I have a secret. Don’t worry, it’s not headlice. 

Today Mel Robbins, the author of a life changing book called the 5 Second Rule, (she is also an ex-lawyer which is what I aspire to be!!) revealed an embarassing secret on her facebook page. She has lice. Her selfie with a box of NIX was shared with 103,000 people! The point she made, was that somebody had headlice and kept it a secret. Silently infecting others along the way, and keeping secrets from people is never fair.

In my case, my secret won’t hurt anyone and it is far from embarassing. Vulnerable maybe, but not at all embarassing.

It isn’t even really a secret. It’s just something I have been working on in secret. I guess that’s a little different. But I don’t think it’s fair to keep it hidden.

I am hand writing the Bible from begining to end. I am halfway through Exodus Chapter 36 of a 1944 printing of the King James bible.

I was going to keep it private for a number of reasons.

First, it’s a big commitment. It would have been cool to finish and have a big reveal when, and if, I got to the end. Like four years from now. I liked that idea. I also was afraid to announce and this then flake out and never finish.

Second, for some reason, I have always been very quiet about my faith, and this project was really just between me and god. Quiet, meaning insecure.
Third, I didn’t want to share the project. I wanted it to be all mine. I didn’t even share it with my husband for a few weeks. I intended to learn God inside-out and not share him with anyone.

But fourth, and ultimately the biggest reason, I was afraid of what people would think. Some of my thoughts, even as writing this were:

“Who am I to talk about anything with the bible?”

“What if people think I am trying to be better at the Bible than them?”

“I don’t have fancy notebooks and I got sloppy with my handwriting. I shouldn’t show this to anyone”

“People will think I am just being flashy or showing off.”

I kept this secret because I have a unique relationship with God that I never talk about. My past is more colorful than many people realize and my struggles are a lot harder than I ever make them out to be, but the one constant in my life has always been God.

I have a faith that guides me daily and I never say much about it. I take way too much credit for the good times in my life, and I show way too much independence during the bad times. I never respond to prayer request posts, I never make them myself, I rarely post scripture, even less so do I quote it.

I got this idea because I wanted to hand write the Michigan Court Rules. Writing slows me down, prevents me from mindlessly scrolling through pages, doesn’t let me skip over the boring parts, and gives me an opportunity to think as I take in the information. Also, I remember things I write down better, so it’s easier to cross reference ideas. I thought that would make me the best lawyer in Michigan real quick. Only, I hate being a lawyer, so why would I want to be the best one?

I don’t know why, but it just struck me that there was another, better book of law out there that I should understand first.

And then I thought, if someone sees me doing this that they might want to do it too. So it’s worth sharing.

It’s rude to keep secrets.

The truth about why I went rogue in my law firm.

The law practice. Old men, suits, cigars, burbon. Fancy watches. Black robes, manilla folders, mahogany desks. Wooden gavels, gold name plates. Leather bound books all in a row. Fat bank accounts and fatter bellies. We all have an image of what a day in the life of a lawyer looks like. At it’s core though, it is prestige, power, and productivity. 

A year ago, I was a real estate attorney with my own law firm. I was also a real estate agent in a company that employed the highest ranked salespeople of multi-family and investment property agents in Michigan. I was on the board of directors for the local rental property owners association. I was also on the board of directors for one of the fastest growing neighborhoods in the area. I was privy to conversations about some of the most coveted neighborhood development plans going on at the time. I was starting to feed my interest in legislation and I was close to meeting some of Michigan’s most successful lobbyists and representatives in the real estate sector.

I had authority, expertise, connections and support. I looked like I was going to be pretty successful. I was in all the right places and there were people who wanted to help me succeed. I was so close to being the picture of “lawyer.” 

But there was this one thing. The burbon drinking, suit wearing, cigar smoking, leatherbound book owning life of a lawyer is just not cut out for me. 

The truth is, I showed up to meetings late and was unprepared. I couldn’t keep my daycare schedule straight and frequently dragged a toddler to board meetings. I had a growing to-do list of un-met obligations and dis-honored promises, and failed daily at the simple tasks normal people can easily be successful with. 

