Creative Entrepreneur

A bad dream, over-working and searching for the light at the end of the tunnel

bad dreams, over-working and the light at the end of the tunnel

My latest update as I move my whole business and learn tons of things in the process.

I had a pretty trippy dream last night.

It had some traumatic elements and some really fun elements woven together in that weird dream way - like Simone Grace was the person letting people in to the Canadian Video Music Awards, and I recognized her but she didn’t recognize me, but she did let me in!

But the main theme of the dream was betrayal, like betrayals on top of betrayals. And that left me feeling pretty uncomfortable this morning - kind of raw and sad, without knowing why.

My first reaction to waking up feeling this way is “NO! I can’t! I have so much to do that really needs clear-headedness today!

But of course you can’t just “No I can’t!” your feelings away, not even dream-feelings. So I’m just sitting here, being with that feeling so I can process it and not have it interfere with my day.

First there is this rush to bullet-proof my life somehow to make sure I am never betrayed.

Then concern that I am being betrayed and I don’t know where and maybe this dream is trying to tell me something.

But the feelings starts to shift around and change when I come to: people are going to do what they’re going to do and I can’t control that, I actually trust myself to take care of myself whatever happens...

It’s the places where I betray MYSELF that are really brutal.

Then I feel a sense of forgiveness.

I’m realizing I have felt betrayed by the person who I was trusting with my online business operations. And that somewhere inside myself, I have blamed ME for making a wrong choice. Six years of 100% depending on them to keep everything operational… to then see that all the little red flags of course DO add up to something and they are NOT trustworthy.

But I’m not 100% sure I placed my trust in the wrong place, I believe I did the best I could with what I knew at the time AND this situation HAS taught me and next time I think I’ll see the truth sooner.

The act of taking my power back and taking control of this aspect of my business is… well not to be dramatic about it but it’s actually FLATTENING ME right now.

The volume of decisions to be made, the level of detail - my already-Covid-lessenened-mental-capacity is not up for this task.

At the same time, my creative self is THRILLED.

My dreams are THRILLED.

Yes, this is a rough patch where my dream is stretching me - but I've been in these places before and they always lead to something good. Like, this is how my dreams grow me, it’s always worked like this and by now I can trust the process.

So it’s kind of a weird place to be, of trusting the process AND being flattened by it at the same time.

The way I feel flattened right now - that’s similar to how the betrayal on betrayal felt in the dream.

Like I did betray myself to end up in this place?

Absolutely not.

I think that’s the toxic positivity+ love + light culture speaking.

That sense that if things are hard now that means I did something wrong. I wasn’t positive or loving enough so I am out of the flow. I am to blame. That’s bullshit but it’s so pervasive in our culture where we blame people for their hard knocks.

The thing is, this rough spot I’m in right now is GOOD. It’s the exact right place for me to be right now.

I’m being grown in the ways I need to grow to get to the next level.

This new online classroom I am creating is a HUGE “up levelling” for the Creative Dream Incubator. I get to create the VIBE and I am LOVING that.

And I get to decide how all of the behind-the-scenes stuff works in terms of how classes are delivered and accessed and this is REALLY cool because my classes are actually CONTAINERS FOR TRANSFORMATION so this way I get to set them up to be more flexible to support all the wild and wonderful and strange ways your transformation will occur.

I love that part.

It’s just that building more flexible systems is exponentially more work.

And I do want ME to be the one doing this work, building the container. Usually people hire experts to do this kind of work.

It’s kind of funny that I do have the skills for this. I have a Bachelor of Applied Arts in Fashion Design, I took a lot of courses in the elements and principles of design (which work for websites the same as for fashion) and visual communication. I taught myself html after university (which is easy to do online). I learned how to use Beaver Builder for WordPress a few years ago - a theme that allows me to put my ideas onto the pages of my website. I also learned how automations work to deliver course content over the last few years.

I have everything I need to do this.

OK wow.

