My dream (in more than one sense)

I had a dream last night.

But it wasn’t my average dream. It was practically REAL, and it helped me in ways I’d never expect from a dream…

I ran into a friend of a friend. She was a creative spirit with an exuberant and joyful personality, but she struggled when it came to expressing herself through dance (It took the first half of the dream to establish all this, but I’m trying to keep to the point here!). She was going through a rough phase of personal transition, and she knew that it would really help if she could dance.

I offered to give her an Embodied Movement Coaching session (which is a new one-on-one service I’ve been testing…and which I’ve been terrified to talk about up until now). And I immediately began to plan the session out loud (because, hello, dream!).

“Alright,” I said, “We’ll start with some grounding. Really get your feet grounded on the earth so you’re IN your body. Then we’ll start at your head and we’ll do an exercise to help you warm up and free your body joint by joint all the way to your feet. And then we’ll start at your fingertips and we’ll dance part by part until you’re right at your centre. Then we’ll play with movement and see how it feels. Is there a song that you really want to dance to?”

She picked one, and I asked her to bring it to the session. Which, frankly, has been one part of the coaching concept that’s been worrying me. Solution: found.
And the thing is…as I was thinking out loud in the dream, I was doing the movements I was talking about. And I felt better as I was doing them. And I knew with absolute certainty that this would help her, and that it would work and that it was something came naturally to me…that I could make a plan to help anyone who wanted it.

It was pretty much the best dream ever.

I mean, I’ve left out some things, like how we met at an event to raise money for prostate cancer awareness…where people stood in a crowd and chanted “Prostate prostate prostate”…but yeah.

A dream. In more than one sense.

Have you ever had a dream that helped you deal with something in real life? This is a new experience for me, and I’d LOVE to hear your stories!

 

Transformation

Image by puuikibeach on Flickr.com

 

It will not always feel good,
This growing.
This stretching beyond the boundaries of the known,
The comfortable.

It will not always feel safe,
This learning and relearning of your own abilities
This reexamining of beliefs

This pushing of envelopes
This breaking through enclosing walls.

You will shiver.

You will doubt.

You will want to run home.

Back behind walls of safety.

This walk to the edge will not
Feel good, safe, or comfortable,
But there is no faster way to learn.
There is no other way to grow.

So step out.
Leave your home base
Your comfort zone
Your cocoon

Acknowledge the fear and discomfort

But step out all the same.

With each step you take,
Your world expands
Your caterpillar mind will
Strain to comprehend the unbounded vastness of the sky.

Step out.

Step…step…step.

Unfurl your wings.

Fly.

 

Image by Emmett Tullos III on Flickr.com

 

(I wrote this for me…but it feels like it was meant for you too. If you know someone else who needs this, please pass it on)

Into the Woods (a picture post)

Last weekend was a long weekend here in Canada.

Usually, we head out of town and stay in a cottage with our friends. This year, we’d been planning to go to Portland instead, but that fell through. So we decided to stay at home. I was OK with it…something told me that we were going to have bigger adventures in our own backyard than we would on a trip.

 

I was right.

 

On Sunday, we picked up some friends and went for a hike at Long Lake Provincial Park. This park is technically in the city (I think), and it’s about a 5-minute drive from our apartment. You wouldn’t know it, though.

 

 

The trail heads through the woods and comes out onto Long Lake itself. We played by the water for a little bit, and Xander threw some rocks.

 

Honestly, I think we could have had a completely satisfactory trip just hanging out by the water…but that wouldn’t have made it an adventure.

 

We walked along the shore for a bit. This was our first truly summery weekend after a LOT of wet, and the plants were making the most of it. This was the weekend that all the leaves came out.

 

Eventually, we climbed back up onto the path that leads around the lake. It was a gorgeous afternoon, and the woods smelled of newly-grown leaves and just-blossoming flowers.

 

Eventually, we headed up a path away from the lake. Well…I say “path”…it had turned into a dried-up creek bed.

 

 

Well…maybe “dried up” was an optimistic term. It was still fun, though. It was like a puzzle, trying to figure out which side of the mess would be easier to walk on.

 

 

After a long, messy slog, we reached a spot where the creek bed ended and a stream began. It curved around and headed back toward the lake.

 

 

This part of the trip made all the time in the mud worth it. We found a path that curved alongside the stream. It was much easier going, and it was stunningly beautiful. We stopped constantly to look at the water.

 

 

At one point, we all sat down on a rock by the water. Our ears were filled with the rushing of the stream, the chattering of a nearby squirrel, the sigh of our own breath. It was peaceful beyond all imagining. It was like we were meditating without even trying.

