Transforming Your Relationship with Time, Part 1

Transforming Your Relationship with Time, Part 1

How is your relationship with time? Do you feel you have enough? Do you move through your day with ease and flow? Are you spending your time on what you love most, what nourishes your heart and soul?

Or are you frantic and rushed, or scattered, distracted, unable to use your time well? Are you frustrated at the end of the day with how little got done? Does time feel like it’s slipping away without you getting to what is most meaningful to you?

Does time feel like a friend or an enemy, or like some bewildering alien substance you can never quite get a hold of?

Welcome to Sacred Time Management

Sacred Time Management is such a vital subject that many of my Mentoring clients ask me to help them with it. We devote a whole segment of my Living Your Dreams course to it. Because, in order to live your heart’s dreams, you do so one day at a time. And how you feel about time colors so much of your life.

When you know how to live your time, in a soul-connected, loving, inspired way, life feels radiant and remarkable. When you know how to take a big dream and break it down into do-able steps, how to keep taking those steps in the midst of a full life, and how to make adjustments without losing your way, you get to see your heart’s great dreams come true.

When you know how to prioritize among your many interests and needs, you can create a rich, balanced life that doesn’t neglect any vital part of yourself.

It begins with fundamentally changing your relationship to time, so that it feels spacious, supportive, and magical. So that you and time are allies working and playing together toward the most beautiful life you can create. As one of my students said, “[I] have discovered a more magical way to work with and bend time.”

How I Discovered Sacred Time Management

I used to have an abysmal relationship with time. I put too much on my plate every day and had utterly unrealistic expectations for each week and month. I would end the day exhausted and disappointed about what didn’t get done. Then, start all over again the next day.

Finally, I’d had enough. I decided to transform my relationship with time. I wanted time to feel abundant, and the way I lived to feel beautiful and meaningful. I wanted to feel peace at the end of the day. And at the same time, to accomplish the things that mattered most to me. I wanted to enjoy my down time and not feel guilty that I should be doing something else.

Enter Sacred Time Management. I began to study time management tools, but also a wholly different way of relating to time. Making time an ally, the precious gift and blessing that it is. Disconnecting from toxic ideas about busyness and productivity that are rife in contemporary culture.

Connecting instead to my heart’s deepest desires and dreams, my soul’s longings and needs, my body’s wisdom, and the cycles of nature. Letting these guide how I spend my days, my weeks, my years. So that I’m moving with the flow of life and my own deep Self.

The result has been extraordinary. I’m not completely healed from the dominant paradigm that has most of us wear ourselves out, take on too much at once, ignore and deplete our hearts and bodies. But I do have a much healthier, satisfying experience of time.

I celebrate what I am able to do, but also how I am being, and how I am taking care of myself. I align my days and weeks with what is most important to me, what feeds me. And I make my choices from there. I’m open to the mystery and the way life shows up unexpectedly.

Why Sacred Time Management?

Sacred Time Management is a big subject. And it’s an important one because, as the writer Annie Dillard wisely observed, “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” None of us wants to get to the end of our lives, whenever that comes (which could be today), and feel we have wasted our life or missed our calling or not done what we most longed to do.

There’s far more to Sacred Time Management than I can cover in a single blog post. But I will share some of the perspectives and tools I teach over a series of posts. If you wish to go deeper, check out my Creative Life Coaching & Mentoring or join me for Living Your Dreams.

Healing Your Relationship with Time

For today, I invite you to begin to think of Time as a living thing, a being, a friend with whom you wish to be in right relationship. Rather than thinking of it as a commodity or limited resource or frustrating enemy.

I invite you to pay attention to how you relate to time. Notice how you feel about time as you move through your day, when you feel rushed, impatient, relaxed, stressed, or spacious about time. See where healing needs to happen in your relationship with time. Pay attention to when you are trying to do three things at once. Or over-loading your to do list. Or frittering time away on unfulfilling activities. See if you end the day feeling unfulfilled or angry with yourself for not doing more. Simply notice. Bring your compassionate awareness to your relationship with Time. This is the first step.

