Hmmm...where to start? Well, at one point I wrote a post in response to a comment that Melba left. A couple days later I read a post by Jamie about Jack Canfield's "rule of 5."
Shortly after reading Melba's and Jamie's words, I decided to take both their ideas and combine them. Melba's advice to ask the Universe for help really made a difference in that it made it easier for me to get things done in a more positive and holistic way. I felt that Jamie's lists of fives would help me to break down my ambitions into something a little bit more manageable.
I'm on the third week of making these lists and am realizing that it not only works incredibly well, but that it is also a learning process....a learning process in which I am learning about myself, that is. These past couple weeks I've been more productive than I have been in months. I owe a lot of this productivity to these lists. But list-making can become dangerous if not kept in check (for ridiculously overachieving nutcases like myself anyway)--and so even my lists have been evolving in ways to become more balanced. The part that seems to be helping me out the most is the self-understanding I'm arriving at that I am doing my best and the rest, well, I am handing it over to the universe.
But wait....there are so many other things I want to talk about too. This must be why it's taken me so long to write this post--my thoughts are starting to bottleneck with the restriction of language. Perhaps it's impossible for me to be able to tell you everything. But I want to try anyway, because these things have been so incredibly helpful for me. I want to extend these thoughts as far out into the universe as possible so that they might help the next person too.
But already I see that I need to back up even further and that it will be hereby impossible to get all of it into one post.
While on a long over-due vacation earlier in the summer, I read a book called The Witch of Portobello by Paulo Coehlo. It is a fictional biography of a woman, written from "the divergent recollections and reflections of the people who knew--or thought they knew--her best." It is the story of a woman named Athena--a woman who lived from the center of her heart and taught others, through example, how to do the same. The story spoke to me in a powerful way because it reminded me of someone. My former self? An old friend? Well, actually, it was both of those people. But that doesn't matter so much as the fact that reading this book reawakened something in me that had grown sleepy and sadly complacent.
Next I read Dog Years by Mark Doty and that book reawakened an inner poetry that had also grown sleepy. It was a book about loss, but more importantly, it was a book about life and love and hope.
These days I'm reading a combination of books, but the one I'm most excited about is Ask and It Is Given by Esther and Jerry Hicks. I came to this book through Melba's reviews and, I'll admit, the first time I picked it up I decided to pass on it because it looked a bit too self-helpy and hokey for my taste. But I kept thinking about it--I mean, it just wouldn't leave my mind. Thoughts about the book just wouldn't leave me alone. I'll tell you, I'm glad that Melba introduced it to me and that Mardougrrl pushed me closer to buying the book, and that the book itself worked its way deep enough into my head to get me, in the end, to bring home a copy of my own.
Also, I've started a vision board. What I mean by that, if you're not familiar with the term, is that I went to Target, bought a cheap (but attractive) corkboard, and have started filling it with images of what I desire my life to look like. I expected it to fill it with all sorts of different things, but there seems to be only two topics I'm interested in right now: 1) Painting and 2) Houses. The corkboard is now filling up with postcards announcing canvas sales (because they have such great photos of studios on them) and an art school (dreaming of continuing ed. classes), homes, and peaceful hangouts. The board also includes words like "rooted" and "believe."
I decided a few weeks ago that it was imperative that I find a "real" job so that we can afford a house. However, at about the same time, I also started doing a painting a day. Don't ask me what possessed me to do the painting-a-day, but I surprised myself and started anyway. And now I'm on my third week and have already sold several of those paintings. I started to feel doubtful about the whole thing and then I sold two more.
My journals from this past year are filled with intentions. And each time I state my intentions, it always seems to include the notion that I want to earn an income (enough to support our desire to own a house) through creative pursuits. Selling my paintings on a regular basis? It seems too good to be true...but is it starting to happen? *a smile creeps across my face at the mere thought of it.*
Last week I decided to take the leap of faith and not only purchase a case of canvases, but to quit my job at the bookstore. Did I really do that? I mean, the job part? Yes, I did. My last day is on Thursday and, although I'll miss it there a lot, I feel downright wonderful about finally acting on something that I've known I needed to do for a long time. The best part? I feel like I have just taken a major step in creating space for whatever it is that's about to happen next.
Today, V. took another small leap of faith and bought me a pen tablet. I've been wanting one for web design for some time now (and, omg, they are so cool!!). It's money that we certainly could have used for something else, but having recently started our own web design business (sidenote: our web site is still in progress), there have already been plenty of times that it would have come in useful. Anyway, we were sitting at the kitchen table about to open the box up--feeling a mixture of excitement and guilt and hopefulness--when we took a quick break to crack open a shared fortune cookie (the restaurant only gave us one and so we decided we'd share the fortune) and the fortune read:
"You are headed in the right direction. Trust your instincts."
Of course, all of this is just the tip of the iceberg; I'm finding it impossible to report to you the entire series of thoughts and events that have led me to these words. Last week, from Ask and It Is Given, I underlined:
"You ask through your attention, through your wanting, through your desire--that is the asking (whether you desire it to happen, or if you desire it not to happen, you are asking...). You do not have to use your words. You just have to feel it in your being: I desire this. I adore this. I appreciate this, and so on. That desire is the beginning of all action."And so I've started to take action in the best way I know possible: by doing my best to follow my heart, by showing up in my studio every day, by keeping my heart open to the possibilities, by breathing deeply, by making the effort to maintain confidence in myself, by putting myself out into the world in a way that moves me closer to the things I desire.
When I am doing the things I love, I can feel myself literally shine and I feel the genuineness in the way people respond to this feeling of well being. After all, aren't we all attracted to people who are in a balanced, healthy state of mind?
I wish I had the words to write about these thoughts more clearly--but, right now, it seems that I'm simply busy living the change that is taking place inside of me. This isn't anything that has happened over night. It has been actively building upon itself ever since I moved to the city a year ago. It has been building and there is no end to the journey, no final goal or destination--rather, it is a process towards..........Me.
And, you know... I just want to say thank you to those of you who inspire me in more ways than you could possibly realize. You change my world for the better every day. ;)