your creative calling: what would you do if you weren't worried about being judged?

pursue some path

 

Your idea is your capital.

I don't mean that in strictly a financial sense (although, yeah, that too..).  I'm talking about the capital on which you can focus your energy and open doors to your authentic path.  Your idea is your soul capital. 

Coming to your specific idea of how you would like your future to look professionally and personally feels really complicated and fraught with obstacles.  We don't just block the idea;  we block the manifestation of the idea.

No money.

No time.

Too many other commitments.

I'm not selfish enough to want to live my own idea. 

My partner won't agree.

My friends/family will think I'm crazy.

I won't be able to do it perfectly. I'm not so good at it. 

Look, here's the bottom line.  You  have no idea what will happen if you manifest your ideas and call the forth.  You can't know the lessons that you will learn, the people you will attract, alienate, piss off or laugh with, you have no idea what kind of personal development is in store for you.

You don't know how it will go.

So if you judge your idea as not worth pursuing before you even explore it fully, you've closed the door.  Locked it.  Thrown away the key.  Is that what you want?

It really doesn't have to be that complicated if we lay to the side our self doubts.  And if we stop judging how we're going to be judged for going after our idea.

Often we don't manifest ideas into action because of judgment.  Not strictly the fear of how others will think about us, but the fear of how we will react to people judging us.  Our judgment of judgment.  What we think of what people think of us.

Because judgment will always be there.

It's what we do with judgment that will determine our path.

It's that inner voice that keeps us locked in place, that convinces us the risks are too great, we aren't that good, we don't have a chance, we won't follow through, we just shouldn't bother.

We need to shut her up, that inner voice, because she's so busy judging the judgment of others that she couldn't care less about our authentic selves.

We are the shamans of our own energy, the creators of our own light.  We ourselves determine the doors that open for us.

How do we start?  How can we open our hearts and minds to our best idea?

Enter Wendi Knox.  

Wendi is a magical doctor/artist of authenticity, a magnetic energy medium, a colorful, authentic beauty who has reinvented not only her path, but the paths of women everywhere.   Here's what she has to say about this very subject.

 

I'm working with several women on bringing their idea to cohesive fruition.  I am absolutely and whole heartedly committed to this work.  Do you have an idea you'd like to develop but don't quite know where to start?  I'm here to help you do your best work.  

I cannot believe that Di Mackey and my  Your Beautiful Truth Retreat is less than three weeks away!  Energy will be flying on our little hill in the Italian country side.

And last but not least, I'm scheming with my beautiful friend Barrie Davenport on a new course and on-line workshop about this very subject - calling forth your creative idea and manifesting it into your work.  The launch will be spring 2014.

So now it's over to you:

What would you do if you weren't worried about being judged?  What is your idea?  If you felt free from your inner Edna, as Wendi calls her, what would you do?

 

one small, serendipitous moment

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Even the Dalmation, auspiciously named Joy, embraced the mood in the Piazza.
 

If someone had told me twenty years ago, that one day I'd be sitting in the most beautiful Italian piazza on a sultry summer evening, reading to a group of people from a book that I wrote and had been published, I would have just shaken my  head and walked away.  

 

Twenty years ago I was working hard at a job I wasn't cut out to do, pushing hard towards mid-thirties mid-management burn out, wondering if there would ever be time to do the things in life I could only dream of. But that's why it's always a mistake to underestimate life and where it can lead us.

I've had some amazing doors open in my life since then.  Moving abroad, starting my own businesses, learning languages, learning an artisan craft, becoming first a cross cultural and language coach, then a change coach, and becoming a writer.  All of those creative adventures have led here, to now.   So many moments.  Moments like last weekend are the jewels, though, when everything comes together in a perfect blend of gratitude and joy that are meant to be savored.  We send our energy and work out into the world and we don't know where it will lead.  Mine lead me here, to this place, on this beautiful July evening, surrounded by a small group of friends and interested readers, where I could actually sit in my own seat of life's purpose, the one I had created, and be completely present, reading passages about beautiful Piedmont and love from my novel, True Vines.

I felt balance. I felt kindness and good will. I felt love.

All of these wonderful feelings have culminated as a result of hard work and dedication, no doubt.  But there is also a presence of Spirit that leads us on when we do the hard work we know is right for us.  We're granted a fortuitous sense of peace when we're able to let our fear-driven egos take a back seat and  step into our soul-driven life purpose.  There are moments of  great solace and comfort that come from allowing our work to happen.

