Go for God (and Break through the Chains)

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Go for God (and Break through the Chains)

I recently started to dig back into reading one of my favorite books from one of my favorite spiritual teachers.  The book is called A Return to Love:  Reflections on the Principles of a Course in Miracles by Marianne Williamson. 

We all have our areas where we struggle in life and we have to break through barriers and self-limiting beliefs.   In her book, Marianne recounted a story about a woman who had lost a huge amount of weight.  When Marianne asked her how she did it, she replied, “I asked God to do it for me.  I just asked that he take the monkey off my back.  I didn’t even care if I was fat.  I told Him that if He wanted me to be fat, to make me comfortable with it.  I just wanted out of this Hell.”

Marianne, who also struggled with her weight earlier in her life, ultimately decided her weight didn’t really matter.  All that mattered was love.   If she could concentrate more on training her mind to live from a place of love, rather than fear, all of her problems would disappear. 

She shared that in Eastern religions that their philosophy is, “Go for God, and all that is not authentically you will drop.”  Once Marianne stopped thinking so much about her weight, she looked in the mirror one day and saw that it was gone.  She realized that her weight had nothing to do with her body, but with her mind. 

Does this story sound familiar to you?  What if you asked God to help you break through your chains?  Do you believe in miracles?  As this woman who lost a great deal of weight did, ask God to do it for you.  He will give you a miracle if you are open to receiving it and are willing to put the work in.

I recently received a miracle in my own life.  One area that I needed a miracle in was to release the need for external validation.  Looking for happiness and validation outside of myself.  I am sure many of you can relate to this as this is one of the most common human struggles. 

I asked God to release me from this need.  To know that my happiness comes from inside and ultimately from God.    The scripture that God put on my heart comes from John 14:27 which states, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you:  I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” 

Making a change and breaking a pattern starts with a decision.   A decision that you are ready to break through the chains and go for God.  Once you do that miracles can happen instantly.  It doesn’t mean you stop going for God.  It will take continuous work on your mind and going for God in prayer and guidance.  The key is not to do this alone.  Ask God to do it for you and be willing to do the work. 

Once you break through those chains you will feel freer, lighter, more joyful and have internal peace like you never thought possible. 

If you are ready to reclaim your inner warrior and get fit from the inside out so you can have more vitality, adventure and purpose in your life, contact me at troy@troyismir.com.   I would love to be a part of your tribe to help you live the life you were created to live.

Troy Ismir, MS

Spiritual Warrior

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Fall in Love with Feeling Alive

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Fall in Love with Feeling Alive

I just completed a golf certification called Tathata Golf.   Tathata means, “suchness,” a sense of complete understanding and all knowing.   It’s about the mind, body and swing connection.   What I love about this program is that it is so much more than just getting better at golf, it’s about getting better at life. 

The founder, Bryan Hepler, in one of the deeper discussions was talking about falling in love with feeling alive and the energy it brings.   He said it is so much more than being on a diet or what foods you eat.  It’s all about feeling alive and having sustainable energy.

How often do we eat something that makes us feel heavy or we overeat and feel stuffed and lose all of our energy?   Imagine if we ate foods that made us feel alive.  Foods that nourished and alkalized our cells like fruits and vegetables do. 

When I ate a vegan diet for a period of time in my life, I had never felt more alive and energetic.  I am not saying you have to go vegan to get that feeling, but I am saying you have to be aware of how you fuel your body, so you can be ready for whatever life throws at you. 

I am not aware of too many people who don't wish they had more energy in their life.  One simple thing you can start to do is fuel your body with good whole foods such as lean meats, nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables.  It really doesn’t have to get more complicated than that.  Pay attention to how you feel after you eat.  Do you feel sluggish or energized?

If you feel sluggish than you really need to take a look at what you are eating.  If you feel more energized after you eat than you are probably on the right track.  Nutrition is one of the single most important things we can do for our health, but it is often times over looked all for the sake of convenience or lack of time. 

