A Year in Review: gems from 2016

Every year at this time I review my journals as I complete the year and make space for what’s next.

2016 was a year of growth and satisfaction, as well as challenge and grief. Writing these notes to myself was an opportunity to acknowledge it all.

I share these 108 insights with my deepest wish that they resonate and remind us all that even the most challenging times have gems.

 


 

1. Truth communicates through the body. Pay attention.

2. Freedom is always calling.

3. Obligation kills joy.

4. Write yourself a permission slip to do whatever the hell you want.

5. Whisper good things to yourself before bed.

6. Your words create your world.

7. Life is reciprocal. Pay attention to what you put out.

8. Expansion is inevitable.

9. Splurging now and then is necessary.

10. Celebrate the future before it happens.

11. Your preferences create your reality.

12. Pay attention to the details.

13. You can be as big as you want.

14. Practice displaces procrastination.

15. It’s not luck when you earn it.

16. Your willingness to risk leads to change.

17. The truth is usually right in front of you.

18. Your core desired feelings are beacons.

19. Chaos always accompanies change.

20. Be involved in a way that feels good.

21. Let go of what no longer serves you.

22. There’s no substitute for doing the work.

23. You are the source of your own aliveness.

24. Get over your need for instant gratification.

25. Vibrate how you feel.

26. Blocks are temporary; don’t make them mean anything.

27. Your desires come from the part of you connected to your soul.

28. Liberation requires courage and heart.

29. Forgive yourself and move on.

30. Practice what you love.

31. Don’t be afraid to burn bright.

32. Listen for resonance.

33. Walk away from drama.

34. Make choices that feel good.

35. You really have no idea what you’re capable of.

36. Turn down the noise and you’ll hear something new.

37. The more you tell your new story, the more real it becomes.

38. When possibilities flow, surf.

39. Trust the healing.

40. Surrender to the fire that burns inside.

41. Intention must be followed by action for change to occur.

42. Be on your own side cheering madly.

43. Include everything.

44. Start over. Again.

45. Become a light for others.

46. Change your mind.

47. Make more promises to yourself.

48. Your comfort zone is made up.

49. Face what you’re most afraid of.

50. You’ll find evidence for anything you believe. Continue reading

Thinking Out Loud

Thinking Out Loud is a collection of thoughts, notes to myself, and inspirations from the first quarter of 2015.

Desire Map Workshop Level 2-39

Give your desires attention; follow up with action.

If it doesn’t feel good why do it?

You have to think and act differently if you want to create sustainable change.

Today is always a good day to start.

Breathe in calm. Breathe out angst.

Start where you are.

People change when they’re ready, and not a moment before.

Every thought you think changes your brain in some way.

Going after what you want takes a willingness to be brave.

Multitasking is not the answer. Ever.

There’s nowhere to get to, there’s only the day by day evolution.

When you know your values and core desired feelings, it’s easier to live in integrity.

It takes courage to work through the shit that weighs you down.

Do your thing, and ignore the rest.

Finding your way with ruthless compassion is an ongoing process.

In the practice you will find your way.

Change is natural and inevitable.

Desire must be followed by action.

When you discover the right practices, routine becomes ritual, and ritual becomes devotion.

It takes guts to tell the truth, and heart to show self-compassion.

We’re in this together, but we’re all walking our own path.

Trust yourself. Trust your answers.

Choosing love is a practice. Don’t take the choice for granted.

Surrender is not a one time event.

Your dreams are not wishful thinking when they’re fueled by your values and core desired feelings.

Knowing isn’t enough. You must do the work of integration if you want to see profound change.

Treat yourself the way you treat the ones you love the most.

Give yourself compassion without reservation.

No matter what kind of change you’re working on, if you focus on it consistently you’ll get results.

Less angst. More calm.

Progress trumps perfection. Every time.

Magic happens when women gather.

Light and dark. Equal power on the path to freedom.

