Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Embracing Change

I love New Year's Day.  I love this time of the year, not for the parties and hoopla, but I love this day for what it represents.   This day represents something incredible that makes up the very fabric of who we are as human beings. 
New Year's Day represents transition and change.  The ability for us as human beings to create change in the way we think, act, and live is an extraordinarily powerful tool to creating the life of our dreams. 
The whole living world depends on change.  This is why we have 4 seasons in the year, why different plants grow at different periods, why fallen leaves thousands of years ago are now oil hidden deep in the earth's core.  Everything in life has a birth/death/rebirth cycle. To live is to change.  Our bodies are in a constant and never-ending state of change.  Every day, 100 billion cells are destroyed and replaced throughout our body.   Our entire physiology is based upon the anticipation of change, and the adaptation process that follows.    
If we want to create change in our bodies, to increase our strength and lose weight, we have to train our bodies with the appropriate frequency and intensity.  The same is true for our mind.  Our mind depends on consistent growth enhancing activities in order to mature correctly. 
Creating lasting change depends on a level of trust in the process of change. 
Belief or Faith:  Most of us live as though we believe the attitudes and actions we have had in the past predict the attitudes and actions we will have in the future.  This is not necessarily so.  We have to strongly believe that we can and will change for the better, and we
can make this decision at any instant. 

As Jesus says, "With the faith of a mustard seed we can move mountains."
A mustard seed knows why it was created.  It only believes one thing; that it will grow and blossom into a mustard plant.  God sees us as victors of our circumstances, as champions of our endeavors, as his beloved children, royalty & heirs to the throne. Faith is to see ourselves as He does and act in accordance. 
Growing up, I will never forget watching the 1997 NBA Finals between the Chicago Bulls and the Utah Jazz.  The day of Game 5, with the series tied at 2 games apiece, Michael Jordan was suffering from an extreme case of the flu.  Completely dehydrated and worn out, he got a ride from his teammate to the arena.  90 minutes before game time, he laid down on a training table, put some headphones on and visualized himself playing that night for 45 minutes.  He visualized every shot, saw himself running up and down the court, etc.  He knew he had to play.
He got up, got dressed and walked out on the court and told coach Phil Jackson he was ready to play.  That night, severely dehydrated and completely drained of energy, he nearly passed out a dozen times.  However, he pushed through what he considered one of the greatest challenges of his life and played a total of 45 minutes (more than any other player on the court for both teams) scoring 38 points in leading his team to victory. 
Asked how he did it, he said, "Every single time, when I felt like I had run into the wall, when I thought I had nothing was at those moments when I remembered that I was born for this.  I don't always know how it happens, I just see it and feel it in my heart, and then I trust the process."
Jordan knew he was born for greatness, knew he could rise to the occasion and do things he never before had.  The same is true for you.  You are born for greatness, heirs to the throne of the kingdom of heaven.   Make 2010 the year that you rose up and received all that God has for you. 
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us, it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."
                                                                                                           Nelson Mandella