I want to challenge you to start to choose foods that make you feel alive and to fall in love with that feeling.  Train your body in a way that it is always ready and you have an abundance of energy.  You will be amazed at how much more fun life is when you have sustainable energy. 

Troy Ismir, MS

Spiritual Warrior

 

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I Failed...But it's OK!

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I Failed...But it's OK!

My latest adventure to Fort Collins started about 3 months ago.   After resigning from my 6 figure pharmaceutical job in Orlando, I took the leap of faith to move to Fort Collins, Colorado with the plan of building my own health, fitness, nutrition and golf coaching practice.  I came here with clarity, peace and a great sense of adventure all the while embracing the great unknown.    I had a complete sense of freedom.    

Then I was thrown a little curve-ball.  I was offered a position as the fitness manager at the premier health club in Fort Collins.   This was a similar position I had held about 20 years ago at the RDV Sportsplex in Orlando, but this position was magnified in the scope of responsibilities I would have. 

After much prayer and deliberation, I decided to take the position and forgo my dreams of starting my own business.  I started out strong, passionate and with great enthusiasm.   My goal was to lead like Jesus after reading the book Lead Like Jesus by Ken Blanchard and Phil Hodges.   We were able to implement some positive changes in a very short period of time.  I discovered through this journey that I love to lead people and inspire them to be their best. 

My fitness team was incredible.  They worked hard and sacrificed so they could impact the members.  They were an inspiration to me.  What I also learned on this journey that being the fitness manager at a health club with 4 different locations and 24,000 members was not the right fit for me at this time in my career.  It is a very fast paced job, with many responsibilities outside of leadership and education. 

After 2 months, I made the decision to resign my position as the fitness manager.  I woke up one morning, went for a long bike ride and things became crystal clear to me.  For me, God speaks to me when I am moving and mainly when I am on my bike.   I felt God was sending me a clear message that He brought me out here to lead a community to grow spiritually and in the process get healthier in mind and body. 

I am a firm believer that our body is important to our faith.  I also believe growing spiritually is the key to making lasting lifestyle changes.   Our mind, body and spirit is not separate.  We cannot compartmentalize one area of our life and live the life that God promises us. 

What that journey looks like for you, I am not sure.  What I can say for me is I am being shown if I can focus on growing spiritually,  then my mental and physical health will get better in the process.  It’s more about bringing my fitness into my faith. 

Although my time at this health club was short, I developed so many friendships and learned a great deal about myself along the way.  It may be a stretch to call it a failure, because I have grown so much from the experience. 

One of my favorite quotes is from Teddy Roosevelt.  “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.  The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming;  but who does actually strive to do the deeds who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause;  who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory or defeat.”

I got in the arena, I got bloody, dusty and sweaty.    I learned so much from my time as the fitness manager and I will be forever grateful for the opportunity to be a part of that great organization.   A spiritual warrior uses everything for learning and growth. 

It’s time for me to get back to developing my own practice.  To get back to writing, blogging, podcasting and coaching.  It is what I love to do.  I have fallen in love with feeling alive.  My question to you is are you in love with feeling alive?

Troy Ismir, MS

Spiritual Warrior

Reclaim your inner warrior and experience more vitality, adventure and purpose in your life.

 

 

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Embracing Uncertainty

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Embracing Uncertainty

“Uncertainty is the mark of a spiritual life.”  This is a quote from one of my favorite authors, John Eldredge.   The amount of risk you are willing to take is a reflection of how much you trust God. 

Embracing uncertainty has certainly been a journey for me.  It has taken me many years to get to the point of being courageous enough to take a huge risk.  If you have been following my journey you know I recently moved to Colorado after leaving my 6 figure job in pharmaceuticals along with all of the benefits that go along with that. 

But here was the problem.  I was bored and boredom is a very dangerous place for a man.  Fortunately, I was grounded enough in my faith and surrounded myself with strong Christian men that kept me focused on what truly is important in life.  

What kept me grounded was having a transcendent cause greater than myself.   My cause has been sharing my passion for my faith and fitness and through this, helping people see the possibilities for their own life. 

