I had a client or not. It was like going back to my ‘old’ days as corporate executive. I’d put on my suit and feel a confidence as if I was putting on a costume for a play. It worked then and it worked now.
By this time I was hooked on Youtube. I thought maybe I could create a channel and sell my books. I did some searching and I signed up for a Video Class with Tim Schmoyer and along with 20 other Youtube creators I began to figure how to put up a channel, what to do and what not to do and Find Your Purple was born. Though I only went live in July I’ve already begun evolving. Find Your Purple was no longer about my books…it was about my life trying to navigate this whole aging thing. I’m still not sure where I’m heading exactly, but I do know I’m enjoying the journey and I have to admit it’s been a long time since I could say that.
If you are feeling stuck I encourage you to take a baby step. It doesn’t have to be with some grandiose destination in mind. That can be too scary. Just start moving, one foot in front of the other. You might be surprised at what starts to happen.
Today ends the challenge of SSSVEDA, doing a video every day for the month of August. I learned alot including that I am more likely to complete a goal or project if I commit it outloud to someone else. So I’m committing that September will be another month of growth for me. I’ll continue with the Plant Based Diet, I‘ll continue with the exercising 3-4 days a week, I’ll commit to uploading at least 2 videos a work to my channel Find Your Purple and I’ll be well under way with my new book. (Though I haven’t the foggiest at the moment what the book will be about.)
I would like anyone reading this to make a commitment to yourself, or if need be put it on the blog or my youtube channel. Take a Baby Step or two towards making your life the life you want it to be. That way by the end of September you’ll be able to look back and see the progress. It’s never too late to Find Your Purple, your passion, your joy. Go after it now. You deserve it!
I came across an article recently that reported that a study done almost 20 years ago proved that someone playing the video game Tetris for about 15 minutes a day for 3 months could expand their brain capability. Now the studies show while that is still true, in fact learning almost anything new, like a new language or playing a musical instrument or in my case learning to juggle (sounds stupid but I’m committed) can do the same thing. The beauty of it is that you can pick something you like AND once you learn it the new neuropathways will make learning the next thing easier. So get out there and learn something new!!!
We’re on Day 23 for SSSVEDA, a video every day in the month of August. I must say while it’s been a great experience it is a bit much to do a video a day. I’ll be dropping two 2x a week when this is over. But today I did TWO videos. This is my second video for Day 23 since I was ‘tagged’. Tagged means another YouTuber called you out with a challenge, or in my case a list of questions they want you to answer. You’re ‘tagged’. You answer the questions and then tag someone else and so on. It’s kind of like a chain letter but without the dire circumstances if you break the chain. (I always hated that.) Typically as in this case, the questions are a bit more personal than you might otherwise share in a video. So here goes…Tag you’re it!