Listening and Doing

Listening and Doing

19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. 21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.

22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.

26 Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. 27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

James 1:19-27
The book of James had really been burning in my mind and heart for the last year or more. Part of healing my spirit and re-aligning myself with God’s purpose for my life is to practice listening and doing. Listening to Truth, and acting on it, letting Truth and Love replace all fears and lies I have believed about myself, others, and this world! I need fresh perspective. Hope. Determination. I want to purify any religion in my life so that I am looking after those less fortunate and not letting the world pollute and corrupt me. We are called to be the light of the world, lamps in the darkness, to bring hope to the hopeless.
He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, and to love kindness and mercy, and to humble yourself and walk humbly with your God? – Micah 6:8

Living My Best Life

I want to be living my best life. I think that deep down, we all want that. But how many of us actually take the steps necessary to get from point A to point B? If I take an honest hard look at myself right now, I know that I am not the best version of myself and I am not living the life I really want. I think that one of the weaknesses of being someone who is a huge dreamer and visionary but not a natural planner and who grew up without parents or mentors to teach me how to plan, budget, or really execute steps to reach my goals… well I have mostly lived my life 3 months at a time, without any clear idea of where I will be in 1 year because as big as those life goals and dreams are, I’m still struggling with figuring out the necessary steps I need to take to get there. Perhaps even more important to me is that I want any steps I take to be ethical, moral, with integrity, and lining up with my values. I don’t want to live stressed to the max, hating my life in university, gaining weight, watching my health decline, and taking in a lot of brainwashing from professors promoting politically correct ideals and status quo lifestyles. I don’t want to chase success or degrees for the purpose of approval from my family, the comforts of wealth, or even being able to give more generously to those in need. I want to be living out the purpose God had planned for me even before I took my first breath and to have the peace that comes with living in and out of His love for me, for the world, and out of His will for my life.

I applied for a leave of absence from Ryerson University and moved from Toronto to Bracebridge in September. Since I’ve been up here in Muskoka I’ve been working construction as a labourer and carpenter’s helper. I am the only female worker on a site of 10-15 tradesmen! Our toilet is a nasty outhouse/porta potty. The other day I had to go pee with 5 guys standing around talking 6 feet from where I was squatting behind a thin plastic door where they could hear everything. lol. I know I was destined for so much more! My boss and coworkers are teaching me new skills and tips and I am focussing on being grateful for the new things I am learning, even amidst the difficult working condition of working outdoors in the winter, in temperatures as cold as -33 sometimes! On the same note, I feel great discontent with where I am at and I have no desire to be in the working class the rest of my life, trading many hours of my labour, time and sweat for money but the hour. I am taking this time away from school to live in peace and quiet while I assess my values, goals, purpose, and my emotional, physical and spiritual health. I need to make some intentional changes to altar my life course in the direction I actually want it to go. As someone who has notoriously always had a hard time focussing and following through to finish things, I know that there are destructive life habits and ways of thinking that I need to deconstruct and replace with new healthy life habits and higher ways of thinking. Proverbs says that life and death is in the power of the tongue, and since every word we have starts in our mind, it is no wonder that the Bible also talks a lot about how we need our minds renewed! Countless self-improvement speakers, authors, and leaders today are talking about the power of our thoughts and words to altar and change our destinies. This is nothing new. The short but very powerful and practical book of James talks about how our tongue is the rudder that steers the whole ship. This wisdom has been around for centuries, but how many people actually take it to heart and act on it, becoming powerful people who take full responsibility for the lives they are leading and understand the power that they have to steer their lives in whatever direction they choose?

Some of the changes I have been making are in eating healthier, going vegetarian, making my own cashew milk and gluten free bread from scratch, investing in a gym membership and going, watching documentaries on healing and using food, thoughts, spirituality, and an overall wholistic approach to heal our bodies and come into alignment with what is important to us.

As some of you know, I have dabbled in a few network marketing (direct sales) companies over the years (Mannatech, Isagenix, Plexus). I was always attracted to these companies for the same 2 reasons. In a nutshell: health and wealth. They offered health supplements, protein powders and products that have and are helping a lot of people heal their bodies in natural ways. They also offered opportunities to build a residual income by sharing the products with others, and quite frankly, if the products were ones that I enjoyed and found worked for me, why not share that with friends and family? I mean, who in this world doesn’t love the idea of being your own boss, working from anywhere in the world, choosing your own hours, and getting your own health supplement products for free?

The difficult part was that in order to make enough to pay for my products or get an income, I had to order a minimum PV (personal volume) every month (which worked out to several hundred Canadian dollars every month!) while constantly sharing the products and signing up new members who would consistently order. I simply did not have the money to sustain this. Each time I would start out excited about it and then as I discovered how resistant people are to direct sales companies, I would get discouraged and eventually give up. Not only were the products really expensive, but the money I was expected to spend monthly on them was not sustainable on my income and budget. I still have Isagenix protein powders in my cupboard that I order once/year as a customer because they are the best tasting protein shakes I have ever tasted (and I’ve tried a lot), but the business hopes I had for it are long gone.

