I create the Year of Dreams journaling kit prompts and schedule them to go out way ahead of time. Then each week I grab the new sheet to journal with and it feels like my own ideas come back to me as little oracles.
This is what I got this week: GO FOR IT. And it came at exactly the right time.
So much is changing in terms of how my dreams are asking me to show up and I while it’s tiring to keep up some days, I am just delighted and wildly inspired by it all. (You can see some of it in the new art I’m sharing on Instagram – I’ll be sharing new inspiring artwork there every day for the next few months at least)
There are times when stillness and inner exploration are needed and there are times when following your wildest creative impulse is needed. I do love these creative flow times.
On that note: Project Miracle is now available as an on-demand offering.
Miracles on demand!
It seems so stupid to freeze up when your dream is right there within reach but actually, if you look at it more closely, it makes perfect sense.
I mean come on – dreams are terrifying!
There are at least a million valid reasons why you shrink from your dream.
Shrinking back doesn’t mean you’re not ready or you can’t have it. It just means you have some Inner Work to do before you can take this next external step.
Outer Work should only come when you feel clear about what needs to be done and you feel ready to do it.
Shrink-back means you can see what needs to be done but you don’t feel ready to do it even though you want to feel ready and probably think you should feel ready.
Remember the Creative Dream Compass?
(I share how to use this in my free class, Your Dream Is Waiting For You To Come True)
If Outer Work isn’t working you still have 2 other options: Dream Work and Inner Work. When you’re shrinking back, your next step is likely to do Inner Work.
There is NEVER a reason to give up on your dream.
There is ALWAYS something you can do next.
I’ve been in a huge shrink-back this week myself.
This week we finished the inaugural round of Project Miracle.
This isn’t like finishing a regular class – which always leaves me hired, in a happy way. Project Miracle is bigger than that.
It’s a new way of working with transformation. It’s a big step in the evolution of my work so it demands a lot of me.
Like, I’m not teaching math. I don’t just show up and transmit information. I create containers for deep healing and transformation – most of the work happens far below the surface.
And as the creator and space-holder, I have to be in alignment with the work. Like – I have to walk my talk. Not just because I like integrity as a personal value but because the integrity of the program depends on it, the effectiveness of the program depends on it.
So, as my work takes this big step, I also have to take this big step.
And instead of taking that step, this week I shrank back.
Unconscious shrinking back becomes dream sabotage. Conscious shrinking back becomes that sacred pause that energizes you for the work ahead.
When you can stay present with your process, shrinking back is actually a good thing. It’s a way to pause and gather your magic.
So this past week I’ve been trying to stay in that sacred pause. Giving myself space to process all of the changes that brought me to where I am today.
This has NOT been a easy or smooth process. Staying present and making space for our feelings rarely is!
I was frustrated with myself for not moving forward, I was exhausted, I was crabby and started a fight with my husband.
The worst part is I lost all sense of believing in myself and my dreams.
But – when it comes to Inner Work the worst part is actually the best part.
Because what was actually happening while I felt like I lost the ability to believe in myself and my dreams is that I was making space for the doubt that I *always* carry with me, unconsciously.
It rose up and it felt like it was taking over because I had not been giving this particular pocket of self-doubt any space for some time. So it needed to growl and take up all the space it could once it had a chance.
And then it burned itself out.
Self doubt, fear, sadness – these things are not our essential nature. When we can make space for them they will flow through and actually leave you with more space inside of you for things that ARE your essential nature, like creativity, love, joy, wisdom, magic, power.
And now that I had that shrink-back/sacred pause, I feel ready to take these final steps towards my dream from a place of deeper connection to my true self, deeper connection to my inner gifts and resources.
I feel more ready for my next steps.
1. Project Miracle is going to be available as an on-demand program, starting next week. I mean – Miracles On Demand! How delightful is this?
Creative Dream Circle members get access to it automatically as a part of their membership. Everyone else can get Project Miracle for $99.
2. The cost of the Creative Dream Circle is going up to $363/year this summer.
I am adding a lot of new stuff (including a whole library of practices for working with that Dream Compass) and the circle asked for the price to go up to be more in alignment with the value of what’s in there, as a way of strengthening the container. (Unfortunately, one of the things I have not done yet is update the Circle page with all the new stuff – it’s coming!)