I started writing this to help me process the feelings from my dream and now those feelings have cleared, I feel plugged back into my purpose + passion for this project and ready to get to work.

I think I am 1-2 weeks away from the move! But I thought the same thing 1 week ago, so who knows? When I get REALLY close, I will close registration for Dream Book, and will open it back up after everyone is moved.

Calling myself out for believing my own bullshit

I started seeing the world differently about four years ago, and then I started re-creating my work to match my new understanding of how the world is and my vision for what the world can be.

The more I learn about how colonialism and the patriarchy and capitalism and white supremacy function in the world, and all of the different forms of systemic oppression they create - the more I wanted to make my work DEEPER and STRONGER to help people free themselves from the toxicity of all of that.

Because this is NOT who we ARE.

One of the things that’s always pissed me off about the Live Your Best Life Industry is the spiritual by-passing.

I see how much the spiritual by-passing only serves to help privileged people focus on manifesting what they want for themselves while ignoring the role they play in maintaining systems of oppression in our society. I used to think it was ineffective and lame. Now I see it’s fucking DANGEROUS.

So, I've always understood that the world we live in is hostile to dreams, and that a huge part of making a dream real is this inner work of healing all the bullshit stories you have about yourself and who you really are and what your potential actually is, which you picked up from living in such a toxic culture.

But over the last four years I started to see it all much more clearly.

I started to see the connections between our personal growth and political systems and structures of oppression.

All of this learning has helped me feel so much more hopeful about how to create a better future for everyone. And more sure of my role in this as a teacher in the Live Your Best Life Industry.

Onto my bullshit story… after spending a few years re-creating my approach to teaching I felt like… I don’t know how to sell this.

I don’t know how to be marketing in capitalist systems when I want my work to be a part of helping people un-hook from the toxicity of capitalism and colonialism and the patriarchy.

And for a while now I've been in this story of… I am figuring out how to sell this.

Which keeps me in a place of… I don’t know how to sell this.

Which, today I just noticed, is 100% bullshit.

I do know how to sell my work because I DO sell my work. My work has been financially supporting me for almost 10 years.

But a part of me has been clinging to this “I don’t know how to sell this” story.

One of the ways I changed how I teach is that instead of teaching classes on different topics I now focus on helping people develop a daily/regular practice that fits into your life AND creates a MUCH deeper container for healing and growth.

Because otherwise you don’t notice where you’re living in a bullshit story!!!! Bullshit stories are GENIUS at making themselves feel true.

It’s my daily practice, and showing up each day to write about my practice in our private daily online mastermind blog, where I noticed… wow I’ve been repeating myself about this “I don’t know how to sell this”. What’s up with that?

The good thing about bullshit stories is that they don’t hold up well to that kind of examination.

Once you look them in the eye you see it’s all smoke and mirrors.

Because this part "I don’t know how to be marketing in capitalist systems when I want my work to be a part of helping people un-hook from the toxicity of capitalism and colonialism and the patriarchy.” IS FUCKING NONSENSE.

I mean the answer is obvious.

Authenticity.

Honesty.

Creativity.

Inspiration.

Integrity.

Living and working in alignment with my values.

THAT is how you market heartfelt creative work. BY BEING HEARTFELT AND CREATIVE IN HOW YOU PUT IT OUT THERE.

It’s NOT a mystery.

Yes, there are *so many* different tactics and strategies and approaches you can take. But you CAN see these as an art studio full of art supplies, each one does different things, and you get to pick and choose which ones to use and how to use them to create your own masterpiece.

And you get to experiment and try new things.

And you get to learn as you experiment and try new things.

And take what you learned and apply it to your next experiment.

So, this is me putting down my bullshit story about not knowing how to sell my work.

I LOVE what I’m doing.

I LOVE the insights and healings that happen all the time in the Creative Dream Circle.

And I LOVE my ideas for how to keep inviting YOU to join me in all of this magic.

Because there’s nothing better than that feeling of spotting a bullshit story that you’ve been living in, and then putting it down.