Slow down.

There’s only NOW.

Love yourself the way you love kids and dogs.

Stay fierce.

The path to change is seldom a straight one.

When the discomfort of where you are becomes greater than the discomfort of change, you’re ready to get started.

Go gently towards the new.

Own your life experiences. Good, bad, unwanted or deeply desired. Own them all.

Normal is overrated.

All change begins with your thoughts.

More truth. Less fluff.

Surrender and trust.

Today and always choose to love more.

Surrender. Release. Evolve.

Mind your thoughts.

Every word creates your future.

The heart wants what it wants. Accept that.

The voice in your head is not your conscience.

Layer by layer, we get closer to our desires and what we want the most.

Sometimes you just have to say WTF…and let it go as you exhale fully.

Less striving. More surrender.

Make creating your day a priority.

You can’t do everything. Stop trying.

The practice of choosing how you want to feel every day is simple, but damn, it’s not always easy.

You can have things planned to a T, and still have them go wildly wrong. It’s what you do then that matters.

Do more of what feels good.

Less comparison. More self-expression.

Tell your limiting beliefs to fuck off.

Assume the best.

Be relentless like the sea.

 

 

Take What You Need

Take What You eed

“What do your words, your heart and art, need?” she asked.

When you ask questions for a living as I do, it’s easy to forget to ask yourself and like the cobbler’s children I sometimes go without.

In taking care of others, we ignore or suppress what we ourselves need so very much.

What do you need? 

For me, there are essential ingredients to this recipe of need. They are simple, and yet often just beyond my reach in the busyness of life.

time

silence

depth

touch

laughter

Because I need them, I expect them to be there naturally, auto-magically. Sadly, it doesn’t work that way.

My need calls for devotion, but that’s only part of it for as Isabel Abbott reminds me,

Devotion is not the answer, or any answer. It is orientation, a way of being in the world, of giving ourselves over to belonging to life, and letting life love us. It is a way of being here.

Here, where we might take our legion hearts and choose this life, again and again and again.

Again and again and again.

Ahh, sweet life, you bring me back to choice once more.

Taking care of our needs is a choice, but it’s not a one-time thing.

It’s the daily act of checking in with heart and soul, while giving the head a break.

Because it’s easy to ask what the head needs, and it’s quick to give a reply, an opinion, a judgment, usually focused on some aspect of survival.

Which is good except for this one important truth…

Your survival is rarely at stake.

Even during the most challenging, wrenching times of your life, your survival was rarely an issue.

Telling the truth about that will lead you back to your heart where your deepest needs are waiting.

“What do your words, your heart and art, need?” she asked.

My words need time and space.

My heart needs love, always love.

My art needs to remember.

Telling the truth changes everything.

 

*Inspired by Isabel Abbott’s: heat – 27 days of creative burn

 

Set Yourself in Motion

 

At Rest, photo of gravestone at Mountainview Cemetery, Vancouver, BC

Walking through the cemetery,
present to life.

In all its messy, splendid glory,
this life is what you have.

With dreams and yearnings,
secret wish lists tucked away
at the back of your mind.

Newton said,
“a body at rest will remain at rest
unless an outside force acts on it
” 

So you wait for that outside force,
to strike, and set you in motion.

Going at it ass backwards,
when the source of your power is inside.

How long will you let it lie dormant?

How many more hours, days,
and years will you let pass you by?

Strike.

Set yourself in motion;
exchange your inertia for freedom.

Layer Upon Layer

 

Peony with quote, photo credit - Sandi Amorim

Layer upon layer,
your beliefs wrap around.
Enclosing, protecting
from the wounds of life.

What once had value,
now droops from the stem.
And still you hold on,
afraid to let go.

What once kept you safe,
now keeps you locked in;
hidden from view…
afraid of opening.

Layer upon layer,
vulnerable and soft
yearning to drop
the weight,

and surrender.

