Cherish your visions and your dreams as they are the children of your soul and the blueprints of your ultimate achievements.
Presented here are a few quick thoughts about Hill’s words.
Cherish Your Visions and Dreams
Cherish suggests that we hold dear and valuable our visions for the future and our dreams. Visions are pictures we see with more than our eyes. They are created by our hearts and souls, a big picture painted in broad strokes that captures the essence of who we are and what we are here to do.
Cherish also means to protect and care for. That’s how important visions and dreams are, for they are fragile things when they are first created. They must be nourished and tended to, played with and carried. Doted on in this way, they will grow.
They Are Children of the Soul
In fact, it is so crucial to nurture visions and dreams that Hill calls them the “children of the soul”. As a mother I understand and connect with that comparison.
Children are birthed into the world, precious and new. And yet, even while tiny, they are full of the potential they will grow into. Cherishing and protecting those children enables them to grow until they flourish on their own.
Visions and dreams are the same. We birth them from our deepest desires. They begin as a small spark of creativity or imagination and with attention and care they grow, expand and take on life of their own.
Is there anything more exciting than a dream that begins to take on shape and depth and looks you squarely in the eyes?
Blueprints of Achievements
A blueprint is a plan, a map, that helps to bring creativity into reality and imagination into matter. It’s a form of guidance and yet it is adaptable and evolves or shifts as details come together.
My “blueprints” consists of journal pages full of writing, vision boards, sticky notes on a white board, and mile markers that note when I’ve reached an important destination on the journey toward my dreams.
As 2018 makes way for 2019, I’ll spend time nurturing my dreams, broadening my visions and examining my blueprints in all their various forms. I’ll be sharing more about the process and about the dreams as well.
Cast a vision and cherish it. Birth a dream and feed it so that it grows. Join me in making next year a time for manifesting those visions and dreams!
I receive Notes from the Universe daily. Created by Mike Dooley, these brief emails remind me that I’m not journeying through life alone. I’m surrounded by companions, here and in Spirit. And I have Divine guidance that appears in many forms.
The Note this morning caused reflection.
Think of the one area of life that brings you the most discomfort, Cindy, and know that’s where you are ripe for growth.
What Area of Life Causes Discomfort?
I had to think about this note throughout the day. My journey the last ten years has focused on moving Beyond…past fears, comfort zones and limiting beliefs. Parts that were not me have been pruned away so that my true self can flourish and shine.
The area of my life that can still cause me discomfort, albeit relatively minor discomfort now, is speaking up, speaking out, using my voice and being authoritative when I need to be. I’ve practiced avoidance most of my life, due to a strong dislike of confrontation. While it seemed easier to remain silent, the lack of voice created problems.
Use My Voice
In August of this year I explored this area of my life. Unblocking my throat chakra has strengthened my voice tremendously and helped me to speak up rather than remain silent. Read that post Ahem, I Speak My Truth.
My reflections today allowed me to see that my next steps in totally eliminating discomfort are about owning my voice, my ideas, and my authority.
It seems the Divine is ahead of me here, calling me onward. What symbol have I been given for 2019? The Queen chess piece. The queen, whether she is a chess piece or a flesh and blood woman, is powerful. She has great freedom to go where she will and do good or defend or protect. And living breathing queens use their voices.
I’m excited about next year’s journey, as the Queen of Enchantment. I am ripe for growth indeed, in all areas of my life, especially where it concerns speaking up and using my voice. Even the word “enchant” has to do with speaking or singing. It’s all coming together!
I ask you. What area of your life causes you discomfort? Are you ready to grow?
This morning a quote I saved five years ago popped up in my memories on Facebook.
Connect with those who remind you who you are. Ralph Smart
The words felt like an important reminder, on several interconnected levels. I saved the quote by taking a photo of it.
What I didn’t realize is that the quote was a nudge in a particular direction, a path that began to unfold. They might even be classified as a command.
Remember Who You Are
In most of my favorite stories, a key part of the main character’s journey is remembering who he or she is. Often there are struggles, challenges and disappointments that serve to awaken the hero or heroine of the story.
