Beyond The Checklist

055: Why Paying Attention to Your Desires Can Lead You to Great Things || Ceri Payne


Darla: [00:00:00] Welcome to the Spiritually Minded Women podcast. If you’re a woman who is ready and willing to be a follower of Jesus, you’re in the right place. Join me as we dive in deep to learn how to embrace your journey on the covenant path with checkpoints instead of checklists, I’m your host Darla Trendler and I’m cheering you on.

Welcome to your journey.

 Welcome to the Spiritually Minded Women podcast. This is Darla. I’m very excited to have Ceri Payne sitting across the zoom call with me to do this interview today, and really excited to share with you some of her experiences and the things that have been in her heart and how God has showed up for her.

So Ceri, welcome to the podcast. Thank you for being here. 

Ceri: Thank you so much for having me. 

Darla: Would you just do a quick introduction, tell everyone a little bit more about you. 

Ceri: My name is Ceri as you mentioned, like the iPhone. I am a mom of three [00:01:00] teenage girls.

I have been married this month will be 23 years. I am a past special education teacher, but I currently have a life coaching practice where I coach on time and productivity with women that are growing businesses. And I built my coaching practice while I also taught school full-time. I certified as a coach, I took on clients and I served as the Relief Society President in our ward during that time.

So I needed a lot of guidance from our Savior for sure to get all of that done in the same time period. 

Darla: And you probably learned a lot about productivity and time management and all of that when you’re doing so many things. Yeah. Okay. I’m very excited to hear more about what you’re going to share.

So today you’re going to talk about how you decided to switch careers. You mentioned that you were a special ed teacher, you became a coach and really the way that God showed up to help you make that switch. So tell me how that started. What did that look like? 

Ceri: This was definitely a very unexpected journey.

 About five years ago, my husband and I were asked to facilitate a self-reliance course. And I don’t know [00:02:00] exactly what it looks like now, but they say okay there’s here’s these few courses you can take or, facilitate. And is there one you are really interested in and maybe one that you’re not so interested in.

And so I did tell them that the one that I wasn’t interested as much in was education for a better workplace because my husband and I both had master’s degrees and we both had jobs that we absolutely loved. So I was like, there’s so many other things I’d be more interested in facilitating. So you get to the devotional and they tell everyone to go in their corners of the room of like, Hey, if you’re interested in this class, go here.

And when long story short, when it came down to it, they said, okay Paynes can you go facilitate education for a better workplace? And so I was a little disappointed, right? Because I was like, oh, that’s the one I didn’t want. But it was through that course that both my husband and I received different promptings and different experiences where we created different jobs for ourselves. And for my husband, the actual last day of class was a 12 week course, but the last day he came home and said he was a physician assistant [00:03:00] that helps create PA programs.

He was a program director and facilitated creating those. And now they offered him a job of the VP of innovation and technology and the CIO of a university. So it’s not even like the same thing. It went from medicine to technology. And so mine was very similar. I just started going down paths and letting the spirit guide me and lead me.

And some of these feelings that I had. Things I wanted to do stirred up because of a result of this class and long story short, I went and got certified as a life coach. And that is what I’m doing now. 

Darla: Okay. So you start the self-reliance class, it’s 12 weeks. You’re going to be the facilitators of it.

And did you guys have any inkling at that point, like that you were both going to have a shift in your career? Was that already in the works or was it because of this class? 

Ceri: No, it was literally because of this class. My husband definitely had made shifts in his career to be able to fill in some of those spots and do things within his program. But neither of us really thought that we would be changing jobs and careers and even myself, like I said, I didn’t work prior [00:04:00]to, I had taught special education that I had some kids.

So I didn’t. And when we got to Ty was offered this opportunity to teach zoom before it was a thing. I taught the homeschool population in the special education and fulfilled their IEP. And so I just thought I had the most incredible job just like I got to work from home and help children. Like it was amazing.

