I made an angel food cake from scratch this week. My father in law turned 75 on Wednesday, and we had my in laws over for dinner to celebrate. My mother in law is recuperating from an ongoing respiratory illness- pneumonia with significant asthma complications that earned her a hospital stay.
I had every intention of using a box mix, given the busyness of the week and the limited amount of time I knew I would have to get it done. My MIL had mentioned that my FIL’s mother had often made him angel food cake and that it would be a great choice for his birthday cake.
However…the store I went to for my other errands (one stop shop with the two boys) did NOT have a box mix. Lol. So, we decided to do it from scratch…and D is always up for a baking
We decided to do all the prep work before D went to school that afternoon…mixing the dry ingredients, separating the eggs, watching #AltonBrown ‘s how-to video.
It seemed that once the dry and wet were folded together, there was no turning back…in the pan and into the oven…so I decided to tackle that part of the recipe after I dropped D at school and was back home with a *hopefully* sleeping C!
As I tackled that, in the rare silence that I was enjoying, the phrase “honor the process” kept going through my mind. This was one of those undertakings that I knew there were no shortcuts, no rushing it, no cheating, IF i wanted it to turn out. IF I wanted to see it through beyond doing it for doing it’s sake. IF I wanted this to be a gift from the heart. So rather than worrying about how it would or wouldn’t turn out, I just took it step by step, followed the directions and tips, and didn’t stress about how it would turn out, or if it would be done in time. I decided to enjoy each step, to learn as I went, and honor the process.
How in the world does this tie in to the Master Keys Experience, you might wonder?
Well, in short, I am realizing more and more, to trust and honor the process. To not stress out about not getting every little thing done, to not do the requirements and steps simply to check them off my checklist but to learn as I go. To have this whole 26 week experience (and beyond) be a gift from the heart, TO ME, to my FAMILY. To follow the directions and tips from our leaders and guides and mastermind alliances. To not get caught up in the end result or hard and fast deadlines, but to focus on the steady, consistent progress.
The cake was gorgeous when I took it out of the oven. And though I followed directions, it fell flat shortly after. LOL. But it tasted delicious!!! And it was still a lovely dessert and awesome celebration of this wonderful man’s life and years! We are blessed to have him as a FIL, Dad, Papa.
Happy Birthday, Len. We love you.
This week on the webcast we watched this incredible Ted Talk by Aimee Mullins,
(Aimee Mullins is an American athlete, actress, and fashion model who first became famous for her athletic accomplishments. She was born with a medical condition that resulted in the amputation of both of her lower legs.)
We also highlighted “what is a hero?” So often people might imagine a hero being “not them”, when really, we all have the opportunity to step into that role of being a hero. By the definition below, much of it depends simply on how we choose to handle adversity, and which character traits shine through us time & time again despite our circumstances.
The image above outlines a classic trope we see in storytelling, whether in literature or in tv/movies. It is a formula we know well whether consciously or subconsciously.
According to Wikipedia, In narratology and comparative mythology, the monomyth, or the hero’s journey, is the common template of a broad category of tales that involve a hero who goes on an adventure, and in a decisive crisis wins a victory, and then comes home changed or transformed.
This journey into the unknown this past 18 weeks, to change the #worldwithin, has definite been an adventure for me.
It has required courage to peel back the layers. For once you see the truth and have those “a-ha” moments about yourself, it becomes impossible to unsee them. And then you are faced with a choice, at every juncture. It can be something as seemingly insignificant as creating a new habit of finishing a mundane, household task every week to program the subconscious that “I finish things.”, to those painful realizations of “this is a terribly hurtful pattern I have in how I handle conflict, that needs to stop NOW.”.
The journey has demanded self discipline, creativity, and resourcefulness from me. It has required me cutting through a stack of my excuses, mostly personally but in business too.
There are only 2 months left in this course and I am determined to make the most of the journey and the support from guides and my companions/classmates. No turning back, no easy way out. There is only forward.
Ah, this week. This week has held its own share of victories and challenges. And it has given me glimpses at the bigger picture, the bigger reason, for what I am working for. In the same vein as the Kindness “experiment” from last week, we are working on what has been dubbed the Franklin Makeover…picking a virtue to focus on each week, noticing it, finding ways to contribute to more of it ourselves, etc. I don’t know if there is a proper term for it or not, but this week my focus was on creating space/ holding space. (I love this post explaining more what holding space could mean.)
This included physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually. It even encompasses time. My dear friend Naomi L used the term in a FB messenger conversation with me recently, while my whole family was caught in the crazy web of assorted illnesses, “mental margin”. As in, this mama needs some mental margin. Some head space just to sit and be still and have the room to process and get caught up mentally, instead of the running running running stream of consciousness to do list take a number queue that begins when my eyelids go up and ends, momentarily, when my eyelids close.
Sidenote of AWESOMENESS: I am working on my iPad mini, with a Bluetooth keyboard case. Said case had been dropped ever so gently and accidentally by moi some months back, and several keys in the bottom rows including but not limited to space bar, b, m, v, c, n, f, g, h, worked not at all or very intermittently. My laptop is pushing 9 years old, and stores many important things, and i still use it when I need laptop functionality. But it is NOT speedy to say the least. I need my iPad mini for speed and portability for my business. With the keyboard out of commission, my writing access and opportunities had become more limited. I had been holding off, thinking I would need to just buck up and buy a new keyboard case. I just discovered in the past week that a miracle has happened! ALL the keys are working just fine! I don’t know what changed, but I don’t need to know. I am SO GRATEFUL to have the ability to use a keyboard versus just my hunt and peck on my phone to type entire posts or emails, and my 39 year old eyes are especially thankful for the larger screen on the iPad mini for composing a post. Hallelujah and thank you Jesus!
