The Landing-Place

 

“Life is a journey,” I said.

 

“Life is this moment,”

my Higher Self answered:

 

This moment – fully

embraced – is journey’s

end and journey’s

beginning;

 

the point

of departure is

the destination.

 

Image courtesy of Unsplash.

 

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The Energies are Ripe for Release & Transmutation

It's the start of a New Year and the energies are really intense. A great time for releasing old patterns and stepping up into something new.
Image courtesy of geralt.

Bam-wham. Is it just me or is the Universe working at a really accelerated rate to get us to where we want to be – and where It wants us to be – right now?

These last few weeks through the end of 2016 and the first few days of 2017 have felt like an energetic ball of fire blowing through me. Swirling up dozens of my patterns, bringing them up for release.

Among the multitude of things that have come up for me are an old, old pattern from childhood – an incident I knew was of significance but had no idea quite how much – that had me putting constant checks on how I allowed myself to be in my interactions with others.

Glad to get to the root of that one.

Now to integrate the awareness that it’s Safe to be me, whether other people like and accept Authentic Me or not.

There’s also been a lot coming up around control.

My tendency towards obedience to rules without questioning. My irrational fear of authority figures. My ingrained pattern of submitting and yielding my power to both those in societal positions of power; and those who I feel are somehow superior to me – whether that be in strength, age, wisdom, knowledge or experience.

My co-dependent tendencies that have allowed me to be manipulated and controlled by others in relationship.

The same tendencies that have had me also trying to manipulate and control others – particularly their opinions of me.

Always striving to be the kind, compassionate, loving friend, colleague or partner who overlooks and forgives. Justifying and rationalizing behavior that dishonors me or the relationship out of a long-nursed fear of losing the other person’s love if I allow the Kali-infused incensed part of my personality that wants to honor my Truth to raise its voice.

Swallowing my pain instead of asking for what I need.

My new commitment to myself is to voice my needs and what I desire to experience, even when I’m scared of the possible consequences.

I am trusting that what is meant for me will stay; the rest be blown away in the wind.

More “stuff” coming up around the way I give my authority and power away to others by taking on too much advice and too many opinions instead of allowing myself to be the only and sovereign power in my life.

Choosing to deepen into trusting my intuitive knowing about the path my Soul is leading me on instead.

Clearing and releasing around the ways I have dishonored others and allowed them to dishonor me.

Committing to step up into a more authentic relationship with my Voice in relationships with others.

Accepting that it’s okay for others to be upset with me sometimes. That I’m probably not being true to myself if they’re not.

Letting go of my need to “control” and take responsibility for things that are not mine.

Setting myself free of all that extraneous, unnecessary drama.

Starting to let people be who they are without trying to change or “save” them.

Letting the world be what it is without resistance.

Being okay with “what is” however that presents. Knowing some things are beyond my control and others – yes, you got it – nothing to do with me.

Releasing the feeling that I need to make things better for people; “rescue” them from their pain; or take their problem away.

Knowing it is only when we face our pain and come through it that we reap the seeds of true joy and authenticity; that I dishonor others when I take their experience away.

So much forgiveness coming up, too.

Forgiveness for myself.

Forgiveness for former partners.

Forgiveness up and down my ancestral lines.

Forgiveness also asked for the whole of humanity and the way we have dishonored the Earth, ourselves, each other.

Issues around abundance rising to the surface; an opening up to receive more of mine.

Releasing my distrust and dislike of the feminine.

The part of me that perceives it as weak, submissive, unvoiced, powerless.

The part of me that perceives it as wild, sensual, passionate, untamed: is scared of embracing that power.

Awakening to the knowing that I desire to embody the Divine in a more feminine way. To not only deepen into meditation and spiritual practices; but to also embrace the vital, alive, playful and sensuous being that is the feminine embodiment of all that I Am.

Opening up; allowing myself to be expressed as a fully-embodied sensual woman. Exploring what that means for me.

Allowing myself to reclaim all the places where I’ve held myself back for fear of being “too much.”

Giving myself permission to be a strong and powerful woman; not just a soft and gentle one.

Embracing – whispering words of comfort and strength to – my resistance, my fear around being vulnerable; my resistance and fear around being seen; being fully me; relinquishing my habit of making myself “smaller” and “less than” so I fit in better with what society wants and/or expects of me.

Allowing myself to step into and own my magnificence; the light and radiance that I Am.

Many of these are things that I’ve worked on before: now I’m revisiting them on a deeper level.

They’ve been released and cleared – to the extent that is possible for me at this time – with help from my guides and angels; the Archangels and Masters. Also an exceptionally well-timed T.I.M.E. Heal session with Lisa Jo Davis, ZPoint session with Reba Linker, and Soul sessions with Michaela Jane of Step Into Your True Power And Shine and Total Goddess Immersion.

I know these patterns are not necessarily 100% cleared. I know we’re always a work in progress – that there’s always more love and expansiveness we can grow into.

I don’t need to be told that I now need to translate these a-ha moments and the stuff I’ve cleared around them into real and discernible change in my life.

But I also know that a significant amount of transformation and the transmuting of these energies has already taken place. It’s felt huge, powerful, expansive and life-changing.

With the unexpected sighting of Venus on January second – I felt drawn to go outside for a walk shortly before dusk and when I looked at the sky I had no idea what to think. It was like there was a very bright and unusually placed star close to, and in perfect alignment with, the moon. I felt a powerful surge of energy fill me as I gazed on these two orbs of light in the night sky; seemingly so close, yet so far away.

On returning home and finding out it was Venus, I did a bit of Internet sleuthing.

“Venus is a very advanced spiritual place, with highly developed arts and a fantastic system of spiritual healing and cosmic schools,” I read.*

Yes, I am totally ready to receive and welcome some more of that energy into my cells and life.

It felt like yet another confirmation of the miraculous and game-changing time we are living in.

I am so thankful to the guides, angels and Masters who have helped – and are helping – me to clear so much with ease and grace; who nudged me to go outside at just the right time to experience the Cosmos align in this way.

It feels like we are being called to open up to and expand into so much more of our power and Truth.

I feel the Universe there guiding and supporting us every step of the way; sending guides and angels and the perfect healing modalities to intercede for us as we do.

Yes, the Universe really does have my/(our) back(s).

I know my strength and my power do not lie in my Ego; but in my Soul, the Oversoul and my connection to Divine Source.

In trusting in, surrendering to, that connection.

May I continue to allow myself to expand into more of my authentic power; an ever-more intimate relationship with Source.

May we all continue to expand into more of our authentic power and an ever-more intimate relationship with our Source.

I am sending out love and golden rays of light, peace and joy to be with you at the start of this New Year my friends.

Full steam ahead into 2017, and whatever it may bring.

