Monday, January 14, 2013

The Trifecta

tri fect a  noun  1. a type of bet, especially on horse races, in which the bettor must select the first three finishers in exact order.

That's the official definition of "trifecta." What it has come to mean in our house is this: "a combination of three winning things." Let's say someone aced a math test, had a cupcake party at school, and did his/her chores without being asked. That's a trifecta. Or maybe you hit no traffic on the way home from work, had your favorite thing for dinner, and then read a fantastic book. Trifecta. 

And, these days, here's what "trifecta" means for me--getting three specific, winning things done in a day: 1) scripture study; 2) yoga; and 3) writing. 

Any day I do any one of those things is a better day--and scriptures almost always get done. Two is better--but somehow, the whole of the three is way better than the sum of its parts. Trifecta. I'll briefly address each of the three. 

Thing One: Scriptures. Prayer is wonderful--an essential part of the day--but for me, it's only half of the equation when it comes to communicating with God. In my prayers, I pour out my heart to Him. When I study scriptures, He answers me. Always. Sometimes in ways not expected, but always with comfort and cheer and insight. Those answers may have nothing to do with the actual words on the page; sometimes it's as if they are merely a window through which I glimpse responses meant just for me. 

Thing Two: Yoga. I am not super keen on exercise in general. I don't enjoy sweating or having my face turn as red as a tomato. Playing team sports takes me back to my klutzy, always-picked-last childhood. I have grown to tolerate running, but only barely. 

For me, yoga is different, somehow. It balances strenuous work with regeneration; I find that both my body and mind are fully engaged and present when I practice it. Classes are great, but most of the time, it's just me and a DVD--Rodney Yee, Baron Baptiste, and Trudie Styler are three of my favorites. Yoga may not be your cup of tea, but the intensity with which I enjoy it has convinced me that there is a form of exercise--of some kind--for everyone. 

Thing Three: Writing. Being a wife is a calling; being a mother is another. I believe my church work is yet another way in which I give meaningful service and find joy and fulfillment. But writing feels even more uniquely mine, if that makes sense. 

God created the world with words. When I create a world in a story, I feel like I'm imitating Him in a humble, but primal and important way. It feels like a crucial part of my earthly mission. I am a better wife and mother and church worker when I am writing regularly--even if my daily writing time is very short. 

In the wonderful movie Chariots of Fire, Eric Liddell says "I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run, I feel His pleasure." Change that last sentence to "And when I write," and you've got me.

With such a glorious trifecta of bliss, why wouldn't I do all three, every single day?

Precisely because all three are so important to my happiness and growth, the Opposition of the Universe/Resistance/the Adversary works overtime to try to get me not to do them. I feel reluctant and lethargic; I'm tempted to procrastinate them until it's too late in the day. The great Steven Pressfield says, "The more scared we are of a work or calling, the more sure we can be that we have to do it." Substitute "reluctant" for "scared," if you want; but he's right; Resistance is nothing more than fear. 

Do know what it is that brings you lasting, consistent happiness? If not, sit down and see if you can make a simple outline for yourself. Maybe it'll look like my Trifecta; maybe it'll be totally different. But if you know your Bliss, and then get yourself to follow it as consistently as possible, I promise: you'll be happy.


  1. I totally relate to this! I've even had the same thoughts about God creating the world with words and seeing writing as a tiny version of creation.

    I'll add that if I read scriptures immediately before I write, I tend to have less Resistance and a far more productive session. Not that I always do that, because yeah, there's the reluctance/Resistance not to.

  2. Scriptures, YES! Writing, YES! Yoga? Nope. I don't think my body was made for contortion, but I admire those who can do it. Now that I'm too old for team sports, I'll stick with walking (on the treadmill when it's too cold outside).

  3. Love your trifecta and your thoughts on the same. Darn Resistance.

  4. Reading this makes me realize that I don't even know what those essentials are to me. I have always struggled with the scriptures. I have recently decided I hate the exercise I used to love. Every day feels like a muddle of goals that are mostly about getting something done rather than centering me. I am going to look for my trifecta, though. I have felt this kind of 'balance' before, but it's been too long. Beautiful post, Luisa. Much for me to think about.

  5. A Trifecta day for me would be a day I walk, write, and make pottery. This was fun to read.

  6. This has given me food for thought. I do know that the day goes better when I start out with heartfelt prayer followed by study. As for the other parts, I'm not sure.
    Thank you for inspiring me to pursue the answer to my own personal trifecta!