Healing

You are *always* worthy of your dreams. But you won’t aways *feel* worthy.

Today I hit a milestone: All of my courses + libraries have been moved over to the new website.

This is HUNDREDS of pages of content, all re-designed, re-organized and better than ever. I’m not done, there are a least 1-2 weeks of work to get the site operational, but still, having all of the content moved is a big milestone.

I hit this milestone at 7:45 am this morning, sitting on the patio of a coffee shop I used to work out of all the time, pre-COVID. For computer tasks, I am more productive in a coffee shop and not having access to them since March has impacted my productivity, on top of how the stress of these times has already impacted it.

So it was a real gift this morning, to wake up super early and get to the coffee shop early enough to get a table on the patio, as our patios are open at 1/2 capacity with social distancing measures so getting a table is not something I can count on being able to do most of the time. Also – I usually don’t WANT to be there, but early in the morning is good.

I was up so early because I went to bed so early because I really hit a wall last night.

It felt equal parts emotional and physical. The physical part I understood but it felt like I was hitting new ground in the emotional part and I didn’t know what it was.

I did NOT have the capacity to be with it and figure out what it was. I took a hot bath and went to bed early, which is my go-to self care practice for when things are hard. It always feels more clear and hopeful in the morning.

So this morning I was happily working away at the cafe, and at one point I tried to access I page but I wasn’t logged in and this flashed on the screen:

And suddenly I knew what this new emotional wall I’m hitting is all about: I don’t feel worthy of this new website.

Like – who am I to plaster my smiling mug all over the login screen like that?

When I designed this page, I was DELIGHTED with it! I thought “it’s like I am right there smiling and welcoming them in!”

But now that “who do you think you are???!?!?” voice has taken over and trying to shame me into NOT showing up in this new way.

This is good.

Every time I level up in some way (and I must say that levelling up is NOT all about things you can measure – like an increase in income or audience – there are infinite ways to level up and our dreams will need us to level up in all sorts of un-measurable ways along the way) I come across my inner resistance to showing up BIGGER and BRIGHTER and TRUER.

This resistance is made up of parts of me who need healing before they can feel safe with me taking my next steps in living my most brave, free and authentic life. 

We ALL have these parts. We live in a culture that is constantly telling us who we should be and what we should want so living by your internal compass feels TERRIFYING for some parts of us. 

This is just a part of the work.

It’s never a sign that we really CAN’T do this, or that we am NOT good enough or NOT worthy of having what we want.

It’s just a thing we have to work on, a part of the process. Just as important as making the website or recording the podcast or writing the book or making the art.

This is why Dream Work and Inner Work need to be a part of your daily practices! Otherwise you don’t notice this stuff because it’s all happening way beneath the surface – and the stuff you don’t notice about yourself has a LOT of control over you.

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.

When you see how much growth is possible for you, it’s easy to feel small. You’re not small.

When you see how much growth is possible for you, it's easy to feel small. You're not small.

I’ve been getting a TON of email about my last blog post.

I share these stories because the process of writing is a balm of healing and clarity for me. Writing it in a way that explains it to another person shows ME a new perspective on my experiences.

And I share my stories because we need more REAL stories in the world about being on the path of pursuing your dreams wholeheartedly.

We make up stories about other people’s journeys all the time! We make up that we are more stuck than this other person is, that we have more self doubt or bigger obstacles.

For example: the first three years that I was self employed with the Creative Dream Incubator, I kept getting emails from people who assumed I had a husband who was bankrolling my business! I had been single for so long and had never even mentioned having a boyfriend!

People saw my experience through their stories about how “the only way you can live your creative dream is if you have a partner who is financially supporting you”.

So, when I wrote about taking my power back a lot of people were inspired by the post and the idea that I just decided to take my power back and then flounced off into my new website.

But of course that’s not how it’s happening. So I wanted to share this bit of journaling I did while freaking out yesterday:

 

Today I had a call with someone to help me with the set-up of the new website. There is a LOT of tech stuff to consider in this set-up, so I had a huge list of questions and she was so super helpful and the call was great...

But then after the call I just crashed.

I was looking over my notes I just... couldn't process it.

My whole body tensed up, especially my shoulders.

I wanted to cry but couldn't.

Suddenly I felt frozen and stuck.

This whole thing felt impossible, like I am in WAY over my head here.

