making life harder than it needs to be

I’ve emerged from my 2-day Life Planning process and feel a bit of the aftershock, realizing that I’m still a broken person in need of God’s help to get through this life. I feel fragile.

I’ve been in Jacksonville, to visit my mentor’s widow and family, and also the last 2 days at Jekyll Island (Georgia) for an old friend’s wedding. Quaint little outdoor wedding with about 50 people. Beautiful. Life is slow down here, and it’s good to be with normal people. It doesn’t seem that they wrestle with and agonize over the questions that stir around in my mind and heart. I’ve been unwired most of the time, since I forgot to bring my laptop power supply. So to ration my few hours available on the laptop battery, I’m making a quick check-in, and a few reflections here.

2 (of many) things I discovered about myself Life Planning: I’ve been working at jobs mostly out of duty, responsiblity, and other’s needs, rather than out of my own desires, talents, and interests, and passions. One way to look at that is to say I’ve got a wide range of capacities and capabilities, and can fill in to do a variety of different things. But to work in those jobs means that a noticeable part of me goes unfulfilled. To use spiritual language, God’s desires in me are still latent and unfulfilled. I’m missing God’s best in my life, to do what He created me for, to work in a job that uses every part of me holistically and completely, both my talents and my passions. (What that is, well, I cannot reveal right away; it’ll take some discernment and timing on how I unpack that.)

2ndly, my work is too consuming of me, even though I consciously deny ever being a workaholic, and that I am the least motivated by accomplishments, achievements, money, competition, or goals. But, yet, I’m still compelled to work very hard, having fears and concerns that do things to me. Not a good thing, not a healthy thing. I need a hobby, one that will energize me, recreation in the full sense of re-creating.

What is Life Planning? It’s Tom Paterson?s LifePlan(tm) process that helps a person develop a strategic plan to find and live the plan that God designed. It’s based on a book by Tom Paterson titled Living the Life You Were Meant to Live (not an easy title to buy from, much better to buy it for $9 from this link). Just as many organizations and companies are doing strategic planning on a regular basis, doing life planning is like personal strategic planning. It goes beyond a personal mission statement.

The value in life planning with a facilitator is the added focus and help that a facilitator can provide, in hearing and seeing recurring themes and having a safe place to explore and reflect and dream and listen. Not a heavily promoted and advertised kind of program, but it is very valuable. People hear about it by word of mouth. And now that you’ve read a little bit of it here, you’ve got it by word of mouse. Email me so we can dialogue more about it offline, and see if it might be helpful to you.

And while unwired, I picked up this book by Richard Carlson: Easier Than You Think … Because Life Doesn’t Have to be so Hard: The Small Changes That Add Up to a World of Difference. The title spoke to me, that I do need help realizing that life isn’t as hard and as agonizing as I’ve made it out to be.

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