Willingness…To Do What?

I got an email from my dear friend, Lori Saylor Milan the other day. We’ve known each other for many years and although she lives in Portland, Oregon and I’m in Chicagoland we have a bond that’s tight. You see we met at a very traumatic time in both of our lives through a Bible Study back around 1996. Since then when we talk or write to each other it’s as if we can both feel the deep connection and by the way, we both know it is a connection made by God and the Universe. No doubt about it.

Anyway, months can go by in between our emails to each other so when she wrote to me the other day it was wonderful to hear from her. Little did she know the incredible inspiration her words were for me. Here’s what she wrote:

“I wanted to tell you Happy New Year and also to see if you are doing all right. I had not seen your blog for a while. I hope David is doing good. I know you have lots of coals in the fire and just might be plain ole busy but I do hope that is all that is going on.

I started a new tradition several years ago. It involves having friends and family pick an angel card from a deck when we meet at Christmas or New Years. I have all my co-workers, children, siblings and friends take one. The angel cards have words on them. During the year each person is supposed to remember their word and meditate and think about it on and off. Look all around you for the meaning. I drew a card for you.

Your word for 2013 is: WILLINGNESS

I’ve reread this email several times that she sent on January 16th. Each and every dang time goose bumps erupt on my arms; tears form in my eyes and incredible warmth heats up my heart. Lori picked the perfect card for me. And just because I am obsessed with defining words, here’s the definition of Willingness:

Willingness: of or relating to the will or power of choosing

What an awesome word for me to have for the year. And, it couldn’t have been timelier. You see, I haven’t been able to write for a good while now. Yeah sure, I’ve been super busy with work. But truth be told, since September my life has been inundated with really tough stuff. I’m talking gut wrenching, heavy stuff – or maybe I’m just too sensitive. (N.O.T.) If I’ve heard it once I’ve heard it a gazillion times that my life is crazier than a Lifetime movie or daytime Soap. And these last several months have had some doozie sagas!

Hence, the desire to write was gone. Kaput. Besides loss of desire I was afraid. Afraid? Yep. Afraid to accidentally (or worse, on purpose) say something that had to do with one of the several trauma-dramas going on around me. Too risky for sure. Funny thing though – even though I wasn’t writing, my mind was going, going, going. Thoughts, ideas and words were whirling and twirling through my mind all day long. All of it needed to go on paper- well, actually onto my computer. And all the while this nagging voice in my head kept saying, “Write what you are led to write and NOT what you think you should write.” Interesting.

Timing is everything. Lori’s word inspired me to be willing. Willing to open myself up once more, willing to be risky, willing to put myself out there without fear of loosing readers with the direction my posts will take, and willing to share my stories with others NOT to inform but to inspire. Inspire what you say? Peace. Love. Harmony.

So here I am writing again. Lori’s word willed me to get back to my computer. Joy, oh joy! I forgot how much I love it! There is some kind of deep pleasure I get in writing. In fact, for me it’s much like doing a puzzle – it is cathartic and calming all at the same time and I simply loose myself in it. And most importantly, at the risk of being bold, I know that I’m a good storyteller. I believe God and the Universe gifted me in this way. Which leads me back to that nagging voice in my head. But more on that in my next post…

Roadside Flares

Somewhere recently I read something about messages we all receive. The author called them “roadside flares to get our attention”. Thank you Lori for your email message. For sure it was a roadside flare for me. It got my attention. It inspired me to willingly throw caution to the wind and do what I love to do and what I believe God and the Universe had in mind for me all along. Besides that I have also discovered multitudes of ways the word “willingness” can be used in my daily walk. I will forever be indebted to you my dear friend!

I’m paying it forward

Lori honored me with taking the time to choose a word for me. It means a lot to all of us to know someone wants to give us a gift of his or her time in a way such as this. So I’m paying it forward. Dear readers, consider the word “willingness”. How does it speak to you? What could you be willing to do in 2013?

  • Right a wrong?
  • Resolve a conflict?
  • Spend quantity and quality time with your family?
  • Loose a few pounds?
  • Go green?
  • Get back to that hobby you love?
  • Play more?
  • Join a club?
  • Do charity work?
  • Pray more?
  • Stretch yourself?
  • Start each morning with a smile?
  • Sleep more?
  • Laugh more?
  • Feel free to be you?

