Sunday, May 5, 2019

'The Next Right Thing' * Session #2

Welcome back, my dear decision-making companions!

Together, we're paging through The Next Right Thing: A Simple, Soulful Practice for Making Life Decisions.  For years, Emily Freeman's work has held a special place in my heart.  I view her as a wise mentor, personally and professionally {without her even knowing it}.  She lends the kind of joyful, perceptive vision that makes life's hiccups and challenges seem less overwhelming and more possible.  The girl sparkles with heavenly wisdom and subtle humor that never is forced or phony.  

And now to share her book with you all here in this space?  Icing on the cake.

In Session #1, we mulled over three questions  
Am I being led by love or pushed by fear?
In the last season, what was life-draining?
And what was life-giving?

Good stuff.

Be sure to take a minute or two to watch Emily's book trailer {she's so cute} ... and while you're there, do a quick scroll down to take her free What's your decision-making style quiz.  What fun!

It's not too late to grab your hardcover here or your Kindle edition there.  We're only touching on 8 of 24 subjects in our four sessions together.  Yet there's so much more in this book to discover, to savor, to choose to act on.  I encourage you to grab your own personal copy.  {Yes, I receive a small commission from Amazon if you buy through these links.  Thank you very much.}

Here we go, gang ...

Chapter 12
Be Where You Are 

'Sometimes our minds need time to process our realities, even when our reality is obvious to everyone else.  No amount of lecturing or explaining will ever help us to see something until we're ready to see it for ourselves.'

'When we don't admit or become aware of our current life situation, we will continue to have expectations of ourselves and of other people as if things are as they've always been, when, in fact, they are not.  When we're unaware of where we are, we can't possibly make informed decisions about where we want to go.  This leads to an inability to discern our next right thing.'

'Here are a series of questions to ask as a way of naming what is true.  Answer them without judgment, condemnation, anger, blame, or shame ... sometimes we need someone to remind us to simply be with what's true without trying to change it, fix it, or put a spin on it to make it sound better or worse ...
-  Have you recently started a new position, been given more responsibility at work, or been passed over for someone else?

-  Have you had an injury or a sickness that has changed your energy level or ability in some way?

-  Are you having work done in your house for renovation or upkeep, and has this brought extra people into your home at odd times?

-  Does someone close to you need more now than they have in the past?

-  Is a child or a loved one struggling with anxiety?  Sickness?  Heartache?  Pain?

-  Are you waiting for results that are out of your control?  How long have you been waiting for those results?

-  Have you added something new to your schedule without taking anything away?'

Chapter 14 
Stop Collecting Gurus

'As I combed through my inbox, past all of the advice and instruction, results and evaluation tools, I noticed my breathing became more shallow and my head started to ache.  The problem wasn't the courses, or the email series, or the updates.  The problem was I had too many going at once.  I was trying to listen to way too many of those voices at the same time.'

'We need to choose gurus or teachers or mentors who will offer plans that line up with the vision we already have for our life, our work, and our ministry.  If you don't know where you're going, specific directions won't really help, not until you see the big picture.   If you feel frustrated and pulled in many directions, it could be because you've been looking for advice about the journey even before you know or understand your hoped-for destination.'


Let's talk.  And no, you don't need to have read these chapters to ease right on in to the conversation.  You are welcome here ...

Chapter 15
Gather Co-Listeners

Chapter 17
Find a No-Mentor



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  1. The place where I am at
    ain't where I want to be.
    There's no denying that
    there's a fatal certainty.
    The gurus say, "Prepare
    with a Swedish death-cleaning
    and give in to despair
    because therein is your meaning."
    I think that they're sincere
    and that they mean so well,
    but let me make this clear:
    "Gurus, go to h***!"
    Even though my death may well be fated,
    cancer'll regret the day it was created.

    1. Andrew, I'm guessing you've had more than your fair share of gurus, experts, and know-everythings tell you how to live your life in this most difficult season.

      Praying you continue to hear God's steady, loving, hope-filled whisper above all the voices coming at you ...

  2. The season of life when I was most crushed under the weight of too many gurus is in my early parenting days. I read every magazine and book I could get my hands on and found (no surprise!) mostly conflicting advice that I was trying to follow all at once.
    Hmmm . . . and it's really tempting to fall back into that pattern with my writing. After all, every written page feels like a new creation to us, and we want to do it "right." But by whose definition? Emily is wise to advise us to choose our mentors very carefully and to have a select few.

