The Difference Between Love and Teamwork

Before we got married, dreaming came easy.

He was living in England, and I was living in Portland, Or.

I would sit on my doorstep on the phone with him and the muscles in my cheeks would grow tired from all the smiling. For hours we could talk of possibility and the life we would make together.

Mariachi bands would serenade us.

We would watch sunsets on horseback.

Land on pristine lakes in a private plane he would learn to fly.

Get married a hundred times in a hundred different ways because we loved each other that much and why not? We could do anything.

Except, once we were living together, we didn’t.

And it didn’t just feel like we would get to our big dreams someday, it felt like we lost our power.

Our Story

We said our vows in a bar, which could have been romantic had we really wanted it that way, but both of us knew something was off. I sobbed on our wedding night because the rushed way we became man and wife felt like a mockery of our love instead of a celebration of it, and there was no back in time to do it again, differently.

We were the couple that could dream anything, and in some moments, with just the right amount alcohol, believe anything too.

But what our first year of marriage taught us when not one of our grand plans unfolded into a life we now shared, was that loving each other was one thing, and learning how to be a team was another.

Becoming a Team

To be a team you need to do more than brainstorm possibility and toast to the future; you need to be able to come up with clear plan and strategy to work your way, step by step to the goal.  And, equally important, you need to be able to negotiate roles and trust your partner to fulfill those roles. You need to be able to forgive them when they don’t. You need to be able to  encourage one another through the valley experiences, and have enough fortitude and grace to not quit when you hate each other’s guts.

We just celebrated 7 years of marriage, 6 years of intentional teamwork. After our first year together, one failure after the other, we had a tear-filled  “state of the union” where we admitted to one another that we didn’t want to live like this anymore.

Life was passing by and the ache of being those people with brazen tongues and zero follow through made us want to drown our self-awareness in wine and booze. It was that, or actually change.

We chose change. And that meant learning what how to be The Number One Team in the Universe, for our shared world.

I recommitted not just to being Ronnie’s wife, but to being a woman who would help him clear a path so that his personal and our mutual dreams could come true. He did the same for me.

Over the next 6 years we saw vision after vision come true and our power came back.

#Couplegoals?

You may have seen the hashtag on instagram #couplegoals. Couples tag pics that inspire their travel, family, fitness, romantic goals and more. We know that everyone, like us, wants to dream and believe their dreams can come true.

The question is how do you accomplish all your hopes and dreams, both personal and shared, in marriage? How do you make your couple goals more than a hashtag?

Do you spend your 30s and 40s maximizing your earning potential and stock-piling resources to one day tackle the dreams you laid out in your 20s?

Maybe that’s one way. But that hasn’t been our way.

If that doesn’t feel like your style either, there is another way.

It’s called TEAMWORK.

It’s so simple, but don’t let it’s simplicity fool you into thinking, “Oh, I got that!”.

Teamwork needs all of you. And all of your man.

Teamwork is a quality of being. All of us can cultivate it, but first we have to stop assuming it supposed to come naturally.  It doesn’t come naturally. What comes naturally is fight or flight.  

And fight or flight, while great for survival, isn’t so great for marriage. And it’s not very helpful when it comes to your dreams either.

And though I’m so happy you are reading these words right now, I have to remind you what you already know. Teamwork isn’t something you read about in a blog post and then recap briefly to your spouse while handing him the garbage to take out.

Teamwork is something you practice, live, fail at, wrestle with and ultimately recommit to, just like your marriage vows, again and again and again.

You know our theme here: it’s Romance & Adventure. Two poetic words, that require a lot of practicality to actually enjoy.

Take the First Practical Step

So let’s do something practical.  

Download the R&A Roadmap for Deeper Connection and get started on these 12 practices today. We'll share with you 12 simple practices that have made our life more balanced and our marriage more of a positive team experience.

How to Write Your Life Manifesto

howtowriteyourlifemanifesto

A life of romance and adventure doesn't happen by accident; it takes intention. Spending some time creating your own manifesto is one of the best ways to get clear  about your intention. This post that originally appeared on morgandaycecil.com, will show you how to get going...

How to write your life manifesto begins by knowing what you want to publicly profess about yourself. (Knowing what you want to publicly profess begins by knowing what you intimately feel/believe, so get ready for some meaningful inner work ahead!)