*Quote taken from https://wherethelightcomes.com/questions-and-answers/

I Am

An inspirational poem of affirmations about stepping up into your power which will resonate with journeyers on the path of awakening from delvingdeepwithin.wordpress.com.
Image courtesy of Maialisa.

I am choosing to

expand into

a deeper experience

of the beauty and

perfection that is

my Soul.

 

I am choosing to

know myself as

aligned with,

in harmony with,

resonant with

that Infinite perfection.

 

I am choosing to

let go –

release,

transform…

transcend,

all that no longer serves.

 

Through the Sacred

alchemy of

my life

I transmute it

into gold.

 

I am choosing

to know myself

as the Infinite and

Sovereign being

that is who I Am.

 

I am choosing to

claim my power.

To step into and

Own my

I Am Presence.

 

I am choosing

to experience myself

as Expectant with

my Soul’s desires;

ripe, and ready to blossom.

 

I am choosing

to Trust in

Sacred Timing, the

Master Plan of

the Divine.

 

I am choosing

to stand strong

in my Integrity,

knowing that I cannot

miss that which is

meant for me.

 

I am choosing to

be willing,

be ready,

be open.

 

I am choosing to

be a clear and pure

vessel so the

love of Source can

flow through me.

 

I am choosing to

believe I am

equal to that which

lies ahead; to

trust that the Path

will be revealed.

 

I am choosing to

trust in the Journey; to

tread with confidence,

knowing my Soul

guides  me true.

 

I am choosing to

Trust in Source;

the all-knowing

all-encompassing

Universe.

 

I am choosing to

Trust in  Me;

the Infinite

all-knowing

part of Me.

Stand In Your Sovereignty

(While fully admitting that politics isn’t my forte, I felt compelled to try to say something that might speak to the events of this year).

2016 has been a year of unpredicted whirlwind changes on the world stage.

June saw approximately half of UK voters cast their vote to leave the EU.

That night I watched the number of constituencies voting to leave steadily rise with a sick sense of disbelief deep in the pit of my stomach.

I wasn’t the only one.

“What have we done?” asked one of my friends on Facebook. (A Remain voter).

“How can this be happening?” were the first words of another.

With an eerie sense of deja vu, I’ve seen many American friends express the same sense of shock and disbelief in the wake of the Presidential elections.

Both the UK and the USA – despite their umpteen deplorable mistakes that have left deep scars on the face of history – have been in many ways proponents of humanitarian values.

We now find ourself in the situation where they are – politically speaking – leaning heavily towards the right.

This seems to have given hardcore nationalism, white supremacy and the minuscule percentage of people who subscribe to them the license to rear their ugly heads. Spates of xenophobia and other hate crimes followed close behind in both countries.

Although it is edifying to see the amount of support for the targeted minorities and that these incidents have been swiftly dealt with by the authorities, it is easy to surmise that the political, moral and ethical landscape in the UK and the US has shifted beyond recognition.

It is as if the values that we thought our countries stood for have been swept away from under our feet.

Overnight.

People from both sides of the political spectrum feel the pain of this.

Many who were on the “losing side” feel that far exceeding any personal sense of loss, the result is a loss for the nation; a loss for the world.

Stranded in this sea of uncertainty and tumultuous change many of us feel anchorless. Ungrounded. Like strangers in our homeland.

We are shaken to our core; no longer able to identify with the badge of belonging which has been ours for so long.

In this sea of dismay and despair, it can be easy to feel like we have little say in the way our lives are determined.

We can feel like our lives are controlled by external events; forces bigger than us – things that are beyond our control.

When we do, we give away our power.

The truth is that we are the biggest force in our own lives.

We are the source of our power.

 

Reeling after the Brexit decision back in June, it took me a couple of days to remember that I am the authority in my own life and reclaim my power.

When I did, I wrote these words:

“I am not defined by my nationality. I can and do choose to embrace inclusive values, love and compassion; even if the leader(s) of my country or some of my fellow countrymen do not. I can hope that the leadership that emerges will also choose to embrace these and other such noble qualities. I can commit to doing all that is within my power to sow seeds of love that will grow in the hearts and lives of others and to spread compassion in the world.”

 

This is where our power resides:

In our response.

 

We always have the power to choose the way we want to show up in the world.

We always have the power to choose the values we want to uphold and embody.

 

That the political, moral and ethical landscape is always changing is not a fact we often consider.

Referendums and presidential elections may emphasize and draw our attention to this; but the political arena is not where the moral and ethical landscapes of our countries are created.

The power to create the moral and ethical landscape of our nation resides within us: in the moment-to-moment choices we make, and the values we source them in.

 

As sovereign beings, we always have the power of choice.

We have the power to choose who we want to be and how we want to show up in the world – how we want to act, speak and respond – in each and every moment of our lives.

 

The current state of the world is calling us to step up into that power.

To claim our authority.

To develop increasing mastery of ourself.

To bring more consciousness to the world we are co-creating together.

To step into the fullness of our power as co-creators.

 

It is asking each one of us to examine who we are and who we want to be.

It is asking us to examine our values.

It is asking us to commit to all that we believe is good and pure and true.

It is asking us to uphold these things.

 

It is asking us to do these things now.

So that we can create a better world for ourselves, and for each other.

 

Now is the time for us to shine our light.

Without the darkness of the night, the brilliance of the new day cannot be seen or comprehended.

The darkness of intolerance, greed and hate; disrespect for each other, our fellow creatures and our planet is the stark contrast that is calling us to boldly shine our light forth in the world as never before.

The world needs our light.

The inequalities, divisions and discriminations that have permeated our society for so long; deeply embedded but all too often denied and discounted; have at last broken the surface and are exposed, in plain view for all to see.

This sense of decline we feel; this sense that as a nation, and as nations, our collective backs have been turned and we have regressed to the divisive politics of bygone years – this is our medicine.

This is what – if we allow it, will empower us to diagnose and treat the greed, superiority and hatred; the politics of fear and division; the legacy of suspicion and mistrust of difference that is a cancerous cell embedded deep within the heart of humanity.

 

We cannot treat a disease that we do not know  is there.

Nor one which we refuse to acknowledge.

 

We have made gigantic leaps and bounds in many parts of the world towards embracing inclusive policies and equal rights. It is right that we should celebrate this.

Now the shadow has come into plain view again so that we can heal it on an even deeper and more profound level.

 

It is not the politicians and world leaders who have the ability do this; though they have their role to play.

 

The power resides with us.

 

It is up to each one of us to take on the task of healing and transmuting the darkness. Turning it into light:

One loving thought at a time; one loving word at a time; one loving act at a time.

 

We begin with ourself.

Noticing the shadow within us – the places where we act from fear, greed and hate – surrendering it; breathing in love instead.

The love we breathe in is a love that embraces the whole of humanity.

A love that embraces the whole of life.