I encourage you to write in your journal about what you notice. What is your current relationship with time? And what would you love it to feel like, be like? Dream into how you wish it to be. This is powerful.

Please share your questions about time and Sacred Time Management with me here or by email. I’ll do my best to address your questions in my upcoming posts on this subject. Also, please share your revelations and discoveries, so that we can all learn together. Stay tuned for more!

The Gifts (and Perils) of Focus

The Gifts (and Perils) of Focus

This is the beginning of a two-part series on Focus. We’ll look at how you can bless your creativity and your life with its gifts. And, avoid its pitfalls.

Focus is about getting out of overwhelm, over-doing, and the feeling of spinning your wheels. It’s about aligning your life with what matters most to you. It brings fulfillment, clarity, and ease.

What it’s not about is driving yourself with an inner taskmaster or eliminating other delights from your life. It isn’t about having a maniacal single purpose with nothing else going on.

Focus gives you purpose and momentum. Perhaps you feel your primary focus needs to be on your work, or school, or your family right now. Perhaps you decide to put it on finding a partner or learning a new skill.

Once you name your focus and give it your attention, you can fill in around it with other things that bring enjoyment and spice. You’ll also fill in with things that are necessary or important—like care of your finances and your health.

But you know your primary focus. And you understand why you may have to let some things go, some things be dormant or more quiet, why you might need to neglect some things for a period of time. Instead of trying to do it all.

Knowing your focus lets you off the hook of trying to do everything and all at the same level. So you don’t go crazy and exhaust yourself. Or get discouraged and never reach your dreams.

We need focus. In our art and in our lives. And it can feel harder and harder to choose and maintain focus in our “distraction economy.”

When You Have a Lot of Interests

Having focus means we choose where to give our life energy—to which art form, creative project, or aims. Within your creative life (and any area of life), choosing a primary focus can be enormously freeing, helpful, and satisfying.

Choosing a focus doesn’t mean you can’t work in more than one art form, or have more than one interest at a time. I am a writer, dancer, and musician. Each one gives me something different and vital. But I can’t do them all at the same level all the time.

Writing has been my primary focus for many years. Knowing this gives me clarity in how I use my studio time, nourish my muse, and grow as an artist. And I can choose to shift that focus for periods of time.

You can also work on multiple projects at a time. Some artists need this cross-pollination to do their best work. And you may have goals in different areas of your creative life, goals for creating art, learning, and sharing your work, for instance.

But I slow my progress and artistic development when I lack a strong focus, when my priorities aren’t clear, and when I don’t stick to those priorities. Then I feel frustrated and disappointed with how little progress I have made. I need to narrow my focus, know the order of priority of my projects and goals, and have a realistic plan for reaching them. Otherwise, I tend to flail, doing a little of this and a little of that.

The proof is always in the pudding. Are you completing things you are proud of? Creating your best work? Growing as an artist and in your life? Most of all, are you enjoying your life?

Choosing a Primary Focus

Start by choosing a primary focus. This might be a creative project or goal or a focus for your life as a whole right now. What is calling to you? What lights you up? What would feel the best or make the biggest positive difference in your life right now? What is your one thing if you had to choose one thing for a time?

Right now my artistic focus is the book I’m writing on how to live a passionate, inspired creative life. As long as I didn’t get crystal clear that my book was my primary focus, progress was painfully slow. I kept getting distracted and derailed. I had my hand in so many projects. And was also juggling too many small (and large) goals all over my life. I felt overwhelmed and like I was always falling behind. And it felt like nothing was getting done.

Perhaps you don’t yet have a focus or not enough. You go into your creative space and just dabble. You go about your life, answering to whatever is most urgent that day. Or you are overwhelmed with too many projects and directions.