So this part of me who WANTS all of this felt like a wave crashing into this other part of me who is so overwhelmed and afraid of fucking it all up that she just wants to give up and go eat ice cream.

I am an ocean of different feelings and desires crashing into each other and I want it all to stop.

In that moment, I wanted to give up even though I knew giving up isn't an option.

I have grown enough that staying where I am doesn’t feel comfortable anymore. But I haven't yet grown into the new place. So I bounce back and forth and can’t feel comfortable, or at home, in either place.

This is what it means to out-grow a thing.

When I was nineteen, I moved away to go to University. That first summer, I came home and everything had changed. My friends had all moved on with their own lives. I didn’t really know where I fit. I had been homesick while I was away but now that I was home it was like I felt “away sick”.

I didn’t know where home was anymore.

This is the growth that our dreams demand of us.

You have to step out of where you are before you can create a new home for yourself in a new place. And that part where you are out of what WAS familiar but haven’t yet created what WILL BE familiar to you next - IS BRUTAL.

So much about what I teach is about creating space where we can stay in these hard parts because the only other option is to just NOT grow and that kills dreams.

So that’s where I am right now. I do know 100% where I want to go. AND some parts of this journey are stretching me past where I think I can be stretched. Some parts make me want to give up.

Instead of giving up I am taking breaks.

I am reading novels and going for bike rides and taking long bubble baths and going to bed early because these things help me bounce back from those places.

So after I freaked out and wrote that journaling piece, I re-potted some plants, played with my cat Bear, made hummus and ate some with a toasted pita.

Then I felt better, went back to my laptop and finished the stuff I had wanted to finish yesterday.

I see now that I freaked out after that meeting because the person I was meeting with showed me whole new options for how to do what I want to do.

Like - there are even MORE possibilities than I thought and I felt too small to figure it all out.

My dreams are always making me feel small because they keep growing. But I'm not small - I'm just ready for growth.

We are NEVER never too small for our dreams.

Your dream is here to grow you. Some parts of that growth are going to be uncomfortable, but always worth it.

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.

How To Do Shadow Work. For when you’re ready to change your life.

How To Do Shadow Work. For when you're ready to change your life.

Learning how to do Shadow Work is less about perfecting a specific technique and more about staying open and being willing to feel, explore and experience whatever it is you encounter in the process.

There is no one perfect way for learning how to do Shadow Work, but there are two things to keep in mind while you're exploring:

  • An open mind - you don't know what you're going to discover. If you go in already thinking you know what's going to happen then you close yourself off from possibilities.
  • A willingness to feel your feelings and be uncomfortable. You don't have to LIKE your feelings you just have to be wiling to HAVE them.

It's pretty amazing how easy it is to trick ourselves into thinking we are doing these things when we are actually totally NOT doing them!

How to do Shadow Work: Sitting with your feelings.

Sitting with your feelings means making space for yourself to feel how you actually feel, to explore that feeling and find out more about it.

This tends to be the opposite approach from what most of us are taught about how to handle feelings. So it's uncomfortable and it feels awkward. Which means - if you feel like you're doing it wrong, you are probably doing it right.

Unfortunately, if you feel confident and sure that you're doing it right, you are probably doing it wrong. This is the nature of Shadow Work. It just feels uncomfortable.

It takes practice and patience to get to a place of actually being open to feeling your feelings.

Your reaction to your feeling tends you get in the way of feeling your actual feeling.

For example: You dream of being a best-selling author. You are afraid that you're not good enough to do this.

Your inner critic reacts to that fear with a "Why bother? No one cares?" story and you get caught up in your feelings about that story. But the "Why bother? No one cares?" story is NOT your actual feeling.

So being with that story just makes more space for your Inner Critic to put on a show for you.

And it feels uncomfortable and scary so you think you're feeling your feelings but you're not. You're staying in this untrue story about your feelings. Your feelings are fear of not being good enough.

Sitting with this fear would feel terrifying in comparison to sitting with the "Why bother? No one cares?" story.

As you sit with the feeling without trying to do anything with it, you actually move through it.

And on the other side of that terror there is something else.A deeper understanding of yourself and your dream.

Once you sit with that fear and move through it, you start to see that this fear comes out of the fact that you're not writing regularly! So of course your writing isn't up to par with what it needs to be to be a bestseller.

