I Am A Spiritual Warrior Coach

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I Am A Spiritual Warrior Coach

What is it about taking risks that scares us so much?  What is it about being so concerned with what people think of us?   I have been ensnared in the safety and comfort zone trap my whole life.  I have been bogged down by wanting people to like me as long as I can remember.  It’s an exhausting and soul killing way to live.  It has made me shrink back and play small out of fear of what people think about me. 

Here is my recent battle as small as it may seem, it’s a really big deal to me.   Over the course of the last year I have been developing and growing my fitness ministry.  As I dig into my work and listen to the desires God is putting on my heart, I am realizing more and more my ministry is centering on men’s discipleship.  This is where my heart feels fully alive.  This is where I feel I can make the biggest impact for the Kingdom of God. 

When people ask me what I do for a living, I have been giving them a safe answer of, “I am a personal trainer.”  Of course there is nothing wrong with being a personal trainer.  I believe helping people with their health and fitness is a very noble thing to do. 

But what I realize and what I am truly stepping into is I AM A SPIRITUAL WARRIOR COACH.  I help men to reclaim their inner warrior through physical fitness and fitness adventures for the betterment of humanity.   Fitness is merely the platform to help men become stronger spiritual leaders.  To re-learn how to be a lover and a warrior as Jesus calls us to be. 

Men in today’s culture are perceived as weak, passive or overly aggressive.   In many cases we have lost the ability to be strong spiritual leaders.  I believe God is asking me to step up and take on the role of modeling what it looks like to be a strong spiritual leader. 

If there is one regret in my life is that I was not the spiritual leader in my family as my kids were growing up.  God was not central in my life at that time and therefore it wasn’t something I modeled on a regular basis.  I was an engaged father to my kids, but it centered on athletics and school and not what it meant to be a Christ follower.

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I do know this though.  It’s never too late.  As my faith grows and I believe in myself more, I am stepping up to be the leader God is calling me to be.   A leader in my family, my church and my community.  It has not been an easy path, nor will it ever be an easy path.   As Christians we are asked to pick up our cross and follow Jesus, no matter the cost.   That has been a work in progress for me.  Sometimes my soul is on fire and there are other times I want to go back to my old easy life.

So what exactly is a spiritual warrior?  Here are the traits that I believe exudes what a true spiritual warrior made in the image of God looks like:

·         LIVES A LIFE OF ADVENTURE

·         EMBRACES UNCERTAINTY AS THE THEME OF OUR LIFE

·         GOES INTO THE UNKNOWN WITH GOD

·         LIVES A LIFE FULL OF PASSION AND COURAGE

·         IS DISCIPLINED INTERNALLY AND EXTERNALLY

·         HAS MENTAL FOCUS

·         HAS AN ATTITUDE OF PERSEVERANCE

·         TRAINS PHYSICALLY, MENTALLY AND SPIRITUALLY EVERY DAY

·         LIVES TO GLORIFY GOD IN ALL WE DO

·         WE LIVE FOR A TRANSCENDENT CAUSE GREATER THAN OURSELVES

One thing I have realized on this journey is we are all warriors in training.  We never arrive.  We are never perfect.  We will always be learning and growing.  Most importantly, we need to surround ourselves with other godly men to go on this journey with. 

That is why I AM A SPIRITUAL WARRIOR COACH.   As men, we need support, encouragement and a safe place to be vulnerable and courageous.  Too many of us are living in quiet desperation.  We are afraid to take off the body armor and show up truly as we are.  We are afraid of failing, being seen and therefore we shrink back and become passive or overly aggressive.

Men, it’s time to change that.  Your first courageous step is to reach out for help.  If you are still struggling with the same things you have been struggling with for the past months, years or maybe even decades, maybe it’s time to do something different.  Maybe it’s time to reach out to a spiritual warrior coach. 

I am seeing lives being transformed through the work God is doing in me and through me.  Be strong and courageous and most importantly take a chance on yourself.  Imagine the possibilities when you reclaim your inner warrior and live the life you are created to live.   Imagine what will happen when you get out of your quiet desperation and start to live fully alive. 

Troy Ismir, MS

Spiritual Warrior Coach

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The Man in the Arena (Getting his Ass Kicked a Little Bit)

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The Man in the Arena (Getting his Ass Kicked a Little Bit)

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 “Get in the arena, show up, do your thing and don’t be afraid to get your ass kicked a little bit.” –Brene Brown

Do you ever have one of those days, weeks, months or even years where you just want to quit?  Where you don’t want to get in the arena anymore and keep getting your ass kicked? When you get to the point in your life where you want to say screw it and run away from reality?

