Last week I was in London celebrating my close friend’s sister’s baby’s kunliyo – Gambian christening party. Whilst in that beautiful, bustling British capital city I was blessed to hear some awesome, awe-inspiring testimonies from another close friend about the power of God moving in his life. And do you know what? I was jealous! (I was of course excited too, but I was definitely a little green.) It wasn’t a bitter jealousy. It was a jealousy that led me to challenge myself to delve deeper with God. To be like, if he can experience this many blessings then I can too! I too want to hear His voice clearly and to experience His blessings. And I knew the first thing I had to change to be able to experience these blessings was my heart and my mindset. My heart was immediately changed upon hearing these testimonies of faith as a reminder that God is faithful, He still moves incredibly and He wants good for me and to bless me. So next I changed my mental and became expectant for the blessings in my life; I began praying and opening my eyes wide each day to see them. I challenged myself to be expectant for blessings, positive change and transformation in my life – physically, spiritually, emotionally and mentally. I have experienced God’s wonder each day this month; I can’t believe how incredibly my September has begun. And only ten days into September, I am already feeling and being more blessed now than I have been or felt for a long while.
Want to feel the same excitement about life? Here are 4 actions I took to create space for and receive blessings in my life:
Move Your Life Around
I intentionally created space in my physical world to be ready when the blessings I am asking for, praying and praising for, and actively working for are received. Here are a few examples of what I did to achieve this. My Monday and Fridays are my new ‘free focus days’. No meetings or interviews or leaving the house except for emergencies and workouts are allowed. This allows me to be more productive and also to make sure these days are free for what I want to make a priority in my life. I am also trying to free up my evenings from 6.30pm for relaxation and rejuvenation. (Read why this is important below in ‘Constructive Downtime’.)
I have had a mini upheaval in my bedroom. I completely removed one bookshelf that had been bugging me for a while and completely filled up and repositioned my newest bookshelf, lined up my books in category and height order [top shelf: classics, shelf 2: non-fiction/motivational/spiritual, etc.], and I created a ‘love’ corner filled with positive and uplifting memories – pictures of loved ones and loving quotes and hearts. I removed the clutter from my bedside tables and I unstuck the majority of the sticky notes from my desk. Unfortunately, the last two physical interventions have not lasted long. Thankfully, though, I clearly created enough space to allow positive things to enter my life. I’ll share these with you in a later post…
Schedule MORE time to Pray and/or Meditate
I intentionally created space in my spiritual world for God to move. I diarised an hour in His presence each morning and night. This is probably more time than I’ve spent with God 1-2-1 ever. Normally I pray and read a few passages, meditate over them a little and then rush on to my next diary item. This September I committed to stop to spend time and immerse myself fully in God’s word to gain clarity and direction for my day, week and this season in my life. It is working! I am gaining more clarity and feeling less overwhelmed and more joyful each day.
Create Space for & Acknowledge ‘Constructive Downtime’
Remember what I mentioned above about making space in my evenings for R&R? Well, I was having a conversation with my friend yesterday and she mentioned she doesn’t really have time right now for R&R, or what she referred to as ‘downtime’. I reminded her of what one of my success team-members, Iris constantly reminds me – downtime is essential. If you don’t have time for downtime, you won’t have time for success because you will be too rundown and burnt out to achieve it or stay at the top for long enough to enjoy it. Downtime doesn’t necessarily mean a week-long break in the sunshine. If you’re like me and my friend, and you wish to feel productive 99.9% of the time, why not rename your R&R downtime hours as ‘constructive downtime’? What can you do in this time? What you probably already do or have been wishing to be able to do and create space in your diary to do for the longest time: reading, writing, blogging, a telephone or Skype call with a friend, watching a motivational or educational TV or Netflix series… I wrote a few more ideas in a previous blog post here. Give yourself time to decompress.
Perhaps you do all of the things I mentioned in the ‘constructive downtime’. If you do, that’s great! What isn’t great is if, like my friend, you didn’t really realise or acknowledge it as being downtime. In this way, you stay locked into this idea of being and feeling constantly and overwhelmingly busy, when in actual fact you are not. Remember, your thoughts are powerful. Get out of the busy bubble by acknowledging your downtime and it will free you to feel happier and more rejuvenated each day.
In this way, you will intentionally create space in your mental and emotional world to be recharged in the evening for the day ahead. Just as you plug your phone to recharge each night to work and function at optimum capacity the next day, you need to charge yourself up in the same way.
So those are a few ways I created space in each of the four main areas of my world to be expectant for and to receive blessings. I hope this helps you if you are in a similar season!
What do you do when you are trying to produce positive change in your life? Do you focus on changing/adapting all four areas [physical, spiritual, mental and emotional] or are you mainly focused in one or two areas? And, to link back to the main title of this post, after all the change that has happened because of one conversation, do you think jealousy is a good thing at times?