We’re a month and a half into 2012 and the integration time to this new calendar year has been a bit of a learning curve. With so much energy going into what 2012 really means for humanity it has proven to be a deep reflection time for many.
I kept hearing people saying on new years day that what you’re doing today is what you’ll be doing for the rest of the year, well I’m not sure I believe that wholeheartedly but I do know I want to be writing and creating this year so I’m here up against my keyboard with new ideas and visions. The world is incubating a new dawn and I’m reflecting on life in ways I hadn’t considered before.
I am remembering being a child and thinking I will be 37 years old when it’s 2012, that time felt like it would never come and yet not so far away either.
Here we are arriving at this gateway whether we are prepared or not and whether we know the meaning of the other side of these times or not.
At the end of the year I had been feeling very hope-full for many months but just as 2012 crested I felt alone, separate,and uncertain about what these times will bring. I have felt a collective unrest, a sadness post holy day season and a deep compassion welling up for what everyone is feeling.
We are each living somewhat separate lives either by choice or because we haven’t found the ways in which we weave community together. Here in my sharings and musings I’m asking the question
What does community mean to you and how do you create it in your own life?
I have previously defined community by the terms of who shows up for you when you need it and who do you show up for, like who is by your side when a parent dies or you become ill or who is there when you celebrate your most inspired dreams, who is there when your children are born, when they die unexpectedly, when you are realizing the visions you have held all your life and who do you share your meals with, your highs, lows and all the mediocrity in between that is day to day life?
A very dear friend just passed the veil, the situation seemed very dire at first and then I witnessed how a community has really pulled together in big ways to help this courageous woman and her family, from raising funds to support alternative healing, to organizing childcare, holistic services and outreach. I realized such amazing grace, love and an open heart when being open to sharing everything I could to help her heal, to minimize any grief or suffering she might be feeling and through this the lesson in my own life to live more fully everyday. I know that is what my friend would be doing, and I know she wants us all to focus on the vibrancy of life. I remembered through this seva that asking for help doesn’t need to wait until we are at the brink of breaking.
I found again the understanding of giving, the divine presence of love and compassion and the sweetness of having an open heart. Giving opens us to a future abundance and joy we can only partially understand in the physical world.
I wonder why we have to wait until circumstance is dire to step up in each others lives? Life is happening now, whatever we have can be a stepping stone to a greater vision but to be great-full in every moment is a life affirming step to a wealth of future possibility.
We see struggle everyday and I always feel like life doesn’t need to be this uphill battle. I dream of a community rich in people who are living their most innate gifts into existence. A community where we come together for every occasion, where we celebrate life and those inherent gifts effortlessly.
I see so many people suffering walking asleep in jobs or careers that don’t serve their spirit, their highest selves, the perfection of the being they came in as. People living for another’s dream or purpose and not fully embodying what they yearn for on their path. I look to my daughter everyday for the lessons of presence and longevity. She inspires me to thrive, from the second she opens her eyes most days she has big plans of creating, embodying and living fullness in every moment.
Maya Angelou coined the phrase surviving is important, thriving is elegant, to which I resound an ever present yes.
This is my mantra and has been for some time now, it’s so easy to fall into a pattern of survival.
So I am challenging each of us to define what ways thriving can be created in our lives.
What are the passions we push aside and hide away until one day we wake up and illness takes us or we are so exhausted that we don’t have the creative energy needed for us to thrive?
How do we live more fully, alive with vibrant energy moving toward the gifts we have? seen or unseen?
What is your service to the community? The world? The planet?
Recipes for Living a Thriving and Fully Realized Life
Here are some dashes of this and pinches of that which have helped me to embody the fullness of my gifts and live a life that feels like thriving not surviving.
*Spend time with children, even if you are not a “kid person” The best thing about being a mother is the gift of being present, fully present. Children teach us, if we are open to listening that we have these precious moments right here, right now. If we’re off in our minds living some future eventuality that may or may not even be real we can’t create anything in the presence of now.
The act of being present has proven year after year a valuable and tangible life choice that literally fills you with joy. Children get that on a gutteral level and don’t have to be taught how to be in the moment they just inherently are.
- Take steps to doing what you love in the world, even if they’re baby steps
I’m not kidding! If we don’t live our true passions we harbour resentment, stockpile anger and ultimately sit in a stew of grieving until something bigger than us pulls us into the illness and dis-ease we’ve been carrying around like luggage.
Baby steps: well we have to start somewhere, and not everyone walks at the same pace.
Some of us can jump right into a new career, field of study, relationship or life change while others need to dip their toes in for a while and feel the depth of the water before deciding it’s our time to swim.
So get your feet wet this year, learning something new keeps life fresh and feeling alive, taking in a new activity, or discipline, learning new ways of being, and operating, experiencing a new community or culture these are the eye openers and heart songs that carry us into inspiration.
In 2012 I’m __(fill in your own blanks here)_________________________
My 2012 Visions that are already happening!
In 2012 I’m:
singing with women, a dream a long time in coming
co-creating a dancing/drumming/ singing event in my community
visioning the finish of a red tent temple project
editing 20 years worth of poems for a book in 2013
birthing a new doula practice
facilitating a residency immersion weekend with 2 poetic inspirers
dancing more, and re-learning a yoga practice
Here’s another way I’ve found to get the creative flow in short order to helping accomplish goals, dreams and visions.
