“Hey You” by Frank Mckenna – Unsplash
Every day we think of things that we can’t do, or can’t be, or can’t feel, or can’t have…Frankly, it can become an obsession!
We see what we are lacking, and/or have lost, and we grieve, we feel stuck. Some of this type of thinking and awareness is helpful – it helps us clarify what we really do want and need, and can inspire fabulous changes in our lives. But, if you’re like me you really don’t want to live in I Can’t Land. And, sadly, it’s pretty easy to get stuck there! It could be that the ego likes us sad and miserable, or that the negativity bias of the brain wants to keep us safe, or that we believed someone in our lives who said that we couldn’t have that, or be this. Regardless, it just isn’t helpful at all to believe that we can’t have, or do, things that we really want to, and are able to do.
So…what’s a goddess to do?
Step 1 – “I Can’t”:
Well, it all begins with awareness of what we’re telling ourselves. Sometimes it isn’t even something we think about much anymore because we’ve already written it off, even though it’s one of our deep desires. Here are some examples:
- I can’t possibly go to college for, or work as, an interior designer even though it’s been my dream since I was a little girl.
- I can’t possibly travel to France.
- I can’t possibly meet someone I really love, who gets me, and who will be a true partner.
- I can’t possibly lose weight.
- I can’t possibly run my own business.
All of these “I Can’t” beliefs are from my own life at some time, and they all come with a second part that begins with “because”. Like, “I can’t run my own business because I don’t know how, I’m too lazy, I’m not smart enough, and I don’t have the backing or help”; or “I can’t travel to France because I don’t have the money or the time”, etc. This is where things can get messy, we could really go down the rabbit hole here, but instead we’re going to go straight to looking at things differently.
Make a list of your own “I Can’t” beliefs. Just jot a few down to work with here. You can always add to the list later (I know I do!) and then work with those beliefs too.
Step 2 – “I Can”:
We start to look at our thinking differently by just saying to ourselves…”I can.” Just that. I can. Feel that? It’s permission and an acknowledgement of our capability all at once! I can. Soak it in. You can. Think of all of the things that you CAN do, and that you ARE, and that you CAN be and have. Hang out here for a while. Revel in it. It is a fact that YOU CAN.
I Can’t, because….
Choose an item from your “I Can’t” list that you really DO want to do. (As you work with this you may find that at least some of the things we say we can’t do are really things we don’t WANT to do – but, that is whole other post!) For example, you may write, “I want to go to Italy, but I can’t”.
Next list all of the reasons why you can’t go to Italy. I call this the “I can’t, because” list. Maybe you can’t speak Italian, or think you don’t have the time or money, or the courage, or a person to go with, or it’s always the wrong timing, or….
Get more specific:
Now choose one of your reasons above and give it a few small revisions. “I can’t go to Italy because I don’t speak Italian” can be revised to:
- Many people visit Italy and don’t speak the language. I can too.
- I can learn Italian!
- I have friend who speaks Italian and she would be a wonderful travel companion. I can ask her to go with me. (Hey, this one solves two concerns!)
- I can embrace the amazing challenge of learning to do things in a place where I don’t know the language.
- I can learn how to get by with the language of gestures and body language. And I can pick up some Italian along the way too.
Keep going with this and think of as many ideas as you can – even if they’re a wacky! And then stop.
Reread your list:
How do you feel now? Thinking of possibilities and breaking things down into smaller parts will really open your mind to the “I Can’s”, and it will show you potential steps you can take to make your dream come true as well. You may also find that some of the things on your “I can’t’, because” list don’t really matter to you, and you can stop worrying about them right now. Do this exercise with each “I can’t, because” on your list. Do it until you start to feel that, just maybe, you CAN.
Make a master list of the very best and most delightful ideas you had when you made your revised “because” lists. So, for example, you may have decided that you can go to Italy and you want to be able to speak the language too – that is part of the excitement for you. You would write “I can learn Italian” on your master list. You may also have ideas for how you’ll pay for your trip, when a good time to go is, who you want to invite to go with you, etc. Place these all on your list. Give it a super name like the “I’m Really Going to Italy List” and keep it handy. These are your “I Can” responses to the reasons you’ve been holding onto to make sure that you don’t go to Italy (or do whatever it is you want to do). Use them to remind you of all of the things that you CAN do.
You may want to do this process with everything on your “I Can’t” list. Some dreams you’ll be able to do right away! Some you’ll find you no longer care about, and others will require a longer time commitment to bring into your life. Some you have less control over (finding the right person to love may be one of these). But all of your dreams will benefit from your belief that they CAN happen much more that they will from thinking that they can’t happen. When we see what can be, we immediately find new avenues and our vision opens to possibilities we overlooked before. And it is a seriously fun process too! A way to enable your very best dreams to take up space in your mind and your life. A way to be open to the potential and to see the gifts the Universe wants to give us. “I can’t” closes our eyes, but “I CAN” creates brand new opportunities!
