Hello all, I have switched from this wordpress domain to my own site. Humbly titled Justinguzman.com. I have decided that I wanted to write more than about what I was working on here which seemed to be diving further niche. I decided to broaden my topics and write about improving all areas of your life. So without much fanfare click here to check out my new site you can also check out my Infobarrel experiment and check out the writing I am do there by clicking on this link. I am currently working on re-purposing some old content as well as developing some new so check out the new place and let me know what you think.
To have dreams, goals and aspirations is fantastic. The only thing separating the dream from becoming reality is ACTION!! We must daily take action to move us closer to our goals if we are to ever achieve them. We must remove all distractions, unneccesary items and commitments in our schedules to free up time to perform actions that will move us closer to our goals.
Greetings all, I know I have not posted for a while and I must admit I began to get stuck coming up with content to post. I began to freeze up thinking it all has to be perfect content every time I post something. I have come to realize that the content will never be perfect. However while I was out on blog sabbatical, I have made some changes in my life. Changes that have eternal significance. If you are a member of the LDS religion you will understand what I have been preparing for. If you are not it will be a really good story that I am about to tell. The following is a talk I gave to my ward/congregation last weekend. It explains a bit of what I have been up too. Some is very personal and may only be understood by those around the area I live. But here it is.
Preparing for the Holy Temple
Good morning brothers and sisters.
I told my wife that I may be the first person to be Boo-ed off of the podium in sacrament meeting….
I cannot tell you how proud of my family I am today. They have all stepped up with no complaint and did something amazing.
Presenting talks here in church to the third ward. I am especially proud of my wife, as she has a self professed allergy to people.
I know how anxious she is around crowds and how nervous she has been to speak in front of you all and I could not be prouder of the job she has done.
I was asked to speak on Preparing for the Temple… Bishop gave me a talk by Elder Russel M. Nelson entitled personal preparation for temple blessings. He said to use the talk as a guidepost for preparing mine. I read through the talk, and it is a good…. well written talk, I would recomend that any of you read it. I just didnt get the inspiration to derive my own talk from it. Which actually kinda sucks because it forced me to write more of my own.
I kept getting the impression to speak of some of my own experience of preparation for the temple.
On Dec 26 of last year my wife and I were anxiously attending the stake center where they were making ward realignment changes, As many of you were as well…
As we watched President Miles with the projector screen announce that 2nd ward was going to annex the few blocks of 1st ward we were so excited. Some very good friends of ours live there and we were so happy to have them moving into our ward.
Then President miles clicked onto the next screen and it looked kinda funny…. it showed the few blocks on the lower side of main street, including the one my house was located in was going to be leaving 2nd and being pushed to 3rd ward.
Later that evening they had asked the new 3rd ward members to stand and sustain some of our new leaders. I looked around and did not recognize anyone. I had such a sick feeling of being separated from our ward family. Didn’t the stake presidency know we were in the middle of our preparation for the temple? Didn’t they know a move to a different ward could possibly damage our fragile activity we have always had? I cannot tell you how discouraged we were driving home that night.
Well…. I can tell you that after my interview with President Taylor that yes, the stake presidency was very concerned with our progress and knew of it…and still they felt the promptings to make the changes they did.
I can testify that Gods hand has been in the changes of the ward boundaries.
When I walked through the doors of this building that next sunday. I was filled with the spirit… testifying that this was my home… that this ward was where I needed to be and where I was needed.
I am so grateful to be able to share this with you all today. I probably would not be able to share with all of you individually how blessed we are to have become a part of 3rd ward. So today while I have you as a captive audience I can make that declaration. It is my hope that you get to know us a little better and become aware of our journey we have made to be ready for the temple.
As my wife mentioned since we started on the path to the temple we have switched wards and have had to sit before three different bishops. After having to sit in front of a judge of israel 3 different times I began to think the lord just wanted to make sure I was really…. really…. really…. ready to attend the temple.
