The Grace to be Great
We live in such a superficial society.
Appearance is everything and vanity is it's chief council.
There are countless strategies available to make us look and feel great. Everything from head to toe--you're covered if you're willing to spend the time, money and energy to consume what society is selling.
Sustenance is an interesting thing.
I have noticed over many years of my recent life that the more affluent circles of our nations population base are overall more physically fit with healthy weight management. There are exceptions to this, of course, but overall this population of people looks pretty darn good. Most likely this is because they can afford it. Healthy foods cost more than packaged and processed foods. Gym memberships and personal trainers or high end, small, semi-private group training/classes are the trend. The higher end society is looking for something customized to the detail and complete and they are willing to pay money for it.
I think the more affluent community understands that--like it or not--your appearance is your business card.
It can take over eighty encounters with a person to change a negative first impression according to a recent study done at Harvard. So how you look, how you present yourself and how you treat/handle others plays a large roll in how successful you will be at pretty much everything.
As a trainer I've primarily worked with the more affluent community. I used to do personal training programs with a few "buddy packages" (you and a friend kind of thing), but now I'm almost exclusive small, private group training. I still carry a small stable of one on one clients, most of whom have their own private gyms located in their homes, but I have found myself more and more lately turning those opportunities down. Primarily because I just don't have time. My family is a priority and my plate is full. So I now focus on small groups of committed individuals who are teachable, coachable and willing to work.
I am a health advocate.
An advocate is an ardent defender of people and purpose. It is the purpose God placed inside me to use health and fitness as my ministry.
• I'm focused not only on improving strength, flexibility, overall health and vitality, but I'm all about equipping others for victorious living.
•I'm all about disease prevention and holistic natural applications of sustenance, rest and movement all packaged in each individual unit.
•I'm about casting vision for the woman who wants to hang with her kids at Disney well in her elder years without needing to sit down a lot or rent a wheel chair just to enjoy the family fun.
•I'm about not being on a myriad of prescribed meds that has people so frightened to even take a multivitamin because it might interfere with their drugs.
• I'm definitely about empowering females to believe in themselves and create a deeper awareness of how wonderful their form is and what strength they possess (physically, spiritual, mentally) and how to harness it.
I recently had someone who I'd been helping along their health journey tell me they had decided to go in a different direction. I had functioned as an unsolicited unpaid source of council and help. They came to me asking for mentoring so I helped at my own sacrifice. It's difficult for me to say no to someone who is ready to change.
They had sort of eluded to their shift in direction, but I actually found out about it another way and so I specifically asked them about it.
I tried to be as positive as I could be. I wanted to thoroughly communicate love, grace and humility wrapped up in a compassionate spirit. It was challenging for me to listen quietly because I knew as they were sharing the less than stellar decision they were making. I agreed to pray for them and encouraged them and left the situation positively so they knew I loved them and the door was wide open should they return again.
Relationships of a mentoring nature can be difficult. There is the temptation to personalize and take ownership of the results, successes or failures of other people. But it is not our personal responsibility to fix the world. I cannot fix my friends deleterious habits or choices. I can guide, love, protect and direct--but ultimately it's their life and they are free to make whatever choices they desire.
As the mentor we understand that at the end of the day we leave everyone and everything at the base of the Cross. We did our part and that is all we can do. Then you just pray that the time and energy and sacrifice you put into them will stick and something good will flourish from it.
It could be easy to rehash all the sacrifice and time you've invested. The temptation is to feel a sense of disloyalty or lack of gratitude. But that's not necessarily true, so don't swallow that bait.
These practical truths I'm sharing with you apply to all of life.
We are all leading someone, somewhere by our conduct, life and example. We are living breathing sustenance to someone else's soul.
I am fortunate in all my career I've only ever encountered one person who I detected may have an eating disorder. In this case, it was anorexia/bolemia. I know the clues to look for, but that was years ago (totally different story from the one I just described). But when I look around society I see many, many in every age group, race and economic category who suffer from a sort of spiritual eating disorder. A Spiritual Anorexia. They are starving to death because they don't eat the right things. I'm not talking about food, I'm talking about thought patterns, focuses and methods to comfort their own pain. Soul Sustenance. I see people also who see the Truth, whether it is about themselves, God or others, but they refuse to eat it.
Anorexia is ultimately a spirit. It goes after the mind and influences the decisions of the individual causing them to believe skipping meals is somehow the answer to their problems or the solution for controlling their world. Spiritual Anorexia functions the same way. Distorted truth and a reflection of self, others and the world around is skewed. I imagine there are many people who suffer from both, spiritual anorexia and the physical manifestation of the disease. After all, if it is a spirit, it's going to do as much damage to the whole of a person as it can once its invited inside. Satan's objective is to steal, kill and destroy.
We are all mentoring others each and every day. What you say and do carries tremendous value and when you know this and take it serious--understanding the big picture of your life's objective, then you can make a positive impact that will last.
Consider yourself a seed carrier. You are scattering it everywhere. Some seeds will do nothing, find no home to imbed themselves in. Others will find fertile soil of heart with just the right conditions to flourish and grow, while others will only grow so much then stop. This is not up to us to decide who will do what. All we can do is love, avoid personal feelings of hurt, and carry on knowing you've done your part and others may enjoy a higher quality of life because of the mark you made upon their heart.
Leadership does not come without great personal sacrifice.
Feed your body the right stuff so it will last.
Feed your heart and mind the right stuff so you will surpass any form of greatness you've experienced in the past.
Feed your soul Truth, Love and the Inspired Word of God. It is Pure and Good Sustenance from Above.
And never forget...
Take Joy in the Journey...
You have been sustained by Grace to be Great.
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