Healing

This is a healing

Photo: day 1 of my new expanded art + writing practice. I set up a space on the floor in front of the giant window (where I can watch the sunrise while I write, paint and draw every morning this winter). My feet standing on a rainbow rug, with a sketchbook and paint pens and pillows all around.

We had a Zoom call yesterday in Dream Book and one theme came up over and over: how fucking PAINFUL it is to be disconnected from your dream.

Whether it's your life interfering and not giving you the time/space you need to do what you want to do, or having a lot of self doubt or insecurity about being good enough, or not actually knowing what it is your dream is.

It all hurts. And it can be surprising, how much it hurts.

Your dreams are a part of you. You need to feel connected to them to feel whole.

This doesn't mean everyone needs to write a NYT bestselling book, for example. It means everyone should have the encouragement and space they need to write, or create whatever it is they are dreaming of.

It's not about the outcomes. The act of engaging with our dreams helps us feel more whole.

So, yeah. Any time that is blocked, whether by internal or external forces, this is going to be painful.

It's because our dreams are so vulnerable and so valuable that disconnection from them can feel so.... big.

And we live in a world that doesn't really have language for this which makes it feel more complicated.

So at the end of the call, I heard over and over about how this call was a healing. That having this pain be validated and hearing that others feel it too felt like a healing. Without trying to CHANGE the pain, simply by HONOURING it.

So I wanted to offer that to you too.

Your dreams matter. They deserve to take up space in your life.

Our next live call in Dream Book is happening on Oct 12. I hope to see YOU, and YOUR DREAMS there in the circle.

Being powerful enough to face the fear

We are doing the 30 day journaling + meditation invitation for the month of August. An explanation of this project is here. I'll be posting an update here every day (M-F) for the month of August and I'm also doing short videos on Instagram to share things I am learning along the way.\

And check out the new Creative Dream Incubator RedBubble shop! THE MOST encouraging notebooks, zipper pouches, mugs, magnets, stickers + art prints.

Today I'm back in the tangles. In a very good way.

This week I talked about how doing this work doesn’t necessarily change anything in your outer life - at first. And to be patient with that part, focus on showing up for the practice, and let any change come in it’s own time.

Today I set a totally new boundary with the most difficult person in my life.

I didn’t tell them, because they are hostile and erratic right now, and I know me speaking my truth would set them off. But I have MADE the boundary. I feel it. I am holding it - I am dis-engaging in a way I have never been willing to do before.

This is my most powerful self in action.

Protecting my most creative self, and holding space for her to have what she needs.

This also creates space for my most magnetic self to shine.

I have shied away from really exploring what/who my most magnetic self even means.

I have had a lot of other things to explore. AND I have been avoiding it a bit. And I was writing that part above I realized - ok now is time to look at it.

I didn’t pick the words: creative powerful magnetic.

My dream sent them to me, with this invitation to explore them deeper, and to invite you to explore with me.

I did a 4 year training program to be a spiritual teacher in an organization that teaches the law of attraction. Though at this point that feels like a lifetime ago.

I do understand the law of attraction teachings much better than the average “law of attraction coach”. AND I shy away from “magnetic”.

There are *so many* problematic issues with how the law of attraction is taught, and in the communities that are created around it.

Does that mean I don’t think we can be magnetic AF? No.

And I know that our creative work is especially magnetic. It has the power to draw it’s right people to it.

Still, a part of me feels annoyed with my dream for sending me this word. Another part of me feels sooooo excited to explore it. Another part of me want to be cautious, and figure out some ground rules.

I’m taking this “‘let’s be cautious” me into the Un-Sticking Station.

(This is one of the tools we use in Dream Book. for un-sticking the inner obstacles. I use this one all the time.)

So, hey. I don’t necessarily disagree with being cautious, but you have such a strong “whoa be careful” vibe going on there, I’d love to discuss this. What do you think?

I think we need to be careful.

Sure. What is it that we are being careful ABOUT?

