Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Stepping into the Dream Stream

Recently, after receiving guidance to do a specific task, I had to call transformational guide Leyla Atwill, author of Ten Secrets of Living Your Dream, for a phone rescue. See, I've been applying for job interviews in Ventura, but I clearly got the download to go ahead and apply for work in Arroyo Grande. I did try to make myself feel better by stating that “well, Arroyo Grande is on the way to Ventura,” but waaaaahhhhhh!!! I want to be in Ventura already and feel that anything less is failure.

Leyla told me to think about it like this:

“The length of time it takes for me to accept and allow Ventura, is equal to the time it takes to manifest Ventura.”

Now I'm just scared.

According to her book, the top secret is for me to feel love for where I am, right now. This is the most important work that I can do. Developing a self-love practice is at the core of reaching my dream. The reason is vibrational alignment. If I feel as if not being in Ventura right this second is coming up short, then I'm coming from lack, which is a feeling place of not being enough.

However, if I see myself standing on the shore of a big river, with Ventura on one side and me on the other, my intuition to take action towards Arroyo Grande represents a stepping stone in the river. I can't jump the whole river at this point, but I can step across the water, stone by stone.

Now the question becomes, can I love myself while standing on an Arroyo Grande stepping stone on the way to Ventura? If not, why not?

These questions are presented as a guide to recognizing habits that keep me from wading into the river in the first place; habits that I have developed as a coping strategy to avoid uncomfortable feelings.

Once when a friend and I were hiking in the Angeles Crest mountains near Pasadena, we crossed a small but swiftly moving stream. We had to step quickly across four or five stones to continue the hike. As we approached, we saw a couple on our side of the stream. The man was standing next to a woman crouched on the bank staring into the water. She seemed hypnotized. He seemed impatient.

Her analysis paralysis kept her from taking the first step. I know this feeling well. In my quest to unwind the feelings behind procrastination and doubt, it is easy to get caught crouching at the edge of the water. Paralysis is different every week, sometimes every day. Television, DVDs—especially the educational ones, ice cream and even voracious attendance of 12-step meetings, can keep me from following my guidance.

That crouching woman could have easily been me. But I trusted my buddy's sure-footed step. I watched where he placed his feet and quickly followed. This is the same as trusting my guidance. Quite frankly, when I look back across all of the streams that I have crossed, my inner guide has never left me stranded.

Despite my hesitation or my enthusiastic jumping into the stream for an icy swim, as long as I was listening, I have always safely reached the opposite shore.

Right now Ventura is my dream. It symbolizes expansiveness, opportunity, and connection. These qualities do not live in Ventura, they live in me.

“The length of time it takes for me to accept and allow Ventura, is equal to the time it takes to manifest Ventura.”

Leyla Atwill is a transformational coach in Los Osos. She creates a safety net for her clients to recognize, embody and release the habits and choices that keep them from reaching their goals and dreams. She can be reached at (805) 439-0268.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Traffic Jam

Last weekend I had the privilege of being stuck in traffic on the 101 South at Calabasas. If I had know I was going to be there for 3.5 hours, I doubt it would have been as an enjoyable experience as it turned out to be. The 1st hour was annoying, but with a sense of hopefulness. It wasn't until I got a cell signal was able to call my friend, waiting at my destination of Venice beach, that I learned that a jack-knifed truck had taken out the center median. If I could just hang on until I made it past Calabasas Parkway, the way would be clear.

Up until this point I waffled between waiting and taking the next exit. Having been an outside sales rep in the LA area years before, I took traffic jams personally. I had made it a point to know all the side streets to avoid being stuck like a typical tourist. Remembering this, I moved over to the far left lane. “There,” I thought, “you are waiting on an LA freeway just like everyone else. Deal with it.”

Surprisingly I was only frustrated for about 10 minutes. Otherwise I enjoyed the wait while I took in the view of the beautiful hills at sunset, people watched, cleaned the change out my cup holder, and deleted song ideas from my digital recorder. When traffic completely stopped, I got out of my car and stretched. I had plenty of time to write an appreciation list, with my entry about the young man skipping and smiling between the cars, at the top.

This rearranging of my waiting psyche has everything to do with living life as an art. It means taking time to surrender to the moment, instead of trying to escape or avoid discomfort. Of course, I would have rather not been on the freeway for 3.5 hours. And if I had known ahead of time, I would have resisted my fate.

Avoidance of discomfort by constant activity tells the body that the present moment is something to get away from, rather than surrendering to. It has been over a week since I sat on that freeway. Since then, I notice my daily resistance whether I am eating, stretching, reading, or planning. Regardless of the task, I have trained myself to believe there is something better than what is happening, now.

How do you bring yourself back to the present moment?

Friday, June 29, 2012

Freeway Ruckus

This month I've been hanging with family in the land of the freeways. Though I usually stay close to Mom and Joe's place, I braved the freeways to visit a new pal who lives in Long Beach. Freeways are nerve wracking to say the least, which is probably a surprise because lately my motto has been so many roads, so little time.

Road trips are my thing.

Here's how to navigate through the analysis paralysis that keeps you from the driving down the road to your dreams.

