As we approach a new year, we are all thinking about the possibilities of what's to come. For most, this involves some sort of planning and for others, this can be coupled with a vision board.
While Shekinah's approach to vision setting may not include a board full of photos that represent what she wants to achieve, it does include the intentional seeking of what brings her joy and what God is calling her to do.
Introducing the F.R.E.E.D.O.M. Method.
In this episode we are tackling the first step of the method, F: Free Write and Visualize.
Join us as we prepare for the new year and all the possibilities that await us.
Let's get right into todays' Truths & Promises.
Visit our Podcast page to listen online, Google Podcast Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, or Spotify.
Bloom Where You're Planted: Finding Your Purpose - To read more, click here.
Ephesians 3:20: Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,
Get Caught Up with Episode 5: Building from Heaven Down v. Building from the Ground Up
Clarify Your Vision Before the Vision Board Party - Transcription
Hey, y'all so it's that time of year again. What time of year you might ask. Not the holiday, not the snowy time of year. I mean, it is the holiday time of year. It is the snowy time of year, at least where I am, but it is also the vision board party time of year. It's the time of year that you start seeing everyone pop up with their vision boards or their vision board parties, every December/January, the turn of the new year. We see this whole vision board movement and don't get me wrong, I love a good vision board and I've done my fair share. I don't do them often. I do more of like vision lists. Let's be real. Like I'm not the creative type of person. That's going to cut out pictures from a magazine, make it look real cute on a poster board, and hang up.
I'm very much so a pop-open in my journal, write down a list of things that I want to see happen and like, let's see them happen type thing. But either way, I thought I would jump on this bandwagon of vision boards, quote, unquote, and address something really real. I think sometimes we sit down. I've had this experience where I've sat down at a vision board party, popped open a magazine, and just started cutting out to stuff, and piece my vision together based on what was available in the magazine.
Not necessarily based on, you know, going back to last week's episode, building from heaven down, I've built vision boards that were not based on the vision, the plan, or the purpose that God had for me. And sometimes that was because I was at a vision board party and like, who really cares, and the other piece of that was that something I've felt very unclear about what my purpose or what the vision is for my life. And last year around December 2020, I felt this way. I wasn't the only one, you know, Bonnet Prayer Gang, and I, Johnna and Tsciena, we were meeting together and praying together consistently. And this is something that we all experience. This, what are we supposed, to be doing this desire for freedom beyond what we were stuck in all of 2020. Freedom to be outside freedom, to be clear on our purpose and our vision. And so while praying and connecting continuously, God gave me this idea. He just kind of downloaded this and it's called "The F.R.E.E.D.O.M. Method." So over the next three podcasts episodes, I plan to share with you all "The F.R.E.E.D.O.M. Method."
I want to call this a tried and true method because it wasn't just me who's used this in this past year. But it was also the Bonnet Prayer Gang and others who joined this pop-up Facebook group that I had at one point that was called, quote-unquote, Own Your year. It is now called Own Your Journey because the journey is much longer than a year.
But it's the same idea of this F.R.E.E.D.O.M. Method and The F.R.E.E.D.O.M. Method actually starts with finding your purpose. And it starts with this diagram called bloom where you're planted. Okay. We've all heard of the importance of blooming where you're planted, embracing the season that you're in, and leaning in to everything that God has called you to be just become the flower you've been called to be in the place that you're in. Even if you are a rose growing in the crack of a concrete wall, be in that place, and bloom in that place. But what if you don't know where your planted or what if you don't even know what you're blooming into?
This means that we're not clear on our purpose. A lot of times we talk about having visions and making vision boards, but what good is a vision without a place to go. And this place that we're going is called our purpose. I like to use this diagram of a flower and I've posted this in the past, on the 1140 blog. And of course, we'll post again in the show notes and link to that blog. But, this idea of blooming where you're planted is the kind of came to me and this flower diagram, I kind of went back to like fifth-grade science and thought about the seeds and the roots and the shoots and the flower. And then, you know how, when we talk about blooming where you're planted, it's all about this beautiful flower and how you have to stop and smell the roses and take in the beauty of it.