I had one of those weeks not too long ago.  I wanted to quit everything.  Quit trying to grow a fitness ministry that I feel less than qualified to lead because of all of my glaring weaknesses.  Quit leading my men’s Bible and Barbells and Spiritual Warriors Unite men’s discipleship programs.  I wanted to run and hide and never come back.  I am an expert at isolation.  That is a behavior I have down pat. 

When I left my six figure job and my comfortable surroundings I had lived in for twenty years in Orlando about a year and a half ago, I knew things were going to be hard as I jumped in with both feet to become a Kingdom building entrepreneur.   I just didn’t know all of the things that would show up in my life.  Areas of personal development and growth that I have been avoiding for years, probably more subconsciously than anything else. 

I have always been a fly under the radar kind of a guy.  You know the guy that says my actions speak for themselves.  The strong, silent type.  Stoic and composed.  Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with those character traits, but sometimes we need to be heard and seen and that means speaking up and playing big. 

Even as a star athlete in high school, I shunned the lime light.  When I saw a sports reporter coming my way, I conveniently headed the other direction.  I never really liked talking about myself.  It felt self-serving, conceited and egotistical. 

 For me it was much safer to play it small and not take risks.  To put on my body armor and not let anybody in.  To play it safe and fly under the radar. 

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What I have learned recently, that if I keep myself small, keep hiding behind the scenes, I am not going to make the impact in the world that God is calling me to make.   God will not be able to use me fully if I am not willing to be vulnerable and get into the arena and get bloodied and sweaty. 

I am learning that great leaders are vulnerable.  They are willing to admit that they aren’t perfect and don’t have all of the answers.  They share what’s on their heart and are not concerned about what people think about them. 

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I get how Moses felt inadequate to do what God called him to do. He came up with every excuse in the book not to fulfill the mission God gave him from I am not good enough, I am a terrible public speaker and I am not qualified. I have told myself all of those things, unfortunately many times.

My work is asking me to be more vulnerable.  To open myself up to failure, criticism and the great unknown.  And quite honestly that scares the hell out of me.  I am a master at control, but I am being asked to let go of certainty and embrace uncertainty as the main theme of my life and that means being vulnerable. 

Everything in me says quit and run the other way, but I am going to get in the arena.  I may come out bloody, but that’s OK.  The man who says I failed is ten times more of a man that says what if. 

I am going to step into the arena and dare greatly.  I know I am going to mess up along the way, and fact if I don’t, I am not taking big enough risks for God.    My intention is to be a leader of men and show what being vulnerable and courageous is all about.   My hope and prayer is that leads to greater connection, love, self-worth and belonging.  I am going to get in the arena and dare greatly even if I fall short again and again. How about you?

Troy Ismir, MS

Spiritual Warrior Coach

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Change the World with Love

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Change the World with Love

My heart is breaking! Sadly we live in a world where a man goes into a synagogue and randomly kills eleven people because he decides he hates Jews.

We live in a world where a doctor abuses his power and sexually abuses over one hundred women for his own pleasure.

Sadly we live in a world where there is still prejudice. Where we always think we are right and the other person is wrong and we won’t even listen to understand.

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It’s easy to throw up our hands and complain and join in on all of the rhetoric and hate. That is never going to solve the world’s problems.

What if we changed the world with love one person at a time? Not conditional love, but unconditional love to all people.

What if we as men step up to be the spiritual leaders we are called to be? What if we as men got in community with other men where we could be vulnerable and authentic and stop pretending to be someone we are not? What if we saw vulnerability as strength and not weakness?

I am sick and tired of this me against you attitude, us against them. What if we all partnered together as one nation under God and just showed up from a place of powerful love for the betterment of humanity? That would change the world. I am all in! How about you?

Troy Ismir, MS

Spiritual Warrior

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Rewire Your Brain Back to Perfection

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Rewire Your Brain Back to Perfection

I want to change the world.  I want to show people what is possible when we fully step into who we are created to be.  What I have realized is I will never be able to do this with my current self-limiting beliefs.  I will never become the person God created me to be with my history of toxic thinking. 

That’s why I recently embarked on a journey of renewing my mind.  I decided I was going to put as much effort into my mental training as my physical and spiritual training.    I am learning that they all work together.  If one of those areas is under-developed we will fall short of who we are called to be and what we are called to do. 

I have been completely geeking out on quantum physics, neuroscience and epigenetics.  I am channeling my inner geek to learn as much as possible about my mind and the power that we have been given to control our thoughts and ultimately change our brain and pattern of toxic thinking. 