Have fun with this word and heck, take the time to pay it forward to someone else. And, write to me if you feel led to and let me know what you choose to do with this word!

Just be willing…

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Jamie Balzer

About Jamie Balzer

Jamie has worked in the field of interior decorating for over 10 years and has owned B&A Interiors, LLC for almost as long. Partnered with her daughter, Sammi Blake, Jamie has been honored to work in homes and businesses across the country. Knowledge and experience is but part of what she has to offer. As a young girl, Jamie intuitively understood that the placement of things, the color of things, and the arrangement of things evoke certain feelings. Working together with this knowledge, experience and intuition Jamie has answered the call to her life’s purpose- teaching the spiritual truth of what she believes- “Everything begins in the home”. As a branch of B&A Interiors, LLC, Living In Perfect Harmony emerged to teach her philosophy. Jamie believes, “if you live peacefully and beautifully at home, you are well, your family is well and that helps to make the world a better place”. Jamie's most passionate role is as a mother and grandmother. Jamie currently lives and works in the Chicago area but also continues her business in Charlotte, NC as both a decorator and a homespace coach. She is certified in Reiki Therapy which she believes broadens her success as a homespace coach. Jamie is available for private consultations, lectures and seminars.

24 thoughts on “Willingness…To Do What?

  1. Wow. I’ve just had a Holy Spirit at work moment. “Willingness” is just what I need too, Jamie. I feel for you about the gut-wrenching stuff, because I’ve had (have) some of those going on. Thank you for this post!!!

    • Thank you so much Maggie for both reading this post and for commenting. I am smiling from ear to ear just knowing that this beautiful word that so inspired me is doing the same for you. Prayers and warm thoughts are heading your way and have been as I know your father has been ill. All of us face so much and the key is to be “willing” to persevere with faith, hope and love.

  2. Wow! God has been very busy in the ‘serendipity’ dept. this week! My husband, Terry, and I drew cards with Lori over New Year’s. We both got ‘Healing’ and it was poetic for where we are in our lives. Then yesterday, I got two emails with questions on a surgery I had in 2012, and am still ‘healing’ from. Maybe a healing seed has been planted. It will be fun to see where 2013 goes!

    • Isn’t it all amazing?!? Seriously fascinating that you and your husband drew the same card. Serendipitous for sure as my card was for me! Warm thoughts and heartfelt prayers for you on your 2012 surgery questions and as importantly, on all the ways your word can change both your lives this coming year. Thank you so much for reading and of course, taking the time to write a comment. It is such an honor for me.

  3. What a wonderful post. There is so much to ponder with that word “willingness”. And I was thrilled to see “Living in Perfect Harmony” in my list of emails when I logged on just now! I’m so sorry for all you’ve been going through, but I know you will come out of it in good shape, having learned so much. And I’m just delighted you were “willing” to sit down and start writing your blog again. I’ve missed you! I think 2013 is starting out to be quite a year of unraveling the old and beginning the new for all of us.

    • All I can say is Amen!!! Oh, one more thing actually…I absolutely love the image on this post. Stunning image of the trees as it pulls your eye skyward to the magnificent heavens! Thank you dear friend for sharing your love of Nature and your talent for capturing it with your camera on LIPH. To good things in 2013!!!

  4. Angels everywhere! I have goose-bumps. Jamie, I just asked John this past weekend how David was doing. He had not mentioned David for sometime; he recollected that their last “lunch together” was probably early December and was disappointed in himself that it had been so long. That said I had asked him because I hadn’t seen your emails for sometime.
    I am so grateful to have read this today, so grateful for the word “willingness, I SO need this word right now and grateful that you have found your “strength” again.
    Today “willingness” will lead me from the house and to Downers Grove to reconnect with my passion to knit. Thank you for the “will”. And for getting me out of cleaning one more closet today!