No need for a song and dance about "Why bother? No one cares", what you need to do is get to work.

Create a writing schedule and stick to it.

This is where you work through the Shadow and are able to reach the guidance of your True Self. This is the magic of Shadow Work.

In my example you had to first be with all of the uncomfortable feelings that your Inner Critic throws you way and then you have to face that unimaginable terror of feeling your actual feeling.

This is a simplified example, you may have layers and layers of feelings and reactions and stories.

If sitting with your feelings doesn't feel like a good choice for you, there is another approach I like to use too:

How to do Shadow Work: Noticing and exploring your weird/embarrassing/unsavoury behaviours.

Our shadows can make themselves known to our conscious selves through our behaviour. Do you do things you wish you wouldn't do?

These can be smaller infractions, like gossiping or eating too much cake or big problematic things like drinking and driving.

When you do things you wish you wouldn't do - that's your shadow at work.

So noticing that behaviour is an opportunity to learn more about your shadow. You can ask yourself why you do this and what it is that you're getting out of it even though you wish you weren't doing it.

You can get to know the part of you who wants to do this and find out where they're coming from.

This one can be easier to see when you look at other people.

The homophobic who is actually a closeted homosexual.

The Hollywood star who looks like she has it all and then is caught shoplifting.

When you deny your shadow self you end up giving it more power. Like it has to fight back somehow.

In Debbie Ford's movie The Shadow Effect she illustrates this perfectly by showing people in a pool holding down beachballs. It takes a lot of energy to keep that beach ball underwater. And eventually it's going to just pop up anyway and likely hit someone in the face in the process.

These behaviours that you do that you're not proud of - those are your beach balls flying free. Once you learn how to do Shadow Work you end up being more free to stop yourself from doing these things.

These two approaches I just shared aren't really techniques for how to do Shadow Work.

They are ways in.

And once you're in, Shadow Work means bravely and honestly facing what you find. Exploring by feeling your way.

You don't have to solve anything.

You don't have to discover the gift or perform a healing.

If fact it's best if you're not trying to make those things happen, and focus solely on exploring and feeling your way.

The solutions, gifts and healing are already there - on the other side of the thing you least want to face.

So you know you've successfully done your Shadow Work when you find them.

When Self Doubt Makes It Hard to SPEAK UP For Yourself

I was watching Next in Fashion on Netflix and this crazy thing happened where a really gifted woman lost out on a HUGE opportunity because she couldn't speak up for herself.

This is something I know a lot about, because I have failed to speak up for myself more times than I can count.

It was a journey to get to the place I am now where it's fairly easy to speak up for myself, and even when it's not easy I can still DO IT.

When Self Doubt Makes It Hard to SPEAK UP For Yourself

Everything is impossible today.

For all of January I've been working on clearing some space so I could focus on some BIG GOALS I have for this year.

So here I am: with a week mostly clear to work on these big goals.

And what am I doing? Anything but focus on my big goals, of course.

In this moment, trying to bring myself to focus and get to work feels IMPOSSIBLE.

So, I am focusing on my resistance instead. Sitting with it, getting curious about it, exploring where I can bring some light and space and healing in.

My resistance is grey clouds. Not heavy clouds just... well they FEEL heavy. They make ME feel heavy.

The clouds think I should just watch Grace and Frankie and knit all day. I worked hard all month, don't I deserve that?

Yes of course I deserve that, and can even do that - AFTER my new lavender coloured linen/cotton blend gets here and AFTER I have this work that I really do want to do.

Now my resistance is saying: You know what? We should go on an AMAZING creative retreat to work on this stuff away from everything.

OK that's actually a really good idea, and since this is a goal I want to work on all year, we CAN make a plan to do that - but not right now.

Right now I need to focus on these next steps I want to take.

My resistance feels it would be so much more fun to just dream about creative retreats.

And I need to stop letting my resistance change the subject, and focus on the matter at hand.

I want to make progress on this scary project.

Wind blows and the grey clouds of resistance become a brick wall. I spread out a brightly coloured blanket in front of the wall and sit down on it. I pull out my Dream Book and paint pens.

Starting small, I make a list of things I WOULD LIKE to do this week. No pressure to follow through, I just want to see the list out of my head and on paper.

The wall leans forward, peeking over my shoulder to watch.

