Hi, Everybody. Not long ago, I announced that I was re-launching my business under a new name. But, I have a confession to make: I have absolutely no idea what I am doing when it comes to creating a business.
I have made a couple of attempts. I have read mountains of literature, joined Facebook groups dedicated to Spiritual Entrepreneurs, talked endlessly with my husband and a few select friends about my doubts and misgivings, my hopes, and my ultimate dreams. Written pages and pages about what my ideal work day looks like. Visualized until I fall asleep in a stupor of delight at the images in my head. What I have not been able to do is get clients consistently. (Should I even be wanting to “get clients”? If you read enough in those Spiritual Entrepreneur groups, you won’t think so. It’s almost as if getting clients is somehow nefarious and beside the point. It’s really difficult to have the time to help people, though, if you also have to work a 40 hour week and the boss gets to control your hours. What I want is to put out as much helpful material as possible and also be able to help one-on-one those women who need something more personal. It’s what I love and what I am good at. It’s what I have spent most of life learning to do.)
Perhaps this is my year. I like to think so. I have been steadily more and more successful at attracting what I want in almost every other aspect of my life, or else I have accepted that I need to leave it alone for now. Not so with my work life. I feel the perpetual tug toward something beyond my 8-5, working-for-someone-else life. And I feel as though my dream is right around the corner, just waiting for me to notice it.
So, what’s the dream?
Ah, now that’s a good question! Here it is: I dream of lighting the way to joy for women who long for a deeper connection to themselves, their loved ones, and Source. I dream of doing that by teaching them everything I know, giving them every tool I have learned to use in my 25 years of reading, studying, practicing, and living. I long to help them see themselves as beautiful, capable, brilliant, inherently loveable and worthy. I long to see every woman relax into her own true self and strip away every single thing that does not serve her highest good.
The other part of the dream is how I do that, which is the same way I stripped off my own depression and reclaim every day my own sense of loveability and worthiness: through finding and using the tools that are most helpful. For me, those are Reiki, working with the chakra system, meditation, journaling, using crystals, working with my Guides, my Higher Self, and other high vibrational Beings, and through talking with like-minded friends and teachers. I believe those same things can help everyone. I believe I can teach anyone to use them.
Where I get lost and bogged down into utter paralysis is the HOW. What do I do first? Am I just making too big a deal out of the How? Gardening is teaching me to start where I am. Cut down the dead black-eyed susans next to the front door because driving up to my lovely home and seeing their blackened stalks every day makes me sad. So, clip, clip. Harvest tomatoes because they will rot if I don’t. Yummy salsa and tomato topping on beans and rice. Pull out the monster tomato plant because it is shading out my peppers. Out it comes. My current dilemma stems from figuring out how to translate that to my work. Start where I am….Hence, this long and winding blog post, baring my heart and mind to the wide and wise world (wise was actually what came out when I tried to type wide… message there, I suspect.).
You might also ask what makes me so damn qualified to teach anyone anything? Yep, I have asked myself that one. But I have a great answer: What I teach has worked for me; it has worked for my husband; it has worked for friends; it is working still for all of us. And there is more that I know that you don’t yet know: the first time I tried to kill myself, I was 5 years old. in the kitchen, with a big bread knife that had a little hook on the end. That feeling never went away until 2014, when I was 40 years old. When it did, it was because I finally started actively using what I had spent over 20 years learning about. I started doing the work. And, in 3 years, I went from suicidal to full of joy, actively creating a life I want to LIVE, not die to get away from.
Even in my 8-5 day job, I have brought into my life a position where my co-workers are friends and connection with them feeds my soul in ways I never expected. But the work….the work is not what I am meant to be doing. And we’ve circled back around to the current issue.
So, what to do? I know what I would recommend to a client.
1. Get Quiet: pull the plug on technological distractions like Facebook, email, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Disconnect from others so you can more clearly hear yourself.
2. Go Within: whatever your favorite form of meditation is, do that. Do it for as long as you can. Get your mind clear. And to that end…
3. Write: get out a notebook. Write at least 3 pages longhand with an actual pen whatever comes into your mind. DO NOT CENSOR! Write as fast as you can, not stopping until all 3 pages have been filled. Stream-of-consciousness writing pulls out all sorts of things you never knew were in your head.
4. If some kind of clarity is still not coming through by this point, you can either start over, talk to a trusted friend, or let it rest. Any of those options is perfectly ok. It can take more than once through this process to clear out enough of the built up junk in your brain – the clutter of to-dos, “news”, work and family obligations, and other detritus- for the good stuff to have room to come to the top.