It feels like freedom and healing and love and joy all wrapped up in a burst of glitter.

And each bullshit story you put down moves you closer to your true self, who is POWERFUL and WISE and CREATIVE beyond measure.

That’s what I’m here for.

I am taking my power back and I didn’t even know I had given it away.

Every month I do a new moon alchemy circle + creative coaching call. During the June call I had this huge realisation...

I have a pattern of choosing "the easiest and/or simplest thing" instead of "the thing that will help me reach my goals".

😳

Like, I had NO CLUE I was doing this. I see myself as a person who pursues her dreams and goals wholeheartedly.

I felt really uncomfortable to see it, to notice where my own self concept is not allowing me to see what I am actually doing.

(We're ALL doing this, all the time btw 😉

This is why it's so important that we not force ourselves to heal or grow or to push ourselves into any kind of mould of who we think we are supposed to be.

The Live Your Best Life Industry is full of this! It's all about deciding what "living your best life" means and then shoving yourself into that shape. It’s violent and it’s dangerous. And it ignores just how hard it is to REALLY know what you want. And the fact that we you grow and change, so do your desires.

As an aside - so many people come into Dream Book feeling vulnerable and ashamed because they don't know what their dream is. I know I feel it too sometimes! But the idea that we're supposed to always know what we want is BULLSHIT. We're NOT supposed to always know what we want. The process of exploring is vital. Staying in a place of KNOWING and being CERTAIN means staying in a place of STAGNATION. Being wiling to not know, being willing to explore and grow... that's where the magic happens.

Magic, healing, growth - they all REQUIRE vulnerability and uncertainly and willingness to explore and be open. Spiritual belief systems that treat the universe like a giant vending machine that grants your wishes if you wish right bypass all of the magic, healing and growth that are actually possible for you.

But let me get back to my story.

So I explored this new pattern of mine where I choose "the simple thing" over "the thing that would help me reach my goal."

I know it's possible to just "change your mind" about a thing and instantly shift your perspective and your actions and your outcomes.

I also know that that approach can be nothing more than shoving yourself into your ego-created ideas of who you should be and what you should want. That's not what I want for myself.

So I explored GENTLY. Staying open, curious and loving. I used the tools I teach in Dream Book. I made space to just BE WITH the pattern, exploring my feelings about it, getting to know it. Not trying to CHANGE it.

Anything that is not your truth will unravel and dissolve or change into something true - when you give it your love and attention.

This is why I think the Inner Work and Dream Work NEED to be a daily, or regular, practice for anyone who is wholeheartedly pursuing their dreams. And the further you are along the path the more you need to practice 😉

And when you are doing this work you don’t even always realize or understand how everything is interconnected. You pull at at one tiny thread and it can unravel and change your whole life.

Because at the same time all of the stuff happen in terms of me moving my business which I thought was just a simple choice to use one piece of software instead of another one...

But now that I am in the process of moving, now that I am building a whole new home for my work, I’m starting to understand where the tools I have been using have been holding me back... because of that choice to keep my systems SIMPLE.

Like I am stunned by how much I have been held back by the tools I've been using. I am stunned by how much I have given my power away without even knowing it.

And in all of this surprise and shock I'm also feeling so much joy, so much ALIVENESS and so much freedom.

A LOT of energy has just been freed up for me, in the transformation of this pattern. I feel wildly energized which is really helpful because I have so much work to do getting this new site set up.

This is NOT to say that everyone who uses simple tools like the ones I've been using is being held back!!!

Absolutely not.

There are EXTREMELY GOOD REASONS to choose simple tools. And you can absolutely succeed in any way you choose to using any tool you choose! I wholeheartedly believe that.

But - I had an UNCONSCIOUS pattern of choosing easy/simple over effective. So my decision making process was impacted by this in ways I couldn't see.

So - for where I am now - with an eight year old membership site and a new course where I hold DEEP space for DEEP work - in an ongoing way (Dream Book baby!!!!) these are not the right tools for me.

