Archives For inspiration

There is subtleness in how we wait for things in our lives. We imagine one thing needs to happen before the next can occur, believing life experiences naturally come in a certain order, so we wait. This needs to happen before that.  We need to have a certain amount of money, a relationship, a certain type of job or children out of the house, to create our dream.

I have a picture of myself living in a home I’ve designed and built with a partner in the countryside. With creek that runs through it, trees, and of course a beautiful view that makes us take a deep breath every time we look out the window. I had been waiting for someone to co-create this vision with but waiting was attracting more waiting.  I wasn’t creating my heart’s desire and it was impacting every day of my life.

Sometimes we are so close to our own view of the world that we can’t see where it’s holding us back. It hadn’t dawned on me that in waiting for a partner to have this life in the countryside I was denying myself happiness.  I finally was able to see that I was waiting in a way that had me stuck and attracting more waiting.

I’ve felt the call for several years now to leave the city and live closer to nature. Having grown up in the country and a small town, I never really saw myself as a city person when I moved to Denver 23 years ago. I got used to it and even enjoy it a lot. Still I’ve always known that my proverbial cup is filled by being in nature and as it stands now it’s somewhere I have to go to rather than the place where live.

A story I’ve been telling myself and others for years, is that I want to live the summer months in Oregon on or near my family’s ranch, and be in Colorado for the rest of the year.  The catch was that my “picture” of this life required a partner.  I am single, and waiting for the partner who wanted this life and could have it had been blocking me from creating the life I really want.

Last week I asked management at my technology job if I could live and work from Oregon for 3-4 months this summer. He said, “No problem. I don’t care where you work from. You work from home as it is.” While I work from home, I travel a lot for that job and moving will impact the distance/cost of my travel for work.  Having received this “Yes” I feel excited and surprised at the courage I see is needed to take this step.

As the reality of this creation set-in, I began to feel a new sense of freedom. I have stopped waiting for things to look a certain way and am creating what I want in my life. There’s not a story but a real experience I’m participating in.

The law of attraction is at work.  Because I had been waiting rather than creating, I was attracting more opportunities to wait rather than create and felt stuck in past creations that were great but I’d outgrown. Now that I’ve said yes to creating this vision, synchronicities continue to show up to support it coming to fruition.

What are you waiting for? Start creating and see what shows up to support your creation!

What do you desire?  I desire to feel adored, to feel blessed and to be surprised with luscious new experiences. I desire to feel respected, supported by the Universe and the people in all areas of my life. I desire to give and receive full heartedly.

I desire to step forward, showing up in my life aligned: heart, mind and actions. I desire to be in constant receptivity with the Divine energy source, empowered and able to share it with the world without feeling depleted.  Source is infinite. I desire to feel prosperous beyond compare (pinch me my life is magnificent). I desire to feel a bubbling over of that sense that, “I fucking love my life!!!!”

I desire to feel the pleasure of being touched, feel safe, respected and desired. I desire companionship for walking, dinner, live music, snowboarding, conversations, exploration, play, creative inspiration, home projects and spiritual expansiveness.  I desire to have enough quiet “Natalie time” to listen to my inner-voice deeply and fill my cup with consciousness.

I desire to feel without reservation, whether it be sadness or joy. I desire to be inspired and create beauty around me and within me. I desire to feel physically healthy, balanced, energized, nurtured and strong. I desire to feel emotionally stable, surrendered and allow what I feel to be expressed with ease and acceptance.

I invite you to allow yourself to know your desires, how they feel rather than attachment to the form they take. It is a true invitation for the Universe to amaze you with what shows up!

 “Prayer is joyous breathing, by which the heavenly atmosphere is inhaled and then exhaled in prayer.” Andrew Murray

Recently I participated in a sweat lodge and was invited to pray out loud with witnesses. I found myself feeling very exposed by allowing others to hear my conversation with the Divine.  For as long as I can remember I have had a private inner-conversation with God. In my mother’s home this was cultivated and encouraged. We had permission to pray in a natural way.  Mom shared by example the sense of relief, healing and support we can experience through prayer.

Although I have this easy natural prayer life, I have been hesitant to show this side of myself to others.  Prayer has been so intimate for me that praying out loud was like being naked in front of strangers.

