#IdeaWorld #Blogfest here I come…yikes

Hey ya’ll!

I am writing from my office upstairs while my self-tanner tries to feel a bit less tacky…:) Hey, it makes me feel better.

The past few days have been filled with hustle while we get ready for the next week. What’s happening? Thank you for asking! A few months ago I was chosen as one of the featured bloggers for the very FIRST annual #blogfest at the Idea World Fitness Convention in Anaheim, California. I have put together my presentation and will eventually practice…those who really know me totally know I’ll fly by the seat of my pants. During this time my family will spread out among the states and I will be forced to do something that strikes fear to the very center of my little heart: SOCIALIZE!!!!!!!

introvert Audrey

I always loved Audrey. She was an introvert and lived to be a ripe old age! Coincidence? I think not, just saying….

OK, so I am an introvert. Wait, huh? Yes, I know. I give speeches and talk in front of large crowds without too much trouble. As a matter of fact, the presentation itself has hardly crowded my thought process at all. It’s the fact that during this convention there are actual gatherings of people. This drains me of all energy and I’m pretty sure I’ll be laid up in bed for several days upon my return home.

So, what’s the problem?

My introversion has caused me to miss many an opportunity and many a party. People who don’t really understand the whole introvert thing (I like the people in books far better than those in real life at times, lol…but really) tend to think this is something one can just “turn off”. Not the case for such an odd issue. In reality, the age of technology seems to have made it easier to be an introvert. That is, until one actually has to go out and do something.

How deep does this really go?

introvert

Well, let’s just say I tend to schedule ALL of my errands at once just so I can limit those pesky social encounters. Oh, and apps like BUFFER have made me SO happy! I don’t even have to be social on social networks anymore! Have I told ya’ll I have issues?

Yeah, so I did decide that THIS YEAR I would do more things that frighten me….socializing has won out. I now get out of my hobbit hole a few times a week and purposefully engage with others while out and about. I also signed up for this big ole convention AND I am participating in a scavenger hunt where people I don’t know have to find me! This is craziness at it’s very core people.

Large runs and fitness events don’t scare me. I’ve spoken and taught to large groups of people. NO WORRIES! It’s the more intimate places where people actually want to “get to know you”. Perhaps I feel enough people know me. Maybe my friends list is full. I’ve tried for years to figure this out. I mean, I’m far from boring. I’ve traveled the world, I fight and teach boxing, I’m involved in anti-trafficking movements, and I am a deeply passionate person when I get all kinds of riled up about something…..I just don’t give myself enough opportunity for others to see it.

So, I ask for your thoughts and prayers as a head forth into the social arena. If you’re there, say hi. If you’re an introvert like me, wave from the corner! I understand that!!!!!!

The challenge I have for you is twofold: understand who you are first, then understand that YOU can change the things that place limits on you. One little lunge at a time….stepping is so boring:)

Train hard ya’ll! I’ll see you when I get back.

Michelle

#blogfest2014

 

The Powerful Things Within

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So, I am sitting in a gorgeous sunroom at the end of quite a physically challenging day and I thought it would be very beneficial to share some thoughts with you :-)

I learned a few new things after branching out (pun intended) and taking up some serious mountain hiking. My family is on vacation in Nashville, TN until tomorrow and we opted for a bit of adventure seeking. Early this morning we set out on what seemed like just a pretty walk. Somebody (guilty!) chose not once, but twice, to take the difficult road. After ending our 3 hour adventure, this is what I noticed:
1. Time really does go by much quicker when you are engaged in the task at hand.
2. God is gracious and gives hikers shade and plenty of breezes!
3. Deer on hiking trails could care less if you see them and do not scare so easily.
4. Water is awesome!
5. Going downhill can be just as hard as going uphill, but you don’t REALLY feel it until you get out of the car upon arriving home.

The sixth thing I learned is in regards to the picture above. Do you know what that is? Well, yes it is a tree smarty pants! But do you know what is wrong with this tree? The large bulge is actually a disease that trees get, similar to cancer.

You see, a bug can burrow into the trunk of the tree and through a series of unfortunate events, the tree is left with a disease. This mass is evidence of the disease. Eventually the tree trunk can weaken and break since the tree is being killed from the inside out. All because something as small as perhaps a hornet wedged its way into the tree.

As I was learning about the plight of this tree, I began to think of my own “trunk”. How many times have I allowed tiny things such as opinions or words penetrate and cause a disease in my soul? Have I allowed guilt or anger to fester and grow into a disease of the heart? Have poor thoughts eaten away at my infrastructure until I am left a shell of what I was supposed to be?

Sadly, these things have happened. I have good news for you though! We are NOT trees! We can be healed and restructured to the people we were born to be. Just as this disease weakens the structure of this tree, the negative thoughts that pierce our minds weakens us. It is all about choosing the thoughts you hang on to and letting go of the ones that do not serve a higher purpose.

If you find yourself feeling unworthy, change those thoughts by discovering your true worth. I’ll even give you a hint: Somebody cared enough to DIE for YOU (John 3:16). If you’re unhappy in your marriage, look into your own thoughts and mind. It is not your spouses job description to make you happy, they are to love you. There is a difference. Feelings of guilt, anxiety, stress, depression; all of these are deep seeded in fear and NOT fostering a stronger trunk for your life to grow.

Make the choice today to begin confronting these thoughts. Dark thoughts cannot grow in the light, but if you hide them they will cause disease.

Learning these things were not all I was blessed with this morning. God also granted me another book idea and I am faithful it will grow, strong as an oak :-)

Word to the wise: after hiking for 3 hours through the mountains, don’t hike for 2 more through gardens and tree houses!

Have a healthy day, in every way.
Michelle