Or another way I can look at it is - I am ready to step into my NEXT LEVEL of how I offer my work.

When I think of it in this way I don't feel shame or embarrassment about not having seen this pattern sooner, I just feel excited to let it go now.

You just NEVER KNOW what kind of changes will be sparked by doing the Inner Work.

So this is why I am I advocate and create and hold space for people to do this work in a wholehearted and CONSISTENT way.

We don’t know what we don’t know.

WE don't see out own blind spots anywhere near as well as we think we do.

And the further along we go on the path the more we start to think we DO know what we don't know - and that stops us from learning!

So that’s why we need to keep practicing, keep exploring, because there’s so much more for us.

I am moving my business. We can grow our dreams AND help change the world at the same time.

nothing can stop me

(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.

Behind the Scenes Right Now in my Business

I believe we could learn much more from EACH OTHER, from sharing our honest stories with our fellow creative/spiritual entrepreneurs, than we can learn from the "online business experts".

This is still a VERY new thing, selling coaching/courses/mentoring/healing on the internet.

And there IS NO ONE RIGHT WAY TO DO THIS. (As much as the very noisy ads in my social media streams tell me otherwise). 

We have SO MUCH freedom and opportunity to create our businesses in our own way.

Last year a lot of my business fell apart. It was a perfect storm of "things that never go wrong" going wrong one after another.

As a result I lost the web traffic I'd built up over 10 years of blogging and working on SEO - Google was sending me thousands of new people every month and then it just dried up.

At the time it was scary, but it ALSO felt like... this is happening for a reason. It felt like now that I've learned everything I've learned I can re-build everything better.

And I did.

I re-built my traffic without paid ads, using Pinterest.

For me, Pinterest is the easiest way to be found by new people right now. Creatives have a HUGE advantage on Pinterest! I mean - once you get going it does not take a lot of time to make dozens of pins.

I am pinning 8-10 times a day. I DO pin my pins multiple times by pinning them to different boards, so I don't need 8-10 totally new pins every day. I also re-pin some content, but honestly I mostly pin my own stuff.

I also make the same pin with different coloured backgrounds, or just make small changes - as I said, once you get going it's very easy to make lots of pins quickly. I use my own photos and sometimes stock photos and mostly use my own drawings. It's creative play time - I just use whatever feels inspiring in the moment.

It is important to use the key words in the descriptions that match what people would be searching for.

I'm not just pinning everything all at once. The pins go out on a schedule, one at a time at peak times. The "re-pins" are always at least 6 day apart from each other (except once in a while when I screw that part up, lol). And twice a day I pin an invitation to sign up for my email list.

Every few months I look at the analytics - just looking at which pins generate the most traffic - and re-pin them or sometimes make more similar pins to those.

This takes some time, but it's pretty EASY to do and it works.

The only thing is you probably can't do all this pinning and re-pinning on your own.

The Tailwind app makes it SUPER EASY - it schedules pins, you decide how much space to put in between "re-pins" when you pin to multiple boards, and gives you easy analytics to know which pins are doing well and should be re-pinned more.

You can try it for free for a mounth here (and I get a discount on my paid Tailwind account if you do). I'm happy to pay for Tailwind - it's WAY cheaper than running ads and helps SO MUCH.

For example, right now this pin is doing amazing, sending a steady stream of new people signing up for my free healing circle.

Pins have a LONG life-cycle. Pins can be found and get popular years later. You never know when a pin will get popular - but the odds of having popular pins go up dramatically when you're making lots of pins!!

You can see what I'm pinning on my Pinterest here.

And having a good search ranking on Pinterest helps you on Google too so I am seeing my Google traffic growing now too.

The numbers are tiny compared to what they used to be... but my conversation rates are SO MUCH HIGHER.

I'm getting a few thousand new people to my website each month, which is not a lot in the internet business world.

But because I am drawing in the RIGHT PEOPLE now more of them get engaged with my work.

And I don't have to pay the extra hosting fees I used to have to pay to have a higher traffic website.

