goals

Practical Magic

In recent months, I have been studying the cycles of the moon and experimenting with organizing my life’s goals and tasks around her varying phases. I set my intentions during the new moon, work towards their realization as she grows larger, release my efforts to the Universe when she is at her fullest, and regroup and heal as she shrinks in size. So far, I have found the approach to be a beautiful combination of practical and magical, which is exactly what I’m after. 

This month’s full moon occurred last week and through my studies, I was instructed to focus on forgiveness and letting go of all that was no longer working in my life.  

Over the years, I have been told that in order to live my healthiest life, I would need to identify and let go of things, of outdated people, patterns, attitudes, possessions, thoughts, situations and basically any negative energy that was not serving me. I also knew that forgiving was a key to healing and that sometimes I needed to forgive myself. I accepted these truths but never quite knew how to carry them out. Easier said than done, I thought. However, as I started practicing the rituals surrounding the different moon phases, I have begun to understand (and to feel) how it all works.

First of all, anything we spend time and attention on will grow. The very fact that we are committing energy to clarifying and manifesting our desires will result in more successes. Second, when we contemplate and write out our intentions/goals (which we do at the new moon), we gain clarity and give our thoughts power. Our ideas turn into words which turn into actions which eventually lead to the desired result. Envisioning and feeling the outcome magnifies the energy and makes the realization that much more likely, and when we add a ritual, like burning the paper holding the words, we create a stronger intention and a grounding in our commitment to carry it out.

As we move from the new moon to the full moon (during the waxing stage), we determine action steps and consciously move towards our goals. The simple act of pushing forward, of making adjustments and going at it again, will inevitably bring us closer to our desired path. 

By surrendering our efforts to the full moon at the peak of the cycle, we allow the Universe to decide the best outcome for all involved. We make a promise to trust the result and this allows us to move into a more objective position and see the reality of our situation more clearly. 

Realizing and accepting what is and then releasing the parts that are no longer working is a key to manifesting our intentions. It allows us to empty our psyche and energy field of feelings, perceptions, habits, people, and situations that are not moving us towards our goal. In turn, we are offered new space to fill with positive energies that will propel us forward. It is also important to make time (during the waning cycle, after the full moon and before the new moon) to reflect and heal so that we will be ready for a new cycle of manifestation.

Finally, I love the cyclical nature of following the moon as it allows for the ebb and flow of events, efforts, rest, reflection, adding and releasing. If we continuously put out and move forward in a linear fashion, we are likely to burn out, lose perspective, dampen creativity, and damage our physical and mental well-being. On top of that, we will likely never reach the desired end point. 

As we leave the full moon phase this week and enter the disseminating moon phase, I am thinking about what to let go, what to keep, and who to forgive. I am beginning to rest and regroup, leaving space to reflect and edit my plan. I am making an effort to accept the reality of what is, then to revise, rewrite, and move towards the goal again or to come up with an entirely new pursuit if that is what is warranted.  

The more I organize my life around the moon phases, the more naturally it seems to flow. It is a pragmatic approach with extraordinary potential. I like to think of it as practical magic, the very best kind.

Other Websites.   Body: https://www.inbalancetherapeutics.net/   Soul: https://www.mysoulpurposeproject.com/  Music: https://www.wendydarlingandthelostboy.org/

New Moon Manifesting

Today’s Moon: Waxing Crescent

I believe that thoughts create reality. Whatever you think, believe, and focus on will attract more of the same and will eventually come to be. I am also convinced that almost any aspiration can be realized if you give it the right direction, action and attention. It just takes practice, patience, and persistence. 

Recently I came upon a unique method of manifesting and it caught my interest for a number of reasons. It nurtures an awareness of subliminal energies that affect our emotions and direction. It utilizes a cyclical and ongoing series of steps that repeated over time have a high likelihood of success, and it brings us in tune with the rhythms of our planet, making life flow more easily and effectively. 

The process I am referring to, which is outlined in Yasmin Boland’s book, Moonology, uses moon phases to help us organize and carry out our dreams and goals.

According to Boland, each phase of the moon offers a unique energy which corresponds to  different aspects of the manifestation process. For example, the New Moon is best for becoming clear on our goals, setting our visions, writing out our plan, and then releasing it into the universe. The Full Moon, in contrast, is the best time to forgive, focus on gratitude, and let go of things that are no longer working. And on the way to each, there are other areas we should address such as confidence, commitment, and acceptance.

For more information on the moon phases and how to work with them for optimal success, I suggest having a look at Boland’s book, available on Amazon, or visiting the following websites: https://www.moonology.com/  or https://www.timeanddate.com/moon/phases/.