And so yeah, to answer your question is it’s a fat no, I had no idea 

Darla: So you facilitate this self-reliance class and then you realize, okay I’m feeling the pull to make a change. What were some of the experiences that you had the spiritual experiences as you’re going through that process, making that switch that you felt like, yeah, this is really where God’s leading me?

Ceri: I think just there was a little bit of clarity, but also a little bit of peace and calm when things came up. So for example, in the self reliance class, they have you ponder. And one of the pondering it said, what do you see yourself doing in five years or something like that? And I literally wrote speaking on a stage. And if you knew me that just scared me, [00:05:00] I don’t like to speak and here I do podcasts like several times a week and I, facilitated stuff. I’ve done retreats. Like I am speaking on a stage, but when I wrote that I almost was dying right inside. And as everyone left to go home that night I showed my husband.

I’m like, why would he why would the spirit prompt me to even write that? That’s the last thing that I do. I don’t even like to, bear my testimony or as a teacher introduce myself and in a crowd when we had to say what school we went to, for some teacher training.

So that was just interesting. So little things like that. And then some internet searches and looking at some of the desires that were stirred up in me again, I really believe desire is a huge thing. And maybe we’ll get into that a lot. But just some desires were not dormant. But they felt very safe and very calm to explore.

And so that’s how I know that the spirit is speaking with me when I get really excited about something, but it doesn’t feel like nervous and, it just feels very calm and very natural. 

Darla: Yeah. Okay. Let’s talk about desire. I love that I’ve done an episode on desire and actually this week in some of my personal study, I’ve read, [00:06:00] journaled some things about desire and thought a lot about that.

What was desire? What part did that play in you starting to make this shift in your life? 

Ceri: So looking back, I think I can see now how it played out. I really believe that if we are given a desire, if it’s in our heart and our mind, then I believe we’re also given the talents and the abilities to make that desire reality.

 I think Heavenly Father places desires, but He’s also given us the talents that we need to do that and they might not come all at once. We might have to practice them and learn and be patient, but I really believe that if we stick with our desires, then we will achieve them.

And similar to like a doctor, like we all started in kindergarten, then we go to first grade and then we go to second grade and then these doctors, they had a desire. Most of them I’m assuming right to do something in that medical field. And they just started where we started too. 

But then because of what they were interested in, then maybe they took more classes in the science areas. And so because of that then they created those talents and those [00:07:00] abilities. But those of us that aren’t doctors had different desires. And so then we really cultivated those talents and those abilities as well.

So I just think that we should pay really close attention to some of those desires. And don’t talk yourself out of them. Don’t let the doubt and the fear take over your desires before you achieve them and just know it’s going to look different. It might take longer than you expect. It might be like some of the desires that put me on the coaching path I had when I was 20.

And I just closed them out and just thought, oh, I don’t really need to do that. That’s not what a Mormon mom does. Like I want to go to law school. And I’m just like, they don’t do that. And so that is something that I was looking into is going back to law school when the whole coaching thing came up, but it was through some of the, I wanted to be an advocate for special education and for special education law.

And as I was looking through some of that in law school and what programs may be helping, what does that even look like to have that kind of specialty? It went down this coaching world. I’m like, oh, I can still be an advocate for special education and help people. But it might just look [00:08:00]differently.

That’s the full story of it all is the desire came, but it’s fulfilled in a different way than I thought it would look like, but it’s still beautiful and I still get to have the feelings and do the things that I thought I was going to do in a different way. 

Darla: Yeah. I love that. I love that it starts with a desire. And you said something too pay attention to what you desire. I think it’s what I’ve been thinking about this week is sometimes as women, we get bogged down with what everybody else needs and we lose what do I really want?

What do I really need? And it’s not being selfish to say. This is what I desire. And I’m going to go for that. Did you have to work through any of those kinds of feelings where you’re like, I want to do this, but it is just, you said that you mentioned that you wanted to go to law school and you thought oh, that’s not what a good mom does.

I wanted to go to law school too. I did not do it so I can relate. 

Ceri: At that time. I think my oldest may have been like 14 or 16 and so yeah, that desire was like I already have an education and I already have a great job. And what do I want in five years? Do I want to have been a part of my kid’s life?

