This is the Be The Change section of my blog, where I talk about creating a world that nurtures everyone's dreams, and explore the intersections of colonialism, the patriarchy and white supremacy in the New Age movement/Live Your Best Life Industry.
(Artist Jaime Black started the Red Dress Project in 2010 as an aesthetic response to the more than 1,000 missing and murdered Aboriginal women in Canada. Find out more here.)
Oct 4 is the MMIWGT2S Day of Remembrance.
Due to the pandemic, here in Winnipeg the West Central Women’s Center is asking us to hang red dresses around the city as a way of marking the event and encouraging discussion.
Discussion is needed.
There was an inquiry into Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women in Canada which shows in detail why First Nations, Inuit, and Métis women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people are vulnerable to violence in our society and lists specific calls for justice which we can all participate in.
Canada is in this weird situation where we try to look like we’re not racist but we’re not willing to do the work of actually not being racist – so we’ll fund something like a national inquiry into MMIW (there was also an in inquiry on reconciliation) but we will not trust or act on the findings of the inquiries.
The findings of the inquiry are clear: Indigenous women are murdered as a part of an ongoing genocide.
I remember in school learning about genocide and apartheid and I would wonder how the people in those countries allowed these atrocities to happen in their homes.
Meanwhile, it was happening in mine -the last residential school in Canada closed four years after I graduated from high school.
And it’s still happening to this day.
This is how we allow it to happen, by not talking about it.
So many well-meaning white people, settlers, hear about what’s happening and are all “OMG it’s terrible what’s happening I feel helpless” and leave it at that.
If that’s you – please don’t leave it at that.
Come up with some things you can do (the TRC has 94 recommendations).
Follow your local Indigenous leaders, artists and writers online and listen carefully to what they’re saying.
No one can fix this alone. We all need to be a part of the solution.
There’s this thing that happens, both with our personal dreams for our lives and with how we collectively want to change the world, where we shy away from taking action.
I could knit this one sweater, but I don’t know how to quit my job and make a living knitting, so I do nothing.
I could make a red dress and hang it up in my neighbourhood but what if someone asks me something about it and I don’t know the answer? So I do nothing.
With our own dreams, we can take baby steps, learn to listen better to our intuition and get into the flow and find our way to where we want to be. You never have to know HOW before you start the journey.
When it comes to changing the word, the good news is that it’s NEVER our job to know HOW.
Especially when it comes to white people wanting to help end white supremacy and systemic racism, we’re not supposed to be the leaders. We’re not supposed to have the answers.
We need to be willing to listen and learn and show up and support.
This summer has been a WHIRLWIND of activity behind the scenes at Creative Dream Headquarters. And now it’s done! I’ve moved my whole business from Simplero to Access Ally, and Convert Kit.
This spring, I attended Rachel Rodgers’ Small Business Town Hall on creating equitable businesses (if you follow that link you can see the recording on that page – it’s really good!)
I want to know what I can do to create more equality in the world, so I was REALLY happy about this town hall, which left me with a better understanding of what I can actually DO.
Long story short, my work after the Town Hall led me to discover that the owner of Simplero, who was the main supplier in my business (for hosting, automations, emails, my membership site + shopping cart), has taken a public and vocal stance against the dismantling of white supremacy.
This discovery was uncomfortable for me because of how HARD it is to move an online business like mine – like probably 3 months of work.
This led me to realize how often I had wanted to leave Simplero, and how trapped I felt by how hard it is to leave. The owner of Simplero has a long history of not following through on his promises, and many of those broken promises had negative repercussions on MY business – without an acknowledgement or apology.
I wrote all of these broken promises here, but then seeing them all in a list made me feel uncomfortable about sharing it in public. It felt gossipy and vindictive.
I will just say that when simply speaking the truth feels inflammatory you know you’re not in a good situation.
So I left.
It took just over 2 months, and it was REALLY hard. It was also interesting to me that having this overwhelming all-consuming project actually helped take my mind off the state of the world, so that was an unexpected benefit. And this seemed like a good time to do it, since I am mostly quarantining at home anyway.
There were a lot of hurdles.
For example everyone I spoke to said it would be impossible to move the Creative Dream Circle the way it is (an active membership, with people receiving new content every week, and everyone in their own place in that content). I’d have to “end” the Circle and re-start it somewhere new. But Dream Book is an ONGOING course, I can’t end it.
Finding the tech to support my vision was challenging. Most of the companies in this space are owned and run by men and have that same “tech bro vibe” that was frustrating me with Simplero.
Let me back up…
When I moved to Simplero in 2014, they had a totally different brand than what they have now. At that time they were marketing themselves as tools for spiritual entrepreneurs. They were talking about integrity in business, which I resonated with.
