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Category Archives: Empowering you, me..

Practical Imagination and my Troll

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Sometimes we just need to write.  As my granddaughter said at age 4 (while ‘scribbling’ sentences)  “Writing is important. It helps me hear what my mind is saying.”

Proof in the pudding: Writing my previous blog post likely hit home more for me than for any of you dear readers. And it led to a true commitment to imagination, creativity and intuition.

Yessirree, while leading my new online course last night, (the course that I more fully developed after I wrote the previous blog post) I heard myself say , “I know.. weird. But then, the weirder this course gets the happier I am.”   ( I had a brief second of “Eek.. how unprofessional!” Yes, I have a logical left brain that tries to have its say)  

But it’s true. The more people get to discover that their imagination and intuition is wilder and weirder and more able to empower them than most anything, and that it often does this with such curious surprises and insights… yes, the happier I get to be. Even better, the more people recognize how practical their imagination is, the happier I am. After all, through simple creative techniques, we can connect to answers that otherwise evade us, seemingly forever, using our logical cautious thinking.

Consider this.  I posted the following on my facebook page:

“You know the naysayer in your head? The one who says you’re not good enough? Quick. Use your imagination and turn them into a character of some sort. Now do tell, who did you see.”

I noticed a troll as I wrote this. Then I quickly wrote down thoughts that came to my mind:

“Troll lives under a bridge. Wants to keep people away.  Empath.. . too much energy of others bombards him and it hurts.  Living a simple life. No responsibilities. Is not actually happy.  But will do what he can to sabotage having to be out there in a world that hurts him. “

Honestly I wouldn’t logically have guessed that I have a troll. I am an empath – very aware of energies of others and very sensitive to environmental issues. (Ie: can’t be in fluorescent lights)    It is an asset when I work with dedicated groups or with personal clients.  It does, however, come with challenges.   I hadn’t recognized this little troll quietly playing havoc , especially since I felt I manage my sensitivities rather well.  But when I wrote this it revealed a huge aha moment, helping me see that there is a part of me that wants to withdraw and that creates a constant quiet resistance that I am always working against,  even though it doesn’t stop me. Who needs that? Now just the  simple awareness of the troll, especially with a visual,  is going to help us both. Noticing the resistance is enough to stop its hold. And sometimes, perhaps, I will notice the resistance and say, “Hey, maybe we’ll just paddle our feet in the water near Troll’s bridge for a little while.”

"I see you, Troll" (Also note, there's nothing says a sketchpainting needs to be good!)

“I see you, Troll” (Also note, there’s nothing says a sketchpainting needs to be good!)

 

I quick sketchpainted him. I find that going one step further on a discovery helps to cement the insight so it is less likely to hide itself again. Seems to me this simple little imaginary connection has been worth years of therapy.

 

How about you? May I repeat that post just for you?

“You know the naysayer in your head? The one who says you’re not good enough? Quick. Use your imagination and turn them into a character of some sort. Now do tell, who did you see.”

Love to hear who you discover.

And if you’d like to read a good article about empaths and see if it’s a fit for you  (often the case with creative folks) here’s an interesting link. themindunleashed.org/30-traits-of-empath.html 

Oh, curious about the new course? I’d love if you popped over to learn more about the next ♫Way Hey Up She Rises♫ course!

Enjoy that wicked wild practical imagination of yours!

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My sincere apology to creativity, imagination and mystical tall ships

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“I’m so sorry. I am truly at fault here,” I say to imagination and creativity.

Creativity, and it’s biggest player, Imagination,  has spent lifetimes being dismissed, discredited, and at best, something you do when you’ve got everything else done, even though our creative mind is as much a part of our lives as breathing.  Would we give breathing so little recognition for it’s value?  Creativity could even use a new word to help people to pay attention.  You know how ‘God’ –  a tiny three letter word- can evoke so many stories, so much controversy, so much doubt, so much questioning and so much yearning,  that some people have trouble, or might even step right away from, defining and engaging with what God is for them. Sometimes I think God needs a new term. Like, “Universe” or “GOM – (Grand Old Magic)”

Ya, creativity is like that, needing something new.  It’s even easier to not define creativity… all the systems already did that for you- usually with a final touch suggesting creativity is a nice hobby and imagination is for kids.  Eek!

