I haven’t read a book in a while. I read all the time but it’s not often an actual book – I read articles and blogs and work-related things.
I haven’t read a book in a while partially because I haven’t allowed myself too.
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You see, I’ve been mulling over A Million Little Ways by Emily P. Freeman. That’s the last book I read. I’ve been letting it sink in and I know it’s a book I’ll refer back to again and again. It’s right in line with the Firework Philosophy – the notion that we were all created to discover, embrace and share our sparks – our gifts, talents, passions – with the world.
I’ve also been pondering how I can share my love for this book with you. I could probably write a dozen blog posts about it and still not have the space to fully express my love and appreciation for this book.
As I was browsing through my journal of tabbed pages indicating thoughts and quotes that came about while reading A Million Little Ways, it dawned on me to simply share what I had written rather than trying to summarize it into some philosophically composed statement.
So here it is…straight from my journal…thoughts I captured as I melted into A Million Little Ways:
#1 Seasons of Life
There are seasons of life. Balancing responsibilities and the pursuit of your passions. But why not both? You don’t have to sacrifice. Your vision will come to life when and how it needs to. When it’s meant to.
That also means there’s no room for complacency. Visions require action. Action requires intentionality. Make it happen. You’re not a bad mom/wife/daughter/employee/friend because you dare to pursue your passion; because you’re brave enough to take the time to focus on your dreams.
Embrace the restful states. Don’t beat yourself up for not spending every spare moment pursuing your passion. There must be room for restoration and for the other things in life that make you whole; that fill your cup.
#2 Eliminate the Guilt
Eliminate the guilt that creeps in. The voice that says “How dare you spend time focusing on you.” Know the dream you have – whatever the vision – was embedded on your heart for a reason.
#3 The 8-Letter “J” Word
Jealousy is toxic. So is diminishing our own purpose because someone else is executing theirs. That’s not to say you can’t admire someone’s accomplishments. We all have our own unique voice, craft and talents and there’s plenty of room to spread yours around. The world needs the variety and perspectives each of us offer right where we are.
#4 Christ Lives Within Us
Christ does not represent guilt, regret or doubt. Christ represents love, hope and ambition. If Christ lives within us, we do not have to be suspicious of our Christ-led desires that live within us. Embrace those desires as he embraced each one of us.
#5 Desires are Meaningful
Pursuing your desires should not feel indulgent; they should not feel like a guilty pleasure. They should feel like you’re living an intentional and meaningful life.
#6 In His Timing
It is so important to dream. To have something to look forward to. To strive for something greater. Yet there is a reason for the uncomfortability and discontentment. A Million Little Ways ignited a new understanding for me about the relationships between patience and persistence. Learning how to move while you wait.
#7 Why Do We Run?
When something new comes about or a new idea arises, we have a choice. Fight or flight. Unfortunately, when it comes to pursuing our dreams, flight sometimes takes over.
Running away from our desires and our design is not what we were created to do. Run towards the vision, not away from it.
#8 Answer Your Inner Critic
If the critic in your mind asks, “Who do you think you are?,” answer it! Simple as that! Reaffirm your gifts and purpose and allow your champion state to shove your critic out the door.
#9 Expectations Are Not Always Good
Are you allowing your own expectations to hinder you from freely expressing yourself? Is completing something the “right way” keeping you from taking any action at all? Something I must ask myself regularly to keep myself in check.
A Million Little Ways is yet another book you’ll want to add to your personal library. There were so many more tid-bits of wisdom and insights and realizations that came about from it and I’m sure you’ll discover your own as you dive into it was well.
What is one of the million little ways you share your gifts with the world?