As he or she awakens, another vital character steps forward and asks, “Who are you?” Or a statement may be uttered instead. “Remember who you are.”
I love those transformational stories, where people become who they are created to be. I love even more that our journeys evolve in the same way. Something alarming or achingly beautiful awakens us. As we become fully awake, fully aware, we begin the ongoing journey of remembering who we are.
I’m awake. I’ve remembered who I am. My journey now is about living fully as me. I keep my little mascot Absolem on my writing table. He’s the caterpillar from Alice in Wonderland, who asks me daily, “Who are you?” Absolem and the framed art piece next to his mushroom are wonderful visuals that remind me, daily, of who I am.
I’ve been re-reading The Re-Enchantment of Everyday Life by Thomas Moore. His charming book is providing a foundation for next year.
Greg is reading another Thomas Moore book, Ageless Soul. As we ate lunch Greg asked if he could read a portion of the book aloud to me. He added that the words reminded him of me.
I often travel to Ireland by myself now, and I know I’m looking for and experiencing something important and quite deep for me. When I’m there, I often just walk the streets of Dublin, taking in all the sights that by now are very familiar to me. I seem to be looking for lost parts of myself, and I wish I had even closer ties to Ireland. I wish my grandparents, instead of my great grandparents, had been born there so I could now be an Irish citizen. What is that wish, except some desire to be more closely connected to that important part of my identity? I’m looking for a past, perhaps a lost sense of myself, which seems essential. Thomas Moore
I so identify with Thomas’ words. The way he feels about Ireland and the city of Dublin is how I feel about Scotland, and Edinburgh. I too just want to walk the streets of my favorite city. I want to know Edinburgh at a deep and intimate level. Which is a way of saying I want to know myself in a deep and intimate way. Something essential about myself waits for me in Scotland. I’ll be back there next summer, to discover more about what it is.
Connecting With Thomas Moore
I realized that the words Greg read and the quote I saved this morning are both pieces of a larger picture. Thomas Moore, through his books, reminds me who I am. He’s one of my “people”, that I want to stay connected to.
My thoughts from there took a big leap.
Every person…author, actor, speaker…that I’ve felt strongly about meeting, I’ve met. I put the intention out there, and in beautiful and often mysterious ways, the universe rearranges itself and the opportunity is offered. We meet. There are a few dear souls who are already gone from this world that I would love to chat with. I have to content myself with a soul connection that is known on a different plane.
However, Thomas Moore is alive and well and he is a kindred spirit. The nudges and soul taps today have raised my awareness about possibly connecting with this inspiring author, this man who reminds me who I am. The intention to connect…and it does not have to be a face to face meeting…is released now into the world and the universe. I let go of the outcome. Dream Giver…I give this desire to you.
Thomas Moore…let’s connect and talk about enchantment, Ireland and Scotland.
Order Thomas Moore books by clicking links below.
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I’ve had a theme unfolding this past week, in the form of a common thread that ran through my thoughts, higher awareness, conversations and memes. The theme centers around a new life, and what the cost of one is.
How Much Does It Cost?
As this year winds down, I’ve had opportunity to take four of my five grandchildren shopping for their birthdays. Number five is in December. This annual tradition allows me to spend one on one time with each child. We have a meal together and then I hand over a specific amount of money, as a birthday gift.
The kids then decide whether they want to save the cash for a bigger purchase, or spend it at a favorite store. The money belongs to them, once I give it, and the choice is theirs on what they do with it.
As the children age, I notice a shift in their response to having cash. When they are very young, they quickly spend the birthday money on the latest hobby or passion. As they grow older, they begin to make more calculated decisions about how they will spend their gift cash. Older still, and I hear them ask about cost. And a bit beyond that, they weigh the cost of the item against the perceived joy or pleasure they will receive. At some point the question, “How much does it cost?” refers to much more than just the price of the desired object.
I notice these changes in my grandchildren with a mixture of fascination, understanding and sadness. They grow up so fast.
The Cost of a New Life
I had a Yaya/Grandchild birthday shopping trip last night. And I watched and listened as my granddaughter asked about cost and muttered several times, “It’s not worth it” as she put an item back on the shelf. She ultimately made wise purchases, spending about half of what I gave her and saving the rest. This was the first time, at age ten, that she didn’t spend all of her money.
