Finding Your North Star to Guide Your Year

Finding Your North Star to Guide Your Year

Have you named dreams, intentions or desires for the year ahead? Have you sat down to connect with soul-inspired vision?

Or does that all feel hopeless in the light of the upheaval of our times? How can we possibly plan?

Why bother?

When you take the time to connect with, and clearly name, your heart-centered, soul-inspired dreams, desires, visions for the year, you have a north star to guide you through waters both stormy and calm.

You have a way to stay connected to what matters most to you, what fills your life with beauty, fulfillment, connection and joy, even in the hardest times. And when everything is swirling around you, you have a safe harbor to return to.

This process isn’t about trying to nail everything down. This is about being in sacred partnership with Life, co-creating with what wants to be born through you.

My Breakthrough Dream

Every year, among naming other dreams and goals, I choose a Breakthrough Dream as a central focus for the year. This brings tremendous clarity, inspiration and movement to my life. (For more on finding your own Breakthrough Dream, read this post.)

My Breakthrough Dream last year was: “I am lovingly supporting Fierce Aria [my book of poems, published in May, 2020] so that she may flourish in the world and reach all those who need her. I allow her to win awards and acclaim and sell her first thousand copies in 2020.”

Fierce Aria is my first published book. I spent more than ten years creating it and huge amounts of sweat and tears (also dollars!) to bring it life. I want it to reach and move people and open doors for me as well.

So, it was a perfect Breakthrough Dream. And it seemed just about impossible from the start.

How it actually turned out

My dream stretched and pushed me all year. I wrestled with it! But it also gave me a powerful focus that held me and helped me through a very tough year. And it brought incredible blessings to my life.

I am sure I didn’t come close to 1000 copies sold, though I’m still waiting to hear from my publisher. (If you want to get a copy, I’d love that! You can order it here or through your bookstore.)

I only managed to get two reviews—beautiful reviews—one on Hannah Rousselot’s blog and the other in a wonderful online literary journal called Sweet. And I only began submitting to awards contests at the end of the year, so I won’t know until later this year if the book wins any.

But whole new worlds opened up in my creative life. Big shifts both internally and externally. I’ll share more in my Year in Review post, coming soon.

Dreamtending is deep soul work that is life-giving to you and to our world. It isn’t even so much about the outer results—though those can be amazing—as it is about how it changes you within.

Committed but not attached

The key with any dream or goal, intention or desire is to stay committed to it but not attached to the specific outcomes. Easier said than done!

If you do your best to hold your dreams lightly with all the love in your heart, but be open to new information, new directions showing up, you will find yourself flowing toward not only the fulfillment of many beautiful things, but also toward greater freedom, peace and wholeness within.

Give yourself space

To do this, you need first to give yourself space to get quiet and go inward, to listen to what you long for, what life is calling you towards, how your soul needs to grow.

Now is a perfect time to do this. Last night was the new moon, a time for slowing down, going inward, setting intentions and beginning new things.

Joseph Campbell said, “Follow your bliss,” because what lights you up or fascinates you or compels you within is the key to your soul’s path. Your deepest dreams will lead you to what you uniquely have to give to our world and also to your own inner growth.

Clarity is liberating and invigorating (and also scary!)

Once you’ve gone inward to hear your dreams, needs and desires, you then summon the courage to clearly name them—even if some of them seem impossible or scary. If it scares you and also excites you, that is a sign you are on the right path.

I always try to do six impossible things before breakfast.”

—from Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

To bring your dreams to life, you will need to name some actionable steps you can take to support them and put those steps in time. Perhaps you only know the first few steps right now, or only one. That’s fine. Start there.

One of the Fundamental Principles of Creative Dreaming that I teach in my Living Your Dreams course is “You don’t need to know how to make your dreams come true. You only need to know clearly what the Dream is. The Dream will show you the how, one step at a time.”

To your heart’s dreams,

Maxima

Take it further

Read this post on Dreaming Your Year for more on how to do that.

If you are interested in my one-of-a-kind Living Your Dreams course, The Artist’s Way is the prerequisite. Because it gives you the tools, transformation and introspective processes to be ready for Living Your Dreams. If you have questions, I’m right here.

