14 Tips for Adding More Play to Your Day

I’ve already written about the power of play and why we need more of it in our lives. Yes, even – and especially – adults. If you’re not sure what in the world I’m talking about, pause here and go read this quote and this post.

Okay, now you’re all caught up to how essential it is to play. But how do you incorporate it into your daily life? How do you find new ways to play, so you can get out of your leisure-time rut? Here are some tips for adding more play to your day.

  1. Dance in the kitchen. Turn up the tunes and dance like no one’s watching. Or if you don’t care if they watch, and participate, invite friends or family members to join you. Get your groove on. Try some goofy moves. Mock the lyrics. Just let yourself go and follow your body’s lead.
  2. Play cosmic chess. This is a fun game I used to play with my friend Luke, years ago. Everything in your environment is a possible chess piece. There are no rules, other than taking turns. You make up the moves as you go along. As part of a match, we once created an amazing impromptu sculpture of salt & pepper shakers, a napkin holder, and other stuff on the dining room table. The winner was unanimously declared when the pile fell over. You might even want to create a fancy cosmic chess set, like this, but it’s not strictly necessary.cosmicchess
  3. Color and doodle. Sure, adult coloring books are all the rage. Don’t dismiss the idea just because it’s trendy. It simply means that amazing artwork will be more readily available. If you’re super artsy, create your own coloring pages. Play with markers and colored pencils and even crayons. Put colors together that don’t ever collide in nature. Color outside the lines if you feel like it.
  4. Have a boffer battle. Boffers are fake padded swords, used by those who re-enact medieval battles. They’re easy to make with PVC pipe, foam, and duct tape. JFGI (just freaking google it). Make a set and have a crazy battle with a friend.bofferbattle
  5. Play with rocks. I love to play with little polished rocks and crystals. I carry them in my pockets like tiny pets. Other people enjoy playing with bigger rocks, making cairns or stone walls. You can collect them from the beach or wherever you go – I find there is always a rock looking to hitch a ride to a new locale. Rocks move very slowly on their own, so they’re often happy for our quick feet and wheeled vehicles. cairnsforfun
  6. Laugh at yourself and life’s odd moments. You know the ones – the GPS gets you totally lost, you forgot to bring that essential item with you, you trip over your own feet (often right in front of that special guy or gal). Find the humor in these little “fail” moments.
  7. Have a scavenger hunt. Find a playful friend or a team and create a scavenger hunt, or find one online that sounds fun. Play your way around the neighborhood or town. If you don’t want to physically collect items, use your phone’s camera and collect photographic proof.
  8. Dress up for no reason. Take yourself out for morning coffee in an evening gown or tux. Wear all your favorite colors and patterns and tie dyes at once. Don a fancy cap. Act natural and pretend you don’t know why people are looking at you oddly. Take silly selfies.
  9. Make refrigerator poems. You know those magnet words you can put on your fridge door? Get some and make ridiculous poetry. Start a story and see who continues it. Anonymously put some on the staff fridge at work and see if others play along.
  10. Play with pets. Dogs love to play chase the ball or stick. If you don’t have a dog, borrow one for a couple of hours. Cats, in the right mood, will play so kittenishly that they will have you laughing until you’re in tears. Catnip is a good motivator. My cats like to play with me and my rocks and crystals, especially if I’m setting up an altar or doing a Tarot reading.
  11. Flirt with someone. Sure, be safe and respectful and all that – I know you have good manners. But in the right setting, a few moments of mutual flirtation will lift your mood. Playful verbal banter is encouraged.
  12. Ask a question. When you’re grappling with a big issue or some uncertainty, ask a question to the Universe at large. Then practice playfully reading the answers in your environment. Each Facebook meme could be a clue. The pattern of ducks swimming in the pond or the shape of clouds are potential omens. Open a book at random and read a line in response to your question. Consider all of these replies equally, and with a light heart.
  13. Get side-tracked. Sometimes we’re out and about and we have an impulse to go a different way, stop into a new shop, or call a friend out of the blue. Follow those impulses! They will often lead to delightfully playful encounters. You can even set up a playdate on purpose – invite a friend to have tea or a picnic, and bring food you’ve never tried before or a silly new game to play.
  14. Invent a silly game. Need a silly game to bring to a playdate? Invent one! Kids are genius at this. Be sure that the game requires liberal use of your imagination. If you come up with a fun game, I’d love to hear about it; post a description in the comments.