Let Your Heart Be Your Guide

Focus, when chosen well—from your heart’s deepest desires and soul’s needs—gives you excitement, energy, and relief. And both the process and completion brings fulfillment, joy, and a sense of accomplishment.

I invite you to choose a primary focus in your creative life now, and perhaps one in your life as a whole. Here’s how.

Try this: Pour out all the projects, goals, desires, pursuits that you have going in your life now or have been thinking about. Dump them all onto a piece of paper.

Go through them one by one. Which ones spark joy? Which feel exciting or draw you? Which connect to a deep sense of purpose or meaning? Put a star or a heart next to those.

If something feels heavy or too hard, perhaps the time is not right for that now. If something feels like a should rather than a want to, cross it off or find a way to connect it to something you truly desire. Maybe you need to hire support with it. If something feels urgent, is that urgency connected to a goal or dream that’s truly important, or is it a false urgency, coming from unhealed trauma or anxiety?

Winnow down your goals and projects. Cross whatever you can off the list. Now, choose a primary focus in your creative life and/or in your life as a whole. If you cannot choose one, choose three and rank them in order of priority.

You can decide the time frame for this choice. Perhaps you start playing with this by just choosing a singular focus from now until the end of the year. That’s just two weeks away. So your focus might be to enjoy the holidays and let yourself rest. Or to finish a project that is near to completion. Or to spend time harvesting the outgoing year and visioning the new. Perhaps you are ready to choose a primary focus for 2022.

Focus Is More Than Just Choosing

Once you know what your focus is, you need a plan for how you will move toward it and keep it alive in daily life.

Focus can include detailing the steps and timeline. Right now, I’ve given myself the goal of editing one big chapter of my book every two weeks until this draft is done. Your focus might be a learning goal: To master watercolor technique or learn to play Bach’s solo cello suites. What’s your plan for how you will do this?

Whatever the focus, and whatever your steps, you also need a way to remember to take those steps, check how it’s going, and adjust as needed. You need encouragement, support, accountability. I have both an editor who is helping me with my book and a writer friend that I meet with regularly to share.

Remember, you don’t have to do it alone. We need mentors and companions on the path to our heart’s dreams.

Support for Your Passionate Life

If you would love radical clarity on your focus, I’d be honored to support you with one-on-one Creative Life Mentoring. This is a magical combo of life coaching, creativity mentoring, and soul whispering that is tailored to your specific needs, desires, dreams, challenges. It is a profound gift to give to yourself.

Stay tuned for part II on Focus in which I share some recent pitfalls I fell into, how I got out, and more.

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.

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.

Celebrating the Spring Equinox

Celebrating the Spring Equinox

Today is the Spring Equinox or Vernal Equinox, the turning point to the season of Springtime in the Northern Hemisphere.

The Spring equinox turns us to new beginnings, new shoots coming up out of the earth, new budding things. Life begins anew.

It is a time of rebirth, balance, pause and planting seeds.

Here where I live in the Northern Sierra Nevada in California it has been cold, overcast, days of rain mixed with snow and hail. We’ve had more winter in the past month than the rest of the season. After a gorgeous “false spring” in early February, the new buds are held back, plants drooping from cold and snows.

But the camellias are blooming, the grape hyacinth crops up everywhere in the garden, undaunted. Forsythia begins to bud. Tulips have sent out their shoots of green.

Today we pause in honor of spring, the new season.

Today the day and night are of equal length all over the earth, a balance point. From now until the autumnal equinox, the days begin to grow longer and warmer.

Questions to Help You Plant Seeds for the Coming Season

Here are some questions to help you pause and celebrate this special time that in the astrological calendar is considered the first day of a new year. I invite you journal on these questions:

What needs re-balancing in you now?

For me, it is time to welcome more play and delight. To balance work and play better. More in attitude than in what I’m actually doing. Less push, pressure, stress, more easeful creative play and fun. Because creating things is my favorite form of play—whether in writing, dance, music or collage.