The Breakthrough Dream

The Breakthrough Dream

The Breakthrough Dream: A Radical Tool To Create the Life Your Heart Desires

In my Creative Life Coaching and in my Living Your Dreams class, I share a potent tool that brings profound focus, momentum and satisfaction to creating your heart’s desires.

That tool is called the Breakthrough Dream.

The Breakthrough Dream is a dream that, if achieved, would be a real breakthrough for you.

At the start of each year I choose a Breakthrough Dream as a focus for the year ahead. I like to choose a dream (desire/goal) that could be accomplished in a year’s time or in a few years at most.

Discovering this tool has led me to co-create dreams that I have deeply longed for and that have brought incredible joy and richness to my life, dreams such as finding and marrying my beloved and getting my book of poems published.

This act of choosing one, and only one, Breakthrough Dream and naming it clearly is radical and powerful in itself. And, for most people, it is quite challenging.

Choosing the Breakthrough Dream does not mean that you give up all other dreams, desires or goals for the year. But it does mean that you choose one primary dream as the core of your focus this year. It requires you to get clear about what is truly in priority for you.

Why do this?

The Power of Focus

focus on the breakthrough dream

Choosing a primary focus for the year and committing to it wholeheartedly aligns our energies. It sends a clear message to the universe.

We are far more likely to invite positive results, when our intention and actions are clear and aligned. Whereas, when we disperse our energies in too many different directions or do not make any choice at all, we are likely to invite mixed results that may not be at all what our heart desires. 

Think of it this way. If I go to the coffeeshop and say to the barista, “I’d like some kind of beverage,” I’m either going to get whatever is easiest for the barista to give me, or more likely, I will get nothing, because she does not know what I really want. It works the same with our heart’s desires.

person in overwhelm

One of the reasons many of us do not have more success co-creating our dreams is because we are so scattered. We refuse (or are afraid) to choose, to narrow our focus, to get clear, and simultaneously we neglect to fully commit to a dream.

Many of us are afraid to commit to a dream for fear of being disappointed or failing or choosing wrong. But that fear keeps us engaging in half-measures and flitting from dream to dream, goal to goal, project to project without ever enjoying the passion and fulfillment of deep engagement and of actually reaching our dreams.

When we choose a Breakthrough Dream, we get our whole self on board. I have found that this level of clarity opens up all kinds of energy and momentum, not only for that dream, but all over my life.

What if it doesn’t come true?

Life is full of surprises and shows up in unexpected ways. But the path of your dreams is not just about fulfilling them. It is about growing into the fullness of who you are.

Your chances of reaping the harvest of your dreams is far greater if you clearly choose and commit to a dream than if you do not. Either way, you will learn and grow a great deal.

Sometimes in the process, you may decide you no longer want the dream. You may discover you were pursuing it out of some motive that does not come from your heart or soul, such as a need to prove yourself to your parents.

In the process of letting it go, you find freedom and a clearer connection to what does matter to you. Or sometimes on the road to your dream, Life shows you a different path. That too is success.

What if I choose the wrong dream?

Moving towards the dreams of your heart and soul is ultimately about growing into the fullness of who you are and sharing your gifts with the world.

This kind of dreaming is about experiencing the innate freedom, wholeness and joy that you are, and transforming what comes in the way of that.

So, when I teach, we practice tuning into our hearts and souls, listening deeply to the still small voice within that is guiding us. And I help you hear what that voice is saying, to name a Breakthrough Dream that has real aliveness and meaning for you.

As you move toward your Breakthrough Dream with clarity, commitment and consistent action, you may find that you no longer want the dream. If you are truly losing interest in it, rather than simply getting scared or losing faith in yourself, then it is time to consciously release the dream and choose a new one. Nothing wrong with that. You have freed yourself of that dream and now have more space within to create what is truly aligned with your heart.

If you feel relief and happiness in letting the dream go, and joy in choosing another, go for it!

But if you find yourself wanting to change your Breakthrough Dream every month, then you need some support in finding what is really in your heart and in releasing the inner blocks that keep you from following it.

What about my other dreams?