Well, when I posted that at one point on Facebook, someone reminded me that really the flower is just the precursor for the fruit that is supposed to come. So we get real distracted by the flower, but really what we're trying to get to is the fruit. So if you walk through this diagram with me, it starts with the seed.
The seed is our values. Okay. The seed is what you believe in, it's what's helped you to start this journey called life. It's what keeps you going. What is at the core of how you live your life? What's at the core of what you believe in? From the seed, everything else is birthed. The seed represents the values that you hold near and dear that you don't let go, that are always in forever your foundation.
So ask yourself, what are those values? What are your standards, your beliefs, your value system? For me, my seed, of course, I mean, as evidence of the name of this podcast, the Truths and Promises podcasts. The seed for me is the Word of God. It's Jesus. It's my Father, his Holy Spirit, my Keeper, my Comforter, my Protector don't let me start preaching right now.
And I also don't want to be overly religious, but that is truly my foundation. That's my seed. From there come my values of honesty and kindness, and love, of patients, of loyalty that's a big one maybe I should have said that one first, loyalty, of serving in bridging of authenticity, of boldness of determination.
These are the values that I identified when I took some time to really think through what my seed is. Then there is sort of your standards. What are your standards? My standards are excellence in detailed execution. If you've ever been a part of any one of the 1140 conferences you most likely saw, very detailed execution.
I can get into the nitty-gritty details of any and everything. The details are actually my happy place. So that is something that's a standard that I hold. That's something that I value when I asked myself what are my beliefs. One of my beliefs is simply to do unto others as you like them to do unto you, and then God makes up for the rest. So that right there, that's my seed. From the seed comes your roots and shoots. The roots and shoots, represent who we are. Your roots and shoots keep you anchored and are a product of your foundation. The first thing that the seed produces are the roots, the stronger your roots, then the stronger you are.
I always say the who behind what you do is the most important part, because it's the beginning of everything that you do. It holds everything else up. So who are you? Why do you make the choices that you make? Why do you live the way that you do? What keeps you going? What experiences have you had that root you in who you are? What experiences have caused you to grow?
For me, when I think about who I am, it always starts as I am a young Black Christian woman. Now I've heard some people say Christian should become come before Black, debate me. Okay. We can have another conversation about that. That's a whole nother podcast, but I'm a young Black Christian woman who loves people and fixing problems.
I'm a problem solver, by nature. I make choices based on the voice and peace of God in alignment with what I feel my purpose is. My commitment to people and my calling is what keeps me going. There are experiences in life that root me and who I am. A part of those experiences have been the time that I've spent with my grandparents, hello, the reason I choose long-term care research today. Some of my experience come from 1140 and the time that I spend leading other youth and young adults. Some of my experiences have been the words that have been prophesied to me. Those also helped to make me who I am. If you go back and you listen to I think it's episode two on Ephesians 3 and 20 type favor that gives you the testimony of the words, the prophecy that was spoken to me, that kept me going all the way through my Ph.D., up until now. So all of these experiences helped to root me and who I am as a minister, as a coach, as a teacher, as a professor. And I will say, I feel the most complete, I feel the happiest, I feel the most connected to who I am when I'm helping others succeed, achieve and grow.
So after your roots and shoots, come your flower. Okay. The flower is the thing that most people are attracted to. That is the what we do. The flower is one of the first things that we notice about a plant when we look at it, it's what attracts us to that plant. It's what also, I like this part, it's what spreads all of the good parts of the seed around. Okay. If you didn't know, the flower is the sex organ of the plant. So, from the flower comes pollen that goes and pollinates other flowers. So this is sort of the contagious part, right? This is how we spread out and get to know people and connect.
