WHO ARE YOU Part 2: A Taste of WHOOP—Whole Heartedly Opening Our Purpose

downloadWe are spiritual being embodied in human form living on a human earth with other spiritual being in human form living out their life on human earth!  –Barbara Banks                                                                                                                            Wonderful are Your works, and that my inner self knows right well.—Psalm 139:14


WHO YOU ARE as a Human Being

How rare it is to find ourselves in human form on Earth.  Appreciate the fact that we are here as individual spirits filled with consciousness, drinking water and chopping wood.  No other life form has the consciousness of being that we are privilege to…not an ant or worm or butterfly or dog, or a hundred year old oak tree, or the thousand year old patch of ocean. We are blessed in this time and in this place to be human beings, alive in rare ways we often take for granted.
–Mark Nepo from The Book of Awakening

 

While we are created uniquely in our physical form, what makes us authentically unique from each other is our consciousness. Consciousness is

  • the state of being awake and aware of one’s surroundings.
  • the awareness or perception of something by a person.
  • the fact of awareness by the mind of itself and the world.

Mindfulness, insight, intuition, and discernment are other words that describe this unique ability as humans.

Consciousness grants the ability to:

  • have and form opinions and judgments,
  • experience and feel a full spectrum of emotions from empathy, appreciation, love, joy and compassion, to apathy, ungratefulness, fear, anger and impatience
  • comprehend, gain knowledge, and apply wisdom
  • have and form passions and desires
  • be aware and relate to others

Consciousness is influenced by many factors.  Here are just a few:

  • where and how one was raised
  • authority figures: parents, teachers, preaches, bosses
  • others’ opinions and judgments
  • the world’s views of success, beauty, gender roles, etc, that come through social norms and media
  • experiences good and bad
  • friends and associates
  • groups and organizations one belongs to

We each have conscious minds that are affected by different influences.   These in turn influence our thoughts (mental processes), feelings (emotions) and behaviors (will or choices).  If you recall from last week’s post, this is the HEART of who you are—your essence of “being”.  Our ability to be conscious is thus a gift for us to use to live a more joyfilled, whole hearted, full life.


 WHO YOU ARE as a Spiritual Being

images (2)Not long ago one of my favorite Christian devotions quoted Saint Catherine of Siena which spurred me on to read about her and her writings.  One of her basic premises is that to know WHO YOU ARE, you must have self-knowledge and know who God is.  For by knowing who God is, you will discover who you are. (If you’d like to read more about this and about St. Catherine, click here.)

Quotes by St. Catherine:

“The soul is in God and God in the soul, just as the fish is in the sea and the sea in the fish.”

 

  “In your nature, eternal Godhead, I shall come to know my nature. And what is my nature, boundless Love? It is fire, because you are nothing but a fire of love. And you have given humankind a share in this nature for by the fire of love you created us.”

 

 [The eternal Father to Catherine:] “And since I in the beginning created man to my own image and likeness, and afterwards too your image on myself  by assuming human nature [Jesus], it is always my endeavor, in so far as you are fit for it, to intensify that likeness between me and you.”

 

 [The eternal Father to Catherine:] “Do you know, daughter, who you are and who I am? If you know these two things you will have beatitude within your grasp.  You are she who is not, and I AM HE WHO IS.”

 

To know WHO YOU ARE, knowing WHO GOD IS is imperative.   You are made in God’s likeness. Part of Him is in you. A part of you is in Him. Developing your spiritual life in the form of bible reading, studying, praying, journaling, meditation, contemplation, or any other form of spiritual discipline will be a powerful aspect to living whole heartedly.  To be authentic and to know WHO YOU ARE, you cannot ignore who created you, why you were created, what you were created for.   These are often the questions we ask when we are searching for the meaning of life or the personal meaning of our existence, especially when painful and soul wrenching experiences happen to us or others.