When you choose a Breakthrough Dream, you are not abandoning any other dreams, desires or goals. You are simply creating priority and focus. In my experience, priority is a key not only to achieving our dreams, but to living a sane, balanced, joyful life.

We cannot do everything at once. We only have so much time, energy and resources. So we have to make choices. To live a beautiful life, I recommend making choices that come from your heart and soul.

You can work towards multiple dreams, goals and desires in a year. I certainly do. The Breakthrough Dream simply asks you to choose your #1 focus out of those, the one that will give you the most at this time or is the most vital, alive, exciting or important to you now.

In committing to the Breakthrough Dream, I find that I get so much more clear about my priorities throughout my life. I am less likely to over-extend myself. I also find that other dreams, desires and goals gain momentum and have an often magical way of coming to fruition.

In my next post, I’ll share with you how to choose a Breakthrough Dream, the different types of dreams, and how to support the dream coming to life. Stay tuned!

If you are starting out on the path of dreams, seeking your passion, joy and unique gifts, or have come to a crossroads and are wondering what your next step is, there are few better gifts you could give yourself than to sign up for The Artist’s Way. I’m leading a new group in Nevada City.

If you don’t live in the area or are ready for deeper support for your dreams, discover how investing in Creative Life Coaching could change your life.

How To Discover Your Heart’s Desires

How To Discover Your Heart’s Desires

To follow your heart’s desires, you first have to know what they are.

This can be hard for many people.

Today I share some practices and questions (as well as pitfalls to watch for) to help you walk your heart path.

Open the Door

To discover our heart’s desires, we have to develop the ability to hear and trust our hearts. We need to quiet our anxious minds, tune out the distractions of daily life, silence the clamoring voices of others.

We have to make sacred space to listen to the longings, the callings, the singing of our hearts and souls. To open the door to believe in ourselves and our dreams. Begin to know ourselves deeply, trust ourselves. And trust life.

None of that comes easily for most of us.

Many of us have been taught to deny our hearts, our longings and feelings. We are encouraged to listen to our heads, to society and other people’s needs above our own heart wisdom and knowing.

I have been struggling with this lately, as the compulsion of the computer and busyness grabs me. And my fear wants to keep me from getting quiet or doing anything that doesn’t look directly like work.

Taking a walk, journaling, prayer and meditation, being in nature, dream journeying, guided meditations and/or guided inquiry can all help us to go within.

Some of these are part of my morning routine, but I’m finding I need more of them now to guide me through these tumultuous times.

Whether you are seeking guidance through a challenging transition, wanting more fulfillment, joy or connection, or to discover your life path, I encourage you to make time for practices that help you listen to your heart.

Some Questions to Help You Uncover Your Heart’s Desires

If you are unsure what your heart’s dreams are, try asking yourself one or more of the questions below. Choose the ones you are drawn to and/or the ones you are afraid of.

Be patient with the answers. Ask more than once. Ask on different days.

Write the answers in your journal.

I encourage you to use the practice of freewriting for this. Give yourself a time frame, perhaps 10 minutes per question. Keep the pen moving, allow any and all responses to come, even if they don’t make sense or seem untrue. Write whatever comes without pausing to think or edit.

Or ask the questions with a trusted friend, asking each other back and forth, repeating the same question over and over, allowing any and all answers. This is a powerful, deep practice.

See which answers have the most resonance and power for you, the most emotion. Let yourself be surprised. None of this is carved in stone. Take it lightly.

  1. What is my heart’s deepest desire?
  2. What’s missing or lacking in my life?
  3. What would make my heart sing to be, do or have?
  4. What do I secretly long to be, do or have?
  5. Wouldn’t it be nice/fabulous/amazing if _________?
  6. If I truly let myself dream, I would ________________.

What Gets In the Way of Dreaming

Often we don’t know what our dreams are because we have been discouraged from dreaming long ago. We were discouraged by our parents or other adults when we were young, by life circumstances or others close to us.

We have been ridiculed for our dreams, told to get our heads out of the clouds and our feet on the ground. We were told our dreams are impossible, absurd, unrealistic. Or that we should be content with what we’ve got. Or that we can’t have what we want.