Or do I want to be taking [00:09:00] a train up to the, U going to law school every day? And that was those limiting beliefs. I thought I don’t need to just be spending a hundred grand on an education because my kids are gonna need to go to college and I need to have money for them. And so those are some of those things as women that we take into account that then make us feel like it’s not possible for us or that it’s not like necessary or needful.

And what it was is I think that when we just honor the desire, then we will be led down the path to make that happen. Because I was honoring and I had just been going, that’s stupid. I don’t need to do law school. Why would I do that? I’m a 40 year old lady, blah, blah, blah. Instead, I just what would it look like?

And as I was going down the path then that’s when the. path was unfolded to where I could do those things. And it’s a lot of the times what I say is as women, we just know like a certain way to make that happen. Like you want to go to law school for some reason, right? You want your voice heard, you want to make a difference.

Guess what you’re doing that now, right? Your voice is being heard, you’re making a difference. And so sometimes we just don’t know like the package that it’s coming in, but just allowing that desire. And I actually have a scripture that [00:10:00] probably helped. I think it’s in, it’s Alma 34 and I’m going to share it with you I actually have it here, because I think it’s so great. It’s talking about a testimony, right? How we create our testimony and how it starts with a seed. And I like to think that this passage, of scripture really can start with anything that we want to desire to believe or to see in a different way.

And so this, all of it is so great, but specifically on verse 28, it says, and now we will compare the word to a seed, which I like to think like our desire, being a seed and it says, and now if we give place that the seed may be planted in your heart, behold, it can be a good seed or a true seed. And so that’s just let the desire be there.

Don’t try to dismiss it with your kids are too young. It would cost too much money. It’s too much time. Just allow it to be there because it says, if you do not cast it out by your unbelief, then it will begin to swell within your breasts. And when you fill those swelling motions you would begin to say your self, like this feels good.

And of course, I’m paraphrasing a little bit but it will feel good. So as I was going down the desire I was coming across getting more and more information that then felt like I’ll say [00:11:00] better, right? This life coaching opportunity just felt like, oh, that would be the perfect time, the perfect amount of money, like all of those things.

And then it says it will begin to enlarge your soul and then it will be beginneth to be delicious to me. So then it feels oh, I can see that it can happen. And I don’t feel like I’ll be this bad mom or I’ll be someone that’s pulled too thin or whatever our thoughts are that keep us from following those desires.

So anyway, that I think that is a scripture that I read that just let’s just keep seeing where this takes us.

Darla: I absolutely love that perspective on that scripture because I think that’s a pretty familiar story and, a chapter that we read a lot in the Book of Mormon, and I really love how you talk about, bring that desire into your heart and you don’t really know the outcome of what God has planned. Like you thought you did, but it really went a different direction. But all you had to do was bring that desire into your heart and to let it to grow and, to rely on God and he is going to direct you and help you get to where you want to go.

And I love, I can picture you like finding, okay, I’m going to do life coaching and this feels right. [00:12:00] Like I’m going to fulfill this desire. I think God wants us to be happy. He wants us to be able to do the things that make us feel good and help us use our talents and our abilities. I really want to explore something else that we talked about before the interview and that you wrote in your application.

This is what you said, realizing that I was co-creating rather than just doing his will, because I think sometimes that’s like a crutch, like we say, oh God told me to do this. I have to do it. So what’s the difference between that and co-creating with God and what did that look like in your story?

Ceri: Yeah. So I think even if he asks us to do it, we get to co-create it the way that we want it to look. And I have something really significant that I could share with you, but I’m going to start with this little story. I learned this with my daughter, so what I wanted for her. And so what I’m telling her, like God says, Hey, I need you to do this.

We were asking her to get straight A’s and I know a lot of parents are like what you’re asking of your kid, but she needed a little bit of help. She’s very bright very genius, straight A’s are not hard for her to get. I wouldn’t say that we should all have that goal for our children, but that’s just something [00:13:00] that we felt was okay.

