Learn to Be Vacationally-Minded as a Lifestyle …

Consider the mindset that you enjoy on vacation. You are free to set your own schedule, not worrying about what you have to do today, not worrying about the time — just being — minus the anxiety. Now imagine the mindset of being busy at work: doing one task while being anxious about many others, worrying that you may not be doing the right task, interrupted by others, distracted and stressed.

These are two different mindsets, and yet, what if we could enjoy the vacation mind while working? Well, we would need to forego the lazing around, but the mindset could be the same. This has the potential to result in a more sane lifestyle, not just living for the weekend or the little vacation time we have, but the ability to navigate life so that we are truly happier every day.

How can this be done? We would need to practice and develop a few small habits that will make more sense as we go along.

What would the vacation mind look like at work?

Often just thinking about work tasks can alter our mindset from relaxation to anxiety: worry for what we need to do, deadlines, dealing with difficult people, information overload, being on the right task, even concerns as to whether we may be missing out on something important. (A life, perhaps :)!)

A vacation mindset lets that anxiety go and is simply present in the current moment. Time is less important, enjoying yourself is the priority. You let go of the anxiety. You aren’t worried about getting it all done, or doing the right thing right now, or all the things you have to do later. You are immersed in enjoying whatever you’ve chosen to do at the present moment.

So how would this look? You choose to work on a particular task, perhaps writing something. You, obviously, have quite a list of things to do but this is the thing you decide to work on at the moment. Could there be other things you should be doing instead? Of course, there always are and will continue to be. As for the best thing to do right now, the moment of perfect certainty never comes, so just pick something and do it.

Practice being able to enjoy the task at hand. Let other tasks take their rightful place, the time to do them will come. Immerse yourself in the current task. Focus on enjoying yourself as you do it. At times, you may mentally step back, come up for air and take a look at the bigger picture, and then return back to the project. This is what I like to call “laser-focus”.

And you can do this when you talk with a co-worker or client. You can do this with an important email, or processing paperwork/small tasks, designing something, programming, creating art, helping a patient or student. This is a learned strategy / discipline and it is doable.

We can’t just flip a switch and be good at these things today … they take practice, like any other skill. I can say that they’re worth practicing, even if you never master them, because they can transform your relationship with work.

Here are the practices that you can consider working on a little every day:

  1. Pick something, get immersed in the act of being creative. Focus on the enjoyment of creating something that is uniquely your idea. Being able to work from this relaxing mindset affords you the time to think with a higher level of energy. This will play out in everything you endeavor to do.
  2. Let go of anxieties. This takes practice. Learn to recognize when you begin to feel anxious and notice the source of the anxiety. This is typically focusing on an outcome you want to happen, such as, looking good in front of others, being highly productive, controlling a situation, etc. Realize the desired outcome is merely a fantasy, and other outcomes can work out just as well. Realize that holding on to this fantasy of how it should turn out causes stress. Let go and restore your creative energy mindset.
  3. Come up for air and see the big picture. Diving in is great, but it is also helpful to step back at times, and assess what is going on around you. Notice people who are nearby and if anyone needs your attention, how you’re sitting (and whether you’re sitting too long), etc. Is there an appointment you should get to? See the big picture, then go back into immersion.
  4. Be less worried about time. Time is important but we can be mindful of it while not being “lorded over” by it. It matters that we show up on time for appointments we have, paying attention to completion deadlines, billing clients etc. There are times when we can waste time worrying about the time we need to do or not be doing something. Practice a balance of being aware of when time matters and when there can be some leeway.

You may be considering if this is truly doable. The answer depends on you. You’ll be surprised what you can do — if you have the “want to”. 

Sheri Geyer is a Christian Life Coach, Mentor, Realtor, Wife & Mom

Radical Obedience

I am a member of a church I love! It feels so much like family that I believe it provides a glimpse of what heaven will be like when we are all gathered in His Presence.

I delight in being a part of a fellowship that keeps me awakened to having a heart of mercy and compassion. My challenge comes when I consider how at times I have allowed myself to be lulled into thinking that what happens for God for good only happens inside the church building at a worship service.

