Your Fear is Talkin’ {How Fear Can Help You}

Image by Cheryl

Last night Fear woke me up – again. Lately I’m pushing up against some old stories and beliefs that tell me what I can and can’t have. These are stories of LACK and LIMITS and UNWORTHINESS…not fun. Really! And yet, they contain gold for me if I’m willing to do some digging. So, there in the middle of the night I had a little talk with Fear. (To me Fear appears as a dark figure in a trench coat and hat, you can’t see his features, but he’s menacing, lurking in the shadows ready to pop out and wreck my day – or night, That is why I call my fear “him”.) “Fear”, I said, “I’ll talk with you in the morning. I know you want to help, but I need my sleep.” Eventually, he left me alone and I slept, but I knew this was an appointment I needed to keep.

After breakfast we sat down with a journal and a pen and began talking. This is a practice I do when I feel tense, scattered, confused, stressed. Or when I keep waking up in the night! It always helps. I start by letting Fear say his part – for as long as that takes – I write down his worries, fears, concerns, character assassinations (my character, of course), etc. At some point he begins to repeat himself and that’s when we stop. As I write I’m not judging, just listing. Sometimes an insight will come up and I note that down to come back to later.

Today Fear told me:

  • I have nothing of value to offer.
  • No-one likes me.
  • I have no skills.
  • I’ll starve and end up in a horrible place at the mercy of horrible people.

All of this (and more) keeps coming up, despite plenty of evidence to the contrary. But that’s how Fear works. I actually know he cares about me, he wants to help, but his methodology is really screwed up! He thinks that by scaring me he’ll get me to stop doing new things and stretching myself. He thinks that makes me safe.

Oh, he of little faith.

Ironically, stopping assures that the worst case scenario can happen. Not to mention the hell of living with my fears as my MO in the world. No thanks!

Here are a few tools I employ to deal with the fears that come up, and how I get Fear to help me, for real. These tools will help give you some space away from your fears which allows more clarity, more sanity, more joy! Assuming your fears are here to help you can make them less upsetting and scary too. (Note: There are times just writing out my fears clears the air and I can move on – these ideas are for when that doesn’t work.)

  • First, I look at each fear and see if it has helpful information for me. For example, I might look at “I have no skills” and ask what skills I feel I’m missing that would be honestly useful. It’s true there are some skills I want to take the time to learn – particularly technology skills. So, now I can schedule time to address that. Because I listened to Fear he feels better already!
  • Next I search my fears for “truth”. Using the same fear as above I ask, “Is it true I have no skills, like zero?” And of course that isn’t true at all. It is something I fear though, regardless of how ludicrous it may be.
  • So, next I find evidence. I look for the things I know I can do – this can start really simple (and may need to if the fear is pretty strong) like: “I am skilled at walking. I can drive like a boss. My eating abilities are amazing!” By the way – laughter is a great antidote to fear, so rock that too! Keep going with the evidence. And if you get stuck ask someone who loves you. They know your skills and will share some with you that you didn’t even know about or see.

The most important thing here is to really feel the delight of being skilled. Sense into the opposite of the fear. No one likes you – ha! Everyone you like also likes you. Feel it. You have no value? You are not just valued, you are value, inherently. We’re not dismissing or running from our fears – we’re getting honest about them. These can run in the background and mess with our ability to make good decisions for our lives. We’re acknowledging them and allowing them to be useful. That is a win-win!

  • Finally, for any fears that didn’t work with the previous tools, try this…

Ask Fear, and yourself, what is this really about? Allow yourself to let the answer come up. You can say “If this happens/is true, then _______” to get more information. For example, the last fear I have listed “I’ll starve and end up in a horrible place at the mercy of horrible people” is a future-type fear. It’s practically a national-obsession-type fear. So I ask, what is this really about for me right now?

The real fear here, and in most future-type fears, is loss of something that you have now that you value. Like a safe home, a good income, a lot of amazing people you love, relative freedom, etc. These types of fears are pretty insidious because they require faith to overcome them. We can look for evidence that this has never, ever happened to you before, or that it has and you overcame it. But we also have heard cautionary tales of the horrible things that have happened to others. We might have seen it firsthand. We fear It could happen to us in the future. This can be scary stuff. They’re also the types of fears that tend to show up during times of transition in your life – when things are changing.