To know WHO YOU ARE self-knowledge is importantYou are unique by how you perceive, by what you are aware of, by the perceptions you have, by the opinions and passions that you hold.  These are the things that drive your BEING and DOING in the world.  What is produced in your life is an outcome of your consciousness.   Areas to look at are health, finances, self-esteem, relationships, work, and home. When our consciousness is concentrating on surviving in the world, habits, beliefs and thoughts can be negatively and falsely shaped leading to an unfulfilling and joyless life in many or all of these areas.

Your ability and gift of consciousness can bring awareness to what you are producing.   This is not to become self-focused, narcissistic, or overly self-conscious.  It is to become more aware of the choices you are making and what is influencing those choices.

Are your choices driven by outside influences or your spirit?
Are you being lead by God or what the world says you should do?
Are you hearing the heart of who you are or other people’s opinions about who you are?

There is a sweet interplay between our ability to be conscious as human beings and keeping our focus on our WHO WE ARE spiritually.   Becoming more conscious of the spiritual aspect of WHO YOU ARE will create positive outcomes in your life.  When we become more conscious spiritually, here is what we can discover:

  • past programming that isn’t serving us
  • beliefs that are untrue about who we are
  • insight into who we in fact can be
  • perceptual shifts that allow us to become more of what we truly are and long to be
  • experiences of satisfying joy and fulfillment
  • more authentic trust and intimacy
  • purpose and meaning to our life

cropped-011114_2043_selfcompass1.jpgEncouraging Your Whole Heartedness:

I’d love to hear your heart.  In the comment section below, tell me what is one of your ways to be more conscious about WHO YOU ARE humanly or spiritually?

JOURNALING Part 4: A Taste of WHOOP—Whole Heartedly Opening Our Purpose

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Tell me to what you pay attention, and I will tell you who you are.  –Jose Ortega y Gassett

Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take.   Proverbs 3:6 NLT

I take joy in doing your will, my God, for your instructions are written on my heart.  –Psalm 40:8 NLT

heartbookYour journal can reveal what you are paying attention to, tell you who you are, be a quiet spot where you record the desires and directions of your heart, and can give you a way to stay focused on your passions and God’s will for your life.