 

 

Xander picked up on it too. Usually, when we’re walking around our suburb, he’ll complain that he’s tired within 15 minutes. That afternoon, he walked for 3 hours and didn’t mention being tired or hungry until the very end.

 

 

We were getting close to the lake, but the path had one more beautiful sight to show us. We stayed by this waterfall for a long time, taking it in.

 

 

And then we reached the lake. Even though you could see the city in the distance, it felt hundreds of miles away. I felt like any amount of time could have passed…we could have been like the people in stories who go off into the woods and come back months later, thinking no time has passed.

 

 

As I dabbled my feet in the lake water, I was filled with a sense of wonder and well-being. I felt so connected to the earth and to my ancestors who spent their lives walking through woods. I felt the arms of Mama Earth embracing and supporting us. I felt my muscles, tired, yes, but strong and capable…more capable than I’d thought.

 

We picked ourselves up and walked back to the car, full to the brim of sunshine and peace, and already planning our next trip back to the woods.

Sometimes you don’t need to travel far to have adventures. You just need to step outside your door.

What I Really, Really Want

I’ve been dealing with computer issues and feeling melancholy about postponing my first-ever telecircle (until next Saturday)…and then I remembered that I had this awesome list to share with you, and it made me feel better. Big thanks to Angel at My Mosaic Life for being the glowing inspiration she is. 

Beautiful Angel at My Mosaic Life posted a few days ago about wanting what she wants, and what her true, heartfelt desires are.

And it got me thinking…what do I want? What are MY true desires?

Desire can be a tough feeling. I know that for me, it’s accompanied with a “but I don’t really need that, it’s not important” or “but I totally can’t afford it and it’s silly to still be harping on it.” There’s pain along with the wanting, because there’s a belief that what I want is unrealistic and selfish, and sometimes impossible (short of a winning lottery ticket). That’s how it is for me, anyway, and I get the feeling I’m not alone here.

But Angel has inspired me, and I’m going to write and share a list of the things I truly want. I’ll leave it here for you to see, and I won’t add any “but I totally can’t afford that”s or “maybe when the kid is older”s, for once.

Here are my true and heartfelt desires:

-I want to actually go out and do the things I’ve been half-heartedly planning and then putting off. These include, but are not limited to, going to the monthly Barefoot Ecstatic Dance gathering downtown, seeing local dance performances, trying Nia, and taking a yoga class.

-I want to go to the Nia White Belt training in New Glasgow next month. If not that one, a different one sometime this year. I don’t know if I want to *teach* Nia, but I’ve read the book, and I want to experience their philosophy of movement firsthand.

-While we’re on the topic, I want to go to a 5Rhythms workshop, an authentic movement workshop, an advanced DansKinetics training, and a drumming/dancing circle.

-Basically, I want to have a whole spectrum of healing dance techniques that I can teach and/or combine and draw from. I want to play and explore and keep learning. There’s so much out there that I haven’t experienced.

-I want to play Minecraft and hang out with my friends regularly, without feeling guilty for “wasting my time” not-working.

-I want to cuddle and connect with Matthew every night. We got away from that since Xander was born, and we’re only just noticing the different it makes when we do it.

-I want time to sit quietly and just be still, even for 5 minutes, every day

-I want to choreograph again, and to perform my own choreography. I used to be really really good. I miss it SO MUCH.

-I want some new, brightly-coloured shirts to wear when I dance and teach classes. My black shirts are really nice, but I’d rather be in colour.

-I want a house with a yard. I want one that’s actually ours, and not rented. I want a vegetable garden and a swingset in the backyard, and I want a big room to dance in, a nice kitchen, and some office space. And a woodstove…just because. I want it to feel 100% Us and 100% Home.

-I want a daily yoga and dance practice. I want to feel strong and trust my body again. I’m feeling a difference after only 2 weeks of teaching DansKinetics, but it makes me want MORE MORE MORE!

-I want to earn money from home. I want to build TWO businesses: my dance business, and an editing business. Did you know I officially edited two versions of a real live book? I did! I totally rocked it! I love helping people polish their writing so that it clearly communicates their message…LOVE it. I also love working with people to help clarify just what they’re trying to say. (So if you need an editor, or know of someone who does…you know who to contact 😉 )

-Someday, I want to be a coach/counsellor and combine that with movement. I don’t know exactly what to do or how, but I do know that when I help my friends untangle a problem and get some perspective, I feel immensely satisfied.

And finally,

-I want to totally rock my telecircle next weekend and be able to build something really cool and unique with them.

There. That’s what I want.

How about you? I’d love to know! You can share it in comments, on your own blog, or on Angel’s original post. <3

Making Space for Magic

For months I’ve been doing my blogging and planning on the dining room table.