So that's how I got my traffic flow back up. I also made other changes.

When things fell apart I realized to keep my business going I needed to close up all of the "energy leaks"

For example, I looked at WHERE traffic was going, and I turned EVERY one of my popular blog posts into a call to action to join my email list.

This helped keep my list growing even while traffic was stagnant.

I also created more than one "freebie offer" for people on my email list. And I want to create more and more!

Since I am getting Pinterest traffic to specific blog posts/pages, not necessarily to the main page of my website, people are coming *for a specific reason* so I offer a free thing *that helps with that specific thing* and then during the free thing they get to know me and my work and I share how my paid thing can help *with the specific thing they signed up for*.

This is basic marketing stuff. Know your audience and be clear about how you can help them.

In our creative/spiritual/change-you-life kind of work, there is often no "one clear way" that you help people. So it can be hard to use traditional marketing advice.

Having MULTIPLE ways in feels like a really good solution. I learned that from Libby Dickerson. I HIGHLY recommend her book!

In my case: A person who has already made their dreams real and is looking at how to navigate the next level wants to hear something different from a person who is totally stuck making their first dream real. But Dream Book can help them both equally, so having different freebie offers for each of them means I can speak to each of them about the work differently.

Yes this is a LOT of work to set up. But each time you set up a new way in, you've got it for as long as you want to keep using it. And you never know when a pin leading to a freebie will go viral 😉

My goal this year is to keep making new freebies for different problems that my work can solve.

About the money:

Yes, having things fall apart last spring did mean my income dropped quickly.

I had already been in a position for the 2 years before that where I was spending less time on marketing/sales and more time on developing a whole new of offering my work.

I was in a position to do that because I did have more than enough money coming in, and it was REALLY important to me then (I'm talking 2017) to re-evaluate what I was doing and how I was doing it. That re-evaluation led to a LONG creative growth process which led to me re-creating my work.

I needed a LOT of time/space to do that work. I am so grateful that the Creative Dream Circle kept me going... It was easy for me to keep showing up for the people there, doing coaching calls and classes - it was NOT easy for me to keep marketing/selling to have new people joining.

So I pulled back from my public stuff to focus on creating the new stuff. I thought that would take like 6 months and it took 2 years.

Then, when I started to feel ready to go back out into the world, everything fell apart and it felt like I didn't have the same mechanisms in place to BE back out there with my work.

It was a scary place to be!

But I am a SAVER. I had lots of cash savings but I felt afraid/ashamed to rely on them to support me.

And the Creative Dream Circle kept supporting me and I actually didn't need to use my savings until a little later when my business threw me ANOTHER curveball.

Scary as this place was, my intuition was clear: this was an opportunity.

All of the explorations I had been doing LED ME TO THIS. That my next steps were to re-build in a better way.

This leads to the biggest thing that changed while I was re-building my business: my INNER relationship to my work.

In that place of having to re-build this thing that meant the world to me, I did wonder if it was time to just pack it in. I explored a LOT of really dark stuff there. But giving up never felt right, so I kept going.

I see now that that dark scary place was a turning point.

After 2 years of re-evaluating and re-creating how I want to do my work, and then looking at re-building the whole thing... I grew in my sense of TRUST in my work. I grew my trust in myself. I became more committed to my big dreams.

There is this palpable inner shift that I still can't put into words.

And that's the place where I realized - the TWO FREAKING YEARS of re-evaluating and re-creating WERE NOT ENOUGH. I still wasn't there, I still wasn't where I wanted to be with my work.

That's when I saw DREAM BOOK.

Dream Book was an idea I'd started playing with in 2017 and I could never get it to fit in with the Creative Dream Alchemy framework I was creating at the time.

Dream Book needed 6 more months of extreme focus to become what it was supposed to be: a container for the work and also a bridge that meets you where you are and brings you to where you want to be and also an elevator to take you deeper into your process.

Dream Book is not like anything else.