But what is really scary for me is that I’ve played a role in keeping creativity and  imagination in their ‘place’ in the general thinking of the world. This is not true of how I’ve interacted with the process of creativity and imagination on a personal level, nor is it entirely true of how I include it in coaching personal clients….and yes, I know, it’s obvious that I care about creativity and imagination,  but damn, I haven’t shared exactly how powerful, how magical, how therapeutic, how impossible becomes possible, how spiritual and how magical things can be when the creative thinking  and doing and being processes get the time and space they deserve.  And magical. Did I mention magical?

I’m sorry.

I know this stuff. Yet, knowing what I know, I’ve been resistant to share it all, because a lot of people will think I’m crazy.

“Really, Janet?  You think that’s been getting in your way?” asks some part of me.  Yes, I think I’ve been letting that get in the way.

I’m going to change that.

After all, mystical tall ships saved my life, faeries got me through grief, and a  leprechaun changed the direction of my entire career.

They deserve better than they’ve been getting.

 

 

Birthday Reflections: Maybe I’ll turn 12, or 20 perhaps. Or Phoenix.

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My birthday is coming up and I’ve yet to choose my age!  My granddaughter recently shared that she liked how I choose my age, even if I don’t usually use numbers. She’s six. She suggested I turn 12 or maybe 20. She also tells me often this week how young I look. “If we’re not with mommy, then I bet people think you are my mommy.”  Sweet. Not exactly true, but it is in her mind, so I’ll take that compliment.

(Little sidenote: Before you jump to conclusions on why I would choose my age, like maybe thinking it is vanity, please have a look at the previous post… it’s a good philosophy. )

At first I thought, “Twelve .. that was an easy year.. no horrific experiences.”  But then I recalled two moves in that year; leaving my childhood home for a new job for my dad in a new city, just a couple of rough years after my Mom died, and a second move that same year to another city wayyyyyy up north (at least in a Vancouver girl’s eyes) for a better job. First day of school in that then wild northern town, all the girls threatened to kill me.

Kinda scary that at first I thought 12 was easy.  I don’t know… does that tell you there’s been some tough years and in perspective 12 looked good?

But that’s just one view. Another view is that, although sadness hovered around our family and changes were hard, I knew ‘happy’. I woke up each morning when I was 12 feeling refreshed and renewed and with a big smile on my face as I said Hello to the sunshine. True story. This is memorable because perhaps even then I knew it wasn’t a usual thing to feel that good each morning, especially within a family struggling to re-find itself. I suppose it’s an entire story to be told. My brother if he reads this would suggest I expand. He’s read my novel (the one I finished. But I finished it and edited while on chemo. It seemed FOREVER to reach the period at the end of  sentences, so I kept shortening it. And shortening it.) and he thinks that the little hint at this part of my life story didn’t quite work. But okay, this is a blog post.  Expanding not wise. In fact, I wonder if I’ll even publish this at all..it’s already too long! This is Janet in a birthday inspired rambling reflection of the past year, but I haven’t even gotten to that part yet!!!!!!!!

Back to Happy, though. Was there a special little gift given to a little girl who had lost her mother? At age 10, I wrote letters to my mom, just with my finger on the pillow. I was certain she read them. Even at just 10 years old, in those ‘olden’ days, I knew I couldn’t tell anyone that. I knew all about mental institutions and didn’t want to go there. But still I wrote her letters. Regularly. For a long time. It was much later in life when I realized that it was my mom in those early years that helped me wake refreshed and happy each day.

And so, during my twelfth year, I got to experience the magic of ‘more than what we can see’.

As well, I got to know the feeling of  happy. I searched for it when it wasn’t there because it helped me. I didn’t  consciously search. I could not have put this into words. But looking back, that’s what I was doing. I didn’t know how to search for the magic.. I learned more about that in later years. (OH! That’s the novel I was talking about. Okay, it would be a good share. Get on it, Janet)   It’s like a habit or good addiction, that connection the brain makes knowing a moment of feeling happy can soothe a little girl’s soul… and so it looks for more.

