Aligning with what’s vital
Each year, this simple ceremony changes my entire year ahead. I My husband and I do this together on the morning after Winter Solstice. Friends of mine do it on New Year’s Day.
I let go of things that aren’t lighting me up. I re-think my plans for putting other things on hold, and decide instead to invest more deeply. I hear my heart and anchor my head. And the year unfolds bigger, better and brighter than I’d ever imagined it could. I dream big. I test my limits. I include things in this ceremony that my head thought for sure were too far beyond where I’d been before. And, instead of those things, I do things that are much much bigger.
Doing without doing
The coolest thing is that the best of it all comes from a place of the Buddhist concept of We Wei or ‘Doing without doing.’ I’m not an expert on Buddhist practices. But in my experience, practicing this idea of taking action without attachment can be practically explained this way: We can do without efforting too much, without over-doing, or straining, or exhausting. The strain and exhaustion comes in when we attach our self-perception or happiness to the end result, rather than knowing that our truest self has nothing to do with anything outside us, and that we already have access to our deepest happiness.
about what we want to create in our lives is integral to having it happen. Here’s how this works. We start by tapping into what is most true and most right for us. We begin by quieting our over-active mind, and listening beyond the monkey chatter to our essential self beneath. Our soul speaks in the silence.
So before you do these five steps to creating your dream year on Winter Solstice or New Year’s Day, do whatever it is you do that helps you hear your soul. Prayer. Meditation. Yoga. Running. Getting out into nature. Whatever works for you.
5 Steps to Create Your Dream Year
1. Envision your year ahead. What do you see? Most importantly: What do you feel?
2. Draw a circle on a piece of paper.
3. Inside the circle: write down everything from your vision of the year—no judging or editing—that feels right and true and big and bright.
4. Outside the circle: write down everything that you’re willing to clear, to let go of, in order to make space for what’s inside. Examples: Last year one of the things I let go of was my need to have my space (apartment) the way I wanted it all the time. That made space for a softer, easier, much more flowing and happy relationship with my wonderful man.
5. Take the paper outside and place it on the earth. Light it on fire. Burn it into ashes and let the earth and sky take it in. Last year I folded mine into a paper crane and then set it alight on the edge of the ocean. Let the universe take it up and in.
Through your clarity, let the universe make magic with your wishes.
Let your biggest, brightest self shine.
Design Your Dream Year
This ceremony, and 29 other exercises, practices and inspiration, are included in the Design Your Dream Year 30-Day Program. You can find out more about that, and join your international tribe here.
My latest class for the Academy for Optimal Living on Entheos is up!
You can read below for the first 5 Big Ideas on How to Access Your Intuition.
10 Big Ideas on How to Access Your Intuition
Are you looking for guidance? Do you want to make the right choice? You can use and trust your intuition for your biggest and most important decisions. Here’s how.
Intuition is powerful. It can transform a life of uncertainty into one of ease and serendipity. Intuition is also deeply practical. It can be learned and practiced step by step. Here’s how.
1. Big Idea Number 1. Meditate. The most important thing I want to tell you is this: intuition is a message from something greater than ourselves. By this I mean two things—a shift in our physical environment that we’re picking up on, or something much more intangible and cosmic—we can call it the universe or God, or universal consciousness. Whatever works for you. Meditation helps you develop the ability to hear that message.
2. Big Idea Number 2. Do a somatic, mind-body practice. Yoga works here, but any physical practice done mindfully, where you become increasingly attuned to your body’s signals, will work, too. We develop body awareness. We get attuned to the subtle shifts in physical sensation. And this means we’re more likely to notice the messaging coming from our body—what Dr. Frances Vaughan calls physical intuition—that is telling us something.
3. Big Idea Number 3. Trust your in-sight. Images that flash across your inner vision can be gone in seconds but can also save you for the rest of your life—like I experienced when a vision of a careening car allowed me to avoid being hit by it. Paying attention to these images, combined with your awareness of your body’s signals, can lead to a smarter decision.
4. Big Idea Number 4. Practice mindfulness. Simply practicing paying full, conscious attention—to whatever you’re doing—can help develop your mindfulness muscle. This is the muscle that will enable you to tune into subtle environmental changes—like the wild animals who survived the tsunami did.
5. Big Idea Number 5. Build your intuitive muscle. There’s three fun ways to do this. Take a somewhat inconsequential activity and practice using your intuition. For example: While grocery-shopping, and looking for a particular item, see if your instincts can tell you which aisle it’s in. See if you can get a visual of the aisle number, or consider each aisle and see which one you feel physically pulled towards. We’ll go into detail about the other two fun ways to do this in the class—it’s best if I can explain it to you person to person.
You can read all 10 big ideas here.
And click here to watch the class.
Recently, I led a workshop on a life of “yes.”
A life of embracing, self-realizing, and seeing bigger meaning in small things. Why? For freedom, peace and joy. A life of ‘yes’ is a life where we realize that we are all a part of this interwoven unity that threads through our world and our universe. We see that small things have bigger meaning. That negative things do, too.
And that bigger meaning is liberation.
Liberation of our essence, our soul and the deepest truth of who we are. Liberation from the shackles of any limiting beliefs, self-doubts or paradigms that don’t serve us.
Freedom. Peace. Joy.
A life of embracing means that we get to experience miracles–because we align with the interwoven unity that connects us to them. By embracing everything–good, bad, big, small–and understanding it all has big meaning, we begin to move away from the part of us that feels small and stuck, and into the part of us that is free and powerful.
There’s two primary ways we block ourselves from being that part of us, from liberating ourselves until that part of us guides our life and illuminates our world.
1. Over-identification with the verbal part of our mind and our thoughts
We believe the part of us that says “I don’t think you can do it.” Or “You’re crazy to consider making this big change.” Or “People will not be happy with you, and you should make their happiness your priority.”
The thing I love about the verbal part of our mind and thoughts that come from this place is this: they come from the part of our brain that knows less. The verbal part of our brain processes about 40 bits of information per second. Which is pretty impressive. BUT the non-verbal part of our brain processes between 8 to 11 million bits of information per second. That is very impressive. And that means the part of our brain that communicates to us through verbal sensation–that felt sense of freedom, peace and joy–knows more.
So even science is backing up the idea that we are born to listen to our soul longings.
2. Ignoring or silencing soul longings
Soul longings feel different than wants. They feel like things that are hard to ignore, things that seem impossible, things somebody in our life once told us wasn’t a viable goal. And yet–they’re still with us. Soul longings feel different than wants because they feel like freedom, peace and joy. Wants can make us feel very shackled, very constricted. Soul longings don’t do that. They’re part of the part of us that’s part of the interwoven unity, and universal consciousness. Very often, they’re something we are born to do.
When we ignore them, we opt out of liberation–freedom, peace, joy–and into constriction, feeling stuck, and often powerless.
I invite you to listen deeper, to honor the longing in your soul–to trust that it is taking you into freedom, peace and joy.
It’s a scary thought: If this is what I’m meant to be doing, shouldn’t it be easier? This is a question an impassioned, courageous, and a little bit scared young woman asked me recently. I’d just spoken at an event, where my main message to the audience was this: “If ever you feel like you’re…
Running fingers through long grass as it waves gently in the wind, feeling the breeze rustle in long hair, the scent of dew as it covers the earth, and cool, clean air floating on the breeze. Barefoot and running in the grass connecting with the energy of the earth, walking in the quiet company of…