I want to share with you that in the last few weeks I have had the most heart-warming experiences through coaching.   Every single session has been such a pleasure and has given me more than I ever imagined.  I am talking to the most wise and brave people, ones who understand that they have a sense of purpose to fulfill.  I feel honored to support them and to open new channels of thought to allow energy to flow in a direction that will bring them further into their own purpose.

All of this, all of this wonderful goodness with which I have been blessed - our B&B, my books, coaching, mentoring, art - are a direct result of walking into risk by leaving a predetermined path and crafting an individual one.   I can promise you, it has not always been easy.  There are days when the push back is harsh and I wonder if I'll have the strength to get back up.  But easy isn't what this process is all about.  In reality, everything's easy at soul level. <- click to tweet  It's when our egos get involved, when fear and self doubt creep into the equation that it feels like a monstrous struggle just to move one tiny step.  We feel like we're walking in molasses.  But when we understand our purpose, and choose to walk in the direction that our souls know is right for us, the molasses melts into sweet water and we are free to swim in our own sense of meaning.

When I first wrote the book Your Truth back in 2012, it came from a deep rooted sense that we are all capable of assessing our own needs, wants and desires, manifesting change and coping with the related challenges of embracing risk.  I feel more strongly about this today than ever.

When we make our intentions clear, when we give ourselves over to those intentions, things will happen to move us, shift us and change us.  I know this to be true.  I have experienced it unrelentingly for the last ten years.  Some days it's been amazing.  Some days it's been hard graft.

But last Saturday evening, in Piazza Bollente in Acqui Terme, Italy, it was magic.  And I realized, for one small, serendipitous moment, that it was all for this.

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Photos © Chris Salvo, Salvo Photo (Thank you, Chris) 

from fear to creative explosion in one giant leap

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 Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.  Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure - Marianne Williamson

I've been thinking about  fear.  A lot.  When I get this on my mind, it's usually because something has triggered my own anxiety.  Does it matter what it is, the trigger?  Not really.  Suffice it to say I have triggers.  You have triggers.  And unless we are living in a bubble where nothing changes, we'll always have them.

That's the good news.

What?

Yeah. Because fear is the fuel of creativity, if you choose to use it that way. <- click to tweet

How can that be?

If there's something inside telling you to sit down and do nothing, then there's also something inside of you what knows it's absolutely essential to get up and moving.   If something's telling you to contract, then there's also something telling you to open your arms wide and move towards what you know to be your path.

We know we're powerful.  That's why we're fearful.  Fear is the yin to power's yang.  Once we have grappled with the essence of our fear and walked, step by step, in the direction of our power, we know what we have.

I swear, I've looked at fear from so many sides now, and when it comes to roost inside of me, I know as God is my witness that I need to move towards something big.

You want to know what fear looks like?

Fear looks like inertia.  Starting a big project that you always wanted to do and not bringing it to the point where it has a chance for success.  Pushing big rocks uphill is not always fun, or easy, but sometimes you reach the top and that baby flies down the other side, you know?

Fear looks like self-sabotage.Who me?  I couldn't do that. You do it.  I couldn't.   Yeah, you could.  Very much definitely.  You could.

Fear looks like jealousy.  Everyone else's life looking great right now?  Might want to look a little deeper into those feelings.

Fear looks like chaos. Don't take a look at my closet when anxiety hits.  Just don't. I don't know who gets in there and knots up all those leggings, but it must be my slightly agoraphobic alter ego trying to have a go with me.

Fear looks like every person who ever told you you couldn't do something.  All of those people.  You know what you need to do with them? Have a little fantasy, turn them into ants with funny faces, and put them in a jar.  With no holes in the lid.  Let them scream at you from in there until the oxygen runs out.  It won't make you a bad person.  It's just metaphoric.  You can still love them in real life.  Kind of. If you really want to.

See why fear means something big is happening?  Let me tell you what's happening when fear hits.  Something so big that it makes you want to become inert, not admit you can do it , get jealous because you know people who could do it.  It' something so big that it will turn your desk into a chaotic mess and make you believe  all those people who told you you couldn't.

It's that big, the thing you're moving towards.  It's big and it's shiny and it is going to require that you take responsibility for yourself and for it.

It's yours.

So cast of the fear, my love.  Cast of the doubt that you can't move into the flow.  Stop thinking  you're too tired or to busy or just not good enough.  You have the power of the Universe in that talented hand of yours.

