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Saudade Reading 11/20

Saudade Reading 11/20

Saudade (pronounced “sow-DAH-djee”), noun, a feeling of longing, melancholy, or nostalgia for a happiness that once was – or even a happiness that you merely hoped for. First recorded in the 13th century poetry collection Cancioneiro da Ajuda, saudade was popularized in the 15th century when Portuguese ships sailed to Africa and Asia and those left behind felt the loss of loved ones who departed.

According to philosopher Kierkegaard, there is “bliss in melancholy and sadness”. Scientists over the years have concurred with Kierkegaard and researchers from the University of New South Wales found that sadness can help improve attention to detail, increase perseverance, and promote generosity. Most of us will have experienced a bittersweet pleasure in moments of melancholy – reminiscing, flickering through old photographs, or caring about anything or anyone enough to miss it/them when they’re gone. The only way to avoid sadness and regret completely is to avoid living life – we only appreciate the light if we’ve experienced shade. This is why saudade matters.

There’s an ambiguity to this concept/feeling – or rather, a complexity – and an understanding that some losses are unavoidable, and that that’s okay. Psychologists agree that there is merit to this way of thinking. Acknowledging that sadness is part of our reality and that it’s “okay to not be okay”. In fact, it is actually healthy. It helps us come to terms with the fact that some degree of suffering in this life is normal and that we’ll get through it. This doesn’t mean that we care any less – we can mourn and experience full-blown saudade, then get on with our day.

Saudade has been described as a “presence of absence” – but not in a pity party sense. More like the realization of how important the people in your life are and the realization that your special moments are taken for granted. It makes you grateful for what you have, and aware it might be gone in a heartbeat. This is an approach to happiness that’s been around for millennia, with the stoic philosopher Seneca recommending that we imagine losing everything – regularly – so we learn to value what we have.

In Portugal and Brazil, saudade makes them feel things more deeply…both the sadness and the joy. And it reminds us to celebrate what we have. We’re always ready to dance and we’re always ready to love.

I like the idea of celebrating happiness past as well as present. Saudade feels like a love letter to loss; a necessary slackening to stay afloat and a way to acknowledge the people we care for as well as our hopes and dreams – whether they’d have turned out the way we envision or not. I miss my grandpa, I miss my old friend who I can never be close to again. I ache for both. But I’m grateful that they were in my life for the time that they were. Now, I’d quite like to go have a cry for them. And then, maybe, I’ll feel like dancing. This, is saudade.

Wait a Minute…Who Are You?

Wait a Minute…Who Are You?

A study conducted by the University of California – San Diego (pre-pandemic) calculated that each person takes in about 34 GB of information per day. Through mobile phones, online entertainment services, the Internet, electronic mail, television, radio, newspapers, books, social media etc. people receive every day about 105,000 words or 23 words per second in half a day (12 hours) (during awake hours). – Tech 21 Century 

In a world where most people unquestioningly accept what they are told, independent thinkers are a rare breed. 

There are so many people, places and things I owe for motivating and shaping me into the person that I am today. As cliche as that sounds, it’s true. For all of us! 

Over the past year, I have put more intentional effort into developing my character than I ever have. Through this process (difficult being an understatement), I’ve found one concept that convicts me with more depth than any others: the importance of thinking for myself. 

The ability to think for oneself is one of the most essential skills for a successful life.

Too often, we are told what to think. We are given the “correct” answer and expected to just accept it. Why? Why do we so blindly take everything at face value? Some could say it’s the easiest option… Trust me friends, there is MORE to life. Thinking for yourself can encourage you to spend time thinking about what you’ve learned and how it relates to what you already know. You will ask questions, seek answers, and challenge ideas. We should be people who are interested in making up their own minds. Your thoughts make you who you are, so when you stop thinking for yourself, you give up your self-worth and control over your life. Many people blindly follow what they’ve been told without ever questioning their beliefs.

Is this too much?? It can be heavy. Let’s back up and start with the basics: 

Who is the real “you?”

What do you want out of life? What are your passions? What brings you joy? What are your fears?  

These should be relatively easy questions that don’t require much thought. But guess what – they do; Because we’ve grown to not make these the foundation of our being. Once you can confidently answer these questions, you’re on track for authentic living.

The ability to think for oneself is an important component of personal growth. Unfortunately, we’re bombarded with information coming at us from all angles, and it can be difficult to tell what’s true and what’s false. 

As a human living in the digital age, you are now responsible for your own thoughts. It may seem like a daunting task, but your original self-expression depends on it. The moment you start thinking for yourself, new perceptions, mental models and new worlds open up for you.

You either think for yourself, or others think for you without consideration of your actual needs.

I can’t express this enough: The PURPOSE of Growth Co. is to help guide you into a lifestyle that is lead by thinking for yourself in order to further explore and develop your true character. I, Lexi Hernandez, don’t have all the answers to life and I’m still discerning how to live a life full of love and understanding. It has never been the hope that as a member, you come to get “answers” from someone who has it all figured out. I don’t find that to be effective leadership. I’m with you. I’m working on and through my own s**t! The REAL hope is that we come together to learn our OWN voices, beliefs and values and can practice respectfully walking alongside one another for all celebrations and fails in life. With Jesus at the core of MY foundation, I believe these things are achievable.

It starts with learning to think for yourself: your authentic future depends on it.