At that time, I WANTED to go with Access Ally. But it was out of reach both technology-wise and financially. Access Ally is a WordPress plug-in, so I would be putting it on MY website, so I would be responsible for security and functionality of the website. I just couldn’t do that.
I chose to go with a third party option, a company that would host the classes themselves, and be responsible for that website. And I know that WAS the right choice at that time – a third party option is really good for a lot of online teachers and coaches!
The Dream comes to me
Access Ally HAD been out of reach but Simplero had re-structured their pricing plans (after promising to NEVER charge more for more contacts, or courses, or membership sites) and I was at the top tier, so at this point Access Ally is less expensive. And the internet has changed, I no longer feel comfortable on a regular shared hosting site for WordPress, so now I have premium secure hosting which means… Access Ally was no longer out of reach in any way.
Access Ally is a woman and minority owned business (VERY rare in this space) and they attended that same Town Hall are were also inspired and motivated by it.
And access Ally allows you to create a 100% customizable teaching website.
[It’s AMAZING. And it’s a HUGE GIGANTIC learning curve. Though they do have tons of tutorials and amazing support – it’s not recommend to create a custom site on your own – here are a lot of Access Ally experts you can hire to help.]
I feels SO empowering to create my own platform for my work.
I got to do everything the way I wanted to do it!
100% customizable is so great… and so hard.
It means I did get to create every part of it just how I wanted to – but I had to CREATE every single thing, it wasn’t already there for me.
The number of automations and moving parts to creating a functional online classroom is MIND BOGGLING. There were steep learning curves on steep learning curves.
I definitely overwhelmed my mind, which is already stressed from the current state of the world. I was getting vertigo and headaches almost every evening towards the end, my whole mind/body system was just over-taxed. (I had to give up coffee to keep them under control!) (I LOVE COFFEEEEEEE!)
(The headaches are gone now 🙌🏻 )
And then it was done.
I moved my people in late last week and set a whole day aside just for handing issues that may come up with the move… in this kind of project I don’t know what I don’t know, you know? But I had tested everything thoroughly. And Access Ally has AMAZING tutorials for every little thing.
And there were some hiccups of course. But on the whole everything went ok and we have an online home that FEELS LIKE HOME.
Access Ally needs a CRM for the automations, and I went with Convert Kit. The owner of Convert Kit was one of the presenters at that online town hall for equitable business which is where If found out about them. They are “tech bros” but they have outlined actions they are taking to be an anti-racist company and felt like the best option for me. They’ve also been helpful in getting my stuff moved over to them.
It was one of the Covert Kit people who showed me how to move everything WITHIN the active sequence – so making it possible to move my members to the new site without having them lose their place in Dream Book.
So yeah – that thing everyone said was impossible was completely possible – it did take just over 2 days, of just working on moving people, to move everyone, but I think that was 100% worth it.
Working with companies who are more in alignment with my values feels better.
I mean my new online classroom is WAY better. It’s more flexible, more engaging and better looking.
The people who take care of the software CARE about the experience that my students have. And you can really see it in how the classroom works!
Simplero’s values are more around supporting entrepreneurs in making more money. When there were issues with their classrooms, making it hard for my customers to engage – they didn’t take those issues seriously because that’s not where they are focused.
This experience showed me how important it is to understand MY values in a certain situation and then only work with people whose values match mine.
And I think I got better at spotting when people CLAIM to have a certain set of values but are actually acting from a different set of values.
I wish I had made this move sooner.
But I also know it all happened at just the perfect time.
(I love how Dream Book always sends me JUST the right journaling cut-outs each week – my mantra for this week really helped me plug into that “I GOT THIS” vibe when I feeling a little discouraged with all of this)
Almost a month ago, I attended Rachel Rodgers’ Small Business Town Hall on creating equitable businesses.
Follow that link! The replay is right there. It was so healing and inspiring for me to see thousands of small business owners come together to explore how we can make the world better for everyone.
It was so helpful to hear from experts and I learn about where I can be doing better with the Creative Dream Incubator to BE the change I want to see in the world.
I was so excited, I posted a link to the replay in the customer Facebook group for the business I use for my website, emails, shopping cart and membership site. I was feeling so optimistic about this… but that post devolved quickly, with a bunch of racist comments and attacks on me for bringing it up. I was stunned that building anti-racist companies would be controversial in that group, since the software I use was geared towards spiritual entrepreneurs and don’t we want to make the world a better place?
