"Do the difficult things while they are easy and
do the great things while they are small.
A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step."
How many times have you heard yourself say “There are so many blocks in my way,” – “I’m blocked and I can’t figure out a way to move forward.” Or “I am stuck. The blocks are just too big – I can’t move them.”
ONE THOUSAND TIMES?
ONE MILLION TIMES?
I can safely say I am in the 1,000,000 times camp! There have been so many times during my life that I have felt incredibly stuck. I have been challenged time and again by circumstances and obstacles that seemingly blocked the path.
Until they didn’t.
Until I truly was able to SEE the BLOCKS in an entirely new way.
The power of language and the energy of words literally “stops us in our tracks” everyday as the mind gets stuck in only one way of seeing something. In my work as an intuitive coach and consultant, finding creative solutions that “solve for X” is an essential part of my work.
I was working with a client recently and she said one of those key phrases above – “the blocks are in my way.” And this image, much like the one of the runner in the BLOCKS above, appeared in my mind’s eye. “Ah ha, these are blocks too,” I thought. I was able to see clearly that the blocks she spoke of weren’t actually in front of her, barring her way. No, a much deeper, truer and freer image appeared – the blocks were behind her, giving her something to push against, readying her for take-off.
When I shared the image and insight with her, she started to cry. A “wait” had lifted and shifted. The power of perception and the energy of words had trapped her. The proverbial brick wall in front of her now became the very catalyst that would propel her forward. In that tilt of the kaleidoscope moment, everything changed. Everything.
What’s seemingly blocking your way? Notice what happens when you put the blocks behind you and push off. You are on your way. And LIFE, your life, is cheering you on to victory.
AnXiety Marks The Spot
Over the years, my mother would tell me this story about when Mary Lost Her Merry. Forget the lamb, losing Merry was far more significant. The story goes that my mother observed that my birth to three year old self (it was somewhere between two and three – I just like imagining that I was “Mary” a bit longer) what my mother describes as a whimsical, carefree, merry little child with a bubbly laugh disappeared and was replace by this quiet, nervous, dare I say it, anxious child. Susan Cain’s book Quiet has some powerful insights on this phenomenon.
As I grew-up, I would say that it wasn’t until the 7th or 8th grade before I seemingly “found my Mary.” The truth was, I found an acceptable adaptation of her, a person that appeared calm, cool and collected aka (medium and in-charge) on the outside while subsequently living with incredible anxiety and fear on the inside. I wore it well until the age of 39 when LIFE as I had come to know it fell apart from the inside out and for five years I was sick and tired – literally. It all started with some numbness in my right leg which in looking back became the catalyst for looking at the numbness in so many other parts of my life.
This marked five long years of being stuck in the belief that there was SOMETHING wrong with my physical body. The evidence was so clear that my body was falling apart and I had enough symptoms to float a boat – and no diagnosis. Fast-forward to 2005 and the last trip to the hospital, the final neurologist of the FIVE I had consulted over as many years. This kind, compassionate and wise doctor-man said this of my own personal ODD-YSSEY (emphasis on the ODD), “you are such a rare case, Mary. Many others that I have seen with your story either oftentimes end up with un-necessary surgeries on the back, lumbar and neck in an futile attempt to “fix” something or on numerous medications for anxiety, depression, pain, and a host of other reasons. You are unusual in that over these five years, you have managed to navigate this illness and stay centered.”