This is the what we do. So for this one, to understand what your flower is, I want you to ask yourself what lights you up? What physical, visible, tangible activities do you do that open you up and allow you to enter into what we call your flow state, that place where nothing can touch you, nothing can distract you. You are in your zone. What are you doing when you feel most connected to your seeds, your roots, and your shoots? What do people come to you for help with? What did you enjoy doing as a child? So what we do today is something that kind of takes us back. It's always been at the core of who we are. So that's, once again, connecting you back to your roots and shoots. What don't you mind losing sleepover? What activities keep you up at night? Again, this flower is what attracts people to you. It's what you do. It's what we do. That's what our flower is. For me, of course, my flower is being a researcher, a thought leader. Okay. That's my nine to five. That's what pays my bills. I also enjoy being an organizer, a strategist, a coach.
Funny story. I guess when I was a kid, I told my mom that I wanted to be a professional organizer. And I wanted to just go to people's houses and organize their pantries and their closets and all those things. And she was like "child, that is not a job." Turns out, it is a job. I had no idea it was a job, but it's actually a job. And in 2020, somewhere around June 2020, I'm going to guess. I started doing this productivity coaching and strategy, helping folks get organized with their thoughts, their ideas, all of the many hustles that they have. So that was something that I did. Okay. I'm not really a productivity strategist anymore, just because I feel like I kind of grew out of that phase.
So understand that your flower can look different from season to season. What you do may change with time. I think that during that time that I was a productivity strategist, a lot of people around me needed that. Okay. They were pulling on that gift that I had. That's what other people were coming to me for help with. And so I was able to fill that gap. Once we kind of got out of that season of the 2020 slump, I started moving on to other things. I started focusing more on my research. That's what enabled me to land the job that I'm at now. And so, you know, it's also important to recognize that your flower, as I said, may look different from season to season and that's okay.
So in this season, what do you do? What does your flower look like? And if you compare it across seasons, I'm sure you will find a lot of overlap. Why? Because the flower is, again, is only the precursor to the fruit. So even though people are attracted to us because of what we do or because of our flower, what we ultimately want them to experience is our fruit.
Okay. So your fruit is the same as your vision or as your purpose. We spend so much time thinking about the beauty of the flower that sometimes we forget that the flower is only the precursor to the fruit. The fruit is the ultimate destination. The fruit represents your purpose. Okay, this is the reason you have a vision. This is the reason you have this foundation. You are who you are, your roots, and your shoots. You do what you do, your flower so that people can get the fruit. And the scripture says they will know you by your fruit. So what impact do you want to have? What do you believe your purpose is? This fruit that we're talking about then produces life-changing seeds.
So even though the flower can go and pollinate other flowers, you know, via a bee or something, or the wind, if we want to get scientific about it. The fruit is what holds the seeds and these seeds are what create legacies. They are what plant new foundations for others. Okay. So the seeds that you produce through your fruit become someone else's seeds that they're able to plant and model their values, their standards, and their beliefs after, and then they too will produce a flower and fruit, right. They too will fulfill their purpose. So for me, my fruit and what God has shared with me and what I am still connected to is to simply be a bridge between people and things. I had a high school teacher who said, "never used the word things." So I just want to clarify what I mean by things. I mean, ideas, and I mean faith. I like to connect people to one, another to other people, I like to connect people and sort of being that bridge between how you live out your spiritual walk and your faith, and who you are on a day-to-day basis and what you do. I like to connect people to ideas, whether that's resources that they need or businesses they want to build.
And I believe that's my purpose in life. I mean, I do that in every single thing that I do. Whatever my flower might be for the season, I can guarantee you that I'm either connecting people or connecting people to things, whether they're ideas, businesses, faith, what have you. So that's the first part of The F.R.E.E.D.O.M. Method.
Now that might take you a little bit to get through. You want to really sit down, just have some quiet time to go through the seed, which are your values, your roots, and your shoots, which is simply who you are, your flower, that's what you do, whatever it might be in this season and your fruit. Okay. All of those things are going to help bring you closer to what's your purpose.