I don’t know how this started. I mean, last year we said that my office was going to be in the guest room. During the World-Changing Writing Workshop, I participated in a whole teleclass about creating office space to support me in my creative work. I tried. It’s just…I don’t know…it didn’t really “take.” It was a guest room with a wobbly desk in it, not a space for magic.

And after a few months, the guest room became the Place Where Things Go to Die. Then it really REALLY wasn’t conducive to working…or doing anything, really, other than Dumping Stuff and Running Away. The cats liked it. That’s about it.

Last weekend Matthew and I decided that Enough was Enough. It was time to make some space. We started by clearing out the guest room.

(I purposely didn’t take “before” photos of the Hell Hole, but here—including that shopping cart and its contents—is about 3/4 of the stuff we cleared out of the room, not including furniture. Or the contents of the closet. Yeah…)

 

We rearranged everything, and spent about an hour scraping cat hair off the rug where under-the-bed used to be. And then it was time to settle back in.

At this point, Xander decided to come and help us put things away. This was his contribution…

 

I worked until bedtime on Saturday, sorting papers, organizing things, and putting pictures back up. I even reorganized most of the closet, but I didn’t photograph it because it still looks messy.

And here is the result:

Bookshelf. Business-y stuff on the right, crafty and household stuff on the left.

 

Actual space for pretty things! Matthew bought me that rabbit sculpture on the day we had Xander <3

 

Prayer flags from Goddess Leonie, standing work station, which I use about half the time, and you can *just* see part of my Right-Brain business plan by the blue curtain on the right.
Xander’s standing workstation…he’s “playing Minecraft” on the alarm clock.

 

I LOVE how it looks. It feels so much better.

But here’s the Magical Secret: this was about SO MUCH MORE than spring cleaning the guest room.

To be honest, the mess in the guest room kind of felt like a metaphor for my approach to my blog-and-business-y stuff. I had plans and projects to do, but they kept getting crowded out of the way by random crap. Papers. Lego. Facebook. Massive life changes. Hairballs…no, wait, that was the guest room, not the blog. As far as I know… 

The point is that my dreams were drowning in random pieces of crap that needed to be cleared out and put away. I needed time and space for action.

Last night I tried the office out for the first time, and this afternoon Matthew gave me a block of time to work as well. So far in this office, I have edited an e-book (not mine), recorded a movement meditation (that one’s mine, and more on that soon), created the beginnings of a new website, and danced for half an hour.

…Most of which I’d been planning to do for the past month or more. Clearing the guest room and making physical space for my work is allowing me to clear out my back-logged to-do list and make energetic space for more creativity and bigger projects.

YES.

This is my magic room, my business sanctuary, the place where Creations Will Be Made Real. I’ve only been in here for a couple of days, but I pretty much never want to leave.

SO HAPPY in my office space…and the cats seem happier too!

 

We’re going to have to find somewhere else to keep the shopping cart…

Picture post: my technicolour dreambook

I’ve been playing around with a blank book lately, and I wanted to share. I’m a sucker for blank books, but this one went unused for years because I tend to like my pages lined, and I didn’t really know what to do with an unlined book.

Apparently, it was just waiting for the right time. Like the day I bought Xander some new paints at Staples (side note: Crayola watercolours…BEST PAINTS EVER. I may have to buy my own set, because I’m getting quite protective of these ones when Xander tries to mix colours. Other side note: TARDIS MUG!!! YAY!).

I’ve been doing a page every day or so. Sometimes it’s a message about what I need that day…

Sometimes it’s a reminder of the qualities I want to invite into my life…

Sometimes it’s a message about how I’m feeling…

Sometimes it’s an affirmation…

 

I absolutely love this new project. I love the beautiful colours (I am such a sucker for rainbow colours!). I love the feeling of the paint. I love the thick paper. I love the meditative aspects of putting brush to paper and letting the message come out. A page only takes a few minutes, but every time I make a new one, I come back to my day feeling clearer and lighter. I can’t recommend it enough!

 

Beautiful dreamer

Beautiful dreamer—

I see you there, peeking out from the shadows.
The bright sunlight makes you squint as you peer from your sanctuary.
Beyond the shade is a world more beautiful than you can imagine.

But to get there, you must do the unthinkable.

You must uncurl your fingers from that tangle of branches.
Straighten your shoulders,
Take a deep breath.

And take one step.

Step out into the light.
Even though your heart is racing and your breath is catching in your chest.
Step into the light.

You worry that the light will blind you.
That the bright beings you see in the distance will point and laugh
At your dimness.

What you do not see
Is that the shade obscures your magnificent sparkle.
Step into the light and watch yourself transform.

Shine. One step at a time.

Image by davedehetre on Flickr.com