Part of the fear of revealing my prayer life has been fear of judgment.  Fear that outside of religious organizations, prayer is shunned or seen as weird, uncool.  Prayer is vulnerable. Through it we are revealing our needs and desires in the most intimate way.  Yet prayer is our strength.  It helps us grow a sense of greater certainty with our inner-guidance.

When I am struggling with anything in my life and finally pause to converse with the Divine about my struggles I find immediate relief.  There is a shift in the tension I’ve been carrying, a sense of support from the universe, even if nothing has changed in the outside circumstances.  Often the outside circumstances do change once I have surrendered the outcome.  And at a minimum I feel my perception of the circumstances changes.  I feel less stuck.

When I’m stuck in a space of stress it is hard to see clearly for myself.  It’s hard to see all my options or a way out.  I unconsciously have given my power away to some situation or circumstance that feels bigger than me. It is in the simple act of prayer, sharing my heart with the Divine, that the breakthrough comes. Light shines into the darkness and helps me see clearly again.

Yet even with a lifetime practice of inner prayer I still forget to pray.  It generally is when life is most challenging that I go long periods without remembering to ask for Divine support, without surrendering my will to the will of the Divine.

So I encourage you to pray. Regardless of your belief system, this conversation with a Higher Power is transformational. It frees us from our burdens.  It clears space in our heart and mind so we can see the answers and hear our inner-voice.

Breathe in the breath of the universe. Breathe out your prayers of gratitude and requests for support from the Divine.

NASA Photo of Eagle Nebula

NASA Photo of Eagle Nebula

Mystery is awesome.  It contains the seed of life!  The power of the unknown gifts us joyful surprise, anticipation and passion, if we allow it.  Most often we contract in the face of the unknown.  Our body tenses up for fear of being out of control, the uncertainties of no guaranteed outcome, the fear of disappointment.  But if we relax into trust, our very being is able to flow with the mystery and we heighten our capacity to receive, our experience of excitement, celebration and noticing life’s miracles.

Every moment we are in the process of creation.  We are creating our lives through our thoughts, actions and unconscious beliefs.  To create with the most power we must surrender to the mystery, let go of the specific form our creation is required to take in order to please us.  In our society outcomes are often forced to meet a specific agenda, scheduled, pre-selected in detail, like a travel itinerary. But when we allow room for the mystery, the outcome while unpredictable has more juice and life to it. Magic happens!

At the New Year most of us reflect on what we have accomplished in the past year and identify what we would like to experience in the coming year.  How do we come to a strong inner-knowing that our intentions, the visions of what we want to create in our life, are coming to us?

To clear the path for this level of trust, I find myself navigating a cacophony of thoughts and feelings.  Observing what is supporting or in the way of my freedom to receive.  Where I am judging others and myself?  Where I am giving away my power?  Where I am withholding from myself or choosing fantasy over the truth of what is? Where I am failing to see the vastness of options before me because my sight is focused on what I lack rather than what I have?  Where I am allowing the wants, needs and demands of others to override my wants, needs and self-care?

Where I am in avoidance of my feelings because noticing them doesn’t feel good?  Where do I choose to check-out rather than check-in with myself?  Where do I see not getting what my heart desires as some failure on my part?  Where am I at peace and where am I unsettled?  Where am I in resistance to things that are good for me?  Where do I fail to surrender because I want it my way?!? Where do I feel angry at another or judge them without acknowledging my anger at myself and self-judgment?  Where is it I crave escape and allow it to dominate my free time?

Where do I try and fail and try and succeed and keep pushing my edge to expand past the discomfort?  Where do I have courage without noticing it and fearlessly press into the vast unknown? Where do I take risks and feel empowered?  Where do I light a fire to transform energy, warm the hearth, or light the path?  Where do I see the non-physical universe and witness another soul’s journey?  Where do I connect with another?  Where do I wake up and realize I was never sleeping?  Where do I feel alive?

These questions are meant to shed away the layers between my expectations and the fruition of my desires. I trust that my visions will manifest in my life. Why?  I have seen it happen countless times.  I feel them coming.  I feel the joy and it feels as if they are already the truth of my experience even though they haven’t yet taken physical form.  I don’t know what form they will arrive in or when. That’s the mystery.  Yet I trust their arrival, as reliable as the seasons change.  The more I take actions to show the universe my intent, that I’m willing to receive with full surrender.  The more my experiences are better than I ever would have imagined.