One of my favorite authors and neuroscientist is Dr. Caroline Leaf.  I just finished reading her book for the second time called, Switch on Your Brain:  The Key to Peak Happiness, Thinking, and Health.    She has a 21 day brain detox program that I have been going through. 

One thing she said that I thought was really profound is we have the capability of rewiring our brain back to its original state.  We can rewire our brain back to perfection.  Wow!  How amazing is that. 

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One of the scriptures that really ties into that thought is 2nd Corinthians 5:17 that says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:  The old has gone, the new is here!”

We are born again when we accept Jesus as our Savior.  We have a new life in Christ.  The old Troy is gone and the new Troy is here.  But, here is the thing I am learning.  It doesn’t happen overnight.  Yes, we are saved, but our life isn’t automatically transformed.  It takes time, patience and perseverance. 

I have committed to rewiring my brain back to perfection.  To renewing my mind every single day and sometimes minute by minute if I have to.  I am meditating daily, journaling, memorizing scripture and taking every thought captive.   I am determined to get rid of toxic thinking once and for all.  Toxic thinking actually leads to brain damage. 

I am reading as much as I can to help me understand how powerful our God given mind is.  Proverbs 4:23 says, “Be careful what you think because your thoughts run your life.”  How powerful is that.   The enemy wants us to shrink back and believe his lies.  No more!  I will only believe the truth and what God says about me. 

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Ephesians 2:10 says, “We are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared us in advance to do.”  That is the truth.  It is up to me and you to let that sink into our hearts and actually believe it and live out our life that way. 

What toxic thoughts are you struggling with?  Imagine the possibilities in your life if you started to rewire your brain back to perfection.  If you got rid of those destructive thoughts that you believe about yourself.  It takes time, consistent effort and perseverance. I am learning it is worth every second I am investing into my thought life as I can already see the difference in my life and how I am showing up in the world.  I am ready to be that world changer that God is calling me to be. 

How about you?  Are you ready to step into being the person you are called to be?  Don’t go it alone.  I specialize in helping men reclaim their inner warrior by strengthening their mind, body and spirit.  Transformational changes happens in community.   You can reach me at troy@troyismir.com to explore what it would look like for us to do some spiritual warrior coaching together.

Troy Ismir, MS

Spiritual Warrior Coach

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Heart Transformation Happens in Community

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Heart Transformation Happens in Community

Is there ever a word that keeps showing up in your life over and over again?  It’s that tap on the shoulder, that voice in your head, that desire in your heart.   The word that keeps getting shown to me is community.  Which is kind of ironic as I have become a master of isolation over the course of a life time.  Isolation is my default button when I feel overwhelmed and don’t want to deal with the challenges in life.

What God is showing me is heart transformation happens in community.  Of course we need our alone time with God, I have been doing that consistently for over eight years now.   What I am learning is the importance of community.  A place to be authentic and vulnerable.  Without that component of non-judgmental accountability it will be very challenging to become the person God created us to be. 

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There are two components to heart transformation.  A relationship with Jesus is the vertical component that helps us to become more like Christ.  The horizontal component to heart transformation is our relationship with other people.  Proverbs 27:17 states, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”

This played out recently on a personal level with me last week.  I lift weights once a week with a great friend.  Our workouts are as much about spiritual transformation as they are about physical transformation.  We have a relationship where we can be real and vulnerable with each other.  He spoke the truth into me and encouraged me based on some of the struggles I have shared with him over the past year.   

He showed me the love of Christ by speaking words of encouragement into my heart.  Of course I have taken this battle to God many times over, but there is something about sharing our battle with other believers that brings it home.  What I have discovered through being in community is so many of us our facing the same battles.  Why go it alone?

God recently put this strong desire on my heart to create a community for men where we can be completely real and vulnerable.   To me this is church.  It’s men showing brotherly love to each other.  Learning how to become more like Christ through scripture, prayer and shared struggles and victories.  It’s having our hearts transformed in community. 

This community is called Spiritual Warriors Unite that meets once a month at the gym I train at called The Body, which stands for the Body of Christ.  How cool is that?  Romans 12:4-5 says, “For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 

We are developing a community or church at The Body that is caring for the Body of Christ.  After all the church is people.  It’s not a building or an institution.  It’s quite simply followers of Jesus serving and caring for others. 

Heart transformation happens in community, but so many people isolate themselves from community when they are hurting, depressed, struggling with sin and addiction or feel unworthy.   I totally get that as isolation has been my default for many years of my life.  I have learned the hard way that things never turn out good when we go into isolation mode. 

Here are three things I have learned to do to get out of isolation and into community for a heart transformation.