Looking back at where I have been I am acutely aware that great things happen at church and this is where we are equipped and raised up to go into our little corners of the world and influence others to become whole-hearted followers of Jesus Christ.

Out of the brokenness in the journey of my life, I have a stronger sense of what I believe to be the call of Christ on us as His church. I like to think of it as radical obedience. I believe this is a a call to make a difference in our world by reaching out to connect and get to know our neighbors in ways that may seem radical in our culture. We are all busy doing life but not necessarily enjoying it. Perhaps, this could be the game-changer!

Some time back, I rode through a neighborhood of older homes which housed families of fixed or limited incomes. Many were gathered on front porches, children were playing in the yards and on sidewalks together and though the means appeared to be limited, the genuine care and nurturing of one another was anything but lacking. It made me smile to remember many such times gathered together with folks on my grandmother’s front porch.

This image in my mind has convinced me that this is the picture of the true church. It is connecting where we live, work and play and not just where we go and all sit in the same building on Sunday. This is how a true family is built where time is spent building genuine, loving relationships. This is where we gain vision, encouragement, and support. And much needed guidance.

In these relationships the love of Christ is evident as we seek to develop a fellowship first with God and then taking what we hear in our quiet places and sharing that message with the world.

Once we experience the simple beauty of the sacred fellowship that comes when two or more are gathered together and realize He is in our midst, it adds a richness to our lives that we will not want to live without.

It is a depth that goes beyond the tradition of the church to a relationship with an untamed God, who is radical in His great love for us! It is an invitation to live trembling with joy in the presence of a holy God with a radical obedience, having the experience of a radical grace that compels us to know and serve this amazing God all of the days of our lives.

I have reflected on these ideas as a result of having a season of R E S T as I prepared for and said goodbye to my mother, as she recently passed from this life into the arms of Jesus. God wastes nothing and I’ve needed each season that He has allowed in my life, even the ones that are difficult.

What is it that God may be calling YOU to be radical about? And what are you preparing as your answer to Him?

Radical things happen in our own lives when we say “Yes, God”!

Sheri Geyer is a Christian Life Coach, Writer, Realtor, Wife & Mom

A Simplified Life

I’m uncertain as to when or how it started. I think it may have always been present with me. The day my life forever changed….

I realized that all I really want is a small, slow, simple life! I am most content in the space of routine and ordinary. It’s here where I recognize the truly spectacular events may be a rainy afternoon and a good book, or a lingering lunch with a friend or loved one where we reminisce about the goodness of God in our lives or the moments that He has given that have taken our breath away. It’s where my calm lives.

I have chosen a lifestyle of moderation and I have peace with that. I like the ease in managing stress and learning to choose the paths and places that maintain this level of quiet in my life. It allows me to reserve my energy for the unplanned and unexpected moments where calm is a true asset for responding in a manner I will be happy with now and in the future.

The world can be a noisy place with loud voices pushing or driving for me to hustle, to improve, build, strive, yearn, acquire, compete, and grasp for more. Make a huge impact in everything I do. Make my life count.

All the striving for excellence can leave me drained of joy and wondering if I am simply not enough. And when I stop spinning and listen for God’s still, small voice, I hear Him whispering for me to ‘cease’ striving and know that He is God.

What if I never really achieve accolades beyond the people who are my primary circle of impact, consistently letting them know they are loved and I would choose them again? What if life as I have chosen it is good, even amazing, in light of the fact that my heart is fully engaged?

What if I simply write as God brings His reflections of beauty to my soul? And what if I have come to accept that the greatest joys and fulfillment come from offering the gifts I have to the community of women I care about encouraging them that bigger isn’t always better? What if I can simply remind those that I invest in that their gifts and influence are far more valuable than what is understood at the time?

What if I simply remain calm and centered and help others to see that they are enough? And, that God in us, provides great hope for others?

What if I just accept this ordinary body of mine that is neither big nor small? And I make peace with it and decide that when I lie on my deathbed I will never regret having just been me.

