Joy Wins Blog: Notes from the desk of Sword of Joy founder, Tina Joy Cochran
It happens in the dark.
It happens in the quiet of 3am.
No one sees....
No one hears....
The mask becomes too heavy to hold anymore
Fear escapes from its cage of “I’m fine”
Everyone is asleep
No one sees, No one knows, No one hears
As Her heart asks the question …
Would anyone stay if they knew I could break?
In my over 9 years as a health coach I have spent a lot of time thinking about food, cravings and why we eat the way we do. Over and over I watch clients, and myself, make food choices that are not only unhealthy but actually destructive.
What lies have we learned about food that make us operate this way?
It comes down to 3 major lies we believe:
1) Food is Love –– we give gifts of food to people we love, we celebrate with food to show how proud we are… what do we do when we want to feel closer to our spouse or family? We go out to eat!
2) Food is Energy –-our lives are designed to suck the energy from us. We over schedule, over commit, then spend our days running at breakneck speed to keep up. We get tired, exhausted and then we grab the nearest food to help us keep going.
3) Food will bring peace — we have a fight with our spouse, boss, children or coworker. We feel stressed out, or the pain of loss, and defeat, our heart cries out for comfort….what do we do? We reach for the creamy, salty or sweet, of our favorite “treat” and drown the pain until it stops.
We believed these things since we were kids we’ve practiced this for so long that it has become automatic and unconscious.
The food industry preys on us to sell more and more and they use these lies to do it. It works! They make billions of dollars each year and as Americans we are actually eating ourselves to death. It’s the worst form of sabotage and our kids are victims too.
BUT… there’s a dirty little secret they don’t want us to find out. When we discover this secret and replace the lies with this truth we get our lives back. We get our health back, we get our bodies back and we take control. When we know this and let it become part of our unconscious, life becomes amazing and everything we want it to be.
It’s so simple we miss it……
The truth is …..
FOOD IS TEMPORARY.…….
Let’s be real. Food goes in our mouths, through our bodies and out the other end. It NEVER lasts for long. We are trying to use something that is temporary to fix a problem that requires something permanent.
It will NEVER work. In fact, it will make the problem worse.
To be loved is a desire we are born with, we all have an inborn desire to know we are loveable and feel a sense of love and caring. This permanent need can not be filled with a temporary solution.
It’s like trying to fix a flat tire with duct tape. It might hold for a while and solve the immediate pain but sooner or later we will have a blow out. At that point we will not only have a much bigger problem on our hands but it will cost more and take longer to fix than if we had actually made the right choice in the first place.
Nice ideas Tina but what do we do? How do we function in this world that is designed to teach us that temporary solutions solve permanent problems? We can’t just “opt out” of eating and life can we?
No we can’t just quit. But we CAN take control of our choices. We can stop the madness and instead of reaching for the food take a minute to ask “what am I really trying to do?” “What do I really need?”
If what you need is love, maybe it’s time to learn where unlimited love comes from:
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. – John 3:16 (NIV)
If what you need is energy, maybe it’s time to slow down and recharge with the source of all energy:
but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. – Isaiah 40:31 (NIV)
If what you need is peace, the truth is there is one who has that gift waiting for you:
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. – John 14:27 (NIV)
The first step is to STOP before the food goes in your mouth and ask the question.
Will you try it just for a day? Let me know what you find out.
As a weight loss coach and “obesity survivor” people are always asking me how I found the motivation and will power to lose over 100lbs and keep it off.
I’ve been thinking a lot about that lately and what it takes to stay “motivated” in this life. Often we think of motivation as something that we find or get or have given to us by the latest speaker or “self help expert”. I think we’ve gotten it wrong and that’s why our version of motivation doesn’t seem to last.
The dictionary defines motivation as: “the condition of being motivated” — well that’s really helpful now isn’t it?
So what does it mean to be motivated? Here’s the definition: “to provide with a motive” — still not much help huh?
Let’s take it one step more… what is a motive? A motive is defined as “something (as a need or desire) that causes a person to act“. NOW we’re getting someplace!
When you dig down to the bottom of it, motivation can not come from anyone else or be given to you. The root of motivation is “a need or desire”… therefore it comes from within us and is different for every person.
So how do you find motivation to keep going?
I believe the first step in finding and keeping motivation is to make a commitment to actually LIVE your life.
The truth is we don’t really have much of a choice about moving forward in this life. God has numbered our days here on earth and no matter what we do the sun will come up tomorrow and you will have to face another day. So take “checking out of life” off the table. You can’t quit on your life, if you could then you wouldn’t be sitting there reading this post.
Start today and take “quit” off the table as an option. Sometimes it stinks and sometimes you’ll hate it and it will hurt but there really isn’t another option. God has you in the palm of his hand and the fact that you are still breathing today means he’s has a reason for you to be here.
Motivation isn’t fun or easy, sometimes it’s just holding tightly to God’s hand and putting one foot in front of the other. When you realize that quitting is not really an option there’s only one place to go…. forward.