My mission in my life over the last several years has been to reclaim my inner warrior.  That warrior side that I had as a boy growing up and as a young man who played football in college. 

But as we all know, life can knock us down and beat the warrior out of us.  I had lost my inner warrior along the way while being in a bad marriage and lacking a strong faith and identity in Christ. 

My journey that I have been on is reclaiming my inner warrior and becoming a master of self.  To train each and every day physically, mentally and spiritually as if my life depends on it, because it does.   The only way I can make a difference in someone else’s life is if I master my own. 

This journey has led me to Colorado.  I moved here without having a job and taking a leap of faith that God would open doors for me through my faithfulness and boy did he ever. 

I start my new role on Monday as the Fitness Director at Miramont Lifestyle Fitness.  It has thousands of members at 4 different sites and an extremely talented group of fitness professionals that I am blessed enough to now be part of. 

I have been working out at this gym for years on my vacations to Colorado and have always thought this is one of the best health clubs in the country and now I get to play a role in making it even better.

This is a shining example of how God works out everything for good.   God has been shaping and preparing me for this leadership role for some time now.   I trace it back to the decision I made about 7 years ago while sitting at C3 church, in the midst of a painful divorce and making the commitment that I would use every ounce of pain that I was in at the time to do good, to make a difference in the world. 

I want to encourage you on your journey of self-mastery.   It’s a process that never ends, but it is one well worth taking.  God wants our whole life surrendered to him and he will keep knocking on the door until we decide to give him every part of our life. 

My friends, I believe this life of risk and uncertainty is worth taking.  As I am learning, living a life of uncertainty is the only way to live.   As Teddy Roosevelt encourages us through one of his famous quotes to get in the arena, get a little sweaty and bloody.  If you are going to fail, fail greatly.   That is why we were put here on earth.  To get in the game, to be spiritually alive, to live a life of fulfillment and purpose all for the glory of God. 

Troy Ismir, MS

Spiritual Warrior

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Are You Still Dreaming?

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Are You Still Dreaming?

Do you remember when you were a kid and you had all of these dreams of what your life was going to be like when you grew up.  I remember as a kid all I ever dreamed of was being a professional football player.  That was all I thought about and I had no doubt in my mind that dream would come true. 

I vividly remember getting my first real football helmet when I was around 8 years old.  It was a shiny purple Minnesota Vikings football helmet with those white and yellow Viking horns on the side.  I would throw passes to myself in my bedroom and jump for the ball and dive for it and land safely on my bed. 

Well that dream didn’t end the way I had planned.  My dreams of playing in the NFL were snuffed out when I had about the worst knee injury you could possibly have.  I tore my ACL, MCL, PCL and my medial meniscus after an opposing player fell directly on my knee as it was firmly planted in the ground.  In a fraction of a second my dreams were crushed. 

Ever since that fateful day I think I have been searching for a new dream, for a new purpose.  How about you?  What dreams were taken away from you in your youth?  Have you stopped dreaming?  Have you stopped hoping for a better life?  A life of vitality, purpose and adventure.  A life of significance. 

For many years I stopped dreaming.  I just got stuck in the day to day of life.  Don’t get me wrong, I have lived a blessed life despite the heart break of a devastating knee injury and a life shattering divorce.

I have two amazing children and overall my health is great.  A bionic knee and hip doesn’t stop me from working out every day and pushing my body to the limit. 

But at what point do we stop dreaming and thinking big?   At what point do we settle for mediocre and stop taking risks?   I think this has happened to most all of us.  We get disappointed in our lost dreams and our broken hearts and we just settle for playing it safe.  I will be the first to admit I have lived the majority of my life that way. 

Playing football is a risk in and of itself.  Every time I stepped on that field I knew there was a great risk, but I did it anyways.  I did it because I loved the game.  I loved going to battle with all of my teammates not knowing what the outcome was going to be.   I left most games, bruised, bloodied and beat up.  But I loved it.