We may have been crushed by disappointments in the past and don’t want to get our hopes up again. We’ve been hurt or scared by humiliations, by trials and tribulations.

We want to play safe. That’s understandable.

Building Your Dreaming Muscles

One way to deal with this is to start by dreaming small, yet still connected to your heart.

Choose something small that you really desire, that lights you up.

Commit to that dream. To plant a garden or take a day-long solo retreat or read a book a month or start learning kung fu.

As you allow yourself to desire and dream and to go for your dreams, you create small successes in your life. In this way, you build your dreaming muscles. You’ll develop courage, connection with your heart, and confidence.

Then you can begin to hear and follow larger dreams.

Identify the Dream Killers

5 Dream KillersThere are many ways we stop ourselves from dreaming, from hearing the desires of our hearts.

In my work helping others to live their dreams and helping myself to live mine, I have discovered five dream killers that often stop us from hearing, believing and living our dreams.

My students have found these to be illuminating, helping them to open the doors to new dreaming.

I’ve made a beautiful, little e-book of these that includes some encouragement, guidance and inspiration to find and follow your dreams. It is my gift to you.

Click here to download Five Tragically Common Ways We Kill Our Dreams.

5 Tragically Common Ways We Kill Our Dreams

5 Tragically Common Ways We Kill Our Dreams

What Do You Dream Of?

Do you dream of being an accomplished writer, dancer, healer, scientist? Of travelling the world or cultivating inner peace?

Do you long for a loving relationship, vibrant health, meaningful work, to make a difference in our world?

Each of these is a dream you carry in your heart.

Your Dreams Are Important

Your dreams matter. They point you towards a fulfilling, joyful, magical life. They point you towards your soul’s growth and your contribution to our world.

Yet so often we kill our dreams before they even get off the ground. And most of us don’t even realize it. So, we wonder why we lack passion, inspiration or fulfillment, why we feel frustrated, stuck or lost.

5 Dream KillersOver the years of guiding creative people to uncover and actualize their heart’s dreams, I have discovered five tragically common ways that we stop ourselves from dreaming and living the lives we long for.

The good news is: Once you know these Five Dream Killers, you can begin to make new choices. You can begin to hear your heart and live your dreams.

In this 10-page e-book, I outline the top 5 Dream Killers and what to do about them, so you don’t get stopped from following your heart’s true dreams.

Download your copy by filling in the form below. You’ll also receive our Creative Sparks newsletter about once a week or so.

Wanting to Willing: A Powerful Secret to Manifest Your Dreams

Wanting to Willing: A Powerful Secret to Manifest Your Dreams

Today I am going to share with you a simple, yet magical tool for shifting your energy to align with your heart’s desires.

This tool works with the law of attraction in a specific and gentle way that you may never have heard. Plus, you’ll learn some fun things about words!

If you feel unable to manifest what you long for in your life, this little secret may be the key.

Just like anyone, I often get frustrated on the path to my heart’s dreams, wondering why some areas of my life don’t seem to budge. This little tool helps to shift my energy with positive results.

The Power of Words

Our words affect us and others often at a deep level. Each word carries an energetic imprint. Therefore, it is wise to be aware of the power of the words we use, and to choose carefully, especially when it comes to our heart’s dreams.

Just look at the word “spell”. It means both to spell the letters of a word but also to cast a magic spell. This is no coincidence. The word “spell” recognizes the magic power in language.

So let’s look at a few words that relate to our heart’s desires and learn how to use the magic power of words to bring in more of what we truly love and stop unconsciously creating lack.

Wanting Leaves Us in Lack

The word “want” comes from root words meaning lack, to be lacking or deficient.

Wanting equals lacking, a feeling of scarcity, of not having. There can be a feeling of “poor me” in it, even hopelessness, a sense of “I want it, but I don’t believe I can have it” or at least, “I don’t have it”.

This state of lack is neither uplifting nor co-creative.

Energetically and emotionally, wanting leaves us wanting. If I want more love or money or fame, I am dwelling on the lack of it in my life.

As we know from the law of attraction: What we dwell on, and give our emotional energy to, increases. So, when we dwell on the lack, the want, we get more wanting, more lack.