What if I am a home manager who rarely dusts or vacuums and mostly maintains order and makes real food but sometimes buys pizza and after giving thanks to God for all things, I simply enjoy and do not feel guilty?

What if I make plans and budgets and then occasionally break my own rules and push back against rigidity. Is it really a big deal if I’m not into fancy or expensive things? Or that I like a small and safe home?

Since leaving the frantic pace of life and learning to not keep up, I have found that I need tons of solitude and calm, an abundance of rest, and swaths of unscheduled time in order to be healthy.

Having given up my former dogmatic state of being, I have found great delight in sharing my deeply rooted faith, doubts and insecurities, in quiet ways and through genuine relationship. I have some very special women in my life who have guided me to this and each of you know who you are!

We haven’t had a fairy tale romance and I follow hard after God to be the wife that will always be for Jeff’s best. This keeps me humble and I need it!

I am a mom who delights in her girls and in knowing they are free to choose their appointments with life. I consider it a special privilege to affirm and support them in their passions?

I seek the Lord often to learn to embrace my limitations and stop railing against them. I am at peace with who I am and what I need and believe it to be an amazing gift of God to walk in this knowledge.

I want a small, slow, simple life. A mediocre life. A beautiful, quiet, gentle life.

And for me, it is enough!

Sheri Geyer is a Christian Life Coach / Mentor, Realtor, Writer, Wife & Mom.

What I Love About….Coming Home

What I love about Sundays:

The meaningful conversations that can happen when we unplug from the weekday routine.

Today, Mama wanted to talk about her cancer and God wanted to encourage my heart through the words and bonding that occurred.

This the the 2-year Anniversary Month of my coming back home to a world I grew up in and having heard all my life that “you can never go back home”, I have to say that (if God leads), I wholeheartedly DISAGREE!

Although, I didn’t roam too far (Atlanta), I find that the culture and speed of life here in Savannah is where my heart truly has always resided.

In our ‘Friendly City’, folks still take time to ‘shoot the breeze’ and take time for the simple treasures. Everywhere I go, (Grocery store, Church, my neighborhood), people are pooling resources to send to the many folks affected by Hurricane Harvey.

In my neighborhood, folks stop and chat and watch out for one another. It’s a treat to welcome new neighbors and help them get to know other neighbors.

My church has truly become Family and the ladies in my Connect Group have become an amazing support system for me.

I’m close to my brother and sister-in-law and get to enjoy being a part of the lives of two very special nieces! ❤️

My lifelong (since 2nd grade) friend helped me to bridge the years and feel as though I’d never left.

I’ve been blessed with 3 dear women who are CareGiver’s for my mom and they have learned a lot about me and still love me! 😊

And in my work, I am part of a Real Estate Team that I feel a sense of belonging, more like family and ‘Cheers’ and not so much like we are competing against one another.

It’s a joy to be a part of a community where folks open doors, offer umbrellas and say ‘Please and Thank You’ routinely.

The closest thing to heaven that I’ve experienced so far, is coming home! Thank YOU, Lord!

And can someone please pass the Grits! 😊❤️

Sheri Geyer is a Christian Life Coach, Realtor, Mentor, Writer, Minimalist, Wife & Mom

Keeping it Simple

We often think of simplifying, down-sizing or minimizing our external possessions and living with only the essentials as denying ourselves of the good life. This journey isn’t so much about eliminating the number of shoes or books we own, how small the square footage of our house can be or giving away every non-essential item we own. It may be all of that, if there’s a deeper-seated issue that keeps us from a sense of gratitude and enjoyment of the things that we say are most important to us.

The quest for the true joy of not being “owned” by too much stuff and the required maintenance as well as an often overcommitted schedule required me to look deep internally. At which point, I discovered a dis-ordered heart.

For me, living an abundant life is a journey of intentional growth and learning to authentically live a simple life. Simplicity has become the clarity in which I find meaning. It’s the removal of the unnecessary. It’s the discovery of what I value most.

