Believing Mirror

'7 Crows, A Secret Never To Be Told' detail--Cat Fink
7 Crows, A Secret Never to be Told (detail) — Cat Fink

Thursday I had my last session with my coach.  Yes, I am a creativity coach-artist-writer-blogger who has a coach.  I should say, had a coach.

For this past year we have been talking, every two weeks.  Sometimes emailing in between the talking.

I’ll tell you how I feel right now.  Sad.  I am going to miss our biweekly conversations.  I am also elated, excited, pleased with myself.  I keep hearing ‘I did it!’ popping into my thoughts.  I am grounded and balanced within myself and my life.  I feel like I just graduated from a Master’s Degree program.  I feel like I just ran a whole marathon.

So what did I do that has me celebrating?

Last April I got very honest with myself.  I looked at my nineteen years as a professional artist.  Looked at my writing and my blogging.  At my book with the half-completed second draft.  At the creativity workshops and coaching I was doing.

I loved all I was doing and creating, loved the connections and community I was building.  But I had no focus.  It all felt very random, with no clear path ahead.  My usual way of working was feeling chaotic rather than organic.

This is where I am, I said to myself.  Where do I want to go?  How do these pieces of my creativity fit together?

I am the kid who always says ‘I can do it myself’, and does.  Not this time.  I need help, I said to myself, and Source heard my request.

Enter Linda.

Linda is a Master Coach.  Yes, the capital letters are deliberate and appropriate.  She coaches CEO’s and entrepreneurs.

Linda listened to me with her heart and her head.

I have a bad attitude around business, I said.  Business and art don’t belong in the same sentence.

We can do this, she said.

Over twelve months we shifted me, my life, and my creativity into focus.  We talked about the nuts and bolts of what I was doing, the energy and feel of what I was creating.  About where I was and where I wanted to be.  We used our heads and our hearts.  Feeling and knowing what was right for me, and what was not.

Two (of the thousand) things I learned from Linda:

Feel and think.  My heart carries my dreams and inspiration and path.  My head carries the organizing and details, the process, the nuts and bolts of building.  When I connect all of this, the whole of me, I see clearly the next step in front of me.  I feel the energy of the people I am connecting with, and what they are asking for.  I see how this matches my inspiration, the workshops and coaching, the words and drawings I will create in response.

Use everything.  Instead of pushing away what I don’t like, I get curious about it.  What does this feel like?  What is it telling me?  Why is it showing up?  How can I use it?  I am fascinated at how there is always a way to turn something around and let it inspire me.

Linda has been my Believing Mirror.  She met me exactly where I was, and saw the future me as I wanted to be.  Step by step she walked with me into that place.  Transformation.

What is best?  I am now my own Believing Mirror.  I see where I am, and I see where I am going to be.  That vision of where I will be pulls me forward.  It creates the space for me to walk into, and the steps to get there.

Thank you, Linda, Master Coach, Believing Mirror.

_______________________

In this post:

‘Believing Mirror’, page 47 in It’s Never Too Late to Begin Again, Julia Cameron, TarcherPerigree, 2016, http://juliacameronlive.com/

Linda Caducoy,  Executive Coach,  https://www.linkedin.com/in/lindacaducoy

A Gift of Attention

me.carrie.nanas.july65

This is what I remember.

I am three years old. I am standing in the living room. My mom is sitting in the chair in front of me, holding blankets. My dad is crouched beside me, at my level, telling me this is my new baby sister. Her name is Carrie.

See? Say hello. You can touch her. My mom leans forward so I can see inside the blankets. There is a small face. Red. The eyes are closed. There are black eyelashes.

I don’t recall if I said anything or if I touched her. I do know how I felt. I can feel it now as I remember. I feel confused. I don’t know what this means. Why is she here? Is she staying with me and my parents? My parents are doing a lot of holding her. They’re not holding me. Do they love her now? Does this mean they don’t love me anymore? Now I feel sad and somehow smaller. I am starting to feel angry at this baby sister, whatever she is, who is taking my place.