Desire Opens Us to Gifts From the Heavens

The word “desire,” on the other hand, comes from root words meaning “to await what the stars will bring”. I love that! There is a quality of joyful expectation and peaceful surrender in it.

Of course we can have healthy and unhealthy desires, as well as healthy and unhealthy ways to relate to our desires. To be driven by desires that come from a feeling of being lacking in ourselves only leads to suffering, as the Buddha wisely taught.

But to follow a true heart’s desire, a longing that was given to us “by the stars”—implanted in our hearts to call us to our greatness, our gifts, to deeper participation with all of Life, and to our fullest, richest, most alive Being—that is a blessed and profoundly courageous act. That is a willingness to be fully present, vulnerable, to share ourselves with the world.

So, it is far more energetically inspiring and beneficial to say “I desire to be a great painter” than “I want to be a great painter”. When I catch myself using “want” in my journal, I often switch it to “desire” or better yet. . .

Willingness Is Magically Co-Creative

The word “willing” comes from “will,” which means “to be going to, be determined to” and also “the power to choose.” It comes from roots for wish, desire, choose and also command.

Willingness has freedom, power and choice in it. It carries intention as well as desire. Willingness is a powerful co-creative stance from which to realize our heart’s desires.

Because words have power, what we say, write and think matters. What we hear ourselves say reflects and influences how we relate to our desires. It also influences how those desires relate to us or manifest in our lives.

If I say, “I want to be a great artist,” I am reinforcing a sense of lack toward my dream. If I say “I am willing to be a great artist,” the whole energetic changes.

Willingness puts me in a state of allowing, openness, grace. There is a feeling of joyful expectancy and participation. I am declaring my intention. I am making a conscious choice and opening to the support of the Universe and the fulfillment of my dream.

The Shift From Wanting to Willing

The shift from wanting to willing is huge. From powerlessness to choice. From lack to opening to receive. From scarcity to courageousness.

Willingness is soft, open, cooperative with Life, attractive. Instead of trying to force something to happen on my own, I am in partnership with Life to realize the dreams of my heart or be shown a better path.

Wanting is lack, poor me, separated from my desires, grasping, clinging.

Willingness is openness, heart, hope, intention. Willingness says yes.

Willingness is the path of the spiritual warrior, combining curiosity and surrender with vision and intention. Willingness is charmed.

Make the Shift and Start Seeing Your Desires Come True

I invite you to speak of your heart’s desires in sentences that begin with “I am willing…”.

  • I am willing to be healthy.
  • I am willing to co-create a world of peace.
  • I am willing to have wonderful, fulfilling work.
  • I am willing for my novel to be published by a great press.

To be willing to co-create your heart’s dreams, to participate in their fulfillment but not force them, to open to receive the help of the Universe, this is magnetic.

There is beauty and love, space and invitation in willingness. This is attractive to your desires, instead of repelling them with wanting or grasping.

I learned this tool from Gay and Katie Hendricks, who teach conscious loving. One affirmative statement they use is “I am willing to enjoy lasting love and I am willing for it to be easy.” See how that feels in your body.

A Simple 3-Step Process to Engage the Art of Allowing

1. Create your own affirmations around your heart’s deepest desires and soul’s dreams. Start with the words: “I am willing…”. Notice how these statements feel. Unlike traditional affirmations that proclaim you are or have something already that you don’t, these statements of willingness don’t create conflict within. Or if they do, you discover where you have some work to do.

2. Repeat the statements in the morning when you wake and at night before you fall asleep. Say them right before or after meditation or prayer, and anytime you think of them throughout the day. Write them in your journal daily. Write them on index cards and put them where you will see them. For extra power, put an image on one side of the index card that represents the fulfillment of your heart’s desire. Our subconscious responds more powerfully to images than words.

3. If you find yourself feeling or speaking of want, shift to willingness. Or, if it’s more appropriate in the moment, try “desire” instead of “want”. See how it opens you, softens you and changes your life through gradual but potent influence.

Willingness will carry you a long way.

Share your reflections in the comments below. For extra potency, share a new statement of willingness toward your dream here. Declare our dreams in this way is powerful.