Embrace it!

 

creative masterminds: where to start

start anywhere
start anywhere

There's this notion out there that creative people pop onto the planet with a basic understanding of what they should create and how they should create it.

There's nothing further from the truth. Which is why it's so important to try many different things on your way to creative freedom and integrity.  Because until you go through the process of trying things on, you'll never know what's uniquely yours.  It also functions like a path;  one thing you try might not be right, but it could lead you to another thing, or a person doing another thing, and then you work  to find your way through to your own individual creativity.

I see this in every creative person out there.  People who are taking their own skill set and using it to create lives that are interesting.  To them.  Your creativity cannot be interesting to others if it's not first interesting to you.

By the time I moved moved to this old farm in Italy, I had been doing ceramics for several years but was not yet making the pots I knew I could.  I also didn't know how I wanted to decorate the guest rooms. We had so much to do;  restoring four massively dilapidated old structures and clearing hundreds of trees overwhelmed us.  For the first year and a half, I had nowhere to do creative work such as painting and ceramics. I had very little hope that I'd even get to the point of really being an artist again.  But what I did do is every time I saw a picture of a pot  or an interior I loved, I pasted it to the back of our barn door.  Pretty soon it became my first mood board.  I was being creative without being creative, and it gave me back my hope for the future when it seemed I would just drown in the work of surviving.

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my first mood board in Italy, pasted to the door of the barn.

I didn't yet know how to make these kind of pots, but I knew deep inside when a photo of one hit a nerve.  The same thing with interiors. I knew what hit me.  So I decided to use the period of "creative inactivity" when we were covered with plaster from head to toe to really thing about what the path would be like as we moved down it.  When I look at the photo of this mood board now, it's astounding to me how many of the pots are uncannily similar to what I make.  I was directing my own creativity here, and it worked for me like a charm.

You have to start somewhere, so start anywhere. The key is to start, and to keep moving into it.  Don't worry if you can't afford to invest money or time in a craft right now.  You just need to start the thinking process.  Take photos of your thing.  Read articles about your thing.  Try your thing out in some small way.  Keep moving your energy in the direction of your thing.  Make a mood board;  join Pinterest .  Learn something about what moves you.  Get addicted to your own personal brand of creativity.  <- click to tweet. 

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bowl reduced

Get interested. 

Let the interest spark learning.

Let the learning spark action.

Let the action spark commitment. 

Let the commitment spark drive.

Let the drive spark creativity.

Let the creativity spark magic.  

It doesn't matter where you start; it only matters that you start. 

let go of suffering

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 What's making you suffer right now?

 

 

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Is it your situation?  Or is it your narrative?

Because your situation might be what it is because of the narrative you're telling yourself.  And that might be what's causing you to suffer.

Suffering, unless you have a serious or life threatening illness, is mostly self induced.  I know it hurts to hear this.  It hurts me particularly this week because I have been doing some pretty intense suffering of my own, but if I am completely honest here, I brought a lot of it on myself. Ok. No.  I brought it all on myself.  I have a million good excuses that I could roll out right here  and now for having put myself through some pretty tortuous mental gymnastics that have gotten me absolutely nowhere except sleepless.

But instead of beating myself up about it, I'm dissecting it - and turning it around. What if the situation that I was in was happening to my best friend instead of to me?  How would I react then? I know exactly what I would do.

I'd tell her that objectively speaking, her situation is just not that bad.  That there are a lot of people who would just love to be in her position, even though it's stressful right now.  And that she's got the strength and ability to change things up and make herself feel better.  That she's strong.  That she's got a lion's heart and that she is courageous.  Then I decided it's time to be my own best friend. Because those are the things I need to hear right now about myself.  That I have the power to change the things that are not working about my own situation.

This doesn't just work for me, by the way.  I'm not the only one holding on to things that hurt me.  What about you?  What can you let go of today that is going to help you change your narrative about your situation?

Let go of trying to be perfect.  You know this.  I don't have to repeat it.  Do I?

Let go of judging people.  Even the ones you think you know especially well.  Don't judge anyone.  Everyone has the chance to learn new things, to change and to grow and be different than how you perceive him or her to be.

Let go of thinking you can't change.  What you believed yesterday or ten years ago might not hold water any more.  Shed the ideas and notions you have that no longer work.

Let go of resisting. When resistance comes to visit, know that you feel it the most when you need it the least.