Manifesto, in brief, is a public declaration of intentions. It is a pronouncement of principles and policies. It can be famously political or awesomely personal. Today we are going to create your LIFE manifesto, which is the awesomely personal variety. Knowing what you want to publicly profess about yourself and your life means getting your lens on life in order. Your lens on life is your world view combined with your heart view. It’s the special way you see your world and what is possible.

Getting your lens on life in order doesn’t mean you have to have your life, or Life, all figured out.  It just means you get to spend some quality time thinking about what you feel is of ultimate importance.

Think about the beliefs and ideas that seem of ultimate importance to you. Next think of how a commitment to these beliefs and ideas would look in practical terms, i.e. how do you want to practice these things?

Imagine you have children and all you can leave them with is one document about your life and who you are or dream to be. Your Life Manifesto would be it.

So what do you want to say? Your lens is your unique way of seeing the world and it’s a gift to others.When you use your lens to create your Life Manifesto, you are reflecting a piece of God to us all, and that is what makes each manifesto incomparably awesome.

So let’s begin!

Writing your life manifesto means quite literally typing out your lens on life, transforming your world view and heart view into personal statements.

A lot of them begin with I.... but not all your statements will. Here are a few examples from lines from my own life manifesto:

I believe every single moment is a fork in the road. Happily ever now is a prerequisite to happily ever after. Right now mornings with my husband, and afternoons dancing with my kids are the delight of my life. I dream of Italy and la dolce vita. When my cheeks hurt so bad from laughing and it’s like they’ve done a thousands sit-ups, I know it’s been a great day.  I grew up believing everyone finds their happy ending and that true love and excitement are birthrights. What I want to give most to the world is a remembrance of joy and the possibility of creating true intimacy with God. 

Here is some help to get you started.

Take our your journal and ready your pen. I’ll give you the first part of the sentence, you fill in the rest.

IMPORTANT: A Life Manifesto is not supposed to be a downer. So don't get all Emo when filling out the prompts below. Think of your Life Manifesto as a document proclaiming your highest belief in GOOD–in yourself, and what is possible for you to experience, share, and create in the world.  

When you finish writing it, it should feel like you’ve just had seven cups of coffee. You should be dancing and singing out loud. If this is not what you experience, just scratch what you have written and start again. You are allowed to write several drafts.

Remember: Your Life Manifesto is your personal anthem. It should make you giddy, and full of love for the world and hope for the future.

I am _______________________________________________________

I believe ____________________________________________________

When I was little ________________________________________________

Right now_____________________________________________________

I love ________________________________________________________

What I know for sure is ____________________________________________

I’ve never been more happy than when _________________________________

I have a penchant for _____________________________________________

I wish all of us could ______________________________________________

I dream of _____________________________________________________

People tell me I am _______________________________________________

I was born to ___________________________________________________

I am particularly good at   ___________________________________________

What I want most in the world is to ____________________________________

I was a________________________________________________________

I indulge in _____________________________________________________

The words I hold closest to my heart are __________________________________

If I get a chance I will ______________________________________________

I live for _______________________________________________________

I believe the most important thing in a person is to be ________________________

I have an amazing __________________________________________________

If I had a superpower it would be ________________________________________

I hail to _________________________________________________________

The big idea of my life is _____________________________________________

I am dedicated to __________________________________________________

Happiness is ______________________________________________________

I feel most alive when _______________________________________________

Okay, you get the idea, now it’s time to put it to use. Have some tea. Pour yourself half a glass of wine. Get cozy with some “Me” time and get writing. Declare the things you’ve always wanted to be so bold to declare. This is your life. Pronounce it wonderful.

When you get your manifesto written, will you share some of your favorite lines with with us? I know we all will be energized by hearing them.

Download & Read the R&A Manifesto... and Get Started Writing Your Own Life Manifesto

Take a photo, share on Instagram and tag me @morgandaycecil  @romanceandadventure. 

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An Intro to Sabbatical (and Why We're Taking One)

An Intro to Sabbatical (and Why We're Taking One)

Sabbath challenges the theology of progress by reminding us that we are already and always on sacred ground. The gifts of grace and delight are present and abundant; the time to live and love and give thanks and rest and delight is now, this moment, this day.

The idea of “sabbatical” comes from the the Biblical idea of the “Sabbath year,” which refers to the practice of letting farmland lie fallow once every seven years so it can be restored and replenished and bear fruit again. Sabbaticals do something similar for our souls-- they give us time away from work demands to rest so that our mental, emotional and creative reserves can be replenished and refreshed.  