And again, this is so important because a vision without anywhere to go is the same thing as lacking purpose. So vision, without an understanding of purpose, is just empty pictures cut out of a magazine, pasted on a vision board. Okay. And that is going to get you nowhere.
So the next part of The F.R.E.E.D.O.M. Method, let me just break it down to you really quickly.
The reason it's called F.R.E.E.D.O.M. Is because as I said, we were praying for freedom and every area of our life. And then what happened was it turned into an acronym. So this F.R.E.E.D.O.M. stands for the F is free-write and visualize. The R is reflect on where you've been. The E is evaluate who, where you are. The second E is embrace you. The D is decide what kind of year you will have. The O is for optimize your goals. And then lastly, the M is for make it happen. So we're going to walk through each of these letters today. We're going to focus on F which is for free write and visualize. I hope you all are ready. I'm going to try to go through this pretty quick, quickly, but please feel free to come back and listen to this as you're doing the work that goes along with this. Again, this is not a feel-good method I'm going to talk to you and empower you and tell you, you can take 2022 by storm. No, this is a let's get real and do the work that needs to be done to get clear on what our goals are and to be clear about what God has called us to do. Again, before you even do any of this, I encourage you to listen to the episode called Building From Heaven Down versus Building from the Ground up because this right here is rooted in building from heaven down. You can sit down and try to manage. All the visions goals and ideas that you have, but unless those visions, goals, and ideas are powered by God, they will never reach their full potential. Okay. And they might be even more frustrating than they're actually worth. So let's get into this. Free-write and visualize.
What is it that you want for yourself? What are your biggest dreams, I'm talking, if money, energy, time, resources, if those weren't a factor, what would you be doing? What visions do you have that you still want to accomplish? I want you to give yourself permission to dream, dream, dream. Imagine, imagine, imagine, to your heart's content.
Let me tell you right here. The secret is Ephesians 3 and 20. Okay. When I tell you that I have a big imagination, and if the scripture says that God can do exceedingly, abundantly above that big imagination, I just make it bigger and bigger every time, because I just expect God to go even greater and greater.
So this is not the step of the process where you need your goals, your visions, your dreams to be actionable. So think as big as you like, and I can tell you that some of you will get to the place where you want to say, okay, this is my dream, and step one through seven, this is how I'm going to get there. That is not this part of the process. It is coming, but that is not today. So please do not try to make that be today. Okay. So for this free write, I want you to think what could be done, again, if energy, time, and resources weren't an issue. So for this, there's a little bit of work that you have to do, there are sort of two segments to this work.
The first piece of the work is to take each of those visions, goals, and dreams and give them their own sticky note. Some people are going to like the sticky note method. Okay. I want you to grab a wall, a whiteboard. You can go online and do a jam board through Google. And so you're going to give each of these visions or dreams their on sticky note, and then we're going to stick them to different places on the wall or the jam board or your notebook, whatever it might be.
And then there are also some people who don't want the sticky note version and they just want to do bulleted lists. And that is totally fine. It depends on the type of day for me. I could do either. So I invite you to do either. All right. So make your list, your free write list. Once you've done that, then I want you to give again, each of these dreams, visions, and goals, its own sticky know its own line, whatever it might be.
And then you're going to separate these dreams, visions, and goals into piles, or categories, in three different. The first way it's going to be logically. The second is going to be emotionally. And then the third is going to be in terms of willpower.
So the first part of this is to do it logically, and this can be very fluid. Okay. This can be logically, according to six months from now, five years from now, three weeks from now, like whatever makes sense for the goals, the dreams, and the visions that you have right in front of you. But you're going to ask this question and you're going to create essentially two categories. And like I said, you can break these categories up, however, you see fit.