Indeed, that had been the case. I still to this day can’t tell you why I hadn’t gone down the surgery or medication route, I just feel grateful and blessed that I didn’t. That kind neurologist also said, “there is a name for this, for what is happening to your body, that Western medicine can’t identify – yet. I recommend you seek out the support of a compassionate therapist to help you navigate and make sense of the symptoms and give you some additional tools to handle this.” Indeed, it was time to dig. Because, you see, X had been marking the spot for years and I just hadn’t seen it that way. As many of you know, I did go on to see that compassionate therapist, in the person of Catherine Crawford, who is an intuitive, wise counselor who uses equal measures of art, creativity, intuition and kindness to gently unearth the treasure that is buried deep inside us. I started seeing Catherine in the fall of 2005. Ah, the fall. And it was six months, almost to the day, that I experienced my spring awakening. Yes, March of 2006, after a myriad of deep digging exercises, exploration and navigating my inner landscapes, the sleeping giant – the indomitable spirit awoke…and with it – ME. Someday I will share with you, on one of the new Fresh Intuition Fridays, what I call The Anatomy of a Spiritual Awakening. Because, let’s not kid ourselves, there is a whole lotta physical mixed in with the spiritual and there are many people in the world going through this same re-connection. I meet them everyday in my work.
My work. Yes. The gift of awakening. The X marks the spot has now become my work. Literally, my LIFE IS MY BUSINESS and I am profoundly aware now of the treasure that awaits exactly where we stumble. And I want you to know it too. I want you to acknowledge all the places and times where anxiety and fear have stopped you in your tracks.
Pause a moment and look down. We have a tendency to think look down at this external spot where change resides – a change we seemingly can’t reach. Notice “all the downs” between your eyes and feet where X may mark the spot.
Look down to your throat – in your ability to communicate with truth and clarity. Look at your chest – where your big, beautiful vulnerable heart resides. Is the treasure buried there? Look down at your gut (I know it’s getting bigger) – it’s because there is treasure stored in there – creativity, empowerment, self-esteem and self-worth. Get out your shovel and start digging. And just like that wise, compassionate, doctor-man suggested to me, hire a guide, find a compassionate witness and invest in new tools to dig underneath the anxiety and fear to get your spirit back.
Because, another name for that spirit, for that deep connection to self is intuition. Yes, in looking back at that story my mother told about losing my Mary, she was right. My own clarity, my own connection to intuition and spirit began to fade at that young age as I began to absorb the feelings, the pain and concerns of the world which transformed into anxiety. Over the years, my own intuition was replaced in equal measures with anxiety as a regular part of my daily diet. And it impacted my choices, my freedom, my ability to feel, to risk, to… as Brene Brown says …to dare greatly.
Well, I am hear to say…and here to say, that anxiety indeed marked the spot and though it was a long and challenging journey, the treasure that is my life and the access to wisdom and grace through the re-connection with the intuitive way has restored my health, my balance and my life’s purpose.
Is anXiety marking the spot in your life? Start X.
I know that many of us feel at times overwhelmed with all there is to do – all the ways we are asked to show up.
As my intuitive coaching practice has taken off this year, I have so many clients who consult with me because they are seeking a clarity on their life path and feel overwhelmed with the hectic 24/7 pace in their lives. After several clients reported this same sense of overwhelm, I found myself curious as to the meaning of whelm. If we are ‘over’ something, then where is the balance?
So, I went to my favorite source – the dictionary – to find the meaning of whelm.
Whelm: a verb; to engulf or submerge.
Well, the meaning and energy of whelm inspired me to give what I called practicing whelm as an exercise for my clients. One client described her sense of overwhelm as the desire to just drive off the highway and keep going. Another, the inability to let herself create art until all the tasks on the proverbial to-do list were done, which of course they never were and a third who is such a pillar of strength for others that she was literally not able to stand on her own as her health had declined.
In each instance, I suggested an activity or exercise that gave them the opportunity to submerge for a time, to go off road, to take the art break, to let go of a task or an event at work, and just dive underneath the surface of their life’s for five minutes… 10 minutes… 30 minutes and practice whelm without the wait. You see, when we put off balancing our hectic outer lives with our quiet inner life, then the weight of whelm takes over.Women in particular as the nurturer/caretaker often use these descriptors of their emotional landscape – “I feel trapped in a box with no way out,” “I’m drowning,” “I feel weighed down by my life,” or “I’m suffocating.” If you hear yourself say these words this month, take note. Listen to that small, still voice asking to practice whelm. Listen to that voice asking to submerge and sit in the silence for a few moments.