Yes, I know I’m supposed to be the “Empress of Play,” but I need reminding too from time to time. Lately, I’ve been very focused on goals and doing. It’s time to relax and play, enjoy, more.

Seeds

by Steve Richey

What seeds are you planting now to come to fruition through the spring and summer into the autumn harvest?

I’m planting seeds of writing and strewing these seeds everywhere I can, sharing my work through this blog, my newsletter, Medium, sending poems and essays to literary journals and online publications, seeking guest blogging opportunities, sending my poetry manuscript to presses.

Looking to a harvest of more readers, more sharing. Growth in both my art and readership.

I’m planting seeds to grow my creative community too. If you don’t know what I mean by that, read my e-book The Six Essential Ingredients of a Brilliant Life to find out.

How will you nourish these seeds and yourself in the coming months?

What steps will you take to further your heart’s dreams?

How will you care for yourself in body, heart, soul, mind, feeding these aspects of yourself what they need to flourish?

Here’s what I’m doing: Every week I take action towards my heart’s dreams, in fact nearly daily.

This summer I am planning a vacation of fun, inspiration and adventure with my beloved—whew, looking forward to that!

I also read voraciously and widely to keep myself inspired.

And I have daily self-care routines for the health of body, mind, heart, spirit, what I call The Hour of Flowering, one of the tools I teach to my coaching clients.

May this season of spring bring a blossoming of your creativity, your gifts, your dreams, your joy!

Maxima

P.S. If you would like support, expert guidance and powerful tools to clear the blocks and create the life you desire, contact me for a free Discovery Session to explore how Creative Life Coaching could change your life.

Seeking Your Heart’s Guidance

Seeking Your Heart’s Guidance

A simple but powerful exercise to help you hear your heart’s guidance. 

Your heart is here to guide you to your best life. Not the easiest, but the best. The fullest expression of you. The richest, most beautiful, rewarding life.

Your heart has answers your mind could never devise. Astonishing in their wisdom, rightness and simplicity.

But how do you hear the voice of your heart? How do you access that guidance?

Here is a process to cultivate connection to the wisdom of heart.

1) Set the scene

Find a place and time where you will not be disturbed. Turn off your phone (really) and close your computer. Have a notebook and pen or pencil. Light a candle or sit somewhere beautiful in nature.

2) Open the flow

This step is preparation, to get your controlling mind out of the way, to open inside. You aren’t yet seeking any guidance. You are clearing the channels to receive guidance.

Grant yourself full permission to write anything at all without judging, doubting, or expecting anything of it. Write for two full pages without pausing to think or edit, starting from the words “In this moment…”.

Write whatever comes, whatever you think, feel, notice around you or in you. Just keep the pen moving the whole time, without pausing, even if you think it is nonsense.

3) Make a request

writing heart's guidanceNow, write a short paragraph to your heart, asking for its guidance and promising to listen.

You may ask about a specific challenge or situation, or you might just ask, “Oh my heart, what do I need to know, be, or do now?” or something general like “How can I live a more joyful life?”

Make a promise to set aside doubt, second-guessing, or your mind trying to figure things out and control the process.

4) Write your heart’s guidance

Drawing on the feeling of freewriting that you did in step 2, simply relax and let the pen flow, writing whatever answers seem to come from your heart.

Keep your promise to yourself not to judge, doubt, second-guess, analyze or edit the answers while you write. That will stop the flow. You can use your wisdom later to discern what feels right or to interpret it.

If your heart tells you anything you feel you cannot do or do not understand, ask follow-up questions. Express your feelings and concerns. Dialogue with your heart about them.

5) Take action

If it feels true and right—even if it also feels scary, hard or silly—follow your heart’s guidance, taking action on what you were told. Keep the faith with your heart by not ignoring its precious wisdom.