The good news is that we have a direct line to the one who knows the end of the story and he is with us yesterday, today and tomorrow.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. - Jeremiah 29:11
I am a marketer. I go by many names, direct seller, work at home mom, solopreneur, entrepreneur, business owner, networker…. bottom line: I make a living with my own business.
I got started because I BELIEVED….. I believed that my idea could make a better life; for me, for my family and for others.
I keep going because I have HOPE…. hope that tomorrow I will meet someone I can help. Hope that the work I did yesterday will bring results. Hope for a brighter future.
I wake up in the middle of the night. With WORRIES about quotas and bills, thinking about you, my customer, and wondering if I could have done more for you.
I get up early and stay up late… learning, stretching, GROWING, trying to discover how to make things better. Working harder than I ever did for a boss.
I LEARN… about “multi-tasking” and “getting out of my comfort zone”…. I balance a phone on one ear, stir dinner with one hand and post to Facebook with the other.
I study… I learn a new language, words like; marketing, taxes, quota, networking, upline, downline, ROI, target market, MLM, WAHM, optimization, and BNI become part of my vocabulary. My family and close friends don’t always understand.
I CRY… I hurt… when I can’t fit it all in, when the my closest friends say what I do is “a scam”, or buy from someone else. When I’ve done my best and it’s not good enough and the goals I’ve been told I must set aren’t met.
I LAUGH… I rejoice… when things work, when what I’ve dreamed seems right around the corner. When my “team” and my “customers” are happy and see the value in my product, service and business. When everything I’ve been dreaming for seems possible.
I get TIRED… I have no “paid” vacation or sick days. Every day it’s up to me to keep things moving forward. I forget to rest….
I SMILE… When you cancel your order and that means I don’t get paid this month. I remind myself that it isn’t about me, it’s about the customer and the value I can bring to them. I take every bit of energy and “make something positive” out of the situation and “learn something” from it.
I LOVE…. I love my family, my kids and the time I get to spend with them now that I control my schedule. I love my life and wouldn’t change it for the world.
Can you relate? I want to hear from you! Comment below and share your story
CRASH! My heart stopped and I found I was holding my breath…. the pieces of the glass seemed to be everywhere. For a long time I just stood there looking at it.
How could I be so stupid !?! Why wasn’t I more careful? Now the precious dish I had been holding on to so tightly was gone….
There was nothing of value left, just a big mess I needed to clean up and I would have to do it VERY carefully so I didn’t get hurt.
Wait, was I hurt already? I carefully examined my hands. Only one small cut, hardly a need for a bandage. And yet I found myself still standing there with all my focus on that cut. The more I looked at it the more it seemed to hurt.
That’s when the “what ifs” started. What if I got hurt more by trying to pick up the pieces? What if someone else came in right now and they got hurt? What if I didn’t find all the pieces? What if they found out I had broken what they gave me? What if things were never right again?
So I stood there… frozen, crying and shaking, stuck in the brokenness of my own making.
Quietly, my husband walked into the room holding a broom and dustpan. Gently he held me till the crying stopped and I started breathing again. He placed a bandage on my finger and guided me to a soft chair. Then he returned to the mess.
As he bent to pick up the biggest pieces I realized that nothing would ever be the same again for the dish. It could never go back to being what it was, BUT maybe the pieces that remained could be used to create something new, perhaps even something beautiful.
That is what God wants to do with us. He wants to take our broken mess and create something beautiful from it. The truth is, he knows. Before we were even born he knew exactly how broken we would become.
He has a masterpiece design in mind and we are a part of it. But so often when we find ourselves in that broken place we stay there, frozen by the pain, “what ifs”, fear and overwhelm. The shock of seeing what we held so dear destroyed is too much for our human heart and mind to bear.
Quietly he whispers… “My ways are not your ways”… “I know the plans I have for you and they are good”… “I came that you may have and enjoy your life”…
Gently he holds us, bandages our wounds and guides us to a place of comfort and safety.
Then he clears the mess. He keeps the broken pieces that fit in his masterpiece and discards the rest. With loving care and his awesome power he fits those remaining pieces into an amazing beautiful place that he designed just for us.
All we have to do is be willing to listen, lean, and let him….
There’s a dark side to owning a business. The one most entrepreneurs will never share. There’s a weight that greets us every morning, a screaming in our minds that drives us to work harder and longer than ever before. It’s the reason most quit and the reason we start a businesses in the first place.
Every minute of every day, we live with a deep passion to make a difference, to create something that has an impact on the world to help, to inspire, to change the lives of those we love. We have a hope to leave this world better than we found it. So we start our business with the question… “What if?”
What if my idea is something important?
What if this business will give me all I dream?
What if things can really change?
“What if” drives us out of our comfort zone and into the world of start-up, funding, sales and networking… things that scare and excite us at the same time. We launch into the deep with fanfare, grand openings and ribbon cuttings. Our smiles sparkle in endless pictures, posts and emails.
Then reality sets in and “What if” turns dark and cold.
What if this doesn’t work?
What if I was wrong?
What if I can’t do it?