This is what I remember.

I am four years old. I am in my bedroom, standing in the middle of the room. I can see the back yard through my window. It is sunny outside. I feel my feet warm in my pink socks, feel the wood floor solid under me. I am happy, peaceful, connected to everything around me. I feel secure in myself—who I am, what I can do, my place in the world. I know I have a voice and ideas worthy of listening to.

What happens in the year between these two memories?

I remember.

My dad comes home from work. He changes from his work clothes to his home clothes. He comes into the kitchen, talks with my mom, talks to my baby sister in her play pen. Then he and I go into the living room.

We lay on the thick rug, my dad on his stomach and I beside him.

And we talk. Just the two of us. He asks me what did I do today? And then he listens.

I tell him what I did, what I found in the back yard (ants, a slug, and two rocks), the songs I sing as I swing on my yellow and blue swing set (Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and Somewhere Over the Rainbow). I sing them to him as loud as I can. I know all the words.

This is the immense gift my dad gives me. His focused attention. It may be only fifteen or twenty minutes each day. It feels like always and forever. In this gift, he tells me he loves me, that I am important to him and worthy of his time, that I have ideas and thoughts worth listening to.

My dad’s gift moves me from a confused, sad, angry three-year-old who wonders if she is losing her parents’ love, into a four-year-old secure and sure in herself and her world, happy, loved, and loving.

This gift of a few minutes each day. So small, yet it is everything.

Undivided, loving, interested attention. I learn what this is and how it feels. I take it into me.

I know now the infinite value of this gift. I practise it and pass it to whoever I can. This gift says I love you, and you are worth attention and time. You are important to me. You are interesting.

Thank you, Dad, for the gift of attention. I love you.  And Carrie, I love you too.

Creating in the key of love

 

Cat Fink--'Blackbird Dance (what is and what could be)'
Blackbird Dance (what is and what could be)

Know.  Trust.  Choose.  Create.  This is what I do every day to consciously create my life.  Small things, like a conveniently placed parking spot or a table in my favourite cafe.  Big things, like an artist residency.

Some of my creations take time, like the artist residency.  I keep watch for the things that support it, and act on them.  I am building my creation, and the path to it.  Each action fitted to the next.

I have a partner in this.  I call my partner Source, or God, or the Great Creator, or the One Energy, or the Universe.  Source loves creating.  Source is creation energy, whole and complete.

What I am doing takes love, lots of it.  It takes attention, wide and inviting, open and allowing.  The more I do this, the more I love, the better I get at creating my life, and the better my life gets.

Here is what Dee Wallace says in her weekly e-blast, January 26, 2015, about what gets in the way of creating my life:

‘Whenever you feel out of sorts or imbalanced, ask yourself these four guiding questions:

-Am I in love with myself in this moment?

-Am I loving others in this moment?

-Am I here, in the present, or worrying about the future or the past?

-Am I remembering I am my own creator? Or have I given my creation away to something or someone else in this moment?’

Dee is talking about paying attention and making conscious choices.  I choose I love myself and others, unconditionally.  I choose I am here always in this present moment.  I choose I create my life.  I don’t just choose these things.  I feel them, all the way through me.

Creation, for me, is like music.  When the singers and the musical instruments are in tune and in time with each other, the music flows through me, clear, sweet, warm to my senses, and the song is created.

When one or more of the singers and instruments sound the wrong note, are off-key or off-timing, the music stutters and sours and jars me.  The song and the flow of the song are marred or stopped.  The song is created differently than it was intended, or stops being created altogether.

Creating my life moves exactly like creating music.  Harmony, timing, flow.  It is intention, attention, and the energy of love I am playing with.  It is Source as my partner, each of us in harmony with the other through love.

Know.  Trust.  Choose.  Create.  This is what I do.

