In our Christmas edition of the podcast, we talk about “A Woman’s Greatest Gift,”—her emotional health. When a woman possesses and practices the three fold cord of emotional health and spiritual authenticity: a healthy sense of self, healthy behavior patterns and healthy communication skills, she moves through her life from a deep state of inner contentment, which ultimately leads to personal freedom.
Speaker 1: Words matter. They can change the course of your day. Just listen. You are brave. You’re stronger than you think. You have value, worth and dignity. Don’t you feel better already? Welcome to Speak Healing Words, the podcast. Join author and board certified life coach Janell Rardon as she opens a very important conversation about the power of our words.
Janell Rardon: Hello, and welcome to Speak Healing Words, the podcast. I am Janell, your host, and I am thrilled that you have found your way here today. Welcome. Believe it or not, we are on episode 20, the final episode of season one. We have been taking this beautiful time together to work through my newest book, Overcoming Hurtful Words: Rewrite Your Own Story. Please order it now on Amazon, and rewind and listen to the previous episodes that go through each of the nine practices. They are so beneficial and so helpful in helping you rewrite any and all negative narratives, perhaps, decade long negative narratives that have walked through life with you, and these nine practices equip and empower you to move through the heart lift method, to reflect, reframe and re-author your story.
Janell Rardon: Oh, we’re standing on the threshold of a brand new year. What a beautiful threshold this is. New year’s invite us to start over, to make a fresh start, to write a new beginning. There’s nothing like that threshold. Oh, there are so many exciting new things coming your way. I cannot wait to share them with you. One being we will now be inviting others into our Speak Healing Words podcast. I have so many friends that are going to meeting and having a conversation with me, so that we can just continue talking about the power of our words and the power they have on our lives.
Janell Rardon: But today, today on episode 20, we are going to continue our Christmas edition of the podcast, and talk about a woman’s greatest gift. I’ve let you in on my secret that I truly believe a woman’s greatest gift in life is emotional health. Emotional health serves as the bedrock, the foundation, the prophetic footing upon which we stand. Now, not everyone in life has been given the beautiful gift of emotional health. You know my story, and I know many of your stories, and I hope and pray that my story and our conversations here inform you and give you absolutely everything you need to be able to live a life filled with emotional health. When we possess this capacity, this threefold cord of emotional health and spiritual authenticity, when it is operating in our lives, then we move through our life with a strong sense of self. That’s our personal identity, our self-esteem and self-worth. We know we have value, worth and dignity.
Janell Rardon: We know that God has breathed his life into our being, and therefore, we harbor processed, and move through life with his nature and virtues in us. That enables us to have healthy, healthy, healthy behavior patterns and healthy communication skills. When we possess, when we move through life, when we activate and optimize this threefold cord, oh my goodness, then we are able, absolutely able to have spiritual authenticity. I believe they’re hand in hand. If I walk into … let’s just start, rewind that. If I start a family, and I have unhealthy emotions, and behavior patterns and communication skills that I have learned from my family of origins, that family that nurtured, and cared for me and raised me, I am going to carry those unhealthy things into my marriage and my new family.
Janell Rardon: I’m also going to carry them into my community of faith. I’m going to carry them into every aspect and every sphere of my life. So, that’s why we are here. We are here to become emotionally healthy in order to truly experience spiritual authenticity, a real true relationship with a real true god that produces in us such tremendous joy and peace, and … okay, as I always do, drum roll. Today’s connected words, communion and contentment. Contentment, what a word. The Apostle Paul talks quite a bit about learning the secret of contentment. The learning the secret of contentment, learning to be content in any state in which we find our lives. A bounding or a basing, healthy, unhealthy. Trial, happiness. Any state, any state at all. When we move through life from this, I want to say it’s a position of contentment, a footing, a foundation, I am telling you, life is different, and it’s far more meaningful and rewarding.
Janell Rardon: One of my favorite old pastoral clergyman, Jeremiah Burroughs, in his book, The Rare Jewel Of Christian Contentment, defines contentment as a sweet, inward, quiet, gracious frame of spirit. He calls it a frame, which I love. It’s a framework through which we look at our lives. This sweet, inward, quiet, gracious frame of spirit, which freely submits to and delights in God’s wise and fatherly disposal in every, every circumstance. Every.
Janell Rardon: So, that very almost antiquated old English definition sincerely can be brought down to Paul’s words. Just learn to be content, learn to have a sweet acceptance of any state in your life. Many moderns would call this mindfulness. Learning to be content, learning to be here now in every moment of our current life, the present. We’re not dwelling on the past, we’re not worrying about the future. Let me repeat that. This is for somebody today. We learn and practice how to not dwell in the past, and not worry about the future, so that we can celebrate the present. Contentment. So, so powerful.
