The Call To Lift Your Spirit


How did I get here from there? Do you ever find yourself asking yourself that question? I have been doing that a lot lately as I have been on this journey of finding my own spiritual path. 

Who would have thought that my work would be as a spiritual warrior coach. Not me. I am a personal trainer. That has been my identity for almost thirty years. I started as a personal trainer back in 1993 working at a small upscale personal training studio in Edina, Minnesota.

I will always be passionate about fitness. It is a big part of my life. I can’t imagine not exercising and being physically active. In fact, one thing I have discovered about myself is that one of my greatest passions is exploring new territory on my bike, which I am getting to do on my digital nomad adventure. That has brought me so much joy in the past couple of weeks and will be a big part of my life moving forward.

The Call To Be A Spiritual Coach

But what is shifting for me is my calling to be a spiritual coach. To help men find their own spiritual path as I find mine. My own inner work has led me to find my own spiritual path and experience God on a deep personal level that I never knew was possible. 

If you would have told me that my purpose in life even a couple of short years ago was to develop my own spiritual path and help men to do the same, I would have said you were crazy. It still seems a little crazy to me, but that is what sets my soul on fire.

The call to be a mystic without a monastery is running deep within my soul. The books that I have been reading lately can attest to that such as The Monk Within and A New Silence both by Beverly Lanzetta. I have also read The Divine Matrix by Gregg Braden and Wisdom Jesus by Cynthia Bourgeault. This is just a small sampling of what I am reading. They are all speaking to my heart. I have also been reading many of Thich Nhat Hanh’s writings.

Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh is a global spiritual leader, poet and peace activist, revered around the world for his pioneering teachings on mindfulness, global ethics and peace. I love this quote from Thich Nhat Hanh.

 “Our own life has to be our message.”

Through my own soul searching I have come to the realization that my life is about finding my own spiritual path and helping men find their spiritual path.

As always my coach, mentor and friend, Kimberly Dawson has helped guide me in this process. As we were having our usual deep conversation last week I shared with her this deep calling on my heart to become less about fitness and more about spirituality.

Spiritual Weight Lifting

The name of my ministry is Barbells & Brothers. She helped me realize that it’s still about lifting weights, it’s just metaphorical weights. We are doing the heavy lifting to find our own spiritual path.

One thing I have done on my journey is I have lost my religion to find my own spiritual path. Being raised with a conservative Christian upbringing where the message I absorbed was I had to earn love, including God’s. To be a good Christian I had to go to church and pretend like I had it all together.

Christianity was all about rules, performance, earning and image. How could I be raised in the church and not even know who Jesus was? Maybe that was my own doing because I wasn’t open to receive or maybe I wasn’t taught that Christianity is about experiencing Jesus at our heart level.

As I lose my religion and find my own spiritual path, I see this whole world of possibility in front of me. A world filled with love, joy, peace and compassion. Not a world filled with I am right and you are wrong. Not a world filled with hate and violence, but a world filled with love and peace. That is the message of Jesus. That is the message of Buddha. That is my message. That is my work. That is my spiritual path. It is the wisdom path of Jesus.

Lift Your Spirit

My call is to lift your spirit as a spiritual warrior coach. As God created all of us uniquely, I believe each of us are called to our own unique spiritual path and it’s up to each of us to find what our path is. I believe it’s the road less traveled. It certainly has been for me.

I can’t think of a better way than to spend the rest of my life growing spiritually being open to receive what God has in store for me. To embrace the unknown and live a life of joy accepting everything that has happened in my life and using it for good.

I believe now more than ever men need spiritual guidance, not religious dogma. That hasn’t worked for the past 2,000 years. Jesus didn’t come here to start a religion, he came here to show us what self-emptying and reckless love looks like in his full humanity. It isn’t a religion of following rules, it’s a spiritual path of love.

One way I am lifting my spiritual weights is through meditation. It has become a non-negotiable in my life. I used to spend hours in the gym lifting weights, it was an addiction. I used to beat myself up in the gym because I thought I deserved it because I was bad.

We Are Inherently Good

I had it all wrong. I am not bad, I am inherently good. I am not broken, I am a divine soul of love. That is my true nature, it just got covered up from many years of self-abuse and what religion taught me. I am good at my core and so are you.

Through my regular spiritual practice of meditation I am being divinely healed of any past childhood wounds that I experienced. Jesus is my Divine Healer. I simply sit still and allow the healing power of Jesus to wash over me. Then I go out into the world and have the same healing energy as Jesus did.

If you want to wrap your brain around a crazy Bible verse try this one on for size. 

“Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” John 14:12

So what this is telling me, by believing in Jesus, I will do even greater things than he did. How is that possible? I have no idea, but I am going to be open to that possibility. I am going to step into the adventure that God is calling me to, lifting spirits, yours and mine.

The Spiritual Weight Lifting is Meditation

The spiritual weight lifting is meditation. That is the practice. I want to encourage you to start lifting your spiritual weights through meditation. With consistency and time it will transform your mind, body and spirit.

If you want to learn more about one form of meditation you can listen to my podcast with Rich Lewis on Centering Prayer. I have been practicing Centering Prayer for about a year now. It has transformed my life and I believe it can transform yours too.

There are many forms of meditation out there. Centering Prayer is just one of them. I would encourage you to find your own form of meditation that works best for you. It’s your own spiritual journey.

Where are you on your spiritual path? Are you on a spiritual path or are you stuck in religious dogma without any personal inner transformation? Or have you eschewed any spiritual path at all? I can relate as I have been on both sides of that coin. 

If there is anything I can do to lift your spirit and guide you in finding your spiritual path, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Having a spiritual coach who is willing to listen without judgment can help you as you navigate finding your own spiritual path. 

Lift Your Spirit,

Troy Ismir

Spiritual Warrior Coach

Founder and Creator of Barbells & Brothers



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