BUT this is coming after TWO YEARS of not focusing on sales and marketing and then a few months focusing on re-building things that fell apart - THIS is where I had to choose: keep working on this new project and dig into my savings to do it or get out there and get my business more visible.

My intuition was clear. Dream Book will pay off.

This is an EVOLUTIONARY LEAP in my work.

During this time I was so frustrated by how much time and work everything took.

But looking back I am amazed I took such a huge leap so quickly.

And ALL OF IT contributed to my growth: things falling apart, learning to re-build, re-evaluating and re-creating my work, needing to summon deeper trust than I knew I had.

This is the DEEP WORK of entrepreneurship. This is beyond money and recognition this is about evolutionary growth.

Before I started my business I already had 4 years of training as a spiritual counsellor, plus a 4 year degree in applied arts, plus numerous trainings in emotional processing and intuitive development PLUS I had been doing my own creativity workshops and meditation circles for about 3 years.

It's not like I started out inexperienced or untrained when I went full time with the Creative Dream Incubator in 2011. It's not like I hadn't already spent a lot of time developing my work.

It's that the growth is never finished.

Where I am now feels so much more stable and secure than I have ever felt. It's a new level.

This was worth digging into my savings for (which I am already starting to replace because as a self employed highly sensitive person who is easily overwhelmed having a cushion of cash is important for my wellbeing).

And now I have something - Dream Book - that I feel 100% sure about. I've also got people emailing me in tears every week to tell me how this is changing their lives.

It feels EASY to keep growing everything now because of how much I believe in my work.

And it feels SOLID and TRUE and all the hard stuff I went through contributed to how clear I feel now.

The online marking gurus keep trying to sell us the easy way. But real growth isn't always easy.

And trying to keep things easy also can keep you from the evolutionary growth that is calling you.

So that's the behind the scenes of what I've been doing these last few years.

I am feeling so excited about 2020 and how I want to SHOW UP in the world with my work. And I'm still working out the details of what that will actually look like.

On Taking The LEAP Into Your Dream

I was asked for my tips, tricks and advice for how to navigate that space when you're getting ready to quit your job and LEAP into your dream.

I was approached by someone who is getting ready to leave her job to do her dream full time. She's been building up her creative work for some time, now she's rented a studio and is gearing up to quit her job. But in the meantime - she has to keep working full time.

So she asked me for tips or suggestions for navigating this part of the path - where she's got to keep showing up to work full time WHILE ALSO pushing her business into full time.

This is a hard place to be and temporary sacrifices to have to be made. BUT there are also LOTS of things you can do to make the transition easier.

And that's what today's new video is all about!

 

As I said in the Video: I WOULD LOVE TO HELP YOU WITH THIS!!

Check out Dream Book here.

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I failed at ALL of my goals for 2019.

I did literally fail at ALL of my goals for 2019 and, upon reflection, this is a VERY GOOD THING.

I have a lot to say about how wholeheartedly and enthusiastically pursuing our goals can move us towards our dreams - regardless of it we reach the goals or not.

So.... as I shared yesterday, I failed at ALL my goals for 2019.

Last week I did a Circle of Reflection + Release in the Creative Dream Circle - we got together on Zoom to reflect on 2019, to explore and honour all the things we learned, all the ways we grew, and to release the things that we don't want to carry with us into 2020.

This call was difficult for me to do.

As a space-holder for this kind of work, my own practice becomes a part of the container... the call can't be a container for exploring things that I can't face myself. So i had to face some hard stuff...

All of my goals for this year crashed and burned by spring.

And as they crashed and burned they took some other things with them. My website was hacked multiple times and though I could recover the content from backups, by the end I couldn't re-build where I was, so I had to move everything AND my SEO was lost.

(SEO = Search Engine Optimization. 10 years of blogging and building my SEO meant that Google used to send me thousands of new people every month so I had new customers coming to me all the time without me working at finding them which is a total dream-come-true way to run a business. That's gone now.)