Get playing, and enjoy!

Starcat’s Favorites: Nature Walks

riverpathtreesThe weather has finally gotten warm enough around here to go out and enjoy. I’ve been loving all the walks this week. I’ve walked by a marsh, by the river, at the beach, and down the road, with friends and on my own. Such a delight!

It’s time to start thinking about putting up the hammock. And plan some hikes, and camping trips. I’m so excited about the warm weather season! It’s short enough here in northern New England that it really deserves to be savored.

Even with all the extra nature time, I’ve managed to capture plenty of links for you to enjoy. There’s so much good stuff out there!

Earth Day was this week. This is my favorite post in celebration of our lovely Mother.

Cats and books are two of my favorite things – here’s the official word on why cats love bookstores.

Have you gotten in on the adult coloring book movement yet? It’s a lot of fun!

A lovely little glimpse into daily practice as boundaries.

oceanmagickAs the warm weather returns, my mermaid side is emerging once again, and I’m drawn to the ocean and her magick.

Are you being pursued by consciousness?

Discover more about how empathic you are.

The top 100 best memoirs. I wouldn’t have listed “memoir” as one of my favorite genres, but I’ve read several of these, have quite a few others on my to-read list, and want to read more of them now that I’ve seen the list.

Since last fall, I’ve been upgrading the entrepreneurial side of my callings, with the help of my amazing biz coach, Britt Bolnick. Here are a couple of inspiring posts on building your business gradually and working for yourself. I’ve also recently been invited to join a monthly networking dinner based on this article. So much looking forward to the gathering!

I hope you get outside and enjoy the lovely energies of the natural world. Blessings!

I’m Not Rich, Thin, or Young, and I Have a Fantastic Life

goddessselfieBut how is that possible? Our culture is dedicated to the pursuit of happiness. That happiness, as we see reflected in the media, means that you are young (or young-looking), with a slim, attractive body, and enough money to do as you like. We might add criteria for further happiness, like fame, a good education, a loving partner, obedient children, and a beautiful home.

We ignore the signs that our cherished celebrities, those who supposedly have it all, aren’t quite as happy as they might be. Dramatic breakups, drug abuse, and flamboyant spending are the realm of those who are obviously spoiled, or ungrateful, or Doing It Wrong. If we had those resources, we vow, we would live life to the fullest.

Why wait? Why devote yourself to the endless pursuit of happiness? Why not just welcome it into your life, right now, as you are? You don’t need to wait until you are thin, rich, and young to be truly happy.

I know this from experience. I have a fantastic life that I truly enjoy. I am a happy person, which has come from learning to let myself be joyful no matter the circumstances. You can, too.

You long to be rich? Most of us already live like the queens and kings of past eras. Stop and look around you. If you’re reading this blog, chances are you own an electronic device that puts the vast knowledge of hundreds of libraries full of books right here at your fingertips, along with music and art and calculators and maps. You probably have plenty to eat, clean water to drink, electricity, and a warm home to live in. You are clothed, you have transportation, and you likely even have access to health care when you need it. Chances are good that you have friends and family members who love you and care deeply about your well-being.

When you shift your attention from what is missing in your life to the blessings all around you, you are better able to feel happy and thankful. You can see how wealthy you truly are, right now, in this moment.

You want to be thin and beautiful? Our narrow view of what constitutes healthy and beautiful have been heavily conditioned by mass media. Think about those in your life who you love deeply. Picture them smiling and doing something they enjoy. Are they beautiful to you? Of course they are. Do they fit the stereotype of western beauty at this time in our history? Maybe so, maybe not.

Beauty truly does come from within. It’s often easier to see that in others than it is in ourselves.

