Sunday, July 26, 2009

Light Dawns...

"It's time to start living the life you've imagined." - Henry James

At some point in the past, my monkey-brain set out a list of rules and regulations for me. Despite numerous attempts to change, I have been frustrated over and over again when I slipped back into old ways of being. I had tried to change the tapes, why was the song always the same?

Yesterday I realized that it is not the tapes I was aware of that are the problem. I was blessed with an unexpected whole day of solitary confinement (quarantined for possible Swine Flu) and spent it sorting out my office. In the reorganization, I came across two things. One was the folder I had put together shortly after reading The Success Principles, and the other was a mass of composting pages covered in inspiration.

My copy of The Success Principles is dog-eared and fiercely underlined. I really believed as I read it that I would do it - and then I didn't. Disappointment with myself always sets me back. At the time I couldn't figure out what was wrong with me - why couldn't I just do what I knew needed doing to get where I wanted to be? Why do I never follow through with a plan? Obviously I am just lazy.

My pile of inspiration is also dog-eared and underlined. Some sheets are nearly transparent from being folded and unfolded so many times. Notes from workshops, quotes, e-mail, e-books, affirmations and motivations all come to the top of the pile every time I clean, and then just go right back into the pile. Even as I sat on the floor and sorted, the folder went on one side of me and the inspiration went on the other.

That's when light dawned. For some reason all of this time I have believed that the business-focused-driven parts of myself couldn't co-exist with the inspirational, magical side. As I sat there I realized that I did not value or even acknowledge all of the parts of myself. I realized that I can't focus on hard-nosed, serious goals. I am not that person, no matter how much I would like to be. It does not mean that I am lazy. It means that I am different, and I need to do things in a way that works for me.

So I created a folder that encompasses all of who I am on this path. I have a space for goals and a space for inspiration. I have created an ultimate goal and using all of my inspirational tools, I can create smaller, meaningful and do-able goals to create happiness in my life. The upside of it all is that after years of trying to write a mission statement, one came to me loud and clear and simple the minute I had finished putting it all together (I'm not going to tell you yet!)

So it seems that my monkey-brain was right all along. I was doing it wrong, but it was because I wasn't working with all that I am. Hopefully now that I've got it all working under the same cover, it'll be a book worth writing in.

P.S. The photograph of me was taken by Susannah. I like the determination she captured!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Impossible Things

"...sometimes I have believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast." - Lewis Carroll

If you asked me ten years ago what my dreams were, I wouldn't have been able to tell you. One reason was that I was afraid to say anything out loud just in case I 'jinxed' it. I also was afraid of wanting something too badly and not getting it, or of getting it and realizing that it wasn't as exciting or as wonderful as I hoped it would be.

If you asked me at any given point in the last five years what my dreams were, I still would not have been able to tell you. Oh, I've had goals and hopes and wishy-washy ideas about what I wanted. I have journal after journal filled with proclamations of, 'This is it! This time I...' But fuzzy, watery decisions to lose weight or get published do not translate into concrete actions.

The irony is that the things that I have really wanted - and worked for - have come to pass, often without me realizing until it was over. When I am specific and do my bit, it happens. Often I think afterwards that I wish I had just been a little bit more clear about the details, because I did get what I asked for. More than once lately I have wished that I'd remembered what I was doing and asked for more! But then I realize that if I'd asked for more I might not have believed it - and it might not have ever happened.

Impossible things. Why is it easy for us to allow some things and impossible for us to allow others? Where do the blocks come from? SARK writes that impossible means, "I'm possible." I think I am going to adopt that as my affirmation this week. Whenever I feel myself doubting the potential in something I want or something I am doing, I am going to say, "I'm possible!" I have no doubt in the Universe, but all kinds of doubts in me. Hopefully by reminding myself that I AM possible and that I am powerful, I will begin to be able to ask for and expect the very best.

Believe as many as six impossible things before breakfast! Roar!


'Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?'

'That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,' said the Cat.

'I don't much care where -' said Alice.

'Then it doesn't much matter which way you go,' said the Cat.

-Lewis Carroll

Saturday, July 18, 2009

arms wide open.

"Don't look at the ground! The ground hasn't changed since the last time you looked at it." - Biggest loser UK

I have been here less because I am working on three projects. One of those is a brand new website that is all mine! I'm designing the header at the moment and part of that has been scouring the creative commons at Flickr and istock photo for inspiration. Late late at night in a fit of
desperation, I typed in 'spiritual' as part of a search.

Imagine my delight when image after image came up of people with their arms flung open wide in joy. In amongst the more anticipated photographs of religious icons and images, people stood with their arms flung wide in surrender and celebration.

Intrigued, I checked iphoto to see whether or not I had a picture there of that feeling - and I did! I was alone when I took this shot, but I remember wanting to capture the feelings of beauty and expansion and gratitude that I was feeling in that moment on a walk home. That is a picture of joy. And flung-open arms, it seems, is a common way to show that feeling.

So what about you? When was the last time that you felt compelled to fling open your arms to embrace the space you were in? When was the last time you expressed that much joy? Do you have a picture in your archives of someone with their arms out like that? Is it you? I'd love to see that shot. I'd like to know you've felt that way too!

"Maybe in time, you will find, your arms are wrapped around the sun." - Deb Talan (Big Strong Girl)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

practically a fruit bat!

"You were made and set here to give voice to this, your own astonishment." - Annie Dillard

Before I was diagnosed as a coeliac, I had a lot of trouble with food. Dairy, wheat, peppers and peanuts are all quite tricky things to not be able to eat, but I dealt with it. The hardest thing for me to avoid was fresh fruit. If it was fresh and raw, it was not my friend.