Know.  Feel the earth under my feet and feel the breath in my body.  Let my thoughts slow until the feeling in my body takes the place of the words in my head.  Here.  This quiet place.  Feel the love I have for myself, open, full, unconditional.  Let it fill all the space that I am.  I am only and all Love.

Trust.  Let the love for myself spill beyond me, out into the world, the Universe around me.  Wide.  Accepting and allowing all.  Love.  Unconditional.

Choose.  Let my awareness be here now, chosen and grounded in this love and this moment, focused on the intention of my creation.  Feel my creation with all of my senses here in front of me, created out of love.

Create.  Feel surely and completely I am this unconditional love, I am the creator of my life and all in it.  My love, my attention and intention, my clear choosing, and my loving knowing, here and now.  This energy.  This music.  This song.  Love creates me.  I create love.  I choose this.

I choose love.

Know.  Trust.  Choose.  Create.  I choose this song.

______________________

Mentioned in this post:

Dee Wallace.  https://iamdeewallace.com/.  Dee’s new book Getting Stuff: Everything is Possible is about creating through love.  A clear, detailed, easy read.  Get it, read it, and go create your life!

Thank you, big sister Dee, for inspiring this blog post.

Choose Love, Choose Love

Everything I Know About The Human Heart Part 2
Everything I Know About The Human Heart Part 2

 

(In honour of Valentine’s Day on February 14th, I’m reposting a lesson I learned about love.)

Choose love.  It should be something that comes naturally.  For me, not always,  although I am getting better at this.  Somewhere in my growing up, I unlearned choosing love.  The words that follow tell how I am moving back to choosing through love and for love.  Let me tell you a story from 2013……

 Red Dots

I have been working online and by phone with Dee Wallace and Jarrad Hewett for the last five months.  I am part of a large group, more than one hundred of us, international.  We are doing ‘Let the Shift Hit the Fan II’, a ten month program of inner work, energy and intuition.  We are learning to hear our own voices above the clamour of those around us.  Learning to trust what we feel and know for ourselves.  Learning to make choices and act on those choices.  Learning to create our lives consciously.  We are returning, each of us, to our true selves.  This is what has sparked my constant mantra of ‘know, trust, choose, create’.

Dee’s channel is telling us we need to learn to develop our focus on feeling love.  They give us what we call ‘the Red Dot Exercise’.  This exercise seems a bit silly at first, has us laughing about it, that we are loving a red dot on a piece of paper.  Then we realize it is working.

This is the Red Dot Exercise we have been given:

‘Make a red dot on a piece of paper.

Drop into your heart center, open your heart, and find a strong experience of love.  Feel the joy and unconditional love of that moment.  Allow that feeling to expand.

Now for thirty seconds, five times a day, for two weeks, practice sending that love to your red dot.  Become one with it.  Practice detachment from sending and being this experience of love.  Just feel love for your red dot.  Leave the thinking and judging aside.  Just feel.

For the next two weeks, do the same, knowing that the red dot is simply self-love.  EXPECT NOTHING.  It is just the practice of sending and BEING the love.

For the final two weeks, you can choose that the dot represents something: money/health, etc., and send love.  All feeling, no thinking.  SEE IF YOU CAN STILL DO THE EXERCISE WITH NO ATTACHMENT.  You are simply BEING Love around whatever subject you choose.  You are realizing that the state of love IS that which you have chosen.

It is suggested that this become a way of life.  This is not a temporary exercise.

Feel this shift in your heart and your gut.  YOU ARE the energy that is the Love.’

I am midpoint in this Shift work and I am seeing and feeling the changes I am creating for myself.  Dee, Jarrad, and their channels have my trust.

I find a pad of yellow sticky notes and a red pencil.  I make my bright red dot and stick it eye height on the wall above my studio desk.  I cannot miss it.  I will remember to do this five times a day, no problem, since I am in and out of my studio frequently.