Try shifting your view to that of health. Think about the ways you are already healthy. Our tendency is to focus on our own perceived flaws and lacks. Instead, make a list of the beautiful health you now embody. Admire the way your legs carry you uncomplainingly on walks through the woods or along the beach. Smile in the mirror, and appreciate your sparkling eyes. Enjoy the way your hands can adeptly caress your lover, cook a delicious meal, and comfort a crying child. Begin to explore and encourage self-love, which is an essential part of a healthy psyche.

Pining for your youth? Is this a real impulse, or another culturally-conditioned response? We are taught that being young is ideal, and that nostalgia for those “glory days” is normal. But was it really a better time, or are you conveniently forgetting the struggles and worries that went along with the triumphs? Make a conscious choice to change your view, and to decide that the best time in your life is right here, right now.

Delight in the wisdom you’ve gained over your lifetime so far, in knowing that there is still so much more to learn and experience, and in the exploration of who you truly are.

You don’t need to be rich, thin, young, or fulfill any other arbitrary criteria, in order to be happy. Dive deeply into the life that you are living right now. Be grateful for your blessings, cherish your friends and family, do the things you love to do, and share your gifts and talents with the world. Living purposefully from right where you are will allow your innate happiness to expand and flourish. Shut off the mainstream media and be uniquely yourself.

You’ll be amazed at how you shine.

Aging Backwards

playfulstarcatI was driving home with my daughter last night after her archery class, singing along to the radio (like we do). I noticed that what we were singing was yet another pop song idolizing being young. It seems like it’s a fairly universal human experience to long for a past time when you were young and free, life was simple, and you were unconditionally happy.

But I just can’t relate to that.

I mean, I had a pretty good childhood. My family is very loving, and I wasn’t abused or bullied or put through any major trauma. All my needs and many of my desires were met. Still, life didn’t feel easy and free. Navigating my daily experience wasn’t simple. It was painfully hard, and I felt awkward, insecure, and anxious a lot of the time. I was shy and fearful. Probably because of the inner stress I experienced, I was sick a lot of the time with colds, ear infections, and sinusitis.

Perhaps it’s because I’m a sensitive type. An introvert, a HSP, an empath, in a world that rewards extroverts and the self-confident. It took me many years to learn the tools and techniques that enable me to thrive, to find others like me, and a few more years to discover that there isn’t anything inherently wrong with the way I am, and to learn to love and accept myself.

As a creative person, public school really wasn’t the best fit for me, although no one would have thought to suggest it. I earned straight As most of the time, and graduated in the top ten of my class in terms of grades. Even so, a lot of the time I hated going to school, primarily because of the cliques and social interactions that left me feeling excluded. But also, as I learned upon entering college, because my spirit was longing for more freedom.

When I arrived at the University my freshman year, I was amazed by the freedom! I could choose my own classes and my schedule. I could study when I wanted, put in the amount of effort that felt right, stay up late and sleep in, and even better, no one was judging me for it. I could choose my own friends, set my own hours, participate in whatever activities I thought I might enjoy – and quit when I was done. I dove deep into literature and philosophy and explored peace studies and spirituality.

Despite my discoveries in college, I felt a lot of insecurity and angst well into my adulthood. I worried what other people thought, a lot. I had trouble making choices and speaking up about my desires. I had to work through a lot of old beliefs and self-doubt to get to the point I’m at now, where I consider myself a happy person. I was just reading an old journal from my mid-20s, and feeling compassion for how often I felt depressed, uncertain, and frustrated. I had a huge desire to write and create, but I seemed to block myself at every turn.

It’s no one’s fault. It just took me a long time to learn to be comfortable with who I am, and to allow my creativity and spirituality free expression.

So, for many reasons, I don’t wish to return to my youth. Not at all. I’m now in my 40s, and this is the best decade yet. Things keep getting better and better.

Many years ago I had a snippet of a dream that stuck in my head in the form of a sentence from a story. I’ve saved it to perhaps use in a novel at some point, but it feels appropriate for this post. “She had stumbled upon a community of people who were aging backwards.”