    • Thank you, thank you, thank you for commenting! I am so honored that you and other readers even noticed I had not been writing. In all honesty the struggles my David and I have around us froze me in ways. Looking back now I realize it was better that I not write during some of those tumultuous times (that haven’t gone away by the way) because it was not meant to be. A couple of months of silence let me hear the glorious voice in my head trying to gently nudge me to wake up. Over and over I kept hearing that it was time to really put myself out there – fully put myself out there. I, like many people I suppose have struggled with staying true to what I know is the right way for me to be. (Which by the way is an openly spiritual person.) There certainly is safety in trying to go with the flow and not rock the boat – in any sort of way – or so I thought. I finally realized that trauma-drama is probably here to stay and so instead of giving into the pain of it, wallowing in it, fearing the unknown from it all, letting it consume my every waking moment and then waking me up during the night and wondering why one more thing is happening, I’ve decided to say to heck with it all and really, really be willing to be me. Why not?!? It hasn’t been working so well for me staying safe on the sidelines. Suddenly a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. Lori’s word for me was the final roadside flare I needed to willingly be me. Go out there and do it,too and happy knitting!

  5. Wow, Wow, Wow, Glad you’re back, you hit the nail on the head. I love the word that you got and your friend gave you a great gift. I need to do all of the above. There are two more I would have added to your list: stop the anger people have and have willingness to forgive and be forgiven.

    • M.A., so glad this post resonates with you. And thank you for your thoughtful comment and additions to my list. Yes, Lori truly gave me an incredible gift and clearly she did for others as well based on some of the comments I’ve received. I love the two additional comments you are adding to the list. Anger is so pervasive and it destroys in so many ways that its scary. The willingness to forgive and also the willingness to be forgiven take great power but, once you have done so it creates more room in your heart for love. I know as I have walked the road of forgiving others and forgiving myself many, many times. More will come for sure as the road of life we all travel has swerves, curves, bumps and potholes. I am reminded of the song “Put a little love in your heart” – the world will be a better place for you and me…

  6. I am so glad you are back. 2012 was a year with some great losses in my life, two long time friends and my oldest brother passed. Lori and I got together with hubbies for New Years. I drew my Angel card “SURRENDER” and I needed your “WILLINGNESS” to surrender my losses to God and my heart. But I have also had this great urge to surrender things and clean out stuff for others to use. it is so freeing. I have a newer friend who was having a hard time coping with things at home. I asked her if she would like a card and she did and drew “GRATITUDE”. She gave a start and had tears in her eyes and said it was perfect and just the message she needed.
    Gary got “ACCEPTANCE” heavy for him.
    Hugs, Joy Stark

    • Joy, thank you so much for such beautiful comments. First let me say what a wonderful person you are to have the courage to “surrender” your losses to God. Truly, to give a person up that passes and be at peace with it takes tremendous will power and energy. I know this for myself.
      It is amazing and yet, no coincidence that each of us that got cards from Lori received the ones that spoke directly to our hearts and souls. So Gary’s is “ACCEPTANCE”? Now that has me curious.
      For any of you readers that are reading this comment I have to tell you a story about Joy. I never knew Joy until she started reading my Blog and then I only knew her through her comments to my posts. A dear friend of my dear friend that by now you realize is Lori Saylor Milan. Through Joy writing back to me I felt like I began to know her well and have even on many occasions visualized what her home looks like through her various descriptions. Twenty years ago, ten years ago, heck maybe even five years ago – whatever time in the past I can think of I would never have been able to imagine a friendship could form on a computer through something like a “Blog”. Last June (2012) I got to meet Joy live and in person when I was out in Portland with my sister, Bee and niece, Blaire on a girl’s road trip. What a fabulous time we had. So, because I haven’t been writing I have missed Joy and so readers if you read my Blog over again you will see where I wrote “joy oh joy” – well that was a special hello to Joy Stark as I had really enjoyed her through my blog. Dear readers, there are wonderful friendships, wonderful moments and wonderful experiences waiting for us all if we are just “willing” to take the steps…

  7. Hmmm…. Jamie, this one has my mind reeling. Willingness. Yes, I will tell my story. I may need you to help pull it out of me at times though.

    Now about your silence. Consider it a time of reflection and incubation. Often as we approach a new journey we need to sit back and prepare ourselves a bit. I believe that is exactly what you have been doing. I believe you were just clarifying the direction you will be taking now that you are WILLING…

    • Heidi, I figured this word would speak volumes to you. So thrilled you will begin to take the steps to tell your story. It is one that will empower others to live life to the fullest each and every day. Looking back on my silence (these last few months) I agree that it was a time of reflection and even more so a time of “incubation” Boy, I love that word! Very though provoking as well. I absolutely positively do believe I have been in a shift. I cannot tell you the weight off my shoulders that this word “Willingness” has willed me to let go of. Thank you dear friend for reading my Blog and for this wonderful comment. I’ll help nudge and encourage you in any way to get busy with your story.