Let go of the past. The past counts, but not nearly as much as you think.  And it does not in any way predict what you're capable of in the future.

Let go of trying to be fabulous at the things you suck at.   <- click to tweet  If you blast through life riding the tide of your strengths, you will have a blast.  If you struggle through life trying to be masterfully good at things you don't like doing, you will suffer - and that is completely self induced suffering.  Don't like accounting?  Get an accountant. Let her explain what you need to know, and let her do her job.

Let go of telling yourself you don't need any help. 

Let go of believing that other people are making you miserable.    You can feel anything you want.  Just know that your feeling world is about you and not about anyone making you feel anything.  It can also be divorced from reality - feelings often are.  If you are feeling sad and anxious, it's very likely got more to do with your perception of your situation than the situation itself.

Let go of haters.  

Let go of the idea that past traumas keep us from moving forward.  Our stories effect who we are.  But the upshot of this is that these stories, however they happened to us and worked through us, are there to help us understand ourselves.  When something moves us, it's like a crack appears, and through that crack glows a warm light, and that light propels us forward into a new understanding. Let your past move you forward.  Your stories are your wisdom.

What do you want to let go of today that would make your life joyful?  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

the messy bomb

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Go ahead.  Stumble. 

I am talking about letting things get messy.  Well, you know, things do get messy, right?  As much as we like to believe that our story is a clean one, one that moves towards the light, step by step, until one day we wake up, fulfilled and balanced, we know deep inside that that's a crock.

Uh-uh.

I am a grand starter of projects.  Have an idea?  Call me.  I'll get excited about it for you.  I have an exuberant amount of creative energy.  It took me years, however, many of them, to turn starts into creations of any significance.  And what I found in that process was very interesting and kind of shocking.

I found a veritable minefield of messy bombs that I needed to step on so they could explode all over the place.

Writing True Vines, I was about half way through the first draft when I started to worry.  What would people think of the book?  Would someone actually want to publish it? What did I think of the book?  Would it be worth reading?  Would anybody buy it?  Would it be worth the money they paid?

Why in the world was I even bothering?  I wasn't a writer.  What made me think I could be a writer?  Who gave me permission?

Who in the hell did I think I was? 

The bomb I  stepped on made me crawl under the covers and cry or zombie out for weeks. I felt shattered by self doubt. Until I stopped and made the decision that I was going to write the book anyway.  I wasn't going to care if it sold, if a publisher wanted it, if anyone else gave a damn about it.  I was going to write it because it was important to me.  If nothing would come of it, I would somehow be ok in the knowledge  that just writing it was a worthwhile task. I stopped wallowing and I put my canoe back into the current.  But don't believe the wallowing was a bad thing!  It was necessary part of coming to the conclusion that the book would get written at all. The book that became published, that people are reading, that has brought me so much joy and assured me that I am indeed the writer I always felt I was inside. I didn't need anyone's permission or approval after all.

Getting the most out of life means allowing the mess.  Understanding that we are, in all our sum parts, quite messy, beautiful creatures, full of contradiction and pain, love and hurt, light and dark, who manage to still weave through and shift ourselves back into gear. 

We get to be shattered.  We get to be broken.  We get to be not ok.  And we get to understand that those are all parts of authenticity.

The mess has a point, and that point is passion. To get to the passionate part of our life's work, we have to open ourselves up to the fact that we are, in fact, capable of shooting ourselves in the foot in uncountable ways. It's the minefield, my friends.  But it's not the minefield that you have to cross gingerly, hoping not to disturb the peace. It's the minefield that you must trample on with a pair of clod hoppers.

Because if you go after your passions, the peace, my friends, will get disturbed.  You can count on it.

And you will emerge, maybe a little scarred, some mud stuck in your hair, with your chin set, your eyes clear and you will be saying to yourself, "There you have it.  I did it. And here I am .  Still alive."

More than alive.  You get to have yourself, really and truly.

Don't fear the messy bomb, people.  Don't fear it at all.  Because good things, very gorgeous miracles come from the your very special mess.

 

 

 

intrepid grace

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I've come back to beautiful Italy from a two week visit to the United States.

I had so many wonderful and deeply emotional moments on this trip; it was packed with loving and meaningful encounters.  I visited with people who had been through so much suffering and change.  I saw old friends and new ones, got to speak to people who came to hear me read from my book, and  talked for hours with loved ones.  It was a trip to savor and to reflect upon; so much of what I experienced confirmed that stepping in to love is the only thing to do.