So that’s like me saying, Hey, that’s my will for you. I want you to get straight A’s. And then her will was also maybe not to get straight A’s, but if she didn’t, she doesn’t have the use of the teenage car and maybe some privileges are revoked from her. So that’s like us, like God has a will for us.

Like he wants us to eternal life, but maybe on a path. And then we also hopefully have that same will that we want to go live with him again. So out wills that sounds weird. I’m talking about cars. That sounded like wheels to me, but our wills aligned. And so we both wanted the same thing.

She wanted the car and I wanted the A’s, but like we have the same outcome, but then I had to trust the way that she would make that happen without micromanaging her, without telling her exactly how to do it. It was really hard as a parent to watch her do it differently and to trust her.

So for example, this child is I’m telling you can earn straight A’s miss 27 days of class the last quarter. And I was like we can’t be missing class. Like you have to go to [00:14:00] school and she’s no, you said I had to get straight A’s I get to get there however I get there. And so she was able to miss class, she was able to not take school in my mind doing it the way I think she should do it and do it really serious. And so when I say co-create. I had to allow her to co-create the goal, that she wanted in the way that she did knowing and this is where Heavenly Father puts our trust in us too, that we want the same thing that he does.

And so that’s where I feel like when we co-create, it’s allowing us to have faith and trust in ourselves, which was my daughter did she trusted I don’t need to go to school. I can just do the assignments, whether that’s good or bad, I don’t know. But she had faith in herself. Have faith in our desires and in our wants.

And then in God, and knowing, and remembering that, as you mentioned, he wants us to be happy. And so he wants us to succeed in our desires while on this earth too. So I wanted my child to succeed more than anything. I really want her to be able to have use of a car so I can have her, to take a pickup to, and get herself to work.

So I didn’t have to take her, [00:15:00] but we just have to know that when we are co-creating we get to do it in a way that feels right or good for us. And knowing that we’re going to get to the same spot, right? Having that trust and that faith, in our testimony and what God wants of us, that we can do it together.

And it may look differently, but he’s there all of this step of the way. Like I was there, I didn’t just let her go. Okay. Do whatever. But I was like, Katie, you have your classes. Do we need to check in on your grades? Every once in a while, I’m just giving you your little reminders, but then the co-creation is then trust where God is trusting us to, to make it happen in a way that will be great for us.

That keeps us happy. Cause he wants us to be happy too. 

Darla: Yes, that is so good. And I can see the principle of agency woven in that. And that’s what heavenly father does for us. He allows us to have agency and to make choices and, to get where we’re going, but he’s not micromanaging.

Okay, you’re going to go do this today. And you’re going to do that. 

Ceri: Yeah, she’s been a great teacher for me and the life can look a little different than what we expect. Good students go to school and they do that. You don’t want all those things, but she’s thriving and doing really well.

And it [00:16:00] just is totally different than I would do life, but she’s going to be where I would want her to be, at the end. So I think we’re good. 

Darla: Yeah. Oh, that’s a really good example to help bring that home and understand. What God wants for us. That’s a really good example. Ceri, I’m really loving what you’re sharing. What else would you like to share about this part of your journey? 

Ceri: I think it might just be worth mentioning don’t be afraid to have your life maybe look a little bit different than you think it might or to judge it when it does.

I really never even thought I would be a mom that works outside of the home. So when I got the teaching job, that was just like, I could see heavenly father’s hand in that as well. So just wanting to then be an entrepreneur and, not only work, I work in the home, but not only taking my time for work, but I’m creating this on my own.

Like I’m creating this busy in this work, but I think that is probably very powerful for us to remember that heavenly father wants women that are strong women that [00:17:00] are able to handle lots of different parts of life, because as we do that, we are not only helping ourselves, but we are helping others on the covenant path and we have experiences and I’ve met such wonderful people and things that I would have never done.

If I would have not taken the chance to maybe think maybe there’s something like I can be a good mom and I can do this other thing. 