    1. Interesting, yes, Michele, there are far too many writing gurus, social media gurus, how to grow-your-numbers-into-the-millions gurus out there.

      I find it all exhausting, mechanical, and stress-producing.

      May we write when we have something to say. May we write when we can't NOT write. May our words spill forth from the overflowing presence of the Creative One who shaped us and gifted us to do so ...

      And may there be joy in the process.

    2. Yes and amen. May the words come and may they bring as much joy to the writer as to the readers.

    3. Absolutely. If the joy is missing, something's askew ...

  3. First of all, I like the changes you've made to your new header, and I love the font you have used for your name!
    Chapter 14 of the book is one that stood out for me too. I think with writing and blogging especially, I have found that there are so many voices and pieces of advice and while many of them are helpful, it can become overwhelming. After taking some time to figure out what I am trying to do and thinking about a way that is going to work for now I have managed to make more progress with a writing project this week than I think I have in the last 2 months!

    1. Thanks for showing us that taking some time to consider what you want to do and why has allowed you to be energetically productive, Lesley!

      Love that.

  4. "Sometimes our minds need time to process our realities, even when our reality is obvious to everyone else."

    So true. God bless.

    1. I find it fascinating that other people can often see what's true about us before we are able to discern it, admit it, or accept it for ourselves.

  5. Hi Linda! Though I didn't comment, I loved last week's post, too. Those three questions are still simmering in my heart. I found Emily's videos interesting. And the test said I'm led by my gut/intuition. This surprised me as the church we grew up in made me feel like my intuition isn't important. I have been working on it a lot to trust my God-given intuition and believe He has given me discernment in His Word as well as anyone else instead of thinking I'm wrong and someone else's is better. Love and blessings to you!

    1. I'm so glad you're here today, friend! And it makes me smile that the little self-test confirmed the beauty of how God has shaped you.

      Discernment sometimes seems hard to come by, but in essence, it becomes a beautiful core of who we are as we spend our life in the company of God's wise presence. He whispers what is true, what is needful, what is right, what is possible through His Word and by His Spirit.

      Why am I not a bit surprised that you knew this about yourself all along ...


  6. Emily's advice to Stop Collecting Gurus has spoken to me so many times. It's easy to keep chasing the person who promises solutions, quick-fixes, and all kinds of help. But choosing to press in to God, deep in our spirit, that can feel uncertain. Emily's advice helps me remember how powerful it is.

    1. I appreciate how you put it, Rebecca ...'choosing to press in to God, deep in our spirit.'

      Every other so called 'expert' pales in comparison.

  7. I love the book club concept, Linda. I agree - we do tend to put too much faith in gurus and people with charisma. Sometimes we just need to follow our hearts. The voice we should be listening to is God's voice whispering in our ear.

    1. Yes, people with charisma can't help but capture our attention. But they can be terribly exhausting to be around ...

  8. “sometimes we need someone to remind us to simply be with what's true without trying to change it, fix it, or put a spin on it to make it sound better or worse ...”

    Linda, I have seen you do this for me, over and over. Hey, buddy guru, thanks.

    1. We have offered this gift to each other. Time and again, Carol. Your friendship is sheer gift ...

  9. I also think of Emily Freeman as a mentor. I have been reading her books and following her for years. Her podcast is a favorite of mine and The Next Right Thing book is my favorite book.

    There is so much to glean from the book. We could talk for hours. Her chapter on collecting gurus really caused me to pause and take stock of my own life. I do this and my inbox will testify to this. Ultimately, I collect the gurus and they just take up space. I am not reading or following their wisdom most of the time. So it begs the question-why am I doing this???

    After reading the book, Emily had a 24 day challenge on Instagram to go with each chapter of the book. I really liked this because I spent time going deeper as I prepared my own thoughts each day of the challenge. Thanks for welcoming all into this space. You are a beautiful host.

    1. Oh, you and I could have a field day with this book, yes, Mary? It's hit us both in powerful ways, reached in and touched something vulnerable and real, confirmed what we knew to be right and true, given us plenty of aha moments.

      And it all started back in the day when Emily was a blogger. Hosted the monthly link-up. And then came into her own as one of the most effective podcasters out there.

      Yep, we're fan-girls, in the best definition of the word!


    2. And in this case, I don't mind being a fan girl at all!