The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Lifestyles

January 6, 2014

Ann Leach: Be ready for plans to go differently

JOPLIN, Mo. — It's a new year, which means it's time to lose weight, quit smoking, make more money, travel the world, buy a boat, be kinder and all the other top 10 goals that the majority of us promise ourselves -- and God -- that we will strive for in this year.

I've been working on the weight, I don't smoke, I have a strong strategy for more money and my business will see me traveling more this year. I no longer want to own a boat (just access to one when I desire it), but I do want to be kinder and a better friend to many. So I've spent the past holiday week surrounded by my colored markers, journal and shiny new calendar creating a 2014 plan that rocks. But I have to confess, the more I connect with my spiritual self, the more I wonder why I am doing all this work.

As a spiritual being living this human experience, I have faith that it is my father's good pleasure to give me the Kingdom. The Bible offers proof in Jeremiah 29:11 where it says, "'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.'"

So I think I've been given permission to sit back, enjoy the sandy beach of my dreams and watch the universe parade all good things in front of me for my satisfaction.

Oh, dear reader, I am not that naive. I am fully aware that one of the most meaningful gifts given to us by that loving father is what can sometimes be a double-edged sword: free will.

And so we see that we always have a choice. To open to the good that's waiting for us, we must choose to open our minds and our hearts to the possibility of even more good. For me, that's done through prayer and visualization.

I give thanks for my Mastermind group where I can speak the desires of my heart and have the support and prayer energy of these five women as we affirm for each other, "And you will receive this or something better." That statement reminds us not to limit the good that God wants to give us.

So I commit to the work by opening up and being willing and available to the good. I commit to following inspired actions received in prayer and meditation. The shiny calendar, the fun markers, the annual budget and other systems are the tools I use for saying "yes" to God and "yes" to more good.

And what if it doesn't work out and I don't receive what I thought I wanted? Then I have to trust that the plan is unfolding as it should, adjust my desires and repeat my process of affirming, opening up to, and being willing to have what is right for me.

I ask for gentle lessons. And I give thanks for the abundance of opportunity, possibility and creativity as I leap into the arms of a wonderful new year.

Ann Leach is a life coach based in Joplin.

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