The culture at this particular business meant that no staff moderated the racist comments (!) so I deleted the post a few days later, because I didn’t think it should be my job to moderate their customers and I didn’t want to leave racist comments unchallenged in my post. (I did get a message later saying that they were about to respond when I deed the post, but by that time I had found the owner of the company’s personal social media profiles and saw that he was quite active in posting about how systemic racism is not real, so I didn’t need any further response to understand that this “let’s create equitable businesses together” idea was not going to fly here)
So this left me pretty shaken up.
I want to do business with others who share my values around wanting the world to be better for everyone.
I don’t mean this in a “creating an echo chamber” kind of way. I mean I spend real dollars with this business and, after that Town Hall I saw more clearly than ever – those dollars can help create more equity in the world or they can help create less equity in the world.
I’m spending the money anyway, why not spend it with a company whose values match mine?
What had me feeling shock up was 2 things:
Thing 1: Moving my whole company is a huge and annoying and expensive thing. My feeling of being HOPEFUL and ENERGIZED and OPTIMISTIC about partnering with other companies to be a force for good in the world absolutely collided with how difficult and expensive it would be for me to move. It took me some time to work though all of the feelings that were triggered in that collision.
Thing 2: I also felt angry, frustrated and embarrassed that ME using this company is, in a sense, giving it my seal of approval, and some of my students had gotten their own accounts with them. I sat with that one for a long time, and have accepted that I can always only ever do my best, and when I know better I do better.
As I sat with all of my feelings I remembered… I’ve WANTED to move several times over the last few years but I’ve felt stuck because it’s such a complicated thing.
Because the Creative Dream Circle is 8 years old and includes a TON of classes… and Dream Book is a very long dripped content course where everyone is at a different apace in it… and because this site is ongoing, there will never be at time when everything stops and it becomes simple to move. But it dawned on me that during a global pandemic when I’m not doing as much, I DO have time to do this move.
I also remembered three separate times over the years when this company made a promise, didn’t follow through, and left me in a REALLY shitty position.
I don’t want to get into those details right now – but when I reflected on this ongoing pattern of doing this, I realized that I also only want to work with companies that care about my success and wouldn’t do things to trash my business. And if they inadvertently did do those things – they would at the very least apologize and do something to make it right.
I always thought… well no one is perfect.
No online business platform is perfect, that’s for sure! It’s hard to find a good fit that’s going to do just what you want it to do.
But this ongoing pattern of making big promises and not following through and not even apologizing was not sitting right with me. PLUS my wish to work with people in alignment with my values.
But since this situation had me reflecting on my whole experience with them, the good and the bad, I realized that over the last few years especially their values and priorities had really shifted and moving would create a better experience for me, and for my people.
So then I started looking more seriously at other options.
At first I fell in love with Podia, another third-party platform where they do EVERYTHING. Email, website, courses, membership. In fact they will migrate your current classes FOR FREE… and they are SUPER cheap. Like so cheap I thought it was too good to be true but the more I looked into it the better it was. Podia is definitely a great option for anyone starting out and they have a clear commitment to being an anti-racist company.
My set-up is a bit too complex for Podia. I was looking at Kajabi which is another similar platform but, even though they also have a commitment to being anti-racist – it felt like moving from one tech bro to another.
That’s when I looked at Access Ally.
Access Ally is not an all-in-one, it’s a WordPress plug-in. So it means I need a WordPress site and I also need another app for email and automations – I chose Convert Kit. Convert Kit is working to be an anti-racist company and I LOVE the feel of the software and how helpful everyone has been there.
Access Ally is run by a woman – a woman I actually met online like a million years ago on SARK’s forum. And I met her in person in Portland years ago. She also attended that same Town Hall and is excited by the possibilities like I am. She runs Access Ally with her husband, who is Asian – making Access Ally one of the few women/minority owned tech apps out there for online courses.
Why this matters to me: When it comes to creating software privilege DOES matter.
Software created by a white man, with ONLY white men on the development team, is going to have a certain perspective. The more privilege a person has, the less they understand what other people go through. The less they can even see other perspectives.
White women, since we experience sexism, have an easier time being able to understand and learn more about racism than white men.
The more intersections of oppression you’ve got going on – and it’s not just about race and gender – the more inclusive you tend to be in your perspectives. You think about other people and their experiences and needs because you understand what it’s like to live in a world that does not cater to you.
People with fewer intersections can also LEARN to see from other people’s perspectives, of course! And doing so absolutely DOES make you a better designer and service provider.
So that’s why this is important to me.
Looking back on my experience with my membership site over the last several years, when something wasn’t working right for my people – I had to work hard to explain to this company WHY this mattered, and even then they usually didn’t CARE. Like – “So what if comments aren’t working right in your classroom?” They had different priorities.They were focused more on the selling aspects, and creating tools to help people sell more.