And here is why;
Shortly before my baptism when I was 8 years old i began attending church. My parents were adamant that I needed the gospel to get some good morals. So I attended long enough that I was able to be baptized shortly after my birthday in May. I can remember stepping into the river, yes I was baptized in a river and confirmed on the dirt road right beside it. After baptism my attendance slacked off an I quit going to church.
Shortly before I turned 12 my parents decided I needed morals again an i began attending just long enough so that I could become ordained as a deacon. I passed the sacrament in the auburn ward and after a while became inactive again. I never really went back to church after that.
Hillary and I were married March 18, 1995 and shortly thereafter BreeAnn came into our lives. We both had a belief of the church and we had to have BreeAnn blessed. I was able to stand in as a father but could not offer a blessing.
We attended college as parents and not just students. I spent the nights working and Hillary would often do my homework for me. There was some very lean times we lived through while in college. Bryan was born in May of 98 as we were finishing our schooling and we moved back to Star Valley.
Hillary and I both aquired jobs here in the valley. And life just started to sail by….
In 2000 BreeAnn was diagnosed with Leukimia Cancer and our world was turned upside down. Hillary was pregnant with Brandon and taking BreeAnn to Primary childrens in Salt Lake City. I called upon my friend that had served a mission to come to Salt Lake and give my daughter a blessing. I believed in the teachings of the church but I was not a faithful attending member. So when my young daughter was sick I could only stand by while others administered the priesthood to her.
In 2005 we were asked if we would take the missionary discussions for BreeAnn as she was past the date when she could be baptized by the church. She would now be considered a convert. We sat through the discusions filled with the spirit and Bree decided to get baptized. I could only watch as ElderRonniser took Bree into the water and Baptized Her and Elder Chase Confirmed her a member of the church. Of course I was not the one administering the priesthood. And shortly thereafter quit attending church again.
Are you starting to see a theme here?
In the spring of 07 due the hard work of a very determined Elder Hubler. We began attending church again and my son Bryan was almost 9. Bishop wilford asked if I would like to be the one to baptize him. I jumped at it….. How cool would that be? To be able to administer the priesthoood to my children…
So after preparation and interview I was ordained a priest in the church which allows you to perform baptisms. I was able to baptize Bryan but not confirm him as those duties are reserved for the holders of the melchizedek priesthood.
Our progression in the church seemed to escalate… I was ordained and elder. I was able to Baptize, AND confirm my youngest son Brandon.
I was asked and able to give blessings too my two young nieces.
You can see my progression through the church on the wall of my house. I have all three of my childrens baptism certificates displayed on the wall of our home.
The first one for BreeAnn has the names of two elder missionaries baptizing and confirming her.
Bryan my second child has my name baptizing and Bishop wilfords confirming.
Brandon has my name as both the person baptizing and the person confirming.
So everything is going great…
Hillary and I are attending a Temple preparation class, We are regular attendees at church, I was the elders quorum secretary.
Our next step was to attend the temple……
and I quit going to church… what happened???
The weight of a lifetime of not living according to the gospel began to crush down on me. All of the sins of my years spent away from the church living as I saw fit, and not how God wants me to live began to settle in. I rationalized that I could not clear it up with the bishop there was no hope for me. And so I left.
Thankfully I was able to get past this and clear everything up but I had to first realize a few things first.
I had to realize that there is an adversary. And the closer that I would come to bringing my family to the temple the harder he would try to make us fail.
I would like to give advice to any of you who may be working toward the temple. Surround yourself with spiritual people, Read your scriptures, Pray every single day, attend your meetings. Wrap yourself up in the armor of god because you are going to be tempted.
I have a scripture that has been very helpful to me, it is when jesus was being tempted by the devil in Matthew chapter 4 verses 10,11
Then saith jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written , thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.
Aside from being tempted by the adversary, I have always struggled with the law of tithing.
And you may not be worthy to enter the temple until you obey this law.
Why should I work so hard for my money and then just give it away?
