New Year (Almost), New Look

2015 is almost over. The year is winding down, and a new year is about to begin. It’s a time of reflection – looking backwards, and also looking forwards.

2016 Walks WithinI’ve been reflecting on my year as well, and dreaming for the new year.

This past year has definitely had it’s ups and downs. Holding the role of Demeter at the 30th anniversary Spring Mysteries Festival was definitely a high point! The last few months have definitely thrown their share of challenges and curve balls.

Looking back at the goals I set at the beginning of last year, I didn’t actually hit most of them. It’s hard to admit that. Some of them, I can take my own advice about unrealistic timelines and adjust them. For others, I have to reevaluate how much I want them. And still others, I must admit that I didn’t put much effort into achieving them.

I allowed life to distract me – to take my eyes off my goals. I let the days slide into weeks, and then into months, falling into routine drudgery. I’ve lost my belief in myself, and that is the most difficult thing to face.

So I need a different strategy this year. I’m spending some time getting clear on what I want to achieve this year. I’ve ordered a new day planner on the recommendation of a friend (I’m still waiting to receive it). I haven’t used a day planner in years. I relied on the calendar in my phone to keep me apprised of appointments, however, it doesn’t keep my goals in front of me.

Clearly things have to change. I can’t keep doing the same things and expect to get different results. I’ve already started making small changes – like the colors on the site here. What do you think?

I have the tools and the skills to make the changes that I need to, and now I have the awareness and the desire. I am walking my talk, back on the path. What changes are you willing to make in the new year?

Wishing you a very successful and prosperous 2016!

Blessings,

Mary

PS. Thank you to everyone who has commented and shared. I’ll be announcing the winner on my Facebook page shortly!

And So It Begins…

snowdropsThis weekend was the pagan festival of Imbolc, also known as Candlemas and more popularly as Groundhog’s Day. It marks the beginning of spring – here in the Pacific Northwest snowdrops are blooming, and crocuses are pushing up through the soil.  The days are getting visibly longer and brighter, and no matter how cold it is, we know that spring is coming.

It’s a time of cleaning out the old, and setting goals for the coming year. This past week I’ve done some of both.

Sunday we had our circle’s Imbolc celebration at our home. And it was definitely time for our house to have a thorough clean. So I spent much of the day leading up to the ritual cleaning. It was tiring, and yet it felt good to clear away so much of the grim that had built up.

I’m working on my Associate Degree in Ministry at the Wiccan Seminary, and one of the assignments was to set goals, one for each astrological sign. I remember two years ago this assignment totally overwhelmed me. The idea of setting twelve goals, and matching them up to the astrological sign sent terror through me. I looked at the list and the guidelines and my mind went blank.

This time around, it was a lot easier. It took me some time, and I went over the list several times over the course of a few days. It flowed much more easily, though. I think the biggest difference is that I wasn’t afraid of it.

I’m very pleased to be able to look back and see this growth in myself. 🙂 I’m pleased that I am able to choose goals for myself this year that flow easily and naturally. And I’m pleased that I have a record, a way to look back and actually see how much I’ve grown.

The Wheel of the Year turns it’s progression around the same track every year. This time, I can see that I’m at a different level than I was before. Remember back at summer camp, singing one of those repeating songs? “Second verse, same as the first. A little bit louder and a little bit worse!” Only I’m getting better each time around. 😉

How do you measure your progress? Let me know in the comments below.

Blessings,

Mary

Sliding Down the Slippery Slope

This week I hit a speed bump. A friend challenged me, and it brought up a lot of fears and negative self-talk for me. The challenge was not even a bad thing; she challenged me to put my Elements of Abundance course out for everyone, whether I feel ready or not. By having a deadline with people depending on me, I will show up and make it happen.

It’s a proven concept – part of the reason I started a women’s spiritual circle oh-so-many years ago was that I would do the work for myself. To be able to lead others, I needed to learn and grow myself.

This summer, when I was off work, I was very excited to create a group coaching program. The idea was I would be able to launch it around the time I went back to work. But I got stuck with the process I was working on creating, and then I got sidetracked with the 30/60 blog and video challenge, and before I knew it I was back at work, with nothing more than a title and an idea for my course.

I don’t regret doing the challenge. It helped me get into creating videos, and definitely increased my website hits. I see that as a very good thing.

slippery slopeThere’s still a part of me that is disappointed that I didn’t achieve what I set out to this summer, and now that it is almost mid-winter, I’m starting to wonder if I will. Between work, helping my son with his schoolwork, coaching, and circle, there’s precious little time left in the day. Not to mention any energy necessary to actually create.