Thinking about the cost of many things this morning, including the price paid for growing up, I noticed the above meme on Instagram.
“Your new life will cost you your old life.”
Those words resonated with me and aligned with my recent reflections.
What does a new life, a fresh way of living, a ‘do over’ cost? What do I exchange, pay or give, to obtain it?
The price, the sacrifice, the cost…is the old life.
The Cost of Becoming a Butterfly
I immediately thought of the transformation of caterpillar to butterfly. The two are so different in physical appearance that one could think they were different species. The chubby squishy caterpillar with all the legs and the voracious appetite becomes the graceful, beautiful butterfly that flutters into the air on delicate wings.
The cost of becoming a butterfly, is the caterpillar. One ceases to exists as the other emerges. The caterpillar offers its energy and the willingness to change. The butterfly releases the cocoon of the past and doesn’t look back.
My external form has not transformed as radically, however I’ve transformed several times during my life. Most recently, I desired to change my health, and embrace a new lifestyle. The cost of that change? My old way of eating, my former relationship with food, and my beliefs about what causes disorders and disease.
Like my grandchildren on their birthday shopping excursions, I weighed the cost of that new life against the perceived returns and made choices that supported my decisions.
Was the cost, and the price I paid, worth it?
Oh yes! Like the butterfly emerging from its cocoon, I slipped off old habits and left them behind. And like the butterfly, there was struggle involved to break through the layers and layers I had spun around myself. The struggle for the butterfly and for me makes the experience real, and creates the strength to fly, to live, as a new creature.
There are many times during a lifetime that require such sacrifices. Starting afresh, becoming new, making another life all require paying the price with the old life…the old way of thinking, believing, speaking and acting. If the cost wasn’t so high, if I didn’t pay such a drastic price, it would be too easy to slide back into the old way of being.
And if I return to old behaviors, and limiting lifestyles, I know…I did not pay with the old life. I gave less than all.
Change isn’t easy. Transformation is scary. The process feels like death, and in many ways it is.
“Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly.”
I’ve been in a thoughtful, reflective mood today, after spending time in conversations with others about how our choices impact who we are. So I was not surprised when into my awareness the perfect words appeared, to build upon the thoughts I was entertaining.
Hal Elrod, author of The Miracle Morning, writes,
“Where you are is a result of who you were. But where you go depends entirely on who you choose to be, from this moment forward.”
Where You Are
The first sentence in that quote makes perfect sense. When we go for a walk, and pause to rest, we know that we got where we are, in that very moment, because of the choices we made as we walked. And our choices are influenced by who we are. Simple, right?
In every city that I visit in Europe, I walk. My companions and I get to know the sprawling city or the tiny village by exploring along the twisting, winding roads. In my opinion, it’s how you get to know the town and the people and culture.
At every intersection, through every plaza or courtyard, we make a decision. Go left? Right? Straight ahead? We often get lost. But that’s part of the journey. Wandering we discover beautiful churches or fun pubs or green parks or hauntingly beautiful statues and sculptures.
Standing and looking around, we try to recall how we arrived at our destination. It’s always because of the choices we make as we walk.
Life’s journey works the same way, doesn’t it? We make this choice. Choose this path. Decide to go this way. Every decision we make determines where we ultimately end up….lost….or enjoying the view….or arriving at the place we envisioned.
The wonderful news here is, it is the person we were when we set off on the journey, who determined where we ended up. The future path? It’s wide open and full of fresh opportunities and promises.
Where You Go
But where you go depends entirely on who you choose to be, from this moment on.
THAT sentence brings with it such freedom and such immense hope. No matter where I’ve been, and who I was, I get to decide who I am and where I am going, from this moment forward…this moment right now.
I’ve had pangs of regret, when I wished I had done something differently in my life. One crazy example? If only my teenage self had invested babysitting money in Wal-Mart stock.
I can’t go back and change any of my earlier decisions in life. There is no way to go back and turn right….when I turned left. However, with the awareness I have informing the decisions I now make, I can go in any direction I choose.
