Where Conflict Comes From – Learning to Close the Gates

Are you leaving a gate open in your life and allowing negative thoughts and words into your life?  This is how conflict comes in – your open gate could be allowing ideas and desires into your life that differ from what you value and believe to be true.  This creates conflict and this conflict can lead to bullying behavior that you exhibit or allow. I’ve been there. I used to live a file that was filled with open gates.  I would allow anyone’s ideas and needs to be met over mine. I would say things like, “I can make that work”, without even considering the potential consequences of ‘making it work’.  Often, I would end up stressed or inconvenienced because of what I allowed.  

I don’t do that anymore, most of the time.  Everything is a constant work in progress – I’m not perfect.  If you struggle with the “making it work syndrome” as I now call it, then try the two strategies below and see if you get more of what you really want.  See if these strategies help you become more comfortable closing doors and gates in your life that leave you vulnerable to conflict, irrigation, frustration and hurt.  

The 2 Strategies you need in order to avoid open gates:

1. Focus daily on your true intentions. 
What do you really want out of your day today?  What are you trying to accomplish and give to the world around you?  This is NOT a “to do” list of things to check off, but rather a broader thought about what you want to give, not get.  If what you want to give is within you such as your time, your knowledge or other resources, then it requires you protecting it.  When a gate is open that allows conflict and negativity in, it stops you from being focused and steals small bits of your confidence.  This leaves your inner gifts and talents (Awesomeness) depleted.  Think about it like a $100.00 bill.  If you want to give all $100.00 to your biggest priority but right beforehand someone comes along and asks you to buy a hat for $20.00 and you buy it.  Now what? You are now left with only $80.00 to give.  You can give what you have left but deep down, you know that what you really wanted to do was to give the whole $100.00.  This sacrifice, while it may seem small, IS what erodes your confidence in yourself and allows conflict and adversity to come in and take root in your life.  Say, “no thank you, not today”, when the offers come and stay focused on your true intentions.  Once you do, you will find you have room and resources to give even more!

2. Making it work is NOT humility.  
Somewhere along the way “making it work and sacrificing what you need” become conflated (combining two or more texts/ideas into one) with humility.  They are NOT the same thing.  In fact, the humblest of people will understand they are not that important and won’t think too highly of themselves. Still, they still get what they need and still get to be who they are called to be.  If you sacrifice and go along to get along, you may end up resenting the other person or situation and turning into someone you don’t really want to be.  

When I started putting these strategies in place in my life and business, I stopped apologizing when I didn’t mean it and started saying yes to what was most important.  In return, I able to give more time to my faith, my family and my clients by building awesome programs and services to help them solve their most difficult challenges.  

What would you do if you put your true intention into focus?  How would you show humility by bringing all of yourself into every situation you encounter, daily?

Advent – What Do You Anticipate?

It seems that this holiday has been going on since October, and if you’ve been in some stores, you have, indeed, seen holiday decorations up quite early.  Hallmark traditionally celebrates Christmas in July and most stores begin to mingle the holiday goods with Halloween. Selfridges, a major London department store, opened its celebration on July 29th!  That’s 149 days before Christmas.  Wikipedia has a name for this – it is called the Christmas Creep. 

We can easily get lost when we start to ‘anticipate’ 149 days in advance.  Many people start the rush the day after Thanksgiving with Black Friday (so named as it is one of the few times a year that most stores run in the black instead of the red!). The worrying aspect of this is that we can spend weeks or months in great anticipation for a particular day but forget to live in the moment. We can lose sight of that which is important and needs our attention, namely family, loved ones, and our own health and well-being. If we live through a few months every year just anticipating the arrival of Christmas I’m afraid we run the risk of spending up to ¼ of every year focused on ONE day instead of focusing on every day.  

Each day is a gift, and it is unwrapped every morning when we open our eyes. We wake and rise, and instead of running through the day in anticipation of what is to come several days, weeks, or months down the road – how much MORE could we get out of life if we focused on the NOW, the CURRENT, the day that has been gifted to us as TODAY?

John the Baptist begins the Christmas story with his declaration to “Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord!” (Mark 1:3)  He was not telling us to grab the lights and put them up and to start stuffing our shopping bags. His message to us is to take every day and focus on what is important – faith, family, and service to others.  He was reminding us that, although preparation is critical, what is important is the PROCESS of preparing and that process starts TODAY.

