As each of us is learning, doing, and becoming, it’s important to ask ourselves uplifting, focused questions and then seriously think about them during the pockets of quiet time in our lives.
Today I have two suggested questions that have made a big difference for me, and I hope they’ll help you, as well!
Question #1: What have my experiences most prepared me to offer to the world?
Question #2: Who needs me to support them with my whole heart today?
I have some supporting ideas to go along with these questions, so let’s go ahead and dive in!
I’ve been thinking a lot about you lately.
And I know it might sound a little strange that I care so much, but as I have been talking about the 25,000 STEP Command Centrals we want to build, I’ve been receiving some beautiful emails, and my vision for what this can become seems more clear and exciting than ever before.
For example, I received an email a few days ago that said this:
I just listened to your podcast about your struggle with whether you should do more than just focusing on your STEP Command Central (episode 45 from March 13th). I’m here to say that I haven’t even gotten to do that yet — I will be one of your 25,000. On a Friday night recently, while my kids and husband were away for a few hours (that never happens!!), I settled in and did what I had been yearning (seriously, craving!) to do for years now. I listened to your Clean a Drawer podcast while I organized my bathroom cabinet. If anyone thinks, “How could one command central change a life?”, I’m telling you this one cabinet being clean is changing my life. It was a mess. I have two boys – 4.5 and 2.5. I am an overwhelmed, tired mom who works outside the home full time and struggles with anxiety and depression. This year I have committed to putting my needs higher on the priority list. Clearing the space around me clears my head and I’ve always LOVED planning and organizing. In fact, that’s what I do at work. But my personal spaces at home are what get the least amount of attention and when I see them every day, it completely stresses me out! This was one of those spaces. One small step to change my mornings and evenings; one giant leap towards changing my life! I can’t wait to keep the momentum going and start my command central!
I can’t even tell you how much I loved that.
Beautiful emails like that one, in addition to the photos of the Command Centrals that are popping up in our Facebook group and in our email thrills me–but not because I’m trying to be a rock star or anything. It’s because I love what is happening inside YOU.
All right, so going back to question #1. Let’s think about this: What have my experiences most prepared me to offer to the world?
Here’s a little story.
Back in 2009, I had a series of surgeries and had to spend months in bed. It’s hard for me to even talk about those months because there was so much pain and embarrassment attached to those experiences. But now that it’s been 10 years, I feel like I can at least share a few of the details.
Essentially, I was living in a situation where it took me about an hour a day to use the restroom, and I had severe pain (in ways you don’t typically talk about in public) for about 20 or 30 hours a week.
We had four little ones at the time, ages two, six, seven, and nine, and they would often camp out right outside the bathroom door with their library books and toys–or play quietly in their rooms or around the house so I could rest. Here’s a photo of them from just prior to that time period:
We didn’t go on many vacations or do any Pinterest-worthy crafts–or take many beautiful photos–during that time. I was in total survival mode and often wondered if I would EVER feel relief.
The surgeries were eventually successful, and I have been healthy for years now, but I learned two really important lessons:
Lesson #1: You can have precious, instructive, beautiful experiences with your Higher Power in the most miserable circumstances of your life.
Lesson #2: When you’re working with limited energy, sometimes it’s easier to gain clarity on which dreams of yours really matter.
Regarding Lesson #1, I’ll just share one quick story that makes me smile every time I think about it.
It had been a LONG day of recovery from my most difficult surgery, and I was wondering if there would come a time when I wouldn’t have to stay within 15 feet of a restroom. I opened my scriptures for some light and insight–hoping something could give me hope. And the scripture I read couldn’t have been more perfect. (Although this isn’t a “religious” website, I hope you won’t mind me sharing….)
It was from Isaiah, and it said this: “For the Lord shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her waste places.”
It was exactly what I needed to hear. Not only did it confirm that God loved me and would help me, but it reminded me that He totally understood my situation AND could help me see the humor in the whole thing–in such an awesome way.
That was just one tiny example of the support I received. For as hard as that time of my life was, when I think back on it, I mostly remember light and love.
Regarding Lesson #2, I remember resting in bed one day and asking myself, “If I were to feel healthy again, what would I want to do with my life? What have my experiences prepared me to do that will most help the world?”
The answer? Teach people how to build a Command Central. (My first Command Central, built out of a little card table and random supplies I had around the house, was right next to my bed, and it kept things running beautifully while I was healing.)