 For these my first step is to turn it over to a Higher Power – your Higher Power of choice. I ask for help. I have faith that I am heard, and I am safe. I see and feel how safe and blessed I am right now, and I focus on that delicious feeling. I focus on how grand my life is right now. I live right here. This will (if you’re anything like me…) require repetition, and more repetition. The number of times you have allowed your self to go over and over the bad things that could happen, that is how many times you need to recall that you are safe, life is good, and you have access to just the help you need right now.

And then I have faith in myself. I see how I’ve managed to take care of myself all of my life until now, even when it wasn’t perfect it was OK. I note when I handled things well, when I overcame heartache, tragedy, sadness – knowing I can handle anything at all that I need to. I give myself credit – I know that I am the hero of my life!

Next, I ask Fear to help me by telling me why he fears this outcome. Many times when I have these fears I find there are areas of my life where I’m not giving it my best. I’m not focused, I’m not paying attention. You’ll be amazed what helpful information is running around in the back of your mind waiting for you to just give it some air time! I pay attention and then I take steps to care for myself, for my money, my home, my freedom – whatever addresses my legitimate concerns. Taking inspired action is a great way to dispel fear!

Fears are scary. That’s how they get our attention. But they’re also trying to help us. I believe that. I hope these tools are of use to you in living & creating your amazing life! If you have any questions you can contact me here or schedule a free session here. I’d love to hear from you!

Love, Cheryl

Note: The information above is meant for normal fears and fearfulness. There are times when fears will not give us good information – when they’re overwhelming and too much to tackle alone. If you’re in a situation like this please contact a professional – a psychologist or other therapist can help you.

 

Goddess Inspiration – On Peace

Image by Sebastien Marchand

Image by Sebastien Marchand

My dear heart, never think you are better than others. Listen to their sorrows with compassion. If you want peace, don’t harbor bad thoughts, do not gossip, and don’t teach what you do not know.

Rumi

 Each Monday Whenever I feel like it I share a poem or quotation, an image or idea that I find lovely, or meaningful. Things that inspire and touch me. Maybe one will become your favorite too.

Love, Cheryl

I’m Baaaaack! {because it’s time}

Image by Joe Beck

I’ve been “gone”. I’ve been distracted, busy, crazy, stressed, lost & confused, creative, making things happen, transforming….all of that and more. I certainly haven’t been “here”. You may have missed me, you may have been busy yourself, you may not have noticed I was gone. But the point is that I did. I have missed myself.

In the past 5 months I’ve lost a cherished family member, got married, shopped for and bought a house, prepped a house to sell (twice – both full and empty), renovated a house to live in, packed, moved, unpacked, and spent lots and lots of money. And that doesn’t include the strain of the incredible events on our world and national scenes that have affected us all. I know most of us have been through a lot lately. I don’t know about you but, I”m pooped! And all of these things were lovely, crazy, sad, miserable, transformative; and also either necessary, out of my hands, or fully my choice. They happened, and now I get to decide how I feel, think, and believe about that, and myself and my life going forward.

One of the big things I noticed is that when life gets crazy the first thing I jettison are the things I do to keep sane and clear about who I am. My rituals,  practices, and meaningful life steps go by the wayside. Some of these things include making things (like dream boards or books), meditating, walking outside, taking catnaps, writing in my journal, drawing oracle cards, being silly. Some of these things I manage to do in shorthand – my prayers become my meditative time, I make a pretty image with a camera, I read in short spurts between crazed actions – especially funny books. This helps, but the truth is that after so many changes and not taking the time to really check in with myself I’m wondering who the heck I am now. That lost, ungrounded feeling isn’t fun. In the past not stopping this train has made me sick.