It is akin to the concept of love expressed in the word Namaste:

I honor the place in you in which the entire Universe dwells, I honor the place in you which is of Love, of Integrity, of Wisdom and of Peace. When you are in that place in you, and I am in that place in me, we are One.

 

The question to ask ourself is are we acting from this space of Love?

Are the moment-to-moment choices we are making coming from this space in which we honor the whole of humanity, the whole of life, as expressions of divine Source; each equally worthy, each deserving of our love and compassion?

Are the moment-to-moment choices we make – choosing one thought over another; one word in place of another; one action instead of another – grounded in love and compassion; rooted in a desire for the freedom of all sentient beings to live happy and fulfilling lives?

 

We extend this love into the lives of the people around us by:

Choosing thoughts, words and deeds that respect and honor.

Choosing thoughts, words and deeds that offer solidarity, peace, joy and hope.

Choosing thoughts, words and deeds that bridge differences and build connection.

Choosing thoughts, words and deeds that seek to understand and find value in others; that let be and continue to treat with respect and dignity those with whom we find ourselves to be irreconcilable with in some way.

Choosing thoughts, words and deeds that unite us in our common humanity, whilst also respecting its multifaceted faces.

Choosing thoughts, words and deeds that join us together in mutual compassion and understanding, discarding those that drive us apart.

 

As each of us chooses to act from this space of love and compassion, as this ripples out into the lives of the people around us, we change the moral and ethical landscape of our nation.

This is the tremendous force of the power that resides within us.

 

The power to choose and – by our choices – change the face of our nation.

The power to choose and – by our choices – change the face of the world.

 

Image credit: QuotesPick.com

 

Living Into Joy: Aligning with Feeling Good

 

Bring yourself into vibrational alignment with your soul and the truth of who you are by living into joy and focusing on feeling good.
Image courtesy of sciencefreak, Pixabay.

I’ve been thinking about what it means to be in “vibrational alignment.“

It’s often spoken about in terms of being an energetic match for your desires, but at it’s simplest I think it comes down to feeling good.

As Wayne Dyer said,

“The Law of Attraction is this:

You don’t attract what you want, you attract what you are.”

What we give out (vibrationally) is what comes back to us.

If we want to create a joyful and fulfilling life, rather than focusing on the details, we need to make sure that the vibration we are putting out into the Universe – simply expressed the emotions in our energetic field – is predominantly one of fulfilment and joy.

Well, at times, it’s easier said than done.

In any one day, in any one life, there’s a beautiful medley of things the mind labels “good” coexisting side-by-side with things the mind labels “bad.”

That’s true for everyone; no matter how enchanted and trouble-free their life may seem on the surface.

One of the only things that is guaranteed in life is that we’re all going to face challenges.

So with challenges the great equaliser of the human experience, it becomes a question of how we respond.

When we allow our circumstances to dictate our reactions we become an out of control yo-yo on an emotional roller coaster; subject to every which way the wind blows, governed by the whims of life.

We might feel joy and fulfilment one moment; be mired in despair and despondency the next.

This way of being doesn’t necessarily present a particular problem when the going is essentially good.

But it certainly doesn’t make the grade when we find ourselves face to face with real and deep-rooted challenges that don’t just “go away” however much we wish they would.

While it’s true that part of our purpose in incarnating here on Earth is to experience the full spectrum of human emotions, none of us likes feeling “bad.”

Over and above this, feeling bad takes us out of vibrational alignment with the truth of who we are and what we came here to discover and experience – the joy and peace that live at the centre of our being.

And – as like attracts like – the more we focus on the negative, the more of it we see in our lives.

So, how do we get ourselves out of this loop?

I first want to be very clear that I’m in no way talking about shunning or denying our negative thoughts, experiences and feelings.

Real healing and a sense of reconnection with our wholeness can only take place when we find the courage to explore all of ourself – the shadow as well as the light.

It is in the excavation of the darkest recesses of our being that we start to become more of ourself; to embody, authentically, all that we are.

But it’s not healthy for us to linger in the the shadows too long.

They key is to examine with fearless honesty our negative thoughts, experiences and feelings; to bring healing to them, and then let them go.

Fill the space that is left in their absence with love, light and joy; things that are in vibrational agreement with the truth of who we are; the joy and beauty that are our essence.

And it is only when we become the the conscious creator of our experience instead of letting our experiences control and have mastery over us, that we are able to lift our vibration into this kind of alignment.

So, how do we consciously create our experience?

It’ s a matter of mindfulness, and what we choose to put our focus on.

The more we focus on the good, the more of it we see in our lives.

As John Lubbock said,

“What we see depends mainly on what we look for.”

Or, as many before me have said, what we focus on expands.

Diving into this a little deeper, the way I see it focus hinges on three things:

our thoughts,

our words,

our actions.

Being in vibrational alignment means that each of these must reflect the reality we want to see in our life:

we need to be thinking, saying and doing the things that make us feel good.

It’s as simple as that…

and as difficult.

It requires great mindfulness and commitment.

It requires knowing who we are, what our soul longs to experience, and honoring that.

Although there are some similarities in what we long to experience the specifics will be different for each one of us for we all have our own unique soul blueprint; a “joy code” written only for us.

Being in vibrational alignment means bringing awareness to the thoughts, words and actions we’re choosing to activate in our life – focusing on the positive and uplifting, the ways we’re abundantly blessed, the things we want to bring more of into our life; releasing and letting go over and over again on deeper and deeper levels anything else.

 

In the domain of thoughts,

it means giving up our victimhood. Ceasing to feel sorry for ourself; withholding our tendency to wallow in the past reliving regrets about things we did and didn’t do and holding onto resentments about misdeeds committed against us.

It means invoking the gift of forgiveness.

Forgiving both ourself and others – not to condone what they (or we) did or make it okay, but for our own peace of mind and growth.

It’s an active commitment to transcend our past, give ourself permission to move on.

It means giving up our addiction to anxiety, worry and fear for the future. Releasing the habit of tying ourself up in knots over things we have no control over.

Learning to trust in something greater than ourself; accepting that everything is working out for our greatest and highest good, knowing we are always supported.

Learning to trust ourself. We’ve navigated our way this far through life; we have every reason to believe we can make it through whatever comes our way.

It means that when difficult circumstances arise we lovingly support ourself through them, being patient with ourself and giving ourself the time we need.

When situations that trigger one of our patterns enter our life, we interact with them mindfully. We look for the gift of love, compassion or self-knowledge they hold. We ask what they are here to teach us, instead of looking for someone or something to blame.

It means giving up our negative self-talk – our habit of comparing ourselves to others or some unattainable standard of perfection and finding ourself lacking. Of putting ourself down and making ourself wrong.

Relinquishing the inner bully and choosing instead to speak to ourself with words of love, understanding, acceptance and compassion.

