Welcome to Episode 5 of the Renew Your Mind podcast. I’m your host, Diana Swilinger. Today we’re going to talk about the Practical Christian. Thanks for joining me.
DIANA: Hey. Hey, what’s up? I hope you are doing well. I woke up today deciding it would be amazing. I decided today would be productive and awesome. So that is the kind of day I’m having, and I’m finding all sorts of evidence of amazing. I’m coaching several women today. I’m recording a couple of podcast episode. I’m doing what I love and helping people. It’s a great day. I love it. All right, so on these initial podcast episodes, I’ve been putting out some of my best brain hacks, and I think it’s the best time to do that, of course. But I also have been thinking, I want to make sure I share some stuff that lets all of you know where I’m coming from. When I do that, it’ll help you decide if what I teach resonates with you, if it’s helpful to you. Because, honestly, this podcast is not going to be for everyone. I’ve already gotten feedback through my blog and podcast that I’m wrong to teach Christians to be happy. I’ve been told we’re not supposed to be happy. We just need to rely on the joy of the Lord, which I’m not diminishing at all. But I have had people tell me that the things I’m teaching won’t work, that our brains get stuck and these tools don’t help. Like we’re just supposed to be martyrs or or pray or whatever, and this stuff doesn’t work. Okay? I don’t argue with any of that. This stuff isn’t going to work for everybody, especially if they don’t want it to, and they don’t want to try it, or they’ve got some other system in place. That’s fine. This isn’t for everybody. We’re all different. Our brains are different. Our experiences are different. Our perspectives are different. All of it. It’s all good.
What I teach isn’t for everyone, and that’s totally okay. But it’s also resonating with a lot of women. I’ve been helping hundreds of women find relief and feel better and improve their relationships and have more hope and, yes, even be more happy. That’s what they tell me, anyway. Those are my people. If that sounds like you, too, I’m here for you.
This is kind of how I think of it. So I’ll share a little bit where I’m coming from, and I refer to myself as a practical Christian. I like solutions. I’m a practical girl. My dad raised me he’s very different from my mom. My dad raised me with a common sense mindset. Don’t worry, my mom has a lot of common sense, too, but you’ll learn about her in a minute. But my dad, he taught me. We’re the ones who create results in our lives for ourselves. He showed me if I wanted something in life, it was going to be up to me to make it happen. I witnessed him build a successful career as a dentist. I’ve seen him do, uh, adventures as an investor and an entrepreneur. He created success in his life by being practical. He knew that the only person and this is what he modeled to me, he knew the only person that was going to make things better for him or make things happen in his life was him. He cared about his own life more than anyone else did. He was the one who was going to put things in place to make it better if something wasn’t working out well. And as a little girl, it started out as, like, projects around the house. If something wasn’t working well, I would help him. He’d find a better solution all the way to business goals, and he would do a lot of business things from home. And I witnessed this. And if things weren’t going the way he wanted, he’d create a solution and he’d implement it. I love this. I loved seeing him do that. I learned so much. I take after my dad, and he was a very practical guy.
But I’m also deeply spiritual. My mom raised me to have God in my life. She modeled how that was a beautiful, wonderful thing. She taught me to read my Bible. We would sing, worship songs together. She taught me how to pray. And what she modeled for me was that none of what life has to offer matters at all if we don’t have God at the very center of it. She taught me that I’m not actually in control of very much. That it’s God in control of everything. And she taught me to get on my knees and turn to him when I couldn’t find a solution. I love this. I take after my mom, and she’s a religious and spiritual person. They’re very different people, yet I take after both of them.
I have that foundation of faith, but I also am practical, and it kind of just filters into all I do. It filters into what I do as a life coach. It filters into everything I’m going to be sharing with you here on this podcast. There was a lot of times in my life where I leaned on my faith. I mean, most of it really, I’ve leaned on my faith so I could feel good about myself and life. And, uh, it has saved me some very dark places over and over again. But I have to say that I would give credit to the practical tools that I’ve learned for managing what’s going on in my mind. That’s what finally helped me to experience the peace and joy that God promises for us more than I ever did without the practical tools.
So, I could teach you a whole bunch of Bible verses about renewing the mind and directing our thoughts, and for sure you’re going to be hearing me mention them, but most of the women that I help already know those. They already know the verses. What they haven’t become skilled at yet is the mind management tools. They don’t know how to break free of limiting thoughts. This is what I focus on. That’s what I’ve become an expert in. That’s what I want to help people with day after day. And that’s why this podcast is often going to focus on, um, the practical concepts that I’ve learned and implemented and that have helped so many people that I work with.
The solution to all of our problems, all of them is a relationship with Jesus and practical ways to renew our minds and transform our lives. It’s both people. I read my Bible. I pray. I have a church family. And I look to God for direction in all the things I do in my life. And I embrace the power of my mind and my thoughts, and I get to take responsibility for what goes on in my brain. It’s mastering how we think that’s going to help us grow in emotional and intellectual maturity. It’s managing our thoughts that’s going to change our lives like nothing else. And once we take ownership for our thoughts, we can be a student of them. We can learn about them, we can understand them. And eventually, we can get good at directing our thoughts. We can start to play detective and search some of the less explored areas of our brain for those sneaky little thoughts. The subtle thoughts that we don’t even really pay much attention to. And so often, we don’t even question them. But question we should. I sounded like yoda. But question we should. I just watched, uh, episodes four through six of Star Wars with the kids. So so I’ve got some Yoda on the brain. Those thoughts question we should. Let’s question the thoughts. We can step back from what’s happening in our brains and watch like a spectator. I know this sounds weird, but if we could take our eyeballs out of our head and hold them back and point them back at our brain and see what is going on in there like a spectator, we’re going to learn all sorts of cool stuff that gives us power to uncover what’s going on in our brains and our emotions and start directing them.