So, it’s time to get back to me – to explore how all of these outer changes have impacted my inner person and how I see myself. This may sound fluffy, or selfish, even ridiculous, but the truth is this is where the deep work is – inside. This where my behavior comes from – those unexamined beliefs can have a huge impact on how I react in situations and with other people. And the exciting thing is that I am really beginning a new life – new town, new husband, new home, new office. I’m a wife, I’m no longer a cat servant (at least for now), I’m the mother of a 20 year old(!), I’m starting from scratch with my garden, I’m a business woman…again!

As I work through this process more things will change to reflect this new place and person I’m becoming. I’m planning a revamp of my website, new offerings, courses both locally and online, more posts and ideas. And in general I feel a strong rekindling of my desire to help, to serve, to share with you insights, tools, practices, ideas, and concepts that really will help you deal with the tough stuff, and especially to uncover and bring to life your audacious dreams. This is who I am, and it feels amazing to be back!

Here’s to a new-ish me!! And a delightful New Year to you!

With Love, Cheryl

 

The Hurrier I Go….

Christmas Past: My sweet kitty under the tree.

Christmas Past: My sweet kitty under the tree.

It’s at this time of the year I remember my mother’s wisdom most. Our family was really busy at Christmas time with 2 stores to run and all of the holiday’s excitement as well. And yet Mom always made Christmas special – she loved it and created an amazing experience for us from food, to decorations, to presents, to fun things to do. Until I was a mom I had no idea how hard that was to accomplish. Or what a joy it is to make something so delicious.

I’m having an extra busy Christmas season this year. We’re fixing up the house we’re moving to, keeping the one we’re selling in pristine condition, packing, moving….Whew! And please, let’s not even talk about Christmas preparation! It’s pretty stressful and I tend to start rushing, running, getting breathless, not sleeping, always planning and thinking ahead. I’m certainly not spending time in the moment where I am so I can enjoy my life and this gorgeous season. And that reminds me of a saying of my Mom’s: “The hurrier I go the behinder I get”. It always used to make me laugh, but it’s true! My rushing and stressing isn’t making things go faster or more smoothly at all. In fact it made me sick and farther behind than ever.

And, of course, I know better! I kept telling myself this was no way to do things, but I just didn’t listen to myself. Today as I’m feeling better and starting to rush around again I heard my Mom’s voice “The hurrier I go….” And I laughed and tuned in again to the world as it is right now. If you tend to get wrapped up in all there is to do in a busy season here are few tips I can share that work for me to come down to Earth, slow down, and, you know, get less “behinder” – or at least have more fun (and stay healthy) while I do my work:

  • For goodness sake – Breathe!!! When you’re holding your breath or breathing shallowly you aren’t doing yourself any favors. Or making life easier or more delightful. Pull in a nice deep breath and let it out, be grateful that it’s so easy, and available, and calming to just breathe.
  • While you’re breathing, wiggle your toes. Notice you have a lovely body, toes that move and support you. Lungs to breathe into. Legs to stand on, arms to hug someone with, a head to lay on your pillow when you rest. You can dance, and sing, and make things with such an amazing body.
  • Open your eyes (really open them) and look around. Where are you? What do you see? Do you see beauty, or something comforting? Do you see loved ones, nature, your home or office? Be where you are and look for the most delicious thing in that place. Let the experience of that object, person, situation, or sound fill you with joy! Rest there, in that joy; soak it up.
  • Next, think (calmly…) about what has you rushing about. First, I want you to assume there is an easier and more pleasant way to do whatever it is. Know that you will discover this easy, pleasant way when you allow yourself to let go of your preconceived notions of how things must go and what you need to do to make it happen. Let me say here you can (and will) certainly proceed the way you want to proceed, and if that means you will go on rushing, that’s fine. Hey, I’m with you. There are times that is the only way for me too. But I want you to be honestly aware that there are other choices, for sure. Other ways to make it happen that are different and probably a lot more fun. Ways that allow you to drop perfection, allow you to enjoy the process, allow you to ask for help, ways that honor your needs. These ways will certainly make the process better not just for you, but for everyone around you (just ask my poor sweet husband what a drag I’ve been the last few weeks!).
  • Brainstorm, make a list, allow yourself to dream of the perfect solution, write it down as if it has already occurred. And then step away for a bit. Sleep on it, rest. And come back to your dream process. Do you see new ways to do this? Is there anything that can be dropped, farmed out? Can you at least see how you can do what you want, achieve the outcome you desire, and still have fun, as well as a healthy body and mind? What would be the best outcome and a delightful way to get there? How can you make that happen?

