Sunday 30 December 2012

The Art of Surrendering by Glenda Myles

"Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward.” -C.S. Lewis 

Surrendering to your dream, to your purpose, to your life....requires you to let go of the life you are holding onto so that you can grab hold of the new.  

"The word "surrender" is often interpreted as giving up, as weakness, as admitting defeat. Although this is one way to use the word, we will use it in a different way. Surrendering means letting go of your resistance to the total openness of who you are. It means giving up the tension of the little vortex you believe yourself to be and realizing the deep power of the ocean you truly are." -David Deida

It's been a long time coming.

Many may think it took too long.

"Oh, I thought you already did that" they would say. "No, I hadn't" would be my reply. Secretly feeling the pressure over the last 1-1.5 years, but not surrendering.

I had my reasons, as I am sure we all do.

I am a single mother who has survived and thrived because I focused on providing for my family. There are lots of people without work, how can I give up my good job for the unknown? What if I don't succeed? Am I just going through some mid-life crisis? Have I completely lost my mind?

Surrendering to your dream, to your purpose, to your life....requires you to let go of the life you are holding onto, that identity, so that you can grab hold of the new. And sometimes if you are unwilling to let go, the Universe helps you out. 

That's what happened to me. The universe pried it out of my hands. It was jarring for a moment. Then I realized my hands were free. And with my hands free I was able to reach out for that dream that had been in front of me for so long.

And then.

Relief. Now feeling relieved, the pressure off, I have fully surrendered to the Life I have been longing to live. A level of contentment, happiness, has settled in that I wasn't expecting.

Surrendering has opened my heart and my mind. I can't wait to see what happens next.

Glenda at Myles Ahead Studio is a professional marketing strategist working to bring more creativity into business and make more ideas come to life.

Tuesday 25 December 2012

Why Can't It Be Diamonds? by Ginny Lennox

When reading Jamie Ridler’s blog not too many years ago I learned of the practice of picking a word for the year instead of making a New Year’s resolution. I loved the idea and immediately chose the word Sparkle. I don’t think I am an introvert but I am very quiet in many situations. I decided that it was my time to take a chance and step into the spotlight just a little bit. I wanted to sparkle and it was fun to think of this as the word that would lead me throughout the year. I was explaining what I was going to do to my yoga teacher and said, “Of course when I say sparkle I don’t mean diamonds.” Before I could continue she asked, “Why can’t it be diamonds?” At that moment, I realized even though I had picked the word sparkle I was already limiting all the ways I could sparkle. I was choosing a word that would help me grow and change but I was putting boundaries around that idea before I even got started.

I’ve been learning to sparkle ever since. Sometimes it’s through the clothes I choose to wear. Other times it is through the words I write or the pictures I paint. Recently I have decided to enter the world of creativity coaching and help others to sparkle.

It’s been a little intimidating learning to sparkle but it has been fun too. Every time I say that I am an artist or a writer or a coach my light gets a little brighter. I still don’t have that diamond but it’s not because I’m afraid to want too much. The sparkle I am looking for comes from within. You don’t need diamonds to make your light get brighter and brighter. It comes from knowing who you are, what you love to do, and sharing your dreams and yourself with the world. Then it is easy to sparkle!

I hope that everyone will have a wonderful holiday season filled with love, laughter, and lots and lots of sparkle!

Ginny believes that each and every day is filled with special moments to be enjoyed and treasured. On her blog, Special Moments in Time she encourages everyone to recognize and celebrate their own special moments each day. 

Saturday 22 December 2012

Winter Pause by Angel Young

Sometimes it's just too hard.

It's been like that lately over here. Several family members have been diagnosed with cancer, and have been facing very tough times. Work has been soo busy - I travel a lot, and I feel like my feet have barely touched the ground. I've been trying to iron out some health issues of my own.

Wow I feel tired.

I'm the sort of person who normally keeps going until I fall over. Now I have a few days of breathing space it's starting to seep out of me. I just haven't had the time to do anything creative at all. All I can do is let go. I'm allowing myself, perhaps for the first time in my life, to take an easier option, to not work as hard, to finish earlier, to go out for lunch. I'm not quite sure where this ridiculous work ethic stems from. Sometime in childhood for sure. But I'm getting older, and hopefully wise enough to see that I can't please everyone all the time, and no amount of effort on my part can fix everything. It's difficult for me to be in this place - normally I'm a getting things done, taking people with me sort of person. But for now everyone will just have to take themselves, and I'm going to continue to rest until I feel whole again.

It's really a winter feeling. Packing up, folding myself away until the renewed energy of spring arrives. So here's a picture to remind us all that winter is about quietening down and being still.