Then there is Twenty.. I was living in Iran, my Dad and I, with solo trips from there throughout Europe.  Missing family, but loving loving loving the adventure. This was a life changer… allowing me to develop an awareness at a young age of what matters. I remember being in awe when I was invited in for tea at a young Iranian family’s home.. a grass hut of sorts way out in the bush near the Caspian Sea, with a mattress, a samovar for tea, a one burner camp style stove where they roasted seeds for me, and a deck of cards. These are the things I remember. We played cards, I couldn’t speak Farsi worth beans, they couldn’t speak English.. yet the parents, children and I had so much fun. This was not typical of the Iranian people’s lifestyle… and I suppose they were living there for lack of resources or other options. But have you ever met a person who emanates happiness? The kind that seems unencumbered by stressful thoughts tucked in the background? The kind that you know  isn’t a temporary mask?  Rare, I know. This family had it.  And this event, along with others like it, really had me questioning all that we in western society think is important. At the time, I decided that we couldn’t get that same feeling in that same situation. We were trained to want more, learn more, be successful, grow, grow, grow.. we wouldn’t know how to live such a simple life. The yearning for more was too ingrained, even though that kind of ‘more’ wasn’t necessarily leading to happy.  And so, besides a billion other reasons, age 20 was a life changer in making me curious, making me question, making me not necessarily accept the status quo, making me aware that no culture is better than another, making me less judgmental, making me less likely to believe what is touted to ‘give us happiness,’ making me more inclined to ask myself what happiness is for me;  as well as making me braver, less shy (yes, I was shy) and learning there is a whole big world out there for the exploring!

So 12 and 20. Is my granddaughter intuitive? Knowing somehow that these reflections on those two ages are good for me right now?

But about this past year… that’s where I was really heading with these birthday reflections. Holy Moly. Here I am in a sweet tiny log cabin near the river, feeling pretty healthy and blessed, feeling like my brain is liking what I’m up to as I take all the ideas and work of the last few years and turn it into something cool and, I hope, helpful, to share.  Still having moments of panic over my dwindling finances meant to support me as I rebuild, and some anxiety remains from the constant hard hits in the last years. Still catching my breath over all that had to happen last year:  Selling my home. Selling my boat and really not feeling good about that. A couple surgeries. Ever trying to manage the side effects of medications.. including anxiety and oh, the mood swings. In amongst the chaos, consciously, regularly, sometimes forcefully asking… what can make you feel good today? How can this be funny?  Which would lead to paying special attention to the moments that simply create happiness.  Which would also lead to making sure I gave myself permission to do awesome stuff. Awesome stuff like gratefully living with my daughter and granddaughters for several months being fulltime Nana, with my daughter and I treating ourselves to comfort treats like far too many specialty coffees.  Enjoying all three of my granddaughters immensely. Paddling, sketch-journalling, camping, hiking,  painting, writing, being in a couple of art shows, hanging with, and grateful for,  amazing friends, amazing family, slowly but surely fitting some  coaching and courses in among the wild ride and adoring that. And of course, there was that whole training as a tall ship sailor and hanging out atop a mast furling sails and whispering to myself, “Nothing is impossible. Nothing.”  That was cool.  And true.

Ya, it was a wild ride this past year. But still, as I ponder all this stuff, I’ve been staying aware of the need to choose my age. You know how facebook has all those little quizzes?  Like,”Who were you in a past life?”, and if you happened to pick ‘casual clothes’ as a preference, they happen to pick that you were a farmer? For me, the answers in the quizzes have suggested that I’m logical, left brained, don’t stray from traditional living or thinking. Shit like that. Really? Me?  BUT then as I meandered away from writing this  post, I did a quiz on “What constellation are you?” I’m all about constellations. And, I dunno, this one just hit home.  And it’s the Phoenix…an everlasting powerful mythological bird, often with it’s origins attributed to the ancient Persian culture.   Lot of synchronicity going on here, yes?