Who I am right now determines where I go. That sounds so easy. So why do I let any of my past decisions, mistakes or triumphs, affect my present choices? My future is not created from my past. I can start fresh, every single day if I choose to.
It is all about choice. And being aware that our choices impact where we end up. Because of that truth, we can stop at any time on our journeys and say,
“I am not who I once was. Where I am going is different from where I came from. From this moment, from this point, my life goes in this new direction.”
And then we do it, because we choose to. And not choosing to…well that’s a choice too.
The outer journey truly is a reflection of the inner one. Who do you choose to be, right now? And dear heart, where are you going?
I found a sea lion today. Cleaning in my studio, I got carried away decluttering and dared to tackle the closet in that room. How wonderful it feels to me, to clear space and bask in the lightness that accompanies the increased flow of energy. As I emptied a drawer in the closet, I made a delightful discovery. Years ago my daughter Elissa created a watercolor of a sea lion, perched upon a rock, in the desert. Her work of art was inspired by a beautiful story.
In recent years it has been my joy to haul treasures out of storage and use them or hang them or set them where I can see them and appreciate them. Studying the watercolor, remembering the sea lion’s story and Elissa’s journey and mine, I knew that work of art would not go back into the closet.
The Lost Sea Lion
The story of the sea lion comes from the book, Journey of Desire, by John Eldredge. It is woven throughout the book, an integral part of the narrative.
I’ve summarized the story below.
There once was a sea lion who had lost the sea. He lived in the barren lands, far from the coast, on a dry and dusty plateau. He couldn’t remember how he came to live there, but he had been there so long that he thought of it as home.
The sea lion asked every traveler who passed by if they could help him find his way back to the sea. But no one knew the way. Finally the sea lion took refuge beneath a solitary tree beside a small muddy water hole. He settled down there and learned to survive.
In the evenings the sea lion would sit upon his favorite rock. On the best nights a faint smell of salt air would come to him on the breeze. Closing his eyes, he would imagine himself once more in the sea. And sleeping he dreamed of a vast, deep ocean. The sea called to him.
Loss of Desire
Night after night he dreamed of the sea. Eventually it became too much. He only visited his rock occasionally. Waking so far from home was a disappointment. The day came when the sea lion quit visiting his rock and no longer lifted his nose to catch the sea breezes.
His friend the tortoise, who was really a sea turtle who had left the ocean many years ago, told the sea lion, “You must learn to be happy here.” With his words he convinced the sea lion that the sea had forgotten him and that in time he would forget all about diving deeply beneath the cool water. The tortoise told stories about his adventures, and eventually the memory of the sea faded. Between the solitary tree and the muddy water hole the sea lion lived his life. The sea no longer filled his dreams.
One day the fierce desert winds began to blow and for many days they did not cease. When the wind storm was over the sea lion looked around in disbelief. The tree was stripped of its leaves and the water hole dried up. Three weeks later, the sea lion dreamed again of the sea. The water was clear and deep and in this dream, he was surrounded by other sea lions. They played in the water around him.
Journey of Desire
Tears streamed from his eyes as he awoke from the wonderful dream. He did not even pause to wipe them away. The sea lion set his face toward the east and began to walk. “Where are you going?” asked the tortoise.
“I am going to find the sea.”
Artwork by Elissa Moore
A Relentless Call
Re-reading the sea lion’s story moved me deeply. How easy it is to not only lose our way, but to lose the desire to find our way to that which calls to us and haunts our dreams.
It is not a mistake that I found Elissa’s beautiful portrayal of the sea lion, longing for the sea. During this part of my own journey, as I long for that which calls to me, the painting and the story remind me not to settle, not to give up. I am created for more. My dreams call to me because they are what I am created for.
I am a sea lion surviving in the desert…a queen sea lion…dreaming of the sea.
Awake, I have remembered who I am and what I am made for. The watercolor and the story are wonderful reminders to keep walking toward the object of my desire…toward the life I know I was born to live.
I framed Elissa’s artwork and hung it in my bedroom, next to my bed, where I will see it morning and night. Beneath it on the bedside table rests the picture I drew, of the pawn seeing the reflection of the queen in the mirror.