Angel lives in the UK and is hoping for snow this winter.


Wednesday 19 December 2012

Creative Dream TV: When You Have Obstacles In Your Way by Andrea Schroeder

"It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life. Where you stumble, there lies your treasure." - Joseph Campbell
Obstacles and stumbles are super annoying! They are also the means through which our dreams actually come true, so it's important to pay attention to them. And that's what this week's Creative Dream TV is all about. Watch it now:

xo Andrea

Andrea Schroeder: With a paintbrush in one hand & a glitter-gun in the other, Andrea lovingly mentors men & women who want to lead creatively abundant lives — and do ‘impossible’ things, with ease & joy. Express the greatest parts of who YOU are, at

Sunday 16 December 2012

Little Things Aren't Little Things by Aimee Cavenecia

Robert Brault has a quote about the little things being the big things, but I prefer to call the little things intangible things. The quote: "Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things."

Slavoj Žižek has a quote about the Absolute. He calls it the Absolute, but I would simply call it the Intangible. The quote: “What is the Absolute? Something that appears to us in fleeting experiences -- say, through the gentle smile of a beautiful woman, or even through the warm caring smile of a person who may otherwise seem ugly and rude. In such miraculous but extremely fragile moments, another dimension transpires through our reality. As such, the Absolute is easily corroded; it slips all too easily through our fingers and must be handled as carefully as a butterfly.”

This week, well, really the last few weeks, things have been moving fast. Lots arising, lots coming to the surface, lots demanding to be seen, demanding to be heard -- life requesting that things change quickly, very quickly.

And while so much is happening, what stands out most is what means the most to me. Hearing "I believe in you" or "Love you" or "Thank you" or "You make me happy" or "How can I help" or "You're my good friend" -- all said at different times, by different people -- all so rich & rewarding in the moment. The words were felt deeply & were deeply appreciated. Generous words that were precious, priceless, & irreplaceable. More meaningful than the context in which they were said in. More meaningful than the circumstances in which they happened in. Just little things that were spontaneously offered. But they aren't things at all are they? How can they be 'little' if they aren't truly measurable or quantifiable?

If I look at what made those intangible words, those little things, those spontaneous brief moments so impactful for me; if I look at what made them feel so good & resonate so deeply -- it's connection. There was no guarding, no barrier, no withholding; there was only openness, generosity & humility. And in that vulnerability & innocence, is the opportunity to connect on a deeper level.

If I playback in my mind, all of the past experiences or little things in my life that truly had an impact -- none of them were tangible. No car, no house, no sense of security; nothing I can put my finger on & say "I have it! This is it!" They were all part of some fleeting moment. And they were all based on some sort of connection.

The wind ticking my skin or playing with my hair; a child sitting on my knee or giving me a hug; feeling autumn leaves fall on my head; seeing my mother's face & feeling so happy that I get a chance to be near her; a dog raising his paw & placing it in my hand; biting a fruit while its seeds squirt out of the other side; being able to say "I love you" over & over & over, & each time it feels different, each time it feels new. With all of these things or moments, there is a oneness, an appreciation, a bond. This bond or connection can be with anything or anyone -- even with oneself. It is simply a feeling of wholeness. And when it happens, it feels like enough. I am enough, they are enough, this moment is enough.

There are so many quotes that touch on this topic. All of them are unique & unmeasurable -- just like each intangible moment that matters greatly.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge: "The happiness of life is made up of minute fractions -- the little soon forgotten charities of a kiss or smile, a kind look, a heartfelt compliment, and the countless infinitesimal of pleasurable and genial feeling."

Lao-Tzu: "All difficult things have their origin in that which is easy, and great things in that which is small."

Laura Ingalls Wilder: "I am beginning to learn that it is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all."

Arthur Conan Doyle: "It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important."

Thursday 13 December 2012

What's Your Metaphor? by Kim LeClair


I’ve been away from Creative Dream Journals for a long, long time. I keep starting to write something or have an idea for a post and it seems to dissolve away into thousands of micro-thought-threads and questions.

But I’m drawn to contribute something, so I’m trying something new - A Creative Dream Journals Pop-Quiz-Post…. 

Here goes: If you described your journey toward your Creative Dreams in metaphor (or simile, or allegory, or get the idea) how would you describe it? 

So would it be a rollicking high-seas adventure or a solo trek thru the desert? What were the stops like along the way? Clearly I’m into the journey idea, but it could be something completely different than a journey - could be more like a retreat or an inward something - don’t know. But something metaphorical - not the ‘actual’ facts but the impression of the facts - a way to describe in story.