Intention and energy infuse sacred spaces.  It may be a place where something miraculous occurred or a corner of our everyday life that we set apart with a potency that allows us to quickly return to alignment with our Self.  Places of worship, temples, shrines, ashrams, grottoes and mountain tops become infused with the prayers of all who congregate there.  Prayerful intentions have a common theme across belief systems: giving thanks, surrendering burdens to the Divine, asking for good to come in our lives and offering to be of service to a higher power.

Sacred spaces fed with these vibrations have a way of quickly shifting us to center when we enter their aura.  I was recently on my annual visit to Shambhala Mountain Center and hiked to the Great Stupa a spiritual monument supporting the path to enlightenment.  As I entered, a muffled silence with the power of sacred commitment pulsated so strong that my ears rang.  They were being cleansed of all wasted frantic thought, followed by pure silence and stillness.  Breathing, sitting and being present, my body arrived in the moment instantly.

I hadn’t noticed that I had been ahead of myself, body, mind, spirit moving at different paces as I climbed the hill to the Stupa.  Inside my body went through a series of awareness’s, ringing silence, bits of tension in one shoulder, forehead and souls of my feet released with pings, like medal warming in the sun after a cool night.  My mind accepted the futility of trying to control anything by pre-thinking it and came back to the moment I was living.  My spirit smiled at my body and mind and said, “thank you.”

Being in the flow of life is good.  We meander or sprint through the choices we make each day, deciding what to cook for dinner, maintaining focus while we work and walking the dog.  In the midst of our routines, life’s demands and the non-stop flow of needs from those around us, pausing in a sacred space allows all of the activity to become more centered.  Sacred spaces have a magical ability to presence us to our needs in the midst of busyness and help us quickly release what isn’t important.

Creating a personal sacred space such as a home altar is one way to bring this experience into our everyday life.  An altar can be dedicated to whatever we intend, an inspirational altar, a self-care altar, a gratitude altar, a love altar or an altar that changes with the seasons.  Materially it is a collection of items that remind us of our soul’s creative desires, fresh flowers and beautiful object that evoke the vibration of love, symbols for space holding and clearing such as candles, sage and bells.

Personal sacred space allows us to take a few moments each time we pass it by to remember that our spirit is on this journey with our body and mind.  Rituals re-align us to our Self due to their intention and the repetitive nature. By returning to the same place with intentions we infuse it with those beliefs such as gratitude, surrender, trust and a willingness to listen to the Divine through our inner-voice. We create our own unique healing space to center in our authentic Self.

I was reminded of the power of vulnerability at my book group this month. One woman shared a perceived failure, a self-judged imperfection and we all relaxed more deeply into our Self. The energy of the room opened up and became more connected. We each saw ourselves reflected, in the quiet moments where we are alone with our inner voice. We reached out to comfort the Self we saw in her. We held her with more compassion than we might hold ourselves.

We spend an immense amount of unconscious energy holding up the identity that we feel safe letting others see. The curious thing is that when we share our challenges, the less than shiny aspects of ourselves in healthy relationships, instead of activating the judgment of others, it invites them to love us more. They receive a signal that their own rough edges will be loved too. Suddenly there is new found safety in being a full-spectrum human being.

We all have experiences we count as failures, imperfections, things that don’t turn out the way we’d hoped, relationships, situations that got messy and we mired around in the muck. We weren’t our best. We should have known better, is what we tell ourselves. And we have periods of crisis that feel like about as much as one soul can handle, whether it’s external circumstances or an internal battle that stresses our life to the max.

Yet we still have to show up in our life. We can’t permanently take a vacation from everything and everyone to avoid being seen in the midst of it. The rough spots in the road of life evoke a deep sense of vulnerability. How much do we have to prop-up the Self that is doing “just fine,” or “great,” to the world while struggling in private?

It’s in the poop, the dirty, imperfect parts of our life that we learn the most. It busts us open and helps us grow. The discomfort stretches us. But unless we are a chronic complainer that drains the energy of everyone around with our misery, we generally hide these challenges from most of the world or save them for our closest loved ones. There is a reason for this. Our closest loved ones have established a known level of safety. We can live a richer life by allowing deeper vulnerability with more people in our lives. It literally shifts the energy of every future moment.