I feel like a member of that community, now. I am aging backwards, becoming more free, confident, and vital year by year. How about you? Do you feel that your life is getting better and better? I’d love to hear from others for whom the “oh how I wish I could be young again” song lyrics inspire a shudder and a firm “I don’t freaking think so!”

Dear Morning

This is my letter to morning, which is one of the daily prompts from Susannah Conway’s April Love project. I’m a lifelong night owl, and I’ve tried to break up with morning many times. But recently we’ve decided to accept each other the way we are, on our own terms…

Dear Morning,

During much of my life, I never really enjoyed or appreciated you, especially when you first begin. I very much dislike being woken up before I’m done sleeping, and as it happens, my natural biorhythms just don’t line up with what society considers an acceptable rising time.

But now I’m in the groove of working for myself and setting my own schedule. Most days, I wake up naturally between 8:30 and 9am. When I awaken, I now feel a sense of joy and anticipation. I’m ready to rock my day. I know I can begin at my own pace.

My dreams flow through my mind’s eye, mingling with the intention I set the night before as I drifted off to sleep. I stretch luxuriously and look out the window, getting a sense of the day’s light. I sit up, fumbling for my phone. I set my meditation alarm for 30 minutes. I begin with a chakra-clearing exercise, then, connected and rooted, I enjoy my silent meditation.

Well, not silent, exactly – thoughts still flood my consciousness. I sit calmly, unattached, on the banks of my stream of consciousness. Occasionally I dip my net into the water, snagging out an idea that flashes brightly in the sun. Mostly, though, I just let the stream flow by.

When the alarm chimes, it’s time to get up.

After tending to my body, I flow into writing practice. I dive into the pages of my journal, asking and answering the questions of the moment, copying affirmations, following the trail of my gratitude. Or perhaps I bypass pen & paper and proceed straight to the laptop, excited to get started on my current writing project.

Dear morning, my point is, now that I greet you on my own terms, I look forward to the time we spend together.

After some writing, it’s time for brunch and some kitchen chores. No more rushing around. No more eating first thing upon rising, which never worked for me. No upset tummy from getting up too early – yes, that’s a real thing, for me at least. No oh-dark-thirty.

Your sunrises, while gorgeous, are just not for me. I am a deep dreamer, and while some folk are awakened by the sun’s first rays, that’s when I’m busy traveling far away in other worlds. When my dreamscape is interrupted, I feel headachy, disoriented, and nauseous. There’s no reason to fight my body’s need for a later start.

I love you, dear morning, and I’m so thankful that we have created this agreement, that I can meet you on my own terms. I’m thankful that you sneak in each and every day while I rest peacefully. I love that my attendance at your dawning is not mandatory.

I respect your beauty, your birdsong, your fresh breezes, and the way they drift past me through the open window, gently tickling my face while I dream up new adventures to reveal later in the day.


Starcat’s Favorites: Mind Maps & Snuggle Cats

snugglecatThis is the lovely snuggle cat I was cuddling with this morning. I don’t think he wanted me to get up. Sweet Percy Lovecat! He’s definitely on my list of favorites. I’ve also been enjoying spring breezes, chai tea, good sleep, and mind mapping.

I’m in the middle of creating a wonderful project that is part book, part coaching program, and part way of life. It’s called the Heart of the Goddess, and I’m sure I’ve mentioned it a time or two. I have a poster-size mind map just for this project, and I’ve been writing in coffee shops and at home and thinking about it on walks. It’s such a thrill! I love when a creative project is so enticing that it takes over a big chunk of my psyche and the inspirations come almost faster than I can capture them. I’m so thankful.

I hope your weekend is going well, and that you enjoy the links I’ve collected for you this time. Blessings!

It’s National Poetry Month here in the U.S. Here’s a beauty from a friend of a friend. I love it!

It’s also April Love month, according to Susannah Conway. She has some fabulous prompts on her website.

De-cluttering is big right now. Here’s a different kind of de-cluttering list.