But the first category is what can be done right now. This is to say you have the time, energy, finances, and resources to pursue this vision, our goal right now, this moment. And then the second category is what can't be done right now. Then I want you to break this down. Okay. Go ahead. Take a picture of that scrap that, bring all your sticky notes back into a pile, or restart your bulleted lists and then I want you to think about it emotionally. And you're going to ask again to groups which visions, goals, or dreams are you most excited about? I want you to take the time to imagine it. Okay. What would it be like to go after this dream right now? Envision yourself and the work that it would take to pursue that dream.
How does that make you feel again? Let your imagination run away. That's what I'm all about today. Okay. And then the second pile is going to be which visions, goals, and dreams are you least excited about. Maybe try a scale for sort of high priority to lowest priority or highest excitement to lowest excitement.
And then the third time you're going to do this, you're going to do it based on willpower. And for this one you're going to have to be brutally honest with yourself, like, I mean, you got to keep it realer than you've ever kept it with yourself. And you're going to ask which visions, goals, or dreams are you most willing to do the work for right now? And then your second category is going to be, which of these are you least willing to do the work for right now? And this is when things become real. All right. At one point when I did this back in 2020, I have podcasting at the top of my list. And then by the time I got to willpower, it had completely fallen off. Why? Because I just didn't have the willpower back then to say, okay, I'm going to sit down, record, edit upload to the podcast. There were so many learning curves that I had to go through in order to get this podcast here. And so that kind of fell off because I just didn't have the willpower.
Now the last piece of this work is called stacking and subbing. Okay. So stacking works this way. You take your goals and you look at them and you say, what goals are dependent on one another or another thing getting done. And then you stack those sticky notes or you stack those bullets on top of one another. And then the next piece of this is subbing. So you, again, you're looking at your sticky notes, you're looking at your bulleted list. And then you say, how can some of these big visions goals, dreams, how can they be broken down into smaller goals? So for example, maybe you have the goal of writing a book. But writing a book is a lot of work. Okay. So instead, maybe you say, you know what, I'll start blogging. And if I can get the momentum of one blog a week before I know it, I will be able to write a book or maybe you have the vision to start a vlog.
But vlogging is also in for those who don't know, vlogging is video blogging. Vlogging can also be a lot of work, but maybe you decide to start with Facebook stories or Instagram stories. So it just depends on what your larger goal is. You can start thinking about how can I break this big goal into little goals that I can achieve tomorrow or today that might take less willpower.
Okay. So for me, one of the things was podcasting and whew, this has been a journey getting here, but one of the things I was able to do before I started podcasting was simply recording my blogs. So I would write the blog and then I would read the blog into the recorder and that was sort of my soft start to podcasting.
All right. So that's it for this week's work. I'll be sure to add the outline for this week's work to the show notes. Again, this week's work is both bloom where you're planted. So you want to go through that. What's my seed? What are my roots in my shoots? What is my flower? And then what do I think my fruit is?
What is God leading me to believe my purpose and my vision is. And then you're going to do the first part of the F.R.E.E.D.O.M. Method, which is to free write and visualize. And I want y'all to go crazy with this. Okay. Go as crazy as you want with it. The first part of the work again is to break those visions down logically, emotionally, and then according to willpower.
And then the second part of the work is to start stacking and subbing to figure out what goals and visions lead to one another or what can I replace some of these goals with that are easier on my willpower, that makes me more excited, or that just logically make more sense to do. All right. I hope that this podcast has been helpful.
I'm looking forward to helping you all prepare for the next year. If you want more detailed support, please join the Own Your Journey Facebook group. I'll be doing one-on-ones to help people go through this process. So looking forward to meeting y'all there, have a good one.
As always I'm so happy that y'all could take a listen to today's episode of the Truths and Promises podcast.
If you want to connect with me or 1140 Glory, go on over to 1140, eleven40glory.com, there you can find show notes under our blog section, sign up for our email list or join our online community. If this has blessed you, or if you have topics that you want covered, let us know in the comments of the blog. And lastly, if you got anything, something, no matter how big or how small from today's episode, then be sure to share it with one of your friends and one of your family members.