I started checking out this week. I borrowed movies from the library and stayed up late watching them. I slept in each morning instead of meditating trying to make up the sleep I lost staying up late the night before. I didn’t even look at my journal, much less write in it, and I didn’t check my email most of the week.

I was sliding down the slippery slope to hopelessness. Maybe I’m not meant to create this course. Who am I to teach about abundance to others when I am so immersed in my own lack? Maybe it would be better if I resigned myself to going to work, coming home and distracting myself however I can, and doing it all over the next day.

How do you pull yourself out of that? Well, here are a few things I did:

  1. Cry. Yes, I really mean cry. Your tears help release the excess stress chemicals from your body, so let ’em flow!
  2. Journal. Get the thoughts down on paper and out of your head. I wrote in my journal while watching an X-Men movie with my boys.
  3. Get a good night’s sleep. Your body repairs and heals during sleep, and that means lowering stress levels as well.
  4. Take some time for self-care. I took a bath, used some body lotion I enjoy the smell of, and painted my toenails. Treat yourself to a personal spa day, in whatever way you can.
  5. Get a different perspective. Sometimes, I just need to talk it out. I spent an hour or so letting my husband know what I was feeling, and he gave me a different view on some of the challenges we are facing.
  6. Be gentle with yourself. Allow yourself to feel whatever it is you are feeling. Don’t stay there forever, but don’t try to squash the feelings either.
  7. Do something for someone else. For me, this was helping my son sew some lavender eye pillows for his Young Entrepreneur project. I felt needed and valuable helping him do something he couldn’t quite do on his own. Its a small ego boost, and from down here, every little bit helps.

I’m still feeling a little down, but I’m nowhere near as broken as I felt less than 24 hours ago. I’m still scared of giving myself a deadline, but it’s not as terrifying as it was earlier in the week. I keep reminding myself of this:

There are no unrealistic goals – only unrealistic timelines.

I’m not giving up, just resetting the clock.

Blessings,

Mary

There’s No Such Thing as an Overnight Success

I’ve been thinking lately about how much work it takes to become an “overnight” success. We hear success stories all the time – like Susan Boyle, the woman who sang on Britain’s Got Talent and overnight became a YouTube Star. It’s everyone’s dream – an woman takes a courageous step and sings on a television show, and it turns out she has a voice like an angel. She is suddenly discovered, and lives happily ever after.

It’s something I sometimes dream about – some publisher will see my writing and ask me to write a book, or some audio book producer will hear my guided meditations and ask me to record a book. Or that ten people will suddenly ask me to be their coach and offer to pay me really well.

And I also know that most of the time, the world doesn’t work that way.  The authors of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books were rejected by over 140 publishers before finally finding one that would take a chance on them. Thomas Edison failed thousands of times to create a working incandescent bulb before finally achieving that goal.

Take actionWhat do these successful people have in common? They kept going. They didn’t let their challenges stop them. They know what needs to be done, and they do it.

And most of us know what we need to do to be successful at whatever our chosen dream is. We just choose not to do it. Why is that?

Because we get discouraged. It’s not very satisfying to work at something day after day and see very little, if any, results, much less financial reward. We’d rather have instant gratification. Or we convince ourselves that we didn’t really want it in the first place, and we let our dream die.

It takes persistence and perseverance to achieve your goals. I’ve been writing at least one blog post a week for almost three years. And only now after my crazy blog challenge are my website hits over 100 per day – most of the time. Unfortunately, that doesn’t translate directly into people buying my guided meditations or signing up for coaching.

And yet I have a dream that one day I will earn my living through my spiritual work – through coaching, selling guided meditations and one day books. So I keep at it. I keep writing to keep that vision there in front of me.

What is your dream? Is it alive and vivid for you? Or is it gasping and close to death?

Take some time today and dream a little. Think about what your life would be like if you achieved that dream. How would you feel? Then figure out one thing you could do today to move you closer to that dream. It doesn’t have to be big. Just a little step to get you back into action to reach your goal.

Remember, there are no unrealistic goals, only unrealistic timelines.

Blessings,

Mary

 

Resistance, the Enemy of Commitment

“Whoa! That’s really bright!” my son remarked after we changed the lights above the dining room table. There are three bulbs, and over the previous week, two had blown.

“It’s amazing how quickly we become accustomed to things, isn’t it?” I answered back.

Later that night, we saw our neighbor who had had a heart attack a few months ago. “I’m feeling so much better than I did before the heart attack. I just thought how I felt before was normal.”

When the Universe puts the same message in my path twice in the same day, I have learned to take notice.

What in my life have I become accustomed to that no longer serves me? Where is my light dimmed?

