Several weeks ago I was asked to do a short presentation about the collaborative book F.A.I.T.H. – Finding Answers in the Heart. Following your heart was a given, then came the title “Trusting Your Inner GPS (Guidance Protective System).” I loved the title but I also wanted an acronym for people to use, something to cement the information in their minds.
A handful of days passed before I found the phrase “Are you doing your B.E.S.T. today?” The first thing that popped into my head was a flash from the Army advertisement “Be all that you can be in the Army.” I was raised in a military family—my dad was career Army—but my purpose was not to throw down a challenge. It wasn’t about being the strongest or toughest or most willing to fight. F.A.I.T.H. is part of a spiritual journey. As I wrestled with the ingrained Army memory, the words of the acronym came to me. Believe, Envision, Surrender, Take action. Those felt much more aligned and on purpose.
Growing up, I was expected to do well and apply myself, but I had no 20-year plan for my future, not even a 1-year goal. After college, I used my high school typing skills to move into a secretarial position, than Administrative Assistant, and eventually Office Manager. Not what I dreamed of being, just something that I could do fairly well. Drifting through life, I finally found my calling in my early 40s and began to write. But I didn’t believe in myself. Not yet.
More years passed and I decided to apply myself to writing, to become a good writer, to learn how to edit fiction and nonfiction, to start building a business. And still I doubted my abilities and compared myself to others. A good friend found an agent then a traditional publisher and made a name for herself in the industry. But I couldn’t do that. I still didn’t believe.
Through workshops and coaching programs I gathered the necessary skills to run a successful business, but doubt and worry kept me small. I wasn’t ready to talk to people, to stand up for myself and allow my brilliance to shine.
When the F.A.I.T.H. whisper came, I wasn’t sure what to do with it. I felt unimportant and insecure. Belief stood on my doorstep and I closed the door on its toes. We played hide and seek for several years as my light grew brighter and my fears dimmed. And finally, I was ready. I believed.
But believing was just the first step. Without a vision, there would be no book. So I envisioned a phenomenon that would help women around the world, encourage them, motivate them, and inspire them to reach for their dreams. I imagined the book circling the globe with wings and everywhere the book went, light spread. As I put together the first book, I held that vision.
Gathering authors for the book wasn’t easy. I’m a naturally shy person, and inviting women to share my vision and pay to be part of a book pushed lots of buttons. I love to be in control, to know exactly how something will happen. But the universe doesn’t work that way. Spirit has a much bigger agenda and better plans for all of us, if we will only trust and surrender. Learning to surrender was like getting a tooth pulled. How many ways can I spell resistance? Finally, though, when my plan failed to produce results, I gave in. I surrendered.
The moment of surrender brought such peace, such absolute knowing that there is a greater good. And out of that knowing flowed the bounty of the universe. Women came to ME without asking. From that space, I had conversations, I shared my vision, I encouraged them to dream and participate. I took action.
Doing your B.E.S.T. is about shifting your perspective. It’s about playing all out. It’s about shining your light.
- Believe – believe in who you are. Right now. You’re constantly growing and changing. Support yourself in that growth and change with good friends, spiritual companions, teachers, coaches, workshops. Engage in those activities that will nurture you and empower you. The more you believe in you, the more other people will too.
- Envision – imagine what you want. Only you know what you desire. Only you have the blueprint inside your heart and brain. Draw it, color it, write it down. See it in living Technicolor and feel it in your body. This is how you bring it to life.
- Surrender – one you’ve brought it to life, it’s time to turn it over to your higher power. We humans can only go so far with our connections and skills and abilities. But the universe has unlimited resources. When you turn over your idea to your higher power, miracles happen. So surrender and know that your highest good is taking place.
- Take action – there are so many ways people and things can come to you. Email, telephone, a chance meeting at the grocery store, an ad on TV, a jingle on the radio, a conversation with a friend. When you’ve surrendered, you’re open to receive. Now is the time to act. Follow up on the email or phone call. Contact the person you just thought of. Take the next step.
Are you doing your BEST today? Every time you Believe, Envision, Surrender, and Take action, you’re doing the very best you can.
Nanette is a writing coach, editor, author, publisher, and CEO of Words of Passion, helping inspirational authors overcome writers block, master correct grammar, create strong structure, and write with clarity. She specializes in helping women write from the heart so they can put their passion into words and inspire others.She created the Partner Up! Book Program to help women entrepreneurs get published the easy way through collaborative books. She is an award-winning writer of short stories and poetry; editor and coauthor of The 28-Day Thought Diet; visionary leader and publisher of the F.A.I.T.H. – Finding Answers in the Heart, Volumes I and II, and author of the e-book Overcoming Writer’s Block: Moving from Fear to Passion. Her coaching programs and services offer clients unique and in-depth ways to strengthen their manuscripts and make their writing sing. You can reach Nanette at firstname.lastname@example.org or via her personal websites www.wordsofpassion.com; www.findinganswersintheheart.com