It means learning to embrace our mistakes and celebrate the courageous self who makes them.

Realizing our mistakes are testimony to the fact that we’re putting ourselves out there, trying new things, expanding and growing, exploring the potential we’ve been given.

It means learning to live with our fear without letting it control us or hold us back from reaching out for connection or doing what we love.

It means that every time we notice a self-defeating thought coming up in our heads we refuse to believe it. We turn it around and tell ourself the reverse; replace it with something that nourishes us and enriches our experience instead.

It means that in any and all situations we focus on what we are (I am a uniquely beautiful being), what we have (I have a heart that sees beauty all around), what we can do (I can connect with others with ease and grace), what we can give (I uplift others with words of support and encouragement); instead of all the places in which we are in lack.

It means training our minds to look for the positive and joyful, the ways we’re being constantly blessed and supported. Training our attention to linger on the good, not the bad:

The things we’re grateful for.

The beauty in our lives and all around us.

The things we enjoy.

The things we succeed at – in the sense of improving on our one-time self.

The loving things others do for us.

The loving things we do for others.

We can actively train our mind to notice and appreciate these things if we get into the habit of listing them up at the end of the day – 5 things we’re grateful for; 5 moments of beauty; 5 things we enjoyed; 5 things we did well; 5 loving things others did for us; 5 loving things we did for others.

It means learning to reside in the Now.

Being able to pull your mind up short when it starts to spiral into the unresolved past or its fear of the unknown future. Noticing the serenity and peace of being fully present in the Now moment, breathing in that.

It means reclaiming your right to marvel; to delight and thrill in the world we live in with a child’s sense of joy and wonder.

Looking at the world with fresh eyes and a heart that is open to see the everyday miracles; the abundance that is all around.

 

In the domain of words,

it means actively refraining from using our words in ways that detract from ourself and others -gossip, complaining, criticism, judgements; anything that tears down, instead of building up.

It means having the intention of upholding and serving the greatest and highest good of both ourself and the other person/people present when we speak.

It means infusing our words with love and compassion; giving voice to that which uplifts and empowers; being gracious in our gift of words to others.

Not forgetting that sometimes fierce honesty with ourself and/or others is the most compassionate and empowering gift we can give, whether it’s seen that way or not.

It means not just going along with what’s being said when it’s negatively charged or brings your energy down.

When it’s not appropriate to voice disagreement out loud, simply say to yourself: “Cancel. That’s not for me. That’s not the reality I’m choosing to have in my life.”

It means learning the art of respectfully changing the subject; politely excusing yourself when conversations are stuck in a low vibrational frequency and don’t serve the highest good of anyone involved.

It means noticing the people with who this seems to happen with time and time again, and paring down the time you spend with them.

It means doing away with the need to talk just to fill the silence, consciously choosing our words instead.

Engaging in authentic conversations which feel good because they honor the truth of who we are, opening us up to real connection with others.

It means undertaking not to speak falsehoods, for how can we feel good when we compromise our integrity?

It means becoming aware of the kind of things we talk about that bring our vibration down – our problems, heartaches, illnesses, worries, lack and fears.

Learning to sidestep the need to explain these things to others, for the more energy we give what is “wrong” in our lives, the more it persists; the less energy we have to focus on what is “right” in our lives and makes us feel good.

When we cannot resist the urge to talk about our problems, it serves us best to stay conscious and do it in an empowering way.

Not “my problem” – for that leads us to take ownership; instead, “the (life) lesson that’s playing out in my life now.”

Not, “I hate my boss and my job sucks.” But something more along the lines of, “I’m learning a lot about what I don’t want in a job, which can only help me to make better choices in the future.”

When the people we’re with talk about their problems a lot we can help to empower them by refusing to be consumed by the story and the drama.

Instead, speak to their Higher Self, encouraging them to take responsibility for their experience.

Shift the focus from the appropriation of blame to how the experience makes them feel, what is it that they’re doing that allows or perpetuates that, how they could do something differently in the future to create a different and better quality of experience. All the time holding a space of love and acceptance so they can express themself and their feelings authentically without feeling judged.

It means asking them (in advance) to do the same for us when we get bogged down in “our” problems. And when they comply with our request, having the courage and integrity to open our hearts and engage with the experience from a genuine desire to know what it’s there to teach us.

It means not reliving things from the past that caused us stress or unhappiness in the stories we tell unless it serves the greatest and highest good of us or someone else in the Now moment which we share.

Prying ourselves away from the love of drama, sympathy and our need to justify ourself that are so often inherent in this; choosing instead to recollect things that make us feel loved; worthy; happy; joyful; filled with love and enthusiasm for who we are and our journey.

It means being conscious enough not to create connection with others on the basis of shared victimhood and negativity; building connections instead that celebrate mutual growth, the journey into ever greater self-empowerment, the expansion into more and more of our innate potential, the joy and wonder of being alive.

It means not being afraid to own our talents or the vision of greatness that we’d like to grow into.

Not falling victim to self-doubt or false humility, saying things that undervalue ourselves; taking us out of alignment with our vision.

Instead, speaking the language of conviction and unwavering belief in ourself and others that supports us in fulfilling our dreams and embodying our vision of our highest self.

It means refraining from our need to prove ourself right. Eschewing our efforts to convince others of our point of view – with all the ensuing arguments and conflict that arise when we try to force someone to conform to and live our version of the truth instead of accepting theirs.

Instead, interacting in ways which show we honor the other for who they are, the light at the center of their being, whether we’re in accord with them on everything or not.

Exhibiting our respect for them as a sovereign being endowed with the right to make their own choices, plot the course of their life.

Coming from a space of sharing, not one of conversational warfare.

A space in which the focus is on having hearts and minds that are wide open. Willing to accept   each other in all our glorious diversity; to be open to what we can learn from the experience instead of trying to bring the other round to our point of view.

It means making a conscious decision to be aware of what we choose to talk about and the way we choose to talk about it.

Expressing ourselves and building communicative acts with others in ways that make us feel good.

Ways that foster authenticity, genuine connection; forge mutual trust and appreciation.

Ways of interacting that permit us to drop all our masks and be vulnerable and real.

Ways of interacting that celebrate us (and the other) for who we are; granting us the freedom to be ourself.

Consciously choosing speech acts that empower us. Affirming our inner strength and capability; the power of choice that is ours.

Speech acts that affirm our sovereignty; the freedom this gives us to live our life in whatever way we choose without having to answer to or justify our choices to anyone else.

Speech acts that augment our confidence; expressing belief and trust in ourself and our abilities, highlight our unlimited capacity to learn and grow.

Choosing our words carefully to make sure they’re in vibrational alignment. Not, “I can’t” or “I don’t know how;” but “I know I can and I will learn how.”