Birthday Phoenix1

 

I think that I will turn 12-20 Phoenix, and take only the best and blessed of each of them. Curious that the Phoenix constellation is in the Southern Hemisphere… triggers a thought that I ought to go see it this year. Hmmm….

Having said all this, though, if you have other ideas for my age this year, please do let me know.  Many of you have inspired my birthday age in the past. And, I can turn as many ages as I want.

Anyone else turning an unusual age this year?  Oh, how I’d love to know what you pick!!!

And thanks for reading all the way to here, by the way. That was crazy of you.  In a good way. ~smile~

The Amaranteen Theory Revisited

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Republishing this post from 2010.  It’ll explain my next post as I ponder my age this year.. which might be 1220Phoenix.  Not sure yet…

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For a long long time now, I have chosen my age just before my birthday. My family has been ever so kind to honour the age I choose – wonderful beings that they are.

The fact is, I’ve been doing this for so long now, that if I do need to know my ‘legal age’, I ask my daughters or I have to calculate!

This is not vanity. This is my way of not allowing my own perceptions of age to affect how I live my life.  I started ‘age choosing’ when I noticed in my thoughts that I was questioning how long I would be able to continue to waterski.

For many years, I’ve practised and experienced the power of thought and visualization for improving sport ability and for healing nasty sport injuries. Three times I was told I would never ski again. I’m grateful for the seemingly magic of visualizing because I continue to ski.

And so I applied the same principles – the power of thought – to my thinking about my age. It works like a charm for me, because honestly, even still when I think in terms of ‘age,’ I am surprised at the chaos of limiting beliefs that have been formed in my thoughts.

Ever think you are too old to write a book, hike a mountain, or start a new career?  Then you understand. I seriously can’t have those kind of thoughts in my head. I’d still be back in the corporate world if I’d allowed those to take hold!

A few years back, my dog’s vet was surprised I still skiied and played hard. He said, “So, isn’t it time you started aging gracefully?”   Excuse me? No! I was a baby still in my 40’s! I was inspired to change vets.

To me ‘aging gracefully’ triggered beliefs that would not serve me well. For you, however, it may be an empowering thought.

Now about my amaranteenth birthday..
About six years ago I chose 37.5.  But the next year, I realized I needed to add some years for wisdom, so I turned ‘ageless’, then ‘timeless’, then ‘eternal’, then ‘nana age’.  My age comes to me from an “aha” moment, a daughter, or a thesaurus. Today’s choice was via a thesaurus. When I found the word amaranthine, as a synonym to eternal, I leaped in the air!  Amaranthine means:
eternally beautiful and unfading; everlasting, and has been used in reference to an unfading imaginary flower.  “Perfect!” I thought, “what a beautiful age to be!”  And so, I am celebrating my amaranteenth birthday tomorrow!

This should keep creaky bones and cranky thoughts about getting older in check.

If this equals that, then I will win the lottery.

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     IF THIS,

297043_10150444704700891_861856252_n

 

 

 

(This magazine image posted November 11, 2011 on facebook with this comment: “Vision Casting” via facebook.. Paddleboarding and more Tall Ship play for me.)   (I did not know then that this could be possible)

 

 

 

 

    EQUALS THIS:

1781145_10152344911085891_526155206827861406_o

 

 

(Me, November, 2013. You can imagine the epiphany-like experience this was!)

 

 

 

 

     AND IF THIS,

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(Photo from a hiking trip posted April 2013 on facebook with this comment: “I could live here!” Just needs a little roof repair… window repair.. wall repair… interior repair..”)

 

 

 

     EQUALS THIS,

me cabin

 

 

 

(My very beautifully-finished tiny 160 year old heritage log cabin home as of March 2014.  In Feb 2014, a friend of my daughter’s happened to mention that this was available and she wondered if I’d be interested. I was.)

 

 

 

 

     THEN THIS,

lottery copy

 

(Posted here today.. since visioning apparently works well)

 

 

 

EQUALS ME winning a very large lottery!