What steps will you take? What changes will you make? How will you act in accordance with the guidance you received?

Keeping the Channel Open

magical heart path

by JR Korpa on Unsplash

If you ask for guidance, receive it and then ignore it, you close down your connection to this most valuable inner resource. And your life will feel out of balance.

If, on the other hand, you learn to discern what your own heart voice sounds like, what it feels like when it is speaking to you, you will strengthen your access to this guide within.

Learn how your own heart speaks to you—which may be in images, sensations, impressions or emotions, more than words. Learn to trust and follow the guidance. See what happens as you do.

As you refine your ability to hear your true heart guidance, as you cultivate your deep trust in it, your willingness to follow it into the challenging, scary and wondrous places it is leading you, you will begin to create a life of extraordinary richness and beauty for yourself and for our world.

We want our souls to be fed in the heart’s great pool. Sit with your pen and wait. Sit. Listen. There, it is whispering. There, formless but real. Like wind.

If you enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy: Cultivating Intuition and A Return to Heart and also What I Know.

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Dreaming Your Year: A Recipe for Soulful Living

Dreaming Your Year: A Recipe for Soulful Living

At the start of each year, I speak about tuning into the dreaming of the year ahead, dreaming your year from heart and soul.

Why?

So that you can co-create an inspired, soulful, enriching trip around the sun. Not just blown about by the winds of habit and happenstance. But guided by deep vision, inspiration and heart.

It’s Never Too Late

I want you to know it’s not too late to do this. I often take all of January to complete this dreaming step-by-step.

A friend recently said to me, “But then you lose a whole month of the year!” That’s the old paradigm, in which time is scarce, and we have to rush and push to our goals. Where nothing is ever enough and we’re always behind. That’s not how I want to live.

Dreaming your year is a priceless process of listening to your own heart and to the heartsong of the world. Like anything worthwhile, that doesn’t want to be rushed.

Also, you can do it anytime. You could do it in July for the year ahead that starts from there.

But…

How Do You Dream Your Year?

Tuning into the dreaming of the year: What does that look like, feel like?

Start by dropping the shoulds, have-tos, anxieties, dropping the constant craving demands of the small self, to open a vast space within.

Seeds

by Steve Richey

Open to the fertile void, the womb of creation from which all life comes. The dark soil of earth which harbors already the seeds of new life waiting to push forth into the light and grow and blossom and bear fruit.

Get quiet and allow yourself to rest in the gap between the end of the old and the start of the new. Drop into that spacious dark in which the soul can fly free.

Listen patiently for the still small voice within. Not rushing to answers. Not trying to figure it out with the mind. Not trying to fill the void or control the process.

Listening, waiting, opening, feeling, resting, trusting, quiet, receptive.

Ask for vision. Put forth a prayer, an invitation for your heart and soul to speak, for Life itself to speak to you and call you forth. Express your willingness to be of service to something larger and wilder than your small self.

Ask for vision, open to receive.

Then, attend to any sensations, images, words, emotions, impressions that come. Take notes. You may also wish to dance or draw this vision.

Some Fertile Questions

  • What are the seeds of this coming year that are already planted in me?
    What is Life dreaming that desires to be born through me?
  • How do I most wish to feel?
  • What do I desire to embody? How do I want to show up in my life?
  • What is calling to my heart and soul? What needs or yearnings are calling to be filled?
  • What would bring me the most delight, joy? What would inspire me most?
  • What practices, passions, activities, adventures are calling to me?

Listen to the Deeper Currents

by Nicholas Han

Tune into the deeper currents moving you. Listen to these more than to your fears, doubts, your sense of lack.

You’ll find your life begins to flow in beautiful, extraordinary ways. Support and miracles will appear. Not that there won’t also be challenges. These are part of the path of our heart.

This dreaming through you is the Tao, the way of life. When we align ourselves with the Tao, we feel a sense of flow. When we resist or ignore the Tao, we struggle, hit obstacles, often get sick or depressed.