I know I’ll be following this list of steps for the foreseeable future! I have my brainstorming done and now I’m going to take long rest and see how things look in the morning. I already feel more hopeful that I can make everything happen – and in a lovely way. I hope this is of help to you too. And I want to wish you delight-filled holidays and all of the pleasures of the winter season!

Lots of Love, Cheryl

Making Autumn Last Longer (a re-post)

Autumn in IWest Branch, Iowa

Autumn in IWest Branch, Iowa

I don’t know about the place you call home, but in Iowa Autumn is glorious! And thank goodness, because after it comes Winter and we need that glory to get us through a long white/grey, cold streak of days. I love the crisp air, deep blue skies, amazing colors, the smell and sound of the crisp leaves, raking (yes!), bonfires, hay rides, local football games on Friday nights. Even the windy, rainy days are wonderful for cozying up with a book. Soups! Hikes!  Alas, it seems so short. Every year I hope for a nice LOOOONG Fall season. This year I decided I was the one making it short and that is was up to me to extend that glory for myself.

What, you say? Yes, I CAN extend the season and I will tell you how to do it too. Of course, this is the first year, so it’s an experiment. But I have reason to believe, based on brain research (not to mention Eastern philosophy), that this will work. And if it isn’t perfect we’ll just tweak it for next year. The theory is that time is relative…you’ve heard that one? It all depends on our perception. A 5 minute wait in line always seems longer than 5 minutes of hot kissing, yes? So, let’s use this to our benefit!

I realized that the minute Autumn began to make its appearance I already was mourning its end – and dreading the long Winter to come. Of course it seemed short; it was over before it even began. This year I’m living in the moment and the season! Here is how:

  • Sloooooowwwwww down. Good advice anytime but especially if you want time to also go slower. Breathe! Ahhhh, take in that delicious air. Feeling better already.
  • Pay attention. Savor the things you love about this time of year. Look at the trees and sky. Smell the spicy scent of fallen leaves. Notice the pumpkins and Halloween decorations. Spend time in front of the fire on a stormy day. Cheer on the local team at the football game. Immerse yourself in Fall-nees. Yum!
  • Make a list.What do you delight in about this season? Make a list and enjoy the heck out of each thing on it. I love my fall clothes. Most of my favorite clothes best fit this in-between season – and in my favorite colors too. Brown tights, denim skirt, cowboy boots; leggings and tunics; Dresses with patterned tights; so many cute jackets it’s embarrassing! When it is 20 below I won’t be venturing out in any of these ensembles. I’ll have to rock it right now!
  • Schedule it. Each year I want to capture the glorious colors and beautiful harvest landscape. And each year I don’t take the time. Crazy! This has gone on for years. What was so important that I rushed through my favorite season? Dishes? Bills? Laundry? Tomorrow I’ve scheduled in a nice long photo shoot walk. And next week I’m hitting the backroads to see what I can discover there. Make a list of what you want to do this season and schedule it in. Walks spent kicking up the leaves in the woods, check. Your favorite soup on the stove, yep! A bonfire, haunted house, pumpkin patch – take the family and invite friends. Rake and put the garden to bed, sure (this one sounds a lot like work but I love it, could be the hot cocoa I bribe myself with).

How will you enjoy the season? I’d love to hear! I’m off to stir my potato cheese soup and pull a good book off the shelf to read in the lamplight while the wind whistles outside. Tomorrow is supposed to be sunny and warmer, I already have my tights and skirt and sweater picked out for my ramble in the leaves.

Wishing you Autumn Bliss!

Cheryl

Imagine This….