Seems to me it’s a done deal, if you look at the math.  (Feel free to send lotto tickets.. I’ll split it with you)

~~~~

I know, I know… My oft repeated advice is that the words (and belief), “The only way it’ll ever happen is when I win the lottery” is one of the biggest barriers to making amazing things happen now.  That’s good advice.    But you do know I’m going to be living my life happily while I wait for this win, yes?  Not that the wait is going to be long or anything.

Go ahead, dream big. Dream unlikely. Share that vision here, if you like. If not here, do something with it, just to give it that extra oomph for making it a reality. And another thing to note?  Neither the tall ship adventure or the little cabin cost me very much at all. They were/are so inexpensive it’s almost ridiculous. So while you are scheming up that unlikely big dream, you can let go thinking you’ll never have enough money for it.  See? One doesn’t have to win the lottery.  But I’m just going to anyway.

 

WHOOPS!

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Thank goodness the post you just received wasn’t full of a whole pile of incomprehensable ramblings like some of my ‘not-yet-ready-to-publish’ posts can be! My apologies for sending you a memo to myself. For the sake of not just sending you a second content dud post…here’s a thought I shared today:

“It is very very very very good for the brain to learn something new and challenging. Like playing guitar or sailing tall ships. It was a conscious decision to do these things to help my brain (motivated by the passion to do these things, of course) to rekindle itself after all the treatments, and today it struck me how much these things HAVE helped and are helping.”

But given what I just did, sending you all an unfinished memo, maybe my brain isn’t quite there yet. ~smile~

Onion Satire and My Crazy Tiny Heritage Log Cabin Home. How did I get here?

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Some things just must be shared and this is one of them:
Find The Thing You’re Most Passionate About, Then Do It On Nights And Weekends For The Rest Of Your Life
By David Ferguson

http://www.theonion.com/articles/find-the-thing-youre-most-passionate-about-then-do,31742/?ref=auto

I hope you read it. It’s brilliantly funny. And once you do, you’ll understand when I say this is why I went into recreation and leisure management many years ago… in the hopes that someone might recognize their recreation and leisure time as having potential to be much more a part of their life. Then life coaching came along as a profession and I went there… because snippets of what you love in a week or a month or a year, is just not enough.

~~~~

cabinAnd so, staying true to what I love…Yes, I’m living in a log cabin. I moved in last week. It’s 160 years old.. the oldest heritage building in our community… cozy and sweet inside with 400 square feet of room for my projects, written works and art works.  It’s on a small farm, near the river where I can paddleboard. And a bonus; it’s a very cool experience for the grandchildren when they visit.

It is a bizarre yet extraordinary thing how visioning can make things happen. I’ve wanted to try simplified tiny house living. I wanted the option to be near water, yet close enough to town that my family and muse friends aren’t far away. And I wanted ‘cheap’ so I could get myself back on my financial feet.  And so here I am.  Even I am surprised I am living here; I was not actively looking, but I was imagining.  A friend heard about it and told me.  Visioning is like that.

A cabin has always been my place to really make things happen.  The timing is perfect; I’m feeling well. I have written works galore from the past couple of years to fine tune and get out there. I have what I hope are inspiring, fun, quirky courses and discovery books just waiting to be shared. I’m delighted to be doing personal coaching again and from this sweet little place. The pottery studio doesn’t fit, but it’s all safely stored for ‘down the road’ but the paints and creative play stuff fills shelves where others might put things like.. dishes, or food.

The last few years have been a knock-down, get-back-up, wild ride… mentally, physically, emotionally, soulfully, and financially.  Wild. Did I mention wild? But being aloft furling sails on a tall ship… well, that will always remind that getting back up includes ‘nothing is impossible.’  And this cabin just happening to be available… reminds me that the Universe is looking out for me.  And now I get  dedicated time in nature to get my creative and career dreams back in gear.  Life is Good. Crazy. Wild. Bizarre. Pretty Amazing.

The whole point of this post? Keep imagining. Make those vision boards. Dream. Trust. Do more of what you love. Take small steps in that direction. Say Yes to opportunities. Know that nothing is impossible.

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