5 simple ways to live an abundant life through keeping it simple.

1. Simplify your wardrobeAdopting a minimal wardrobe has afforded me less stress when choosing what to wear each day. Eliminating items I rarely wear and only purchasing clothing, shoes and accessories that I feel most like myself in has given me more time each morning for the people and things I value.

2. Eliminate digital distractions. When meeting with someone, I intentionally allow my phone to take a coffee break. For me, multi-tasking simply means I am able to screw up two things at once! I work when I’m at work. I am intentional when I am in a meeting. I continually strive to remember that I own the phone, it does not own me!

3. Learn to be vacationally-minded in your work.  Changing the mindset in how we view our work can transform the way we work. It no longer becomes a balancing act of life and work, it becomes the essence of life itself. God designed us to create! Realizing that creating is our work makes getting up in the morning a lot easier. If the goal is only for a promotion, prestigious title, or a larger paycheck, it will not be enough to fulfill us in the long run. On vacation, we are intentional in getting the most out of the moment and creating the memories we want to keep. Focusing on the difference we can make by the work only we can do allows us to realize the value that only we can bring to our organization.

4. Learn to say no to things. It’s tempting to believe that saying yes to everything is the path to success. Often, in not wanting to miss anything, we sign up to do everything. These commitments and obligations can cause unnecessary stress and friction in our relationships with family, friends, and colleagues. The ability to say no provides space to focus on the things we value most. It’s not about being involved in everything, but rather learning not to trade off the “best” and settle for “good”.

5. Embrace the mundane. Life is truly lived in the morning coffee chats on the porch, car rides to school or work, standing in the grocery line talking to a neighbor, reading to your kids before bed time, caring for a loved one, walking the dog, and clearing off the dinner table as a family. It’s in the moments we often hurry past. These are the simple memories that last a lifetime. These are the experiences that write our story and shape our lives. It’s these simple things that matter and become the things we appreciate most.

I did not intentionally set out on a journey to simplicity, but in so doing, I can honestly say, I have found true abundance.

I invite you to consider what ‘keeping it simple’ could mean for you…

Sheri Geyer is a Realtor & Christian Life Coach

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Why Am I Here?

Like many folks I’ve talked with, I grew up with a longing for that perfect place where I belong. I knew I was in a family who loved me. I felt safe and secure… but I believed that one day it would all come together for me in this life.

That led to a drive to pursue the goals that would lead to that mostly foggy, but greatly desired dream. That pursuit led to many hills and valleys in my life, all of which, I now realize, have been true learning curves, put in place by a faithful Father.

I lost my dad in an auto accident shortly after I turned nine. I had an amazing grandmother that I lived with most of my growing up years. God has always provided everything I’ve needed to find my path to Him.

It took quite a few years to realize that I was never truly “fatherless”. God had been there with me always through many difficulties in my life. It took me nearly 40 years to get a full understanding that His plan didn’t align with my earlier dreams that everything in this life would ultimately come together for me.

The dad that I knew was the one I mentioned. However, he was my adopted father. My mom got pregnant with me while dating my biological dad (making this a short story), and he took her to have an abortion. The doctor looked at the two of them and said to my mom, “Go home, you do not need to do this.” So she did and made plans to leave town to have her baby. She did not want to disgrace her parents in their small home town. Well, my dad ended up coming back and they got married, and then divorced before I turned 2.

When I learned this story in my teens, I struggled for some time feeling that I was never truly “wanted”, that I was just an accident. I now know, that I wasn’t an accident and that God has called me according to His purposes for me.

Because I was adopted, I knew love from another father. That led me to my Heavenly Father.

Because of my mother’s sacrifice, I learned the high cost of the price God paid for me through His Son, Jesus, to bring me to Him.

Because of my grandmother as my daily caretaker, friend, heart-mender, playmate, and example, I learned what it was like to have a Reliable Guide in the Holy Spirit.

I am not here for wealth or fame or houses or the possessions that were part of what my original dream in this life was about. I am free from the cares of those things. And, if God brings them, I have learned to love Him first and foremost, therefore, I can hold them, loosely.