So many of those I saw on this trip have been through journeys of illness, pain, anxiety and struggle, in situations that were or continue to be incomprehensibly sad and difficult.  In each of the interactions I had, I came away astounded by the human ability to demonstrate grace at the darkest moments.  I was filled with gratitude and respect for the human spirit in the face of seemingly impossible odds.  The grace seemed tenacious to me.  Gripping.

So I named it intrepid grace.  It's that thing that keeps us human when we are battered by inhumanity.  It's the grace that propels us forward, helps us focus, and lets us know at an existential level that all is truly well.

And to experience it in such a personal way was deeply moving.

Now back in Italy, we're only four weeks out from opening the B&B for the season. That might seem like a lot of time, but it's a flash, considering there's still snow on the ground in spots!   There will be major cleaning, planting and cooking taking place over the next month.   The yang of the season is calling, pulling me out of the retrospective winter into movement and activity.  I'll step into the flow, and see where it takes me.  Big change is in the air.  Just around the bend.  I can feel it.  I'll do my best to meet it with intrepid grace.

book signing one - diana

podcast: your beautiful changing life - a new career

Has it crossed your mind to completely change your career, but the simple idea of it seems overwhelming and impossible?  Would you like to change what you do for a living to something that satisfies your soul rather than just your pocketbook?  In today's podcast, I answer a reader's question regarding making a huge change, and talk about some of the pitfalls we can avoid along the way.

passion, creativity, illumination and getting published

pottery will always be my refuge, as long as my hands can move

(Photo of my hands courtesy of Julia Russell)

Passion effects who we are.  

When we open ourselves to our own pulsing, pumping, inexhaustible passion, things start to change.  Our hearts twist our mindsets, and our mindsets get wrenched out of the comfortable paradigms where they've been festering and attaching themselves to judgement and doubt.  I can't do this suddenly becomes well, I can at least try.... and when you try, your mindset gets kicked around even more.  More changes happen and your preconceptions about yourself get blown into the wind like petals on a fruit tree in May.

And you're left naked in your own discomfort, shoved head first out to where you were always meant to be.

Sometimes passion is borne of tremendous, overwhelming pain, as if trauma finally makes us snap to and say it's now or never.  Sometimes it's borne of a dead, aching heart that realizes mediocrity and settling for what works and nothing more could possibly be the worst prison of all.

However it comes, whatever the catalyst, the first few steps require bravery.  Our feet shake and our minds scream to run for cover. But if we can hang tough and not let the headwind blow us back into never trying, the path twists and what seemed like the loneliest walk ever becomes illuminated.

Illuminated by others who honor your journey and believe you.

Illuminated by others who will help you and guide you.

Illuminated by a spirit so strong that suddenly you understand there is no going back.  The comfort zone is the dead zone.  This new thing is the land of the living.  And then there, in front of you, in a haze, is your passion, waiting for you to come and take its hand and walk on.

If playing it safe is the thing you feel compelled to do, ask yourself this:  twenty years from now, if you're fortunate enough to live that long, how will you feel about having played it safe?  Will there be lingering doubt or regret for not having taken the less travelled road?  Maybe it's tough to project out that far.  But only you know what secret dreams rest inside.  And only you know what sacrifices you might have to personally make to get yourself on the path to realizing your dreams.

Vine Sketch - Sue Pownall

I've stepped out into the frosty cold a few times now.   My latest venture, a novel called True Vines, hits the market on November 1st.  I started writing True Vines after a life season of great personal distress, as if getting the words of this novel out of myself would bring me to a deeper understanding of my own sense of confusion.  That's exactly what happened;  in seeing the story that my own hands wrote, I could grasp more of my own - leading me to learn that we are capable of being our own healers.

True Vines is a story of rebuilding life at a fundamental level. Part of change is letting go of worry about the result.  This book, a teacher for me, is now ready to make its way into the world and whatever happens from this point forward, it's mine to accept. The cover is full of meaning.  The painting in the background is one that I did several years ago while trying to capture the beauty and isolation of where I live.   I live in a house on a hill.  It protects me and challenges me at the same time.  Superimposed over the painting is a beautiful illustration of vines by my friend and fellow artist Sue Pownall.  The vines are the connection, the object that moves everything forward - they produce the grapes that turn into wine that connect this little house with the outside world.