To me, DELIVERING what I’ve already sold is WAY more important than selling MORE. So that’s a BIG value clash as well. (Not that I don’t want to sell! But not at the expense of taking care of the people already in my classes – I should not have to choose between the two)
Your values DO determine your priorities, so software made by people whose values reflect mine WILL work better for me.
Access Ally was my DREAM app in 2014 when I moved to where I am now.
I didn’t go with Access Ally because of the cost and the ease of having everything in 1 with someone other than me responsible for the membership site. I’d had a LOT of issues with WordPress plug-ins for courses in the past.
I have been with this company (it’s so awkward to keep writing and not name them, but I’m not ready to do that publicly) for almost 6 years. They made all of these promises about how “we’ll never charge more for this” encouraging me to set up my business in a certain way…. and then completely changed their pricing model and DID charge more for those things – forcing me to be in the top tier when I did not NEED to set my business up the way I did, I did it because of their encouragement.
Which means that by now I’m paying so much more – I might as well get the software I really wanted.
So then suddenly all of this feels like a dream come true.
The Access Ally site will give me the freedom to make it look how I want it to!!!!
And… because my plans for this year were to make a bunch of new guided journals… it would give me space to sell those in the way I want to as well.
Just…. it’s the right tool for what I want my business to be.
And I don’t feel uncomfortable about using a Word Press plugin anymore because I have premium hosting and pampering for my WordPress site now.
So it feels like it all magically came together.
Which is what tends to happen when you make space for everything, process your feelings, and follow the magic.
It was startling to suddenly notice just how far apart my values are from this company I have used for so long. But once I gave it some time I saw that we’ve been drifting for some time.
And I realized I felt trapped because of how hard it is to move and I don’t want to feel trapped and I DON’T HAVE TO FEEL TRAPPED.
Another good thing about this move is that having separate apps for email/automations and the membership site means I have a TON of flexibility. If I move again it won’t be so difficult.
So I am setting myself up to NOT feel trapped again like this in the future.
The more steps I take with this the better it all feels.
We’re in a heat wave. My husband had been away at a Sundance ceremony and won’t be back until late Sunday or Monday.
So – a quiet weekend alone when I don’t want to go out because it’s just too hot. This is a perfect time to dive in and start building the new site. So I started this morning. It’s a huge learning curve but I am really enjoying this, and seeing it as the PERFECT step for me to be taking right now to help the Creative Dream Incubator be all it can be.
I am here to help artist, coaches, healers, teachers and guides live the magic of REALLY showing up for their dreams. This work is needed and it feels really good to build a whole new foundation for the work.
It’s also really cool to build a whole new membership site… with everything I’ve learned in 8 years of running a membership site. So I can build this one better, right from the beginning.
A little background: In 2017, when Canada turned 150, I read an article that said Indigenous leaders were asking all Canadians to read Unsettling Canada by Arthur Manuel. So I bought it, but it took me a while to read through it. It’s a heavy book, detailing Canadian history from an Indigenous perspective.
(The Reconciliation Manifesto: Recovering the land, rebuilding the economy, also by Arthur Manual came out later and is a much easier read and a great place to start)
While I had always understood that genocide had happened in Canada, this book completely changed my perspective.
I saw that the genocide isn’t in the past, it’s in the present and will be in the future – unless we do something to change it.
So since then I haven’t felt great about celebrating Canada Day.
So many people in the Live Your Best Life Industry avoid politics because it’s “too negative” but I disagree.
I think ignoring the injustices that happen around you just because they’re not happening TO you is negative.
I think showing up for the world you want to live in is EXTREMELY positive. So I’ve been to a LOT of protests and rallies this year.
I always leave these rallies feeling more hopeful, like a healing had happened. Yes – lots more healing is needed, but each time people gather in this way, a healing DOES happen.
When people come together to stand for the world they want to create and make signs and block traffic and scream their truth in unison – THIS is a manifestation practice.
There is so much magic and power in this.
This is what’s missing from the Life Your Best Life Industry – the MAGIC and POWER of looking the hard stuff in the eye while fighting for what you want to create.
You can’t just hold the vision and meditate and wait for it to come.
You don’t dream in a vacuum.
You dream in the world.
This means: You need to be present where you are in order to get to where you want to be.
This is how I have ALWAYS taught creative people how to “manifest” their wildest dreams – by facing the hard parts head on and using them as fuel for healing and growth.
Right now, for me, being present where I am means I am birthing my dreams living in a country that is carrying on an ongoing genocide against the people whose land this is.
And yes I could use the white privilege I have to ignore what’s happening and “not get political” (which IS VERY political, btw) and just focus on my life and my dreams. But this path is becoming narrower and narrower for the people who choose to take it because there is just *SO MUCH* that you need to AVOID and IGNORE in order to stay on this path.