If you enjoyed this post, you might like Enthusiasm vs. Willpower: Surprising New Discoveries   and The 5 Helpful Spirits to Co-Create Our Dreams.

Happy Year of the Earth Dog!

Happy Year of the Earth Dog!

This past week we had a new moon (and partial solar eclipse) that ushered in the Chinese new year.

We have departed the year of the fire rooster (or phoenix) and entered the year of the earth dog.

What does this mean for us?

Justice, Truth and Integrity

Astrologer Susan Levitt writes: “This new Moon is a solar eclipse, so what is hidden can come to light this year. Under the influence of vigilant Dog, the truth is sniffed out, and integrity is rewarded.

The good news continues:
“Dog year is a time of fairness and equality. Controversial issues are given their due, revolutions are successful, politics are liberal, and political oppression is opposed. Justice and honesty are the values that lead to success during Dog year.”

To read more, including to find out how the dog year affects your personal Chinese astrological sign, read here: https://susanlevitt.com/astrology/dog-year-2018/

Loyalty, honesty, integrity, trustworthiness are dog qualities. The dog is noble and good. While earth brings such aspects as stable, practical, grounded and reliable.

A New Vision for Our World

The element of earth and the year of the dog only come together once every 60 years. The last time this occurred was 1958.

According to karmaweather.com, the year of the earth dog can provide a re-visioning of our human lives and systems, and the underdog will demand to be heard.

Health and Wealth

The Year of the Earth Dog 2018 is an excellent time for lifestyle changes, particularly related to adopting new healthy habits.

It could be an auspicious year for finances and starting new business ventures, but be careful to be practical, grounded and not extravagant in spending.

Take Action

dog on beach

by Tao Jones, Unsplash

Both Chinese and Western astrology agree this is an ideal year to get into action towards what you desire to create with your life. In a dog year it is particularly important to align those desires with the greater good of humanity and life on Earth.

How are you serving others?

I had to share this last bit of good news (from https://lighthousefengshui.com/2018-predictions/):

“Due to a very strong wood element, those pursuing activities having to do with literature, art, business, and efforts of an inspirational nature will be favored.”

So, go forth and create, take action toward your dreams, and join with others in serving a higher purpose. To your fulfilling year,

Maxima

P.S. If you’d like help getting into action to create what you love, I offer one-on-one Coaching and Mentoring.

P.P.S. If you enjoyed this post, take a moment to let me know. Post a comment here or share this with a friend.

Do Exactly (and Only) What You Want

Do Exactly (and Only) What You Want

In this post, I give you radical permission to do what you want! How will that help you reach your big life dreams? Read on!

I share with you about the Inner Taskmaster and the Inner Rebel and how they both sabotage your dreams. I start the conversation about two different kinds of willpower and which one will help you.

And best of all, I give you a radical, delicious assignment that will help you live guided by heart, so that you can create a gorgeous, joyful, soulful, fulfilling life.

This is the third in a series of posts on Enthusiasm vs. Willpower as we walk our heart path toward our dreams. To read the second post called The Shining Bridge to Reach Your Dreams, click here. To read the first post called Enthusiasm vs. Willpower: Surprising New Discoveries, click here.

Ok, let’s dive in!

Two Kinds of Will

There are two kinds of will, and they are very different. They come from different places within us and have vastly different effects on us and our lives.

The first kind of will is the taskmaster or drill sergeant.

Most of us have an internalized drill sergeant or taskmaster. This part of you is not your friend or ally. Many people think they need the taskmaster to get things done, stay healthy, exercise, eat right, write their book, accomplish anything meaningful. This is the first place they turn to within when trying to get themselves to do something. And it’s a mistake.

Many people rely on this inner taskmaster, and at the same time fight against it, their whole lives, falling on and off the wagon of whatever program they have set for themselves. And feeling terrible about it.

“If only I could be more disciplined,” they believe. And so, they renew their efforts yet again, and fail again, lowering their opinion of themselves once more, as well as their hope for the future.

They continue this cycle, despite the fact that it is not working, because it is all they know to do.