So, here is my action plan, folks. Many, many deep bows and sincere thanks for letting me get that out there into the Ethers. Lots of thank-you hugs and Reiki blessings for following along on my journey.
Creating your own reality does not mean that you decide what you want, imagine every detail, wave your magic wand, and BANG! You wake up to the world you created, whole and complete.
At least it doesn’t mean that for me. And I suspect it doesn’t mean that for a lot…dare I say, most….people.
Instead, creating your own reality really happens in the small choices you make every day, moment to moment, about what you will and won’t believe, what you will and won’t give your attention and focus to, what you will and won’t allow into your life.
A shift happened inside me at some point in the last two years. I decided to just believe whatever I want to. A big, ole F you to anyone who thought I was nuts, stupid, gullible, or childish. I had long been drawn to “magickal” things and ideas…energy manipulation, manifestation, moving sideways along alternate realities, faeries, tree beings, and on and on. I was afraid to surrender to what I feared some would view as a child-like indulgence of imagination, especially since I was heavily invested in being the smart, studious girl I had earned a reputation for being. Smart girls and faeries did not go together in my world. But, little by little, I began to see that I could re-write the story of myself. I wasn’t stuck being the character I had created for myself. Just like a figure in a story, I could erase parts and change them. So, that’s what I have been doing.
It all really started with learning to accept certain things about myself, and peel away things that I had taken on, but that no longer suited me. For example, I have always loved knowing how things work. It’s a near-biological need to understand why this happens when I pull, push, twist, or throw that. That part of me has helped me begin to understand how to get what I want, how to manipulate the laws that govern our physical plane to move myself in the direction I want to go. For me, it is truly no different from understanding why my car goes when I push on the gas pedal (although some things are more important for me to retain than others…lol) Accepting my need to understand meant that I could strip away my feelings of nosiness, guilt, even shame, for probing into things that some considered none of my business, or that led me to information that was not always backed up by scientific research. I do dearly love research, but I found that only accepting things that had a scientific backing no longer served me. So I let it go.
The work of accepting myself and stripping away things that are not myself led to moments of being allowed to glimpse the Mystery. I had what I have since called a Waterfall moment, when it felt like my head opened up and pure loving energy flowed in. The experience last for about 15 minutes, and it changed me. I started to see things out of the corner of my eye. I found Reiki and my friend Laura, who has mentored me and loved me as friend, sister, and child for lifetimes. I began to hear music in the still dark. I began to notice things about others that were different from my memory of them. I began to find that if I sent loving energy to someone who was being rude or mean to me, they often came back either entirely changed or changed toward me. And I began to believe my eyes and ears and intuition.
In each moment that I see, hear, or sense something that is outside the norm, I find that I have a split-second decision to make: do I trust this or do I not trust this. Do I accept this as real or do I not accept this as real. It comes down to an almost subconscious choice to trust myself and the Universe. But I can make that choice because I did all the other work, all the small, slow steps leading up to this. The Veil is parting wider for me because I chose each time the opportunity presented itself to look to the other side and not turn my back. When I heard the voice and felt the waves of energy from my Tree friends, I opened my heart and hugged them with my arms, even though I felt silly the first few times and wondered if I was losing my mind. I did not turn my back on Them and pretend I didn’t hear. And the first time I felt that an animal had a message for me, I accepted it for truth and went about trying to figure out what the message was. And when I saw a flit of iridescent wings and an echo of giggles, I stood in wonder and thanks for the gift of having seen my first faery since childhood. For every new Mystery glimpsed, I offer thanks, and I refuse to turn my back any more. This is how I create my reality. This is how you will create your reality, too.
Acknowledge what you want. Devote your attention to looking for the things you want. Be aware of what is reality for others, for it could impact you, too, especially in the beginning, but do not allow yourself to be drawn into their version of what is true. It’s like being aware that there are other tv channels playing other things, but since you don’t want to watch those other channels, they cease to mean anything significant to you.
You will find whatever you look for. I promise.
During last nights’s New Moon meditation, I began to wonder how to work with my new Goddess friend now that I had connected with her, and she kindly offered some suggestions. They seem useful no matter which Goddess you work with, so I wanted to share them here. (For help connecting with your patron Goddess, or a temporary guide Goddess, please see my offering, here.)
- Write a letter to her introducing yourself and explaining what you hope to accomplish with her help. She can’t help or guide you if she doesn’t know what direction you would like to go. Write it in the same spirit with which you would explain to a teach er or therapist what you hoped to accomplish by working with them.
- Ask her what she would like to teach you. Perhaps there is something your Higher Self wants to learn and that part of you contacted this Goddess for that specific purpose.