And everything you need to avoid and ignore holds power over you. Your world just gets smaller and smaller… which means your dreams will also shrink.
But everything you face head on GROWS YOU.
Related: we are all connected.
Even though white people in Canada benefit from colonialism in very concrete ways, it’s NOT good for ANY human being to live in an oppressive system.
Your dreams are always calling you towards your TRUE self, your TRUE potential, your TRUE and MOST AUTHENTIC way of living.
This includes NOT living in oppressive systems.
We are all connected. Our dreams are all connected. Our dreams need each other. We need each other.
Part of the work of tending to your dreams is tending to the soil in which they grow.
I dream of a Canada which is fully decolonized. I believe this is the best way to create a country that works for everyone. I believe that in a country that protects the earth and the most vulnerable people there is space for EVERYONE to pursue their dreams.
I know a lot of white settler Canadians are with me in spirit but are like “ummm buttt uhhhhh … like what would I even DO??” when it comes to taking action.
The good news is that you don’t need to know!! In fact, it’s better to let Indigenous leaders lead on this one 😉
I read that one book, and then started following Indigenous leaders closely on social media and then started participating when they put out calls to action and donating money and volunteering for a political campaign to elect an Indigenous woman to my federal riding and with each new step I took I learned more.
It’s like with your dreams – you DO NOT have to know how to get there in order to take a single baby step.
And each little teeny tiny step you take helps equip you to take the next step.
The next thing you know – you’re out there actively helping to create a BETTER world for you and your dreams and also for everyone else.
It’s all SO connected.
I’m sharing my thoughts here today as tomorrow is Canada Day.
I know most of you are not Canadian.
But ALL of us have the opportunity to stand up for the world we want to create.
I shared this post on Instagram last week about how YOUR DREAMS and THE WORLD are all connected. We’re dreaming INTO the world.
That’s why, for the last 3-4 years I’ve been talking more here and on social media about what it means to be pursuing your dreams within the systems of white supremacy, and how our dreams can be a part of CHANGING THE WORLD.
I’m not an anti-racism expert or educator. I’m a white person who is trying to listen, learn and do better. Also – because the whole “live your best life” industry is extremely biased and privileged and the first step to doing better is to be aware of where we’re falling short.
Now is NOT time to put your dreams on hold.
Your dreams connect you to your True Selves and inner gifts. Pursuing your dreams is about pursuing your purpose, potential, creativity, authenticity – it gets you into alignment with your most wise, powerful, creative and brave self.
THAT’S the you who knows how to show up and be a part of creating a better world.
But we can’t pretend that white people pursing their dreams is going to change the world. Remember I did just say that as white person I am listening, learning and supporting.
ALL dreams are a source of healing and light, and that the work of growing into your gifts and aligning with your inner wisdom, purpose and power will help you serve the world.
This work will help you process the discomfort of exploring your own inner biases so you CAN stay present with what’s happening in the world while also staying present with your own dreams and creative projects.
This is what creative dreaming is anyway – being that bridge between your dreams and the world.
It doesn’t mean giving up ANYTHING you are doing. It means bringing anti-racism work and perspectives to EVERYTHING you are doing.
Last week everyone was online amplifying melanated voices.
This week it’s time to look at what your next steps are in dismantling white supremacy and creating a world where we are ALL free to live our best lives.
How will you bring this work into your daily life? This isn’t an easy question with an easy answer, it’s a question to really sit with.
And I have one suggestion for you: find your local Black and Indigenous leaders and follow them online. Listen closely to what they are saying.
Let’s keep dreaming of a better world together… and taking steps to make it happen.
We are now in a time of incredible new possibilities.
But first – let me back up because it’s NOT all good right now, I know that. I don’t usually have a lot of anxiety, but I sure have it now.
I am TERRIFIED about how this will impact the most vulnerable people in our society – those with weakened immune systems, the homeless, the addicted, people living with domestic violence, people who are only a paycheque away from being homeless, in Canada a lot of First Nations still don’t have running water and most do not have the infrastructure that settler society has to try to manage the pandemic… All the people our society should really be taking better care of are so much more vulnerable here.
As a highly sensitive person, I feel all of that pain right now. My energy field is so full of stuff that is not mine, clearing it out feels like a full time job.
BUT underneath all of this fear and worry and anxiety I am feeling something totally new waking up.
First of all – I no longer care about the goals I had last week. Which is hilarious to me because I cared SO MUCH about them last week.
But today I’m feeling new possibilities open up, a whole new way of being.
I mean I know I use those words all the time – but now they mean something new.
This time has the opportunity to be the most WILDLY TRANSFORMATIVE time we’ve ever had on this planet.
