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Posts Tagged creative visualization

Secrets to Shifting Out of Difficulty and Into Delight

bouncing back

When we start talking about seeing life’s difficulties with a positive spin, I know from personal experience there can be a part of the self that wants to throw a hand up in the air and turn its back on the whole conversation.

 Girl friend, these troubles are mine!  I came to them the hard way…with bumps, bruises, and plenty of tears.  And you just want me to push them aside? Sister, puh-leez!

It may sound like I am exaggerating, but I have heard it from friends and clients too.  Something in us needs to hold onto the dramas and traumas of life, and when someone suggests we move away from them ….especially the big, hairy, scary ones….. we stand our ground.

I have shared over the last several months about working through my big stuck-in-place stories, dealing with the illness and death of loved ones, facing personal fears and those the same scary-world scenarios we all see on TV.  The more I practice moving out of the pain and into the possibility, the easier it is getting.  Here are some of my secrets.

Start where you are.  If you feel yourself digging in with both heels, staying close to the pain….for whatever reason….let that be where you start your journey towards healing.  Giving yourself permission to honor the hurt can often be an important step in eventually finding relief.

Invite your creativity in.  Honoring the hurt with creativity helps you take something that feels stuck and brings movement to it without disregarding the part of you that needs the experience recognized.  It also opens a door to a new perspective.  The options are endless for how to bring creativity into a difficulty. They range from journaling to dance, include music, gardening, or just getting quiet and going inward.

creative collaboration sisters

A Favorite Technique. One of my faves right now is to imagine that some thing greater than myself…. that could be a Higher Power, helping spirit, imagined healing hand, angel, saint, or some part of myself more wise… that some Guide  has a gift for me that comes from the situation I am stuck in.  I get quiet, close my eyes, and let my helper hand me a box that will show what the gift is.  I open it and look inside.  Sometimes it takes me awhile, may even takes more than one visit to see and understand what is inside the box.  I am patient.  I try to never force it.  Try to let it come more from my creativity and less from my willful mind. The gifts are often simple and nearly always, if I am willing to receive the gift, I find them comforting and healing.

An Organic, Intuitive Process.  Moving from difficult and into delight is a process.  The most helpful part in my opinion is the decision itself.  Will I choose to be happy?  How long will I stay with all the hard feelings the difficulty brings?  Could I redefine myself as one of those people who bounces back…who feels the feelings, listens to that guiding spirit within myself that knows how to move towards happiness then resets the path to lead me there?  I have decided to be that person.

resilience quote 2

The Ultimate Reward.  I have been exploring this for about 8 months, this transforming of those dense feelings into life lessons and morsels of meaningfulness.  The process leads to all kinds of rewards.  I am learning so much about myself and the way life works.  But the ultimate reward is a sense of strength I feel from making my back to peace when life brings situations that feel difficult.  I am discovering that I am resilient and that sometimes what feel like a pickle of a situation was really something beautiful in disguise.  This is the key for me to staying on top of emotional wellness.

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When Life Makes Other Plans

Gypsy Self Banner

Today marks a week that I have been on the road making my way from South Texas to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin for the Creatives Celebrating Sisterhood Art Retreat.  I will be teaching a workshop at the retreat called Passport to Dreams Come True.  The workshop takes mixed media techniques and blends them with bookmaking, journaling, creative visualization as a means of helping flesh out the vision and plans of our big hearts. Not surprisingly, as is the case often in life, my journey cross country is giving me lots of lessons to prepare me for helping others make their dreams a reality.

One of the dilemmas that comes out of saying we want to attract or create something in our lives is that life is good at throwing you a ringer.  We say to ourselves, “I want to accomplish XYZ, and I can see that if I do A+B+C that will get me there.”   Then, life alters the equation, and we are left trying to get things balanced without losing our original goal.

I started my trip out with destinations along the way up to Wisconsin.  First a few stops in Texas, then Oklahoma.  When I got to Oklahoma there was some trouble in paradise.  Something in my suspension went haywire.  I was bouncing an grooving all over the road.  No, fun.  I questioned if I should get it fixed, give up and turn back.  That is when I called on my Inner Wanna Be….the Gypsy Wild Woman.

I asked myself how she would manage this.  In my imagination a gypsy carries their home with them.  There would be no reason to turn back because where they were is where they should be.  I also imagined she wouldn’t be afraid to ask for help.  And so I did.  And the world responded with generosity.  My timeline was altered slightly, but in the end, I was able to get to my next destination.

The journey didn’t look like I thought it would. I imagined I would travel during the day with plenty of time to rest and with the option to look around the next new place before turning in.  Instead, I traveled at night with rain and lightening clearing the way for me.  I drove safely but didn’t stop very often because I felt a pull to get in and get settled.  Although that may sound frantic, it wasn’t.  I had plenty of good tunes to keep me company.