I’ve fallen into a routine, and for the most part, I’m content with everything I’m doing. Most of it is moving me forward toward my goals. I think.

Well, I’m moving, but what is it that I’m moving toward?

It’s important to have goals. People who write their goals down are more likely to achieve them. I understand this. I’ve benefited from this in the past. My husband did his yearly planning and goal setting over Christmas. One of my assignments in an online course is to set goals. And I’ve totally avoided it.

Something has been holding me back. Something big enough that when I brought it up with my coach, I became quite emotional about it.

Cycle of Change

Cycle of Change

From www.lessons4living.com: Resistance can impact each of the six steps of the Cycle of Change.

At the step of “Something’s up?” you simply do not look ahead or ask any question about what is going on. At step two you refuse to name or even give the slightest acknowledgement to any problem. Don’t make any plans for action will stall you at step three as will never acting on plans you did make when you reach step four. You can resist at step five by never making any adjustments to plans that are implemented. At step six complacency will lull you into false security and you will not proactively look ahead to what is coming.

Through my coaching session, two things became clear to me. The first is that I feel like I already have a lot of commitments. If I make goals for more things, I risk tipping into overwhelm. I know that I have a tendency to take on too much at one time. So part of my resistance is to taking on more than I feel I can handle.

The second thing I got clear about was one of the teachings I have received several times over the past few years. The essence of it is that if I don’t keep my commitments, even the little ones to myself, the Universe won’t take me seriously. So I’m afraid of making commitments that I don’t think I could keep.

The solution my coach helped me to find was to set my goals for things I’m already doing. Simple, yet brilliant! I had been stuck thinking that I had to make goals to achieve new things.

I’m finally ready to complete my assignment. I’ll be setting my goals for things I’m already working on – firming up my commitments. I’m setting myself up for success.

CommitmentHow have you dealt with goal setting or resistance this year?

Blessings,
Mary

Resistance can impact each of the six steps of the Cycle of Change. At the step of “Something’s up?” you simply do not look ahead or ask any question about what is going on. At step two you refuse to name or even give the slightest acknowledgement to any problem. Don’t make any plans for action will stall you at step three as will never acting on plans you did make when you reach step four. You can resist at step five by never making any adjustments to plans that are implemented. At step six complacency will lull you into false security and you will not proactively look ahead to what is coming.

I AM a Powerful Manifestor!

I just got back from my water aerobics class.  This isn’t really big news, I know.  But it is for me, because the pool was supposed to close for renovations last Friday.

Almost three weeks ago, I sat down with a couple of friends to set some goals for ourselves for the rest of the month.  I introduced them to Raymond Aaron’s Monthly Mentor goal setting program.  I don’t make any money from endorsing this program; I just believe it is an excellent system for making progress toward your goals.

I haven’t used it myself in quite some time.  So it was good for me to introduce it to my friends, and have others to support and be supported by in moving forward. One of the goals I set for myself was to start going to water aerobics again.  I set myself a goal of  attending a minimum of two classes, a target of three classes, and my outrageous goal for myself was attending five classes.  I thought I had three weeks to acheive this.

Then I found out that the pool was closing June 25th for maintenance and renovations.  So I had only two weeks to acheive my goal! I made the comment several times that I was disappointed that just as I was getting back into going to the classes, the pool was closing and I would not be able to keep up the momentum I was creating for myself.  I pushed myself in my schedule, and I managed to get to five classes in two weeks!

At class last Friday morning, it was announced that the pool would be open for four more weeks.  The architect needed more time.  The fitness schedule would be quite limited, but the deep water class I attend is on at the time I prefer to attend, and on the three days of the week I attend.

However indirectly, I told the Universe that I wanted to continue with water aerobics, and the Universe provided the opportunity for me!

This isn’t the only experience I have had of manifesting I have had recently, but it is one of the most obvious.  What I observe about myself in this situation, is that I did not directly ask the Universe to keep the pool open.  I took action, going to the deep water class at every opportunity in my schedule.  I enjoyed the feeling of working out, and I expressed disappointment at the thought of not continuing.

I find I am often challenged in the manifestation process by not taking action, or by getting stuck in the feeling of what I don’t want.  Or I manifest unconsciously.  I don’t always consciously choose what I want to create in my life.  Between The Peaceful Woman’s Inspired Living Coaching series, and getting back into utilizing the MAINLY goal setting system, I am working on becoming more conscious of being a co-creator of my life.  I am creating my reality in alignment with my intentions and desires.  I AM a powerful manifestor, and I am so grateful!

What tools do you use to set goals and stay focused on your visions?

Blessings,

Mary