Let yourself dream without rushing to any concern about the how of those dreams. (That will kill a dream that is trying to be born.) Simply let yourself envision the what, however it wants to come to you now, even if you have no idea how it could possibly come about.

Zooming In and Focusing

♥ Is there a word or theme of the year that beckons to you?

Rather than choosing from what your mind wants or thinks sounds good, be patient and let your word or theme arrive in its own time from your soul. This might take days or weeks.

Write your word or theme on an index card and post it where you will see it.

♥ Is there a Breakthrough Dream you want to name for this coming year?

A Breakthrough Dream is something that, if you focus on, complete or realize it this year, would make the biggest positive difference in your life. It is the one that most calls to you now, even if it also brings fear or doubt. (Fear and doubt are often a good sign. Just set these aside for now, if they arise, so that you can freely dream.)

Write your Breakthrough Dream on an index card too.

Put It Into Existence

Once you’ve allowed the vision of the year to come to you, it’s time to do some gentle mapping of the how, to put it into existence in time.

Name some steps you will take to support your dreams. Put some milestones in your year and/or schedule things in your calendar that are important to you.

Divide big dreams and desires into small steps and put them in time. Be willing to try things, to risk.

Be sure your dreams and desires are aligned with what matters most to you, what you most care about, what brings you joy. Because the “small stuff” fades. Life is not an endless self-improvement project, but a treasure to be lived fully and beautifully.


To read more of my posts about creating your year from inspired, heart-centered vision, check out: https://brilliantplayground.com/harvesting-and-dreaming/ 

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The Shining Bridge to Reach Your Dreams

The Shining Bridge to Reach Your Dreams

Here is what I have discovered. There is a shining bridge between willpower and enthusiasm: Commitment.

Commitment is a tool we all need in order to realize big dreams, visions and aspirations for ourselves and our world.

Yet, commitment, is often misunderstood. In today’s post I will clear up some misconceptions and show you how to connect with your own commitment.

[This is the 2nd installment in a series on Enthusiasm vs. Willpower and how to realize your life dreams. If you missed the first post, you can read it here.]

Scottish mountaineer W. H. Murray said:

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets: ‘Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.’ Begin it now.”

Commitment, once made, must be repeatedly renewed in the heart through the power of re-committing.

The Most Powerful Tool on the Path to Our Dreams

Woman on top of mountain

by Ruthie Martin

Recommitting is probably the most essential tool on the path to realizing our dreams.

On the path to our big dreams, we will encounter many setbacks, disappointments and challenges. We will meet our own resistance and faltering self-belief. We will get thrown off by unexpected life events and unanticipated challenges, by enticing distractions and the allure of comfort.

It is completely normal to fall off along the path to our dreams. It’s what we do next that matters.

Recommitting gives us a way to get back on the proverbial horse and ultimately realize the fulfillment of our great aspirations.

Commitment Must Come From the Heart

If we attempt to be committed to a dream, a project, a relationship, from the mind alone, our commitment will be dull and hard to maintain. To be a true commitment, it must arise naturally, without force, from the love in our heart.

The paradox of commitment is this: We cannot manufacture true commitment in the mind. But we can and must be conscious of our commitments and renew them consciously. We must make a conscious choice to recommit to that which matters to us, to our highest aspirations and deepest values.

We do this by reconnecting to our love for that person, place, dream. We reconnect to our vision for it, what it means to us, what it gives to us and others, and/or what it can give.

In reconnecting to our vision, love, and what has meaning for us, our commitment naturally rekindles.

Accessing a New Kind of Will

From this heart-centered commitment and conscious choice, we can then access the energy of will in a positive way to help us move past resistance, discomfort, doubt and fear and actually take the next step on our path of dreams—whether that next step is picking up a paintbrush, going to the gym, or calling a prospective agent.