Behind the scenes, too, I was not alone.  I think this is going to be the big lesson of this journey I am taking by myself.  I am never alone really.  The day I was trying to get my car fixed, one thing after another put off the work.  It was my birthday, and I asked friends and family….and the Creativity Tribe Facebook Page gathering…..to focus my birthday wishes on getting it fixed and me safely to my next destination.  They did. And I made it.

At breakfast this morning at the Walnut Street Inn in downtown Springfield, Missouri, I was greeted by 9 couples who travel B and B’s yearly.  “Are you Rachél?” they asked.  I was delighted, a room full of strangers who knew my name.  “We were looking for you last night.” My heart was warmed.  Never alone.

And so, today starts out with a meet-up that happened spontaneously through the Creativity Tribe FB page.   Here in Springfield, I am meeting with Ginger Davis Allman with The Blue Bottle Tree .  Then, I leave for St. Louis where I will stay with someone I have never met through AirBnB.  I am expecting to feel that same sense of welcoming from the world each day and to give it where it is needed.  I think my Gypsy Wild Woman makes her way through life like that.  It isn’t part of the journey I expected, but I am delighting in it, leaning into it, and loving it…..even when, and especially when life makes other plans.

Follow my travels more closely by joining me on the Creativity Tribe Facebook Page.

Rachel_Payne

 

Breath of Life

Now for the second half of the creative visualization I did last week that helped me turn my trajectory away from a crash course with Death and aim for a life well lived.  Let’s see, where was I?  Oh yes, Death had transformed into a wise elder-woman with the tell-tale signs of many years of joy reading all over her face.  She walked away to join The Fates, leaving me with the woman who had come when I let out a call for help…..this sounds like a metaphysical soap opera.

In the mediation, I felt as if a new story was playing out in front of me.  On one hand I had a sense of what should happen.  I was, after all, working to shift into a story of healing, but I could not see how the story would play out. I was invested in the happily-ever-after but had not been let in on the script.  Every action of my own or another participant was as fresh and new to me as it might be in real life.  In fact, that is how it felt…real, authentic…as if I was living in the moment.

The helper woman stood up and walked behind me. She placed her hands firmly on my shoulders and stood me up. I had been handled like that once before in a healing ceremony I participated in at the Peace Vigil in Washington, D.C. just days after 9-11.  I remember feeling the power of having someone who cared about me support me like that. Some days I can still feel my friend’s hands on my shoulders from that first ceremony, as if they have never left me.  Feeling them again in the creative visualization connected me immediately to a sense of deep, powerful healing.

The helper woman guided my body to turn and face her. She was standing on a small mound so that I could not see behind her.  She looked me in the eyes, with love and intensity and asked me, “Do you want to see your new life?”

I offered an eager, “Yes!”

She stepped to the side.  Before me was a vast valley.  My heart sped up.  “I have been here before,” I told her.  I could feel the same overwhelming beauty in that moment that I had when I visited this place several years ago on my trip to Oregon.  I was standing at the top of Crown Point, a majestic vista which overlooks Columbia River Gorge. I started to cry.

Vista House Sunset – Time lapse from Even Quach on Vimeo.

(This is a video shot by Even Quach. The house you see in the distance is located at Crown Point State Park. That is where I was standing in the meditation. The valley beyond is what I was shown. It is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been.)

“This is how wide open your life is,” the helping woman said.  “This is how full of possibility your life is.  No limits are placed on you. None.  And having no limits feels just…like…. this.”

The wind blew across my face, and I breathed it in as if I were breathing in Life itself.   My body shivered inside.  That place is overwhelming in the best way.  That place is so immense that it felt surreal.  I sat with it…with my new Life.  I drank it in.  I felt as if my body was quenching itself after a long thirst.  I could swear my cells were reforming, as if my DNA was actually restructuring itself.

And you know, maybe it was.

All new….new life….new possibility….new me.

 

 

Cheating Death

I faced Death today.

It is part of turning my life around. I decided a few days ago that I would change my story to change my life. The main goal: to finally be rid of the nagging feeling that I would die at the age of 45 like my mother and her father both did.  With 45 only 30 months away, I felt if I was going to change my story, this would be the time to do it!

I started by going to the place where the story lives, inside me.  Shall I take you along, as if you were there? Let’s go.

I got very still and focused on the feeling of urgency that has been following me around saying, “Girl! You better start living because you’re about to be dying!”

I asked myself, “Who is saying that!”

And I heard a voice, low and soft, down by my feet say, “Me.”