I have a weekly practice where I take some time to reflect on how the last week has gone, look at what’s happening with my goals and wishes and healing processes, and use what I learn in that process of reflection to decide how I want to show up for the next week.
This practice is what helps me navigate a path that I build as I walk – which is how all dream paths are built. When there is no path beneath your feet to follow, this kind of reflective process is necessary to know where to step next.
Well – this social isolation is an opportunity to reflect.
And it’s a HUGE opportunity to make space for more of what we REALLY want in our lives. It’s actually an opportunity to CHANGE ANYTHING or even EVERYTHING.
As I said, I feel a lot of anxiety right now but in those times when I DO manage to get my energy field clear – I feel GIGANTIC NEW OPPORTUNITIES opening up for us, and I want to jump in there and PLAY.
Your work is needed. Now more than ever.
Healing, coaching, teaching, mentoring, art-making, writing, magicking… this stuff is DESPERATELY NEEDED to help with the transition.
HOW you do your work is 100% up to you – like always!
If you want to go inward and use your practices just to serve yourself at this time – awesome! Do that!
If you want to offer free stuff to help people who are freaking out – awesome! Do that!
If you want to sell your work to help people who are freaking out – awesome! Do that!
YOU are the only expert when it comes to your work. YOU know how it is needed in the world at this time.
Don’t let your fears about money or your worry about the pandemic cloud your judgement.
One thing I will say: I know I am SO worried about the people who are living closer to the edge financial at this time that sometimes I forget to consider how many well paid people are going to have a ton of time on their hands and could really use some healing/coaching/classes/mentoring/art/books.
It is NOT wrong to keep working and selling at this time. Your work is a MEDICINE that the world needs.
I’m NOT saying to be opportunistic about it or use people’s fear to coerce them into buying.
But showing up and offering your gifts is a valid way to move through this time.
For me, it’s ALL I want to to do.
I’m inspired to really SHOW UP and offer my gifts. Like those words means something different today than they did last week.
I have LONG believed and written about how I feel like we’re in a transformative time and that Dream Work is DESPERATELY needed to guide us through. But all of that is on steroids now – it’s like THIS. HERE. NOW. GET TO WORK.
I am SO excited about offering new free stuff AND about how I’m helping people in deeper ways Dream Book.
***Anyone who has time on their hands and wants to use it to support their growth, healing and dreams SHOULD BE IN DREAM BOOK***
So what about you?
Your gifts are needed. Either for yourself or for others.
How can you make space for what wants to come through you at this time? (Which, again, does NOT need to be ambitious – maybe you need deeper rest or quiet incubation time)
What support do you need to make that happen?
All week we’ve been exploring Creative Dreaming VS The End Of The World and all of the unique issues we are facing at this time.
This is hard stuff.
We can GROW THROUGH our challenges and that’s what the world is asking of us right now.
So for today’s episode we’re focusing on moving THROUGH this in a powerful way.
Watch it here:
I’m sharing a new episode every day this week.
So far we have talked about: feeling like you don’t deserve to pursue your dreams when there is so much upheaval in the world, taking better care of yourself when you’re overwhelmed by the news and how to handle the overwhelm we’re feeling so we can act more powerfully.
Tomorrow I’ll be sharing an alchemy meditation for Energy Clearing.
A few years ago, I used to wake up and literally JUMP out of bed, excited to go on new creative adventures.
These days – I tend to wake up with a mild-to-heavy sense of dread.
It’s very disorienting.
Why would I feel this way when I have so much that I am happy about in my life?
Well look at the news.
There is so much chaos in the world.
Of course it’s hard to process all of this and still muster up enthusiasm for our dreams.
We are living in unprecedented times.
The climate changes that are happening now are enough to scare anyone.
There is also a cultural revolution/awakening happening. We’re waking up to the realities of racism, sexism, ableism, homophobia, transphobia… all the destructive ways that power is wielded in our world.
Personally, I’ve been learning more about colonialism and Canadian history from an Indigenous perspective and struggling with what it really means to live on land that was stolen while those it was stolen from are being pushed down by systemic racism.
This is what radical transformation looks like.
Seeing from a new perspective.
Using that new perspective to really SEE where you’ve been messing up so the you can do better.
Taking brave steps and living your new truth.
Being in it is MESSY.
We’re all feeling it.
I mean – how do you keep waking up every morning to pursue your dreams when the world is falling apart around you?
That’s the question I’m seeing asked everywhere these days.
This is what I do:
I make space for the dread I feel when I wake up in the morning.
I do NOT pretend it’s not there, slap on a happy face and go about my day – which is what I want to do most mornings.
I sit with it. I process it.
Like I teach in Creative Dream Alchemy – you use what you’ve got to create what you want.