You can pre-order True Vines by clicking on the cover photo above.  It's a wonderful holiday gift for yourself and the women in your life.

 

Here's a short trailer to give you a feel for the book.

cracking your beautiful, well honed surface

Your Beautiful Self.

You dream.  You function.  You do all the things that are expected.  Work things.  Home things.  Family things.  Somehow the days squeak by and you've held it together, again and again, in a way that your mother would be proud of.

Taking care of yourself means something different, though.

Your beauty, your radiant self becomes flattened and ground down as the micro fine sand of making it all work hits your surfaces, the rough edges and corners, the secret wishes and goals, the dark and the sacred until you are smooth, smooth as a stone and functioning like the machine you never really were.

Until something hits.  An illness.  A divorce.  A change.

A revelation.

And the surface cracks and underneath there are familiar shadows that reveal themselves, where all the corners and darkness and beauty have been laying in waiting for just this moment to explode through the well honed surface and remind you, once again,

who you really are.

The change may come from you or it might come through you.  But its job is always the same.

The purpose of change is to expose and reveal the essential.  The essential you.

guidance: go f yourself

Hello, my friends.  What's growing in your garden this week?

Italy is a stellar place to take on all kinds of personal development.  I notice that when people arrive here, they'll dive into conversations about ten times deeper than the ones they might have elsewhere.  There's something about here that helps people let go. It's such a great thing to watch people let the worries of everyday life fall off their shoulders for a few days as they breathe in the air in the hills and let themselves relax, maybe for the first time in months, or even years.  It's quite a lovely thing to be the facilitator of relaxation, and to be able to give people that space.

I know that the sense of deep relaxation is something that comes from Italian energy, the Italian way of life. I once read that Italy is the land of old souls - that reincarnated souls come back here again and again to work in the vineyards, the connection with nature bringing the soul's development further each time. Life led us here to do this kind of work for a reason. The longing for Italy and its beautiful energy is something we see reflected in our guests' comments - and hearts - year after year.

At some point, I decided it was divine destiny that brought me here to cultivate this particular way of life.  For years, all I could see that we needed to work like dogs for years to get established and centered, and I couldn't even fathom why we needed to go through all of this - ahem- learning. But I've learned to view our work here as something greater than just having an inn and making breakfast.  It's really about the conversations, the interactions, the richness of what has been brought to us through having opened our home.

What a garden we've cultivated for ourselves.  I'm a very lucky girl.

We're guided toward a purpose.  That purpose is to  develop and take on change. This week has been one of going inside of myself and looking around a bit, at the same time reaching out to see where I want to go.  My garden's growing and growing - both my vegetable garden (full of baby tomatoes and basil and dill) and my soul-garden, where I take all the goodness that's bestowed on me by everyone I meet and try to understand what the guidance is behind the words I share with others.

We're receiving guidance all the time , as my friend Amy Oscar points out, we only have to look around and have an open mind and heart.  We are led spiritually into new ways of thinking, new ideas and new possibilities constantly.  There's nothing wrong and there's everything right with reaching out and pulling the guidance close to you so that you can come closer to yourself and what you are truly meant to do.

Guidance isn't based upon where you are professionally, or financially, but rather spiritually.  You don't need to build up walls of things around you and have your whole life in perfect order before you even start.  You just need one thing - a vision of where you want go.  And to get that vision, all you have to do is trust the guidance that you get, every moment of every day.  You know about listening to your gut, right?  It won't fail you.  You can get from here to wherever it is you want to be if you ask, listen, and do.   If you listen, you'll automatically be more connected to your guidance.

So, what I want to tell you this week, what I really want you to do, and I mean this from the bottom of my heart, is I want you to listen to me and to go F yourself.  Really.  I do.

Go Free Yourself.  Make at least two pockets of time this week, a half hour each at least, to walk by yourself and free your mind from the tension that you carry around with you.  During your walk, keep your shoulders down and breathe from your stomach.  Don't think about anything but relaxing your neck, keeping your stomach in, your back straight and your shoulders down. And walk.  Alone.  Free your mind. Free yourself up to recognize guidance as it happens.

Go Flaunt Yourself.  Write down in  your journal (you have one of those, don't you?) ten things you do really really well.  And expand on them - go into detail.  Write what you like about each of those things.   Because if you do things well, it's because you love to do those things.  Take a look at your accomplishments, right there, in hard print, for you to look back to. Flaunt yourself so that you can be guided by your strengths rather than your fears.

