This is my why

Be Uncomfortable

Have you ever noticed how little we share our problems openly?  Are we afraid of judgment?  Are we too prideful to admit we have struggled?  Is it that we are embarrassed and want to hide? 


Whatever the reason, WE NEED TO STOP!   In fact, I dare say that we should be okay with being 'uncomfortable' because that is where we will comfort those who need us most. 

 

Several years ago I was giving a talk in church and I kept feeling prompted to talk about several things that were VERY UNCOMFORTABLE.  One of those experiences was my adoption experience and the other was (and still is) something that still makes me squirm when I talk about it.  In fact, as I am writing this I am hesitant to even mention it… but here it goes.  I struggled with cutting/self-harm all through my life. [Note:  I haven't done it for many years but I would be lying if I said that the thought doesn't creep into my mind when I am going through something particularly difficult to deal with emotionally].

 

So here I was… getting the feeling to talk about something that the world doesn't understand and makes everyone uncomfortable to talk about it.  I told my mom my prompting… and she looked at me horrified and said "Well, maybe you can share that in your area but I don't think it would go over so well in mine".  OH-KAY… Now I'm more uncomfortable talking about it.  

 

The big day arrived and I had decided that I would give a 'general' experience and NOT tell them that it was about me.  But as I was standing in front of that room something happened… I found myself telling the stories in FIRST person.  Yep, I told them it was me.  

 

After my talk I was standing around talking to a couple of friends and in the background was a woman I had never seen before.  She was dressed in a lot of black and had sadness in her eyes.  I could feel that she wanted to talk to me alone.  I finally wiggled away from the others and the first thing she said was "I can relate" and then she lifted up the sleeve of her shirt to expose bloody gashes up and down her arm.  We then talked for a few minutes about it and she expressed that she was getting help but that she really appreciated me talking about it.  

 

My dear friends, let's BE UNCOMFORTABLE together.  As we open up and share things from our past, we will be exposed… but we will also allow others to find solace in knowing they are not alone in their challenges.  

 

Now I also want to give you a warning… you will get strange looks.  Some people will NOT know how to handle it.  And you might even hear rude comments from people who are extremely uncomfortable with your topic… but please know – that is THEIR issue, not yours.  I cannot even begin to tell you all of the times I got a strange reaction, or silence, or weird comments.  It is part of the process and hopefully they will someday learn to be uncomfortable, too, but if they don't – we shouldn't judge them but just let their reactions fall by the wayside as we continue on our path of helping others.  

 

A couple of years ago I was struggling with opening up about things in my past.  I had gotten some strange reactions from people and desperately wanted to stop sharing.  I sat down and prayed.  I asked God "WHY do I need to share these uncomfortable things?  Why? "  These words enter my mind:

 

"This experience is no longer yours"

"Okay, Father.  Let me see if I understand" I said. 

I flipped through the questions. 

"If it's no longer mine… then whose is it?" 

Answers filled my mind.

"Ahh… I get it.  I've gained all I can from this experience and now it will be used benefit someone else. Right?"

RIGHT. 

 

What do you think?  Can you do this with me?  Let's be exposed and fearless.  Let's reach out to those that are silently suffering and feeling alone. 


LET'S BE UNCOMFORTABLE TOGETHER!! 🙂

 


Have you felt the need to share some uncomfortable experiences?  How did it feel?  What are your reactions after hearing someone share a painful experience?  Do you judge them or feel closer to them?

Exposed & Perfectly Flawed

Okay… I am seriously rethinking this post.  🙂  With my new theme of doing things fearlessly…. I think I must post this!! 

 

So last weekend I went to St. George for the weekend with my mom and 2 oldest kids.  We were enjoying the beautiful weather and decided to go hiking to some really cool (and very old) Native American writings carved into rock.  

 

Shortly after we found the writings, I discovered that I needed to go to the bathroom REALLY BADLY!   My mind raced trying to find the fastest way to the car so I could go to a gas station or store or ANYTHING!  You see… I have had a fear of going to the bathroom outside in the wilderness ever since I was a child.  It sounded like the most horrible, uncomfortable, embarrassing thing EVER!  

 

I walked as fast as I could to the car… stopping occasionally… but I was SO determined to make it to a bathroom.  About 20 feet from the car, I realized the inevitable.  I would face my fear at this moment.  

 

There were people hiking down the mountain behind me so I hobbled off to the side and hid behind a rock.  I scared 2 jackrabbits away from the area and then…. well, you know…. I became "one" with nature.

 

So here is the part of the story that is funny… and inspiring… 🙂  It was during that moment when I was feeling so exposed, embarrassed, and scared that I had this thought come to me…

 

"Hey – this isn't so bad.  What was I so afraid of?"  

 

I started thinking about all the other areas in my life where I might be too afraid to move forward… and I carry that thought with me "Maybe it's not as bad as I imagined?"   

 

In order to bring my life to the level I want it to be… I think I need to feel exposed, embarrassed, and scared sometimes.  

 

I went to a book publishing seminar in November 2009 with Michael Drew.  During the entire couple of days, he kept telling us how important it is to be "REAL, RAW, and RELEVANT".  This is how we connect to others and help them. This is how we market our message… we need to show that we are human – and flawed.  

