blog? what blog?

Life looks very different than it did just a few short months ago. Since wrapping up my job in September, things seem to be changing – internally and externally – at warp speed.

I have to say that these last weeks of 2014 have been some of the most eye-opening and emotionally intense in recent years.  I completed a school program, cleaned up messes and restored integrity with loved ones (this seems to be ongoing!), had an old flame contact me after years of distance, landed part-time work in a completely new field, started my own business with a dear friend, and met some amazing people who will undoubtedly play a significant role in 2015.

In all this, blogging took a backseat. And I’ve missed it!

Image courtesy of Vaughan Lewis

Image courtesy of Vaughan Lewis.

I remember sensing that once I quit my job, other aspects of my life would also change. And I don’t mean this on a purely physical level. Giving up my easy, cushy 9-5 was telling the universe that I trusted there is something more to life than the routine I’d become so accustomed to. It was saying – ‘I may be crazy, but I’m willing to take that risk. What could life really be like?’

I won’t lie that for the first few weeks after quitting, I was seriously second-guessing my decision. I realized that I deeply missed the structure my job provided.  Not the actual work, but having somewhere to go. My walks to and from work, and the daily coffee joint with the other ‘regulars’. Socializing with my friends and colleagues. Feeling like I was contributing to something.

I’m now appreciating the total responsibility I have for creating my entire life. It’s the first time in many years where it’s 100% up to me to plan my day.  I miss the structure of my old job? Well then, I must implement my own structure. It’s really that simple. (It’s our stories that make things complicated!)

Starting my own business has brought up a lot of stuff – excitement, fear, creativity, and doubt, to name a few.  But at this point there is no turning back. There’s a sense of urgency in the air and I know many of us are feeling it. Time is speeding up, and one year could easily turn into five.

If not now, then when? How do I want to design my life? And what am I actually doing to create that? In these last few weeks I’ve had to be really honest with myself about my procrastination tendencies…well, that’s another post. Suffice it to say that the universe supports me, but it’s not just going to pick me up and plop me into a new life without any action on my part. I need to give it something to work with! This is the power we have as creators. This is where our mettle is tested. Where I walk my talk.

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On a different note, when I was in Bologna in 2013 I met a lovely couple from my hometown, and since we’d travelled to the same places in Italy, they kindly sent me their beautiful photos. Just recently I received a Christmas greeting from them.  I was immediately drawn to one of the pictures attached.  It was taken in Tulum, Mexico at a Catholic church on December 12, the Dìa de la Virgen de Guadaloupe.  There is a whole history behind the association of Mexican Catholicism and Aboriginal spirituality, but I personally was transfixed by the image of the mother and daughter, and the colours and feathers. To me the photo symbolizes the passing down of feminine knowledge and the role of the divine feminine on planet earth at this time. I knew there was a message for me here. And it has something to do with 2015.

With that I will say ciao – and that it’s good to be back! Wishing everyone a love-filled, creative, and inspiring new year.

 

 

 

 

not stuck, just gathering information

As some of my blogging friends know, for a while now I’ve been employed in a job that I am not, er, totally passionate about.  While I appreciate the many perks it offers, I sense there is something much greater to align with.  I know a lot of people out there can relate.

Around this time last year, I gave my notice at my current job.  I was just fed up, and prepared to take a leap into the unknown.  Instead, at somewhat the last minute, I decided to take an unpaid leave of absence, and frolic around Italy for a few weeks.

But now I find myself slipping back to where I was a year ago (albeit forever changed by my travels).  Though I am focusing on appreciating the great things about my job, there is the ever-looming desire for something more.  Something that doesn’t feel like ‘work’, something intangible, but that is just effortlessly me…someplace where I don’t have to remind myself all day, every day, why I am grateful to be there.  Something that just is.

A few weeks ago I signed up for one of those extensive Career Assessment tests, just to get some inspiration and ideas.  The results proved interesting, but not surprising.  My ideal work profile was identified as Social/Artistic, the #1 recommended occupation being Photographer.  The second suggestion was the much-less-sexy-sounding Technical Writer (which doesn’t sound too Social/Artistic, but whatever).

This hasn’t made me want to run out and quit my day job, but the results affirm that there are more creative options for me to explore.  To that end, I’ve enrolled in a couple of Writing courses, to get the juices flowing.

On the career front, I’ve been inundating myself with Abraham-Hicks videos lately, and learning to not define myself as ‘stuck’, or focus on those aspects of my job I have found draining or unpleasant.  That feeling of stagnation can become very familiar (as many office workers know), and become my dominant perception of my situation.

So I’m wanting to move away from that.  Instead, I’m going to take the advice I’ve been giving myself for years.  Just do what you love to do.  (Or even what you like to do, if you don’t know what that is.)  Do whatever you can, wherever you can, however often you can, to get yourself into that place where you’re…well, doing what you love to do.  For the sake of just doing it.