And then the one that surprises and scares us the most…
What if this grows bigger than I ever imagined?
Suddenly the business we love, the one that brought us so much excitement, becomes a stone, or worse, a noose that chokes and binds. We find ourselves standing, with a tight chest, fighting back tears at the crossroads of decision.
Commit or Quit?
The question taunts and tears at our hope until we can’t sleep, think or talk about anything else. Our family and friends start using words like “obsession” and “workaholic” which only chokes more.
Over and over, day after day… “What if?”… “Commit or Quit”… greet us in the morning and go to bed with us at night. It will only stop when we find the secret to the success we crave. Some of us never do and quit. Living with “What if” for the rest of their lives.
Some of us find a secret to success that changes everything.
The weapon that wins this battle is joy. Not a feeling, a relationship that brings a peace beyond understanding. Joy is the secret weapon of successful entrepreneurs. When we unleash joy our businesses and our lives begin to grow and thrive.
How do we find it? By answering “What if” with “Go ask Jesus”. When we allow Jesus to be our business partner he takes care of every “What if”, all we have to do is release to him. It sounds simple but its true. I’ve lived it and walk this road every day, trust me, the road is narrow but it’s worth it.
If you are standing at the crossroads of “commit of quit” today, my challenge to you is this. Choose commit. Not to the business, but to Jesus as your CEO. Let him send “What if” packing. When you do joy will be will be yours and you will discover peace you can only imagine.
I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. - John 14:27
All my life I’ve been told, “You have to make a plan”, “You have to have goals”, “You need to live up to your potential”…….
It’s a lie……
Life is not about goals, the long term plan, my potential, or a vision board of the future. Life is about being. All the stuff we hear that tells us to set SMART goals and then work towards those goals as the source of success is wrong. BUT.. That doesn’t mean we sit around and let life happen to us either. We have to prepare.
You see, the truth is God has a plan for each and every one of us. (For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. – Jeremiah 29:11 NIV) So the plans WE make are really useless. God is ultimately going to win in this world, whether we believe it or not. His plan is done. It was done the day Jesus said “It is finished”(John 19:30). So why are we trying to change it?
BUT what about our free will? We do have a will and a mind of our own. We can rebel and go our own way. We TRY to live our own plans and build our own potential and success. We can try and for a time it seems like it’s working. In the long run it won’t work.
It’s really about preparing. Our job is to prepare to receive the blessing and plan God has for us. Our job is to listen, to study to grow and to prepare so that God’s plan can be worked out in us. We need to focus on getting to know God and build a relationship with him so we can be prepared for every twist and turn in his plan. By keeping a focus on him we develop a “listening ear” that makes us sensitive to his guidance. He’s the one with the plan anyway, why not listen to him?
Preparing to receive is the most difficult thing I have ever done in my life. It often feels backwards to everything I’ve been taught about the path to success and happiness in this world.
It’s time for me to face the truth. Time to “come clean” and finally admit it.
I am a UNIQUE and I like it.
I have spent most of my life searching, for a way to fit in. Thinking if I could just find the “right” thing I would be like everyone else and be “stable and happy”.
It never worked out. I ended up being the one who was chronically discontent. Never truly “committed” to anything and never staying put for very long. Every few years I would burn all my bridges, and move on to the next thing, believing that around the next turn would be “the place” I fit. Always feeling left out and always wondering what was wrong with me. Until now… until today.
Today I am standing on my own two feet, facing the truth and claiming it. I am NOT “duplicable” and I never will be. I guess I always knew it, but felt it was wrong somehow. Starting today I will ENJOY my unique view of the world and stop trying to be someone else. Maybe I won’t fit with any one group but I will be my own person and true to the woman God has made me to be.
Today I celebrate the woman God created and am grateful for his unconditional love for me.
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” — Psalm 139:14
Lately I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about joy, what it truly means and how to live your life filled with joy. Here’s what I’ve discovered….
Most people think joy is a feeling. We hear people say, “that gave me such joy” or “I’m just filled with joy today” to describe when they are feeling exceptionally happy. The problem with feelings is that they are temporary and very, very fickle. You can go from bliss to miserable in a matter of seconds. So when we describe joy as a feeling we are selling ourselves short.
Joy is a decision, a commitment. To live your life filled with joy each day is to make a conscious decision and commitment that you are going to open yourself to being the person God designed you to be. When you make that commitment you will be amazed at just how wonderful life can be.
Sometimes life hurts. Can you still be joyful when it hurts so much? This question has been on my mind more than usual this week. Recent events have me looking for joy in places devastated by tragedy. Guess what… it’s still there.
Where is joy when life hurts, when your feelings say that you just can’t take anymore?
Joy is knowing that you have been created by a God who loves you, who counts every hair on your head and who has a plan for your life that is good.
So when you don’t feel the joy what do you do? You take a breath, close your eyes and commit once again to the path he has laid out for you. Trusting that you will make it and it won’t always hurt this much.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
"The Lord will hold you in his hand for all to see -- a splendid crown in the hand of God" - Isaiah 62:3
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