Two days after my official diagnoses we packed up and went on vacation to Grenada. I had no idea that I would be able to eat fruit when I stopped eating gluten, but about four days into the trip I started to crave fruit. I started small, dipping into the papaya and watermelon at breakfast. When that went well, I made Mark's Dad pull over at a roadside stand and we bought an enormous bag of passion fruit. That night we had fresh mango covered in fresh passion fruit, and I have never looked back.

So this is the first summer in a very long time that I have been able to enjoy fruit. I've been eating every berry I can get my fingers on - sometimes twice a day - and I have been loving it! I can't get enough. The riper, the drippier the better!

Tonight as I type with fingers sticky from the juice of my first nectarine in years, I would like to wish you the simple wonderful delights of a bowl of your favorite fresh fruit. If I could have you here to enjoy it with me, I would.

Mmmm... I wonder if there are any cherries left in the fridge...


Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Jamie Ridler Studios

"This is the leap, when you’re ready to share your gifts with the world, to take the risk and say, “Here. Here is who I am. Here is what I’ve created.” It’s a bold time, a brave time, a time full of risk and of joy. This is when you embrace the deepest truth of who you are and step fully into what you want to bring to this world." - Jamie Ridler

The first week I started blogging I was looking around for creative souls and people who I could connect with. I can't remember how I found Jamie's site. I think I found a comment that she had left for someone else and was charmed by her. When I went back to her blog I discovered that we had both started our blogs at the same time and that her site was as charming and inspiring as her comment had been.

I tentatively reached out, hoping that she would comment back, and an immediate connection was made. We have been friends ever since. (Friends who have never met in person - a situation I hope to remedy this fall!) I have been excited and proud to watch her create a life and a place that is true to who she is and what she wants to give to the world. Today she is taking that a step further and launching her new website!

I hope that you will pop over and meet her if you haven't before. You will soon see what I saw in her back then. She is a feisty, creative, magical inspiration.

Good luck, Jamie! I can't wait to see what you do next!!


Tuesday, July 07, 2009

The power of music

"Don't be shy, just let your feelings roll on by - And don't wear fear, or nobody will know you're there..." - Cat Stevens

Two weeks ago I went to see the band Take That in concert. I don't remember listening to them the first time that they were a big deal, but they have reformed and released some really wonderful songs. When I told people I was going, I had mixed reactions. It felt almost like a guilty pleasure to go. But 50,000 people had the same idea. It was a wonderful show. In this world that is filled with doom and gloom, four guys who put on a magical show complete with songs called 'Greatest Day' and 'Shine,' acrobats and a full sized elephant coming out of the ground and walking around are pretty special in my book. I got goosebumps. In fact, I remembered something. I remembered how much I had been missing magic. (Thanks guys for reminding me!)

The next day I took my little ipod with me on my way to work. I listened to 'Greatest Day' over and over and over (am I the only one who does this?) until my soul was singing along again. Then I let the ipod play me what it thought I needed. It is usually bang on. (Note: as I typed this my computer is on shuffle and it just started playing 'Greatest Day!' I love it when synchronicity happens!)

Today I have been messing around with my playlists, and I wondered if I was missing anything! What song do you put on and listen to over and over and over until it heals you? What songs do you put on when you are needing to feel wonderful? What song reminds you exactly of who you are?

(ADDED: I Double Dare you to download 'Don't be Shy' by Cat Stevens, lie on the floor or the ground and play it loud enough to let it seep into your bones. Bliss.)

My go-to favorites? (of the 1268 songs to choose from?)

For sassy:
Happy Girl: Martina McBride
Beautiful: Carole King
I'm Coming Out: Diana Ross
I Can Do Anything: Caleigh Peters
Deb Talan, Deb Talan, Deb Talan!!!

For nudging:
Don't be Shy: Cat Stevens
Beautiful Flower: India Arie
I'm Gonna Do it All: Karine Polwart
Greatest Day: Take That

For wonder:
Beautiful World: Colin Hay
All I know: Art Garfunkel
All this Beauty: The Weepies
The Indigo Girls!
Love You: Free Design

For biting in:
Valerie - Mark Ronson
Speed of Sound: Coldplay
Better Get to Livin': Dolly Parton
I Choose Life (acoustic version): Keisha White
...or there's always Alabama for good old fashioned fun!

This is just a few - but I'd LOVE to know what songs get you. Any guilty pleasures? What makes your soul sing along? What's your go-to for help? Joy? Wisdom? What should I give a listen to?

Friday, July 03, 2009

a rambling return

"Writing is about getting something down, not about thinking something up."
- Julia Cameron

I can't remember which book this is in, but one of the things SARK wrote that resonated with me the most was something about when she was feeling depressed, it clearly meant that she needed to express something. That has been echoing through my head for days now. I have been busy. I have been overworked and stressed out and irritated, and I have not been writing or creating in any way. I tried to figure out what was wrong a few days ago and that thought came back to me.

I need to express something.

I need to get creative!

It's funny how the longer you leave a blog the harder it is to come back to it. I have thought about blogging many times over the past few weeks but once I started back I knew I wouldn't be able to stop. Frankly I didn't have the energy to commit to something else. I didn't have the energy to find a quote and upload a photo (my computer is sloooow!) and then write something about it. HA! So I am not going to. The quote found me and the photo will have to wait, but I am here now. I have broken the ice, and it feels good. It feels good to be back.

Yes, I think I will come back here again.