I don’t know exactly when I will put the new price in place, just wanted to give you some notice if you’ve been thinking about joining us.
Before we start I just want to point out that I have some creative journal prompts for finding your dream, if that’s something you want to explore.
Here’s the thing: You’re not supposed to always know what your dream is.
In fact, if you are *always* super clear about your dream you’re probably wrong about what your dream actually is.
From the Principles of Creative Dream Alchemy:
- Your dream is how your soul calls you towards your True Self.
- Your dream will grow you.
When this kind of soul growth is involved, it is not possible to keep the end goal in sight all the way through the process.
Because when you grow in the way that your dream will grow you – you start to see things you couldn’t see before.
So if you only dream about a thing you can always see – that’s not a dream. That’s a goal – a thing you can clearly see that has a clear path leading to it. Goals are great but there’s not a lot of magic in them.
Your dream is magic. Your dream is your purpose, potential, authenticity, and creativity – expressed out in the world.
Your dream is bigger than anything you can see right now. That’s how dreams work.
So when you can’t see your dream clearly: that’s a GOOD thing.
I mean yes there are things you can do to try to get some clarity (I do have two classes on Dream Finding in the Creative Dream Circle) but expecting to always be 100% clear is unrealistic. That kind of clarity diminishes your possibilities to the things that you can see from where you are.
So not being clear is good. But what do you DO with that?
Because I think we all find a certain amount of comfort in clarity. And that’s where I am today so I thought I’d share how I am playing with it.
While engaging with my dream I am doing my best to remember and honour the Principles of Creative Dream Alchemy. That creates the framework for successfully engaging with my dream.
And here’s my journaling this morning:
So what is the dream right now? I need to claim it clearly.
Well the dream is to know what the dream is!
Can I go deeper?
Monthly revenue goal? Ugh that feels so stupid. And it feels like a lot of “to-dos” and “business nonsense stuff” and like everything I don’t care about.
But there is something in there that I do want. Can I look more closely in there? WHY do I want the monthly revenue goal?
- Feeling heard/seen/understood in my work
- Having my work be valued and appreciated
- Feeling nourished by how I am sharing my work
- Feeling nourished by how my work is received
- Not second guessing myself so much
- Showing up to work and knowing what to do
OK let’s break this down and keep looking more closely for what I REALLY want here.
Oh, wait! Nothing I wrote about WHY I want it really has anything to do with money. Do I even want the money?
When I sit with that idea of having Monthly Revenue Goal it triggers an avalanche of uncomfortable questions.
No maybe I don’t want the money. Where does Monthly Revenue Goal feel comfortable – like what number works?
[sit with that for a few minutes]
OK found a number. It’s kind of a surprise as it’s not that much higher than my actual revenue. But I am seeing that right now I don’t want a lot more money as much as I want a new relationship with my work. And then each year I can increase the goal – but I mean see what just happened?
That feels stupid again!
Money goals do not inspire me, I just feel like I am supposed to have them because that’s how we measure success in a business. And I feel like I am supposed to want to increase them every year.
OK whoa! That’s a belief that I don’t need to hold onto. There are other ways to measure success. I mean yes I need a certain about of revenue to keep everything flowing but I already have that.
OK I feel this pull from this belief that: I am supposed to always want more and that if I don’t that means I am failing.
Where does this belief come from?
Oh it’s a fear of not fitting in. Fear of being left behind.
I give my fear a big hug. I remind it that I will always make sure to take care of things!
I am actually really good with money I just don’t want way more of it than I need. I mean not that I would say no if it was offered to me but pursuing it is not a thing that makes my heart sparkle.
OMG this is getting so tangly! Let’s refocus here.
More money may be a part of my new dream. But it’s not my dream itself. My heart doesn’t sparkle for Monthly Revenue Goal.
Let’s just leave it at that and go back to what I was trying to do!
Go through my list of reasons why I thought I wanted the Monthly Revenue Goal and explore each one further for clues.
Thing 1: Feeling heard/seen/understood in my work
Actually this has shifted A LOT since I put the new Creative Dream Alchemy framework out there on my website. It’s changed how I can talk about my work, it’s changed what kinds of new programs I can create.