Image by My Life Through a Lens

I was thinking today about Imagination and the Presidential Race, as one does…

I wondered if Bernie Sanders imagined himself the beleaguered, scrappy, but honest and appealing, underdog. And if that is why he achieved what he did. And then I wondered who of the current candidates could really imagine themselves as President of the United States of America. Who could see themselves living in the White House, vetoing bills, appointing people to important positions, talking with other world leaders, working with Congress, going to Camp David? I wondered if that person would be the winner in this surprising and sometimes ugly contest.

And that, of course, set me thinking about what I can imagine for myself and my life. As Goethe said (or perhaps not quite; apparently an Irish poet named John Anster published a translation of Goethe which was a bit loose and poetic, and this is his version of an excerpt from Faust – info from Quote Investigator):

“What you can do, or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it…”

Or more to my purposes, here is a quote by William Arthur Ward:

“If you can imagine it, you can achieve it. If you can dream it, you can become it.

Apparently, I’m not the only one thinking about this, and it isn’t a new thought at all! It is a telling consideration though. What do you imagine for yourself? Do you have sweet, hidden dreams you believe you’ll never truly achieve? Can you see yourself living the life that includes those dreams, or are you content to just…dream. When I asked myself this question I could definitely see ways I’ve let myself play the beleaguered, scrappy (but honest and appealing!) underdog in my own life. And that’s perfectly fine – if it’s what I truly want.

I love/hate these sorts of revelations! I don’t like feeling that I’m failing myself, or especially others. I don’t like thinking I’ve “ruined” my life by not doing things “right”. I don’t like thinking I could be President by now – had I only dreamed it! – but instead I’m just a goddess dreamer. These are the nasty thoughts of my dear, inner Mongol Horde, of course (read about the Horde here). Happily, I am a multitude, so I have other feelings and thoughts about this as well. What I love is that with each revelation I can make changes that are delicious to me and make my life the delightful romp I want it to be!

This all makes me think about the actual intentions and dreams behind the actions I take each day. Because you can definitely take action and not be aware that you’re creating something you don’t really want. Here is more of the quote by Goethe/Anster:

“Lose this day loitering—’twill be the same story
To-morrow–and the next more dilatory;
Then indecision brings its own delays,
And days are lost lamenting o’er lost days.
Are you in earnest? seize this very minute–
What you can do, or dream you can, begin it,
Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it,
Only engage, and then the mind grows heated—
Begin it, and the work will be completed!”

This could be about being lazy *gasp* and finally getting off your behind to take action – but I think it’s more about being unaware of your true beliefs and motivations behind the actions you are taking today. As I tell my clients (and really most anyone who will listen) awareness is everything – in making changes, living a life you adore, knowing who you are and what you want, and in pursuing that All-American goal of happiness.

In order to learn more and be aware of my own motivations today I asked myself – “When I’m eating this cookie am I fulfilling my dreams of losing weight?” And then I wondered – is losing weight REALLY a dream of mine, or am I actually happy the way I am and can quit striving for the “ideal” weight? Why do I want to lose weight? Can I really see myself and my life as a thinner person? These are pretty important questions if I don’t want to “lament o’er lost days” and weigh the same next month. Or perhaps I just don’t need to beat myself up anymore over a goal I don’t really care about.

Or I may look out there at all of the courses that offer a way to “Make 6 Figures!” and wonder what I really want. Do I want to make 6 figures? Why SURE! Do I want to live the lifestyle that many of these thought leaders live? Probably not. I don’t care that much about world travel. I like working from the local park – a far off beach isn’t necessary. I don’t care about being on Oprah or convincing people I’m the only true expert in something. Honestly – I feel my clients are the experts in their lives. But I do want to help people as a career, I know I can help people, and I do want a continuing income I can live well on. Can I imagine that life? What does it look like? Is it different from the one I have now? How?

And then after I ask myself lots of questions and clarify what my dreams really are I can get in touch with what Cassie Parks calls my “future self” and figure out what the two of us DO want. Usually that process of getting in touch with the future me who is living exactly as I want to live, and doing just what I desire to do, yields some good ideas about next steps to take. So, naturally, then I can get off my duff and “Begin it, and the work will be completed”! OK it may take a bit more time, but beginning truly does have a magic of its own – plus it’s the only way to get here to there.

