Who is ready to get a little bit better? If so, you should say YES!! Let’s get a little bit better. I want to talk to you about something that is very significant and as a coach/pastor for 25 years. Now, all these people, all around the country in different seasons of life, might use different language terms but at one time or another these people feel lost. They feel confused, aimless, directionless. And they talk about it in a myriad of ways.
What do we do when we feel lost? What do we do when we feel like we don’t know where we are going? What do we do when we don’t have clarity for the next steps?
I’m going to share a little story with you. When my wife and I were dating, we were going to school in a little town in central Kentucky called Wilmore at Asbury College. And we went for the first trip to visit her family in Richmond, Virginia. I share that detail because we were heading up 75 pretty much the whole way (it is possible I will get directions wrong even retelling this story), BUT at some point I think 75 and 81 split off and I went the wrong way. It was late, I just want you to know that I don’t have any sense of direction, I married a sense of direction and in that moment, she was asleep.
And I remember starting to see signs for Washington DC and the mile markers getting closer and closer. And you know what, there came a moment when I felt lost. And to add to the stereotype… I didn’t stop, I didn’t wake up my future wife at that moment. I kept second guessing myself and thinking maybe it was just a little further down the road, the lights weren’t totally on, maybe I saw the sign wrong, and I rationalized it so that in the moment, I thought it was possible that I was going in the right direction. This was pre-siri, pre-googlemaps and thank God for those. Instead of stopping and doing what was necessary, I kept going in the wrong direction.
This week I picked up a book my wife has been reading and here’s a little quote from Anne Voskamp, the author, Unless we make time for daily reflection, we can be making a road in the wrong direction.
What do I do when I feel lost? Well, what do you do so you don’t feel lost should actually be the question. What do you do to avoid that feeling of aimless, directionless, purposelessness? What can you do to avoid getting into that place?
Life is moving at too fast of a pace. We have got too many things to do and when we just go, go, go and we’re too busy to stop and ask for help, get clear on where we are going…. you end up going months, sometimes years in the wrong direction.
Had a conversation with someone real close to me this week and the conversation included them saying they hadn’t made progress in the last three years. How, how could this happen. Because if you don’t make time for daily reflection, you don’t have a way to hit the pause button to stop, observe, reflect, look inward… At some point of another, you are going to end up going in the wrong direction and you are going to inevitably end up feeling lost, aimless, directionless.
Here are four ways to create space for daily reflection. There will be a little bit of overlap in these because they are all to create space for daily reflection. The methodology of each strategy is a little different.
If you don’t like the word meditation, try silence or stillness. This is not to hold your hands in a certain way with your legs crossed on a pillow (but if that works for you, go for it! This is about the stillness. It is about ceasing the activity. Even a moment of silence can be awkward. We don’t like that, we like the constant noise of constant movement. Meditation, that stillness, can create space on a daily basis.
There’s a book I read in college, required for a philosophy class by a guy named Parker Palmer, that might have been his name. There was a quote in his book that marked me to this day – Silence creates space for learning. When the space is all filled up with noise, there’s no room for learning.
And here’s a little tangent, too. If you want to learn more in a relationship, whether that’s business or a personal relationship, children, spouse, friend… listen more, quiet your own voice. And that silence will create space for learning.
Back to you and how to avoid getting into that space of aimlessness, directionlessness… you create time for daily reflection. Meditation, stillness, quietness; that could be just sitting and breathing, it could be getting outdoors in nature or the beach… God always shows up at the beach for me. Listen to your thoughts, listen to a higher power, maybe listen to things that you haven’t heard from yourself because you have been too busy and too active.
By now if you have heard me, read some of my stuff, YOU know I love Jesus a whole lot. I do not project that you have to believe what I believe, but prayer and connecting with my creator, there’s no better way for me to create that space for daily reflection. Here’s the thing, if everything going on in my world rests on my shoulders, then I have to carry it, I have to maintain it BUT when I slow down, pray, connect with my God I am reminded. I am reminded that He is bigger than me in any situation. I have got a God that loves me just the way I am, not the way that I should be. And I don’t have to get it all right. I don’t have to perform, be perfect, and in that time of reflection and connection I can be reminded that I’m loved.
I am loved. I am enough. Without doing anything.
And so are you.
By the way, a really good definition of prayer my pastor taught me many, many years ago: prayer is communing, conversing with asking and receiving from God. It is a two-way conversation. It is a dialogue with the creator. And I can’t think of a better way to create that daily space of reflection.
I’m borrowing that language from Keith Cunningham who wrote an amazing book called The Road Less Stupid. Towards the beginning, he talks about the power of thinking time. What I am talking about here is taking time to think and reflect. And the way he frames it, ask questions when you begin to slow down and think. Is this what I want? Is this what I’m meant to do? Is this the kind of relationship I’m willing to accept? What do I really want? What would move my business forward? What is the one thing that is most important? What is the one thing that if I do it, everything else would become easier?
Some of you may begin to create that space in your journal, maybe just in your head or maybe you might have your thinking time with someone else. You have to create that space to think about the things that matter the most to you and the most important questions to ask. The most important question is not what is on my to-do list today. The most important question is what should be on my to-do list. What should I be doing, what are the most important things?
This should not come as a shock to anyone who knows me. Journaling. And coincidentally, all of these things to create space come together for me on those pages. There’s prayer, meditation, and thinking time. I’ve been journaling for over 20 years and I have yet to end it. And hey, if you have a better way for daily reflection that works for you to capture, process, to think, to know thyself, to understand what is going on in your life and on the inside of you, if you can find a better way than journaling… Please let me know and do it.
But for me, journaling has been the best place for me to do all of it. And you can do it however you want, there’s a bazillion different ways to journal. Scientifically, they have proven just 15 minutes of writing in a journal on a daily basis (gratitude, vision, processing life, etc) has health benefits, physical benefits, and mental benefits. It is a very powerful tool and the most powerful habit of my life.
If you want an effective tool to create space for daily reflection so that you don’t end up feeling lost, it’s a great tool and you should totally try it. I happen to know a really great journaling course called the 60 Day Journaling Challenge (oh, I created that just for YOU). I created it years ago because I just had to capture the process and some of the wisdom and experiences I have had through it. If you are curious, drop a comment below. It is a small investment for how much power it can bring to your life.
How do you avoid feeling lost? Daily reflection; create the space so you don’t end up going in the wrong direction. I hope this served you. I want you to move with power, confidence, and clarity in the right direction. Tap into that, use some of these tools and strategies! This is where you should go out there and give your greatness to the world because somebody needs what is on the inside of you, GO out there and GIVE it away. I love you guys!