So - if you were to sentence complete “Moving towards my Creative Dreams has been like ______ “

I’m working on my own answer too, so I’ll join in the conversation. Have Fun!

Kim LeClair has been a shadow creative for the past 40 years but is finally deciding to come out into the light. Kim is In the Process of Creating her Dream Job....Creative Director of east willow studios. 


Monday 10 December 2012

Give Yourself Permission to Sparkle & Shine! by Susan Cadley

“As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same.” ~ Marianne Williamson

I was hesitant to share when it was my turn to speak.  I was attending a monthly women’s group I belong to years ago, and many of the women were sharing about the chaos occurring in their lives.  I told the women I didn’t want to share my news out of respect for their current struggles.  A wise woman in the group encouraged me to share as my good news could offer them hope that things can change.  As I was trying to protect the other women, I was actually denying them a gift I had to share. Hope.  So I shined my good news, and received appreciation and gratitude, something I had not expected.  A gift all around.

This year, I received a gift on my birthday that soon became my favorite.  As I pulled back the flaps of the cardboard box of birthday gifts from my Mom, I noticed a “post it” note placed on top of the neatly packaged presents.   I’ve decided to make this my intention for 2013, and it can be yours too.

As children we enter the world with the ability to play, twirl, shine, and be curious.  Sometimes this ability gets managed, quieted, or disrupted by family, caregivers or life events during our childhood and we can loose our ability to be shiny and be seen.  But it doesn’t have to remain that way.  You can find your inner shine at any time in your life, and now is a great time to do it!

I slowly turned down my shine after I entered grade school, where being quiet was expected and was the norm.   Toss in some serious family illnesses and I faded more into the background as others around me took the spotlight.    But now, many years later, I’m learning how to step into the light again.  It’s not an easy proposition as old voices and beliefs love to chime in.

If you hesitate to shine or you’ve turned down your sparkle ask your soul this question: What beliefs are keeping your light dim?

Check these out and see what might resonate with you:

You believe:

  • It’s safer to not be in the limelight, because it means you won’t experience a perceived conflict.
  • What someone else told you about yourself.
  • Shining is for certain people, not you.
  • If you sparkle you’ll attract jealousy or people will think you are full or yourself.
  • Shining means you’ll have to set more boundaries (you might).

Here are some very important reasons to shine:

  • You have a unique soulprint; talents and gifts that only you can express.
  • You gift others by radiating hope and positivity when you shine.
  • Your precious life is your canvas ~ splash it with your colors.
  • You teach others it’s healthy to shine and share.
  • Your shining light may provide healing for another person.

If you still find yourself hiding in the shadows, I understand.  Taking on old belief systems that seems to provide safety and security, can bring up a feeling of vulnerability and fear.  However, these outdatedbeliefs no longer serve you as an adult. In order to grow, evolve and elevate your consciousness, you’ll need to be willing to shine, sparkle and be more of you everyday.

If you need a permission slip, feel free to use the “post it” note from my Mom.  She and I will be cheering you out of the shadows and into the light.  It’s where you are meant to be.  And you can be loved and be safe there. 

Susan is a Licensed Psychotherapist and Soul Coach and sole proprietor of Living From Within, LLC. Through counseling, coaching, creative workshops, book studies, and writing, Susan guides you to hear and live the messages of your soul. 

Friday 7 December 2012

Creative Dream TV: How To Know Which Dream To Pursue NOW by Andrea Schroeder

Is there a such thing as too many dreams? YES. Yes there is, because you can usually only focus on and bring to life one dream at at time. When your focus is split, you end up with a Creative Dream Bottleneck. The result: ALL DREAMS ARE STUCK AND NO DREAMS BECOME REAL.

My clients HATE THIS!

They want all their dreams, right now. I have had so many clients REFUSE to pick just one dream. And I get it - I feel the same way! But the result of not picking just one? ALL DREAMS ARE STUCK NO AND DREAMS BECOME REAL. Holding onto ALL dreams means you actually get NO dreams. Grrrrrrr.

If you want to succeed, you've got to focus in on one dream.

You don't throw your other dreams away - you just put them in order. Each dream you nurture to fruition opens tiny doorways and makes the next dream easier to bring to fruition... like magic.