Janell Rardon: I want to read this short excerpt from Martin Laird’s, An Ocean Of Light. It’s from chapter one, Thoughts With 1000 Arms. I love this. “In a commencement address delivered to the 2005 graduating class at Kenyan College, David Foster Wallace begins as any novelist would with a story that speaks to the human condition. There are these two young fish swimming along, and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way who nods at them, and says, “Morning, boys. How’s the water?” And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually, one of them looks at the other and goes, “What the hell is water?” Excuse my language, it’s what he wrote in the book. What the heck is water?
Janell Rardon: A simple enough story. An older and presumably wiser fish is completely aware of his surroundings while the two younger fish are completely unaware of their surroundings. Laird writes, “Self-absorbed mental numbness is far easier to slip into than we might like to think. As Wallace sees it, self-centeredness is our default setting, and it’s hardwired into our boards at birth.” He continues, “There is no experience you’ve had that you were not the absolute center of.”
Janell Rardon: At the same time, he wants to reassure us that he is not going to be lecturing about compassion or other directed-ness, or the so called virtues. This is not a matter of virtue. Okay, are you listening? It’s a matter of my choosing to do the work of somehow altering or getting free of my natural hardwired default setting, which is to be deeply and literally self-centered, and to see and interpret everything through this lens of self. Wow, I have to continue. This is so rich.
Janell Rardon: Laird now writes, “Education,” and I’m going to add our time here should help us move beyond simply listening to ourselves talk to ourselves, listening to a great monologue going on in our head. Learning how to think really means how to exercise some control over how and what you think. This is the real value of our education. The essence of learning how to think … oh my goodness, this is what we’re doing here. The essence of learning how to think is being conscious and aware enough to choose what you pay attention to, how to keep from going through your comfortable prosperous respectable adult life dead, unconscious, a slave to your head and to your natural default setting of being uniquely, completely and [inaudible [00:11:57] alone day in and day out. Cultivating the skill of becoming aware of our thoughts allows for the possibility of choosing what we give our attention to.
Janell Rardon: Oh my goodness. I am getting excited here. As we come to the end of this inaugural podcast series where we’ve walked through the powerful mind practices of overcoming hurtful words, how to rewrite your own story, I hope and I pray that each and every word, thought, principle, practice we have unfolded in our time together have led you to at least give thought to how you move through your life. I pray that it has increased your self-awareness, in maybe minuscule ways, like, do I hog the conversation? Boy, when I’m talking to somebody, am I even listening to them, or am I fabricating what I’m going to say next? Has it made you think about being whole, about letting go of negative hurtful words or actions that perhaps have kept you locked in that default setting of self-pity, self-absorption? Has each and every one of our, or have each and every one of our conversations led you to want to know more about a relationship with a real Jesus who walked on this earth and cares deeply about you? Boy, I hope so. I love it so much.
Janell Rardon: Jeremiah Burroughs challenges us in The Rare Jewel Of Christian Contentment with this thought, and I’m going to close here. Wherever you are, just if you’re driving don’t close your eyes, but maybe you can close your eyes, and just listen to these words. Imagine these words. In a clock, stop but one wheel, and you stop every wheel. Because they are dependent on one another, so when God has ordered a thing for the present to be this and that, how do you know how many things depend upon this and that? God may have some work to do 20 years down the road. That depends on you today. In this passage of providence. This day, it will require what you do today.
Janell Rardon: What if? Let me just put that in a really easy context. What you do today has ripple effects on 20 years from now, 30 years from now, 100 years from now. My greatest gift is my emotional health and my spiritual authenticity. I cannot give my three children, my grandchildren, my great-grandchildren, great-great-great grandchildren any greater gift, because that is going to lead a lasting legacy of love, security, integrity, truth, wisdom, peace, power. Shall I go on?
Janell Rardon: I do not want to leave a legacy of grudges, of anger, of infidelity, of insecurity, of comparison, of worry, of fear. I want to leave a legacy that I can be proud of, and a legacy that honors my God. That’s what our Christmas edition has been all about, my friends. Leaving a legacy that, honestly, you and I will one day hear those words, “Well done, my good and faithful. Good and faithful servant.”
Janell Rardon: I leave you here today. Thank you for being with me on our inaugural season. So happy that you have been with me all 20 of these episodes. I can’t wait to be with you in the new year when we stand on the threshold of new beginnings, of picking up our pen and writing a new story, a God breathed story. I have so many beautiful new things coming your way. I cannot wait to share them, you know I can’t hold my surprised, but I have to. And they are just going to be so, so remarkable. We are going to be adding conversations on the podcast. So, I will be interviewing and having conversations with remarkable men and woman that I know you will learn so much from. I can’t wait to share all of this, but until then, I pray that you really have the most meaningful merry Christmas.
Janell Rardon: May God transform any Stressmas moments into a moment of merry Christmas. Take a breath. Center yourself. Remember the words, the healing words that we’ve spoken here, and I will see you next year. Have a blessed day.