Find one or two guys you can be 100% real and vulnerable with:

This has been the biggest game changer in my life.  I have two guys in my life I can share my heart and soul with.  I know I can tell them anything and I will not be judged.  I can share my heart, my struggles and my dark side knowing that they will love me unconditionally. 

This is a rare thing especially for guys.  We talk about real matters of the heart.  We don’t try to fix each other.  We listen to each other, showing compassion and caring for one another.  If you don’t have somebody like this in your life you are missing that horizontal component of life change.  Pray and ask God to bring a brother in Christ into your life that can speak the words of truth and love into your life. 

Join a men’s Bible study: 

Being in the Word of God shoulder to shoulder with other brothers is transformative.  I recently joined a men’s Bible study at a local church.  At first I was hesitant to do so because I wanted a morning where I didn’t have to be somewhere at a certain time early in the morning. I also love my quiet time alone (there is that isolation piece shining through.)  I made myself go and it has been one of the best decisions I have made. 

The pastor is a masterful teacher of the Word.  The insights I have gained in a few short weeks has already transformed my heart.  I have also developed friendships with other men I never would have had the chance to know on a personal level.  Take a chance and join a men’s Bible study. It will transform you heart.

Be a spiritual mentor to someone else:  

As followers of Jesus we are called to love and serve others.  We are not meant to keep our faith to ourselves.  We are called to disciple other men.  This will transform our heart as well as the person we are mentoring. 

When we know we are making a difference in someone else’s life it changes us on the inside as well.  One of the best things we can do when we are hurting and suffering is to use our pain to do good.  That has been a basic principle in my life over the past eight years.  It’s amazing how God uses the suffering in our life to make a difference in other people’s lives. 

God has used my pain of divorce to mentor and counsel other people who have gone and are going through the trials of divorce.  He is using my story to help others to see that there is life after divorce.   “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”  Romans 8:28.

Isolation only leads to a dark and lonely place full of depression, sadness and despair.  Being in community leads to heart transformation, peace and love.  Find another guy you trust, join a men’s Bible study and be a mentor to another person and you will see heart transformation at its finest. 

Heart transformation happens in community.  Don’t go it alone.  Take that first step and reach out to me or another brother.  It takes courage and strength to put yourself out there and to create a new possibility for yourself.  Choose life not despair. 

Troy Ismir, MS

Spiritual Warrior Coach

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Spiritual Warrior Manifesto

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Spiritual Warrior Manifesto

I believe every man wants to live out his true purpose and live a life of significance.  I believe every man wants to step into his power and be the person he was created to be. 

Playing small and shrinking back is such a common theme among men in our world today.  We have been settling for mediocrity and the status quo. 

 “There is no passion to be found playing small-in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”-Nelson Mandela

As Spiritual Warriors we are called to rise up and push our limits of physical fitness, mental toughness and spiritual growth for the betterment of humanity. 

Many men are tolerating life and living in quiet desperation.  Boredom is a dangerous place for a man.  It is our enemy.  Life has a way of taking our sense of adventure away.  Our attachment to comfort and security is what limits most men from living powerful and passionate lives. 

Spiritual Warriors defy the status quo.   We train ourselves to be warriors because God may have an impossible mission he wants to do through us.  Spiritual Warriors are deeply dependent on God and embrace risk with courage. 

Many men fall into a life of self-centeredness, isolation and addiction.  A man’s addictions are the result of refusing our strengths.   Our addictions result from not living out our mission. 

Spiritual Warriors are called to live out our purpose and mission.  By aligning every part of our life towards our mission we will feel fully alive and free. 

Spiritual Warriors nourish our bodies with healthy food so we can have an abundance of energy and optimal health. 

We train physically so we can be strong and full of vitality. 

We strengthen our mind so we can overcome fear to make an impact in our world. 

We grow spiritually so we can be a source of light in a world that is full of darkness. 

Spiritual Warriors are called to live a life of freedom, simplicity and adventure.   We are called to be in community and live a life of service.   A quality of a true Spiritual Warrior is that we are in service to a purpose greater than ourselves. 

My mission is to build a social movement of men who are becoming Spiritual Warriors through fitness and physical adventure for the betterment of humanity.  

My vision is to be revolutionary in impacting men’s lives with fitness as the platform for growing spiritually. 

I invite you to go on this journey with me.   To be a part of our community of Spiritual Warriors.    Imagine the possibilities for yourself, your family, your community and the world when you step into being the man you were created to be and become a Spiritual Warrior!

Troy Ismir, MS

Spiritual Warrior Coach

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