So, as you can see I have some contemplative days ahead while I scrutinize my reasons for my actions. But I’m still wondering…I do believe that “If you can imagine it, you can achieve it. If you can dream it, you can become it.” At the very least I believe that if you can’t imagine it then it will be pretty hard to bring it into your life – for real. And that still begs the question – who in the Presidential Race can really imagine themselves as President? And more importantly (at least to me) – what can you really imagine yourself being? Make it good!

Dream on!

Hugs, Cheryl

A Decor Story (Or the Magic of a Deadline)

I love my "new" bathroom

I love my “new” bathroom

Have you ever planned something, invested in it, thought about it, wanted it – and then just never took the time to do it? Because, well, there were other things to do – ones that were more vital (to other people), ones that were easier (reading that book), ones that you “should” do first. I’m here to tell you this can go on for a long time, in this decor story…about 5 years.

But I’m not going to beat myself up, much. I just try to allow myself to be aware of the choices I make and why. I find it ironic that suddenly, in one weekend, I got a project done (with my sweetie’s help, of course) that I put off for years. It’s hilarious really! But that is the magic of a deadline. I just came up with reasons to put off the joy of redecorating a room and enjoying the outcome until I needed to do it for someone else. (Hey, it’s super helpful to know what motivates you, yes?) I’m moving soon and selling my house so my upgrade now is in the hope of pleasing a buyer.

But, what if I considered allowing myself to be more motivated by my own desires and enjoyment. What if I scheduled the work, and planned it, and then actually did it? What if I put my desire for a beautiful home first (and didn’t live with an ugly, outdated bathroom for 5 years…)? Sounds decadent – right?

I think this is a lesson many of us could learn – despite all of the beautiful homes on Pinterest, in design magazines, and on cable shows – do you have the home of your dreams? And just so you understand – I think the home you’re in now can be the home of your dreams – it doesn’t have to be a mansion or a villa in Italy (though, go for it, if that’s what you truly desire!). I think you can have a version of what you want now – regardless. The main thing is that it feels like you, feels like home, feels the way you want it to feel, and supports the life you want to live.

My bath redecoration took two of us most of one day and part of another – a totally worth it expenditure of time. It was also inexpensive financially. I painted, bought a new cabinet, 2 towel racks, and a light fixture. The rest of what I used were things I already had around the house. That small investment yielded a room I enjoy so much more! It also gave me incentive to get rid of toiletries and things I never really use to streamline my bathroom storage. And I really hope the new owners of this house enjoy the pretty, updated space as much as I do!

I’m definitely keeping this lesson in mind as I move into my new home. In fact, I’m visiting there today to line up some help and take measurements so I can plan, and invest, and give myself a deadline to make this the space I want to live in, and love my life in, for the next phase of my journey.

Do you have a space you’ve put off making yours, making lovely, making useful? How can you remedy that and create a dream come true? I hope you’re inspired to do something important, create a deadline –  just for you!

Love, Cheryl

Here are before and after pictures:

Before-ish, at the beginning of the process

Before-ish, at the beginning of the process

 

A very messy work in progress

A very messy work in progress

 

I removed the old cabinet over the toilet and added a picture from another room instead. Pretty and much less clutter!

I removed the old cabinet over the toilet and added a picture from another room instead. Pretty and much less clutter!

The sink area with a new light and medicine cabinet/mirror unit.

The sink area with a new light and medicine cabinet/mirror unit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aphrodite: Goddess of the Month

Aphrodite {Goddess of Love, Beauty, and Self-Worth}

Image by Morgan Sessions

This is my first Goddess of the Month post and it came about by accident – as some of the most delicious things do. I’ve been used to receiving a Goddess Reading from the amazing and wise Amy Palko (and I highly recommend them! You can sign up here). This month it didn’t come and I found I really missed my monthly guide. The readings are insightful; and they give me an idea of areas in my life, or in myself, to look for more inspiration or learning that is really relevant to my life right now. So, I decided to choose a goddess (all by myself) and access my own intuition to see what she has to tell me. I used my trusty Goddess Oracle cards (by Amy Sophia Marashinsky), drew a goddess card and wrote about what Aphrodite meant to me, and what I felt she wanted me to know more about this month.

