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.
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.
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.
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.
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!!!
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 love how Dream Book always sends me JUST the right journaling cut-outs each week - my mantra for this week really helped me plug into that "I GOT THIS" vibe when I feeling a little discouraged with all of this)
Almost a month ago, I attended Rachel Rodgers’ Small Business Town Hall on creating equitable businesses.
Follow that link! The replay is right there. It was so healing and inspiring for me to see thousands of small business owners come together to explore how we can make the world better for everyone.
It was so helpful to hear from experts and I learn about where I can be doing better with the Creative Dream Incubator to BE the change I want to see in the world.
I was so excited, I posted a link to the replay in the customer Facebook group for the business I use for my website, emails, shopping cart and membership site. I was feeling so optimistic about this... but that post devolved quickly, with a bunch of racist comments and attacks on me for bringing it up. I was stunned that building anti-racist companies would be controversial in that group, since the software I use was geared towards spiritual entrepreneurs and don't we want to make the world a better place?
The culture at this particular business meant that no staff moderated the racist comments (!) so I deleted the post a few days later, because I didn’t think it should be my job to moderate their customers and I didn't want to leave racist comments unchallenged in my post. (I did get a message later saying that they were about to respond when I deed the post, but by that time I had found the owner of the company's personal social media profiles and saw that he was quite active in posting about how systemic racism is not real, so I didn't need any further response to understand that this "let's create equitable businesses together" idea was not going to fly here)
So this left me pretty shaken up.
I want to do business with others who share my values around wanting the world to be better for everyone.
I don't mean this in a "creating an echo chamber" kind of way. I mean I spend real dollars with this business and, after that Town Hall I saw more clearly than ever - those dollars can help create more equity in the world or they can help create less equity in the world.
I'm spending the money anyway, why not spend it with a company whose values match mine?
What had me feeling shock up was 2 things:
Thing 1: Moving my whole company is a huge and annoying and expensive thing. My feeling of being HOPEFUL and ENERGIZED and OPTIMISTIC about partnering with other companies to be a force for good in the world absolutely collided with how difficult and expensive it would be for me to move. It took me some time to work though all of the feelings that were triggered in that collision.
Thing 2: I also felt angry, frustrated and embarrassed that ME using this company is, in a sense, giving it my seal of approval, and some of my students had gotten their own accounts with them. I sat with that one for a long time, and have accepted that I can always only ever do my best, and when I know better I do better.
As I sat with all of my feelings I remembered… I’ve WANTED to move several times over the last few years but I’ve felt stuck because it's such a complicated thing.
Because the Creative Dream Circle is 8 years old and includes a TON of classes... and Dream Book is a very long dripped content course where everyone is at a different apace in it... and because this site is ongoing, there will never be at time when everything stops and it becomes simple to move. But it dawned on me that during a global pandemic when I’m not doing as much, I DO have time to do this move.
I also remembered three separate times over the years when this company made a promise, didn't follow through, and left me in a REALLY shitty position.
I don't want to get into those details right now - but when I reflected on this ongoing pattern of doing this, I realized that I also only want to work with companies that care about my success and wouldn't do things to trash my business. And if they inadvertently did do those things - they would at the very least apologize and do something to make it right.
I always thought… well no one is perfect.
No online business platform is perfect, that’s for sure! It's hard to find a good fit that's going to do just what you want it to do.
But this ongoing pattern of making big promises and not following through and not even apologizing was not sitting right with me. PLUS my wish to work with people in alignment with my values.
But since this situation had me reflecting on my whole experience with them, the good and the bad, I realized that over the last few years especially their values and priorities had really shifted and moving would create a better experience for me, and for my people.
So then I started looking more seriously at other options.
At first I fell in love with Podia, another third-party platform where they do EVERYTHING. Email, website, courses, membership. In fact they will migrate your current classes FOR FREE… and they are SUPER cheap. Like so cheap I thought it was too good to be true but the more I looked into it the better it was. Podia is definitely a great option for anyone starting out and they have a clear commitment to being an anti-racist company.