Actually.  Yes.  Problem.  I go into my studio for something.  I see the red dot.  I say to Continue reading “Choose Love, Choose Love”

Falling Down, Getting Up, Part 2

tigger.totoro.crop
Totoro and Tigger–Go Play!

So, what happened after my tantrum last Thursday?

The tantrum continued. Friday. Saturday. Sunday. Monday. Then, Monday afternoon, for no apparent reason, it faded away.

I can feel echoes of it today. A ghost in the background. My desire to write and create is stronger. I sit down at my studio table and begin. The ghost vanishes. Gone.

As I write these words, I have not figured out what pushed me into this cranky, unwilling mood last week, or why it hung on through Monday. My mind longs to have this figured out so it can prevent it from happening again. My mind has judged this full-on-tantrum mode as something bad. Especially since I felt really uncomfortable when I was in the middle of it.

My mind is doing its job, trying to understand so it can protect me from what hurts.

Except, I need to feel everything, even when it feels bad. My heart knows that feelings are information. They might be painful, but they are not bad. The feelings tell me something if I pay attention, open my heart, and listen.

I need to do this right now. Ask about last week, listen with my heart. What do I hear?

I am trying to push the river.

That might sound odd, but I know exactly what it means.

I’ve been stepping outside of my natural flow. I’ve been pushing myself too hard, and not playing enough.

Ah. I get it.

I played on Saturday. I read. Did crossword puzzles. Coloured with all fifty of my Crayola felt pens. Watched a 1940’s pirate movie with my husband.

I played on Sunday too. In between three laundry loads and making dinner, I watched the movie Mary Poppins. How many times have I seen this movie? A dozen, at least. It makes me laugh. I love the songs. I love the idea that I can jump into a drawing and wander around the landscape, meet whoever lives there. I love the idea that if I laugh hard enough, I’ll float up to the ceiling, turn somersaults in the air if I wish.

Play. Imagination. Laughter.

Magic, all.

I pushed myself, pushed the river so hard, that I left play and imagination and laughter behind. Left my magic behind.

Bad idea.

Which resulted in the five day tantrum. Resistant. Unwilling. Grouchy.

I played on Saturday and Sunday, despite the tantrum.  Good idea.  Which resulted in the tantrum fading away on Monday.

Thank you, my heart, for feeling and talking with me. Thank you, tantrum, for yelling at me to stop and notice what is happening. Thank you, my mind, for trying to understand and protect me from what felt painful.

I have my magic back. It never really left me. It just felt like it, because I had forgotten to play.

_______________________

In this post:

Mary Poppins, movie, Walt Disney Productions, 1964, based on the book of the same name by P. L. Travers   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Poppins_(film)

Did. Saw. Heard. Drawn.

lyndabarry3I have made my way through Lynda Barry’s book Syllabus: Notes From An Accidental Professor.  Slow reading.  Taking in the content and structure of the pages, the balance and play of image, word, idea, question.  Seeing how her mind moves, and in turn noticing what my mind touches on.

On pages 61 to 63 Lynda talks about ‘Your Daily Diary’, an assignment she gives her students.  I’ve decided to do this for my blog post, and feel what this recording process feels like.

This is how I do it:  Today.  Seven things I did.  Seven things I saw.  Something I overheard someone say.  Draw a picture of something I saw.  All recorded on a single page divided into a grid of four spaces.  Do it fast.  Five minutes total time used to record my day.  I like the speed of this.  My internal critic can’t handle speedy creating, panics about getting run over, and hides somewhere out of the way.  Excellent.

Because I am doing this as my blog post, I’ll use a list rather than the grid.  A list of the sorts of things I notice in my life, what my mind touches.  Moments of being present in my day.  Here goes.

Continue reading “Did. Saw. Heard. Drawn.”

Faith and the Mountain

Laid to Rest (north) - detail
Laid to Rest (north) – detail

Faith moves mountains.

I know it does.  My faith has helped me create mountain-sized things in my life.  Many of them.

