I am creating something new – and I’m calling it a DreamBook. It’s an interactive version of a vision board, making space for progressive revelation.
I’ve started with heavy weight sketch/art paper and am creating pages in the categories of life, like the Circle of Life exercise I use in my coaching or perhaps like the Feng Shui Bagua. So it’s areas like Home, Health, Abundance and Love but then you take it from there to suit your needs. For example, I’m combining Work/Career with Creativity and including many emotional issues in the Health Department and calling it Wellbeing. The categories are flexible – they are your categories.
And because life is moving as fast as it is, and transforms in the blink of an eye, I’m putting it all together with a ring that opens and closes. You can expand the sections, insert or remove pages, change your mind, add and subtract. You can use magazine pictures and words, add drawings, stickers, your own photographs, quotes and comments. You can take out a category and hang it up to focus on or write a new chapter of your book anytime.
And you can include your wildest dreams, not just your current vision. Maybe it’s more like a 5 or 10-year plan. Or a forever future. It’s based on the belief that if we take action and create, we can move in the direction of making our dreams come true. There will surely be changes along the way – re-calculating as they say. It has much more to do with the process than the eventual outcome. Three cheers for creativity!
Bunnies have been coming my way for quite some time and in numerous ways. When I was about 4 or 5 I got baby rabbits for Easter. They soon got very big and my Dad built a big hutch out back. I dutifully served my bunnies lettuce and water every day. Now I see them on my morning walks. This little guy was frozen in position as rabbits are want to do, but made a great photo shot.
Among other things, rabbits represent creativity. Reminders to express ourselves. If you don’t like something about your life, create something new. If you have a story to tell, a picture to share or a song to sing….go for it. As Wayne Dyer said, “Don’t die with your music still in you.”
I pulled into a parking space the other day and the license plate on the car in front of me said, CREATE. When the universe wants to get its message across, it spares no effort. I am creating photo cards, a renewed sense of wellbeing and an interactive vision for my own future.
With my orchid in full bloom, I keep finding intuition in the air. Stories and situations are coming my way to indicate that often we know, and we don’t know how we know, but we just know. And sometimes it produces a feeling of such sensation that goosebumps appear.
A recent 20/20 episode featured people looking for their long lost relatives – biological mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, etc. One woman was determined to find her half-brother. She wasn’t even sure he knew he had a sister. She contacted genealogist Pam Slaton, who helps people with their searches with her deep investigative skills. Gina felt a strong need to make contact and was elated when Pam called saying she thought she had found the brother. Gina called and for a number of times her brother was not available or did not have time for such an important conversation, so she still hadn’t confirmed that it was indeed her brother. During this process of phone calls, Gina went for a night out with her husband to a casino. As they stood watching gamblers at the table, Gina had a very strong sensation that the man she was viewing from the back was her brother. She had goosebumps and shivers but did not have the nerve to approach him. The next day she was able to speak on the phone to his wife and confirm that indeed he had been at the casino the night before! Gina’s intention had been so strong that she came within a few feet of her brother before they finally met. Eventually she was able to make full contact and a wonderful reunion ensued.
The program even commented that sometimes these mysteries are solved by research and investigation, and sometimes by intuition. I’m so glad that these gifts of the spirit are finally being acknowledged. Here’s another story: in a recent phone call with an East Coast friend, I discovered that she was in a new relationship. How that meeting took place gave me goosebumps. This was a person she had known around her community for years. Years past she had worked at a restaurant and he had been a friend of the bartender. His son had attended the same school as her daughter. She’d run into him occasionally at community events. Over the holidays they had ended up at the same party. All of a sudden she said she saw him looking at her from across the room. She’d had a goosebump kind of feeling and as they came together and talked, she realized she had always known him but in an instant she saw him in an entirely different light. She called it “the moment.” They’re now dating and in the process of mutual discovery. I was celebrating when she told me the story – for her good fortune and for that indescribable moment of knowing.
I do believe that despite (or perhaps because of) the current unsettling movements in politics, religion and long-held outdated beliefs, another wave of understanding is reaching many who understand that we all have a deep inner knowing of many things seen and unseen. Sometimes goosebumps arise, but meanwhile we are learning to trust the messages the universe brings us and celebrate their appearance.