It feels like I took a BIG step towards aligning my work more with it’s purpose and then took a BIG step towards sharing that in a clearer way. And I am seeing already in the response I am getting to my new work that I AM more seen, heard, and understood.
And this is all new, I am currently acclimating to having this.
Thing 2: Having my work be valued and appreciated
Well I have always had this.
It’s like I have this underlying human fear of NOT being valued and appreciated even though I am. So whenever I am uncomfortable or second-guessing myself or not sure what my dreams are this fear pops up.
Hello fear that I am not valued and appreciated. I see you. I love you. I value and appreciate you. You have always helped me steer clear of situations where I am not actually valued and appreciated. This is not one of those though. So you can just go eat some cookies and take a nap!
Thing 3: Feeling nourished by HOW I am sharing my work
This is something I am still working on. Like – the way I share my work is so… what is the word? Sporadic? Random. It feels random. I share wherever I am at, I write what comes out of me, you know?
I do want to go deeper into my inspirations, somehow. Like have more time just to make art to share.
But I don’t want to have a schedule of things I have to write about and share. That doesn’t feel authentic to me, I want to share what I am actually inspired to share.
OK actually I DO feel nourished by how I am sharing my work, for the most part – but something else about it is feeling off. I’m not sure what that is so let’s put a pin in that and carry on.
Thing 4: Feeling nourished by how my work is received
Yeah I have this one too.
I am consistently amazed by the people who show up in my classes!
Sometimes, of course, when I share thoughts and ideas online I get responses from people who really don’t get it. And when I engage with these people that doesn’t feel good.
I’d like to have ALL people “get it”. This is not realistic or the kind of dream I want to give any energy to pursuing.
But, when I encounter people who don’t get it, what it sparks in me is a wish to be more fully expressed. To share my thoughts and ideas BRIGHTER. And that this brightness would make it easier for “my people” to get it, and it would actually just repel those people who are not on my wavelength and aren’t going to get it.
Like no hard feelings but if you don’t really get my work, why engage with it? There are lots of other people to engage with.
I think the more fully creative expressed we are the more we draw in the right people and repel the people who don’t resonate with our work. I feel inspired to step up my level of expressiveness. This actually feels amazing and exciting and I want to go explore it right away but I also want to finish exploring my 6 reasons so let’s continue.
Thing 5: Not second guessing myself so much
Oh! Here it is. This is what is really feeling off!
A part of me WANTS to have a schedule for what to create + share because this part of me thinks I need a schedule in order to have my shit together. This part of me second-guesses how I just follow inspiration.
Wow. I hadn’t realised that.
Because most of me wants to be free to follow inspiration. And most of me trusts the structure I have created here to hold it all.
I mean I can see that it’s NOT RANDOM AT ALL, when I stop and think about. I am sharing my own stories as I live what I teach. I am sharing what’s actually happening on my own dream path.
I can’t make it up and decide ahead of time where I’m supposed to be on the path. OMG how ridiculous would that be?
But, I mean, that’s how most marketing happens, so I can see why a part of me was thinking I should do that.
It’s definitely not my way. If there is one thing I am really sure about when it comes to my work, it’s that I have to walk my talk. And that means not just making sure to ACT in integrity with what I teach but to WRITE/TALK/SHARE my actual stories.
(Like I had this one teacher who could never walk his talk, and I would always think: he doesn’t really need to totally change how he’s living his life, he just needs to change his talk to be more forgiving of the places where we’re going to be human, you know? BE REAL.)
OK it really helps to see this – the part of me who wants it to be all planned out is just plain wrong.
There probably are SOME things I could plan out better or schedule – OH! THAT is an excellent thing to brainstorm about: What parts of sharing my work CAN I plan/schedule in a more organised way?
Thing 6: Showing up to work and knowing what to do
Ha! Well this is just kind of silly. Like when I had jobs all I ever wanted was to be self-employed. And now that I am self-employed some days I really do just want someone to come in here and tell me what to do.
And 80% of the time I do know exactly what to do when I show up at work. I am actually really good at planning and project management – and have really good, sturdy systems for getting my projects done.
But that other 20% – actually that time is NEEDED. Everything can’t be super structured or else there is no space for growth and discovery! I need that open space to explore, but some days I just feel lost in it.
And feeling lost is a part of all of this creative dream process too.