I had trouble remembering where my car keys were and I couldn’t find my phone when it was plugged into the charger on my nightstand. One time I drove halfway to court wearing my husband’s flip flops with my suit and had to turn around and go back home to change. 

Double bookings were a constant problem, small details were repeatedly overlooked, phone calls went unreturned, deadlines slipped by, and it cost me a fortune in terms of money, time, and credibility. 

Simple life skills like showering and putting socks on were hard some days, let alone getting a suit to the dry cleaners. 

I was a frazzled, rumpled, wrinkled mess of chaos, anxiety, depression, and overhwelm. 

The truth about why I went rogue is ADHD. It always shows up where my progress exists and completely destroys my potential. It mimics depression and anxiety, then actually tags them into the race along side itself.  

It starts with small things. A sink full of dirty dishes, a morning of over sleeping, a car with an empty gas tank. It just chips away at me and before I know it there are big things on the table that are mixed in, like forgetting to pay my bar dues. (So I can actually be a lawyer. It’s kind of central to my whole thing I have going on. But, whatevs.) Suddenly, I am laying in bed, all day, frozen, failing, and totally unable to move forward. Spending whole days in bed. Embarassed. Exhausted. Hopeless. For a time I was even highly medicated.  

My brain just doesn’t fit into the box of traditional law. It doesn’t fit into the box of traditional anything, really. I tried. 

The truth is, no matter what I do, I will always have trouble being on time because my brain doesn’t process clocks like other people. I will always struggle meeting deadlines because I don’t see consequences until it’s too late. I will always lose interest in things before I finish them because my attention will change. I will always speak out of turn in court because I have no filters. Traditional law and I just don’t mix.

The truth is, I will spend the rest of my life embarassed, exhausted, and hopeless if I keep trying to change these things about myself. 

I will never fit into a world that was literally not cut out for me. 

So I went rogue. I gave up the fight against ADHD and decided to give into it instead. I am making a life for myself and my family that encompasses joy instead of stress. Going rogue is the only way to do it. 

I will never be a gray haired old man in a suit with a fancy watch, so I threw away the career path that led there, and I went rogue. 

No more deadlines, no more meetings, no more suits. No more shoes if I don’t feel like it. 

Will being a rogue lawyer work? Maybe not. But it has a lot more potential than the alternative. 

I am learning who I am, and what I value, and leaning into that rather than fighting it. I am going rogue. I am embracing the adhd, multi-passionate, chaotic, frazzled mess that I am as a person and turning my priority into joy rather than conformity. 

The truth is, the practice of law will be fine without another fake, desperate conformist in the ranks to becoming an old guy in a suit anyways. 

An Illusion of Fear has a Remedy of Faith

Most of us have never paid attention to our minds. We hear our minds tell us things all the time. Mostly things we can’t, shouldn’t, or aren’t good enough to do. Then the thoughts our minds generate manifest physical sensations. Usually those sensations are related to the feeling of fear. Our human ability to think gives us a unique talent to not only anticipate risk and threat, but to also imagine it and plan for it, which is what puts us at the top of the food chain. That is why you see this image of a spider and the hair on the back of your neck stands up.

That kind of fear makes sense.

But somewhere along the way our minds got a little hyper vigilant and started making us afraid of things that don’t exist. Have you ever felt that pit in your stomach when you want to ask your boss for a day off? Or what about the burning, tingling sensation in your face when you look at your bank account and it’s almost empty? Nothing is going to jump out of a bush and eat your face off or anything, but still, you are terrified.

That kind of fear does not make sense.

It makes no sense, yet your heart is racing, your palms are sweating, your armpits are sweating, your ears are on fire. You are in fight or flight mode. Only, there is nothing to flee from. 

Your mind is sending signals to your body, telling it to produce a reaction of fear. Your body responds with those signals which loop back to your mind, validating the fear. You stand, frozen, in a mode of panic, as a victim to nothing actually, but a really messed up corporate structure going on inside of you.