That is how I used to think…
I have learned from my testimony of tithing much more important things. I have learned that all things come to us from the mercy of god….including my job…and my paycheck.
I have learned to strive to lay up treasures in heaven and not here on earth.
I have learned patience, sacrifice, gratitude and service through tithing.
I have learned how to better manage my familys finances.
And without taking the rest of the time to talk about the blessings I have seen because of tithing. I will let you all know that this commandment is not restrictive, Like all of gods commandments it is protective. It will bless your lives immensly if you obey the law of tithing.
Preparation for the temple does not just happen by yourself….
I can attribute our journey to many, many caring individuals.
Layer after layer of good missionaries coming to our home and giving us the discussions over and over again. Always patient and persistent with us.
My home teachers who kept showing up time and time again, despite how difficult I was being to contact and set appointments with.
My home teaching companion who showed me how to be a good home teacher, taught me the importance of making your home teaching visits and who continually volunteered to give the lesson because I was too scared too.
The countless member missionaries who have answered our questions. Taught our classes. And continued to reach out to us in fellowship. Even this ward who I felt the embrace of love from the very first day we entered.
Because of the good work of all these amazing saints, I will be taking my family to the temple this friday march, 18 2011. To be sealed to them for time and all eternity.
Exactly 16 years after Hillary and I were first married.
I am filled with so much joy to know I am worthy to enter and partake of the covenants of the temple.
I am so proud of Hillary and all the hard work she had put in to be ready to kneel with me at the altar. Without her effort it would not have been possible to get to the temple as it takes two worthy individuals to be sealed together.
Here has been my path getting to the temple and I know yours will be or has been very different. It is my hope to be able to attend temple sessions with each and every one of you. As we all prepare for our eternal exaltation.
I leave you this in the name of Jesus Christ
Any questions about my journey feel free to ask,
I don’t pretend to know all the precepts of my religion but I know I have a father in heaven and I know his son died for my sins.
thank you for reading this,
I am going to start the new year out with one less bulky object to pack around as I travel for my job. This is a definitely a change for me and I will have to challenge my fear of the unknown.
I can see how panicked some of you task oriented peeps may be but here is a list of FAQ‘s and my replies.
How will you keep track of Birthdays, Appointments, Events?
How will you keep track of your TASKS?
Pretty easy anwers right?
Also remember that by having applied minimalism to my life I now have fewer tasks that need to be done anyway. And only important ones remain. It is not so hard to keep track of Tasks when you only have a few that matter.
I-Phone (which I already have) is going to take the place of my Franklin Covey calendar. My phone already syncs with Outlook Calendar which my company uses. I have been overly redundant putting dates in my planner, phone, and outlook to remember information. I will now only be inputting to I-Phone which will sync with outlook creating a backup for anything I may have needed to remember.
MOLESKINE is going to help me take messages, jot notes, preserve thoughts, and remember tasks. I know I could probably use the Iphone notepad but some things I feel I need to write down and preserve with ink. It’s also a pain in the ass to type much more than a few quick words into the notepad on the phone.
So by removing the planner from my life I will be doing my part to save trees, (no more planner pages) as well as saving myself some money, (not having to buy planner pages yearly).
I can hardly wait the HAMSTER WHEEL OF DEATH (evergrowingneverendingtasklist)will be shed from my life.
Join Back with me as I will show the funeral pyre of the planner on Jan 1, 2011
If burning you day planner is something you would like to do but the thought may frighten you a bit, Check out my post on Challenging your Fear or this post by digital nomad Jenny 27 ways to kick fears ass
Also be sure to check out Leo Babauta at zen habits. Leo is great at simplifying and focusing. His writing has help me to get rid of my planner.
If you think think someone will like this please share. BE SURE TO Subscribe to stay updated with the latest posts.
I wanted to write a post on fear because lately I have been challenging my fears and the results have been very surprising.
I want to be able to frame fear for you in the context it should be. As a motivator to do fantastic things with your life. Most commonly it permeates our lives by paralyzing our actions and clouding our thoughts with doubt.