Speech acts that make us “right” not “wrong.” Using words that acknowledge how far we have come; speak the language of self-love and self-acceptance. Words that affirm the magnificent wonder of who we are; attest to our strength and capacity to expand into the full expression of our potential.

Speech acts that joyfully celebrate the Life that we are and the life that we are choosing to create for ourself. Rejoicing in the things that are beautiful and aligned and going well in our lives; the ones that bring us fulfilment and happiness.

Talking about our joys; our inspirations; our passions; the people we love and admire; our creative ideas and projects; fun/uplifting/transformative experiences we’ve had; areas of growth and expansion we’re experiencing and the insights and wisdom they’ve revealed.

Speech acts through which the love that is our essence flows into the world around us, touching the lives of everyone we meet: expressing our appreciation for others; honoring their truth with words of love and kindness; uplifting, inspiring and empowering them with speech acts which celebrate who they are and affirm the invaluable contribution they’re making in the world.

Speech acts which remind them of the truth of who they are; (re)connect them with their power; (re)align them with the centered self that lies within; (re)unite them with the expansiveness of their being.

When we consciously give our words as gifts to others, we elevate not only their vibration but also our own. Love and light pour into both our lives, and the high vibrational energy is magnified.

It also serves us well to remember that each word has a particular vibrational value, in much the same way as different musical notes belong to different octaves.

Some of the highest vibrational things we can say are, “Thank you” and “I love you.”

We can also consciously incorporate high vibrational words like “gratitude;” “beauty;” “abundance;” “pleasure;” “joy;” “delight;” “freedom;” “choice;” “peace;” “serenity;” “generosity;” “creativity;” “kindness;” “compassion;” “wisdom;” “strength;” “integrity;” “value;” “aligned;” “whole;” “complete;” “one with all that is…” and so on – any word that evokes a response of joy and lightness within.

Commit to making high vibrational words your signature in your speech acts to both yourself and others, and watch your joy expand.

 

In the domain of action,

it means saying “No” to living for others, and “Yes” to living for yourself.

Getting honest with yourself and others about what you like to do and what you don’t.

Doing less of the things you don’t like, and more of the things you love.

If necessary, taking the time out to rediscover what that is for you.

It means bringing to light all the things you do out of a sense of obligation or a desire to “people please,” putting other people’s happiness before your own. Choosing instead to make your own joy and well-being your highest priority.

Toning down the “shoulds” and “have tos;” asking yourself instead: “What is that I want to do right now?” “What would make me feel good?”

It means training yourself to listen to the whisperings of your soul, and having the commitment-to-self and courage to follow through no matter what.

Having the integrity to be true to yourself. Not getting caught up in what everybody else wants you to be or do.

Understanding that being true to yourself is the best way you can add value and make a contribution in the world.

Understanding that some people will like it and some people won’t. Understanding that that’s okay.

It means bowing out of society’s illusion that in order to feel good you need to be and have more.

Locating your worth in your sense of your innate self; instead of in your titles, achievements or possessions.

Enriching your life with people and experiences; rather than getting caught up in the accumulation of more and more things.

It means practicing self-love and self-acceptance so thoroughly that you know – absolutely – that you are already and always enough, with or without a list of achievements.

It means immersing yourself in the spiritual practices that remind you of this time and time again; for this is a lifetime journey and there are no quick fixes or easy shortcuts.

It means giving up our obsession with perpetual busyness; whether that be at work, at home, or our personal life.

We have to be fully present with our experiences to enjoy them on their deepest level and excavate the riches they hold. That is so much more difficult to do when our life is always moving ahead at lightning speed, and we’re constantly sprinting from one deadline/task/engagement to the next.

It means consciously integrating pauses into our life.

Hiatus.

Pockets of time-space in which our only goal is to take the all-important time we need for ourself.

Pockets of time-space in which we can unwind and relax; give ourselves over to rest, pleasure and fun, sustenance for the soul, with wild abandon.

Dangling our bare feet over the edge of life, as we breathe in the sweet fragrance and feel the caress of the gentle breeze…

It means accepting our own dispensability.

So often the reason we’re afraid to slow down or to incorporate the changes that living true to ourself would necessitate is a false assumption that the world – or our little piece of it – will stop turning if we’re not there to balance it like a spinning disc on our finger, ensuring everything is in its “proper” place and functioning smoothly.

Do you really have so little trust in the people around you that you think everything will collapse into chaos if you step away for a while, take some time for yourself?

It means refusing to be a slave to perfectionism, and letting go of our fixation with “destination” which turns all our endeavours into a race towards end product and results. Allowing ourself to put our focus on creative exploration, expansion, self-expression and enjoyment of the process instead.

it means dispensing with our habit of delaying our happiness until some elusive condition is filled. Waiting for such and such to happen before we allow ourself to begin living the way we want to or permit ourself to feel happy and fulfilled.

Life is lived Now.

If you want to experience more joy and happiness, start now.

Now is the only moment that is ever available to us.

And now is the pocket of space-time in which we choose the thought or word or action which leads us to experience a greater lightness of being, a deeper peace in our heart, an increased sense of joy and fulfilment.

One choice at a time. One day at a time.

Step by step by step.

It means taking the responsibility for our happiness off other people’s shoulders; putting it firmly on our own.

Seeing our happiness (or lack of it) as a sum of our own choices; not defined by someone or something else.

It means accepting our responsibility for the way we live our life and the experiences we create within that.

It means looking at the things you habitually do that make you feel bad – take my chronic lateness for a start. Proactively deciding to find a way to change it, or deciding, for now, to let your attachment to it go.

It means upholding our commitments; doing the things we say we will –  including our commitments and promises to ourself.

How much easier is it to feel good about ourselves when we’re living in integrity, embodying our Higher Self?

All of the high vibrational words listed above are qualities of the Higher Self. Why not explore how you can activate them in your life, asking:

“What would it look like to be “compassion” now?”

“How can I embody “generosity?””

It means giving of yourself generously and doing things that add value to the lives of others.

At our core we are a deep wellspring of love. When we pour this love in to the world through acts of service that are aligned with our soul, we are filled with a sense of well-being – the joy that comes upon knowing we’re making a valuable contribution in the world.

It means using your emotions as a lodestar to guide you.

Does it evoke peace, serenity, joy, lightness of being, excitement, passion? Does it inspire, uphold, nourish, sustain, support, uplift?

If your answer is “Yes” to any of the above, find a way to do it more often.

Let the rest go, as far as you can.

Uncover your unique joy signature and pen your life with that.

Saying no to conformity, and yes to being yourself.

Give up trying to please everybody else.

See what happens when you turn your focus around and put it on doing things that nourish your soul, and make you feel good.

See how much more love and light you can bring into the world from this space of joy and personal power.

 

Some final thoughts on alignment: thoughts, words or actions it’s all about choosing the ones that make you feel good.