Go Floralize Yourself.  It's the time of year when flowers are the least expensive. Buy a bunch of posies and put them in a place where YOU can see them (I like to keep mine on my desk next to my computer).  If you want, go into a field and pick flowers instead. Get some floral love going in your life.

Go Fragrance Yourself.  Wear your favorite scent every day, a little luxury that will make you feel lovely.

Go Fantasize Yourself.  Time to get out the journal again.  Draw either a verbal or decorative picture of how you would have your most perfect room. Get specific:  color, furnishings, lighting, views from the windows.  Understand your own space desires. Guidance works hard through our fantasies, and if we wake up to what we would love to have in our lives, we'll be guided on how to get the ideal space for ourselves.

Go Fortify Yourself.  With good food that works for your body and not against it.  With knowledge about the things you want to improve yourself in. With the words of supportive friends who exist in your life for the purpose of mutual enrichment. It's when you're rested and healthy that you are best able to put guidance into action.

Go Flourish Yourself.  Give your garden what it needs to grow and thrive. Listen for guidance, stay open, and trust your gut.

I wish you a beautiful, healthy, prosperous week cultivating your garden from Bella Piemonte.

diana

PS... Have you downloaded the free chapters yet?  Click here if you haven't.....

dive in

 

Life has so many opportunities that we can embrace.  They're hidden behind our interactions with people, in our daily routines, waiting for us to take notice.  To notice opportunities, we have to be aware of their existence, and be ready to embrace them. Embracing opportunities also means embracing change.  And change is the thing about opportunities that can redefine us as people.

Being in-between who you were and who you will become lies change.  Change that will move you, stretch you, ground you to a pulp at times but leave enough of you there that you will be resilient enough to pick up and keep going.  I've often thought of life change as having a backpack full of building blocks.  One day, you spill them out onto the floor and realize you don't even recognize the pieces.  But then you decide to pick them up, one by one and put them back in the backpack...until they are all in there... but in a different order than when you started.   We are a confused, muddled, exquisite puzzle, and we're left to our own devices to see exactly what it is we're capable of.

But we don't truly know until we dive in. 

When we do, when we stop planning and thinking and second guessing and just dive in to change, in whatever form it takes, we're hit with learning from the very first moment.  We realize how vulnerable we are, how much we define ourselves through things that don't matter like jobs and degrees and money and cars.  All of that washes away and we can see, maybe for the first time:  who are we?  What do we want?  What do we need?

Change, real meaningful change, simplifies our lives immensely because we learn, unequivocally, who we really are.  And who we're not.  We don't get to know those things without having dived into risk.  For some reason, the Universe has it set up that way.  She shake her cosmic finger in our face and says, "You really want to know what your life's all about?  Put yourself out on a limb.  Everything will become crystal clear."

My life is changing in oh, so many ways.  I'm swept up in the dance of Italian inn keeping, cooking up a storm, baking focaccia dredged in Umbrian olive oil for breakfast, teaching how to make cannelloni stuffed with spinach and pork,  washing sheets and welcoming new people every few days into our peaceful world on a Piemontese hill.  But I'm writing and learning new glaze formulas for plates and continuing to unravel the mystery of me.  New energy is blowing all around; new opportunities are in the air.  I can feel it as I breathe to stay open to whatever comes my way. Nothing is standing still.

How is your life changing?  What new processes are you embracing that are moving you forward in your unraveling?  Leave a comment and let us all hear what you have going on and how it's impacting your life...even if it's all still in the planning phase...

A thank you is overdue. 

For all of you who subscribed and downloaded the free chapters to my new ebook, YOUR TRUTH, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.  To those of you who wrote me personal emails, I am touched beyond words.  I am trying to get back to each of you this week.  Thank you especially to those who took time to write out the typos to me (I MEAN IT, THANK YOU!!!).  All of your notes have been - um, noted and will be corrected for the epublication version.

Your kindness and patience is overwhelming and confirmed what I've known for a very long time.  I have some of the most wonderful people visiting my world here at A Certain Simplicity.

Writing this ebook has had a profound impact on me.  I'm much clearer since giving these ideas dimension on a page.  We're in the "fine tuning" phase of the re-write now and I can't wait to have this ready for you very soon.

And a word about design...

I'm taking a fresh approach here at ACS and am starting to make the blog look more how I feel it should look.  I hope you enjoy the changes (change IS good!)....

Wishing you joy,

Diana