When I work with people on unleashing their creativity and living their heart’s dreams, I often have to begin by helping them send the inner taskmaster on a one-way ticket to the Bahamas.

The Taskmaster and the Rebel

The taskmaster always conjures our inner rebel. No one likes to be pushed around. When pushed, we push back.

Young man dancing in the street

photo by Andre Hunter

So, the rebel comes to our defense when the taskmaster is ordering us around.

The rebel does not want to do anything the taskmaster says and will sabotage its efforts, making us do the opposite, wake up later than we intended, stay up too late watching movies, get on the internet when we intended to be painting. . .

If you understand that the rebel always accompanies the taskmaster, you will understand and have more compassion for your own cycles of hard work and conscientious effort toward your dreams and goals and then goofing off, letting every distraction and passing pleasure come in the way of those dreams and goals.

What If You Only Do What You Want?

I often give my students the radical assignment to do only what they feel like doing for three weeks (or much longer!)—no shoulds or have to’s, no self-betterment programs, routines or healthy habits, unless they truly want to do it. (Note: This does not include if you have a job you need to go to or kids to take care of, but does include anything and everything else that you put upon yourself as a must or should.)

Try it!

This practice helps put our hearts, our love and joy, our curiosity, passion and self-kindness back in the driver’s seat. And it can lead us back to doing our creative play from genuine love, desire and enthusiasm.

Be patient with this assignment. If you have been ordering yourself around with your taskmaster for years, it may takes months of letting yourself lie on the couch and read trashy novels before an honest desire to do something else can be felt and followed. The time spent will be well worth the result.

If you are patient enough to let yourself do only what you really want, you will be surprised and amazed at how clearly your own loves, passions, desires, interests and gifts begin to show themselves. And how easy it is to do them.

How I Healed Myself

woman basking in sunflowers

by Jake Young

I did this practice of only doing what I wanted (outside of work hours) for months after I dropped out of graduate school in music.

I was at sea in my life, having lost my clear direction and my ability to create music with love and joy. I had no idea what to do next. I was afraid if I did not keep driving myself with that fierce inner taskmaster who had gotten me to accomplish so much for so long, all I would do is lie around eating bon-bons.

Strangely, that is not what happened.

I did lie on the couch a lot, reading. And I went to a lot of art movies.

But, I was reading poetry and novels, translating poems for fun, reading the dictionary to learn new words and the etymology of words, writing in my journal, writing poems, seeing amazing films, going for long walks, going to literary events.

And still, I thought I was doing nothing, until a friend pointed out how consistently I was focused on writing, story-telling, words, art. That is what I was choosing to do. I couldn’t even see it. I thought I was just lazing around.

If You Have a Strong Inner Taskmaster 

So, the first kind of willpower is the taskmaster. And it is an unhealthy and unsustainable kind of willpower that will have us cycling between striving and exhaustion, between accomplishment and disappointing ourselves. And all the time we will be being mean to ourselves.

If you are familiar with this kind of willpower, I urge you to try the experiment to do only what you truly want to do for a month.

See what it shows you about your real inclinations, desires, passions, pleasures. See what you learn about being with yourself in a wholly new way, a loving and compassionate and open-minded way. See what you learn about your own cycles of energy and how to ride those waves instead of fighting them.

If, on the other hand, you have a stronger inner rebel than taskmaster, then you may already indulge in your passing whims and surface-level desires but rarely touch something deeper or stick with anything. You flit around and change course constantly. You find it hard to stay with any program, project or routine.

If that sounds like you, you particularly need the second kind of will, which I’ll share in my next post.

We all need this second kind of will to reach our dreams. Stay tuned!

To your true heart’s desires,

Maxima

Welcome.

Brilliant Playground is a space of inclusion and honoring for people of all colors, races, paths, genders and sexual preferences. You are welcome here!

https://www.brilliantplayground.com/subscribe/

Creative Sparks provides tools, guidance and soul inspiration about once a week to:

  • Ignite and sustain your creativity
  • Identify and realize your heart’s true dreams
  • Live a life of passion, purpose and deep play

We are soul-crafting here. Join us!

 Subscribe here

Join me on Patreon for insider access to my best stuff!

Blog Archives