I have a friend who’s doing bullet journaling, and my Virgo nature is intrigued…though I absolutely adore my Leonie Dawson day planner. I’m sure I’ll try this at some point, though. The indexes! The lists! The adorable doodle drawings! *happy sigh*

Do you know what your love language is? Or how your beloveds most love to be loved?

“Life requires us to move through challenges that are so perfectly designed for us only our ego would wish to spiritually bypass them with a quick fix or end-goal in mind.”

Women, here’s an alternative look at PMS and what we can learn from it.

Have a beautiful week and enjoy the warming weather and strengthening sun!

Escaping The Tyranny of the To-Do List

todolistsOne of the participants in a recent workshop BlackLion and I co-hosted, while explaining what she wanted to work on, essentially said she wanted to stop being a slave to her to-do list.

Can you relate?

Life is full. There’s work, immediate family, home-tending, extended family, exercise, friends, volunteering, self-care, creative projects, spiritual practice, and oh yeah, you should probably sleep now and then. Phew! Sometimes it can feel like you’re on that proverbial hamster wheel, powering through the day’s list and then getting up to do it all over again the next day.

The thing is, life doesn’t stop. Well, except for when it’s your time to die, but that’s probably quite a ways off – and even then, we don’t really know what happens to your consciousness. For now, though, you keep on breathing, your heart keeps beating, and your brain certainly churns out the thoughts. It can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking you are what you do.

Our culture is certainly set up that way. “And what do you do?” is one of the first questions most people ask when meeting someone new.

The trouble comes when you begin to identify your self-worth with your productivity. It does feel enticingly good to check off those items on your list. I like it, too, and I’ve been known to write something down that I did, just so I can have the satisfaction of checking it off.

But let’s put the almighty to-do list in perspective. You are not more or less worthy based on what you achieve. You are inherently worthy and divine just by virtue of your existence.

A list is a tool. Nothing more, nothing less. I keep lists because I have lots of ideas and I enjoy a wide variety of activities. I also don’t like trying to remember stuff – I’d rather keep the front of my mind free for creative play, and the back of my mind is already full of stories and whimsy and who-knows-what. I’d rather let the list do the heavy lifting in terms of the memory game.

But I no longer let the list be what determines my every move. Sure, some things have hard and fast deadlines – you know, like taxes, planning a birthday party, or that report that’s due at work. Most of the items on my list, though, are things that I choose, and thus the timeline is mine to determine. I treat the list as a menu, a suggestion of activities that I can choose to work on when I feel so inspired.  For example, I’ll set aside a chunk of time for working on writing, or on my business. But rather than being specific, I’ll consult the list to see which related items are inspiring me and which need my immediate attention. This helps me stay in the creative flow, and not get bogged down with tasks that might not be joyful for me that day.

My list also serves as a way of tracking things that are important to me, like how much exercise I’m getting or the things I’m thankful for (I love that my Leonie Dawson planner actually has a section for that).

A to-do list is a container. It’s a place where you can store things that are important to you, to be fished out and polished up at your convenience. Remember that you are the one who wields the tool, and let go of attaching your self-worth to the tyranny of your to-do list. It’s an easy shift to make, once you think about it, and one that will make your daily life much more joyful and easy, when you let it.

My 25 Random Things Post

One of my favorite bloggers, entrepreneurs and online personalities is Leonie Dawson. She’s creative, irreverent, funny, and tells it like it is. She recently put up this post, which hearkens back to when she first started blogging. She mentioned 2006, and since that’s the very year I started this blog, I figured I’d play along and write up my own “25 random things about me.”

Here goes!

percysleeping1. I often sleep all squished up in a teeny little spot, especially in winter. That’s because I share a queen-sized bed with a man, two medium-sized bed-stealing dogs, and Percy the cat. I’m not complaining, though. They’re good snugglers and don’t snore too loudly.

2. I’ve published three non-fiction books over the past three years, plus drafted two novels. I’m not working on a book-length writing project right now, and I’ve recently discovered that I miss it.  I miss working on a big project each day and following my muses down the green leafy path along the river of words.