1. Choose a destination.
2. Get in the vehicle whether it is a car, or a class at school, or purchasing that video camera...and start your engine.
3. Check your blind side, step on the gas and remember, it's merge, not converge.

4. When you hear those doldrums of doubt, sing REALLY LOUD to drown the voices in your head.

That's it!!! You're on your way.
Oh, one more thing.

Don't forget your sunglasses, cause your future's so bright, you're gonna need shades.

Monday, May 28, 2012

The Benefit of Big Box Stores

Just before I left SLO for Ventura county last October, I was talking to a friend about the reasons why I wanted to relocate. More opportunities, more chances to visit family, more chances to go shopping. I described how Mom and I would go shopping on Sundays and that's where we got most of our talking done. Even now, I love walking through Ross or Target, yakking to Mom on the phone while I look shop.

My friend said that she liked Mom and Pop stores. I have certainly made my stand for the small retail owner. At the time I was an either-or, black-or-white thinker and arrogantly stated that independent stores were good and big corporate stores, bad. I'm happy to say that when it comes to Big Box stores, my attitude has changed.

One reason is the familiarity of the store. When I arrive in a new town to house sit, I already have to adjust to a new environment, neighborhood, and the sounds at night as I fall asleep. Here in Hanford for 3 weeks, I needed groceries. The yellow pages did not yield any familiar markets. Luckily, I remembered that I once bought my favorite brand of soy milk at Target, which was only a few minutes away. Browsing and selecting broccoli, coconut Popsicles and earl grey tea made me feel happy and satisfied.

Another reason routine or the familiar works is when needing to get our daily work done. While our brains do need new adventures to create new pathways for learning, the familiar does have its place. When I was visiting a friend in Grass Valley, she walked me down a path by the river to go to the Briar Patch, a health oriented grocery store. The next day, I took the same walk. And I went once more while I was in town. For working, Starbucks is always available, but I actually prefer the quiet and familiarity of a local library.

When I move to a new space, the first things I do is set up my nightstand or depending on the length of stay, my altar space. My nightstand is basically a couple books, my Goddess card deck, my small bag containing eye mask, earplugs, tissue, Chapstick and a matchbox of worry dolls with a painted, glittery image of Our Lady of Guadalupe on the front. My altar is a bundle of sage, lighter, incense,a vial of water and collaged affirmation cards.

The ritual and routine of setting up my temporary space is grounding and affirming. It anchors my heart to my new location and allows me to enjoy my favorite part of my journey: walking through my temporary town.
What anchors you're heart to your current town?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Living the Vision

I'm blogging from the Nevada County library in Grass Valley.

I'm supposed to be working, but so far all I've done is get to the next verse on my latest song, (Thank You EM!)texted a couple songwriter pals, took a walk along the river to the Briar Patch food coop and exercised with my friend Diana. (THANK YOU Jillian Michaels!)

I have great work as a freelance editor and I'm staying in an amazing house for a week. Then I'm headed to Hanford to visit a friend, then house sit, then more visiting and on to... well, I have some ideas.

Living this gypsy life is not easy, but I'm having a great time, and I know its temporary. When I left Los Osos last November, if I thought this would be happening - after all, I had my heart set on full-time work and my own apartment - I'm telling you, I wouldn't have left.

Unheated cabin in the land of the fog, or not.

But I trust. I trust this process. I trust my 'next indicated step' and my one day at a time slogan. Most of all, I trust the lovely, expansive feeling that I get to wake up with every day.

Do I get scared?

Yes. On those days I stay in, watch Brothers and Sisters reruns and eat Trader Joe's popcorn...

then I go to sleep, and dream of my next "home."

How do you keep your fear at bay???

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Courage to Vision

When I was letting go of what no longer worked, visioning what I wanted seemed overwhelming.
I was afraid of making a mistake.

Happily, I have my trusty Heal Your Life book by Louise Hay.

Under the work chapter, I found the perfect affirmation:
I am doing work I love that uses all of my talents and abilities, with people who I love and respect and earning great money.

Next I started affirming that I lived in a safe, wonderful environment that was peaceful, where I could rest.

Not being too specific gave me a chance to completely let go.

For the past month I've been living on beautiful a Paso Robles ranch.
I am helping a new friend birth his book, which is exactly what I need to read.

My mind has no clue how I ended up here, but my heart is rolling her eyes.

Trust. Intuition. Vision...softly.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Resolution Solution

Although I didn't make a specific New Year's resolution - I did resolve to find work in Newbury Park last November.

It's January 31st and I'm bailing my room rental so how do I re-solve?

When I need to re-align with a goal, I step back and punt.
In football, when the team doesn't make a touchdown, they huddle and send out the kicker.

I discovered that I prefer Ventura over Newbury Park. But instead of just jumping into a room and frantically running the same play all over, I'm going to huddle at a couple different vacay spots over the next 2 weeks.

Time for new game plan, refine the target, and mostly, enjoy the process.

So - if you are still waiting to make your resolution touchdown, take a breather to huddle and reassess.

It may be time to kick a field goal.