 

 

Here I am… I am the new Martina… the one who is no longer afraid of showing her insides.   The one who is willing to show her weaknesses and strengths in order to connect and help others.  I might be afraid at times – but I KNOW that I will push beyond the fear… because when I do… I know I will think "HEY!  That's not as bad as I thought it would be"  And each time I do this, my faith will be strengthened until someday my faith will be perfect.  I won't be perfect… but I will be the REAL and RAW MARTINA.   You could say I am "perfectly flawed"  😀  

Taking a Real, Hard Look

I love the New Year.  It always brings in such a feeling of renewal and strength.  I usually think about each area of my life and set goals that can be reached that year – or at least they are my ideal goals… whether they be attainable or not.  🙂

 

This year felt different somehow.   As I started to do my usual routine, it seemed so shallow and insincere.  Almost like my insides were saying "Yeah right, Martina.  That's what you say you're going to do, but what are you REALLY going to do" I am standing on a threshold in my life.  All of the things I have been preparing for and 'talking' about doing are now staring me in the face.  I have a team around me cheering me on and it feels like I have a sports coach yelling inches away from my face

"JUMP NOW, Martina!!  It is TIME!!  Make that leap or you will lose what has been given you. You need to MOVE!!!!"

 

I feel an urgency.  I know there is a message within me that needs to be shared with the world.  I know I need to have faith and move forward with fearless courage.

 

This past week I saw a conversation on Facebook about having a centralized theme for the year.  I have noticed that most years have a theme… however, I have never considered picking one ahead of time.  But I liked the idea… a lot.  So here is my theme for 2011:

 

FEARLESS and FORWARD

 

Fearless because that is what it will take to do all of the many grand things that I have felt inspired to do and Forward because that is the direction I will need to continually push myself in.  I cannot doubt when I am about to run and jump over a giant ravine… or I would fall short in my attempt.  The same is true in my mission in life.  I must RUN forward with all my might and when it is time to jump, I do not falter ONE BIT.  It will take every ounce of determination and strength to make it to the other side.  And that is what I must do.

 

So how can I move forward fearlessly?

 

I feel I must take a REALLY HARD look at myself.  A real, honest, truthful look at every weakness and inconsistent thing in my life.  I must be completely honest with where I am at.  Then I will set goals and make those weaknesses my strengths.  When I am strong and prepared… I do not fear.

 

Today is January 4, 2011.  It has taken me me days to do this and I am now ready to make a declaration to the world.  I am ready to be honest about my shortcomings and seek ways to make them my strengths.  

 

Here they are:

1. My health and fitness

How I feel on the inside:  I am a totally healthy and buff girl.  I love exercise and I love how strong my body is.  I love eating raw, organic food that is free from all unnatural or artificial ingredients.  I make healthy meals for my family and meal plan ahead of time so we can eat healthy affordably.

The hard reality:  I hate to cook.  I feel cursed everyday when I think of preparing food for myself and family.  Exercise and taking time to take care of me often finds itself at the bottom of the priority list where it consistently gets neglected.  I feel resentful that so much emphasis is put on the body.  I feel like my success is determined by my weight.  I feel like I am on display because I am a "personal fitness trainer's wife and everyone will be judging me or my husband by my fitness level.  I have had difficult experiences in the past when I am thin… so I [subconsciously] fear that if I lose weight I will be vulnerable…. somehow I've believed that the excess weight keeps me safe.   Whenever I eat really well, I find myself frequently sabotaging my efforts.

What I am going to do about it:  Last night I went to a doTERRA's event that was launching its Slim & Sassy Weight Loss Program.  They are coming out with some new products and they are having a weight-loss contest to promote it, too.  As I was sitting there, I felt purpose in my weight… and I felt a new purpose in my weight loss.  I can use a product that I love and feel passionate about, while having a set goal in mind (with the contest) AND when I win the contest, it will give me exposure with my message.  It will give me a way to make my voice be heard.  My husband just opened a fitness gym and I also felt inspired to use his workout plans along with the new products to get ultimate results as well as promote my awesome husband's abilities.  

I am also learning how to make more raw food recipes.  I have been trying to eat natural foods for a while now, however, because I have not enjoyed cooking in the past I let it discourage me.  I have attending a raw foods cooking class and have been reading several books that can teach me how to do it well. 

 

2. Goals and Follow-through

How I feel on the inside:  I feel like I am a 'go-getter'.  I like to set goals and I love how it feels when I accomplish the things I say I am going to.  I am a woman of integrity… if I say I will do it, then I will.  I also pay all of my financial obligations in a timely manner. I am a person of integrity and enjoy accomplishing the things I say I am going to do.

The hard reality:  I can get overwhelmed and my brain goes into a 'freeze' mode where I don't know what to do next.    I often have grand ideas of all the many things I want to do but then I don't follow through and see the things through to the end.  There are other times that I feel overwhelmed or fearful about the outcome of a situation.

What I am going to do about it:  I am going to move forward FEARLESSLY!!  I am going to do so much more than that – I am not going to worry about being perfect before I act.  I am going to act on inspiration the moment I receive it.  I am going to take time to connect with God every day and visualize the outcome of what I want.  

 

2011 is going to be the BEST YEAR EVER!!  I feel GREAT acknowledging the areas of improvement – because I think it is the only way to truly change.  

 

You've got to look at where you are  – in order to get to where you want to be.  🙂