In the past year, we have downsized to a small place and God has completely realigned the way we do life in this world. I have learned to thank Him for the changes, disappointments, pain, and various trials because they are the things that keep me close to Him.

So, when I think to myself, “why am I here?”, I realize that God hid me from the enemy’s plans for me and spared my life for one tremendous reason….

God “chose” me, because He wants to reveal Jesus Christ through my life!

He wants to do that through your life too….

Sheri Geyer is a Christian Life Coach, Writer, Realtor, Wife & Mom

DownSize It, Please!

Wow! Don’t you just love those times in your life when it feels like you hit one out of the park?  Things just seem to fall into place like a well-greased gear and it is euphoria with sugar on the top!

I have longed to lose some weight in my life — off my hips (smile) and in the amount of items I own. It’s not that having stuff is bad or even undesirable. It’s just that there comes a point in life when it is just stuff and it doesn’t improve the quality of life. It does however, increase the responsibility in life.

Sometimes even things we buy for convenience can turn out to be less-convenient. Especially if we have to clean it, repair it, maintain it, remember to charge it up, or at the very least, walk or work around it.

I think that growing up in a small space is a contributing factor to the longing in my life to live with less. The two places I lived as a child, my house and my Grandma’s house. were small and cozy.  I’ve always been one that wanted to have all my favorite things nearby and to carry them with me when I travel. (I still enjoy a favorite blanket!)

I thought it was cool when I got an iPad because I could carry so many books with me everywhere and it was so easy. I’m not opposed to having the things I like. I’m just on a perpetual quest to be as efficient and effective in my life as possible, and to relinquish any excess that requires more responsibility without necessarily adding to the enjoyment of life.

So recently one of my dreams came true.

We sold our town home (3 stories which included 3.5 bathrooms) and transitioned to a small rental house for about 8 months and finally to an amazing one-bedroom apartment with a view that is incredible from our sunroom-office.

My hubby is Executive Director of The Fuller Center for Housing of Greater Atlanta (FullerCenterofAtlanta.org) an Atlanta partner of the non-profit Christian housing ministry founded by Millard and Linda Fuller, also founders of Habitat for Humanity.  The objective is to partner with families who are willing to put in sweat equity and demonstrate an ability to payback a no-interest mortgage to improve their lives. (A hand up, not a handout).  Our belief is that everyone deserves a “simple, decent place to live”.

This process brought us face-to-face with the reality that we neither needed nor wanted all of the “stuff” we had accumulated over 50+ years of life. We like the freedom of living simply and having more time to do more things that we love. We wanted to position ourselves to be more purposeful in where we invest our lives going forward.

It began in 2011, when Jeff and I got on the same page to pay off all of our debt and get rid of our credit card. It has been fun, challenging and so worth the effort. And we did it! (The best part is getting to encourage others who are recognizing similar desires).

Amazingly enough, 10 months after we paid off our last debt, Jeff’s company made some changes and his job was eliminated. God is amazing to have given us a desire (and we were in agreement!) and then when the challenge came, we were better prepared.

So we sold our town home and now, even as I write, we sit together in our office in our new apartment both working on our computers and enjoying simply being.  It is liberating to feel so unencumbered.

We still have life challenges. They are just much different than before. Since we just moved, our new apartment did not come with a microwave. So we are on an experiment to see if we really need one. It’s been 3 weeks and we haven’t really missed it — well, unless you call not having to clean it as something I might miss (smile).

Downsizing has often been considered an unpleasant thing to happen. Typically, because, as in Jeff’s job situation, it means losing something or having something taken from you without you having any say in the matter. But, when making a conscious choice to live with less, realizing that less of some things actually means more of other things, you can leverage the way you navigate your life in your favor and it is very empowering.

Opening up your life so that you become aware of the many options you have provides numerous opportunities to live intentionally and on purpose. That, my friend, is freedom in it’s truest sense!

Sheri Geyer is a Christian Life Coach, Writer, Speaker, Wife & Mom