The company that I moved my website TO (Simplero) promised me that my SEO would improve in the move and instead it was completely trashed. For months I expected them to do the right thing and fix it while they just ignored it.

And then some other tech stuff went wrong and I was so focused on re-building while also continuing to do my work in the Creative Dream Circle - that I forgot all about my goals for 2019.

I had to sit with how painful and scary and embarrassing it was, to have ALL of my goals fail like this. But once I'd done that, and spent time grieving and offering love to the parts of me who felt wounded by this experience, I saw everything more clearly.

The crash, burn and destruction of so much of my work that happened this year was an opportunity to do things differently.

There are times when what you have needs to fall apart to make space for what you want.

Sometimes this is obvious. You've got to dump the crappy partner if you want to be able to find a good one.

Sometimes, like in this case, it's more subtle.

The day, last spring, when I saw that all this stuff I had spent so long building had all fallen apart, I was devastated. I still remember how that felt, feeling like it was all gone, and there was no more hope.

I felt like not only had I failed at my dreams but I'd failed every person I'd taught over the years

Because if I can't keep my dreams going then how is there any value in what I am teaching? Am I just leading people astray? It was very hard.

But I only stayed in that place for 1 day, because as I sat with those feelings and tried to bring light, comfort, love and safety to those parts of me who needed healing so badly -  I saw that none of it was true.

It wasn't gone. I hadn't failed. There was still oodles of hope.

And then I found the biggest truth: I built all of this. I can re-build it all better now.

When that idea came to me, it felt different. It felt true. It felt like a doorway and as I went through the doorway I saw that I had built everything in my business without knowing what I was doing!

I was trial-and-erroring my way long. I was following inspiration and doing creative experiments. And the results of all of that turned into the business I built.

Ten years of trial and error and inspiration and experiments have actually taught me a lot.

I DO know what I'm doing now, in some ways anyway. I certainly know TONS more than I knew 10 years ago.

And then I knew that I could re-build SO MUCH BETTER.

Then I knew that the falling apart was a gift because it created space for me to re-build.

None of this was easy. Dreams aren't easy.

Oh course, I was in a good position to have some parts of my business fall apart because other parts did not fall apart. I still have long-term Creative Dream Circle members and I even had wonderful new people finding us and joining - just not as many new people as I usually get.

So yes I made less money this year.

But I'm a saver, and I am in this for the long term, so I have savings put aside especially for helping me through any lean times that may come up. I know that of course there will be ups and downs in business so it just makes sense to save for the down times... though it was hard to actually USE some of this savings because that made me feel like I was failing again.

But now that I am through that part, I feel so grateful to have had that space to focus on re-building. To really explore how to make all better.

I mean - my own experience in my business: my schedule and routines and how I show up for the work and how I am supported in that. And also my customer's experience with my business. We do DEEP transformational work so it is SO easy to get caught up in resistance or tangled up in fears and doubts and just give up. How do I build an even sturdier container for their process of growth and healing?

These explorations gave me a whole new way of relating to my work and I am SO EXCITED about the changes I have made as a result.

Where I am now feels LIGHT YEARS away from the goals I had set for myself at the end of 2018.

Had I accomplished my original goals for 2019, I don't think I'd be in such a rich place with my dreams right now. Working with your dreams means tapping into something bigger than yourself.

That part of me who set goals for 2019 was ready to GROW! I am so grateful for everything she did because it did lead me to here.

Are you ready for some year-end reflecting?

My Creative Journal Prompts for the New Year are on my blog right here.

It's a LONG series of prompts for reflection back on 2019 and looking ahead to what you want to create in 2020.

Watch now: Make Your (Business, Career, Personal) Dream Real

This class was so sweet! It was a real treat to teach with Jodie.

In this 37 minute class, we explore the 5 myths and 3 truths you need to understand to be able to make your dream real, and share 1 essential practice for breaking through obstacles and getting to your dream.

Watch it now:

 

What’s next?