Last Bits and Pieces on the Art of and Keeping a Journal

  1. Using the Circa Journal system from Levenger’s (or the Arc System from Staples) can add some depth to your journal.  By adding a blank page behind tvvvhe plastic cover it can serve as a mini Dream Board. Decorate it with pictures, words, sayings, cut outs from magazines, drawings, or colors or symbols that represents something in regards to an intention or goal for the year.   Goals are things you want to
    accomplish like a specific yoga pose, redoing a bathroom, remembering to send birthday cards, learning a new skill, taking a certain class, understanding how to be more compassionate, or reading through the bible.  Intentions are ways of being that you want to be more mindful of for the year….like being silly, looking for joy, being more grateful, or bringing more peace and relaxation into your life.   Please don’t think you have to be artistic to decorate your cover. The ideas is to have a visual reminder of what will make your year meaningful and growth producing to you.
  2. On the flip side of the decorated page, write your “word for the year,” sayings, quotes or scriptures that support your your goals and intentions for the year, and write your TOP 5 IDEAL list. Having them in the front of your journal, allows you the opportunity to take a quick scan of these when you sit down to write.  It’s like a Table of Contents for your life.  It’s your guide.   You may not look at these every time you journal, however, the act of having written them down does something for you in a subconscious way leading to a more purposeful year.   subway-art-words-of-the-year
    • What is the “WORD OF THE YEAR”? This is something I learned many years ago in regards to setting yearly goals as a business owner.   The idea is to choose one word that will guide actions and priorities for business activities that year.   This same concept can be applied to your life–choose one word to guide your goals, actions and priorities for your life this year.  Having a simple word for the year, gives you direction for your decisions. Again, this can make life have more purpose and meaning.  Some examples of words for the year:   simplicity, peace, joy, love, connection, fun, etc.   Maybe you have goals for many areas of your life. Pick a word that would guide you in all of them.  For example, let’s say you wanted to lose some weight, have more time for your family, de-clutter your house, be more organized, and get rid of some bad habits.  You might choose SPARKLE as your word of the year—have a sparkling body, eat sparkling food, make your schedule sparkle with less activities and more family time, have a sparkling house, sparkle out a drawer, closet or desk, add some sparkling new habits.  The word SPARKLE would remind you and help you make choices that lead you to your desired goals.
    • vEXTRA TIP:   I even hang my word of the year on a little chalkboard in my kitchen so I can see it everyday and be reminded.
    • What are the TOP 5 IDEALS? If you have been following along with these journaling blogs, in the Encouraging Your Whole Heartedness section, I’ve asked you to make a list to this fill-in-the-blank journaling exercise: When my life is ideal I will be/have/or be doing _____________. Then I asked you to come up with your top 5 ideals and write a juicy paragraph describing what each of those mean.   On the inside cover of your journal, I would now have you write just the list of your top 5 ideals because these are your passions. This exercise comes from The Passion Test by Janet Brey Attwood and Chris Attwood. What you have done is tapped into your heart and spirit and found what passions I-See-God-s-Heart-In-These-Clouds-god-the-creator-10268130-400-400God is laying on your heart.  Passions are the breadcrumbs to your destiny and purpose.  These top 5 ideals, like your word for the year but longer reaching, will help you know where to put your attention and energy.  They will help you know what to do when you have to make a choice, decision, or are faced with an opportunity.  You may be offered a great opportunity, but does it take you closer to your IDEAL, to your passion, to what your heart longs for, to the plan that God has for you?   I know my IDEAL list has helped me in making large decisions, like a career step, to small ones, like what kind of blankets to purchase for my bed!! Odd, interesting and true!! Keep your juicy paragraphs somewhere you can find them as you will want to read them now and then and see how they are unfolding.   Life does change and we go through various stages, retaking the passion test every year or two is a good idea.   I did this exercise for the first time 7 years ago.  Some of my ideals have been realized and replaced by others, others have been tweaked because I’ve grown, and some are still in process.  The thing is they are there to guide you.   After listing your top 5 ideals on the inside cover, underneath them write, “this or something more”.  Let God surprise and delight you with what He can do with your passions when you finally jot them down, describe them, accept them, and use them to help you move closer to what He wants for you.
  3. You commit to sit and write, you have pages and pages of journaling, how do you make the most of the time spent and the words you’ve journaled? Dr. David Jeremiah, a preacher and avid journaler, talked about harvesting journals during one of his radio programs.   He highly recommended going back and reviewing your journals on a regular basis.   How often you do this depends on how much you write.  If it takes more than one notebook a year for your journaling, you might want to harvest every quarter.

WIMG_7412hy Harvest?

  • You will gain insights about your self.
  • Looking back over your journal gives you a truer perspective. It is like seeing the LANDSCAPE of things instead of just the trees and brush. You will see a higher and longer perspective of what happened in your life during that time.
  • You will see how things are or aren’t working in your life, how God is working, and how He may have answered prayers.
  • You can see where you keep writing or praying for the same things which can give you insight into where you might need to take action or take steps of faith and trust.

Things you can ask yourself as you harvest:

  • What has gone on?
  • What have I learned about myself and/or God?
  • What are the themes?
  • What did or is God showing me through this time?
  • What am I avoiding, if anything? What is causing this avoidance?  And when is the time I will deal with this?
  • Am I following my intentions, word of the year, or passions? Do I need to tweak these or renew my focus?

cccccEXTRA TIP:  I have found it easier to harvest my journal by using annotated ruled pages.  They provide space to the side of my journaling to write a note, an insight, an “aha”, or a point I want to remember.