This is different than a typical corporate structure though, because it turns out, YOU are the owner of this business, and YOU have all the say in what the chain of command will look like.

Eckhart Tolle brings this to perspective in his book, The Power of Now, with a strategy he outlines. This is how it goes: 

Stop thinking.

How?! Thoughts are like rapid fire.

Just close your eyes and try to catch what your next thought will be. Just try to think, “What will my next thought be?” Focus on waiting for your next thought to come so you can catch it. It’s like sitting in a tree stand during deer season. 

It’s HARD!! You have to really get past all of the noise in your head and intentionally create a thought or you will never catch the next thought you have. They just dash around like lightening bugs.

This is a profound type of realization and a seriously powerful way to pray.

The book explains that two things happen when you reach this realization. First, you discover that if you can watch your mind then naturally you must be something separate from it. Second, if you are something separate from your mind, then it, your thoughts, can’t possibly control you. 

The point is, unless a real physical threat exists, all that other junk you are afraid of isn’t real. Your mind is creating a very real reaction to something that doesn’t exist.

You have three options when you are faced with a fear like this:

  • You can listen to your mind, which we just discovered has no idea what it’s doing and is totally living in an imaginary world,
  • You can listen to your body, which is essentially a blob of meat telling your mind things that it already told your body;
  • Or you can listen to your faith and trust that you have been given exactly what you need and are perfectly, comfortably, safe.

 

 

 

Friday? Sunday? Same.

It’s FRRRRIDAAAAAAY! What are your plans for the weekend? I am going to try and sneak away for a bit and design the month of May. I use a lot of different tools, but one of the most profound are tools from Charley Gilkey’s arsenal. I cannot wait to get started! This month is what I was made for! I love my life and my job!

Now forget it’s Friday. Just for a minute. Imagine it’s Sunday night. You just had a great weekend and you’re brushing your teeth, getting ready for bed. If you are like most people you’re looking into the eyes of another five day workweek. The thought of another Monday probably generates a sick feeling of dreadful sadness in you. A chemical reaction to an unhappy thought. If it doesn’t, if you are genuinely happy and can’t wait to get started, then congratulations! You’ve made it. If you know the feeling I’m talking about, then you are not in alignment.

For me, it’s really bad. When I am out of alignment, my body tells me.

The feeling creeps up my back as a heavy, warm, tar-like darkness that I imagine spreading over my shoulders, pressing on my collar bone, putting pressure on the veins in my neck, making it harder and harder to breathe. It’s worse than sadness. It’s more like a grieving process. The grief turns into anger as it spreads up my cheeks getting hotter and hotter, and as it enters my nose and mouth I can’t breathe. I feel like I am being smothered, suffocating under this thick, black, sticky monster called a job. I honestly don’t know how people do it. I tried and I ended up heavily medicated with a diagnosis of adult ADHD in my early thirties. It wasn’t good.

So I quit.                                                                                                                                                   I knew there was more out there for me.

The illusion of fear told me that I would go broke, that I would be judged, that I couldn’t take care of myself. It told me I had to stay miserable if I was going to be happy. How much sense does THAT make?! But I remembered a verse, Matthew 6:26, “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” I have nothing to fear. My only duty is to spread love and the word of love. I have a talent for writing. I have an amazing grandma and a precious daughter. I also have a pretty unique dog and a great story. You have something too. I promise. God doesn’t want me having anxiety attacks because I am trying to pay the light bill. And he doesn’t want that for you either.

So whatever it is, the love inside you, let it out without fear. God has this.

Why am I telling you this?

Because I don’t ever want to feel like that again, so I started writing. That is where bold courage comes into the picture. It’s scary to take control and put yourself out there. But I wanted to share this stuff, because it could help you like it has helped me. And that comes from fearless love.

I want you to know you have power, you have control, and you were designed for freedom. It’s time to find it.

17545232_1468746613149922_3281422560649318131_o