• Janelle Bowman

Sunday Vibes: What is your purpose?

#weekendvibes #sundayfunday #reflect #goals #healthy #habits #healthybyhabit #behealthybyhabit #preach #fun #passion

Yesterday I had the super-rare occurrence of a totally free weekend- like no kids, no husband, no scheduled events for one and a half whole days! I had extravagant visions of hunkering down inside, slashing to-do lists, getting a jump on work for upcoming weeks, crushing laundry, ninja-like meal get the deal...But, then a dead car battery on Friday led to us thinking it was time for a vehicle upgrade on Saturday, which then led to me having to visit to the dealership that afternoon...and since I was out, I figured I may as well hit the grocery store...and then “Hey, now maybe I should try to get to church...” I have to admit, though I was accomplishing some necessary tasks, NOTHING I had wanted (or planned) to do was getting done. I just wanted to get home and start knocking out some of MY stuff...but something kept telling me to just go to church- even though I’d been gone all day, and I was probably going to be about 10 minutes late, and still had my groceries in the car. Alas, I listened to the voice...and did the awkward “tiptoe/slide in the side door and slink into a seat hoping no one notices I’m late” walk into church.

Things were moving along as per normal Catholic ritual, when the priest came out from behind the altar to give his homily. He was wearing pink (like NO JOKE bubble gum PINK) dress shoes that I couldn’t help but stare at the entire time. I’m not sure why this struck me so much, as every major sport team, brand, etc. goes “pink” for October, but I soon learned that the fashion statement related to a woman whose message he would share with us. He talked about a woman he recently visited (who was gravely ill with terminal cancer) to provide Annointing of the Sick. This is one of the seven sacraments of the Catholic church, administered to people very sick/close to death. He said that when talking with her she said her biggest fear was not about dying, but that she never accomplished what she was meant to do with her life, or never fulfilled God’s plan for her.

I felt like I was punched in the gut. What an awful feeling to be taking to your death bed...not one of anger at your disease, desire for health, or happiness from a life well-lived...but one of worry, doubt, and regret that you never accomplished what you were meant to. I NEVER want to feel like that, nor would I want that for anyone else. He noted to her how she handled having cancer with such a good attitude- she never complained, or took the “why me” approach; always stayed faithful, thankful, and prayerful. He asked her if she came into contact with people in the past weeks since her health had significantly declined. She responded “yes, about a 1/2 dozen or so visitors.” He also asked if she shared her attitude, faith, and prayer with them, to which she also replied “yes, of course!” “THERE” he told her, “you have spread the message you were intended to share during your lifetime. She didn’t completely buy in that reaching so few people could confirm she met her purpose in life. So, he reassured her that she’d reach at least one more, but (hopefully) many because he was going to share her message with the full church in mass this weekend. And, if even only ONE person was affected, her message and purpose would continue on, and impact others. This put her more at peace- but caused my thoughts to swirl....what if I- the one who wasn’t supposed to be there, who had groceries sitting in the trunk, and crept in 10 minutes late- was the one meant to hear this and carry it on?

I’ve never been one to be overly outspoken when it comes to religion or religious beliefs. I respect that people have all different forms of faith, and that though different, they all somewhat merge around the idea that we as individuals are here for a specific purpose, and that we seek guidance from a higher power to help us find and fill that purpose. I also believe that we can find such guidance from so many different messages, people, events, circumstances, etc. that we experience each day- if we choose to be open and aware of them. While staring at bright pink men’s dress shoes on Saturday evening, I experienced one of these moments, and felt so moved to share that message...and, at the current time, this is my only platform, so you lovely people are the recipients!

Now, I have no plans to hang up my bodyfat calipers and trade my macro calculator for the pulpit, but I just feel so strongly that this message can relate to us on so many levels, and wanted to share this woman's story. Are we so tied up in our busy day to day lists and schedules that we’re totally overlooking all the “good stuff?” I know I’m guilty there so often. Are you struggling and pushing against the grain trying to achieve “things” that at the end of the day won’t provide genuine fulfillment and satisfaction? Do you even know what actually brings you genuine fulfillment and satisfaction? Are we sharing the gifts and talents we’ve been given- do you know and acknowledge what yours are? We ALL have talents- so for anyone mumbling under your breath that you don’ DO...they just may be buried under years of stress, self doubt, family feuds, social media influence, #adulting. I’m challenging you to dig ‘em out, and dust ‘em off and start doing things that bring you joy, happiness, challenge, and satisfaction.

It won’t happen overnight- be easy on yourself and decide to devote a little time each week to doing something that just makes you deep down happy. If it’s been so long that you don’t know where to start- go with the foolproof list! Start jotting down things you like to do, think are fun, want to learn more about, etc. Then choose one way you can take some action toward bringing one or more of those things into your life. I guarantee once you can do this, so many other things like health, fitness, nutrition, family life, work, will fall into place or “click” so much better than before. Then, when you are in that happy place it’ll be so much easier to share it (or figure out how you can share it) with someone else. You need to find your message, your passion, your purpose, and then go forth and share the awesome! NO ONE else has the purpose you have- AND even if you only reach one person, the impact will be long lasting. Keep the faith, and keep seeking guidance and help- it will show up when you least expect it! Those are my Sunday vibes for the week!

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