Below is the result. I decided to share it here – in case you’re looking for some goddess guidance, or a new (fun!) practice for accessing your deeper self. Or you just might want to answer the questions at the end – they’re important ones to visit now and again to help you sustain love for your life and remember to take joy in it!

Aphrodite (or Venus) was born of the sky and the sea. Her beauty and allure are undeniable. She is a goddess of Love and Beauty, she rules Compassion and Passion. She is one of the top players in Greek mythology. Originally a Mediterranean Mother Goddess, she was later was added to the Greek pantheon. The Greeks “demoted” her and married her to Hephaestus, arguably the least favored, loved, or respected god of all. Love married to craft, to engineering, to the God of the Forge; Beauty united with the Beast. It tells you a bit about how the Greeks perceived Aphrodite’s kind of Love, the dark and the light of it. Unsatisfied with her husband, she was constantly having trysts with other gods – most notably with Ares/Mars the God of War. Love and War, they don’t play well together, but they have a passionate relationship according to the ancient Greek mind.

I also looked at the way astrology sees Venus (the Roman version of Aphrodite). Along with beauty and love she rules self-value, the money you make for yourself, life balance, art, relationships, your connection to your inherent gifts, the social graces, and romance. This is no silly, jealous woman. She brings energy to the parts of life that must be attended to so you can enjoy it and connect meaningfully with others.

She can seem a bit capricious, but she’s having fun and wants you to as well. Love is serious, but it is also playful; it is necessary, but also desired; it is delicious, but may seem to open you to pain. It’s about that opening though, the allowing of love (even if it may be painful), that brings joy, and zest, and value to life.  It’s about seeing the value in yourself, loving yourself. It’s about sex, and flirting, and pleasure. It’s about creativity and making a beautiful life. It’s about supporting yourself well, in many ways, including financially.

What is love? And beauty? What does balance look like to you? What makes a good relationship? A perfect home? Can you see Beauty and the Beast in yourself? How do they play out in your life? Do you have compassion for both?  How do you express your creativity? When do you play? Do you flirt (with others, with life, with love)? How do you feel about your finances? Do you support yourself in ways that make life feel delightful?

These are questions Aphrodite asks. Answer them for yourself. These questions have the ability to open our eyes to the most amazing life we desire to live, and offer ways to make adjustments (slight, huge…) so we can make it happen now.

Sending Love!

Cheryl

Seasonal Shifts (or Love the One You’re With)

garden shop amanas

A sign in my favorite garden shop in Amana, Iowa

I’m still swooning to the smell of newly mown grass.

Still enjoying my summer “uniform” of black tank and wedge sandals with shorts or a skirt.

Still loving Harley rides for ice cream treats.

Still wanting to lounge on my porch of a morning sipping iced tea and communing with my garden and its many visitors (squirrels, rabbits, birds, etc.). Delightful!

But…

The cicadas are singing – loudly.

The corn is turning golden brown, and goldenrod blooms on roadsides.

Days are shorter.

School has begun.

The garden markets are bursting with mums.

These are certain signs that a change of season is coming soon. Delicious Autumn! I love it! But the change of season from Summer to Autumn is always a little bittersweet. “Summer is ending and Winter is coming!” yells the Lacky Lucy in my brain. And, truly, I love Winter too – brilliant, crisp, blue and white days! It’s just that around here it tends to overstay its welcome by about 2 months.

What is a goddess to do? Well, I plan to revel in the late summer joys! A time of year that is a melting pot of two lovely seasons – it can only be good. I’ll take each lovely day as it comes and enjoy the gifts of each one. I’ve actually written that down on a piece of paper and posted it where I can see it – because, you know, I tend to forget. I’ll make sure to spend time in my garden, take walks, pick flowers, have a BBQ party, wear my sandals as long as possible, and spend time on my porch.

And regardless of the day or season I’m going to remember to love the one I’m with!