Seth Godin in his bestselling book Linchpin, details what he calls the “resistance”, or our “Lizard Brain”. Our lizard brain is as Seth stated “hungry,scared,angry, and horny”. These emotions are the only thing the lizard brain knows. And evolution has done two things for us.
1) Placed the lizard brain directly on top of the spine so every action we commit has to be filtered through the lizard brain.
2) Ensuring our survival the lizard brain continually seeks to keep us in our “comfort zone”
Anything new, exciting, different and unknown will be promptly squished by the lizard brain. It does not want us standing up and making a difference. It wants us to stay quiet, sit down, go unnoticed so that the predators of life will not sniff us out and devour us.
So.. How then do we go about changing our lives from what they are now if our own psyche is trying so hard to keep doing the status quo?
Acknowledge the fear and then DIVE RIGHT IN. You absolutely will not grow if you always seek whats comfortable. You will never take a risk. Everett Bogue in this Post said that risk is really fearing what you are going to lose. And yes I am going to point to minimalism and tell you this. “If you have less things you will fear less things”.
Have you thought about all the stuff you would lose if you lost your job?
Are you working for your growth?
Are you working because you have gifts to offer the world?
Or are you working so you don’t lose your shit?
If answered yes to the last statement it is time to get rid of some stuff. And get rid of some fear.
If each item in your life was compared to a single strand of spider silk curling around your body, trapping your arms to your side then having a few items would be no big deal. You could easily break the strands of silk and start over.
What if you then owned a hundred items? The strands then become more stable and you can start to feel pressure on your chest when you try to breathe. How about we jump to a thousand items? or several thousand as most developed countries citizens have.
You can barely breathe from the tightness of the rope and the Black Widow called Consumerism has it’s fangs sunk deep into your flesh, bleeding you dry, taking the life force from you.
I hope as you read this post you reflect in your own life, what holds you back? what do you fear? Consider the fear, observe it objectively, and confront it head on.
Chances are if your Lizard brain is telling you “stop” and “lets play it safe”. You are on the right path to discovering some great things.
Here are some fears that I recently overcame and the results of confronting them.
1) Posting this blog on Facebook
I was scared to death about putting this blog out to my FB friends, this blog was my dirty little secret. I stressed about what people would think, what they would say. I finally decided that it did not matter. What I have to say is more important than petty worries of fitting into the mold and hit the post button. The results? Not much.. No negative comments. A few good view days and a few really positive comments. My work is out for the world to see and it feels great!
2) Going to a spinning class
Spinning is exercising on a stationary bike with a group of people set to music. It is a sport dominated by women. So what would people think if I am the only guy in a room full of chicks doing a chick thing? Absolutely nothing. Inside my head I could hear my old petty self calling me every pansy name in the book but you know what? It’s a damn tough workout, it kicks my ass and gets me in better shape, and I feel Fantastic when im done. I would challenge anyone thinking it is just for chicks to try it out. Most likely… if you scoff and scowl… you probably wouldn’t make it through a workout.
3) Tossing out a lot of stuff
Yes I feared tossing out all my clothes, tossing out my CD’s, tossing out multiple pieces of furniture. Tossing out pile after pile of useless junk. The thoughts that were pervading my mind constantly were, “Holy crap I paid a lot for that” or, “What if I need this item again“? The peace that has come with having more space, in my closet, in my house, and in my mind. I cannot describe… You will have to experience it for yourself Everett Bogue again made another great post about not believing anything anyone says you have to experience it yourself. I challenge you all to the same thing…
Don’t believe me go experience it for yourself…Challenge the status quo..face your fears.
Some of the fears I am currently working on overcoming currently are.
1) Interviewing an “A” list blogger
2) Guest posting on popular blogs
3) Helping my wife become a stay at home mother
4) Becoming location independent
5) Earning full time income online (clever way to phrase it eh?)