3. I don’t watch a lot of TV because it cuts into my reading time. I’m laughably slow getting through a series. But the stuff I do watch, I really enjoy and find inspiring. Here’s a list of shows I’m currently in the middle of: True Blood (I read the books and loved them), Star Trek: Deep Space 9, Dr. Who (my favorite), Haven, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (I’m totally behind), Big Bang Theory, Arrow, and Flash.

4. I believe the Universe (Multiverse) is much like the one in Dr. Who, with lots of probabilities and magick and alternate selves and beauty and aliens.

5. I no longer care if people think I’m crazy for believing in those things. Your beliefs are yours, mine are mine, it’s all good.

6. I really have little to no interest in politics. I mean, I care about the world and I want us to deal with climate change and get rid of injustice. I just don’t feel like the political world – other than voting, which I do – is the place for my energies to make the biggest difference. It feels like such a farce.

7. When I make lots of money I want to give a bunch of it to causes that I DO believe are making a difference in the world. There are lots of groups of people doing such powerful and positive work in the world, often really quietly and under the radar. They deserve funding and attention.

8. A ton of my vegetarian friends and family have started eating meat. I personally have no desire to eat it. It grosses me out after 20-plus years as a vegetarian. My daughter feels the same at this point. Sometimes we feel like the two holdouts. I was a very picky eater as a child, and I think I channeled that into not liking a whole category of food (meat). I like almost every single veggie, though!

9. I’ve lost 13 pounds so far this year, and it’s been an easy process. My body is good with eating less food and (almost) no sugar and she loves moving more. It’s fun.

10. I can’t wait until summer! I want to swim and lie in the hammock and hike and go to the beach. I adore summer. I’m one of the few people I know who actually loves those really hot humid days.

11. I can’t stand air conditioning. See #10.

12. I started a new morning meditation practice last August, beginning with 15 minutes and increasing gradually. I now do silent meditation for 30 minutes each morning as I start my day. I LOVE it so much.

13. I’m 46 years old and I love the 40s more than any other decade so far. It rocks.

14. My kids are older teens and I’m discovering how much I love the freedom that brings me. I see younger parents and remember how time-intensive it was. I’m so time-rich! I’m very thankful.

15. I say that I’m time-rich, yet I tend to fill up my schedule too much sometimes. Everything looks really fun and so I say YES to a lot of things – and then the week is full of too many fun things and I’m like “oh man, I have to do all this STUFF.” I’m getting better about balancing it but it’s a struggle sometimes to just say “no thanks” up front.

16. One of the areas I still really struggle with is prosperity. I’m actually quite embarrassed by this – shouldn’t I have it figured out by now?! I’m sick of being poor. I’m doing my best, though. Most of the time I feel confident that I’ll figure it out soon.

17. I love writing poetry, but I forget about it for long periods at a time. Then I have a sudden flash of inspiration and I’m back into the groove. Poetry is such a delightful mystery.

18. As you know if you’ve been around this blog for a while, I’m an avid reader. Right now I’m reading 4 books at once, which is fairly common for me. They are The Dragon Reborn by Robert Jordan (book 3 in the Wheel of Time series), Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life by Dr. Wayne Dyer, Iterate and Optimize by Sean Platt and Johnny B. Truant, and Clearing Emotional Clutter by Donald Altman.

19. A good friend of mine got me taking vitamin D a couple of years ago (she actually gave me a bottle of it so I would have no excuses). I feel like it helps a lot and was a great idea. I also take vitamin C regularly, and I don’t get sick very often.

20. This winter was the exception. I took my vitamins, and still got really sick with a tenacious cold. I’m finally feeling better, and I’m so glad!

21. Okay, Leonie, I agree. 25 is a lot of things. I’m good at coming up with ideas, but still. I’m running out of steam a bit. I can do this!

22. You probably know that I adore cats. Some of the other creatures I love? Owls, dogs, deer, horses, bears, frogs, bees, and bats.

