What is your heart saying? The first step in knowing is listening. Here is what the late writer Henri Nouwen said about our hearts:

“Have courage,” we often say to one another.  Courage is a spiritual virtue.  The word courage comes from the Latin word cor, which means ‘heart.’ A courageous act is an act coming from the heart. A courageous word is a word arising from the heart. The heart, however, is not just the place where our emotions are located. The heart is the center of our being, the center of all thoughts, feelings, passions, and decisions.”

The heart is our center and it is time we listen to it. Our hearts are speaking truth and we will respond. You are invited to Give Up distracting, denying and deflecting yourself from the truth of how you feel with food, exercise, shopping, working, TV, alcohol and whatever you can use to not feel your feelings.

You are invited to a space to start listening. Listening to your heart is a very courageous act that we are all designed to do. Discover the spaces in Vive where you can listen and be heard.

10 diet & exercise truths to set you free to be


  1. Our bodies have a design that works when we do basic things well.
  2. Diets do not create sustainable whole-person health.
  3. There is a difference between training for a sport and daily exercise. Exercise should build you up, not break you down.
  4. You cannot out-exercise a bad diet.
  5. Every “diet” is a bad diet. We are not designed to diet. We are designed to eat real food to fullness.
  6. Walking is the perfect exercise to strengthen and stretch the entire body without stress, strain or triggering hunger hormones.
  7. Real food is designed to be a gift of nourishment, not a means to an end. In other words, we don’t use food to get a result.
  8. Exercise is also a gift of nourishment, not a means to an end. We are designed to move.
  9. Weight-loss does not begin with food, it starts with who we are and how we are designed to Breathe, Listen, Ask, Look and Move.
  10. Food and exercise are ways we can help ourselves and help each other remember who we are and how we are designed to be loved well.

Enough with trying to be enough

pexels-photo-348520Enough of the enough talk.

We have been told that we are enough but what are we enough for? We have also been told that we are not enough but what are we not enough for? Are we enough or are we not enough?

How many times have we been told that we are not enough? How many times have we told ourselves that we are not enough? How long have we tried to be enough for ourselves and others?

How’s that working for us?

Aren’t we tired of trying to prove we are enough? Have we had enough of always failing to be enough? Who gets to determine how enough is enough anyway? Who sets the enough standard? Do our parents, teachers, coaches, bosses, kids, spouses, siblings, spouses, peers, government, religion, culture, mainstream media, or social media?

Are we …
Smart enough
Tough enough
Hard-working enough
Successful enough
Nice enough
Thin enough
Strong enough
Pretty enough
Athletic enough
Religious enough
Holy enough
Obedient enough
Moral enough

What if we aren’t enough, then what? How do we become enough? Do we play the game or work the program of enoughness?

Being enough has always been a law/rule/standard that we have been controlled/imprisoned by and we have used to imprison/control others.

Is there such thing as enough? Can we honestly say that we are enough?

Are we enough to control our bodies? Are we enough to control our thoughts and emotions? Are we enough to control our relationships, our world, and our day-to-day life? Do we believe we are enough to control what happens on a plane or in a car? Do we walk out into a storm and believe we are enough to control the weather? How do we get a divorce, go to a funeral, or get into an accident and believe we are enough to keep hurt and pain from happening? How do we send our kids to kindergarten or college and believe we are enough to protect them from all things hurtful? How did we come to believe that we could walk into life and be enough to provide and protect ourselves and the people we love from all things and at all times?

What if life wasn’t about living to prove that we are enough, but life was supposed to free us to not be enough and that is exactly enough? What if our human design constantly testified that we aren’t enough and it forced us to look beyond ourselves to discover who or what is more than enough to cover our not-enoughness?

What if the only way to connect to love, hope, and joy was to not be enough? What if every circumstance and every relationship was designed to expose us to the reality and the truth that “we are not enough” and the greatest “sins” are when we use ourselves, our friends, family, talents, gifts and skills to construct lives that are so small as to create the illusion that we are enough?

This idea that we were born to be enough stands in complete contradiction to our human design and it keeps us from connecting to love, truth, hope joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control and rest. There’s no way we can truly experience life if we are constantly trying to control it to earn enoughness or prove that we are enough. And if we were enough, then why would we need love or anything else? Wouldn’t we just be enough?

What if not being enough was just the space we needed to grow ourselves and our relationships?

Where did we first learn that we were not enough and being not enough was not enough? Was it in our family, in our community, in our school, or in church? How did we respond? Don’t we all remember that point when we realized being a kid wasn’t enough, that being who we were—vulnerable, innocent, sensitive, transparent, fragile, weak, desperate—wasn’t enough to protect us from the world, wasn’t enough to please someone, or wasn’t enough to be loved? When were we not allowed to not be enough or to be honest that we weren’t enough?

Why wasn’t it enough to make mistakes, feel everything, speak our mind, tell the truth, live vulnerably, be sensitive, needy, weak, transparent, desperate, and dependent? Why couldn’t we just be children and be who we were and grow as we were designed? Why did we need systems, institutions, standards, test, grades, list, and scores to teach us what enough was? How many generations have been crushed by the guilt, shame, and fear of not being enough because we didn’t pass some “enough test”? What if we passed the test and proved we were enough? Then what? Were we allowed to just stay where we were or were we challenged that enough wasn’t enough and we needed to be more?

