Conferences inspire me toward excellence. I enjoy the environment of fellowship and encouragement at career, faith-centered, or women’s events. My mind hungers to glean wisdom and fill its voracious appetite for learning. The ultimate goal of attendance, however, lies in the application. I must seize and implement the content to optimize my potential.
Upon returning from the Florida Christian Writers Conference in March, I accepted a challenge levied from its courses. I endeavored to write a certain word count each day. I selected a reasonable level, but one much higher than I’d accomplished before setting my standard. I adjusted to the workload and fell into a schedule.
As the month closed, I embraced exciting new opportunities. My amazing new agent negotiated a three-book contract. She also suggested I finish an additional, unrelated book concept I had worked on last year. By the end of the next month. I agreed to bring it near completion, unable to find my manuscript to check the existing word count until after our call ended. Oh my. I had barely begun.
I doubled my word count commitment for April. Editing, blog posts, and speaking events required writing in addition to my daily goal on the new novel. Internet activities also demand time, and prove necessary to an author and life coach. I spend hours gazing into blue wavelengths to complete my tasks. My chin often strains forward as I squint at the computer screen. In order to maintain a healthy spine, I need to rise from my desk every couple of hours.
Professionals recommended a specific exercise to treat my stiff neck muscles. Pressing clasped fingers at the back of my skull, I flap my elbows aside like wings. I raise my chin and focus upward. As I push my head into the stretch, muscles realign and tension eases. I must reorient often to enable myself for effective work.
In the throes of our daily and weekly efforts, we all need to set aside moments of revitalization. Just as the body requires exercise and nurture to maintain health, the soul also aches under stasis. A healthy mind and spirit depend upon frequent revitalization. The demands of daily life can strain our souls and leech the spark from living if we do not align ourselves to focus upward.
1. Clasp your hands behind your head.
Set aside human striving for a moment. Submit to an attitude of humility and adopt a disposition receptive to grace’s wonderful blessings.
2. Flap your elbows aside like wings.
Allow faith and hope to press your attention broader, to consider a heavenly perspective.
3. Raise your chin.
Recognize the presence of God. Soak in His Holy Spirit, to strengthen your soul with peace and revitalization. Invite the Lord to settle you still or equip you to move forward.
4. Focus up.
Orient each day’s activities toward divine purpose and keep your eyes filled with gratitude.
Our reason for living must extend beyond ourselves. But it’s easy to get caught up in the busyness of daily work, even if we’re doing it to benefit others. To maintain the most vital part of our well being, we must take time to align our spirits with the source of eternal life. We need to stretch our hearts, minds, and souls toward God. And not just as a couple of unweighted and ritualistic bookends toppling at our schedule’s margins.
Will you join me in taking frequent moments throughout each day to focus up? Please enhance the potential of community support by sharing your commitments and progress with us. I look forward to hearing from you.