My set-up is a bit too complex for Podia. I was looking at Kajabi which is another similar platform but, even though they also have a commitment to being anti-racist - it felt like moving from one tech bro to another.
That’s when I looked at Access Ally.
Access Ally is not an all-in-one, it’s a WordPress plug-in. So it means I need a WordPress site and I also need another app for email and automations - I chose Convert Kit. Convert Kit is working to be an anti-racist company and I LOVE the feel of the software and how helpful everyone has been there.
Access Ally is run by a woman - a woman I actually met online like a million years ago on SARK’s forum. And I met her in person in Portland years ago. She also attended that same Town Hall and is excited by the possibilities like I am. She runs Access Ally with her husband, who is Asian - making Access Ally one of the few women/minority owned tech apps out there for online courses.
Why this matters to me: When it comes to creating software privilege DOES matter.
Software created by a white man, with ONLY white men on the development team, is going to have a certain perspective. The more privilege a person has, the less they understand what other people go through. The less they can even see other perspectives.
White women, since we experience sexism, have an easier time being able to understand and learn more about racism than white men.
The more intersections of oppression you've got going on - and it's not just about race and gender - the more inclusive you tend to be in your perspectives. You think about other people and their experiences and needs because you understand what it's like to live in a world that does not cater to you.
People with fewer intersections can also LEARN to see from other people's perspectives, of course! And doing so absolutely DOES make you a better designer and service provider.
So that's why this is important to me.
Looking back on my experience with my membership site over the last several years, when something wasn't working right for my people - I had to work hard to explain to this company WHY this mattered, and even then they usually didn't CARE. Like - "So what if comments aren't working right in your classroom?" They had different priorities.They were focused more on the selling aspects, and creating tools to help people sell more.
To me, DELIVERING what I've already sold is WAY more important than selling MORE. So that's a BIG value clash as well. (Not that I don't want to sell! But not at the expense of taking care of the people already in my classes - I should not have to choose between the two)
Your values DO determine your priorities, so software made by people whose values reflect mine WILL work better for me.
Access Ally was my DREAM app in 2014 when I moved to where I am now.
I didn't go with Access Ally because of the cost and the ease of having everything in 1 with someone other than me responsible for the membership site. I’d had a LOT of issues with WordPress plug-ins for courses in the past.
I have been with this company (it's so awkward to keep writing and not name them, but I'm not ready to do that publicly) for almost 6 years. They made all of these promises about how “we’ll never charge more for this” encouraging me to set up my business in a certain way…. and then completely changed their pricing model and DID charge more for those things - forcing me to be in the top tier when I did not NEED to set my business up the way I did, I did it because of their encouragement.
Which means that by now I'm paying so much more - I might as well get the software I really wanted.
So then suddenly all of this feels like a dream come true.
The Access Ally site will give me the freedom to make it look how I want it to!!!!
And… because my plans for this year were to make a bunch of new guided journals… it would give me space to sell those in the way I want to as well.
Just…. it’s the right tool for what I want my business to be.
And I don’t feel uncomfortable about using a Word Press plugin anymore because I have premium hosting and pampering for my WordPress site now.
So it feels like it all magically came together.
Which is what tends to happen when you make space for everything, process your feelings, and follow the magic.
It was startling to suddenly notice just how far apart my values are from this company I have used for so long. But once I gave it some time I saw that we’ve been drifting for some time.
And I realized I felt trapped because of how hard it is to move and I don’t want to feel trapped and I DON'T HAVE TO FEEL TRAPPED.
Another good thing about this move is that having separate apps for email/automations and the membership site means I have a TON of flexibility. If I move again it won’t be so difficult.
So I am setting myself up to NOT feel trapped again like this in the future.
The more steps I take with this the better it all feels.