    • Thank you dear sister! I feel alive again writing. How odd that when life’s trauma-dramas occur we let them get in the way of things. Writing again I realized the absolutely positively deep need we all have of filling our lives with things that give us joy. After all, it is the joyfulness in our lives that should take first place NOT the sorrows! For me, writing is one of them and I am “willing” to not let things going on around me hold me down any longer. My word from Lori propelled me to action!. For all those that have read this post I hope it inspires them to make the choice – just be willing – in any number of ways each and every day to do something positive. And thanks to God and the Universe for roadside flares! Love to you!

  8. Jamie, just reading the comments and your responses to the comments was like a whole extra blog in itself. I’ve got a lot to start 2013 with now, and I know it will a wonderful year. Welcome back, and thank you for being you!

    • Funny that you say this Sue. My dear niece, Lindsay (a contributing writer on this Blog) said it would be great if somehow readers could be notified when comments come in. I agree with you, the comments today have been incredible – each and every one of them. My heart is filled with joy that so many people understand that “willingness” is a choice – an active choice each of us can participate in. And as for 2013 being a stellar year with fabulous things to come, I’m with ya sista!

  9. So glad you are back…I missed your blogs with the profound thoughts intertwined.
    I love you, Shell

    • I am dancing with joy to be back writing. And thank you dear, sweet cousin for drawing wisdom from my words and thoughts. What an honor for me to know this! I love you,too and thank you so very much as always for taking your valuable personal time to read my words.

  10. Jamie…pure poetry to my ears. Timing is perfect too as I need to be willing to get back out there in life and find a purpose. You have inspired me to move forward and think of words a friend said recently….”you are just in between blessings”. So, now your post has giving me the ‘willingness’ to go find my next blessing!!! Glad you back!!!

    • Thank you so much Cindy for such a wonderful comment. When Lori sent this to me it was so clearly ordained from the heavens above that I asked her if I could share her email on my Blog. She said that she would love to know that I was inspired by her words and of course, her word “willingness” she picked for me enough to share them with others. I am beyond thrilled that my retelling of her words has given you inspiration as well. I love the “blessings” you write about and truly agree. All the angst and hard times we go through ends up blessing us in the end IF we are “willing” to grow from the experiences. Hope all is well with you and thank you again for taking the time to read my Blog and to comment.

  11. Oh Aunt Jamie! Good gracious! I needed to have more willingness in reading your blog sooner! Love it, and the comments from readers and you are truly inspirational and, as mentioned by someone else, seemingly another blog! Willingness is deep within my heart right now in regards to many life situations. It is wonderful to see others relate! Amazing how powerful the mind truly is! More so, in my opinion, how powerful our emotions and subconscious are! However, I along with everyone else, need to make it a priority to not allow our subconscious and emotions take over our mind and the thoughts it clings to. That is when we fall short of accomplishments, enjoyment, etc. I am finding that in my own life and am touched seeing others exemplify this way of living. Glad you’re back at it and hoping this touches the hearts and lives of MANY more people!

    Love you and can’t wait to see you soon!

    And yes, I just had to include Bishop though I don’t think I previously have indicated a last name… It’s still so fresh in my life that I get a great sense of enjoyment just seeing it and knowing that was my touch on life, now with the true imprint of my husband :-)

    • Cathy, in my book you read my post just when you were supposed to. Maybe you were planning to when it first came out and things kept you from it – like two little ones perhaps?!? Whatever the reason for just now reading it, it was the PERFECT time for you. The subconscious and the emotions you speak of are our Egos as you well know. They sure can get in the way of our simple joy in life,right? All you need do is watch a child like Tanner play or do anything else for that matter and you witness his ability to embrace the moment with sheer abandon. Call it childlike innocence if you want, but joy is there no matter what. That simple childlike joy for just being and doing is lost as we go through life and experience things that bruise our tender Egos. Silly people we all end up being unless we are WILLING to live and love with abandon and be truly who we are meant to be. Clearly this post resonated deep within you. I am thrilled and honored to know this. So go out there and be willing to do what your heart and soul tell you to do. You will be blissful for sure!

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