Speaking about “drawing things to you” like a clueless ass. Giving the impression that oppressive systems don’t play a role in how our lives play out, it's all just our thoughts. Supporting the idea that you can spiritual by-pass your way into your dreams, and that if you haven’t done that yet, it’s all your fault because you think wrong. Being super trauma-un-informed and blind about privilege.

Oh yes, I don’t want to do any of those things.

But those things are happening amongst the people who are taking about “being more magnetic”. How will you be different?

By being me.

How is that enough?

It’s not, necessarily, enough. I get that. There are all of these… ways of seeing…. In that whole community and it’s hard to talk about being magnetic with plugging into those ways of seeing. I want to talk about it in a totally different way - which is actually what I DO, when help people plug in deeper to their own power, creativity and wisdom.

But you don’t use words like magnetic out in public. Using this word brings us into new territory.

Yes, but it wasn’t me who picked the world. Our dream picked the word. And we trust our dream, right?

Well. Fuck.

Yeah, I hear that. But can’t do Dream Work with conditions. Partnering with your dream means PARTNERING. Not cherry-picking what parts I want to hear. Not that I have to obey it either, but this doesn’t feel a like a case where I need to push back against my dream. It feels right to explore this. AND a part of it feels scary. So let’s explore WHAT is scary about it more deeply, so we know what to do about it.

It’s just scary to be misunderstood. To be lumped in with something that is against my values.

True. AND every time I write about myself online, I am misunderstood.

Well, yeah. But I think this will be more extreme. And that’s scary.

You’re right. Also I don’t want to write defensively and constantly saying “I’m not talking about ignoring the role privilege plays in manifesting, or victim blaming or spiritual bypassing”

Yeah that’s the other fear. That I can’t write coherently because of that.

OK sitting with this, a new feeling is stirring.

I feel excited to do this. Excited to try anyway, to find a way to talk about “feeling like a dream magnet” without plugging into unconscious privilege or spiritual bypass.

Because it IS easier for people with more intersections of privilege to draw their dreams to them. So we NEED more people with fewer intersects of privilege to become more magnetic for their dreams - because everyone’s dreams are needed and the world is SO lopsided right now.

And I actually now A LOT about this. The tangle is: talking about it IN PUBLIC. Inside Dream Book this is actually what I do every day.

WOW.

This feels completely different right now. I feel energized and inspired.

I bet you anything tomorrow I will write something helpful about FEELING MAGNETIC.

Being in the goo

I had this transformation all planned out.

A summer of slowing down. Burnout recovery. Creating a whole new relationship with my creativity and productivity. Naps, journaling, making art, eating amazing salads while also moving my workspace upstairs and creating space for my new E X P A N D E D art and writing practice.

Nothing is going according to plan. Except naps and salad, I have that part down.

I mean I have taught this long enough to know - if your "transformation" is going according to plan, you are not actually transforming anything.

So I am taking that as a good sign.

There's a lot I want to say.

I think there's a lot we all really should be talking about, in terms of sharing how this time is impacting us, the ways we choose to respond to that, and the healing that we are each being called to do.

But I don't have the capacity for any of that right now.

So I'll say: I am making some amazing summer salads. I am feeling SO nourished.

During the winter I was freezing lemons - I would put 1/2 or 1/3 of a lemon into a smoothie and then freeze the rest. Now I am using those frozen lemons and homemade lavender syrup to make lemonade in the blender and OMG.

I've moved 75% of my work stuff upstairs. I gave away my old bed frame and made arrangements for the mattress to be picked up this week.

I moved into the new bed downstairs. I have slept upstairs in the loft for the last 11 years. The longest I've been in any bedroom. This is a HUGE transition for me. The first morning I woke up and actually wanted to cry I missed my upstairs bed so much.

I know I still want to move ahead with this re-configuring of the space.

AND it's a little like being ripped out a beloved space.

It even feels like not having a home, even though I am still very much in my home.

This is what it's like, being in the goo of transformation.

I'm going with it. Staying nourished and doing what I can each day which is so much less than I wish it was. Following my intuition about what to do next which feels grounded and clear but also disorienting and new.

I am thinking about how a seed changes states to become a plant. How sudden and wild it is.