And it turns out there are only 3 things I would like to do this week, and putting them into the Dream Book changes them.

Now they feel do-able and FUN.

The brick wall has some graffiti on it now - super creative artwork. Some inspirational quotes and "follow your dreams" type stuff.

I put my Dream Book down and focus back on the wall of resistance.

So - it looks like you're kind of coming on board with this now?

The wall forgot how much FUN it is to pursue those BIG goals. How it lights me up to play with them.

I place my hand on the wall and a graffiti heart appears under it. I send love to the wall.

I do love the wall, I love all forms of my resistance because I know it's trying to protect me. I am so sensitive and easily overwhelmed and it has SO MUCH to try to protect me from.

But it doesn't need to protect me from this.

I am ready.

 

I hope you're going to join me for Dream Book!

Dream Book is a GENIUS journaling system to help you navigate all of the inner work and outer work and obstacles and healing and special challenges your dream has for you.

It's helping me go deeper and be braver.

It's already helping hundreds of people - every week someone writes to me in tears over how much things are changing for them because of this work.

>>> Find out more + join us here.

Are you stuck? Good.

Even after 25 years of living as a dreamer, I still struggle with my dreams.

What if I admit I want it, but it turns out I can’t have it?

What if I find out I’m not good enough?

What if I go after this dream and mess up my life?

What if I put my ideas out there and people steal them?

What if everything changes and I don’t like it?

If you're stuck: GOOD.

Getting stuck means you're actually trying to show up for your dream. The only people who never get stuck are the people who are not trying.

Getting stuck is actually PURPOSEFUL too. Because when you really SHOW UP for your dream you'll be forced to stare down those fears, doubts, inner critics and limiting beliefs that have held you back until now.

This is actually how you grow towards your dream, by facing the hard parts, by bringing them the healing, transformation and growth they need.

(I did a free class where I take you through this process, called The Hard Parts Are Where The Magic Happens. You can sign up for the replay here.)

There is only one guarantee when it comes to dreams: if you don’t try you will surely fail.

I show up for my dreams EVERY DAY.

I get stuck ALL THE TIME.

And I am grateful when I get stuck because it's through the process of getting UN-STUCK that I have made my dreams real. I have healed and changed and grown so much by working with my stucks.

I want YOU to join me in this work.

The Creative Dream Circle is my online training centre and community of kindred spirit creative dreamers. This is where we show up for our dreams.

We have a private blog where I write every day and invite everyone to come in and play with me.  Plus monthly coaching calls for generating MOMENTUM towards your dream, weekly journaling kits and an extensive library of dream-growing classes and tools.

 

what a dream really is

We are stronger together.

Together we practice showing up for our dreams and I'd love to have YOU join the group - I added a new $33 monthly option to make the payments as easy as possible.

Find out more here.

Your work is never to change yourself.

This week I posted two new tutorials on my blog: How To Be More Creative and How To Be More Productive. These are the kinds of things I have to remind myself of all the time, which is why I share them with you.

They both give the same advice: Remember that you are a powerhouse of creative ideas and magic, and deal with the things that stop you from *being* a powerful house of creative ideas and magic.

I teach people how to make their dreams real by showing them how to dismantle and transform their inner obstacles: fear, self-doubt, limiting beliefs, sabotaging patterns, etc.

Once you get rid of that stuff you're more connected to your True Self.

So you're more connected to your Inner Wisdom which can show you how to make your dream real. And you're also more connected to your CREATIVE FLOW. It's your CREATIVE FLOW that will take you to your dream. It's powerful enough to bust through the outer obstacles (or at least find a way around them).

Your work is never to change yourself.

To become more creative or more productive or more focused or more whatever it is you think you have to be to make your dreams real.

YOU are already perfect, just as you are.

Your work is to work on the things that stop you from being YOU. Once you're doing that - well there's no stopping you!

Today I'm flying to California for a creative retreat.

I'm spending a week in Oakland, at my friend Chris Zydel's intuitive painting studio.

Absolute heaven.

On my last day there, Chris and I are going to to a one-day online workshop together - all about working on the stuff that stops creative people from making their dreams real.

Facing the things that stop you, unraveling them, taking back your power, and getting in touch with your CREATIVE FLOW.

Join us for Gifts Of The Shadow: Wild Creative Momentum on Dec 4, 2018.