For more on the 20/20 story go to http://abcnews.go.com/topics/entertainment/tv/20-20-abc.htm
As we roll into the new year, at a rapid rate I might add, it was time to return to one of my favorite ways of creating the future, the Vision Board. Some people call it a Soul Collage or a Treasure Map. It is one of the best ways I know to match images with the dreams that we hold in our hearts.
I found the process very different this time. As I thumbed through magazines with a hot cup of coffee and some melodic music in the background, I felt sealed in a bubble. It felt like the presence of angels. I wasn’t looking for anything in particular but rather using the intuitive method of pulling out every picture, color, word or phrase that rung a bell for me and after some time re-evaluating, reorganizing and sorting what I had chosen and then arranging a vision that suited me.
I was surprised to see so much red and deep pink, a big heart at the center and the words “emotional freedom”. This is emerging as my goal as I have de-cluttered, cleared space and delved into breaking old habits and ways of thinking. And I added my own picture this time too, next to the phrase, “I will not be afraid to shine.” Sometimes what takes place during Vision Boarding is surprising even to me. Oh, now that I think about it, I even included the phrase “Surprise Yourself.”
Although I created the board a couple of days ago, I kept feeling like something was missing. This morning I added a colored arrow pointing in the direction of emotional freedom and realized the real focus of my efforts for the last few months has emerged. Hooray! The process of vision boarding is not always the goal in itself, but perhaps your dreams emerge before you when you include creative envisioning in the actions you take towards self-realization. As always, the universe is listening!
I discovered this New Year’s idea on Facebook but I decided to put it into practice. First you need a jar. I found a beautiful one, made in Italy, and topped with a lapis blue lid. Perfect!
Each week you put a slip of paper in the jar recording something good that has happened. My guess is that I’ll want to add more than 52 slips, so I might need small pieces of paper. At the end of the year, you open the jar and read and remember what you have recorded. Joyful memories and a great send off into a new year.
I used to use my desk calendar to do something similar, reviewing what had happened during the year. This year I bought an academic calendar which goes from July to July so I realized I was missing that ritual. I like this one even better. I am planning on having that jar get stuffed to the brim with paper. No harm in adding some intention to the pile and a desire to focus on the good things. Of Course…..this doesn’t mean challenging things won’t take place. They arise for our overcoming and transformation. But perhaps the sense of struggle will be overshadowed by belief in a universe that hears our conversation and responds to an attitude of joyful action.
Right now, I love the glistening emptiness of this jar, that space eager to receive gratitude, miracles, unexpected events and messages from ‘out of the blue.’ For me the joy of the jar is not just about how I will feel on New Year’s Eve 2016, but the anticipation of all that the year will bring. Right now that jar is filled with hope and a bright vision for the future.
Let’s reach a little further in 2016, climb a little higher, create a little bigger, love a little more. As the new year approaches, let’s meditate on what can be left behind….a habit, a relationship that no longer supports us, a negative thought, a judgment. Let’s say goodbye to them when the clock strikes twelve.
One ritual I love is to write a letter to heaven for New Year’s Eve. Write it to your favorite angels, masters, guides or mentors in the spiritual world. List all that you are grateful for, all that you would like to let go of, all that you wish and pray for – your loved ones, your career, your community and the world at large. The act of writing this out (even if on the computer) is liberating in itself. Make one copy to keep on your altar or in a sacred place. The other can be burned as the moment of the New Year approaches or arrives. The action of fire not only consumes all you no longer wish in your life but also sends a holy smoke signal to heaven that your are willing to listen, receive and follow the clues heaven provides for your new year and new chapter.
May the blessings of the New Year shower you with love and open your heart to new opportunity!
Christmas appears to be rolling in faster than ever this year. And suddenly we are more focused on giving. Let’s not forget about receiving. I am already finding that a gift of homemade banana bread from a very busy teenager deserves high awards. A homemade pot holder from a friend who never gets to the end of her priority list means so much. A chance one-minute meeting with an old friend in a store parking lot is just what it is, serendipitous. We didn’t even have to go to the “we should get together sometime,” because we were already there, even so briefly. We may be rushing around, but stopping to receive and be grateful is definitely empowering.