Anyone who always knows what they’re doing and where they’re going is NOT doing anything new!
OK I love how I circled back to what I was thinking about when I started this.
So this desire to have everything be super clear and always know what step to take next is actually just a desire to avoid discomfort.
And some parts of growth requires discomfort. Like the part where I’m at right now.
I am willing to be uncomfortable in order to grow towards my dreams.
OK so where am I at now?
I still can’t say, in a clear and concise way, what my dream is right now.
BUT I do have a good question to brainstorm. Though I know that finding the right balance between structure and freedom in how I share my work is NOT my whole dream. It’s just a thing I want right now in my daily work life.
AND I know I feel really inspired to experiment with new ways to express myself. And this is a thing that my heart sparkles about! So that means it’s a part of my dream. It will lead me towards where my dream wants me to go.
OK so that’s enough for now. I know I can work on this, follow the heart sparkles, and it’s ok if I don’t see the bigger picture right now.
Last week I sent out an email asking: What are the questions you have about your dream? It was inspired by this post on Instagram where I was asking the question: What are my next questions?
One of the responses I got was this:
I know that I can do anything. I just don’t know if it will be worth it when I get there or if I will regret spending time and effort on this thing and not on something else.
I think this touches on the heart of almost ALL of the questions we have about our dreams.
Is it all going to be worth it? Is my dream going to give me what I really want?
There are a lot of examples out there of people who pursued their dreams and ended up miserable.
I mean look at all of the celebrities with substance abuse problems. Plus think of all of the people who pursued celebrity, gave everything they had for it and ended up with nothing. The serial entrepreneur with the string of failed businesses who never finds the success they want. I mean I could go on but that’s just depressing.
I would say that the person who pursued their dream and ended up miserable was never actually pursuing their dream.
They were pursing something different – fame or recognition or money. And they were most likely doing it to bolster their self-esteem and sooth that deep down fears that they’re not worthy.
I’ll feel good about myself when: ___________. I’ll be happy when: _____________.
Then they work their ass off to make that thing happen and, even if they make that external dream real, they are surprised to find that on the inside they feel no different.
This is why the first thing I do when you work with me is ask you to go deeper into the essence of your dream. (Take my free class Your Dream Is Waiting For You To Come True if you don’t know what I’m talking about here)
If you want to be a rock star so that you can enjoy your life and feel good about yourself – I PROMISE you’ll be happier flipping that around. Make enjoying your life and feeling good about yourself the end goal and you’ll find there are much easier ways to get there.
And, if being a rock star is your true purpose – you’ll still get there by following the path of enjoying your life and feeling good about yourself.
Your dream is how your soul calls you towards your True Self. It will grow you towards your true purpose and potential.
It will bring everything that is truly yours to have. And it will force you to get real along the way. This is scary and vulnerable and the most rewarding thing we can pursue.
So whatever your questions are about your dream right now – I encourage you to go deeper into them.
Sometimes you refuse to sit with the question because there is something scary hiding in there. This keeps you in a holding patten because without spending time with the question how can you ever find an answer?
What is your biggest question about your dream?
Write it down on a fresh page in your journal.
And just sit with it for 10 minutes a day for the next 5 days.
A few years ago I wrote a post about this journaling process for going deeper into questions – check it out here.
This is Bear, sitting on the stairs. This picture is actually kind of a miracle.
One week before we got him, my husband and I burned the last of the medicines we had used for Starfish’s bundle, like the little bits of plants and stems we had cut off that ended up on the floor after we were finished his ceremony.(I wrote the story of Starfish’s passing here) We were going to burn them in the fire we had a month after his passing on the new moon to feast him. But we forgot to add them to that fire and it kind of felt like we were holding on, not quite ready for that last goodbye.
When we were ready, we burned them and told Starfish how much we missed him and how grateful we were for his presence in our lives and asked him to send us a nice cat when we were ready.
Six days later, my husband suddenly fell in love with a cat in a shelter while he was looking for a puppy for a client. I said no. Absolutely not. We’re not ready. We should wait until we’ve moved. And we wanted to get a mellow, older cat. But my husband wouldn’t let up, he knew this was our cat.
The next morning I woke up thinking about the cat and agreed to to see him. Of course, as soon as I laid eyes on him it was all over. This was our cat. We brought him home.