Once reconnected to vision and love, to our deep why, our will is energized and not forceful. We know why we are doing what we long to do, and we are motivated from a deeper place than just thinking we should do it.

Then, we aren’t beating ourselves up to do it. We don’t have to battle ourselves and be at war with ourselves, which is stressful, exhausting and doesn’t work. Instead, we use the positive energy of commitment to empower us to take another step in the direction of our dreams.

by Luis Davila

And, we use 30-second bursts of will to move past the initial resistance every creative person feels before beginning to create or do anything difficult and meaningful.

We use will to set clear, helpful boundaries that protect our creative time, space and energy.

We use commitment to pick ourselves up after a disappointment and continue on our path of dreams.

But that will and commitment come from love.

In my next post, I’ll talk about two different types of will and also about the inner taskmaster and the rebel. And I’ll give you a radical assignment I think you will love.

Stay tuned!

To your dreams,
Maxima

P.S. Remember, if you sign up in December for soul-based creativity coaching with me you get 40% off my regular rates. Save $300 and give yourself this profound gift to help you create your bold, beautiful visions now. Find out more here.

P.P.S. Help create a more beautiful world by sharing this post with a friend. You can use the share buttons below.

On Devotion to Creativity: A Life, A Path

On Devotion to Creativity: A Life, A Path

I Am Devoted to Beauty and Creation

Some days all i can truly do is write. It’s all i can do truly, with a whole heart, with devotion. This is what’s given to me, and it’s a lot.

What jewels have been laid in my hands—I am awestruck, fascinated, dutiful, grateful. How could i possibly organize my life any differently than around these jewels?

Writing is my listening, how i tune my ear to the worlds, all of them—or whichever chooses to haunt me now.

Beauty is incredibly important to me. To actually capture beauty in the hand for a moment, more than once, more than just a lucky break, that takes deep work, to devote your life to something.

I’m interested in devotion, that profound movement of the heart—offering, sacrifice, surrender. How much it takes and how much it gives us in return. You can’t force it or fake it. It has to arise organically in the heart. But you can commit yourself to it consciously, once you feel it start.

Devotion is like a small, worthy boat that holds and carries us across waters now stormy, now calm, so that we can see astonishing lands, become salt-worn, washed whole, a part of sea and sky.

Creativity Is Not a Chore

by Averie Woodard

Creativity is not something i make myself do. It’s something i open myself to do.

I tend the garden, create the right conditions, the proper soil, show up lovingly, and work with my hands in the dirt, grateful for rain when it comes, grateful for sun, for blossoms and ripe fruit. I’m happy to tend to the slow care of picking caterpillars off the stems, cutting away the dead heads and stalks, mulching with the unused portions, watering daily. I know the seeds will flower in time.

Why would i complain about the work of creating? I’m honored to be given these seeds, this plot of ground, this longing. And entranced by the miracle of growth, new life—every time. Entranced by the process of growth and the care it takes to create art. Entranced to be in my garden of creativity, feet muddy, knees in the soil, dirt under my nails.

This is the place i feel most home, most right, at peace, one with all, belonging—even in the struggles. Outside my garden of creation there are precious few places i feel as well. Ritual is one of them, any kind of communion with the All, being in nature, around a fire, and often when i am teaching.

But, that garden of creation and communion is my first home, my path of devotion, my sacred work, my divine play.

Explore Devotion, That Magic Power

What are you truly devoted to in your life? What do you give your whole heart to, sacrifice time, money or other opportunities to follow?

What are the rewards of that devotion?

What do you care about or want more of in your life that you could be more devoted to? How would you express that devotion?

You may wish to journal about these questions, to dive deeply into them and see what arises for you. Remember, devotion is a movement of the heart. It’s not another “should.”

Please share your responses in the comments below, so we can continue the conversation.

And if you liked what you read here, share this post with a friend using the share buttons below. Help me spread the love.

To your devoted life,

 

 

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