Wishing you a delightful seasonal transformation!

With Love,

Cheryl

 

A Song in My Head

Image by Clem Onojeghuo

I’ve always had songs in my head – you know those songs that get stuck, for whatever reason, and can drive you almost mad? Yeah, you too? Well, I used to think they were just an annoyance, and then as I learned more about how my subconscious (sub in here higher self, inner guide, God, etc.) communicated with me I began to think there might be information there for me. The question many times though was: “What information?” Because sometimes these songs aren’t obviously of help. Two days ago the song in my head was “Everyone Else is an Asshole” by Reel Big Fish, it took a bit of discovery to figure that message out I can tell you! The thing is I’ve had some really rich discoveries by following the thread begun by the music in my head, it’s been such a help – and lots of fun.

The aforementioned song was pretty useful really. I’ve always enjoyed its funny, tongue-in-cheek approach to suggesting that if you think everyone around you is an asshole perhaps you should look at yourself first. So, of course, I looked at that. For the most part I don’t think people are assholes, I usually like them and try not to judge, but the truth is I can definitely still use more work on this. And sometimes I can be an asshole myself. It helps me to be aware of that. But the larger message seemed to me to be twofold: First, humor is a fabulous way to get out of that grumpy, judgmental place – if you can see the humor in a situation you’ve stepped outside and have a bigger, clearer view. And it’s fun! The second message is that what you see outside is also what’s inside – and that refers not only to people who appear to be assholes but those who are beautiful, who are successful, kind, rich, etc. What you’re seeing outside is what is inside you too. And you can be sure there are people who are seeing their beauty, their kindness, and even, perhaps, their own assholiness reflected in you. It’s a great lesson to remember because it helps you find the truth of a situation.

“As above, so below, as within, so without, as the universe, so the soul…”  Hermes Trismegistus

If you’re interested in getting more from that annoying song in your head here are a few ways I use to tease out the meaning. See how they work for you. (And if you are feeling brave the “song” is below. Note, there is profanity – obviously, so please don’t listen if you’ll be offended):

  • First I focus on the specific lyrics and tune that repeat in my head to see if there is an obvious message for me there. Consider how you feel when you hear it. Does it bring back a memory? Does it make you want to move your body? Is the tempo slow, zippy, danceable? What energy does it have? Does it remind you of something or someone? If so, how? I usually write in my journal about this – partly because I can access my intuition easier that way and partly because then I can remember it an hour later – (really, steel trap!) This may be all you do and it’s very helpful on its own.
  • Next, if I’m still not sure, or want to know more, I like to look up the lyrics. This can be tricky if you can’t recall enough to find the song and songwriter/performer, but there are such amazing search engines for this now. Google it and you’ll probably be lucky. Reading the lyrics can often help you figure out more about the meaning for you. Today the song in my head was “We Built This City” by Starship and the meaning wasn’t completely clear for me until I read the full lyrics and got a better sense of the message of the song. Then I considered how that related to me and my life and there it was – some great information for me! I realized I can benefit from remembering what I build my own “city” on (what my foundation is). It’s really key for me to be true to that right now.
  • Next, I might look for the video – this is one of my favorite parts, especially if there’s a good video of the song – my faves are old MTV videos and live performances. You really experience the energy of the song from the performance of it and that can be an eye-opener. Sometimes I think my subconscious just wants me to lighten up and sends me a song with a great, funny, or nostalgic video to help me gain perspective on life.
  • With each type of exploration take a moment to check-in to how you feel, what the message might be – it can be very simple. I’ve had messages to slow down, to laugh, to pay attention to my money, etc. The message will be helpful and kind – even when suggesting that you just may need to look at how you judge other people.
  • If you want to carry this further you can write the message down where you can see it, memorize it, say it out loud to yourself, or just listen to the song a few times today. Allow it to inform you as the day goes on.

In my monthly newsletters I share a song that has been in my head lately, and news and tips for a life of delight. If you aren’t on my email list you can sign up here.

Lots of Love, and Happy August!!

Cheryl

Everyone Else is an Asshole