23. I love working from home.

24. I love to travel but I wouldn’t want to do it on an extended basis. Even with unlimited funding, I think I’d go away for a month or maybe two, then come home to be with my cats and dogs and books and trees and recharge my batteries. Then adventure off again.

25. These are the ten places I’d most love to visit (in no particular order): Hawaii, Tibet, Italy, the Celtic Isles (England-Scotland-Ireland), India, San Francisco, Vancouver, Fiji, Chile, and southern France.

Phew, I did it! If you have your own blog, I hereby challenge YOU to write your own 25 random things post. It’s really fun.



Starcat’s Favorites: Winter Wanes

merlinsslippersEven though we’ve had a milder winter this year in New England, in terms of the weather, I’m still more than ready for the start of spring. So are the cats, who might have just a touch of cabin fever. I’ve been enjoying going for more walks now that I don’t have to bundle up quite so much. The snow is mostly gone, and we even have some snowdrops in our flower gardens!

BlackLion and I are partnering with our friend Rebecca LaWind to offer an in-person workshop next weekend, on Saturday March 19th in Windham, that I’m really excited about. You can find out more over at the Feline Dreamers website.

Here are some links from what I’ve been reading about lately, for your entertainment and enlightenment. Enjoy!

Some interesting insights in this post about not caring what others think of you. “It’s like we always prefer to impress and charm the new than to work on what we already have.” Ah! So true…

I find this article about the shift from conventional religion to contemporary spirituality to be very hopeful news.

10 Things Successful Manifestors Do Differently. Also, manifestation vs. surrender.

“The world may not be so random after all.” The Magic of Synchronicity.

I like this checklist for those times when you feel like freaking out.

We can all be resistant to change. Here is a method for training yourself to move beyond that resistance.

Check out this reading list for wild women. Many of them are going on my wish list.

Like it or not, you are a swimsuit model. Wear your body confidently!

This one is for Quester and the other singers and vocalists out there – know your instrument!

I’m not sure if this is true or not, but if so, it’s a good sign of progress.

Have a lovely weekend and enjoy some warmer weather if you can. Blessings!

A Practice of Inquiry

Last summer at the Yescapades retreat, I asked in a channeling session about my right livelihood and how it supports myself and others. I was told that (and I’m quoting from my notes in my journal):

“My energy is pleasant and round, but that can keep me from accessing my authentic beingness. I need a practice of inquiry to sift the possibilities, find the ones that are truly juicy. Activate my greedy heart for the deepening, for what the path is. Let go of some of the pleasantness in order to go deeper. Inquiry. Sifting. What really lights up my heart and glows the most?”

EnlightedTreesAlthough I loved this advice, I didn’t pursue it actively at the time. Still, I feel like some of the work I did in the following months led me to a deeper understanding of what I truly want, and how it ties in with my vocation, my callings. But lately, as I’ve spent some time hibernating in my creative cave, I’ve reopened that practice of inquiry, in a more deliberate and conscious way.

One of my favorite inquiry practices is to ask questions of myself in my journal, and then answer them in stream-of-consciousness mode, getting my rational mind out of the way and letting my inner guidance flow through the pen. It’s made my daily journal practice even more fun and fruitful. Some of the answers I receive are really enlightening, too.

Here are some of the questions I’ve been using, in case you’d like to try on this practice for yourself. Many of them I’ve collected from things I’ve read or people I know, so I’ve credited them where appropriate.

What are my truths? What do I want more of? What do I want less of? What am I interested in? – Britt Bolnick

Where is my soul inviting me next? – JoAnna Rothman

What is my compelling vision? – Darren Hardy

What is my inner wisdom telling me about my life right now? What would I most love to learn about next? What new story (about myself) would I delight in telling? – me

Try it for yourself. It’s not selfish to take time to explore your own psyche. It’s rewarding, and it helps you to grow and learn, which allows you to better serve others and the world. If you truly know yourself, you can be your best and share your gifts.

Begin a practice of inquiry, and you’ll be amazed by the insights you uncover. You are wise. You know more than you think you do.