Our intuition helps us tune-in to supportive places and relationships in our lives to reveal our challenge. Simply giving a short but honest answer to the stranger who asks, “How are you?” allows them to admit their own full spectrum of emotion to themselves and have a better day with the relief of it… “It’s been a rough day but I’m hanging in.” This isn’t about dumping your shit on others, rather allowing the truth of you to be seen by another in a way that allows you both to relax into the present moment rather than faking it. This is how the poop gets beautiful. It’s the real, the true and the authentic Self revealed. The most beautiful state of existence.

Life throws us obstacles, bumps that come out of nowhere.  The goal is to stay loose enough to adjust to the changes and centered enough to keep in control when the shit hits the fan.  When the ground beneath us moves so fast that it’s hard to focus, we have to tune into our intuitive knowing, stay in that controlled out-of-control state.

Skiing and snowboarding teach us this flexibility.  If you want to enjoy your journey downhill there’s no option but to be 100% present; aligned body-mind-spirit.  Adjust to the shifting terrain, in the moment.

Our core (third chakra), center-of-gravity is in the bliss zone, balanced with velocity, snow and the contour of the mountain.  When another skier crosses our path, a mogul, rock or tree faces us, we turn but we don’t turn permanently away from our intended path.  We take a turn that avoids collision and another turn that returns us to our direction of choice.

In the moment we may recognize that our chosen path is not taking us in a direction that is going to bring us pleasure, success or good circumstances, so we permanently redirect our course. If we don’t foresee the need to turn or the obstacle throws us out of our center we’ll crash.  Varying degrees of wipeout occur, depending on how tuned-in we were to our body and our surroundings.

We make graceful turns when we are centered in our truth, tuned-in to our surroundings and willing to adjust course when the flow points us in a different direction.  Practicing mediation tools each day gives us this core strength when faced with any challenge. To do this we:

  • Take the time early in the day to clear our mind (sixth chakra) of the past and other people’s energy or agendas.
  • Ground (root chakra) our energy in the present day.
  • Call any of our scattered energy back to ourselves and visualized it filling every cell of our body.

Being grounded and saturated in our true essence is the bliss zone.  It allows us to be present for the obstacles in life and to navigate them without feeling as much trauma. It feels aligned, peaceful and full of possibility.  Taking responsibility for our life by owning our energy space teaches us that we can keep our focus yet be flexible enough to make graceful turns.

As we begin a New Year I like to apply the “Be the Word” practice I learned in training at Inner Connection Institute. This involves choosing a word that’s vibration inspires me to live with it for the entire year. One I can learn from. My word for 2012 is devotion.  I don’t use this word often, so I received it with curiosity, interested in discovering what it meant for me. The definition that resonates with me is the act or state of being devoted, committed and loyal to an intent or cause. I believe devotion is essential to living a passionate life.

What are you devoted to in 2012?  Are you devoted to something internal, external, one or many intentions?

Devotion is true passion. The fire of our creative energy applied that manifests into demonstrable life experiences. Internal devotions consist of cultivating some aspect of your human body-soul experience such as physical health, a state of inner peace, increased patience, self-love or creativity.  External devotions involve community, planetary or relationship focused commitments to a cause.  You might be devoted to growing a tasty plump non-genetically modified tomato in your garden or contributing to the quality of education available in your community by sharing your skills and getting involved in the political process.

The word devotion has a spiritual definition as well, linked to worship, an expression of gratitude to a greater power.  Your devotional intentions gain power and solidify to bear fruit when held in the context of gratitude; gratitude that we have the opportunity, time, energy and freedom for passion found in purposeful intent.

Devotion can only come from a true heartfelt desire with a clear focus.  Our life gains a greater sense of purposefulness when we are devoted to cultivate internal and external intentions.  Like the old adage, it’s the journey not the destination. Having focus, passion, devotion on our journey, draws out the flavor of life as we take a bite, the juiciness drips down our chin. And we don’t mind the mess because it tastes so good.  This level of purposeful commitment pays dividends in joy.

My desire for a spot close to the front of the airplane had me sit in a middle seat between two women on a fight home to Denver last week.  Expecting the usual, ignore the stranger next to you, behavior of business travel, I was surprised to immediately be in conversation with the woman sitting to my right.  I can’t even remember how the conversation started but it didn’t pause until we landed two hours later.  By then I had heard 72 years of stories, Naomi’s life in a nutshell, and more importantly witnessed her joyful perspective on life.

Her vibrant energy created a shift in me, revitalizing my sense of appreciation and possibility.  Inviting me to match the level of joy she lives in.  If I blur the lens of the words that passed between us, the pure vitality Naomi offered through her positive perspective was transformational.