This month’s new moon occurred on November 15, this past Sunday, and I spent some time writing out my goals and dreams, as Boland had suggested. I identified action steps and created a list of fears. I made several revisions and additions before I finally settled on a workable plan. Then, I lit a candle, set the list on fire and released it into the Universe (this is not a necessary step but it does add to the fun and magic of the process).

I like the idea of following the moon phases to achieve my goals because it allows for all aspects of the manifestation process, not just the doing or the reflecting. Too often, we focus on the action steps and the need to keep moving forward at all costs. This is an important step.  However, it is only part of the process. When we get too caught up in the doing, we miss the letting go, the tweaking, the reflecting, the recouping, and the mustering of courage necessary to take the risks needed for success. In contrast, when we get caught up in the reflecting and planning, we hold onto the need for a perfect blueprint instead of moving forward with our best effort. I am also attracted to the cyclical nature of the moon’s path as it takes us through the natural and dynamic process of expanding and contracting, much like the ocean’s tides, and it always offers us another chance. If you miss the mark one month, the opportunity will come around again soon enough.

I have just begun working with the lunar cycles and the results are still unknown. Whether or not the moon has any real or mystical influence, I cannot say. I am confident, however, in Boland’s system because it offers a comprehensive, creative, consistent, continuous, and practical approach for moving towards my dreams, and ultimately, I believe it will help me to achieve anything I can imagine. And that is surely magic.

websites: Life coaching: https://www.mysoulpurposeproject.com/. Bodywork: https://www.inbalancetherapeutics.net/. Music: https://www.wendydarlingandthelostboy.org/

Adjusting Our Aperture

Websites: Mysoulpurposeproject.com Inbalancetherapeutics.net

Photo Credit to Diane Connolly Borton

I love walking in the woods. It offers the perfect combination of exercise, fresh air, nature, and time to contemplate. For years, I took regular treks (through the cold of winter and the bugs of summer) with a couple of close friends and our dogs and it provided an excellent chance to connect. We shared ideas and experiences, laughed at each other’s jokes, and gave advice when needed. I remember frequently getting into long conversations and losing myself in deep thought. Then, at some point, I would inevitably look up and realize I had no idea where I was. Luckily, my friends knew the trails and would lead me out safely.

I use to pass this off as my natural ability to “be in the moment,” and it’s true. I have always been good at mindfulness, even before it was vogue. It is fairly easy for me to live in the present while keeping my worries and fears at bay (most of the time). I am grateful for the ability to zoom in to the now and experience the close up view. However, there is a flip side.

When I am immersed in the moment, I lose awareness of time or get off track with my “to do” list. I am late to meetings and am not able to move as quickly towards my goals. Sometimes, I get lost in the woods.

Recently, I have been taking more walks alone and exploring a variety of unknown terrain with my partner. In both cases, I have needed to pay attention to where I was going. I have made note of trail intersections, special landmarks, and other identifiers and have paused occasionally to review my route. I have consistently looked forward and backward expanding my depth of field and have gotten better at navigating as a result.

One day last week, however, when I was on my morning stroll, I had gotten absorbed in thought and by the time I came out of it, I had lost my bearings. I solved the problem I was contemplating but at a cost, and this got me thinking.

Is it possible to immerse yourself in the present moment while also paying attention to where you’ve been and what lies ahead?

In her blog post, How to Be Present While Still Planning for the Future, Heidi Hill points out that, “Life satisfaction generally requires a balance of being and planning.” She suggests 3 ways to do this: Set goals, but let go of your expectations; Plan for the future, but don’t waste your time worrying about the future; Balance planning with action.

Full Post: https://www.lifeinfullbloom.com/how-to-be-present-while-still-planning-for-the-future/

I started to think about how I might apply this concept to my life. Could I continue to practice the art of mindfulness while periodically checking in on my goals and overall plan? Could I be in the moment in the context of where I’d already been?

As I continued my walk, I began altering my focus between where I was on the path and what I could see up ahead, much like the aperture of a camera. It dawned on me that this was a beautiful metaphor for my mindfulness practice and that in order to move closer to my life’s purpose, I would need to do both, knowing when and how to adjust.

The Benefit of Habits

My Soul Purpose Project: mysoulpurposeproject.com

It’s Monday and I am feeling defeated before the week even begins. All of my ideas and goals are swirling around in my head trying to land in the appropriate place on my calendar, in order of priority. I am also evaluating my overall mission and looking at which tasks resonate and which should be discarded. The words and pictures I am contemplating involve my hopes and dreams as well as my fears and frustrations. It can be overwhelming.

After an hour and one break, I finally settle in on a plan I can live with. At least for the day. Chances are, I’ll go through the same process again a few more times during the week and each time it will change. Each time I recreate the wheel, I’ll be stalling the forward movement and eroding my confidence and hope for success.