Suddenly I felt something holding me by the back of my ankles. It occurred to me that it had been there a very long time, so long that it began to feel like it was actually a part of me, but it was not. I looked behind me, and there it was, stretched out prone on the ground like a long shadow, Death.  I heard a part of myself say, “If you are going to face Death, you have to FACE it!”

So I took my hands and pulled the attachments off of my ankles. They stuck like moist tar in my hands. I knew I would never be able to shake it off alone. I got down onmy  knees, then elbows, and finally stretched myself out on my stomach. There it was, the face of Death. Breath, wrank. Eyes, hollow and vast. Suddenly, I began to panic.

Saying, “This feels real. This thing in front of me doesn’t feel like it is in my mind, doesn’t feel like it is a story. It feels real. I am holding the hands of Death….my Death. I need help. I can’t do this by myself.”

At my side, a woman knelt down.  I knew she was there to answer my call for assistance. She reached out and scooped the stick tar hands off of me. I sat back. I checked in with myself. I felt safe. I watched her.

She pulled Death to her. It changed in her hands (as it would several times over the course of our time together). It crawled into her lap and curled up like an ailing elder. “There, there,” she whispered. I felt myself relax a bit. I breathed a sigh. Death seemed less scary, almost wounded. I looked at Death. It was emaciated, drawn in on itself, exhausted.

“It has been a long journey,” she told Death. “You are tired.”  I could see Death’s story, much like I could see my own. It began with my Grandfather. Death had come for him early in life. He was a proud, energetic red-headed man who enjoyed the great outdoors. When he died, my mother picked up his story and with it, Death.  So it stuck around and attached itself to her. When 45 came, Death did not want to take her, but Death was tired. When she passed, I picked up my Mother’s story, and Death attached to me. Now three generations into Death’s journey, it sat in the arms of this compassionate woman, ready to be free of its office. Death had started out wholesome, in the service of nature. Death had become sickly and twisted. It was time to let it go.

Behind the woman, three figures appeared. One was a maiden, one a mother, and one a crone. My energy piqued. The Fates!

The woman told Death that the Fates would help it heal. She told Death to stand up. When it did, it transformed into a young woman, 21 years old. I was shocked. How could Death look so young?! I remembered that I was 21 when I took Death on.

“You can’t be 21!” I told Death angrily. “You are not me!” I looked at Death closer and realized it looked like my 21 year old self. “You can’t be 21,” I said softer. And Death changed again, looking as I do today. “No,” I said. “Older, much older.” Death transformed a third time. This time into a woman wise and peaceful, with enough wrinkles across her smiling face to know she lived a good, long, peaceful life filled with joy.

I smiled.

Death turned and walked towards the Fates, giving a nod of appreciation to the kneeling woman.

Then it was my turn to be transformed by her. But I will save that for my next post.

I want to thank you for your out pouring of support as I change my story. Some of you have left private Facebook messages for me or messaged me as part of groups I am in. I am amazed at how many people hold onto this same story or another story that isn’t in line with their wishes for their lives. I am changing mine, and I invite you to change yours. I will share my path to wholeness as an example. Until next time……

Life in All Its Fullness

We all have a sacred path we sit in front of, sacred in the sense that it calls to our very soul. It whispers  in the darkness, twinkles around us in the light of day, makes us feel alive as we move down it or encourages us to wish for some place new when you have forgotten it and lost your way.  The path is like this huge magnet that directs our lives or makes us fight hard to move against it.

We travel the road on our own, but if we are lucky, it runs parallel to the roads of others who are on their own shiny path.  Seeing them live out their passions is contagious. We wish the same for ourselves. We are inspired.

If you found your way here today, maybe you feel the call to travel your own sacred path. I am here on my bliss passage encouraging you on. Close your eyes and let its whispers grow louder and more focused, let it tell you exactly how to get there. Let it describe the path to you. Today you will get a few details, tomorrow more. When you can see some portion of it, take one step in the direction of your dream…..and then another. Let the momentum take over and the fears fall to the wayside. Feel that bright spot? Feel that exhilaration?  Feel that zeal….that’s you on the path….that is life in all its fullness.

You’re doing it.  You are doing it!

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Hi, I am Rachél.... the quirky, big-hearted soul behind Creativity Tribe, a sanctuary for your creative spirit. As a life coach and artist, I know the importance of community, celebration, and transformation. Creativity Tribe is abuzz with connections to other creative bloggers and offers tips and stories to inspire your creative lifestyle!
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There is a beauty that comes out of sharing a journey with another person....a dream for yourself, a direction for a project, a way out of the muck that holds your Creative Spirit back. Let's talk about working together. creativitytribe@gmail.com