By the way here are a few people I love to read that have crossed the limitations in the traditional sense and are doing some really fantastic things.
Everett Bogue - Who quit his job last year and supports himself with his Minimalist Business and The Art of Being Minimalist E-books. Everett is the Jugarnaught of minimalism and runs the blog Farbeyondthestars.com
The links to products are all affiliate
In conclusion I would leave you with this quote:
He has not learned the lesson of life who every day does not surmount a fear~Ralph Waldo Emerson
what fears do you have?
What fears have you conquered?
I would love to hear your comments
(hint: leave a reply and press post comment button and lets start a discusion)
Please share this if you think it will help someone
My wife and I have been working on painting the interior of the house for the last two weekends. We are mostly done, with a hallway and a room in the rear of the house left to do. What we have been able to accomplish is some major paring down of stuff. When you paint it is a great way to be able to remove every thing from a room and replace only those things that matter the most. We also shampooed the carpets and then one by one added items back in. Here is an example of just one room in our house what we were able to do. What a fresh feeling to be ablet to relax in a wide open living space.
Our Living Room
TV/DVD/Dish network reciever/Xbox/Wii/Games for machines
Sectional couch/coffee table
Area Rug/Clock/Grandparents Whiskey Bottle collection on corner shelf/Rubber Tree/Ivy/Plant
14 items total, I know I grouped up the games and whiskey bottle collection. This may be far from minimalist but it is fantastic. The rooms is filled with space that we never knew we had before. Here is what we were able to eliminate from the room.
Bookshelf/Small Corner Table/Dishes hanging on wall/3 Porcelain Dolls/2 8×10 mirrors/40-50 DVDs (to be stored as digital media per previous post)/DVD shelf/6 framed photos and many unframed that were propped up around room/60 or so VHS tapes/Potpouri container/decorative jars/Wind Chime/Coin Display(moved to my office)
So by minimalist standards we are still crazed consumerists but by our own standard we are moving slowly toward the lifestyle that more is not better. Better is better. When you start to pare down your possesions to those that truly matter you end up with those items of exceptional Quality and those of exceptional meaning in your life. I could post how our dining room, front room and kitchen have all changed but it would be almost redundant to the living room. We cut and slashed a lot of stuff over the last two weekends freeing our space up significantly. I am getting closer to being able to create a list of everything I own without being innundated with useless objects on the list.
Antoine de Saint-Exupe
You should not have a single CD left in your house! The pile of plastic boxes with silver discs inside has plagued us long enough. It is time to eliminate another needless space waster. Will you be able to rid yourself of these? I did. Well not quite but im close. Here is what I am doing..
Two days ago I was trying to figure out the next step on my journey and I read a post by Sara Raush at her website Life more lived. Sara mentioned going to digital with all your movies and CD’s and I was all in. I have an entire crate of Compact Discs in my garage. (around 200) and I also have around 150 DVDs. I began to understand that I could place all of this information onto one sleek, sexy, portable hard drive. I would eliminate approximatley 350 possesions and still retain the same amount of information. What could be better?
So after walking into my local Radio shack and purchasing a portable hard drive. I began to load CDs into my Itunes and save them over to the hard drive. After loading all my discs onto the drive i put them up for auction on E-bay. I am trying to recoup the cost of the hard drive with my CD auction. I also believe time would be better served by selling them as a lot vs. trying to sell them individually. Next step… load all my movies onto the drive and auction them off as well. Any movie can then be watched over my laptop, of course its not a big screen TV with surround sound but I could watch a movie I wanted pretty much wherever and whenever I want, I will have portable media over my computer. Start thinking about what you could eliminate. After my DVD’s are gone I am going to try to go paperless with bill payments.
What else could you move to digital?
Have you had any luck reducing clutter in your life?
I would love to hear your stories. Use the comment button to share them.
Please share this with your friends if you think it will help.
How do we rationalize in our minds that it is ok to keep taking part in self destructive behavior?