They are all marvelously connected, these magical, enchanting, Divinely inspired “dots”. As they coalesce, a bigger picture is forming. I am breathless with anticipation, to see what appears.
Order Journey of Desire by John Eldredge below.
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I admit it. I’m a positive person. Put simply, positive people are hopeful, encouraging and optimistic, even when faced with challenges, problems or set backs. Being optimistic isn’t the same as being unrealistic, although I’ve been accused of that. It also doesn’t mean that higher energy people don’t feel sadness, grief, anger or uncertainty occasionally. They just don’t get taken out by those situations and emotions.
I’ve compiled a short list of seven truths about positive people, characteristics that can be adopted by anyone who desires to shift a negative attitude.
1. They express gratitude.
Expressing gratitude aloud, through prayer, meditation or song, or in journals is essential. One negative experience during the day can overshadow the good experiences we had. Expressing gratitude shifts attention from the negative to the positive. Research has shown that gratitude significantly increases happiness and wellbeing while lowering stress, anxiety and depression.
Tip: Strengthen your gratitude by writing five things you are grateful for, at the end of each day.
2. They reframe challenges.
Positive people don’t live challenge free lives. They view them differently. A challenge can shut us down or shift us into victim mode or present an opportunity for growth. I choose to see the potential for learning and growing. One of my favorite things to remember when encountering a problem is that someday I will look back at this time and see the tremendous shifts that occurred as a result.
Tip: During a challenging time, write a letter to yourself from your future self, five years down the road, detailing how you grew through this time. Bonus: Save the letter and read it five years later.
3. They look for the silver lining.
Bad things happen and tragedies occur. Positive people don’t pretend bad things never happen. They do what they can to help themselves and others through the experience, without glossing over what happened. And, they look for that silver lining. Looking for the good, they find it. The 2011 tornado in Joplin was devastating. Lives were lost. An unbelievable amount of damage was done. I was affected as was my family. As a result of that destruction however, a community came together. Whole neighborhoods changed, for the better. Volunteers blessed us. And I got new dirt, in a new yard, and at last created my long dreamed of Backyard Paradise.
Tip: Practice looking for the good when bad things happen…for what we focus on, we find. If we look for good, we will find it. If we look for bad, we will find that too.
4. Positive people practice excellent self care.
We cannot take care of others, and encourage them, unless we first do the same for ourselves. Self care looks differently for everyone, however a solid foundation includes eating healthy foods, getting enough rest, being active, spending time doing favorite things, and developing a spiritual practice. Positive and negative have to do with energy. Positive energy has a higher vibration while negative energy is lower. Taking care of the body, mind, emotions and spirit results in a higher vibrational frequency that we experience as bliss and joy.
Tip: Create an easy to follow self care regimen that includes diet, rest, exercise, fun and a spiritual practice.
5. They use positive words.
Positive people express themselves with positive words. Words are powerful. They create reality. We literally speak our reality into existence. Don’t believe me? Start your day with a string of low energy, negative words and see how your day progresses from there! The words we speak to ourselves and about ourselves are crucial as well. If we constantly criticize ourselves or call ourselves names, we will live up…or down…to that spoken expectation. And if we are in the habit of criticizing ourselves, we are much more likely to criticize others. In spite of the nursery rhyme “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me”, words DO hurt. Negative words have a negative impact on the body. For a fascinating study about this truth, see Dr. Emoto’s work.
Tip: Wear a wrist band or a simple rubber band around the wrist and every time you catch yourself saying negative words, or even having negative thoughts, flip it. Set a goal of going an entire day without speaking negatively.
6. They don’t dwell on the past.
Dwelling in the past, blaming the past, does not contribute to a positive now. The past is unchangeable. Thinking about what’s happened, reliving it or talking about it constantly keeps us stuck there. And it keeps our energy low. Low energy = negative energy. I love the expression about not looking at the past…we aren’t going that way. Positive people focus on the present moment and let the future unfold. Sure, we can have dreams and goals for the future. Stressing about outcomes though isn’t helpful either. Let go of the past. Turn around. Live in the moment. Embrace what comes.