  • Jodie has a free ‘Incredible You’ Guided Meditation that helps you to connect to the truth of you and your dream.
  • Jodie also offers 1 on 1 sessions to help you to go deeper to overcome those inner blocks that are holding you back from your dream so you can enjoy more success and fulfilment  without stressing out or burning out.
  • I send free emails to help you be more BRAVE with your dreams
  • And my amazing Dream Book: a totally new approach to journaling that helps you navigate the path with more COURAGE, POWER and EASE.

And those journal prompts we talk about in the class?

Here they are:

  • What’s your biggest takeaway from the class?
  • What are you avoiding?
  • What is your inner wisdom guiding you towards?
  • What does your true creative power need you to tap into right now?
  • What’s your next step? 

I set a big goal and it was a big flop

It's good to fail.

You already know this. The internet is full of memes about the magic of failing and yet... the truth is sometimes failing just feels like failure and it's a shitty feeling.

Last month I set a really big goal for myself. A goal that make me laugh it was so ridiculous.

It happened during the monthly alchemy + coaching call I lead in the Creative Dream Circle. I was really feeling the magic and this big, ridiculous goal just came to me.

And I said yes to it, with my whole heart.

It felt funny, it felt ridiculous, but it also felt inspiring.

So I really went after it....

And I failed spectacularly.

But I feel like a success because I spent the month PLAYING WITH this way of dreaming bigger and thinking bigger.

Sure, nothing changed for me in the outer world but working with this big goal for a month absolutely ROCKED my inner world.

It showed me more clearly where and how and why I hold back.

It showed me more clearly what I want next for my life.

I feel deeply changed by this experience.

And it inspired a whole new way of relating to my work, it inspired a whole new way of putting myself out there, which I am now excited to start working on.

Right now, I'm so glad I went for the big goal and failed. It put me on an amazing new path.

But of course there have been times in the past when I have set smaller, more reasonable goals, and I failed miserably and FELT LIKE a huge failure.

This is just the nature of dreaming.

You set a goal for yourself, you aim to move yourself in a specific direction, and then... well almost no one ends up exactly where they set out to be.

You end up where you end up.

And the important work is what happens next.

(This is also why it's important to put DATES on your goals, or else they just kind of fade away into oblivion)

The important work comes after you've set the goal and.. you end up where you end up.

If you process your feelings about where you ended up, you WILL find a gift in it. The gift could be clarity about what you REALLY want or a deeper understanding of where you hold back with your dreams or coming face to face with the thing in you that needs healing so you CAN move forward, it could be something entirely different.

But there is always a gift.

And when you process your feelings and receive that gift, then you can use the gift to set the next goal and move towards it.

It's this long term process of setting goals, then looking back on what happened with the goal, processing all of your feelings about that, listening to your inner wisdom about what to do next, and then setting the next goal.

THEN REPEAT.

It's a circle.

If you're just setting random goals and not looking back, reflecting, processing, connecting to inner wisdom and using all of this information to set the next goal then... you're not going to create any kind of momentum towards your dream.

You need to connect the circle. And then keep moving in it.... so it becomes a wheel.

You absolutely cannot fail as long as you stay engaged in this way.

It will take the time it takes, but you WILL get there if you stay on the path.

This is why I do a monthly call in the Creative Dream Circle.

We do alchemy work to connect more deeply with our intuition and dreams, reflect on last month's goals, process our feelings about what's happening, and use everything we learned to set a goal for the next month.

We do this *every month*

And each month we go deeper and deeper into it. (And yes everybody misses a month here and there, that's fine... as long as you keep coming back to it)

So THAT is why I could set this ridiculously HUGE goal, and fail spectacularly at it, and receive healing and inspiration from that experience instead of feeling like a failure.

That's why I am moving forward with more inspiration and clarity than I had before I failed at my goal.

You NEED to be able to fail in order to get your dream.

If every time you fail that knocks you off the path - you're not going to get there. If failure is knocking you off the path then you need more support for processing the failures.

Again - I can help you with this! The Creative Dream Circle is full of tools for working through this stuff.