To the degree we don’t feel enough is enough, we will seek to prove enoughness, earn enoughness, and even make others prove they are enough.

How did we respond to not being enough? Did we create someone that we could pretend would be enough for whoever said we weren’t enough? Were we led to believe if we could prove we were enough, it would be enough to provide us with protection, love, and all that love provides (hope, peace, mercy, forgiveness, acceptance, value, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, rest, and self-control)? What did we need to do and who did we need to be to be enough? Would being good, strong, pretty, thin, obedient, smart, athletic, loyal, hardworking, and successful make us enough? How much of these qualities would we need to be enough to satisfy the enough gods?

What happens if and when these qualities weren’t enough, or we couldn’t be these things? Did the failure of never making the enough cut result in enough guilt, shame and fear to “motivate” us to do better and try harder or did it just crush us? On the other hand, did the success and pride of being enough set any of us free to stop trying to prove we were enough?

What if the struggle was enough, what if just being was enough and just being not enough encouraged and nourished people so much that it was incalculable, immeasurable and life changing? What if there was no such thing as being successful enough, financially secure enough, educated enough or happy enough? What if we were never enough, but we were full of love, hope, truth, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control? Would these things be enough for us to experience and enjoy life no matter what we had, what we looked like or how we performed?

What if every fear could be answered by the truth that we aren’t enough and that truth could set us free from the anxiety, pressure, busyness, and the lie that we can be enough, and we can do enough to provide and protect ourselves?

Are we exhausted from trying to be enough? Are we sick, stressed, depressed, sad and angry from always trying to be enough? Have we reduced our lives and fragmented ourselves because we are trying to prove we are enough in these little areas and we’re running from all the other places in our spirits, hearts, minds, bodies and relationships that we know we are not enough?

What if trying to be enough actually made us feel and become more aware of just how not enough we are? What’s the answer to all this enough talk? Perhaps it is time to GIVE-UP trying to be enough and give up feeling the guilt, shame and fear of not being enough. We are not enough to be perfect or to perfectly provide for and protect ourselves Spiritually, Emotionally, Mentally, Physically and Relationally.

Not only are we not enough, but all the things we try to use are not enough to make us enough. Food is not enough; sex is not enough; exercise is not enough; relationships are not enough; money is not enough; spouses are not enough; children are not enough; friends are not enough; our parent’s approval is not enough; cultural acceptance is not enough and neither are the right bodies, careers, homes, schools, degrees, religion, rules, information, power, fame and status. None of these things are enough when we need them to prove that we are enough.

What if our purpose is not discovered where we think we are enough but where we can rest in not being enough? As long as we are trying to be enough, we will never have enough time, energy or money to prove that we are enough; and at the same time, we won’t be able to live to just experience and enjoy life. The truth is, we will never be enough for ourselves, others, the world or even divine love, if we have to prove we are enough to earn acceptance, worth, mercy and forgiveness (aka LOVE).

The real answer to all this enough talk is not anything we can do, become or use to prove we are enough. The only thing that can force our endless pursuit of enoughness and the endless amount of guilt, shame and fear that comes along with that exhausting cycle is Love.

Love is enough for us and we are enough for love. Yet, love is not enough when it is not love but something that we have to work, perform or earn to get. We are enough for love and love is enough for us, when it is a gift that is received and given freely. Love is the answer to freeing us to be “not being enough” for anything or anyone else but love. We are enough for love. We are enough for anyone who wants to love us and not use or consume us.

When we discover our not enoughness, we can discover more than enough love to fill us to overflowing to rest and receive more than enough of love, hope, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, mercy, forgiveness, imagination, dreams, excitement, care, health, friendships and life! The truth is, we are not enough, and that’s exactly who we are designed to be—so that we can receive more than enough of the perfect love that we need to live the way we are designed.
Excerpt from The Alchemy of Human Design


What is Human Design?

michelangelo-abstract-boy-child-73805What is our Human Design?

There is a lot of misinformation and confusion about who we are and how we are supposed to feel, think and act. Every day we are told to be something: good, grateful, happy, successful, clean, funny, serious, dedicated, sexy, good-looking, peaceful, competitive, a good parent, faithful spouse, loyal friend, fair sibling, obedient child, good student and/or hard-working employee, etc.

If I were to ask you who you are, you would most likely answer the question with: I am a mom, dad, daughter, son, teacher, CEO, runner, blogger, etc. You would most likely answer who you are by something you think you are doing well or by who you are relationally to other people. While we may try to describe “who we are” by what we do and what roles we have in some relationships or circumstances, that is not who we really are at our most basic level.

The true human design is who we are all the time. It’s the design that exists from the time we are born until the time we die. Human design never changes. It’s not something we should ever hide. The human design is mysteriously complex, but it is not complicated to understand. It is simple but not simplistic. It is true and it is knowing our true design that will set us free from trying to be someone we can’t, free from unrealistic expectations and free to experience and enjoy ourselves, others and our lives.

(excerpts from The Alchemy of Human Design available