Watch this week's episode of Creative Dream TV for some tips on how to figure out which dream to pursue first:


xo Andrea

Andrea Schroeder: With a paintbrush in one hand & a glitter-gun in the other, Andrea lovingly mentors men & women who want to lead creatively abundant lives — and do ‘impossible’ things, with ease & joy. Express the greatest parts of who YOU are, at  

Tuesday 4 December 2012

That's Brilliant by Alli Vainshtein

I watch the rising sun every morning while on my long commute to work. There is something amazing about walking out the door while the moon is shining, then watching as the sun slowly makes its way across the horizon. First I notice how many stars there are in the sky, how bright and how full the moon is. Living in tropical southern Minnesota, I have a wonderful view of the sky and it is dark enough that I can see many of the stars. It reminds me that I'm not alone. It reminds me that we are connected to the rest of the universe. I love feeling connected. No matter how dark it is when I leave the house, I know the sun will rise. On cloudy days I may not see the direct sunrise, but I see the effects as the sky gets brighter and the day fills with hope and possibility. 

It is a daily reminder that when things are dark, this is part of the cycle. I am not going to remain in the night forever, the sun will come and warm things up, bring me new light and a new day.

We are bombarded with media that warns of the doom and gloom of night and evil. For the last year, the political ads have focused on the negatives, what will happen if this candidate is not elected. Fear is on the rise. I see panic and anxiety in many of my students and friends. The ones who voted on the winning side feel a sense of relief, but disgust and lack of empathy for the ones on the losing side. The ones on the losing side feel despair and fear. They have been told that this will bring danger, and now the danger is upon them. This has just continued the hatred and polarization that is destroying our sense of connection. 

Whether or not you like the political candidates is not the issue. The issue is how are we going to live with the choice that our country has made? Choose to look for the connection, the brilliance in this decision. It's not US and THEM anymore, it's only US. 

No matter how dark things look now, the sun is coming. Focus on the brilliance of the moon, the reflection of light that is to come. The moon is there to remind us that the sun is coming. The stars remind us of our connection with every other living thing. Why else would we look for ways to connect the stars and create pictures in the sky? 

Reach out. Look for ways to connect. Look for ways to be brilliant.  You may think you are not important, not significant, but together with other brilliant people, you will shine and see the sun return. It starts with the little things.

Forgiveness. I am not asking you to forget. I am not asking you to allow people to continually violate your boundaries. I am just asking you to forgive. Don't hold hatred in your heart anymore. It will destroy you and everything you believe in over time. Hatred is too passionate to be ignored. Forgive your enemies. One of the most powerful things you can do. They can no longer hurt you once you have forgiven them.

Empathy. Pay attention to what they are feeling, what they are going through. Listen to their point of view. Let them know you hear them and that you care. You don't have to agree with someone to listen to them. You don't have to change their way of thinking. Just listen. Everyone wants to be heard.

Transparency. Life your life in a way that inspires others. If you are true to yourself, say what you mean, communicate honestly and with intention, if you know yourself well enough to know the values that you live by and make decisions by, you will inspire others. This is so important in our world today. There are few secrets anymore. Everywhere you go, there are cameras that capture your every move. Pictures of you are easily found on the internet. You can be tracked through your financial records. Everything you put on Facebook is captured on a server. When something goes wrong, it is twittered within seconds. Live a life that is true to what you believe. When you make a mistake, go back to step one and forgive yourself. Admit your mistakes. Make things right. The best lampshade is one that is transparent enough to let the light through.

Connection. Remember that we are all connected. What hurts one person hurts us all. Why do we hang on to the idea that some people are entitled to more than others? Why do we sit in fear with our riches, terrified that someone will take them away? Look at the people around you. Look at the people in the world. Remember that we are all connected. If you close your eyes to the violence next door, it will spread. Find ways to help. Start small. Someone you know personally may need help with something small, offer help. You may see someone hungry, share your sandwich. As you start to reach out, it can become a habit. You will find that sharing the brilliance within you will become something you want to do on a regular basis. It will become a way of life.

Look for the treasure in everyone you meet.  This is hard, I know. It can be very hard. I had a student years ago and people told me, "Oh, he's in your class? Try to get him to drop out.  He's trouble."  I reacted by feeling angry. How dare they judge my student? I got to class and he was very disruptive. Loud, angry, hard to handle in every way. I invited him to my office after class and we talked. Instead of confronting his behavior, I asked him about himself, his life. I looked for that treasure. It took a while, but eventually I discovered the rough background that he had grown up with. He was a survivor and an amazing one at that. The rough exterior was to protect a hurt child within. We became close friends, still are. He became one of the best students I ever had in that class. He works in a very rough environment now and is very good at what he does. I am amazed at how well he can use the pain and terror that he came from and be empathetic with others while maintaining those necessary iron boundaries. It wasn't that he changed, it was that I changed when I saw the world from his point of view. 

Everyone has a different perspective, and the more of those perspectives you can see, the better your vision will be. The more brilliant your light will be.

