Updated: Feb 4, 2019
Hello my soulful reader. I see you are sitting at the precipice of a knowing you will never be able to escape from. I'm so delighted to see you're walking a similar journey and are pursuing the never-ending process of shirking society's chatter. The process of creating a life of intention begins with free-fall. As you sort through the chaos you'll find many guides along the way who have walked many lonely miles in your shoes. We are here to walk the journey with you- if you'll accept our open arms.
This is being birthed in a similar manner to all things that come into creation. With a heaping cup of self-doubt, imposter syndrome, a desire to continue to hide as a hermit in my canyon, fear that my freedom and anonymity will be sucked dry with expectations.
I have been extremely reluctant to step forward as a voice in the void for fear of the weight/ heaviness/ burden that can come with said expectations. Es muss sein! As the last movement of Beethoven's final quartet declares, "it must be!"
I am not particularly inclined to share much of the back story of how I came to this position in life- possessing the ability to see and the duality of the joys and suffering that come with eyes washed clean of ignorance. Perhaps that tapestry will unfold in time. Currently, I'd like to keep the spotlight directed at you as I attempt to illuminate a few of the stepping stones directly in front of you.
Here are 10 steps I found vital in overcoming... sigh... overcoming the need for external validation, moving through the chronic over-thinking canals in my brain, releasing the slave mentality of consumerism, and overcoming - to some degree- the pit of anxiety in my gut that I just might be unloveable. This is a guide on breaking free from the matrix of entrapment. It is my deepest desire that you use this guide as a catalyst to live a life of accountability and intention.
1. Start running and do it every God damn day.
I'll pause so you can get all your excuses and fears out. I know you want to stop reading because that just doesn't sound like fun to you. Hear me out. Movement is the most sacred of practices. It is the time when you listen to the meditative rhythm of your soul as it propels every muscle in your body to push for something just out of your reach. Movement is pure joy. There is no greater feeling in this World, than trusting that your body is strong enough to carry you up a mountain, or a flight of stairs, or across the dance floor. When you trust that your ankles are sturdy, your knees are strong, your hips supportive- you begin to truly see the World. You're no longer stuck in victimization mode. You are no longer bound by the difficulties you create for yourself as you pronate your right foot which causes pain and weakness in your knee and opposite shoulder. Walk tall. Open your eyes to the World that has always been glimmering around you and trust that your body will support you as you sashay into the womb of the World.
2. Get clear on your secret passions.
Write out your five secret lives in your journal. Do you want to travel with the circus, buy a pair of cowgirl boots and become a rodeo star, or head up to Montana and become a fly-fishing expert?
Write them out. Pick one and take one step toward your fantasy.
3. Find your inner child and nourish him/her.
Have you found your inner child yet? How filthy/ sickly/ sad/ lost was she when you found her? I've spoken with many friend's on the soul's journey who have found theirs in terribly under-nourished states. When I found mine in a dream, she showed up naked and filthy in a swamp. She was covered in mud with ratted dirty-blonde hair. Her missing two front teeth were hard to miss as she possessed the biggest shit-eating grin I have ever seen. My initial response was to shame her. I pointed at the child and exclaimed "Look at that filthy, dirty swamp girl!" To which my partner, the bucket of love who epitomizes forgiveness, replied "You were such a cute kid." His eyes radiated limitless loving acceptance. The journey of shedding the layers of shame and filth that I had wrapped myself in has been...well... equal to my capacity for feeling- on both ends of the spectrum. Cheers to the tears and the ecstasy!
4. Read for pleasure.
Can we puhhhhhleez realize there is more to the process of becoming than just endlessly reading self-help books. I just love it when I find friends who are proficient in a variety of topics ranging from Mesopotamia, Jim Jarmusch films, the ethical dilemmas presented by self-driving cars, to post-war architecture, our connection to the landscape, and to their abandonment issues. It's wonderful that we're ushering in a World where we are collectively working to de-stigmatize mental illness, but please, recognize that there are endless fascinating pursuits in this World outside of understanding and enumerating on SELF.
5. Create a map- preferably a candy land map.
Every new year, as many of you do, I love the process of setting my intentions for the year. I take a big piece of paper from my giant magic notepad (intended for the biggest, most audacious, and hairiest of goals) and I draw my map for the year. It's full of colors, places, waterfalls, sunsets, hot-springs, adventures in the van, lessons to learn, challenges to overcome, and endless pleasures to breathe in.
6. Start creating today.
We are all creative. I believe God is creativity. When you open yourself up to the river, your gifts just pour out of your finger-tips in an effortless way. Our World has made it fucking difficult to cultivate our creative fires- as most aspects of society are about conforming. Our inner child has become so wounded with criticism over the years that many of us stopped creating a long long time ago. What if I told you you could create without qualifying it. It is neither good, nor bad, it just is. Whatever your soul's modality may be- whether doodles, watercolors, sewing, music, finger paints, roller skate routines, poetry, short stories, finger puppets, dream catchers, ceramics, baking, wood working, whatever it is- start somewhere and start today. Don't show anyone yet, take the ego out of the equation as you re-kindle your creative fires.
Start sharing those creative fires. That is truly the secret to creating your life with intention. As you tap into the river of creativity- it will always find a way to provide for you, you just have to share it. This doesn't mean just endlessly giving things away for free and further perpetuating your undeserving beliefs. This means nourishing your soul and others souls with the warmth of your creative furnace. The more you flex the muscle of creativity, the warmer those fires will get. It becomes easy to provide for yourself and your family once you have the courage to step into the spotlight and share your gifts on a larger stage. For now, create and share with those you love and who in turn nourish you- the courage will come with time.