When we feel good, it’s a sign that we’re living in harmony with our soul.

 

Feeling good = alignment with the highest part of ourself.

Alignment with our truth.

Alignment with Source.

Alignment with our soul blueprint and all that we came here for.

 

Honor your feelings; let them be your guide.

“Do I feel good?”

“Yes” – Great, I’m in alignment.

“No” – Okay, how can I change my thoughts/words/actions? What would make me feel more joy and/or peace in this moment, bringing me back into harmony with my soul?

 

Can it really be that simple? you may ask.

Well, yes, it can.

Simple, but by no means always easy.

Which is why I’m halfway up the mountain, albeit with my gaze on the rarefied air at the top.

Your Most Important Relationship Is the One You Have with Yourself

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Art by Victoria Kutsuris, 2012.

 

Although I must confess that I know very little about the Chinese New Year, that we have recently -on February 8th, the second New Moon after the Winter Solstice – entered the “Year of the Red Fire Monkey” hasn’t escaped even my attention.

I like blogger/author Noelle Vignola’s description of it the best:

This is the Chinese year whose focus is about letting go, shaking things up a bit and transformation. It bodes of possible chaos, tumultuous turn arounds and the need to go with the flow more than anything else. I suspect for many of us we’re thinking, “Wasn’t that the last five years?”

In my case, more like three years than five perhaps, but otherwise: Yes.

But the Red Fire Monkey has already started to reveal some of its tumultuous turn arounds and sound its clamorous call to chaos as, less than two weeks into the Chinese New Year, I turn my life upside down and inside out; disrupting the flow of my life and others’ with what I can only describe as the single biggest act of self-sabotage I have ever enacted.

I’m leaving the finer details for other posts when I’ve had more time to absorb and process the loose and hanging threads.

Suffice it to say that my initial (fear-based) reaction left me nauseous, clammy, cold and physically shaken for a good couple of days.

Purely by chance, the timing of this coincided with me reading and working though Imagine Self-Love: A Journal, by Reba Linker; another blogger/author friend of mine.

Self-love is actually what my journey these past three years has been all about. Unlearning my outmoded ways of thinking that don’t serve and support me and my greatest and highest good; swapping them out for ones that do.

To be honest, I’m still not sure if the incident in question was more an act of self-sabotage or the Universe shaking me up, giving me a chance to look deeply into what is it that I really want.

Whichever way the ensuing fallout was tumultuous to say the least – real Red Fire Monkey stuff.  Throughout the entire experience of upheaval, discomfort and distress it was the things I’ve learned through my self-love practice that upheld me; giving me the courage to confront the situation head on.

Ultimately, to walk through the combat zone with far more grace,  presence of mind, more compassion for myself and the “mistake” I’d made than I ever would have managed to summon before my journey into self-love.

This translated directly into action that honoured both myself and the other person involved; the result being that however the situation pans out – and it’s still not quite clear – I am proud of myself and the way I interacted with my experience.

There is gold to be found there. I know that I have interacted with the situation with integrity and done my best to integrate the lessons it has brought into my life.

And I am at peace with that.

The timing of it was perfect in some ways, for to my great good fortune I was able to use the exercises in Reba’s Imagine Self-Love book to help me move through the experience.

Reba’s book is a treasure trove of ideas for people new to the practice of self-love and self-confessed self-love aficionados alike. My experiences this past week have, however, reiterated for me that however much work on ourselves we may have done, there are always new practices we can integrate to help us as we expand and evolve into more and more of our potential.

I’d like to take a few moments to mention a couple of the activities from the book – it’s a very practical book and you work on yourself as you work through it, doing journaling and taking self-love action steps – that supported me the most; literally helping me to navigate my experience in more self-sustaining ways.

First, a journal prompt that encouraged me to “look at the themes presenting themselves in (my) current experience… (and) … unravel the illusions and arrive at a core of truth.” The journal prompt being, “My life is asking me to notice…”

Well, as is likely the case when we are experiencing some kind of conflict, my life was asking me to notice quite a lot!

Journaling around this really helped me to get clear on my own feelings about the situation and my motives, as well as empowering me to uncover some deeply rooted patterns of interaction that had been influencing my relationships with others without me even being aware of it. Talk about a good journal prompt!

Now that the light of awareness has revealed these patterns it’s up to me to mindfully – and with great compassion for myself – find ways to interact in ways that don’t repeat the pattern. But you can only begin to do that once you’ve become aware that such a pattern exists. In that sense, this journaling prompt was invaluable in supporting me over the weekend, and it’s one that I’m definitely going to continue to work with.

Second, the action step of taking a mini-vacation “in the midst of your busy life.” I have to admit that I did this one rather unintentionally, only realising halfway through that that was what I was actually doing.

Some customers of a cafe where I display my pottery had asked if they could meet the artist, so, despite the rather climactic nature of my weekend, Sunday morning saw me setting off with some pots carefully loaded in my car and ascending the mountain to reach the cafe at the top.

It was a beautiful day with more than a hint of spring in the air, (for those of you who read my last blog post – again!), and they were the sweetest and loveliest couple. As I talked to them I felt my heart space expand and relax. I decided to stay and have lunch there, and as I ate the delicious and nourishing food and gazed out on the mountains I felt my calm return.

This space I took for myself in the midst of all my turmoil allowed me to return to center. It was a much needed space of self-nurturing and upheld me to such an extent that that night I was able to focus on and finish a work project that had also been looming on the horizon all weekend.

Third, the action step of consciously changing your perspective so that you view your challenges through the lens of “not(ing) your progress; prais(ing) yourself for learning; applaud(ing) your growth; remember(ing) that you are mastering life’s lessons.”

Well, I have literally been doing this all week; celebrating myself for showing up; for being brave enough to acknowledge my shadow side and dive into its depths; for being open enough to learn the lessons it has for me – or the ones I’m ready for at least.

It’s largely thanks to the practical application of this action step that I’m now able to say that although this has been an extremely painful week in many ways, it’s also been an incredibly important one. This entire experience has allowed me to see where I’m still being controlled by my past, and heal and release. I’m glad for this experience now, for it has given me the opportunity to evolve on so many levels.

Hurray for simple, supportive and effective actions steps!

Fourth, another action step – this time about consciously  choosing to manifest opportunity in your life. I loved this one, which asks you to recognise yourself as deserving and actively ask the Universe for what it is you would like to see show up in your life in a written message. I had actually written my request to the Universe and put it on my bedside table before all the “drama” showed up in my life. But I promptly forgot all about it in my absorption in my pain body.