Staying in the present rather than a focusing on finding the perfect gift keeps our joy right in the moment and ripe for multiplication. It’s the openness of heart I am seeking and the ability to receive with genuine appreciation. And giving something different. This year I’m stepping out by staying in and opening my door to my new apartment building neighbors for a holiday open house. Not knowing the results, who will come, what will happen is like watching a sacred mystery unfolding. I can’t wait!
A few weeks ago in the midst of my de-cluttering/clearing space project, I collected all kinds of valuable objects around my house and put them into a Gift Box. I found things I had purchased recently, items from long ago, gifts I have never used, etc. I closed the box and only re-opened it as the holiday season approached. Aha! This is perfect for this friend, this for a December birthday, this for another time, etc. Some might call it re-gifting, but I prefer treasure sharing. It’s very joyful. Someone else gets to enjoy this little item that I have loved for a short time or long.
And helping one another is such a gift. Whether it’s part of our profession or simply part of who we are, wholehearted living can never fail to open doors and create new opportunities. May all your giving and receiving be filled with joy.
After a tumultuous night of howling winds in Montana, the sun is out and the sky is blue. It’s another reminder, however, of the greater winds of change that are hurtling around the planet since last week’s tragedy in Paris. The only blessings I can identify are that another wake-up call has taken place and our globe seems so much more connected. And we pray that these blessings outweigh the darkness and the grief.
And meanwhile, this shot of a Bozeman sunset from a few days ago, clouds hurtling towards the horizon. For some reason it spoke to me of the project I am in the midst of, clearing space in my office. When I moved about six months ago, there were numerous boxes stacked in the garage with the label, “I just can’t deal with this right now.” Every time I’ve driven into the garage since then, I’ve looked at those boxes of scrapbooks, family pictures, work files, photography, etc. Finally a couple of weeks ago, time was up.
Just as I embarked on the project, a friend lent me The Magic Art of Tidying Up, which I added to years of study of de-cluttering, feng shui and space clearing. Suddenly it seems that so many of the memories are already within me. There are always a few treasures to keep, but the globe seems to be spinning too fast to hold onto everything. And in order that a new chapter be initiated, a clean page be created, much of this weight just has to go.
What is always so invigorating, and tends to be forgotten, is the emotional de-cluttering that accompanies the process. I find I can let go of an identity I claimed years ago. I find my work has evolved and my vision boards have come to fruition. Files for clients I no longer have can be replaced with creative and inspiring new projects, housed in my new “Fun Basket.” What better time and season to re-awaken to our own gifts and talents and re-commit ourselves to sharing those with others. How else will this world rise up to meet the challenges we face? May your own life be re-energized, re-vitalized and re-awakened as well as we ride on the winds of change.
On that tablecloth-covered picnic table outside my lake retreat cabin, were three great new just-published books. Great reads all and all focused on discovering our authenticity and our ability to express it …. emotionally, creatively and with empathy and vision. Tools for transformation!
Rising Strong, the Reckoning, the Rumble, the Revolution, the latest by Brene Brown. From the back cover: “The irony is that we disown our difficult stories to appear more whole or more acceptable. But our wholeness – even our wholeheartedness- actually depends on the integration of all of our experiences, including the falls.”
Big Magic, Creative Living Beyond Fear, from Eat-Pray-Love Elizabeth Gilbert. Her back cover says, “Creativity is sacred, and it is not sacred. What we make matters enormously,and it doesn’t matter at all. We toil alone, and we are accompanied by spirits. We are terrified, and we are brave. Art is a crushing chore and a wonderful privilege. The work wants to be made, and it wants to be made through you.”
And I say we are all artists in our own ways.
Louder Than Words, Harness the Power of Your Authentic Voice, Todd Henry. Todd is asking us what unique message we have to share with the world and how we examine the deep self-knowledge necessary to communicate it. “Remember that your work is not about you, it’s about the impact you create and the value you deliver to those you serve. This all begins with an empathetic vision.”