- Ask her what she would like in return. This is not a one-way street. She will want something in return for her time and effort, whether it is simple friendship and an acknowledgement of her presence and influence, or something more material, like offerings, poetry, or some other physical action. Ask in meditation, and listen for the answers.
- Read about her history and culture. What pantheon is she associated with? Greek? Roman? Egyptian? Find out what her native people believed about her.
- Then, tune in to her in meditation and ask her if the stories are true. You may find that they are often exaggerated or skewed to fit the prevailing attitudes of the people she is associated with. Ask her what she wants you to know about her.
- Read and learn about any totem animals or other symbols she is associated with, and learn to watch for those signs.
- Ask her if there are other signs you can watch for to know that she is near or has her hand in the current situation.
- Find out if she is fond of certain crystals, or loves particular places (such as bodies of water, forests, or mountains) and incorporate those into your life, as much as possible.
- Figure out which chakra(s) she is associated with. That will tell you a lot about how to work with her, what lessons are in store, and how to proceed with learning them.
Approach your new friendship exactly as you would friendship with a human, physical person… go slowly, show respect, offer the benefit of the doubt, and make every effort to understand. These are the foundations of a healthy, vibrant relationship that will be beneficial to you both!
I am not usually a fan of poetry which is too sing-song-y, but this one popped into my head almost fully formed and begged to be used as a prayer for the new moon ritual I am planning tomorrow night in honor of a renewed friendship and lessons to come.
Welcome, The Morrigan
The Raven wings, they suit her,
because the birds are quick and smart
Feared by ancients when her legend formed,
She took their spirit to heart.
Softly borne on blackened feathers,
She now wings into my life
to guide me deeper into my truth
and help me shine my light.
The Bear could be her totem, too,
for her ferocious guard of the land
and her gentle, nurturing other face,
her firm but loving hand.
And then, there’s the playful maiden form,
dancing in on faery winds!
She catches me up in her arms
and we giggle as we spin.
This goddess guide, The Morrigan,
a new and ancient friend,
your faces I remember now
from other wheres and whens.
I honor you and welcome you-
I’ve missed our moonlit meetings!
To my friend and teacher once again,
I offer love and warmest greetings.
Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. ~ George Santayana
About a year ago, maybe a bit longer, I started to hear my intuition say, “Write that story”.
I have always (rather secretly) considered myself a writer. I daydreamed…so very quietly, way back in the hinterlands of my imagination…of seeing my name in print. The dream was so big, so bright, that I couldn’t look directly at it. It seemed so far out of reach, and it seemed like I should be doing something so much more important with my mind, my energy than writing stories and poetry. I believed the faded voices of my teachers and other adults who told me I needed to use my intellect to BE something…doctor, lawyer, activist, teacher…something big that would change the world and move it closer to the ideal I knew it could be. But I couldn’t choose a path (because I didn’t want any of those paths, and they were not for me). And I beat myself endlessly for it. Until a few years ago when I gradually started to adjust to the idea that I could be, do, and have what I wanted. Full stop.
It hasn’t been an easy adjustment. I keep noticing that, while I love and admire and completely understand the value of other artists’ and creatives’ work in the world, I have not been able to accept that my own work is valuable and necessary in the same way. I had an epiphany this weekend, though.
It was born of a discussion with my husband, as so many of my most valuable insights are. We were talking about how when one country invades another, one of the first things they often do is burn or destroy the art and culture of the invaded land. As we talked about why, it started to really sink in that the art and culture of a people is how they remember their emotions. And not just one country, but the world… the whole world does this.
As humans, we can only hold so much emotion in one lifetime. It would be too overwhelming, too paralyzing to hold all that in our consciousness. I see people all the time who are burnt out or desensitized by trying to feel compassion for all the things in this world that deserve compassion and trying to care about all the things that need to be cared about. They can’t help but compartmentalize…”This isn’t happening to me, so I can’t look at that right now.” It’s human nature; it’s a necessary survival instinct, especially in our current culture. We all feel the need to distance ourselves from the pain, and even the joy of others because it is just so overwhelming to feel it all. But there is a risk inherent in doing this: we become unable to empathize with others who have different experiences than our own.
Why is that a risk? Because in a world of almost 9 billion people, those with vastly different lives from ours are everywhere, and humans are well known to develop profound fears of what they don’t know and don’t understand. And fear of the unknown and different is one of the underlying causes of almost every major social ill known to mankind.
So, what does this have to do with the importance of artists? The answer lies, for me, in a definition I once heard of Art: Art is anything that evokes a strong emotional reaction. Art reminds us of emotions we have forgotten. It allows us to step into the shoes of another for a moment, to feel their pain or joy or giddiness or sorrow. It plunges us into empathy. We begin to connect with each other again. And do you know what happens when we do that? Of course you do. We begin to treat each other with greater compassion and understanding. And do you know what happens when we do that? We raise the vibration of the entire planet.