We're in a heat wave. My husband had been away at a Sundance ceremony and won't be back until late Sunday or Monday.
So - a quiet weekend alone when I don't want to go out because it's just too hot. This is a perfect time to dive in and start building the new site. So I started this morning. It's a huge learning curve but I am really enjoying this, and seeing it as the PERFECT step for me to be taking right now to help the Creative Dream Incubator be all it can be.
I am here to help artist, coaches, healers, teachers and guides live the magic of REALLY showing up for their dreams. This work is needed and it feels really good to build a whole new foundation for the work.
It's also really cool to build a whole new membership site... with everything I've learned in 8 years of running a membership site. So I can build this one better, right from the beginning.
A little background: In 2017, when Canada turned 150, I read an article that said Indigenous leaders were asking all Canadians to read Unsettling Canada by Arthur Manuel. So I bought it, but it took me a while to read through it. It's a heavy book, detailing Canadian history from an Indigenous perspective.
(The Reconciliation Manifesto: Recovering the land, rebuilding the economy, also by Arthur Manual came out later and is a much easier read and a great place to start)
While I had always understood that genocide had happened in Canada, this book completely changed my perspective.
I saw that the genocide isn't in the past, it's in the present and will be in the future - unless we do something to change it.
So since then I haven’t felt great about celebrating Canada Day.
So many people in the Live Your Best Life Industry avoid politics because it’s “too negative” but I disagree.
I think ignoring the injustices that happen around you just because they're not happening TO you is negative.
I think showing up for the world you want to live in is EXTREMELY positive. So I’ve been to a LOT of protests and rallies this year.
I always leave these rallies feeling more hopeful, like a healing had happened. Yes - lots more healing is needed, but each time people gather in this way, a healing DOES happen.
When people come together to stand for the world they want to create and make signs and block traffic and scream their truth in unison - THIS is a manifestation practice.
There is so much magic and power in this.
This is what’s missing from the Life Your Best Life Industry - the MAGIC and POWER of looking the hard stuff in the eye while fighting for what you want to create.
You can’t just hold the vision and meditate and wait for it to come.
You don’t dream in a vacuum.
You dream in the world.
This means: You need to be present where you are in order to get to where you want to be.
This is how I have ALWAYS taught creative people how to “manifest” their wildest dreams - by facing the hard parts head on and using them as fuel for healing and growth.
Right now, for me, being present where I am means I am birthing my dreams living in a country that is carrying on an ongoing genocide against the people whose land this is.
And yes I could use the white privilege I have to ignore what’s happening and “not get political” (which IS VERY political, btw) and just focus on my life and my dreams. But this path is becoming narrower and narrower for the people who choose to take it because there is just *SO MUCH* that you need to AVOID and IGNORE in order to stay on this path.
And everything you need to avoid and ignore holds power over you. Your world just gets smaller and smaller... which means your dreams will also shrink.
But everything you face head on GROWS YOU.
Related: we are all connected.
Even though white people in Canada benefit from colonialism in very concrete ways, it’s NOT good for ANY human being to live in an oppressive system.
Your dreams are always calling you towards your TRUE self, your TRUE potential, your TRUE and MOST AUTHENTIC way of living.
This includes NOT living in oppressive systems.
We are all connected. Our dreams are all connected. Our dreams need each other. We need each other.
Part of the work of tending to your dreams is tending to the soil in which they grow.
I dream of a Canada which is fully decolonized. I believe this is the best way to create a country that works for everyone. I believe that in a country that protects the earth and the most vulnerable people there is space for EVERYONE to pursue their dreams.
I know a lot of white settler Canadians are with me in spirit but are like “ummm buttt uhhhhh … like what would I even DO??” when it comes to taking action.
The good news is that you don’t need to know!! In fact, it’s better to let Indigenous leaders lead on this one 😉
I read that one book, and then started following Indigenous leaders closely on social media and then started participating when they put out calls to action and donating money and volunteering for a political campaign to elect an Indigenous woman to my federal riding and with each new step I took I learned more.