I wake up with dread and process it to create the clarity and inspiration I need to be able to show up in the most authentic and helpful way I can.
This is all we can do.
SHOW UP in the most authentic and helpful way possible.
I believe that your dreams will always lead you towards this, because they are always leading you towards your True Self.
And I believe that it’s more important than ever to really process our feelings so we stop being so tangled up in our stuff that we can’t show up in the most helpful and authentic way possible.
I have a LOT to say about this.
So I recorded a POP UP PODCAST and video series about it!!
Creative Dreaming VS The End Of The World is a 5 episode podcast + video series to explore all of this in much more depth.
Overwhelm. Self care. Not knowing how to respond to what’s happening.
Not feeling like you DESERVE to have a dream when there is so much shit in the world.
We’re going to explore it all.
It starts Monday, September 23 right here on my blog.
Our dreams need each other. Capitalist and colonialist structures have created a world where some people are held up while others are pushed down. But our dreams need each other. We all NEED everyone’s dreams in order to succeed.
We ALL need a level playing field.
Remember: Your dream is how your soul calls you towards your True Self. It’s bigger than you and it comes from the place where we’re all connected. Our dreams were meant to grow together.
The other day as I was working on new plans for my marketing systems I kept getting SUPER STUCK.
There were layers and layers of stuck, so I got un-stuck and then stuck again and then un-stuck and stuck again. This is just how it is some days, when you allow the Inner Work to inspire and direct the Outer Work.
This was the BIG STICKY STUCK that I found at the bottom of all of those layers:
A blue baby monster that cried “You’re being TERRIBLE AND GREEDY!!!!!!”
That familiar old story that I’m not allowed to want more, I should be grateful for what I have.
(And I am – grateful that is – but that doesn’t mean I don’t also see MORE in my future)
Which is followed by a sense of SHAME for even wanting more.
As I make space for the shame I do start to feel just deeply wildly grateful. It IS amazing that I get to do the work that is more interesting, inspiring and fulfilling to me, AND that I have 100% freedom over HOW I do that work. AND I have an amazing family. I am loved. I am safe. I am healthy. I have my dream home and a kick ass bike. I have everything I need to feel my best.
Honestly, I feel like a 1%-er.
I do totally believe that I am probably HAPPIER than a lot of the 1%-ers. But obviously I am nowhere near a 1%er. Though I am very good with money, and live well without spending tons.
But I FEEL LIKE one. I feel how much more I have than others.
I feel how my path has been EASIER.
Now – it’s not as easy as people tend to THINK.
Some people hear about the work I do and assume I am bankrolled by a parent or spouse, which I have not been – I got married after I had been 100% self employed for 6 years. I built my business on my own. I worked REALLY hard and overcame a LOT of obstacles.
I am an extremely privileged person.
I had a lot of savings because I had a good job, which was fairly easy for me to get. I have a university education which my parents paid for and forced me to have (I did try to drop out at one point and they wouldn’t hear it). I had enough food my whole childhood so my brain could develop properly. I live in a country with free health care.
I owned a home with a low mortgage payment because I used an inheritance I received from my beloved aunt who passed away. Which never felt like a privilege because I would have preferred to have my aunt of course. But now that I understand how many people who pass away and instead of leaving a little money leave a debt for their families to pay for end of life expenses, I see the privilege.
My parents grew up with absolutely nothing and managed to put themselves through university and create a beautiful, stable life for their children.
This left me with the idea that anyone who works hard at it can do the same.
My parents faced a LOT of adversity. And, especially my mother, sacrificed a LOT. But as white people, they ALSO had a lot of privilege.
Now I understand the truth: LOTS of people face adversity and work hard. But some people, no matter how hard they work, continue to have new obstacles placed in front of them, while others can use that hard work to propel themselves into a different economic class.
This is capitalism and colonialism and white supremacy. This is the world we live in and this is the world we DREAM in.
This FACT – that I have privilege which has made it easier to make my dreams real, is making it really hard for me to think about DREAMING BIGGER right now. Which is where that shame comes from.
So I am holding both truths. I DO feel inspired to keep moving forward with my dreams and I DO feel really conflicted about it.
And I DO believe that our dreams connect us with our PURPOSE and POTENTIAL and that we need all the purpose and potential we can get to change this world.
I believe that collectively our dreams will lead us to a better world for all.
AND some days I wonder how me, a privileged person, helping other privileged people make their dreams real really helps the world.
I mean every time I say this out loud to someone, that person quickly responds to remind me of all the things I do that help others.
And I do know my work is valuable, I am not questioning that. I am questioning it’s place in the context of the whole – and I think it’s an important question to sit with and not rush to answer.
I am actually making space for a new and more inclusive approach.