Many of us believe we are here to anchor Love into Mother Earth at this time, to raise Her vibration to a level that is more harmonious, closer to Love, for the good of Her and all Her inhabitants. Just like with any cause or organization, there are lots of roles to fill. There are the Activists, who go out and march and write letters and make phone calls. They remind us we have to take action, to implement what we believe and make it a fact of life for all of us, not just those who can speak. There are the Healers and Teachers. They ensure that we are able to return to the field again and again. They remind Body and Soul and Mind of what needs to be done and how to do it. There are the Organizers and the Farmers and the Nurturers.
And I wanted to help, but I could not find my place among them, until I realized that Artists are as vital to the cause of Anchoring Love as any other role…of course we are…because Artists remind us of what history felt like.
So, gradually, I am settling into my place as a Keeper of Memory, a Guardian of Emotion. This is my role in the changing world, my specific lightworker job. It is my honor, and my duty. It’s what I came here to be and do. And do it, I will.
My path is strewn with love!
I feel the embrace of the Universe,
Reminding me that all is well.
The light that glows at the end of this
Flowery and tree-lined tunnel
Is not my future, but my Now
Seen from the perspective of a world
That lives in three dimensions
And believes that Time is a Thing and a Line.
I sink down into the sweetness
Of every moment that is Now with a sigh,
As if sinking into a warm bath at the end of a long day.
Remember, I think, the sweetness of all Moments.
Remember they all brown and wither and remain pink and alive forever
Like the flowers at my feet.
I woke up this morning remembering that within chaos lies a world of possibility, and that we create our reality through our expectations and our observation. What that means to me is that, although things may seem completely bonkers right now, within that whirlwind lies all the things I have ever wanted, if I only look for the life I want.
Being the Pinterest lover that I am, these early morning musings naturally brought me to the very first Pinterest board I ever created, called Possibilities. It is full of images of doors and portals that I imagine might take me somewhere fascinating and beautiful. I’d like to share them with you, so that you can let your imagination take you somewhere fascinating and beautiful, too.
First, there is this door…cool stone at your feet, warmed by the sun at the threshold. A solid, sturdy door with barely a nod at decoration, and beyond, glorious mountains lit with afternoon light. If you stepped out into that grassy dooryard, what might you see?
Or, perhaps this portal is more to your liking. I imagine the threshold is damp from the sea air. I think of the hands that might have placed those stones in the door arch, and the workman who might have cut the door to fit the opening. What might I smell from this perch above the water? If there is a boat at the bottom of that suggestion of stairs, where might it take me?
What hides behind the iron work of this door? What are the carvings in the bolt…are they purely decoration or is there some meaning in them? The door is both beautiful and highly functional, seeming to serve as protection to someone who has the money to spend on all those iron coils. How might I feel if I wanted to gain admittance through it? How might I feel if I wanted to escape through it?
This one is a favorite. I can imagine coming home to this door, the warm purple leaves of that vine to greet me. The clean, white facade feels soothing; the solid dark grey door with its hint of beauty displayed through the door knocker feels elegant – mysterious, even. I imagine I might feel like a French lady, living a simple, single life of quiet, understated pleasures behind this door.
And how very different I might feel living behind this one! The colors alone make me swoon…If I lived with this door, might I wear white, just to avoid competing with it? Would I feel like the sun always shone on me and the sea was never far away?
The last one I want to share is another favorite…quite possibly the top favorite. I dream that it leads me to a world that is cool and quiet sometimes, warm and alive with music other times, peaceful. And certainly magical. A world where I can walk alone, nap under a tree, read next to a sun-soaked river and then join my friends, my loved ones, for music and dancing and laughter and food. Where I am understood and loved. Where I understand and love others. This is the one I watch for in that whirlwind. This is the world I manage my expectations to reach.
What possibilities are you expecting? What lies beyond this door for you?
I ran across this gorgeously written piece from Rebelle Society by Danielle Dulsky. It is a wonderful reminder of our Sacred Feminine power, and that to balance the energy in the here and now, the world needs us to embrace our ferocious womanly-ness.
If you have struggled for years to find your purpose, like I have, you need to see this.
There are so many great pieces of wisdom delivered here, from the truth about your purpose, to suggestions of what benchmark to use to measure your success in life (hint: who would miss you if you didn’t show up?) that you will want to watch more than once.
I am a huge fan of the beautiful and brilliant Marie Forleo, and this video is a shining example of what she brings to the world.