Seems easy enough, doesn’t it?  Yet somehow I’ve resisted fully going there.  I’ve called myself ‘undisciplined’. I’ve promised myself I’ll do it later (meanwhile frittering time away on Facebook).  Or I’ve associated doing what I love with immediately making it a career or source of income, and becoming discouraged/overwhelmed right off the bat.  Or – I’ve liked the idea of doing it better than actually doing it, because what if I suck at it?  (I think they call that self-sabotage.)

In the past I have felt the pressure of time, or (more often) comparison with others, influencing me to make a shift – which only backfired, especially since I had no concrete idea of what to shift to.

But I’ve ceased calling myself ‘scattered’ or ‘unfocused’.  Now I’m trusting that it’s okay to be one of those people who actually likes and loves to do a lot of different things.  And my process is going to be unique; there is no standard timeline for anything.

Abraham’s teachings help me find my own balance between appreciation – I mean, really appreciating what is – and aligning with that expanded part of me that craves movement, growth, freedom, and abundance. I’m taking all the time I need to find this balance.  Because key to this process is authenticity with where I’m truly at.

Doing those things I really love to do, but have resisted for whatever reason, will require a willingness to occasionally step out of my comfort zone.  To get my feet wet.  In my two Writing classes, I will be required not only to share my work with others, but to give and receive feedback.  This will be interesting.  Though blogging has opened me up in many ways, writing has largely been a solo activity.  To share that part of myself with relative strangers (though I’m sure they won’t be in ten weeks!) is a little daunting.

But I’m up for it.  All this is part of vulnerability and growth.  This opening will create channels for more creative streams to flow.  Maybe I’ll even start doing those tarot readings my friends have been pestering me about!

After all, 2014 is all about doing things a little different.  No more holding back.

if i do what i love, will the money follow?

Last week I was scheduled to participate in a focus group discussing a legal case, for which I’d be paid $100.  It was a no-brainer for me to sign up; now that I have an overseas trip to save for, every penny counts.  When I arrived at the session, however, I realized that I once worked in the same office as the focus group facilitator.  Since this was a no-no, I was promptly sent home, no cash in hand.

I was a little disappointed, but got over it quickly.  The situation was out of my control, so it was pointless to get too upset.  And in a way, I was kind of relieved. It was a gorgeous sunny day, and I could certainly see the benefit in spending the next couple hours outside, rather than within the confines of a dark office, discussing an intense case that would have probably left me feeling drained for the rest of the evening.

As I walked along the seawall home, my relief grew.  There was abundance everywhere.  In the sunshine. In the breeze.  In the warmth. In the water.  In the ducks (pictured below) just doing their thing in the water.  In the happy smiles of passerby. In the parks lining the seawall, filled with families and dogs and people-watchers and sun tanners getting ready for their Saturday night.

In noticing this beauty surrounding me, I felt expanded.  I could breathe.  It was blissful. When I thought about the focus group I had left behind, I felt constriction.  Bored. Grey.

I knew that what had happened was not a meaningless coincidence.  It was a clear message about abundance and money.

I have a dear friend who teaches yoga almost daily and has a popular musical gig a few times a month.  She truly loves what she does.  For the most part, she can arrange her day any way she wishes.  She doesn’t have a lot of money, but her ‘work’ is so aligned with her values and spirituality that I know she is infinitely happier and more fulfilled than she would ever be sitting behind a desk all day.

This is deeply inspiring to me.  It seems there are many of us out there who are more than ready to break out of the cubicle and start something new of our very own: something meaningful, imbued with our personal values and marked with our unique creative stamp. There’s a growing number of social media sites devoted to discovering this new, higher conscious way of living.  And that’s a very good thing.

But it can also be a new and uncomfortable road, one that seems risky and fraught with unknowns.  And it brings up all kinds of limiting beliefs and perceptions.  For example, I personally have struggled with the notion that creative self-expression and financial abundance are mutually exclusive.  Because I’ve believed that for so long, I see my belief played out all around me.  (Which only reinforces the belief!)

It is time for an upgrade.

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Is there another way?  Do we have to choose between doing what we love and financial abundance?  Do we need financial abundance if we are doing what we love?  In other words…does money matter and, if so, is it possible to have it all?

In the late 80s, the book Do What You Love And The Money Will Follow was released.  This text, still hugely popular, is a forerunner of many premising that when we follow our hearts, all areas of our life – including money – flow as an extension of that.

But to me, it’s not necessarily that doing what we love means money will automatically follow.  It’s that the deep fulfillment and inner peace that comes from doing work we love is infinitely more rewarding than the paycheck we receive from doing work we’re not remotely connected to.

The focus group experience really crystallized this for me.  That $100 didn’t hold a candle to the immense gratitude I felt on my walk, in truly appreciating my surroundings.

And the ironic thing is, we’re more likely to attract money into our lives when we’re already in a contented state.  Abraham Hicks teaches that focusing on that which gives us joy brings us in alignment with our (limitless, non-physical) Source – Who We Really Are.  In that place of alignment (love, appreciation, gratitude), our desired manifestations can more easily become physical.

It takes conscious practice to keep ourselves aligned.  It requires trust, surrender, releasing resistance, letting go, and allowing.  Ultimately, true alignment means knowing that we are inherently worthy of all we desire.   Once we really get that, the flow is unstoppable.