I recently started dreaming again.  I decided life is too short to stop dreaming.  I decided to get back in the arena.  To risk getting bruised, bloodied and beat up.  Just in a different way.  I left my safe six figure income with all the benefits that go along with it to follow my dream or should I say God’s calling for my life. 

I was trying out a new church on Sunday in my new home town of Fort Collins, Colorado and the pastor was preaching on the subject of more.  It was based on the scripture Ephesians 3:20-21.  It says, “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!

What if we started dreaming again?  What if we got back in the arena and started to dream again like when we were a little kid?  What if we started to take risks again, not stupid risks, but risks that would make a difference in your life and the lives of others?

God can do more in our life that we can ever imagine.  His love is wide and deep for us.  God can do more than we can immeasurably ask or imagine, but we have to get back in the game.  Start dreaming again.  Stop settling for playing small. 

Start by asking God to open your eyes and heart to the dreams he has for you.  Think big.  Your dreams should scare you.  If you can accomplish your dreams on your own than you aren’t dreaming big enough.  Our dreams need to be so big that the only way to accomplish them is through 100% reliance on God’s strength. 

My dream is to have a fitness ministry that reaches people that would never know God otherwise.   I know I would have made many different decisions in my life if I would have had a personal relationship with God at a young age.   Fitness is my platform, but my message is about having a personal relationship with God. 

I have no idea how this is going to work.  I don’t know what doors are going to open and what doors are going to be slammed shut.  I know that my dreams are big and that I can’t do this on my own.  I am praying for energy, wisdom, patience and perseverance.  I pray that I can touch many people’s hearts and have an impact on many people’s lives.    

I want more.  I want to dream big dreams.   One of my favorite quotes is from Teddy Roosevelt.  “It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.  The credit belongs to the man in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly…who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotions, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of a high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who have never known neither victory nor defeat.”

My challenge to you is to start dreaming again.  Dream big.  Get back in the arena and embrace getting dusty, sweaty and a little bloody.  Remember this one thing as you go down this path.  It won’t be easy, but you don’t have to do this alone.  Call on God and he will guide and direct every step you take as you work to honor and glorify him.

Troy Ismir, MS

Spiritual Warrior

 

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Developing a Personal Relationship with God

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Developing a Personal Relationship with God

My latest episode of the Divine Wellness Academy podcast is all about developing a personal relationship with God.  My guest is Kendrick S. Moore.  Kendrick is a former football player and graduate of University of Central Florida.  He is a minister of Gospel and currently resides in Orlando, Florida.  He’s married to his lovely wife Nathacha for 20 years.  He has two beautiful children, a son Kendrick and a daughter Briannah.  Kendrick is a man after God’s own heart.    Here is a summary of what we talked about during the interview.  If you missed the latest episode you can listen here.

Kendrick’s Scripture Choice:  Mark 11:24

Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

What is it Like to Have a Fellowship With God?

First and foremost you have to have a desire to get to know God.    You have to know and want to know that he exists.  Hebrews 11:6 states, “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”

Every person is seeking a desire to know God.  The ultimate desire is to know God.  Many people seek money, fame and power and instead of seeking God.    It is important to seek first the kingdom of God as Matthew 6:33 states.

 What Does it look like to Communicate with God Continually Throughout the Day?

It’s about spending time with God.  There are two main things you have to do.

Read and study the word of God.  When you study the Word of God you go in with the intent of learning something from it.    God’s word is revealed to us in scripture.

Prayer is your time to align yourself with the Spirit of God.   Jesus always went off by himself to pray.  Prayer is very powerful.  It is how we communicate with God.

 What is the Difference Between Religion and Having a Personal Relationship with God?

Religion is man’s thoughts towards God.    Religion isn’t necessarily a bad thing.    Most all of us started with religion.  If you have a sincere heart you will move from religion to having a true fellowship with God.

My conversations with Kendrick are always meaningful, deep and insightful.  I hope you enjoyed our interview together as much as I did.

Troy Ismir, MS

Spiritual Warrior

Reclaim your inner warrior and experience more vitality, purpose and adventure in your life.  

"The credit goes to the man in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly."  - Teddy Roosevelt

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