I am feeling that but in super slow motion.

I trust what I am growing into.

Even though it all looks like a mess right now.

I wrote this last week, but then I was so much "in the mess of being in the process" that I forgot to post it. This week I am in a completely different place - for one, I LOVE my new bed downstairs and have put a whole jungle of plants around it and I don't miss sleeping upstairs at all now and I wake up feeling so grateful for my home, again. When you're in the process of change it's good to remember that things will continue to change.

We are the creators. We are the ones with the power.

We had a group coaching call in Dream Book where one person attending (a very accomplished creative entrepreneur actually) said “I mean, what am I even doing?” and I laughed because I saw myself in it.

“What am I even doing?” came up again and again later on in the call as more people shared their stories.

It’s actually REALLY EASY to feel “what am I even doing?” when you are doing your own thing.

It’s natural to feel lost.

It’s natural to think you’re stuck when you’re really just incubating, or resting, or preparing for the next thing in ways your conscious self doesn’t know about yet.

With our dreams, the tangible parts are only about 1/3 of what is actually happening. So if you’re only using tangible, measurable things to measure progress, you are missing most of the picture.

And yet, this is what we do. Myself included!

The week before last I was in that “what am I even doing?” place. At the beginning of the week I was being GRACIOUS with myself and my process. I was MAKING SPACE for how I was actually feeling. I was honouring my energy.

But a few days in I’m all “OK process, wrap it up. I need to be doing something productive here”

But my process did not wrap it up.

In fact, on Friday, the day I did the Holding Space For What’s Next To Emerge class, I had my list of things to catch up on and instead I took 2 naps.

I felt great DURING the class because I always feel great when I connect with people in that way.

But the rest of the day I was still… meh.

And then Saturday I woke up feeling clear-headed and inspired. I rode my bike downtown, got my favourite doughnut for breakfast, and went to my favourite park (which has a TON of seating overlooking the river - it’s actually a bar at night but gorgeous and quiet in the mornings).

I wrote and wrote and wrote. Blog posts, emails, ideas for new projects.

It’s like all week I WAS incubating.

And then when it was time, it was a time. And everything just poured out.

This kind of trusting our creative flow is one of the things we need, if we want to create a new world.

The way our world is run on the Monday-Friday calendar and being productive on a schedule is counter to our actual human nature.

Also, we only have weekends because enough unions fought for them that they became the cultural norm. We can create new cultural norms. This is literally what humans have always done.

Humans created the huge corporations that have become corrupt and are now holding our economic and political systems hostage. They are even holding our entire future hostage by refusing to address climate change in any meaningful way.

We can destroy this and create something new.

We do it all the time.

This fall, my husband and I are going to tear apart the workspace he built for me when we got married. You know the cute one in the background of my videos? It will be GONE.

We’re going to use that wood to build a wall to create a new bedroom in the loft, in the space where my workspace was.

There’s more to this story, which I will share in time.

I just wanted to share - we can tear apart the things we built for A LOT of different reasons. Maybe because they didn’t turn out like we’d hoped. Maybe because time marches on and we change and want something different. Maybe because they turn corrupt and threaten to destroy the world.

We are the creators. We are the ones with the power.

But we need to give ourselves the thing we need in order to access that power:

  • Feel your feelings.
  • Give yourself space to process your thoughts and ideas.
  • Take your dreams seriously and pursue them.
  • Be open to the GROWTH and HEALING that your dreams are pushing you towards.

I’m doing all of this every day in Dream Book You are always welcome to join me there.

It’s time.

What do we do with this?

(I went to visit my favourite peony patch yesterday, and was so inspired by how it FEELS to be surrounded by peonies I made a peony mediation for blooming + radiance - you can get it on Instagram)

What do we do with this?

Whatever you are feeling is 100% valid.

I’m Canadian, I’m not in the US, but still - I feel it. It was a big step on the march towards authoritarianism that is happening everywhere.

So many people have mentioned to me lately that they’ve been reading up about different forms of collapse and what’s happening in the society - what’s happening to the people - during the collapse.