Fast forward to now. I still have this burning desire and knowledge that I was made for so much more. Ever since I was a little girl I had this feeling that one day I would be rich. I didn’t want to struggle financially like I saw my parents struggling with their whole lives. I wanted to help poor people in third world countries. Help dig wells and send children to school who would otherwise get no education. I wanted to adopt children who had no parents. Looking back now, I realize that I still want all those things. I don’t really want the lavish life of living in a mansion, having servants, fancy cars, and expensive watches. All of those physical things will pass away and we cannot take a single coin with us when our bodies die. I DO want freedom to pursue my passions, more time to do the things that I really love, more resources to help those in great need, and to prove to myself that it is possible to choose and live a life that is not the average status quo and be happy and fulfilled doing it. And I don’t think it’s a crime to want those things, though the tall poppy mentality is often what causes those around us to discourage us from reaching for our dreams. Honestly, it’s most often our own fears of failure that stop us from really trying in the first place. If only we truly understood just how powerful we truly are.

Just a few days ago I came across a youtube ad regarding building your own online business through affiliate marketing. I had never really heard of it, but after watching their 3 intro videos explaining it, I gained an understanding of what it is, and how it has helped a lot of people to live the lives of their dreams and choosing. I still have a lot to learn, but since this season away from university is all about aligning myself with what is really important and re-defining what it means for me to live a life with purpose, I am researching new things and trying to learn new skills that will help get me where I want to be. Anyways, I have only just scratched the surface with learning about SFM (Six Figure Mentors) and the Digital Learning Academy, but suffice to say they have gotten my attention and really peaked my interest.

I have been one of those people who have really resisted this new age of social media and for the most part stayed off of twitter, facebook, instagram and related sites. One of the things that was said in one of the first intro videos I watched was that most people today are stuck living in a pre-internet mentality. (I was convicted of how true this is for me, especially in terms of the myriad of jobs I have had over the years and how I am always drawn to hands on work because it helps keep me active and fit and I strongly dislike desk jobs.) We take all of this amazing technology and information at our fingertips for granted, even though we use it every day. Others (like me) have tried to only use it when necessary, but resisted it because we fear the consequences it can have in diminishing authentic face to face relationships. So many in my generation and younger have adopted texting vocabulary and don’t know how to interact with people in normal, healthy ways when they find themselves in the same room, or bus or subway train. On the other hand, a handful of people have recognized the limitless potential and business opportunities of the internet that are revolutionary in terms of marketing, potential audiences and customers, and the profit that can be earned through software, automated systems, research and carefully designed ad campaigns. Those people have done really really well and by embracing this “age of the internet” and using its resources to their advantage, they have created the freedom, time and money to live the lives they really want to live. I’ll be honest, this freedom really appeals to me. The thing is, it will require a huge investment of my time, learning a whole set of new skills, and being determined to continuously be learning, growing and embracing this whole world of online marketing that I have previously never gave much thought to. I’ll be honest that I’m still feeling a bit apprehensive and cautious at this point, but I am also so fed up with my current life and trajectory that I know something has to change in a big way.

I would be really curious to hear your thoughts on affiliate marketing. Have you heard of it? Do you have any experience with it? If you have ever bought anything item online, then you have already been a part of it, and most likely there was some affiliate who got paid a commission on whatever it is you bought. I know I have made countless online purchases and even gotten sucked in by some of those facebook ads that were targeted to reach me based my likes, dislikes and what I give my time and attention to reading online. Yet I had absolutely no thought that this could be a viable career possibility for me personally. I could be sharing and promoting ethical products out there that I love and use as part of my lifestyle that I believe would also improve others quality of life, and in the process be rewarded when others buy those same products. I am still researching more to find out how affiliate marketing is different from direct sales/network marketing (which really wan’t something I could invest myself in long term) but so far I am intrigued and excited about what I am learning.

One thing I’ll share that I like so far about SFM that they state in Ch. 1 of module 2:

“We have two simple metrics for success at SFM:

  1. Live our lives to our highest potential, daily.
  2. Help as many people as we can, live their lives to their highest potential.”

As someone who has always valued wholeness and living a holistic lifestyle, with a desire to get my masters in counselling, open up a wholeness centre/retreat place, help others get healed and live fulfilling purposeful lives….. well those two “metrics” definitely ring true with what I want for my life and to help others find.

 

Stay tuned with me as I journey through this season of healing, re-alignment, learning, and discovery. I am excited to see where I will be in 12 months.

Much love,

Emma