One of our coursework exercises is that every Thursday, we are to visualize having a conversation with a dear friend, but in that conversation, we are to picture ourselves as our future selves, as when our DMP (definite major purpose, definite chief aim) has already been actualized. And we are telling our dear friend about life, and catching up, per se. The idea is to make it as tangible and real as possible, to get super familiar and acquainted with our future self in our mind, so much so that our current self (subconscious) perceives our future self not as a stranger but as a friend, and in doing so, will go to work that much harder to make that a reality.
In doing so, we “hold space” for our current selves, allowing a gap in all that fills our minds and our days to create a pause, as well as holding space for our future selves. A chance for her to show up, fill the room, become a little bit more real every week. Allowing confidence to grow. Allowing the timid and fuzzy “what if” to be replaced with a clarity of heart and mind so sharp its unthinkable that it won’t become reality.
This week I’ve also been intentionally looking to identify what physical belongings I can let go of and taking action to clear that physical space.
There is more I’d like to add- I dislike leaving my thoughts so unfinished, but I hear my youngest waking up. So maybe I’ll leave this as for Friday night…to be continued….
This week, one of our tasks was to notice kindnesses as well as give kindnesses every day. We were also instructed to share those with our “classmates” in a masterminding forum dedicated solely to sharing these acts of kindness. Last I checked, we were well over 4000!! 4000 ways people went out of their way to be kind to those they crossed paths with or ways they received kindness. Giving & receiving, the ebb & flow.
This week, I felt like I was more on the receiving end. I am so grateful for all the kindnesses shown to me and for the kindnesses I observed. Everything from D cleaning up a water spill that C made, cheerfully and quickly without any thought to the fact that it “wasn’t his mess”, to T making us dinner tonight, to the manager at the kids play area we visited on Wednesday being friendly and seeing if we needed anything. I 100% loved reading all the creative ways people chose to be anonymously kind and give a little something extra to complete strangers. The more I intentionally sought to notice and recognize kindness in many forms, the more I saw, and the easier it became as the week went on. I am excited to continue finding ways to show kindness and receive kindness offered in the coming days & weeks.
“It is a law of nature that you cannot reap without sowing. That’s why it’s so important to give first, before you expect to receive. The compounding, positive result of practicing this principle for many years has now given me an immeasurable return on my investment into people’s lives. People are not only making a difference, but they are also investing in others who are making a difference. I’m seeing season after season of harvest in the lives of others.
This give and take is natural, like breathing. You take in air; you blow it out. You can never just breathe in. Nor can you just breathe out. Both are continually essential. Likewise, we give to others and receive from them. Our lives are to be like a river, not a reservoir.
What we have should flow through us to others. The moment the good things we have to offer begin flowing from ourselves to others, the miracle of intentional significance begins to happen. The more we share, the more we have. The more we have, the more we can give. We don’t hand out significance in little doses over time. We unleash it. That’s how we build a life that matters.” –John C. Maxwell
It been a very intense, fast paced, full few weeks at home, with our extra cold weather, and the holidays.
The last 2 weeks of posts, if I’m honest with myself, were less than satisfying to write. It’s what I had the time/energy resources to simply crank out, a last minute summary of how things were going. Highlights from the course I’d been chewing on. Requirement met. But not nearly as fulfilling and enjoyable to write as those posts in previous weeks that have practically written themselves.
It was a lovely break from school, filled with visits with family, baking projects, lazy pajama days, time playing outside when it wasn’t crazy cold, T getting called in to work a “fair amount”, craft projects, days when the 3 littles had major cabin fever, adjusted nap & bedtime schedules, more dishes & laundry than usual, a trip to the local North Pole, fun movies at home, a lot of illness 😦 towards the end, and a couple home improvement projects.
With the days as full as they were, I had to rely heavily on routine & habits established during the first 14 weeks of MKE to carry me through.
I started gaining more clarity around my DMP and PPNs, somewhat through process of elimination, and somewhat through conversations with other people, and finding inspiration from them.
The Flash Cards have been life savers! They are easy and fast to fit in throughout the day in tiny increments of opportunity, yet the continuity in linking they offer is profound.
The areas I fell behind (like the weekly service, for instance) instead of dwelling on that, I let it go and picked up again when I could rather than beating myself up over it or trying to play “catch up” & giving into overwhelm. I had the a-ha that the service I had chosen for 11/19 was too complex and a “bigger bite” than I really should have committed to, so I’m breaking it down into realistic pieces for success! So freeing!!
Also- my dad gifted both D and A really cool magnifying glasses and A a compass! To my knowledge, he isn’t aware the significance that both of those items have to me relating to MKE. When the kids opened their gifts, my jaw dropped. Integrated reminders and connections that I had no active part in!
I also won a drawing for Blue Tansy essential oil on a friend of mine’s Facebook group. I was not familiar with Blue Tansy at all. Reading this page though, I felt a very tangible buzzing sensation course through my entire body! So exciting! My friend even said she prayed before doing each drawing that God would connect the right person with the oil being drawn for.
This course, the people I’ve connected with through it, the mindset shifts happening…have all been life changing and incredible. I can feel the shift on a daily basis. The change in me is changing my relationships as well, for the better. When I find myself slipping and identify old blueprint type reactions happening, it is easier for me to more quickly identify and “re route”.
Has it been easy so far? No
Has it been worth it? Resoundingly YES!
I’m looking forward to 2018 and 40, and all the good that will be happening between now and December!