Stretch the body, have a bite to eat, close your eyes and rest. And you will discover this: when you whelm it well – here’s the paradox:
You’ll know when it is time to come back up to the surface and breathe. Practice whelm. It does a mind, heart and soul good!
Better yet – get caught.
C’ing yourself in a whole new way.
And Moi, you are looking très magnifique.
This is the Dose.
I create them.
Yup. I do.
And no one is more surprised by this than eeny, meeny, miny…MOI!
Let me give you a brief history of The Dose and how this creative fuel has changed lives. Starting with mine.
- Heard about Pinterest last spring – one GIANT online bulletin board. A huge oversimplification but you get the idea. I resisted, too much going on.
- Attended a networking meeting March 2012 about social media that featured…Pinterest. I stopped resisting.
- Fell in LOVE with Pinterest but discovered I wanted to CREATE my OWN posters. Only one problem. I didn’t have a clue how to do it.
- Got a CLUE! I got a bunch of them which included a camera, a few simple software tools, some “fresh intuition”, a healthy dose of passion and a desire to create that was so strong, there was no turning back. (And believe me, sometimes I think what have I gotten myself into!)
- Launched the Daily Dose – vitamin C for your soul my simple and highly visual campaign for consciousness and offered it to the subscribers of my monthly newsletter in June 2012.
- Stopped the Dose on the VERY first day when someone unsubscribed and I thought – “oh, sh**, maybe people don’t want this, maybe I am not suppose to do this?” HUGE crisis of confidence. But the urge to create was even stronger. So…
- I put on my courageous and creative BIG girl pants and here I AM, EIGHT months later creating FIVE posters a week for my growing list of “fresh” fans.
- Which has led to friends Colleen and Madison Altendorf and Wendy Squire lending their creative eye and photos along with my own and a smattering of Microsoft Images for what I call “Dose fodder.” I have heard from scores of other people who have shared the Dose, who quote what consciousness has to say, shared a note with me about how they feel inspired, heard, seen, felt and touched in their daily lives. We are all coming to our senses. But that is a post for another day.
Huh, what a little Dose will do! A little like the children’s book “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.” Watch what happens with that creative spark…it turns into fire.
Now, here is an example of the creative fun I have ‘seeing’ a finished Dose out of all my potential creative options each week.
I am highly visual and I generally start with the picture. I drop it in PicMonkey and put it through the creative ringer until I land on a combination that pleases my eye. Then the words. More wrangling with text, fonts, spacing, layout and impact. Then, into Mailchimp where I then drop the image in my daily campaign and I write the copy for what “Consciousness” has to say about the wise words or quote on the poster. I then schedule the Dose to be delivered to YOU. (Unless you aren’t on the Dose yet, then head on over here and get fresh.)
My favorite part of the Dose creative process is the transformation of the image into the final poster. Hmmmmmmmmmm, not unlike the process of coaching someone and seeing them transform right before my eyes. I will likely drop YOU in the photo editor and then into a campaign for your own creative unleashing in the world…for your own dose of conscious insight. So, you may have come for the Dose, but check out the Coach.
Here are a few of my favorite Dose transformations. And indeed, the curiosity about transformation, creativity and change is what keeps my eye coming back to the page day after day after day.
This grand Gerber daisy from a bouquet from a friend became this.
The quote says, “you are brilliant and the earth is hiring.”
And this moss on the tree photo from Madison became this.
The quote says, “heroes take journeys, confront dragons and discover the treasure of their true selves.”
And today’s Dose? It was created last night from a photo of a stack of coasters on my sister Amy’s coffee table this weekend. I was in town visiting and noticed a bunch of “Dose fodder” at her house. I arranged the coasters thus and it became this.
So, take a moment today and find yourself as the Dose prompts.
What is the MOI in you?
Where is the fresh MOI in your day?
A little Dose will do ya.