Alli Vainshtein is a business, accounting, and career instructor at Riverland Community College in Tropical Southern Minnesota. She loves to write (stories, lectures, blogs, letters, emails, etc.), paint, play piano, meditate, travel, cook, make new friends, and live like a Goddess. She is also a great fan of Jamie Ridler - Circe's Circle changed her life dramatically!  

Saturday 1 December 2012

Tao Disaster Balance by Aimee Cavenecia

There was a hurricane on Monday. One that literally pulled the rug from underneath New York & New Jersey. For me, the hurricane was a mixed bag of feelings. Many that I might discuss in future posts. But the one feeling that remains strong, is the clarity. I feel that I had this clarity before the hurricane, but it is known that disasters put things in perspective. I feel that this clarity is even more apparent now, & that many others that experienced the hurricane, share a greater sense of clarity as well.

All of my work was canceled after the hurricane for various reasons (no public transportation, no electricity in lower Manhattan, etc.), except meditation. I continued to offer it online, as usual. My approach to sharing meditation changes, depending on what comes up spontaneously in each session. But for the session I lead on Friday, we previously decided that we would add a section of the Tao Te Ching to each of our weekly meetings. So before we mediate, I read a section, & share my thoughts on what I just read. But because of the hurricane forecast, I typed-out the brief section of the Tao Te Ching, & my thoughts on it in advance. I emailed it ahead of time, because I wasn't sure if I would still have internet on the day I was scheduled to lead the session. This was a precaution that wasn't needed. The session happened without interruption, & all was well. I felt fortunate to be able to work online, & to keep my mediation sessions going.

What I am sharing with you, is what I emailed. The Tao Te Ching section I shared is in RED, & my personal thoughts are in Black. For some reason, sharing this as my Sunday blog post this week feels more appropriate than talking about the hurricane (or my feeling about it) in detail. I'm not sure why, but I will trust this feeling.    


If you over-esteem great men,
people become powerless. 
If you overvalue possessions, 
people begin to steal.

This shows that labeling and attaching meaning to things, is not only separating oneself from the truth, but also from their power -- divisiveness sets in. Believing in contrast, or duality, or good/bad, or god/devil, creates an imbalance. Just like if in nature, people suddenly decided that eagles where bad for eating mice: "How dare they swoop-down and sneak-up on a mouse and eat it! Eagles are bad! Let's do-away with them!" If they thought that and acted on it, the ecosystem would be thrown off balance. And when the ecosystem is off balance -- we are off balance. Because everything has been designed perfectly to support the existence of the Whole. No right, no wrong -- just is -- nature just is, life just is. And because it just is, and because it allows itself to be as it is, it is the most powerful force we know of.    

The Master leads  
by emptying people's minds  
and filling their cores,  
by weakening their ambition  
and toughening their resolve.
He helps people lose everything 
they know, everything they desire,  
and creates confusion  
in those who think that they know.    

A wise person knows that the answers to the greatest questions of man are unknowable. An adult would be much smarter if at a certain point, they unlearned all that they have been taught. School text books, cultural norms, the ideas and facts that have been programed into us, are all stifling. Compare a wild edible (a plant that is thriving in the wild) to one that has been cultivated, hybridized and mass-produced. The latter would be less hearty and ravished by insects. It must be protected in order to survive (with chemicals, enclosures, or other inventions). This is the current state of man. He is confused, and he has lost his inner knowing, his innate understanding. He was once the animal that knew exactly what to do, but is now the refined animal that has no idea how to survive without his inventions.

Practice not-doing, 
and everything will fall into place.    

Understanding that you are not the doer is liberation. See that it is not you that created the sun, yet it is there for you daily. See that you have life, you were born; but you did not birth yourself, nor give yourself life. See that you are breathed, without any effort on your part. See that your heart pumps, yet never asks you for permission. See that you dance to a rhythm, without a thought, without a plan. See that you can fall in-love, with no say in the matter whatsoever. When you can see that there is such a thing as 'being moved', you stop trying so hard. You see that everything is energy, and of the same source. The weight of the world is no longer on your shoulders. The weight of your life is no longer a burden. Because you understand that you are being carried. You see that there is a flow and a dance to life; it moves with great beauty, and with great force. When you let go, when you relax, you see that life supports you -- and has supported you all along. Like floating on the water, there is very little required of you, yet you are there -- floating. When you stop resisting, blocking, or fighting life; when you move with it, as if you were in water -- you will travel fast. You will find yourself doing -- without doing. Succeeding -- without trying. Powerful -- without forcing. You will return to your natural state. You will be free.