May this Advent season be one where you spend every day unwrapping the gift called TODAY, and that your eyes are opened to the wonders and joys around you.  Reach those who need reaching, teach those who need teaching, give to those who are needy, and love everyone. Wake up every day discovering your Awesomeness!! 

Time to Clean My Mac!

Every now and then I’m reminded by my computer to clean the files.  On a PC it’s called defragmenting and disc clean up. On the Mac it’s basically the same thing and I use “clean my mac” to make sure my operating system and my files are updated, the trash is taken out, viruses are shown to the door, and any system junk is removed.  Whenever my computer starts to move a little slow, I run some of these system checks and balances so that I can continue moving through my work day without interruption.  

Here’s the odd thing: it usually takes a few days of frustration and yelling at my computer before I realize that all its doing is asking to be cleaned and sorted.  It will be happy to do its job quickly and efficiently, if I’ll do my part in helping to keep it safe and secure and organized. If you use a mouse, you know what I’m talking about because mouse-users tend to take out their frustration on the poor little mouse! They do take a beating at times, right?!

Wouldn’t it be nice if our bodies and spirits had a ‘clean my life’ option?  Well, it does, you’re just ignoring it.  When we get bogged down and weighed down our vision begins to get a bit blurry.  Our voices can start to get a bit snappy and even our blood pressure can slowly begin to rise.  If we allow these moments to continue to grow, over time, it will really begin to wear us down and will start to show itself in our hardware – we’ll get tired, we lose sleep, our physical strength can weaken, Awesomeness  Stealers creep in, and our immune system starts to break down, allowing viruses to more easily take over.  

Just like our computers and other devices need to be cared for and cleaned, so do we.  When you find yourself slowing down you need to pause and take some time to clean your mind, body, and spirit of any clutter.  System processes should include things like

  • Pushing away from work for a bit
  • Spending time on fun activities instead of only work
  • Spend time with loved ones and people who bring joy to your heart
  • Increase exercise and get to the next level of CrossFit or yoga (or 1st level for starters!)
  • Eat well 
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Get a facial and/or mani-pedi
  • Treat yourself to a massage
  • Go on a date with your significant other (even married couples should still be going on dates with one another!)
  • Spend some intentional time in prayer and scripture
  • Crank the music and dance like no one is watching!!

Don’t forget to do the occasional ‘systems check’ on your body, mind, and spirit.  Maintain these habits and you’ll have a long, successful, system working in your favor!  It’s October, start now and your body will be well prepared for a busy and fun holiday season.

What IS Excellence?

I love this meme! Makes me smile every time!

The definition of excellence is, “the quality of being outstanding or extremely good”.

Excellence is not something that is established and set in stone. It does not magically occur and become something that is a set label.  Excellence is, according to Matt Hann of Hillsong, “…an ever-changing dynamic in both our personal journey and the collective journey of our teams”[1]

When we strive for excellence, we experience true growth. When we strive for mediocrity, we experience stagnation.  When we continually offer up to our Creator the very best we have to give in ALL things that we do, then excellence becomes ACTION and it becomes HABIT.  It changes over time and redefines itself according to our experiences and our mindset.

What is excellence for you? If excellence is not an end, if it is not something to which we can arrive, than how do we achieve it?  Is it a destination or a process?  In Matt Hann’s definition, excellence is absolutely a process and is that not what the entire human experience is supposed to be? 

When we empower ourselves and those around us to make things excellent, we remove our need to examine quality control and we focus more on our actions. 

I want you to strive to be an artist of excellence.  An artist makes a difference. An artist will do something that has never been done before. An artist will dig deep within themselves to find the creative, passionate drive.  An artist will strive to plug us in to the act of making things better.  An artist of excellence is constantly in motion, is constantly changing and adapting, and is constantly striving to exceed the excellence achieved the day before.  Go forth and be excellent!

I would love to hear from you.  What are YOURS plans to achieve awesomeness in 2019.  I’m not talking resolutions – I’m talking about empowering yourself, granting yourself permission to exceed your own expectations!  Head over to the contact page (https://raushawnaprice.com/contact/) and select “I Just Want to Say Hello” and then share with me.  You can also email inquiry@raushawnaprice.com

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[1]https://hillsong.com/collected/blog/2014/11/what-is-excellence/#.W9sE9S2ZPUI