For the most part - life goes on. It gets more stressful, there are more and more disruptions, but we carry on with everything we can carry on with.

There is no sudden move from one way of living into the next, there is this messy transition where you’re not even sure, for sure, that you are in a transition.

And on top of this - all of the normal life stuff.

And on top of that - all of the creative dreamer stuff. You still have stuff you want to create and do!!

It’s a lot. And so: Whatever you are feeling, however you are coping, is 100% valid.

I still believe that giving yourself space to have your feelings, including your feelings about what you wish was happening AKA your dreams, is key to navigating this time.

Deeply processing your feelings always brings you to new possibilities for how to respond.

I think this will save us.

It’s not the ONLY thing that will save us. But it’s one of the things, and it’s the thing I am equipped to support you in doing, so I am going to keep doing that.

The replay from the Holding Space For What’s Next To Emerge class is available here.

Grab your journal and give yourself an hour to explore.

Holding Space For “What’s Next” To Emerge

This replay will be available here until July 1. After July 2 it will only be available inside Dream Book.

What you need:

  • One hour of time (or just do the first 30 minutes if you're really short on time)
  • Your journal

What you'll get:

  • Energy clearing meditation to give you some space away from stress, overwhelm and whatever else you are carrying, to give you space to really BE with yourself.
  • Space to process some of your thoughts and feelings about everything that is happening in an atmosphers of "everything you are thinking and feeling is valid, you are not wrong for feeling how you feel AND you don't have to like how you're feeling"
  • A new perspective on what you can do next to support yourself

 

[replay no longer available here - Dream Book members can access it here]

 

Join me in Dream Book to keep exploring!

Your Dream Book membership gives you access to ALL of my classes, plus live calls every month and the Dream Book journaling system, which helps you navigate the inner and outer work of following your dream - step by step.

Find out more here.

 

Where I’m At now: Holding Space for “What’s Next” to Emerge

I’m sitting in a coffee shop full of plants. I’m the only one here.

The coffee shop is off to the side of a bakery - which is full of people baking in a wood fired oven which keeps the whole place SO warm and then with the plants everywhere it’s like being in a conservatory, making this my favourite winter coffee + journaling spot.

In the summer I’m usually outside, but it’s rainy today so here I am. I’m sitting at a bar by the window, watching people on the busy street outside.

I had a disorienting night of weird dreams, waking up and also dreaming of waking up but still sleeping.

I feel disoriented in my life.

I lay in bed asking myself what I wanted and decided to come here and journal. Once I looked at my Year of Dreams I saw that I had a lot to journal about. I’d been filling my pages with questions and ideas about what’s next.

I feel un-moored without my routines. As a highly sensitive person, my routines are one of the things that keep me settled in my body enough to hear my intuition and act on my creativity.

The pandemic destroyed so many of my routines and then this last winter I discovered a new form of magic, having ALL of the space without routine or structure.

Anyway. Now I am here - having let go of so many routines that I don’t feel interested in picking back up AND ALSO remembering the magic of routines and how they fuel creative flow and progress AND ALSO feeling really interested in FINDING OUT what’s next for me vs PLANNING what’s next for me.

I’m 48.

A lot of my dreams this last year have been thinking about who and how I want to be in my 50s which doesn’t need to be different than my 40s of course - unless I want it to be.

Which I do.

I feel ready to stretch and grow but in the past that always meant that I had a clear picture of WHO and WHAT I was growing into.

And right now I feel OPEN about all of that. Which is SO thrilling and terrifying.

There are a lot of metaphors in the life coaching/new age/wellness communities about planting seeds and how a tomato can’t be a rose, what you plant is what you get.

What if I am actually a lot more magical than all of that?

What if my brain and it’s clear intentions were only in my way?

What if I don’t need to plan? What if I need to LISTEN?

Since 2015 when the Truth and Reconciliation Commission released its findings in Canada, I have been learning about colonization and white supremacy, which are systems I have lived in my whole life without seeing them for what they are.

Which led me to see the entire new age, life coaching and wellness communities in a different light.

Which led me to feel differently about my own work.