And yes I know the easy answer to this question: some people serve by holding the higher vision of what we are moving towards (which is me, the visionary) and some people serve by helping those who are in the most acute need (my husband, the social worker).
And both are needed and valid forms of help.
But there IS a bit of a stench of spiritual bypass in that it feels like an excuse to stay away from the harder questions.
My husband is an Indigenous social worker. Living with him has opened my eyes to how systemic racism functions in Canada and it breaks my heart. It’s like I always knew it was there but now I live with it.
In my city – where I leave my MacBook Pro and iPad Pro sitting out in coffee shops when I go to the bathroom because I feel that safe here – Indigenous women and girls are NOT SAFE. They are trafficked, kidnapped and murdered at rates that would have the whole city on alert, if it was happening to white women.
I remember when I was growing up, everyone was against Apartheid in South Africa. We couldn’t believe that was happening in our world.
But it was happening in our city too. And it still is happening. It’s just a little more subtle so it’s easier for white people to look away – which allows it to continue.
I cannot pursue my own dreams while ignoring this framework of racism and white supremacy that I grow my dreams in.
I am one person living in a broken system, I can’t change that system.
But white privileged people IGNORING the system actually nurtures the system. So I know that I need to NOT just carry on with my work and ignore what’s happening in the world around me.
I don’t know what else to do right now.
I’m not supposed to have the answers.
All I can have right now is a commitment to keep exploring this. And a willingness to sit with the questions without rushing to answers.
And I will do so publicly because I would like to encourage YOU to explore with me.
Over the last 2 years, I have been working hard on re-thinking my work and creating a whole new framework for how I help creative people make their dreams real.
This kind of re-imagining takes a LOT of energy. So, for the last 2 years, I have had to pull back on other parts of my business. Most notably: marketing.
Whatever your dream is, there are some parts of it that you LOVE to work on and some parts that you don’t love. And, whatever your dream is, your dream NEEDS YOU to take care of it, all parts of it, even the parts you don’t like.
AND you can always bring the magic + love you feel for your dreams and use that energy to fuel the more annoying tasks that just need to get done.
So that’s what I am trying to do now as I’m taking some time to focus on marketing.
Marketing itself isn’t the problem.
Marketing is how you shine your light. It’s how you share the message behind your work with the people who want to hear it.
Marketing is actually pretty fun and interesting. I mean you have total freedom to do it however you want. You can make artwork or videos or a podcast… you can create challenges or throw a party.
There is no limit to HOW you can put the word out there and get people excited about your work.
The problem is all of my internal reactions to marketing.
A few months ago I got a long, angry, ranty email from someone who signed up for my free class and then didn’t even take the class, unsubscribed from my emails, and then a week later decided to respond to one of the emails I had sent before she unsubscribed.
She was upset her friend who had just become a life coach who seemed to care only about the money as she was trying to get a business started. She said she understood that she doesn’t know anything about me or my work but now her whole view of the industry was changed.
She said she couldn’t believe in her own dreams anymore.
This week I want to focus on developing and refining my marketing systems.
I have all sorts of ideas I am really excited about.
But then I think about the sleazy side of online marketing and I think about all the people who are just FED UP with being “sold to” and I worry about not getting too close to the gross stuff and “what if someone thinks I’m sleazy?”
And I get all tangled up and working on marking starts to SEEM very sticky and complicated.
Another problem I have is how marketing in the personal growth/life transformation has become so homogeneous.
How we have somehow developed “Standard Ways Everyone Is Supposed To Do Things”.
I mean, if I see one more “boss babe” who looks like every other “boss base” with that exact same shade of pink branding that they all have trying to sell me my best life I WILL scream!
BUT then there is this other part of my brain that picks up on this, believe that “this is The Way To Do Business Online” and expects ME to fit in and is quickly judging all of my ideas as being “too different”.
And even though I know with 100% certainty that some of those boss babes are actually lying about their success and using “fake it till you make it” as a business strategy, this part of my brain believes that this is the way to run a successful business!
(This is actually deliberate – a lot of “persuasive marketing techniques” are downright manipulation)
The truth is, we have all the space in the world to do things our own way. Infinite creative possibilities.
So this is my mission right now:
Throw all this junk I am thinking/feeling about online marketing into one of those gold panning things and sift out the sleaze until I am left with little nuggets of goodness, the essence of marketing as the way that I shine the light and invite people into the world of the Creative Dream Incubator (which is a pretty amazing world to be a part of!).
And then use those nuggets IN MY UNIQUE WAY.
I don’t have to melt them down to make the same ring everything else is making and then sell it in the same way everyone else is selling it.
I can make something else entirely.
We ALL have that freedom.
Wish me luck!