8. Forgive yourself.
You are merely an expression of genes and your upbringing. You are, for the most part, operating off your programing. The choices you make throughout the day are dictated by your desires to feel a certain way- most often those feelings are loops of the feelings we felt in childhood. You can focus all you want on your deficient upbringing, your parents lack of awareness, the pain inflicted by an approval-based upbringing, the harm caused to you by his actions. At some point- you just have to accept those experiences have shaped you into the person you are today. You've said some terrible things to those you love, along with mere acquaintances. You've caused harm to others. You've over-stepped at times, and at other times didn't speak up when you should have. You were told to feel ashamed of certain natural behaviors and therefor inflicted shame on others because of our collective shame inheritance. You've acted out in terrible ways when you feared love was going away. Darling, you are but a mere mortal. The plight of humans is that we are caught somewhere on the spectrum between beasts and Gods. You are aware enough to find fault in your own behavior and most certainly in the behavior of others, but not quite advanced enough to reach into your brain and re-program the God damn thing.
I had a single resolution for 2019. To practice benevolent compassion for the incubus of habit that besets my mind. Since then, I've started dancing a whole lot more. My anxiety attacks have subsided tremendously. I've found forgiveness and compassion for myself when I reacted to a trigger. I don't feel like I'm such a victim of my own mind. I'm able to de-tach from the downward spiral, float above it, and just laugh at my silly brain as I practice compassion for its addiction to creating problems. Life is so incredibly silly and fun once you give yourself permission to forgive yourself for being a flawed human like the rest of us!
9. Say what you need to say to the people you who need to hear it.
The first step is writing them down in your morning stream of consciousness writing. You don't know what's in the anxiety soup and you're too buttoned up and filtered by your ego that thinks it's protecting you to be able to say those things in real life yet. Begin a morning journaling practice. Let the under-current of truth begin to pour out. Once you see it on paper, you'll start working through it in your sub-conscious throughout the day. As you work through it in your sub-conscious, it will rise into your consciousness- and most likely cause major issues in your relationships, career, emotional stability, mental health and the list goes on. In my humble opinion, as a God damn olympian at swimming through the anxiety soup, many people get stuck there. They talk about the anxiety soup with a therapist, with their partner perhaps, maybe with a co-worker if they're doing pretty good, but rarely do they talk about it with the person who actually needs to hear it. This is way harder said than done. You're worried about how they'll receive it. You're worried they'll become defensive and you'll make things worse than they started. Maybe... You of course must be the judge and weight the risk of talking to them. Speaking from experience, I said the things this year to my family members that my ego had been "protecting" me from for my whole life. It was a major risk, met with major reward. Not only was my family member able to hear me without becoming defensive, we became much closer than would have ever been possible without communicating how much are souls needed each other. The weight that was lifted off my chest could not have been lifted by any other means.
Seriously, say what you need to say.
10. Commit to the life that awaits you.
This one is freaking tough. It's layers of fears you haven't worked through yet. There are a gazillion objections for you to personally overcome before you take the leap. You're no Spring chicken. You know what it feels like to fail by now, and because of that, you're no longer fearless. How do you step forward when you're no longer fearless? Most of us are saddled up next to a heaping dose of fear at all times, myself included. What if you lose your relationship because of it, what if you lose your house, what if your children never want to speak to you again, what if you lose yourself in it, what if you become a suicidal alcoholic? Every single one of us who's out there living has the same fears as you, babe. I didn't acknowledge for years that I wanted to be a photographer because of a whole slew of Daddy issues that come from never knowing who my Father is, being given away, and fearing that I'm completely unlovable. And yet, here I am pursuing this path and it lights me up like a freakin Christmas tree! I can't say for sure that everything will be just fine for you or for me as we walk the scary path of truth and becoming. In fact, I can say with certainty, there will be unexpected challenges that seem insurmountable. I've learned that you can continue to push through the grizzliest of challenges for a very, very, very loooonnng time. I've also learned that at that moment when you can't push through anymore, that moment when you finally surrender and wave the white flag of exhaustion and defeat, a congregation of angels are awaiting you with a variety of keys, life-preservers, oxygen masks, flamingo shaped pool floaties, margaritas, and piggy back rides.
Where do I end this, as there is no end to becoming?
What are my intentions in opening up my chest and sharing these pieces of my heart?
I hope to create a community on intentional creators. I hope to work, laugh, and create with people who hate convention centers and fluorescent lights as much as I do. I hope to spend time nourishing my inner child laughing in the mountains with like-minded souls. I hope we can sip cocoa out of hand-thrown mugs, enveloped like a cocoon in hand-woven blankets resting in the arms of an experienced and sturdy A-frame cabin. I hope to offer piggy back rides to those who can reciprocate when I'm in need. I hope to be a voice that shines like a beacon in the void to the other creators who are ready to hear the call. I hope to create a community without resorting to the cheap tricks of social media.
If I touched your soul, and that full body yes feeling is brewing in your belly. Send me a message. I like emails. firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also comment here. Don't be shy, we've all got to raise our hand and use our voice to create in one way or another.
Maybe we can all get together and make that A-frame cabin, inner child retreat full of becoming, reprieve, forgiveness, watercolor painting, ceramics throwing, and piggy back rides a thing.
Maybe if it goes really well, we'll all get matching overalls and play polly pocket together. 👯
Yours truly, Carrie.