It’s like with your dreams - you DO NOT have to know how to get there in order to take a single baby step.
And each little teeny tiny step you take helps equip you to take the next step.
The next thing you know - you're out there actively helping to create a BETTER world for you and your dreams and also for everyone else.
It's all SO connected.
I'm sharing my thoughts here today as tomorrow is Canada Day.
I know most of you are not Canadian.
But ALL of us have the opportunity to stand up for the world we want to create.
You will never learn how to do Shadow Work by reading about it.
It's something you need to need to EXPERIENCE.
I created a healing circle where I lead you through the process, and you can access it for free, by registering right here:
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.
Because Shadow Work is about facing your own shadows - the places inside you that you would rather avoid - it's just inherently uncomfortable.
I mean - you avoid these places for a reason.
And in order to do Shadow Work, you've going to have to come face-to-face with that reason.
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 feelings tends you get in the way of feeling your actual feelings.
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.
That's the Shadow Work.
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. And once you've experienced that, you'll have a deeper understanding of yourself.
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".
All you need to do is get to work.
Create a writing schedule and stick to it.
This is the magic of Shadow Work: When you work through the shadow and are able to reach the guidance of your True Self.
In my example you had to first be with all of the uncomfortable stories 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. Your Shadow Work process will likely become VERY convoluted and weird.
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.
Again. You will never learn how to do Shadow Work by reading about it.
It's something you need to need to EXPERIENCE.
I created a healing circle where I lead you through the process, and you can access it for free, by registering right here:
I shared this post on Instagram last week about how YOUR DREAMS and THE WORLD are all connected. We're dreaming INTO the world.
That's why, for the last 3-4 years I've been talking more here and on social media about what it means to be pursuing your dreams within the systems of white supremacy, and how our dreams can be a part of CHANGING THE WORLD.
I'm not an anti-racism expert or educator. I'm a white person who is trying to listen, learn and do better. Also - because the whole "live your best life" industry is extremely biased and privileged and the first step to doing better is to be aware of where we're falling short.
Now is NOT time to put your dreams on hold.
Your dreams connect you to your True Selves and inner gifts. Pursuing your dreams is about pursuing your purpose, potential, creativity, authenticity - it gets you into alignment with your most wise, powerful, creative and brave self.
THAT'S the you who knows how to show up and be a part of creating a better world.
But we can't pretend that white people pursing their dreams is going to change the world. Remember I did just say that as white person I am listening, learning and supporting.
ALL dreams are a source of healing and light, and that the work of growing into your gifts and aligning with your inner wisdom, purpose and power will help you serve the world.
This work will help you process the discomfort of exploring your own inner biases so you CAN stay present with what's happening in the world while also staying present with your own dreams and creative projects.
This is what creative dreaming is anyway - being that bridge between your dreams and the world.
It doesn't mean giving up ANYTHING you are doing. It means bringing anti-racism work and perspectives to EVERYTHING you are doing.
Last week everyone was online amplifying melanated voices.
This week it's time to look at what your next steps are in dismantling white supremacy and creating a world where we are ALL free to live our best lives.
How will you bring this work into your daily life? This isn't an easy question with an easy answer, it's a question to really sit with.
And I have one suggestion for you: find your local Black and Indigenous leaders and follow them online. Listen closely to what they are saying.
Let's keep dreaming of a better world together... and taking steps to make it happen.
While procrastination itself is a HUGE problem for creatives - there's actually NO SUCH THING as a procrastinaTOR.
Once you understand this - you can actually free yourself from your procrastination habit.
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Today I'm talking about INNER CRITICS: where they come from and what their REAL purpose is.
This one is helpful especially if you want to get better at managing your inner critics so they don't stop you from pursuing your creative dreams.
View this post on Instagram