Well, my note happened to catch my eye the next morning. I decided to rewrite my request in the light of the events that had since shown up in my life. “Today I find the opportunity to experience clear and true guidance, and awe and wonder at just how much I’m being supported by the Universe all the time,” I wrote. I read it back to myself and put it in my pyjama pocket, and promptly forgot about it all over again as I got sucked back into the drama…

I didn’t even remember it until the next morning when, back in my pyjamas, I put my cold hands in my pockets again and found the folded square of paper there. Taking it out and unfolding it, I was absolutely amazed at what I saw.

I may have forgotten all about my request, but the Universe certainly hadn’t neglected to do its part.

The preceding day, true to my request, I had received clear and true guidance from both a kind of spiritual mentor and an older friend who has lived and learned and grown and evolved from her mistakes, and is always willing to generously share her wisdom with me.

As if that wasn’t enough, at the end of our time together she said to me, “Julia, do you have any rice? My neighbours gave me some I’ll share with you.”

Only a couple of days before I’d been thinking about how I need some more rice…

What an awesome demonstration of how the Universe loves and supports us in just the way we need. As I’m sure you can imagine, this action step is another one I’ll definitely be using again!

Imagine Self-Love: A Journal is 80 pages absolutely jam-packed with journaling prompts and practical exercises that nudge you towards a deeper understanding of what it means to practice self-love.

As you work through it, you’ll see how much more alive you feel and how many doors open up for you as you begin to integrate more self-love into your life. You can download a free chapter at http://rebalinker.com/imagine-self-love-free-chapter/ and the book is available for purchase on Amazon.

Reba has also been kind enough to put together a self-paced e-course “9 Self-Love Keys to Change Your Life,” which is currently being offered through the Daily OM on a pay what you wish basis. If it speaks to you, check it out here.

I highly recommend both the book and the course, and can personally testify to Reba’s generosity and commitment to helping people experience for themselves what it really means to engage in self-love.

However you decide to do so, I hope this inspires you to consciously embody more self-love in your life.

Do so, and you’ll watch the miracles start to unfold.

Do Whatever It Is Anyway (In Spite of Your Fears)

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Image credit: deviantart.net

At the start of this year I boldly made this quote by Neil Gaiman my Facebook cover photo. This, I decided, was the banner I was going to live under in 2015.

I know in my head the value of mistakes. I know, as they say, that “Success is 99% failure,” that every single person who has done something great in the world has encountered as many failures along the way as they have successes. I know that almost all success is built on the bedrock of failure.

And still I’d spent a lifetime being afraid; afraid of making mistakes.

Afraid of what? That I’d say the wrong thing; make a bad decision; not be able to do something “right;” not be able to do it as well as everybody else; not be able to do it in a way that would garner approval…

Afraid of the illusion of failure – a phantom created by my own mind – and the ghosts of other people’s opinions.

Afraid, always, that I wouldn’t be good enough.

Or, more to the point, that I wouldn’t be good enough for someone else.

The place that this had played out most recently was in my pottery. In previous years I’d found a personal style that I liked and had also been well received by others. Now I found myself divided between wanting to explore new things, step out into new artistic territory; and the fear that whatever I did next wouldn’t live up to what I’d already done; wouldn’t be good enough or as well received.

Afraid that I didn’t have what it takes.

Afraid, also, that cowardice in the face of my ego-driven doubts and distrust of self would petrify and fossilise my work , immobilising me and curtailing the growth of my artistic expression.

So this quote of Neil Gaiman’s I stumbled upon felt gloriously freedom-filled and full of space.

It was a declaration on my part to engage with my art and life boldly and with courage; to be open to the creative force of life and to let it flow through me unhindered, unleashing the fullness of its power in whichever way it chose.

Even when I – or at least the ego-driven self-criticising fault-finding part of me – wasn’t sure it was right.

Heck, especially when I wasn’t sure it was right.

In fact I decided, returning to my pottery, that when it came to artistic exploration there is no “right” or “wrong.”

There are standards, certainly – though even these are inevitably subjective – but if art is primarily about self-expression can it ever be “wrong?”

Bad? Yes. (In an individual’s or group of individuals’ – which may or may not include the artist’s – opinion).

But wrong? No, I don’t think so.

In particular artistic exploration – the initial stages of experimentation with the germ of a new idea, taking a creative concept and tentatively putting it into physical form – while essential to any  artistic process can only take place when we give ourselves permission and licence to make mistakes.

The germ of a new idea is a seed of latent potential from which great art may, or may not, be born. But we will never know if we trample on it and stamp it underfoot before it’s had time to take root.

So with Neil’s words to bolster me I decided that I would no longer allow myself to buy into my ego’s stories about there being a “right way” and a “wrong way” to do art. Nor its nagging insistence that my way of doing it was – of course – remember this is the ego self we’re talking about – the “wrong way.”

Indeed I would forget about “art” – along with its exclusivity, its judgements and the notion that there’s a bar to reach – altogether;  choosing instead to focus on creative self-expression and my desire to let the beauty that is born of my soul flow though me and give rise to work that embodies the purest essence of myself and reflects the life and the light within.

Discarding preconceived ideas of “rightness” I would do what felt right to me, focusing on creative exploration and enjoyment of the medium and process rather than on the finished piece and how I thought it would be received.

Having said all of this of course I still wanted to create good pots. Forget that, I wanted to create great pots – great pots that were both uniquely mine and serenaded my soul with their beauty. But the part of me that was itching to expand my creative vision realised that the only way I would be able to do that was if I allowed myself to make mistakes.

Any creative endeavour (whether in art or in life) needs this freedom. It is imperative to allow ourselves the space to make mistakes in order for our creativity to be unleashed.

Creativity is not supposed to be perfect, and when we put unrealistic expectations on it we hold ourselves back from the fullness of our creative expression for fear that we may “fail” – inadvertently crushing the seed and choking its growth, rendering the creative process barren.

The dictionary definition of creative is:

“Relating to or involving the use of the imagination or original ideas to create something.” (Emphasis mine).

To be creative means to explore something new, something that has never been seen in quite this form before and that, inherently, implies risk.

The risk of getting it “wrong.”

It is impossible for the act of creativity to take place in our “safe zones.”  It has nothing to do with familiar territory and feeling comfortable and everything to do with courageously leaping over hurdles, fearlessly pushing back boundaries – our own as well as those of our art.

Great pots cannot be made without mistakes.

Great pots cannot be made without creativity, vision, courage, commitment, persistence, perseverance and a deep and abiding belief in oneself and the germ of an idea that has been given to you to bring forth into the world.

And just as art is a mirror for life…

great people, great moments and great lives cannot be made without mistakes.

(Only with life you don’t get that forgiving “test tile” stage).

It goes without saying that great people/moments/lives… great anything can only be made with creativity, vision, courage, commitment, persistence, perseverance and a deep and abiding belief in oneself and the germ of the idea that has been given to you to bring forth into the world.