The Transformation of You

 

a new beginning and
all possibilities exist.

imaginal cells resting
inside their cocoon.

cocoon hanging from a branch

resolve is not needed
in this primordial goo.

just rest, trust,
and patience.

one cell,

two,

then many.

a you unlike any other.

the imaginals know
what to do and…

what

not

to do.

the newness of you will
emerge when ready.

a chrysalis falling away…
exposing, releasing.

imaginal you,
the end result assured.

more you than ever before.

Butterfly hanging from a branch

more fully your Self

more fully alive.

this you, not you,

yet perfectly you.

the past is done.
your cocoon, self-imposed,
no longer needed.

take flight.

 

Things Rich and Strange

 

“There’s nothing to lose by writing your truth.” – Cynthia Morris

Your truth.

What’s true for you may be wildly untrue for someone else.

That’s what makes truth so very intriguing.

As I sit with today’s prompt Things rich and strange, snippets of my truth rise to the surface.

Rich

The deep green velvety moss I see on the trees. I run my fingers over it, surprised at the moisture, surprised by its determination to grow in sometimes challenging conditions.

green moss on tree, Kits Beach, Vancouver, BC

The silence I recall from my last retreat, so deep I can feel it in my bones like an ancient gong. I try to recreate it but the depth and richness can not be captured.

The satisfaction of holding a secret close to my heart. It makes me smile at unexpected times, causing the people around me to question my state of mind.

The love I have for people no longer in my life. Their presence lingers like the smell of coffee in the morning, long after the cup has been drained.

 

Strange

The way the crows follow their internal knowing, every day like clockwork. They leave their western playground to return to their dark eastern home. Like one mind, they set off and leave inky tracks across the sky.

branches against a grey sky, Kits Beach, Vancouver, BC

The connection I feel to people I have not met in person. It is wondrous this web that stretches across the world linking thoughts, feelings, ideas and human beings. Wondrous and strange.

The resistance I feel to life some days, when life has been so generous. Understanding doesn’t seem possible, so I let it be, trusting it will ebb like the tide.

The thought that I am more often being breathed than breathing.

 

 

* Inspired by Cynthia Morris’ Free Write Fling.

 

Weep and Set Yourself Free

 

What is it you want to change?
Your hair, your face, your body?
Why?

For God is in love with all those things
and he might weep when they are gone.

~ St. Catherine of Sienna

Dr. Sun Yat Sen garden, Vancouver, BC

Weep…

for what you’ve judged
and  made so very wrong.

Weep…

for all that you’ve lost,
that can never be regained.

Weep…

let go, and
release what’s been held.

Allow what is,
and accept what is not.

Weep…

forgive,
and set yourself free.

 

 

What It Takes to Nourish the Soul

 

“Amidst life’s busyness, we need ways to slow down, turn our attention within, and reconnect with ourselves.” – Karen Horneffer-Ginter

Self-care, for almost everyone I’ve worked with in over a decade, is an ongoing challenge. For the purpose of this post I use the term self-care to refer to the care of mind, body and spirit.

For many, the challenge is obvious, showing up in the physical: do they get enough sleep, does their diet nourish them, etc.

For others, the majority it often seems, the challenge reveals itself in the emotional or spiritual realms, which is not as easily seen or remedied.

Full Cup, Thirsty Spirit is a book that speaks directly to this challenge.

book cover Full Cup, Thirsty Spirit

Written by Karen Horneffer-Ginter, it touches on the most personal and challenging aspects of self-care in a world that often has us running like a hamster on a wheel.

“We live in a world of constant movement, and our day-to-day lives seem to get busier by the hour. Our days are full of information, full of obligations, full of friends and family, full of everything…except fulfillment.”

This statement is true for far too many people. The busyness and stressors of daily life can easily become overwhelming, and self-care is usually the first thing to go when faced with a time or energy crunch.

So, how do you deal with this challenge?

Continue reading