Which led me to re-work my work and create a space that can hold the bigger questions and invite in a more soul-truth aligned kind of growth. (Which is Dream Book)

Which is what brought me here, I think.

To a place where holding intentions feels so small. Like a way to try to control the mystery.

To a place where I’ve let it go.

To a place where I feel ready to LISTEN as my primary way of PLANNING.

Which is wild - in my late 20s my best friend nicknamed me “Planny McPlanster”.

I had this idea that the best growth grew you into who you WANTED to be. Brought you the life you WANTED.

And I still believe that we need to be better at trusting our desires for a lot of reasons.

But now I see how SMALL that is.

To only dream about the life I can visualize for myself.

I mean yes I always spoke about how your dream can be much better than what you’re thinking, about how the inner growth will nurture you in ways you can’t see now, about how it WILL be different and better than what you picture.

But now - I guess I see the next level of that.

Our dreams are a light on the path, for sure.

But that path is leading to something much more expansive than what we dream of.

AND ALSO we are right here in the heart of the mystery right now. We are so creative and powerful right now.

What if we are MORE creative and powerful when we're in the mystery of it all, and not trying to manifest, create, or control the outcome?

Which feels like a different way of holding our dreams.

AND ALSO a different relationship to the mystery.

I'm offering a free Zoom class on Holding Space For What's Next To Emerge.

It's happening on June 24th at 1:00 pm, Central (North America).

Details to come. Everyone on my email list will get an invite to the live class. The will be a replay available on my blog - for 1 week only. Then the replay will only be accessible to Dream Book members.

 

You will be lost. That’s kind of the point.

It's Sunday morning.

I'm sitting on my chaise lounge with my laptop, my cat Bear, and a latte. It rained last night, and I opened up both big windows upstairs and the most delightful breeze is flowing through the loft with that it-just-rained smell.

My husband is asleep upstairs. We are still living apart, but spending more and more time together, and planning to live together again within the next year.

The time apart was so needed. In March 2021, when he moved out, I was ready to lose my mind if I didn't get some of alone time.

And now, with the magic of HAVING SPACE, and also a great couple's therapist, I'm excited to live with him again.

Dreams are not static.

We don't create a dream come true in our lives, and then curl up in it and live there forever, never feeling sad or lost or unfulfilled ever again.

We're alive and our dreams are alive and we grow and change and they grow and change and it can get very complicated at times.

My loft condo was SUCH a big dream for me. I bought it in 2011 - my first year of self employment with the Creative Dream Incubator.

A big modern open space with HUGE sunny windows. This felt like THE perfect place for ALL of my dreams.

And it was. At that time. But I kept growing and changing and then I had a husband and 4 step-kids and the big loft stopped feeling big, lol!

But it's still more than a home, it's a DREAM.

There have been times when I was very frustrated that I couldn't sell it and move on to the next thing. But a shift in the real estate market for condominiums made that extremely complicated. There have been times when I was glad I kept it. There are times when I want to keep it AND get a new home with my husband. And there are times when I am ready to take the financial loss, sell it and move on to the next thing.

When I last wrote about my loft I got so much advice and almost... well it felt like I was being roasted.

My inbox was overwhelmed with people being upset about the choices I was making. Which is wild, since I 100% trust myself to make the right choices for me. I'm so good at this, I help other people do this for a living!

But, people project online. A lot. We only see bits and pieces of each other's lives, fill in the banks with our own projections, and then it's easy to get upset when someone we like does something we don't.

Anyway, I'm sitting here on this gorgeous morning and I still have no clue what to do with this dream house of mine.

My husband and I have lots of ideas for ways to renovate it to make it work better.

And there are other options too, of course.

We'll figure it out....

But I do this - creative dreaming - for a living. So shouldn't I KNOW?

I have ALL of the tools. Shouldn't I never get stuck trying to figure out my next moves? Shouldn't I never make a mistake or mis-step?

It's easy to go there.

And loads of people in the life coaching/Life Your Best Life Industry really are out there saying that with the right tools and support, your life can be perfect. Always. Forever.