My faith not only moves mountains.  It is the mountain on which I stand.  From the top I see 360 degrees, full circle.  I see exactly where I am here, now.  See all the possibilities.  I feel into my heart, my passion, while standing here.  What do I love?  And there, yes, way over there, something lights up in the distance.  That’s where I want to go.  There’s my desire, my direction, my creation.

Now I have a creation journey ahead of me to reach what I see shining in the distance.  This journey is easy.  I create it, walking one step at a time.

Easy.

Before I take the first step, I pack up my faith mountain.  Yes, this mountain is very flexible.  I can squash it all up, the whole thing, and fit it into my backpack.  You’d think a mountain compacted to backpack size would not be going anywhere.  But my faith mountain weighs nothing.  This is a floating mountain.  A helium balloon of a mountain.  It carries me.

Say it again.  My faith mountain carries me.

My faith mountain helped me create this blog.

Continue reading “Faith and the Mountain”

The Universal Font

I Build My Castles in the Sky
I Build My Castles in the Sky

I asked Source what we are writing today.  ‘The Universal Font’, they tell me.  ‘What?’ I say.  Then, oh, I get it.  Font.  Typeface.  The form and feel of the letters.  The shape of the writing on the page.

Seems like a very odd topic for my blog.  Where’s the connection to healing, I am wondering.

I go with this.  I have learned that Source is a master at connecting ideas in interesting, expanding ways.  Source does not think like me, even if I am a small physical version of Source energy.  Source thinks WIDE.  Says to me, ‘Love, joy, connection, play, fun, happiness, laughter.  The Universal Font.’

Remember, I am a Joy Tigger.  These amazing abundant energies, these beauties are here to play with.  Tap into, feel into, create from, write with.  I choose a font to create my life and my world.  I choose the form and feel and shape.  I write my world, and everything I choose becomes my ink.

So, easy choice.  Now that I know what it is, I choose the Universal Font to write my life.  I want my life full of love, joy, connection, play, fun, happiness, laughter.  Abundantly full.

How do I do this?

I pay attention to my thinking.  I choose my thoughts to match the Universal Font.  When they don’t, I notice by how I am feeling, and I change them back.  It means paying a lot of attention, because my busy, bouncy Tigger brain sends out thoughts like a river in spring flood.

I know that my thoughts write what I focus my attention on.  My focused attention writes what I see and believe to be true.  All of this writes my reactions, emotions, and experience.  And then I think about the experience I just had—more thoughts—and start the process again.

I would much rather focus on what feels good than what feels bad.  Another easy choice.  What is trickier, is learning to consistently turn myself towards what feels good.  Around me is a non-tigger world that likes to focus on what feels bad, and tries to teach me to think from that.  Think about and express what I don’t want, rather than what I do want.

It’s a pattern I was trained into.  I am changing it.  I hear myself think, ‘I don’t like cloudy days’.  That’s the old pattern, and I notice because the feeling I have is sad and disappointed.   I change my words, rewrite them in the Universal Font and think, ‘I love sunny days.’  And now the feeling I have is warm, happy, excited.  I do this, and I rewrite my life and my world.  I turn things around.  The day outside my window may still be cloudy, but I am not.

I’m a Joy Tigger.  You could also call me Pollyanna.  I am, and I am happy to be.  Pollyanna, in the 1960 movie, sees the good in people and the possibilities in life.  What she sees, she acts on.  People and things change, and turn to the good.  I think she knew about the Universal Font and how to rewrite life.

I choose this.  I choose I write my life and my world with the Universal Font.  Love, joy, connection, play, fun, happiness, laughter.  An abundance.  I choose I am a bouncy Joy Tigger with a pen, a Pollyanna with a laptop, and I am turning my world.  Join me.  Let’s play.

___________________

Mentioned in this post:

Tigger from the books Winnie-the-Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner by A. A. Milne (1882 – 1956)

Pollyanna from the movie Pollyanna, 1960, Walt Disney Productions