Darla: Yeah, I love that you said, and because a few weeks, a few months ago I interviewed Susan Madsen who, I don’t know if you know her, but she’s in Utah and she she’s a professor at Utah state. And she has done all this research about women and leadership and, she corrected me in that interview or where it’s not an either or thing for women, especially women in the church. It can be an and thing. And that is totally okay.

She shared with me in that interview about going back to get a doctorate when she had little kids and what people said to her and all of that. So I love that you said and because that’s something I’ve been learning. I learned that from her. And I think people who are our age, we’re probably [00:18:00]similar ages.

I grew up hearing that there was only an or, that was the message that we heard and there’s an and I love what you said about. heavenly father wants women who can manage a lot of different things and can be strong. And I just, I think that is, is just so true and such a message that we all need to hear.

Ceri: Yeah. I agree. I think that we have a definite generation of women that want to do lots of things and want to make an impact and have their voice heard. And he wants us to want to make that impact and have them heard whether it’s on a stage or on a podcast or just within our own home.

In our example, in our family. 

Darla: Totally true. Yeah. I really think he wants us to take those desires and let him help everything to grow and to guide us and to use our own intellect and the things that we have and do great things in this world. Like he, he really wants us to do that. I really love that message.

This has been so great. I’ve loved talking to you. Just, I think that what you’re sharing will really resonate and really help other women. So thank you so much. I [00:19:00] have one final question for you, and that is how have you seen and felt the savior in your journey on the covenant path? 

Ceri: So I think this probably is a really good question.

Cause it kind of ties back into the self-reliance class. I have definitely learned that the savior is just not wanting to give us blessings that we’re asking for or blessings that we are thinking that we need, but he wants to bless our lives tremendously with blessings that we’re not even aware of.

And there’s no way I could have imagined the blessings that would come into my life from just following my desires and wanting to do things that I know that were in line with what I wanted and what he wanted. And so I think we should check in with ourselves. And when we do that, like I mentioned, I know that he is wanting to bless us with even more than we could possibly imagine.

I think that through this path, I have come to learn like a different set of heavenly parents, ones that are like our biggest fans. Ones that want to bless us with insight and ones that want us to help [00:20:00]children on their covenant path. But that means helping us first. Like we are the first people, like he, we are his children on that path. And so he wants to help us first. And then as we do that, then that allows us to have opportunities and experiences to bless his children on the path as well. 

Darla: So well said, I love that. And thank you for coming on and sharing. You’ve helped me, like I’ve had some things I’ve been praying about and you have brought some answers to me.

And I know that you’ll do that for other people. So thank you so much. If people want to find you and follow you on social media or anywhere else with the things that you’re doing, where can they go to do that? 

Ceri: Sure. Come hang out with me on Instagram. That’s where I’m the most active and it’s just Ceri C-E-R-I ceripaynecoaching 

Darla: Okay. And I’ll link all that up in the show notes as well. And thank you so much, Ceri. I have loved getting to know you. 

Ceri: Thank you for having me.

Darla: And now here are this week’s journal questions. 

What do you desire? 

[00:21:00] As Ceri shared all you have to do is desire. You don’t need to know the outcome. What is the next step in pursuing something you desire? Write your next step down. 

President Dallin H. Oaks has said, “Revelation to the children of God comes when they are on the move.” 

What can you do to take action on the next step of your desire?

Remember, you don’t have to know everything. You just have to know the next step. And then listen for the personal revelation for the step after that. 

Ceri pointed out that when we listen to our desires and move forward, we will not only help ourselves but others. Write down all the people you could potentially help if you pay attention to and act on your desires and develop your talents.[00:22:00]

I hope you enjoyed the podcast. And if you did, please share it with a friend. I would love it. If you would leave a review and rate it on apple podcasts, this actually helps more women find the podcasts and embrace their own journey on the covenant path to find more ways to be a part of the spiritually minded women community, head over to spiritually minded for more inspiration follow along on Instagram at spiritually minded women have an amazing day.

I’m cheering you on in your journey.