And some of these people become such huge corporations with so much impact that it's easy to feel convinced that if your life is not consistently perfect it's because YOU are doing something wrong, and you need to buy a better solution.

That's really shitty. It's the collision of unethical marketing with life coaching/personal growth and there's a LOT of it out there. And it taps into a lot of unconscious beliefs we have from growing up in this capitalist/colonialist/individualist/supremacist culture.

But we don't have to go there. We can shine a light on what's actually happening there, and then we can choose a different path.

Creative Dreaming is about STAYING ENGAGED with your dreams, and your healing and growth.

It's not about imagining that you can control the universe.

Or that being alive doesn't come with a FUCK TON of uncertainty, vulnerability and pain.

It's not about trying to AVOID the realities of life on earth.

It's about STAYING ENGAGED with your dreams/healing/growth/creativity/joy/values/inner truth which is a much deeper magic than "living a perfect life" could ever offer.

So here I am FEELING that magic.

Knowing what I want in the larger sense but also having no clue about what the details or timing will look like and letting it be what it is AND ALSO accepting that I could be in this place for a while AND ALSO - underneath everything, trusting the process.

(And THAT - trusting the process - is a valuable skill to learn which comes from engaging in the practice of staying engaged)

We can feel this magic WHILE being in the process, without a solution or fairy-tale ending in sight, just a commitment to stay on the path.

I'm going to stay here. Lost. Uncertain. Feeling my way.

I am following my creative flow. Starting BIG new projects. Going all in with self care as replenishment from a difficult few years.

I am going to put the LIVE Creative Genius Planning Sessions on hold for now - the ones I do Monday mornings on Instagram. Instead, I am sharing shorter meditations - like this one, for calling in what you need for the week.

I am planning a new free class to happen soon (if you're signed up for my emails you'll get an invite).

And exploring the idea of offering a few small group coaching programs for other people who are navigating deep change, or starting new projects - so we can do this together.

 

Some questions

Make space to focus on self care

I've been having a lot of anxiety this week.

A few days ago I rode my bike to the park, and stopped for a lavender doughnut on the way.

Then I had a beautiful moment of calm in the park, in a haze of lavender sugar, and I came up with a few questions to help me navigate all of this.

Maybe you could use them too?

Where can you say no? Slow down? Lower expectations?

Where can you do things differently, in ways that honour how you are feeling?

What do you need right now?

How can you process some of your feelings to create even a small bit of space for yourself?

Stay there with these questions as long as you need.

A lot of us seem to have an unconscious goal of “getting back to normal” and working on that goal isn’t going to lead to the future we want.

So, instead of trying to get back to normal, what if we stay present where we are and put our efforts into really tending to what is here?

I Take Excellent Care of Myself: 8 Week Undated Self Care Planner is now available through the Creative Dream Incubator Press!

Find out more + get your copy here!

How my approach has changed since 2020

Last month I added the space-making module to Dream Book, as a supportive practice along side the dream work.

I started working on it it because so many people are feeling way too overwhelmed to get into the work of dream-making.

But as I kept working on it, I realized that SPACE-MAKING is the thing that helped me navigate the pandemic with my creaive projects relatively intact.

Creative Genius Planning is happening on Instagram Live today (Monday) at 10 am (Central).

This is meditation, journaling and discussion about how to get support from your Creative Genius (the most wise, brave and creative part of you) to navigate your next steps. And it's a regular weekly practice that helps with space-making AND dream-making.

Join me live on the Instagram app or catch the replay on my page after.

You’ve got a lot of magic in you.

And I’ve got a lot of tools, tips and practices to help you use it more effectively as FUEL for your DREAMS.

 

Start today! Get access to ALL of my free classes* here:

*Included classes:

 

Your Next Steps: a journaling + meditation class for navigating your next steps with your dream.

Help! I'm Stuck!: a 4 day class for getting un-stuck and transforming your stuck energy into FUEL for your dream.

The Hard Parts Are Where The Magic Happens: 80 minute healing circle and inner work workshop

Soothe*Restore*Grow: 80 minue deep dive into healing pandemic overwhelm and growing into your wildest dreams for what's next