So I’ll choose to focus, instead, on the bit about mistakes – though it’s far less glamorous than the rest; far less appealing to our egos; far more liable to kindle our resistance…

But greatness in “art, or love, or work or family or life” cannot be either aspired to or attained without a generous helping of mistakes along the way.

We need to make mistakes if we want to actualise our potential and expand into more of our own unique magnificence. Because if we’re not making mistakes it means, quite simply, that we’re not trying anything new. The hands of time might be turning but we remain static, locked in position, doing and being more of the same.

A mistake turned around in the kaleidoscope of our minds, seen from a new frame of perspective, is an affirmation. One that says:

“I’m in motion. I’m giving expression to the life force that flows through me. I’m getting out there and doing my thing.”

Or, to use Neil Gaiman’s words again:

“(I’m) making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing (my)self, changing (my)self, changing (my) world. (I’m) doing things (I)’ve never done before, and more importantly, (I’m) Doing Something.”

That “Doing Something” counts for a lot, never mind the rest. We all deserve to be recognised for whatever our “something” is. And who do we need this recognition from the most? Our self.

I cannot emphasise enough the importance of knowing that we are on our own side; that we believe in who we are so much that it doesn’t matter whether anybody else does or not. Not in an arrogant “know it all” kind of way; but in a “knowing-that-you’re-not-perfect-and-will-make-mistakes-and-yet-still-having-the-faith-that-you-can-and-will-come-through-on-your-commitments-to-yourself” kind of way.

So next time you make a mistake instead of criticising yourself and calling yourself something unflattering and/or unkind, why don’t you congratulate yourself – celebrate your awesomeness, your courage, your dauntlessness? Your boldness in showing up, living, learning, expanding; your willingness to get out there and do your thing.

Celebrate your mistake and everything that brought you to this place for it is nothing less than proof that you are in motion; that you are taking the challenge that life throws down in front of us each and every day; that you are getting out there and doing something.

And it is only in doing something that we open up the possibility of doing something great.

Coming full circle back to the subject of my pottery, did my new championing of mistakes and boldness of approach produce “great pots?”

Well, both yes and no, (another subjective opinion of course).

My experimentations with form towards the end of the year yielded a uniquely shaped bowl reminiscent of Ancient Rome or Greece that spoke to me so much of beauty that I kept it for myself.

My experimentations with surface didn’t immediately yield quite the same degree of success. A design of circles and arches that looked great on the flat and one-dimensional test piece didn’t translate so well when transferred to three-dimensional pots. It isn’t “bad” as such but it doesn’t quite speak to my soul, fill my heart with joy.

Another experiment with surface does, I think, contain that elusive spark of freshness and a big dash of daring that – if they harmonise in just the right way – could grow into an exhilarating new way for me to interact with the surfaces of pots. But it still needs a lot of work: the combination of slips and glazes was excessive, marring the attractiveness of the surface with extensive pinholing.

I’m sure that there’s a seed of great potential there, but I’ve had to reconcile myself to the fact that it’s still in its embryonic stage. It will be up to me next year to create the right conditions for the seed to grow; a process of continuous tweaking through repeated experiments until, with luck, I get the balance just right.

And this is another thing that my year of embracing mistakes has taught me; an important part of the whole process has been learning what to do with all the mistakes I’ve made. (And the ones I’ve mentioned barely begin to scrape the surface of  mistakes made practicing pottery, never mind the mistakes I’ve made in life at large).

Instead of lamenting what has gone “wrong,” creating a field of negativity around the mistake and blowing it up so big in my mind it obscures everything else – including all those things I’ve been getting “right” and could/should be celebrating; I’ve become much better at accepting the mistake for what it is, seeing it as just another experience – neither good nor bad, recognising it as a source of valuable information, absorbing the lesson it has for me, moving on.

I’m finally starting to comprehend that my “mistakes” are as important as my “successes.” That, in fact, it’s all a success; every last bit of it. What enables me to say this? The kaleidoscope of my mind has shifted allowing me to see how both my mistakes and my successes add unimaginable value to my life. The “successes” build my confidence, motivate and inspire me to be the best me I can. The “failures/mistakes” give me invaluable insights about where I am in relation to where I want to be and, more often than not, also help to ground a deeper and more complete understanding of whatever it is I’m currently working on. It all comes together in one messy but unified whole to propel me forward in the direction I want to go. And with success being defined as “the accomplishment of an aim or purpose,” what can be more “successful” than that?

When we fully integrate the stance that mistakes are a kind of confirmation; proof that we’re “making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing (our)self, changing (our)self, changing (our) world… doing things (we)’ve never done before, and more importantly… Doing Something,” we start to shift our perception. We sense that a life lived with too few mistakes will invite more regrets than a life lived with too many; and this is a large part of what gives us the courage to step up and embrace the fullness of life – mistakes and all.

The cusp of the year is always a time rich with meaning and ripe for self-introspection. A good question to ask ourselves is: Where am I holding myself back –  whether that be in “art, or love, or work or family or life” – frozen on the precipice of change/motion for fear of making a mistake?

The answer will come in the quiet space of your heart, the space where the soul speaks to us. As you peer into yourself acknowledging where you are holding yourself in check, you are likely to be met with a harsh lash of retaliation from your Ego as it tries, with everything its got, to resist the change that it senses you’re about to make. (To our Ego the familiar equals safe and anything else is seen as a challenge to its dominance, threatening to topple it from its throne and putting its rule in peril).

Feel your fear; know it intimately; make it your friend. For your fear is doing you a beautiful kindness, giving you valuable information about just how much this thing, whatever it is, means to you – if you didn’t care about it on a deep level it wouldn’t hold such a charge for you. You wouldn’t be so afraid to step out. Your fear of making a mistake is doing you the service of showing you just how important it is to you.

So feel your fear and know, by way of it, how much of you is invested in whatever this thing is; it’s intricately woven together with your longing to get it “right.”

Know, too, that in your beautiful messy jumble of humanity you’re still going to get bits of it “wrong.” After all,  one of the few certainties in life is that we all make umpteen mistakes along the way.

Feel your fear fully, and then… Do Whatever It Is Anyway.

As Neil enjoins: “Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect… Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.”

We didn’t come here to be perfect; we came here to grow and expand.

And the only way we can do that is by embracing and learning from our mistakes.

So as we go forth into another new year let’s commit to making more and more “glorious, amazing mistakes.” Let’s celebrate them; let’s celebrate what they tell us about ourselves.

Let’s garner the information they hold and discover what works for us. Create the conditions that stimulate the seed of creative potential within to germinate, allowing us to bring forth and make manifest in tangible form the germs of ideas we have been given.

Let’s celebrate the self who’s bold enough to do this; the self who in her perfect imperfection dares to make mistakes – for that is who we came here to be.

Let’s celebrate this self who loves and lives and follows the heart’s longings.

The self who dares to let go of limitation and boldly dance with life itself.