Cheers,

September Gatherings

September Gatherings

Hi Friends,

September is here and we are ready to gather! This month, we have 2 online options, 2 in-person options and 1 missional/volunteer option for all of you! We have loved getting to know you all in our gathering environments and we hope to continue to get to know you and new friends this month through the following pathways:

ONLINE OPTIONS

Sunday 9/4 @ 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM EST – We will have an online gathering via zoom

Tuesday 9/13 @ 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM EST – We will have an online gathering via zoom

For our zooms, we find it best to go on a loose schedule to keep things on track.

7:00 – 7:15 PM – Introductions for new folks/folks who haven’t met one another. You will never be forced to speak on a zoom, but we DO wish to know you and would love to make connections through our gatherings.

7:15 PM – 7:20 PM – Sharing concerns and celebrations. We want to be there for you to support you through things that are going great and things that are cause for concern. It’s important to have support for ALL things that happen in life, and we want you to know it is important to us to provide that space. Part of building meaningful relationships is sharing the good and the bad that you may be experiencing.

7:20 PM – 8:00 PM – Brewing Conversations! We don’t always have a specific topic that we’d like to discuss on the zooms. There are times when the conversation organically leads to great discussion topics and we just spend time hanging out with one another. For example, our last zoom lead us to a laughing session over our serial killer traits! This was fun and unexpected! Other times, there are specific topics and questions that we will encourage the group to talk about. For example, we have had zooms in the past with topics like: “Being on your ‘A’ Game” , “Killing Them with Kindness” , “How to Take the High Road”, etc. Our conversations are ALWAYS meaningful and intentional, and build great bonds.

IN-PERSON OPTIONS (Mooresville & Surrounding Areas)

Friday 9/2 @ 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM – SOUL Creations Resin/Epoxy class w/dinner at SOUL Creations warehouse in Mooresville, NC. SOUL creations is a non-profit who’s proceeds benefit Growth Co. and AMPED (a local children’s development program), and our partners in Uganda. They would like for us to participate in a test class, and make products to sell to help support Growth Co.

Thursday 9/22 @ 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM – Music Bingo at Hoptown Brewing Co. in Mooresville, NC. Come hang out with us and enjoy a drink while we play music bingo at a local brewery!

MISSIONAL/VOLUNTEERING

Sunday 9/25 @ 12:30 PM – Assist AMPED (Local Children’s Development Program) at Zootastic in Troutman, NC.

The Power of Time Management

The Power of Time Management

Hi friends, Lexi here!

As you may know, I am a licensed local pastor in the United Methodist denomination. Sometimes, I have to preach at Growth Co.’s anchor church – West Church LKN. This past Sunday was one of those times. It’s a totally different experience than what we offer at Growth Co., but it’s just as amazing. Today’s On Draft post is going to be a written version of my notes from Sunday’s message on Time Management. 

It’s ironic of me to be thinking I can provide any advice or teachings on time management, because I have no time management. But, what I was able to find after researching and putting together into notes was transformational for me. I want to share those things with you today with hopes that it can be transformation for you, too.

The Power of Time Management:

On my quest for information regarding this topic, I came across this article: https://doanewthing.com/3-time-management-tips-learned-jesus/

I’ve inserted the link, but will give a quick summary of what it says:

“3 Time Management Tips I Learned from Jesus”

  1. Jesus Focused on What Was in Front of Him in the Moment
    • He listened, focused and took care of the tasks where he was without being distracted by what was happening elsewhere.
  2. Jesus Didn’t Worry about What Was Going Undone
    • He knew it would be done when it was time to do it
    • He had in mind a specific time and place where those needs would be taken care of.
  3. Jesus Didn’t Try To Achieve “Balance”
    • He had no concept of “balance”
    • He was guided wherever his needs were most needed for that moment
    • At different times he would mentor the disciples, school the Pharisees and honor his Mother and Father.
    • *But he didn’t try to do them all at once, or give them equal effort all the time*

These concepts were amazing to me, ESPECIALLY #3!

How many of us say that we have poor time management because we haven’t mastered the art of “Balance”?

Jokes on us!!! 

 “Balance” is the greatest time management myth.  Do you know what “balance” means?  It means applying equal effort to all things at all times.  Really??  No wonder we feel so guilty when we fall short of that ideal “balance”.  If balance is what we seek, we are set up for failure from the beginning. 

MIND. BLOWN.

Lucky for us, there is still hope! Have you ever heard of the Pareto Principle? 

Check out this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PaUWhO-B7Ts

Now that’s what I’m talking about!

If time management if one of your skills that has room for improvement, there are plenty of tools and resources to help you be successful. Like I said, it is probably the #1 thing I struggle with in my life currently, so I am right there with you!! 

If you do NOT struggle with time management…I need you. Haha! 

Thank you for reading today’s post.

As always, we hope that it helps you #fillyourcup

Cheers,

Volunteering As a Young Adult

Volunteering As a Young Adult

Hi friends, Lexi here!

Typically when I’m writing an “On Draft” post, I’ll search around and read other articles to collect thoughts and inspiration. I knew for this week, it would be awesome to share some thoughts around volunteering as a young adult. In my search for thoughts and inspiration, I stumbled upon this article. I read it. Then I listened to it. Then read it again!

I stared at the screen for a little while before I realized that there was no way I could piece together a better article than the one I was reading.

This was hands down, one of (if not THE) best articles around volunteering as a young adult that I have ever read. The points in this piece are beautiful, encouraging and something we should all read.

I don’t want to shame you if you aren’t volunteering, I know we all just trying to take life day by day. However, this article at least will bring awareness to some REAL benefits of volunteering. I really hope you read it.

Click here to read: “Volunteering in my 20s” by Alex on Medium https://medium.com/@ilincaalexandra/volunteering-in-my-20s-6705df572d2c

As always, we hope you can #fillyourcup

Cheers!