Tip: Create a focus word that immediately brings you into the present moment, when you realize you are dwelling on a past experience. My word is adsum, which means “I am here”. Use any word that is meaningful to you.
7. They don’t get drawn into other people’s drama.
Drama has a negative, draining effect. Some people, however, seemed to prefer to dwell there and want to ensnare others to occupy that space with them. Misery loves company. Eliminating drama from our lives means refusing to get drawn into it to begin with. Which in turn means being careful about who we hang out with. Because like draws like, being positive will naturally attract more positive people while being unattractive to negative people. Positive people may occasionally have to deal with drama, however they do not stay in that space. It does not feel good.
Tip: If you find a lot of drama going on around you, use it as a sign to increase positivity in your life. Use the six tips above to shift your energy. When you must deal with drama, offer help and then exit the situation as quickly as possible and practice extreme self care.
I don’t regret being a positive person. Truthfully, I don’t know any other way to be. Being positive doesn’t make me unsympathetic toward others. Rather, it gives me empathy and compassion for others, especially those who are struggling or hurting.
Recently my granddaughter, who is an old soul in a young body, said to me, “Yaya, you’re a positive person. What do you think about this?” She went on to talk to me about a very negative situation. How precious and tender her heart is, and how special the opportunity she offered. I told her that yes, I’m a positive person but that bad things are not okay with me. They make me angry or sad too, however I don’t stay that way for long. I attempt to change what I can and hope for the best. I let her see the tears in my eyes and I saw the tears in hers. Our conversation ended with hugs and I love yous.
That’s what’s at the heart of a positive attitude. Love. Love and the desire to do good in the world and good in the lives of others and to see things in the best possible light. I can do that. You can do that.
Tonight’s post was inspired by an Instagram story. Beneath a photo of a smiling family, who lives on a renovated bus and travels around the country, was this quote from George Bernard Shaw:
“People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can’t find them, make them.”
What are Circumstances?
I love the words of George Bernard Shaw. Thinking about them, I looked up the definition of circumstance this evening.
Circumstance – noun – an event or fact that causes, or helps to cause, something to happen, typically something undesirable.
Circumstances are a set of conditions or a series of actions or a turn of events that lead to a particular outcome, usually one we don’t want. At least, that’s the perception.
Blame is a crucial factor here.
This happened as a result of these things.
Blame assigns responsibility for a fault or a wrong to someone or something else. Blaming circumstances becomes apparent when the word because pops up.
I can’t go to college because no one in my family has. (circumstance)
I’m stuck in this job/relationship/poor health because I’m too old/scared/tired to do otherwise. (circumstance)
Creating New Circumstances
What does it mean to look for the circumstances we want, or create new ones? It means we eliminate the because and all that follows it. We stop casting blame and assigning responsibility to someone or something else.
Circumstances shift when we take responsibility for who we are and our own actions. Perception shifts as well. And then the outcome opens to new possibilities.
Author, speaker and teacher Byron Katie uses a technique that’s helpful here, called the turn-around. The turn-around encourages us to look at new truths by turning our thoughts around.
I can’t go to college because no one in my family has.
Eliminate because and the belief after.
I can’t go to college.
Apply the turn around.
I CAN go to college.
Create new circumstances.
I CAN go to college and I will by applying for grants and scholarships.
Creating a New Life
The young couple in the Instagram photo sold their house, with the hopes of traveling as a family. They didn’t want to rent or buy another house. Their circumstances weren’t ideal for what they wanted to do. However, they created new circumstances. They bought a bus. Turned it into a home on wheels. And now…they travel. They are living their dream.
In my own life, I recently shifted my circumstances too. I moved from a limiting belief to a liberating one:
I can’t walk or do the things I want to do because a car accident damaged my back and legs.
I can’t walk or do the things I want to do.
I CAN walk and do the things I want to do.
I CAN walk and do the things I want to do and I will by looking at my health in a different way and asking for Divine guidance.
I quit blaming the car accident for my poor health. I quit accepting that circumstances were what they were and unchangeable. Taking back responsibility for my own health and asking the Divine for guidance opened possibilities which shifted my beliefs about the cause of my poor health.