- Create your own vision board, dream incubator or creation collage to all the many visions you have had that get pushed aside and hidden away for the more practical things in your life. Yes folks being a visionary is practical too, if we didn’t have people who thought outside the box we wouldn’t have things like civil liberties or the right to vote, or artistic master pieces or amazing music or inspired poetry.
We would be resigned to a life all mapped out for us and not the creative expression we came here to experience and embody. We all have creations brewing underneath the surface and one thing I know is that our destiny is not found in an office sitting at a desk for hundreds and thousnds of hours every year. There is more to life than what we do for a living, and when our true essential nature lines up with what we are doing everyday, thriving is what we embody naturally.
All you need to create a vision is some inspiration to remind you of what your dreams are.
- Inspirational photo’s, images, artwork that illicits the dreamers dream inside you
- Cutouts of words, letters, phrases, quotes that express the message you are dreaming would exist. (Print out quotes and words that inspire you if you don’t have any on hand)
- Glue, Double stick tape and scissors
- A Board, Box or Jar to add your images, words and inspirations.( you can use cardboard, matte board, foam core, an old tea tin, a mason jar or whatever surface feels best to you) Flat boards can be placed on an altar, over your bed in a place you see everyday, boxes or jars can be put in prominenet places too, you can add things to the inside of these: stones, fortunes, herbs, coins, and other power symbols that are meaning-full to you.
- Candles, Herbs or Incense, a quiet place with room to create.
Call on your personbal guides, your inner wisdom, light candles, burn herbs to create prayer smoke
Create from a place of innocent perception, tune into your heart, your thriving the best parts of you .
Try Om-ing or chanting to begin your visioning time, find a stillpoint and get centered before starting.
Start the process without a road map of what it’s supposed to look like, go with the essence of your inner path, your heart, people that roll with their heart leading are the coolest people I know, it’s a blessing to be able to tune into.
When you have finished, energize the artwork with prayers spoken out loud, incense and herbs burning, a candle lit and a mantra to get your self aligned with your dreamer.
You could say something like- Today I am effortless in my intentions of becoming a dancer, my feet, body, heart and soul move in perfect precision with my highest expression of the dancer within me.
Place your vision board, box, or jar in a place that is prominent, where you will gaze at it, remember it’s purpose and feed it everyday. Visions get hungry too, they need spiritual food the way we need sustenance to thrive.
- Put into your body what feeds you the most. Eating is a sacred intentional act. Filling yourself with food that is fresh, grown in your or nearby gardens, sourced closer to home, prepared by your hands with the intention of nourishment and sustenance. When we are connected to the source and the process of our nourishment more nutrients are available to us, we have a relationship with our food and therefore are responsible for our own health and wellbeing.
In our culture we tend to give the idea of health over to others, when in reality what we put in our bodies is one of the most important choices we can empower ourselves with everyday. The cornerstone of digestion is salivation, when we first begin to smell the food we’re cooking and preparing. If we haven’t created our food from scratch we’re losing the first piece of the digestion pie.
Stop eating processed foods, fast foods, convenience foods- these will never be really nutritious physically or spiritually. We will never be filled up from anything that isn’t created with love, known to our cells as from the earth, and that lives in a plastic or plastic coated package on a shelf.
Nurture your animal, the you that knows the delight in nourishment from the soil and the land.
Re-purpose your microwave and turn it into a nice end table or cushioned foot rest, never “cook” your food in an electronic device.
Cultivate the old ways, the slow food model, the warmth and the love of knowing what it is, where it came from and how it turned into what is entering your body.
- Cultivate your Seva-
What is your service to the community and the world? It is important that some of what we have received has been given back to the cauldron of creation. Service doesn’t need to be something anyone knows we do, it can be small offerings or grand creations but the point is that we create an environment of giving too. We all give to the people we love, our families and friends. We cook dinner, help with projects, care for each other, do the work of the day to day etc.
But what gift can we give to the greater world, those we perhaps don’t know, those maybe we have met but haven’t fostered a relationship beyond the surface.
Seva can be anything from taking care of another families children, to cooking meals for a woman who has just given birth.
Seva can take the form of starting an organization which fosters community work, volunteering for an organization that already exists, doing the work you know your community already needs etc.
You can be creative, using you gifts, your hands and your physical body to do seva.
In this past year I have found my seva to be reciting poems, my own and other inspirers for the purpose of uplifting people. It wasn’t planned on my part but it has been such a blessing to share this part of me that hadn’t really ever been born until I realized it helped people.
It isn’t the only form of seva I do but it is the form that most easily flows forward from me and that I know is most spiritually bio available once I’ve made the offering.
Words hold some of my magick in this life- I challenge you to cultivate your own magick and share what you do with the people and places you call home.
Rumi writes –
Let the Beaty we love be what we do
There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground
Find your prayer and purpose in the everyday and do what you love, that path is the way
That is the only way we ever do what we are meant to
Be Love and the rest will find it’s way
Be blessed on this your once and future destiny,