You know this habit is killing you slowly one day at a time. So what is it that keeps us going back?
We must take back control of our minds and bodies and no longer be held hostage by habits that do not provide us with health and peace in our soul.
1) Aknowledge that there is a problem. Before you can ever go about fixing something you must understand that it is indeed broke. You cannot start a battle with your bad habit if you really don’t consider it bad. We must shine light on the cockroaches so that we may start to formulate a plan on how to get rid of them. Ignoring the problem wont make it go away on its own.
2) Accountability. Let your friends know that you are stopping the habit, make a deal with your spouse/children, post it online to a community of people. We must use the help of those that love us to be responsible for our decisions. Once we have declared publicy our intent there is a powerful urge to uphold our commitment. It may not be all you need to make it through but it will give you a good push in the right direction.
3) Prepare for cravings! Yes you mind with try to trick you into thinking “just this one time. As soon as you start to do something different, our brains go into panic mode. This evolutionary trait we all have is what Seth Godin terms the “lizard brain”. It is the part of the mind that has alway been looking out for predators, keeping us safe when we where out with the wild animals. The lizard brain never left us, it is there dormant until we start doing something different, something new, the lizard brain doesnt understand whats happening it just sends your body into overdrive trying to go back to what it feels is “normal” or “safe”. After years of developing a habit your prehistoric brain considers it “safe”. So before you will “kill” the habit your want to. Understand that there will be powerful cravings driving you back to the status quo. We must prepare ourselves for the fight to get through these cravings.
4) Substitute a positive habit. One of the methods of preparing is to have a new habit to do when you get the craving. Excercise, Healthy Eating, Writing, Drawing, whatever it is. Choose something positive that causes you to take your focus off your craving when you do have one. What could be better than using a good habit to help you abstain from a bad one.
5) Persistence is key, you must be as stubborn as a mule. You may not succeed the first time but understand you will succeed. Know in your heart and soul you MUST succeed and be persistent about succeeding. Use these steps and realize every day for the rest of your life you may have to battle the urge. Urges come in waves, some are stronger and bigger but they will pass. We must be able to ride the wave out knowing there will be an end to it.
If you persist and impose your will over your habit. Sometime around the 3-4 week mark of abstaining you will find relief, it will be as a cool rainshower on your soul. Coming to the understanding that you will no longer be held hostage to your habit is one of the best natural feelings of euphoria out there. When you get to this point. You have metaphorically taken your habit out in the field and shot it. Congratulations your free
What other suggestions do you have about changing a habit?
What habits have you conquered so far in life?
I would love to hear your thoughts
Please share this if you think it may help someone.
Guys I have been doing a lot of reading lately finding authors that are ahead of me in the game of life/bloggin/minimalism. The most recent e-book I have read is by Henri Juntilla called ”Passionate Living a simple guide to doing what you love”. Click here to view more details. Henri has made a living online Playing poker, designing websites, blogging, and writing books. Henri persuades us to take on the challenge to find your passion in life and do it. He outlines how each of us can find our niche passion and either monetize it or not. The money doesn’t matter living your passion does. If your interested in blogging part time or becoming a full time web wizard. Henri will give you a push in the right direction. I found the content very uniform with what im doing if you think you may be interested as well Click here . Yes the links are affiliate links and if you buy you will be supporting both Henri and I. Henri also runs the blog http://www.wakeupcloud.com
I recently have purchased and read this e-book titled, “THE ART OF BEING MINIMALIST”. by author Everett Bogue. Everett is a hardcore minimalist living with almost no possesions and making his living online, living wherever he wants to live. Everett outlines his journey toward minimalism and shows you how you too can start living a more fullfilling life. Everett also gives you advice on how to de-clutter your life, how to be more productive at work, How to start to make the changes in your life that will impact you the most and give you joy. I highly recomend this book you can get a copy by clicking the link Click here to visit Everett Bogue. I must let you know that this is an affiliate link and you will be supporting Everett’s writing as well as my own.