You know the rest of my story. I am healed, walking without pain, and I am doing the things I want to do. Shifting the way I viewed circumstances and stopping the blame created a new life for me.
What circumstances are you blaming, for being where you are in life? How can you “get on in this world” and “look for the circumstances you want”? If you could make your own circumstances, what would they look like?
And finally what’s stopping you?
No blame. Accept responsibility. Shift and create. I’ll meet you on the road to a new life.
Every morning, I get an email containing a personalized message, from the Universe. Started by Andy Dooley in 1998, Notes from the Universe grew from a subscriber list of 38 to more than 750,000 in 185 countries. I’ve been receiving these emails for ten years. They often make me smile or stir my heart or resonate with me as deep truth.
Such was the case today. I received this note:
“Sometimes, Cindy, instead of running from something scary in your life, it’s easier to learn not to be scared of it. Let it stay. Pull up a chair. Share some iced tea.
Besides, Cindy, you’re bigger… and you have wings.”
I immediately identified with this note, in a very personal way.
Overshadowed by Fear
I grew up afraid of the dark. That’s a common fear for kids. Not being able to see in the dark or anxiety about the unknown is the psychological reason given for this childhood phobia.
However, being a child born with the gift of perceiving the spirit world, my fear was rooted in what I could see and hear and feel in the darkness. As the first born child in my family, I usually had a bedroom to myself. The most terrifying situation for me growing up was waking up in the middle of the night, alone in the darkness.
And…I did not outgrow that fear. I slept with a nightlight or stairwell light on until I was well into my 40s.
I made a decision when I reached my late 40s. Tired of the iron grip terror had on me, I radically shifted. I had never lived alone because of the sense of dread that overcame me each evening as the sun set. To move beyond my fear of the dark, I had to face my fears head on. For the first time in my life, I chose to live on my own and take an inner journey into the very heart of darkness.
It wasn’t easy, however this battle was necessary. At stake was my creativity, my freedom and at the core, my identity. I could not accept who I was while expending huge amounts of energy doing everything I could to avoid scary situations. And trust me, I spent a lifetime attempting to control the elements that triggered fear. I was tired of avoiding, tired of being afraid.
Inviting Fear to Stay
These are the steps I took to move past fear:
• I allowed myself to feel it. I’d spent so many years trying to prevent being afraid. It was time to allow fear to be present. As this morning’s note suggested, I invited fear in.
• Journaling daily helped me to uncover deeper issues. My fear stemmed from being different, from seeing and hearing things other people didn’t. Embracing who I am and accepting my unique gifts allowed me to reframe my fears and gave me a fresh perspective. As fearful as I was, nothing ever hurt me. I began to express gratitude for being me.
• Meditation helped me to calm anxieties and slow my heart rate and breathing. I learned about energy and Divine protection. And I learned how to use energy practices to make myself feel safe, even when alone in the dark.
• I recognized that I was never really alone and that I had been protected my whole life. I consciously asked the Divine to surround me with protective white light and I sent that light throughout my dwelling place, cleansing the space of any low, dark or negative energy. Every night I asked for angels to stand guard at each door and window.
• For a few months, I played music every night as I slept. The sound of the group Third Day was comforting to me, and filled the darkness with praise and songs of worship.
Inviting Fear to Pull Up a Chair
The evening arrived, after months of intense inner work, when I felt ready to invite fear in for a long chat. I turned off all the lights in my home, lit a few white candles and sat quietly in a chair. Then I waited, taking long slow deep breaths, sending out energy, and asking for Divine protection.
When fear showed up, I allowed it to stay, figuratively getting cozy with it. I worked through many emotions that night, and again and again, I looked at fear without flinching. Eventually fear bowed and stepped aide. And beyond it doors that had long been barricaded opened wide, revealing the most amazing gifts.
My life shifted that night. Fear’s icy grip around my heart loosened and then fell away. And my inner child came out of hiding. We continue to get to know each other again, my inner playful, artistic child and I.