Bear was born in a shelter and had lived there for 1.5 years, he never knew a life outside of being in a cage. He didn’t know what a home was and he was pretty freaked out to be here. For the first few days he hid in random places and then one day we came home and couldn’t find him anywhere.
His food and cat box were un-used and Bear was nowhere to be seen for over 24 hours. We were so scared.
And then the next morning I heard a small meow.
We had already done this, but I decided to try again. Behind our fridge is a fridge-sized storage area, and beside that is our hot water tank and furnace – this is behind the kitchen wall and under the stairs. You have to pull out the fridge to get in there. So I pulled out the fridge and went in there and looked around and this time I saw him. He was all the way in the back under the first stair I just saw his little eyes peeking out.
I moved the fridge out and to the side so we could walk into this space. I put his cat box where the fridge had been (still kind of blocked by the fridge so it was quite private) and put his food and water on the furnace. I told him that under the stairs could be his little apartment for as long as he needed.
Now – we can’t get around the furnace, we can only access it from one side so there is no way to vacuum in there. It was a horribly dusty dirty place. Bear stayed in there like that for over a week.
Every night before bed my husband and I would stop at this first stair, put our hand on it and say “Goodnight Bear I’m so glad you’re here I hope you come out and live with us soon”
It just got sadder as the week went on. I would go back there and talk to him and he would look back at me, but he stayed tucked into that bottom stair.
Until one night when he woke me up meowing loudly in the middle of the night. I went downstairs and he was standing right on the furnace, right at the edge of his little apartment. It was like he wanted permission to come out. So I encouraged him, and he came out and explored. This continued for many more nights as I started to worry that I would never sleep through the night again.
He actually naps like that – on his back with his paws in the air. He plays with everything – he loves to run round chasing cat toys or a ball of paper or whatever he can find to play with. He loves sitting in the huge windows and watching rabbits, squirrels and birds. He sleeps with us in the bed every night. He wakes us up meowing for wet food every morning. He even goes on top of the fridge and into the basket of cat stuff and gnawed through the thick plastic bag so he can help himself to cat treats when he wants them.
I’m writing this sitting on my couch with my legs stretched out. Bear is snuggled up with my feet and kind of petting my leg with his tail.
He learned how to live in a home and he’s thriving. He even looks different! His fur was rough when we first got him and now it’s silky soft.
And it’s easy to forget how there was a time when he didn’t eat for 48 hours. But when I saw him sitting on the stairs I took that photo because I was remembering how I would stop and put my hand on that stair every night to try to send him some love.
We adapt to the circumstances of our lives.
Like Bear was used to living in a cage and so when he came here he found that smallest space – under that bottom stair – and made it his home. It took time before we was able to adapt to be able to spread out into the whole home.
But now, you can just see, he is being more who is really is. He’s thriving.
We are the same. We can shrink into spaces that are too small for our actual potential and start to call that home.
And, when given the opportunity, we can expand.
And, this is how we’re different from cats of course, we can create new circumstances for ourselves. In fact we do this all the time – we are continually growing into who we really are.
Because this process of growing and adapting can be so uncomfortable at times (I mean I’m pretty sure Bear would have run right back to his cage in the shelter if given a chance on those first few days here) it’s so important to engage in a regular practice that helps us stay grounded in our true nature.
This is why I do Creative Dream Alchemy: using my dreams as a north star, or as a shortcut towards my true self, my purpose, my most meaningful and magical life, and engaging in the work of alchemy as a regular practice.
Transforming the places where I want to stay small. Healing the places where I feel not good enough. Releasing what is no longer needed. Exploring what’s going on inside me so I can know more fully where I’m being called to grow towards next.
This is ongoing work, so I need to be engaged in an ongoing practice with it.
And this is where I’m going with my work with the Creative Dream Incubator. New programs and tools to make it easier to do that ongoing transformative work – just one baby step at a time – to make it fit into your current life so you can grow your current life into your dream life.
My new free class Your Dream Is Waiting For You To Come True gives you a framework to do this in a totally new way.
It’s a 90 minute video class, and you get a playbook to follow along. I’ll show you the three things you need to be doing to build an ongoing practice for growing your current life into your dream life.
Because the delight and freedom that Bear has found here – I think we all deserve that.