We can unload our thoughts on paper and see them there. This isn’t anything I made up. This is a tool that I use that’s been out there. Lots of other people use it. There’s lots of different names for it. But I call it a thought dump. I like the word dump because I think of it kind of like a dump truck backing up to the piece of paper and then dumping all the thoughts on. You just write and write and write. You let them all dump out. You’re going to find some thoughts in there too, when you look back and read them. That’s why I like the word thought dump on this too. You’re going to find some thoughts that you wrote down that you want to dump. Like they’re trash, they’re no good. Time to get rid of them. Those thoughts that are like, I’m not good enough. I’m not doing enough. I shouldn’t have said that. My house should be cleaner. I’m not pretty enough, whatever. It is practical thought management. This is how we learn the skill of having joy in all circumstances.
I want to give you an example of how I’ve used these tools in my own life. So I’m going to give you a recent example. We’re in the middle of the coronavirus season, and my husband just found out that he’s been put on furlough. So I had a lot of emotion come up that was really hard for me to pick apart. Felt kind of like a mosh pit of all sorts of feelings. So I did just, uh, a real quick thought dump on it to find out maybe what the main thing was that I was thinking. So my husband’s on furlough. Here’s a bunch of the thoughts I wrote down. He’ll enjoy a break. The kids will love this. Maybe he’ll get in my way. I might get sick of him. He might get sick of me. This will impact our income. He’s safer at home. I like my space. And this is going to interfere. He’s going to get lots of house projects done, though. That’s awesome. Now I’m going to be the one who has to make coffee in the morning. And I had a lot of other thoughts, but that just gives you an example of doing a dump. And I look back on it and I thought, which one feels which one’s feeling a little icky or which one’s feeling heavy or which one’s gnawing at me? And the one that my eyes kept returning to is, maybe he’ll get in my way. So I played around with that thought for a little bit. What does that mean? It sounds like it’s a worry. I think he’s going to get in my way and interfere. Sounds negative. I don’t even know if that’s true, though. Is it true? Maybe it’s not true. What emotions does this thought bring up? Maybe he’ll get in my way. Um, I kind of played around with fear or worry, but it didn’t feel quite that heavy. It felt a little more docile, I guess. So concern. Kind of like a low grade fear or just a little bit of worry? Concern. I was just concerned, but that still didn’t feel very good. Feels tentative. Uh, so how is this thought serving me then? Is it helpful? Didn’t really feel helpful if I’m having the emotion of concern, because how do I show up when I’m feeling concerned? For me, I kind of spin even in my activity. So I could imagine myself if I kept thinking this thought that I’d just kind of walk in circles around the house, not really getting a lot done, because I had this low grade fear or worry that was bubbling up as just concern. It keeps me from doing good things, so it’s not really serving me. So that’s an example of a thought I might want to dump, and so I have dumped it. I guess it pops up still, right? But then I think, nah, I already decided that thought isn’t really useful. It’s not serving me. Let’s just not think it. Let’s think something else. Or I might say, maybe he’ll get in my way. Maybe, but maybe not. So let’s not worry about that right now. And then I get to move on. The reality is, the situation of my husband being furloughed has no power over how I think or feel. It has nothing to do with that. I’m the one who decides how I think and feel, and I get to choose whatever is going on. We can have joy in all circumstances if we get our minds right.
This is how we experience the peace that surpasses all understanding. This is how we get the leverage we need to learn how to love, accept, and appreciate ourselves like God does, like God already loves and accepts us. As Christians, we have access to tons of teachings about God’s word, how to pray, how to act and behave, what to do. I know you know these things already. That’s why I focus on teaching how to grab hold of God’s promises and feel better no matter what life throws at you, through managing your thoughts and renewing your mind.
This is how, after years and years of being a Christian who still struggled with depression, anxiety, feeling stuck, being miserable, these are the tools that allowed me to figure out how to feel happy and confident and feel content. It is possible my relationships are better. I feel joy regardless of what life throws at me. And I want this for you too. I really do. And if you’re here and you’re still listening, I think you want that too. That’s why I’m calling this the renew your mind movement. There are so many people who need these skills. Let’s get them to them. Let’s have some practical skills that help us get over the hump and feel better, right?
So share this podcast with your friends who need it. Share it with the person who needs that skill to get out of their funk, to feel love for themselves again, to stop being stuck. Let’s help each other out. If you haven’t been there yet, you can go to rympodcast.com and join the Facebook community for this podcast. Go ahead and post in there. Share what you’re thinking, share your thoughts, ask questions. I’m there. Let’s have a conversation. And if you want other ways to work with me, um same place, rympodcast.com. You’ll find all the details you need to know. I am so excited you’re here. I’m excited you want these tools. Let’s get this party started. I’ll talk to you next week with some more practical stuff to renew your mind. Take care.
As an advanced, certified life coach, I help Christian women trying to live their best lives, but they still feel unsatisfied and stuck. I teach thought management skills that work, so you can enjoy life again and step into who God has created you to be. Don’t forget to head on over to Rympodcast.com to get my free resources or a free coaching call.