 

 

 

 

cropped-011114_2043_selfcompass1.jpgEncouraging Your Whole Heart

  • Some inspiration from testimonies from a WHOOP participant and a friend who is an avid journaler:
    • I had recently been thinking about the WHOOP classes and how helpful they were. They encouraged me to be deliberate about WHOOP-ing. The journaling in particular made a big difference in my life.  It was like it made sense of the daily events of life.  All of a sudden I could see the narrative that was happening to me and around me.  Every single time I journaled about anything, it had an answer, a result, or a conclusion.  No matter how monumental or how trivial my thoughts were, God moved when I put it down in that journal.  I suspect He is always doing that, but the deliberate act of journaling made it plain to me.–Anne (How many of us miss God’s signs, help, and answers to us?  Love it that journaling did this for her!)
    • I was thinking about what you said in your blog that journaling song lyrics or other things that capture our attention will speak to what we like or desire to be reflected.  I am so drawn to the line from a praise song that says, “you calm the raging seas”.  My reading today was about Jesus and the storm on the Sea of Galilee. I was able to connect the song lyric attraction, the bible reading, and more–I was reminded that as a child I often thought what I wanted more than anything was peace– peace of mind.  “Calm my raging seas” is an accurate description of that desire. I was nervous and anxiety ridden as a child, always feeling like my world was out of control.  I see the connection now with my need to control my circumstances, always wanting to maintain order and “peace”. –Nancy (God is putting puzzle pieces together for her!  I wonder what that insight will do for her now and what God has for her next.)
  • I’d love to hear what you do to make journaling more meaningful for you. Do you harvest? What do you do with that?  How do you use a journal to keep your heart in God’s will and focused on what He wants for your life?

JOURNALING: A Taste of WHOOP—Whole Heartedly Opening Our Purpose

collagelgThere is a friend at the end of your pen which you can use to help you solve personal or business problems, get to know all the different parts of yourself, explore your creativity, heal your relationships, develop your intuition…and much more.   This friend, of course, is your journal.  Empty, blank, smooth—a beautiful gift waiting to be unwrapped!  

—-Kathleen Adams from Journal to the Self: Twenty-Two Paths to Personal Growth

One of the main components of WHOOP Classes is journaling.  What makes journaling important to opening our purpose whole heartedly?

  • Journaling is one way we get to know ourselves. By having a place to express yourself you can begin to see what you believe, value, think about and have passions for.
  • By expressing thoughts you are having and feelings you are experiencing, you can discern your mind more clearly.
  • By jotting down quotes, scriptures or songs lyrics you like, you can begin to see what inspires you and occupies your thoughts.
  • By putting down in writing your insights and revelries about those quotes, scriptures or song lyrics you can learn about yourself and integrate knowledge you are longing to acquire.
  • Answering self reflective questions can clarify your personal views and preferences.
  • By journaling a circumstance you find yourself in, you can calm your mind and access your creative problem solving abilities.

Journaling becomes a way for us to know our WHOLE self….our WHOLE HEART…with more clarity.

Journaling is one method that helps people unfold.  It can produce spiritual growth because one is learning about themselves.  It helps us stay in touch with and establish a connection with our underlying reality which is our personal source of meaning, strength and purpose.   —Carl Jung 

Journaling gets us in touch with thoughts and a deeper level of beliefs and patterns of thinking that may not be serving us and once we know them we can get rid of them.  Journaling creates new life and more authenticity as a person.   —-Mari McCarthy 

Journaling helps one know what their lives are trying to become.   —-Ira Progoff

My pastor at church calls journaling “PSALMING”!  Psalms are full of feelings and thoughts that aren’t all pleasant and loving, yet, you will notice a pattern in many of the psalms. First there is a dumping of fears, feelings and thoughts about a situation. Then there is a transformation to gratitude leading to a new more positive perspective.    This, too, can happen with us when we journal.  I know firsthand that just putting on paper a feeling I wish I wasn’t having can diminish it.  I also know by experience that journaling out my thoughts on a situation can help me clarify what is really going on with me or the truth in a situation.

I know there can be fear around journaling, especially in regards to putting your thoughts and feeling on paper.  My next blog post will talk about some of the fears you might be having.

Encouraging Your Whole Heartedness:

  1. Read some Psalms and look for the expression of fears, feelings, and thoughts…and then the transformation that happens.
  2. Be brave and jump in….Pull out a piece of paper or journal and jot down your fears about journaling.
  3. Click here to check out a couple of my favorite journaling tools and books to get you started.
  4. If you are an avid journaler, I’d love for you to inspire others by sharing what you love about journaling in the comment section. Thank you!