Each of us radiates energy that is a combination of our natural essence, our beliefs and energies we’ve held onto that we’ve accumulated along the way.  Often we don’t notice our own energy, what we are presenting as a vibration to the world.  When our energy is clear of fearful beliefs more
of our natural essence shines and we attract energy that matches what we want in our lives. In order to experience the spark of inspiration that generates transformation we have to be available to human connection.

The most powerful insights can come from the perspectives of strangers. They have a fresh perspective, one we haven’t been exposed to before.  They don’t know our history and we are inclined to listen more closely to someone we just met.  Our awareness is heightened.

The type of connection I experienced with Naomi was wonderfully unexpected.  We can prepare ourselves to recognize these opportunities and be open to the transformational energy that is available through connection.  We prepare by taking time to align our vibration with our essence. Start in a meditative space:

  • Send a psychic “hello” to your essence, your soul, your authentic Self.  Allow your inner voice to ask if there are beliefs that are pulling you out of alignment with your essence?
  • Visualize those fears, disturbances and non-aligned energies moving out of your space into a bubble.  Watch the bubble float to a distant mountain top and pop, transforming the energy into a new form.  This makes more room for your own essence to expand.  You may want to repeat this with several different focus areas in your life. Where you are showing up with a certain identity, such as work, romantic relationship, friendship, health or creative practice.
  • Imagine a big golden ball of light hovering above your head.  In the center of that ball is a magnet calling your energy back to you from any places you have left it that you are ready to retrieve it from. Once the golden ball of light is full of your essence, in your minds-eye reach up and pop it.  See the energy of your essence flow down into you, filling in all the space that was opened when you moved out the non-aligned vibrations.

We naturally attract matching vibrations into our lives.  Sometimes we have the fortune of attracting a connection that wakes us up and elevates us to a new level of self-awareness.  I believe this happens when the person we encounter can see past our current state and notices our soul’s essence.   The practice of consciously setting our energy invites connections that are transformational.

The Magic of NOT Knowing

Natalie —  October 26, 2011 — 6 Comments

True creation requires stepping into undefined space where our question stays open, unknown.  When we latch onto an answer too soon we limit our potential to see.  We shut down the magic that comes from wonder and curiosity.  We engage the analytical mind without allowing space for our intuition.

This empty space full of potential “the void,” can only exist if we allow it to.  The void is an exceptionally challenging place to live.  It’s counter to our survival instinct, that wants to feel safe by having answers. Yet allowing space for the unknown is where we experience breakthroughs in awareness.

Breakthroughs are precious moments where our consciousness shifts and we see from a new perspective.  Unless forced by circumstances, most of us don’t intentionally make time in our lives for the creative void.  When life wants to get our attention, we find ourselves in a challenge that requires we wait, pause, slow down and NOT know.

Our analytical mind wants to have the answer and move on.   It gets frustrated by delay.  It is compelled to solve whatever dilemma or puzzle is before it.  It doesn’t like to be put on-hold while we allow ourselves to be in the unknown, waiting for new possibilities to be reveal.

Our intuitive mind has a more gentle approach.  It gives us signals, hints, opportunities to notice the contribution it can provide.  It doesn’t bark at us but calls to us.

The analytical mind harasses us for explanations, justification and evidence before we act on our intuition.  The  intuitive mind invites us to trust the creative zone of questions that have no pre-defined answer. It leads us, one awareness at a time, in a direction we might never have imagined, to places we never knew existed.

The magic of creation expands when we honor the gifts of both our capacity to look at what we experience with logic as well as trust our intuitive observations.  We are culturally taught to let the analytical mind direct our lives.  By doing so, we miss many opportunities to get out of a rut and onto a new path.  We repeat the same old annoying patterns in our lives.

To cultivate a juicier life, we can intentionally create spaces of NOT knowing.  Instead of jumping to the way we’ve always done it or repeating what we see others do, we pause in the void to allow room for a new creation.  It is uncomfortable to hold this undefined space. Yet it is critical to choose to NOT know long enough to deeply listen to our intuitive signals.  When we do, we hear spiritual direction that guides us on a path less predictable, more magical.

This blog post was inspired by a speech given by Ron Walters at a technology conference in Boise on the importance of boldness, curiosity and nothing/allowing space for the unknown in the design process.