 

Why Your Biggest Goals Often Fail... and a Better Way to Change Your Life

Big Goals Don't Need Your Bigger Efforts... They Need Your Brave Heart.

Happy 2016!!! Tis the season of dreaming and goal-setting and making all things new that you didn't get around to last year, right?

I love new beginnings and I love big goals. What I don't love is burn out. And that used to be my pattern. I would start January in a frenzy of inspiration and motivation, but it wouldn't last. My big efforts never seemed big enough to reach my big goals. Resistance always got the best of me, and when it did I would lie in a heap on the floor for a few days feeling like my life was never going to actually change.

I am so grateful that is not me anymore.  

This is me now:

Clearly and confidently, I am embracing the new year as the adventure it is. Resistance will surely come for me (as it does to us all), but when it does I'll be ready, because more than any year before I know who I am and what I'm made for. 

How did I make this huge shift?

A few years ago I sought some help from people I trust about this very issue. My life wasn't working the way I wanted it to (nor was it showing signs of much spiritual fruit) and I was tired of hitting the same glass ceiling.  I couldn't identify what was really stopping me from living the life I knew God created me for, and this frustrated me. It also strained my faith in the promise for "Life to the Full." (John 10:10)

What did he mean by life to the full? What was abundance in the Kingdom of God?

I knew "the issue wasn't the issue", but what was my issue? I kept praying for freedom and to know what  true freedom really meant, but I wasn't getting any answers.

Until...I got council from my people. We gathered at my friend's house and we prayed together. My husband and I sat on the floor of their bedroom and cried and shared our story and our frustration with life. 

These were the words I remember from that night that will forever change the way I look at big goals and what it takes to really have the life that I want, a life of freedom in Christ.

"You can have freedom and life to the full. You just have to be willing to go places you haven't gone yet in order to get it."

It was my friend's husband, our pastor, who said these words to me. What he was referring to was a healing journey I needed to take in regards to the sexual abuse I had suffered in my past. 

I was so terrified.

Because I am an inspirational quote junkie, I was familiar with the adage, "Everything you want is on the other side of fear," but never did it feel so personal. 

My fear was about intimacy and sex.

I didn't understand then what those two very personal things had to do with achieving my career goals. However, through the council of my pastor and dear friend, the Spirit convinced me that if I wanted to experience the true fullness of freedom God had for me as his daughter, I couldn't ignore the healing I needed in this area of my heart any longer.

And I really did want freedom.

So I said yes. God was with me and he would lead me. My part was to pair faith with action and finally confront what was behind all my fear. 

Fast forward two years. 

It's the eve of our webinar for the R&A Sutras. Tomorrow my husband and I will be sharing what this healing journey has taught us to over 200 people.

I am sharing this with you for two reasons:

1). As you head passionately into 2016 I want you to know that your big goals don't need your big efforts as much as they need your brave heart. You can strive, and you can strive, and you can strive, to loose weight/meet the One/change your career/start a business/plan a trip to Paris/(fill in your dream here), BUT if you are harboring lies about your identity or your worth, all your best efforts will be in vein. You'll hit that same glass ceiling-- the one you hit in 2015, and 2014, and 2013- and you'll burn out.  Here's why: the goal you are fixating on may not be the thing you need most after all. The thing you need most is the same thing I needed most-- a willingness to go places with God you haven't been willing to go before. You can do this. Make the resolution to finally face your biggest fears.You'll be SO surprised what else unlocks in your life.

2). The statistics for sexual abuse are crazy high. And even if you haven't been sexually abused, I can almost guarantee you've been affected by some version of sexual misuse. We live in a pretty dark world when it comes to sex. Maybe you are in the same place I was 2 years ago. Maybe you need to know there's hope and a real way to heal. If that's you, I'm inviting you to join us tomorrow (and if you can't be there live, sign up and we'll send you the replay).

I'm convinced, all of us need some sort of healing. 

To reach our biggest goals in life we don't need motivation, nearly as much as we need courage. A healing journey may not seem like the likely path to  achieving your fitness, financial, and professional goals, but I'm telling you it's the best one.

I am living a more genuine version of Life to the Full than I ever have before. It feels whole- my soul is experiencing fruit and my life on all fronts is working better. You can have this too.

As you journey through all the ebbs and flows of what this new year will bring, please remember your biggest goals don't need your bigger efforts. They only need your brave heart.