While I was resting in bed one day, I even found the number for The David Allen Company online and called them on the phone to ask if it was okay for me to “translate” his material for the people who were following me online. His secretary gave me a short list of the legal parameters they requested I follow, but essentially said YES! (That was the beginning of STEP!)
Now take a moment to consider this for your own life. Your experiences have strengthened you, taught you valuable lessons, and prepared you to lift someone else. Which of your skills and abilities is most needed by the world? How could you offer that to others–even just starting in a very small way?
All right, let’s move onto the second question we’re pondering this week: Who needs me to support them with my whole heart today?
Many years ago, one of my older sisters spent months studying for the CPA exam–taking and retaking it several times. On one of her most important test days, when she had to pass or start the whole process again, an amazing thing happened.
Fifteen minutes before the time allotted was up, she realized she’d done one of the two long (handwritten) problems totally wrong, but with the remaining time on the clock, she was able to fix it. After the test, she went out to the car feeling a mixture of relief and exhilaration. She knew she’d passed. (And she had.)
She decided to stop by our parents’ house on the way home, and our mom was on the front porch–like she’d been waiting for her. Mom jumped up and said, “I’ve been praying for you all day! How was your test?”
Laura told her how wonderful it had gone, and then Mom asked her an interesting question: “Did anything happen at a quarter to the hour?”
Laura responded, “Yes!” and then told her how she’d fixed the long problem.
Then Mom explained, “I was praying so hard for you right at that time, and I asked God that if there was any mistake you’d made, you would find it and have time to fix it.”
It’s that kind of love, thoughtfulness, and power that we need in our lives today.
The reason I’m sharing all this is because I know that there are many in our LearnDoBecome community (or who are out there, but don’t yet know about our community) who are living in overwhelming circumstances.
And most of the time, you don’t talk about it or tell anyone about the details because you don’t know if there’s a solution–that there is relief and hope available.
The other day, while Eric and I were out walking our dog, Eric asked what I was thinking about, and I said, “You know how my mom prayed for Laura when she was taking her CPA exam? I feel like that for our community. I can’t see them, and I don’t know exactly what’s happening in their hearts and lives, but I just care about them so much, and perhaps if they don’t have someone like my mom cheering for them and praying for them, that’s who I want to be.”
There is a unique kind of power that comes into our lives when we’re living for others. That’s the kind of wife, mother, friend, and “person” I want to be. I’ve found that this community at LearnDoBecome is full of compassionate, hard-working, amazing individuals. And while all of us have challenges, sometimes just taking a moment to look outside ourselves and see if we can offer relief or hope in some way becomes a benefit to all parties involved!
I hope that you have some great experiences as you ponder these questions, and I’d love to hear any of your thoughts or ideas in the comments.
Thank you all for your support. I am so excited about the 25,000 STEP Command Centrals we’re working towards. I haven’t even figured out the process of how we’re going to collect the photos or track the numbers, but the momentum is building, and I am incredibly grateful.
More is coming. I wish you could see all my lists and brainstorms and feel the excitement that is happening behind the scenes here. But everything has to happen at a doable pace–because we’re not going for a “flash in the pan” of excitement. We are building a major, life-changing, powerful movement that will transform the world. And YOU are the reason for it all. And you have great things ahead.
Closing up now, but here are a few parting thoughts:
(1) Clearly, as we’re working toward a STEP Command Central on every desk, I want you to know what that is. If you haven’t yet attended our free training, sign up here, okay:
(2) If you’re already in the STEP program, we have a brand new login available for you at https://My.LearnDoBecome.com. You can use your same email and password from before. The newly-revised program is awesome. Please come in and BUILD your STEP Command Central. We’re here to support you. (And please, please, please tell your friends about the free class linked above! I’m pretty sure they’re overwhelmed, too.)
(3) If you already have your STEP Command Central in place, you can send us a photo right now, if you’d like, or just wait for us to set up the formal structure for all of this. We’ll announce it through our email, social media, the podcast, etc.
(5) Finally, I just want you to know that this is about more than just “organizing a desk.” The reason I wanted to discuss these two questions today is because I believe that each of us have beautiful purposes for which we were created. People need us. It’s time for each of us to do what we were meant to do, and it means the world to have you here with us!