I love transitions, new possibilities...discovering what wants to emerge. Almost everyone who comes to a vision session is in a major transition. Some know where they are going, others don't have a clue yet. They are in a beautiful, delicate space between the old and the new.
Sometimes, there is this urge to have to "do" something now, even when it's not clear what it is to be done. I've been very much inspired lately by Charles Eisenstein and love his description of our "habit of always doing."
"There is a time to do, and a time to not do, and that when we are slave to the habit of doing we are unable to distinguish between them…that is not to say we should never make plans, organize task groups, delegate work, or engage in linear, step-by-step thinking. It is that we need to acquire sensitivity to when it is the right time to do these things...we tend to devalue those periods of pause, emptiness silence and integration." This is when “...lessons and learning of the old story are integrated.” From here, “...we regain the ability to act from essence….we can choose from freedom and not from habit...Do not be afraid of the empty place. It is the source we must return to if we are to be free of the stories and habits that entrap us." (-Charles Eisenstein, The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible.)
I often forget this precious space myself. This is the place where artists find their inspiration, great ideas are born. This is where we connect to our purpose. If our visions come from here, they are authentic to who we are, who we are meant to become, what we are offering the world. Once we find that, then the action and "doing" comes in and starts to take us toward those visions.
Unfortunately, it’s not always easy, especially because the world as it is now is hurrying us along, constantly pushing us to “do” the next thing. And there’s a real fear, if we don’t “do” all the time, we’ll be left behind, alone and penniless. It takes a cultivation of patience and a deep trust that we are on the right path, no matter what messages we think we get from the outside. There's so much more freedom, when we make peace with the inner conflict that arises between allowing time and space for what wants to emerge and the pressure to "do" all the time. This is the freedom to be who we truly are.
A question I often get is “How did you do it?” "It" meaning, leave my traditional job and lifestyle and create the life I want. While there are many details to my journey, there were several essential elements that I had to pull together to keep me going. Without these in place, I would not be where I am today. They are:
Support was absolutely invaluable. At times on my journey, I felt all alone and trapped in an an inescapable black hole. I had to seek out and create the support I needed. I sought out emotional support from friends, counselors and women’s groups. So many of my obstacles in moving towards what I wanted were fears and beliefs that I couldn’t face alone. I needed their help in shifting my perspective and seeing the truth. I sought out business support from coaches and mentors to keep me moving forward. They helped me get creative about how I could organize my life uniquely to fit my values and needs and the tools to actually do it.
Flow is the beautiful, creative force that led me to do things without knowing why. It’s part of the exploration. It led me to try all sorts things I’d never thought of before. I hadn’t planned it, but I followed my heart down to Peru, year after year. I couldn’t explain it, I just had to do it. My flow was about finding what I really wanted to do, what did my heart want, not doing what I think I “should” do. In order to tap into my creative flow, I had to give it time and space to unfold. I took time alone away from my normal responsibilities, through traveling, spending time in nature and meditating. I became comfortable with allowing ideas to come through, no matter how far fetched they seemed. I allowed emotions to arise, even the painful ones I’d been avoiding. I started paying attention, and I would journal what would come up, without any judgement. Flow also meant being flexible. I couldn’t be rigid or upset when a change in plans came up. I learned more flexibility through my travels, when I couldn’t always count on things going my way.
Structure was having a plan, an itinerary, for my journey and vision. Structure kept the flow and creativity in check. It provided the framework to keep moving forward, and kept me taking action. I had to learn to schedule activities that nourished, stimulated and grounded me. I also had to learn to schedule time to take action on my vision and a contingency plan for when I was blocked (how to reach out for support). I had to learn to loosen my grip on structure and not be too attached. While at times, I needed to allow myself to be completely swept up in flow, I always returned to structure. It was something to hold onto and keep me anchored in my mission. I discovered the delicate balance between structure and flow and how the balance could best serve me and my vision.
4. A Desire to Know myself
Learning who I am is an ever constant exploration. So many points in my journey, I thought “This is it! I know myself! Now I can figure out what to do with my life!" And I did know myself at that moment. But I learned that I will keep uncovering new parts of myself everyday for the rest of my life. To me, that’s incredibly exciting. The explorer in me eagerly awaits to see what each day will bring. To be really comfortable with this, I had to spend time practicing accepting and appreciating the parts of myself that I don’t like. I used to feel shame and want to hide from parts of myself. Avoiding these parts often stopped me from moving on and stepping into my vision. Now I’m able to see the them, be compassionate,learn from them and then move forward.
I’m lucky enough to live in San Francisco where I am able to surround myself with amazing people. In addition to my close friends, I participate in activities where there are people I admire. Everywhere I go, I seek out classes and events where there are people that I resonate with. From yoga to dance, to counseling to business coaching, I learn from the other people there. In many of these events, we share what we’re learning about who we are, what are our challenges as well as our dreams and visions. People have their own unique strengths and ways of being in the world and these seep into my consciousness, teaching me even if I don’t have a close relationship with them. I leave feeling inspired and nourished, rather than drained.
It’s worth mentioning that it took me a while to pull these things together. They didn’t appear overnight. And there was a lot of trial and error to find what worked for me. Now, I have these as a solid foundation from which I can confidently move towards any of my future visions.
Protectress of Mother Earth, Energy Healing, Plant Medicine Integration, Coach, Writer