One of my new endeavors is an online business I am calling, My Soul Purpose Project which helps people identify and move towards their life’s purpose. https://www.mysoulpurposeproject.com/ . It is a process of self discovery in which I use tarot, dream interpretation, flower essence, distance healing, the Law of Attraction, and other proven techniques to help the participant move closer to their true nature.

As part of planning the business, a friend suggested that I read The E-Myth by Michael E. Gerber, a book which outlines the benefits of systemization and how some degree of franchising can be the key to growth and getting a product or service out to an unlimited number of people.

I enjoyed the book a lot and it got me thinking about ways to set up my own business so that it can deliver quality and consistency every time. By automating at least some of the process, I realized I can grow a successful business without weighing myself down.  What could be better?

I am now at the point of refining the operations of My Soul Purpose Project and it is going very well. And, something unexpected is beginning to occur. 

I am starting to look at the systems of my own life. 

How do I organize my time and efforts in such a way that I don’t have to rethink or redo it every week or every day? How do I eliminate the emotional dance that accompanies each reiteration? Can I set up my life so that it will operate as efficiently and effectively as one of the franchises outlined in Gerber’s book?

This thinking brought me to another book I read last year called, Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin. In the book, Rubin points out the benefits of creating healthy habits and gives tips and techniques on how to do it. She emphasizes that the best way to achieve our goals be it weight loss, better sleep patterns, improving our relationships, or starting a new business, is to learn how to replace old debilitating patterns with new ones. And once these habits are formed, they run our lives with automated precision and allow us to move towards our goals with efficiency and consistency. According to Rubin, if we put our focus and care into the creating and maintaining of these habits and keep repeating them, the objective will be achieved. Automatically. Everytime.

I am finding the habits of our lives are much like the systems of a successful business. Once we decide on a goal, we then need to break it down until we can piece together a series of habits that will lead us to that end. With continuous monitoring and adjustment, the series of habits can effectively run the operations of our lives. Once this happens, we can sit back and relax, continue to manage the overall process, and let the dream unfold.

The Benefits of Showing Up

“You don’t need money to be an artist. You need but one thing. Persistence to keep getting up off the floor where you sometimes lie (or at least I did) with your face pressed against the cold concrete, moaning, “What was I thinking?” You just keep getting up and taking the next step.” – Pam Grout (pamgrout.com).

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I’ve been thinking about this concept lately, about how I so often back off from an idea or an endeavor as soon as the going gets tough. Usually it happens early in the game before I’ve ever really given it a chance. When it starts to get hard or the next step becomes unclear, I begin to find all types of excuses for why I’m probably not on the right path and how ultimately it will end poorly.

I am tired of telling myself that a creative life will bring all sorts of hardships and lack and that I am simply not good enough. I am beginning to question my inner dialogue which tells me I am likely to put forth earnest effort and vulnerable exposure only to fail or end up somewhere I don’t want to be. 

The truth is, it would actually be better to spend the time and energy striving towards my goal, rather than sit on the sidelines in uncertainty. Even if I don’t succeed in a particular endeavor, I will at least be out there learning and growing and the chances of manifesting my ideas will increase with each attempt.

Pam’s blog reinforces that no matter what doubts or obstacles surface, if I just keep moving every day in the direction of my goal, I will eventually arrive. 

Every time. No exceptions. 

Pam is a New York Times bestselling author, but she wasn’t always. In fact, two of her most widely acclaimed books were unsuccessful in the first round. Were she to have thrown in the towel then, she would not be who she is today, a respected and well-known writer and blogger influencing thousands of lives.

I have had many ideas and aspirations throughout my life. When I was in my 20s and just starting out, I wanted to be a travel writer. After giving it a shot (I think I wrote a total of two articles) with no success and receiving a comment or two of criticism, I quickly shut down the endeavor. I told myself that I didn’t have the skills required and the road would be too difficult.

I also had dreams of being a filmmaker and performing musician but never gave those enough time either, because the mountain seemed too high and the competition too steep. I envisioned a multitude of possibilities but remained paralyzed in my discouraging inner dialect.

My most recent idea is to create a virtual business in which I coach people towards their life’s calling through guided discussions, dream interpretation, tarot, flower essence therapy, and distance energy healing. I am calling it, My Soul Purpose Project, and am currently designing the website and refining the product.

It has gotten off to a good start. I did a 4-week pilot and was very pleased with the results. The feedback was extremely positive.

I am now in implementation mode. I am being faced with decisions that are not clear and I am hitting a few roadblocks. My tendency is to question it. Maybe this isn’t the best idea. Will it provide me with the life and creative outlet that I seek?

I have decided to stick with it. 

It will be an evolving process. I won’t make all the perfect decisions and inevitably there will be some mistakes. However, if I continue to put in consistent effort and feed my head with encouraging self talk, if I keep showing up, I will make my way slowly and surely towards success. 

Photo from Thoughtco.com.