Does fear ever show up now? Yes. Fear is a bully. Intimidation is its favorite ploy. But I know what to do when I feel the lightest touch of disquiet. I don’t allow the uneasiness to escalate to full blown terror. Instead, I breathe. Meditate. Ask for Divine protection. Express gratitude. Examine my surroundings to see what’s going on, in this world and the spirit world. And I check in with myself, to see what deeper lessons are being offered in the experience. I prevail.
Fear and I have yet to share a glass of iced tea. However, I brew an excellent cup of hot herbal tea. So pull up a chair, Fear. Stay a while. Teach me what I need to learn. And have a cup of tea. I’ll tell you a story…
This morning began as “one of those days”. Seemingly out of nowhere, fear popped up and assaulted me. The enormity of my dreams seemed overwhelming, especially when contrasted with my current reality.
Oh, I can look back and see how far I’ve come in the last few years. I can track each step, see each faint footprint of my journey. Looking ahead, however, into new and unknown terrain can both excite me and intimidate me.
When faced with uncertainty, I am aware of the danger of closing off my heart, as a protective measure. I refuse to close. To stay open I asked for Divine help. Dream Giver, can you show me today that my dreams are not impossible?”
Signs Throughout the Day
When I ask a question, I receive an answer. It’s vital that I remain in a state of openness and high awareness, because the answers can come from a variety of sources.
This large photographic mural covers the side of a building in downtown Joplin. My daughter happens to work in this building, which is why my eyes were drawn to it this morning as I passed by.
Titled I Am Joplin, the mural is made up of black and white photos of people holding signs that state…I Am. The subjects of the photos completed the signs with words such as Hopeful, Grateful, Silly and A Dreamer.
Seeing the mural reminded me of the power contained in the words I Am. Whatever we add after those two words reveals what we think and more importantly, what we believe is true. I received this message and immediately applied it, whispering I am a Dreamer. I am Capable. I am Creative. And, I am creating the life of my dreams.
I Can Go the Distance
Another answer that I received this afternoon came unexpectedly through a song from the Disney film, Hercules. I suddenly, out of the blue, thought of the singer Michael Bolton. Well known in the 80s and 90s for ballads and soulful tunes, I still appreciate Michael’s rich, distinctive voice.
Curious after he came to mind, I looked him up on Instagram. His newest release from 2017 is titled Songs of Cinema. I opened the album in the music app Spotify, where songs can be listened to on shuffle. When I clicked shuffle, Go the Distance played first. I love this song, although I had forgotten about it. The words moved me, and became a balm to my heart even as they answered my question.
The most powerful answer to my question was actually the first one that I received, almost immediately after I asked. I had to ponder it all day.
I asked my question as I showered this morning. Many of my deeper thoughts and great questions and greater answers arrive while I shower. After toweling dry, I stepped onto the floor, and as I took another step, my attention was directed to the tile. The perfect outline of my foot remained there.
My first thought was, I definitely have an arch. Something held my gaze as I studied my own footprint. Because of the hollow of my arch, there appeared to be a yin yang design on the floor, with five distinct toe prints above it. As I watched, the footprint slowly dried and faded away, until it was gone.
Tears just as slowly filled my eyes, signifying an important moment. What message was being given to me?
By definition, a footprint is an impression left behind by a person. A trackway is a set of footprints that can be followed. Although the footprint from my damp foot quickly disappeared, I realized the impression I am leaving as I journey remains, for those who would follow.
My dream, my intention, is to be very aware of the footprints I am leaving behind, literally and figuratively. I am looking ahead, as I journey onward and upward, however I needed this reminder today that I can be an example that anything is possible, any dream achievable, no matter our age, circumstances or past. I am called, by the Dream Giver, and I must respond to that invitation.
In beautiful, soul stirring ways, my question was answered today. I am…a Powerful Dreamer. I can go the distance. I received a confirmation letter this afternoon that my next trip is booked, which was a bonus, a playful wink from the Divine. And I was reminded that what I am doing matters. I am leaving my footprint, my impression, on this earth.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote:
“Lives of great men all remind us we can make our lives sublime. And, departing, leave behind footprints on the sands of time.”
Daring to pursue the life of my dreams, I can dare as well to leave my footprint on the sands of time.