Since surviving cancer, there is a burning bit of truth I live with every day. Sometimes it doesn’t let me sleep, but most of the time, it brings me great joy. No one uttered this to me, and I didn’t arrive at it or work at it. It just revealed itself, the way a broken bone makes us re-feel the immense pressure of air. And this bit of truth is, If not now, when?
It keeps coming dow to this: There is no tomorrow, only a string of todays. Still, like mos of us, I was somehow taught to dream forward, to fill the future with everything that matters: Someday I will be happy, When I am rich, I will be free. When I find the right person, then I will know love. I will be loving and happy and truthful and genuine then.
But almost dying seared the sense of future from me, and though I expect to live a very long time, though I make plans and look forward to the many things I plan, I have no choice but to dream now.
I start out, as I always have, pouring the best of me into an imagined time yet to be, but then I hear, If now now, when? and the best of me floods back to the only place it truly knows – Now.
This all helps me understand a story about Jesus very differently. I’m thinking of the young, rich merchant who approaches Jesus after his Sermon on the Mount. He admires Jesus so, it truly touched, and wants to join him. So he asks with great sincerity what he needs to do, what arrangements need to be made.
Jesus opens his arms and says, ‘Come with me now, Drop everything and come.’
The young merchant stumbles and cites his many ‘yes, buts’: He can’t leave his business so suddenly. He has to leave word. He’ll need to gather fresh clothes. How much money should he bring?
With open arms, Jesus simply says one more time, ‘Come with me now.’
How often do we all rehearse this moment, putting off love, truth, joy and even God, citing our many ‘Yes, buts’ to ourselves, when all we have to do – hard and simple as it is – is to drop everything and Come Now.
- Breathe slowly and meditate on something dear to you that you have been working toward. It might center on being happy, knowing love, finding a partner, or learning how to play music, or how to understand the truth of your experience more deeply.
- Breathe deeply and, for the moment, dream about it now; that is, eliminate the efforts to build it tomorrow.
- For the moment, imaging that whatever portion of this work you are to know or achieve or inhabit can only happen today.
- In hale deeply and take the energy of everything you’ve planned and put off back into your life today.
- Rather than feeling overwhelmed with all this, try to let this energy simply fill you as you move through your day.
In October of 2008 I attended my first Cosmic Cowgirl event. It was the Bountiful Conference and really I had no idea what attending that one conference would lead to and how it would alter my future. Now it wasn’t like everything fell into perfect place and I immediately began to follow my true purpose. There were some bumps along the way, in fact on my 40th birthday in April of 2009 some news made me feel that my world was crashing down around me and there were some very tough days from that point forward. Yet, even through that year, which was one of my own dark nights of the soul, Cosmic Cowgirls was one of the things that sustained me. It was a combination of both the amazing women I had met, but also just knowing that something like Cosmic Cowgirls could even exist. I was sustained by knowing that there were women from around the country and even overseas, who were connecting and creating a circling tribe full of artistic, creative, passionate, loving, inspiring, kick-up-their-boots hootin’ and hollerin’ kick-ass wild women.
I have learned so much from the classes I have taken with Cosmic Cowgirls. One of the biggies is about the power of intention. In 2010 as things in my life were healing and as I delved back into participating more with Cosmic Cowgirls I attended the member conference and then I took the class called A Year of Great Promise. Meeting in person with some sister Cosmic Cowgirls was good for the soul and during our time together we contemplated what we wanted to declare for that year. What I ended up declaring for myself was that 2010 was the Year of Passionately Embracing My Soul’s Creative Calling. We also shared something we were going to release and my personal declaration was “I release perfection and embrace myself with Grace and Love.” We created collages and special containers to hold our dreams and goals for ourselves for the year. The course called A Year of Great Promise was really powerful and by the time the course ended I had about a 15 page document that detailed my vision for myself and the life I want to lead.
|The art collage I created in 2010.|
Somehow in the beginning of 2011 I did not make a statement for the year and now I see that I was pressing forward with continuing as I did in 2010 to embrace my creative calling. I joined the Cosmic Cowgirls 6 month long Leading A Legendary Life course in 2011, which was a big dream for me. Again the work completed led me to feel more confident in my artistic abilities and to gain more clarity on the personal legend I am creating.
|My letter I wrote to myself in 2010.|
Before I bid 2011 goodbye I will write myself a letter and I will create a new piece of art that will represent my intentions for the new year.
Maybe you want to create a collage or paint the vision you hold for yourself.
Another possibility is to write a poem or take some photographs that capture your intentions.
If you need time to think it through, explore it this week and come back and share what arises for you.
I offer that this is a great place to be witnessed and heard.
Some other things to explore as you ponder your dreams and goals:
Oprah’s January issue that is just about to hit the stands has a great article by Martha Beck called You Can See Clearly Now. She takes readers through a clarifying process of really determining what one wants. She breaks it down into the four P’s: Pushback, Possibilities, Preferences and Pinpointing. In the simplest terms Pushback involves figuring out what you don’t want. Martha describes it as the “bitch and moan” portion that allows you to figure out that you no longer what to do such and such or no longer want to be with so and so. The next step of Possibilities involves beginning to use your imagination to see past what is no longer working for you. She describes Preferences as being the place where you start to notice which possibilities leave you feeling intrigued, curious, and a bit lighter. When you get to the Pinpoint part this is when you are finally reaching clarity on exactly what you want. You are envisioning it and can then set your intentions on achieving it.
There is a great book called Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath. I was given this book a several years ago by the fost-adoption agency I have worked for for nearly 8 years now. When you buy the book new there is a sealed envelope in the back that when opened provides you with a key to enter into an on-line personality test. I was really blown away by the accuracy of the results. The exam identifies your strengths and can be a tool for some people to use in seeking their path in life.
Lastly for fun you can always check your numerology and see what personal year you happen to be leaving and which one you are about to gain entry to in 2012. Supposedly we go through 9 year life cycles. 2011 was a 9 year for me which means I am at the end of a cycle. Entering into a 1 year in 2012 means I am embarking on a new cycle. A common description of a 9 year is that this is your year to finish up all unfinished business, to clean house and make room for new things. In short the 1 year is described as follows: You are starting a new nine year Epicycle. Everything you do now will affect your future. Do not hold back the inner force of creation. Be direct, daring, bold. You will have more confidence and determination this year, particularly in comparison with last year, which was a time of letting go. This year represents a time of birth. It’s a time to take charge and to apply yourself to your dream.
Two sites that offer free numerology readings can be found here: