I have a hard time being still. I don’t have ADD or ADHD or Restless Leg Syndrome or any kind of disorder that makes me physically incapable of doing so. I just have a difficult time sitting still for extended periods of time. I’m usually the girl who still pedaling her feet a yoga instructor says “find stillness” in downward dog and the one who can dedicate all of about 60 seconds to corpse pose before she’s wiggling her toes or peeking out of one eye to see if anybody else is peeking.
I don’t know how else to explain it other than to say that there’s something about movement that is medicine to my soul. As far back as I can remember, I have found it easier to talk to and hear from the Lord when I’m moving versus when I’m sitting still in a chair having a dedicated quiet time. In fact, for most of my adult life I’ve asserted that my very best prayer times come when I’m running, walking, or vacuuming my floors. It is during these times that I’m engaged in some sort of useful movement or activity when I am more likely to connect with myself and my Savior in the most meaningful way.
At the beginning of October, I began writing a series of articles about fear. Each week I focused on a different 4-letter word and laid the groundwork for a 4-step process that can be used by anyone who desires to face whatever it is that has them bound in fear. Today I’d like to share with you the fourth and final step–my favorite step!— in the process: MOVE.
In just a moment I’m going to break this down and give you a concrete example of how this whole process looks in practice; but first I’d like to take a moment to clarify what I mean by “move.”
When I say, “move forward,” I don’t mean that you just do something, because doing something is better than doing nothing. I am referring to specific action steps that are practical, intentional, and purposeful. These steps are carefully planned in order to move you from where you are (paralyzed by fear) to where you want to be (moving forward in spite of your fear). Let me be very clear here: I’m not referring to clinically diagnosed phobias or anxiety or other types of disorders. I’m only referring to the fears we all deal with that hold us back from reaching our goals or fulfilling our callings.
So, what does this look like in real life? Here’s an example:
Let’s pretend that I spent all of 2020 eating my feelings about Covid and binge-watching Netflix. I wake up one morning and realize that my yoga pants are cutting off my circulation and I need to lose 10lbs. so I run out and join a gym. Two weeks go by and I do nothing but stare at my gym membership card on the kitchen counter. I really do want to lose the weight, but I’m paralyzed by fear.
So I begin NAMING my fears: I’m afraid I’ll make a fool of myself because I don’t know what half the machines are or what muscles they work. I’m afraid because I don’t know how to choose healthy foods or plan healthy meals; I’ve always just eaten whatever tasted good and never worried about whether or not it was a healthy option. I’m scared to death that people will make fun of me if I lose zero pounds; after all, I announced that I was on this mission with a ‘before’ picture that I posted on all my social media pages. I start to PLAN what time I’m going to go to the gym each day and I lay out my clothes the night before so I see them first thing when I wake up in the morning. I SEEK help by asking a friend to be my accountability partner and to text me each morning and ask me how the gym was. I even google a few quotes and scriptures, write them on pretty colored notecards, and tape them all around my house to help inspire me if I start to lose motivation. And then I start to MOVE forward with specific action steps!! I call the gym and make an appointment with one of the trainers so they can show me how to use the machines and set me up with a workout regimen. I spend 2 hours googling ‘how to eat healthy’ and I start a Pinterest board with recipes that incorporate the ingredients I read about. I create a meal plan, write a grocery list, and I go shopping. I order a fancy workout journal so I can track my progress and jot down notes about exercises and recipes that I like and don’t like to help in my future planning. Each action step is intentionally designed to be a practical way to keep me on track to achieve my desired outcome.
Doing all of these things doesn’t keep me from being afraid, but it keeps me moving forward in spite of my fear. It keeps me focused on my goals instead of being focused on all of the reasons and ways I might not reach them. Each time I show up brave enough to NAME, PLAN, SEEK, and MOVE I able to break free of the fear that keeps me stagnant and hinders my personal, professional, spiritual, mental, and emotional growth.
The famous author and motivational speaker Zig Ziglar once said, “F-E-A-R has 2 meanings: ‘Forget Everything And Run’ or ‘Face Everything And Rise.’ The choice is yours.”
Life is short and it is precious, my friend. I pray that you don’t waste it being bound by fear. I pray that you choose to rise.