The point of this post is not to make sure you go to Italy though. It certainly can be a start! From the master list you can make plans, and schedule lessons, and take steps. And if you get overwhelmed, or think you can’t do it, then you can come back to this process and use it again on those pesky negative thoughts. The main thing I want you to take away is that we all have stories that we tell ourselves, or that we learn as we go through life, and we believe them to be true. But so often they aren’t. And these stories can limit the choices we believe we have, and the options we think we can embrace. We need to be willing to question those beliefs if we’re going to be able to live our most delicious life.
I’ve discovered that I have the most ridiculous “I can’t” stories, and many of them I’ve proven wrong (it turns out that I can be an interior designer, and I can run a business, and I can find someone to love, etc.). But some still remain – “I can’t take a break or a vacation, because then I’m lazy, and I’ll go broke.” is one that lingers – though I’ve taken many breaks and vacations, I still have to reach past that thought! Some other very common beliefs are that time, and money, and space, and love, etc. are all too limited to allow us what we need. I want to challenge you to see your life as having exactly what you need. “I can have plenty of money for that trip to Italy.” “I can experience the love I want in full.” “I can live extremely well on the money I have, and I can always make more.”
You can, my dear friend!! And I want it all for you! I’ll be right here imagining and knowing that you can too.
Lots of Love,
Drop me a line at email@example.com . Ask me questions, or share your experience – and you can also book a session via this email, and set up a free 20 – 30 minute consultation too. I’d love to hear from you!! You can also give me a call at 440-213-6666 to set up a time to talk.
Vinca Major, by Cheryl
Well, it was interesting (and past about Day 22, definitely a challenge, whew!). I’m going to take some time now to assimilate all I’ve learned and consider where I want to go with my blogging now. I’ll be sure to let you know, in case you’re interested. I sincerely appreciate you reading my words and even allowing me into your email boxes! That is a gift!
I’ve had so much fun sharing myself, my favorite ideas, old posts, planning tools, oracle card spreads, life design practices, even an old family recipe – and more – with you. I hope it hasn’t been annoying or boring for you – and if it was I certainly hope you just stayed away and enjoyed the things you enjoy! But if anything was of any help to you – that is the point for me and I’m very grateful to all of you who read my posts and let me know what you thought, or if you found one of help to you. Thank you!
Here are the last 9 posts in my 30 Days of Blogging Love Challenge:
Two Steps to a De-LIGHT-ful Week is about creating a better week for yourself when Monday seems like a very bad idea!
Prompts for Insightful Journaling is a re-post including a few of my favorite journaling prompts that I had actually forgotten about until I dug up this post again! I hope you find them full of insights too.
Grandma Crawford’s Oatmeal Bars with Browned Butter Frosting – a beloved old family recipe to share with you.
A Quick Paper Clearing Session – how to clear a file drawer quickly and without undue misery!
Goddess Friday with Playful Bast – this post is about choosing a Goddess to enlighten a fresh new month, as well as an oracle card spread to use for more information.
Beautiful Words from Beautiful Mary Oliver includes collages I made with excerpts from a few of her poems to celebrate her life.
What to do About Those Songs in Your Head is also a repost – and it’s all about a favorite insight tool of mine to use the songs that get stuck in your head to learn about what your Inner Self wants you to know.
Sacred Circle of Advisers (an oracle spread) this spread is super versatile and simple and offers you information for this moment, and guidance for going forward as well.
This is officially the last post – number 30. I’ll certainly be writing again, but probably not as often! Wishing you the very best and thanking you again!
Blessings and Spring (or Autumn) wishes to you!! And a Happy New Moon!
PS The comments aren’t currently turned on here at the TIG Blog, but you can always contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org , or you can direct message me on Instagram. I would love to hear from you!!!
Geraniums and Impatiens, by Cheryl
Today, I have another oracle spread I’d like to share with you.
This one I didn’t make up myself, I read about it in the book that accompanies The Goddess Oracle by Amy Sophia Marashinsky. (You’d think that was the only deck I have as much as I’ve talked about it and used it lately – but that would be untrue! So many decks and so many books – it’s a bit of a habit!!) I love this spread because it’s so versatile, and helpful in several ways too. And it’s simple – I DO like simple things! (Note: Amy may call this something else in her book – I am just sharing how I use it and what I call it.)
The Sacred Circle of Advisers spread is for accessing inner guides and finding assistance. You can use it for any life area, situation, relationship, topic, etc. that’s up for you right now. And you can call on from 1-12 helpers as desired. You can also use any oracle or tarot deck you have around. You may see your helpers as guides – someone like a goddess, an archangel, an ascended master, or an animal guide, etc,.and there are plenty of decks of this type to use for this approach. But I’ve had as much help from a tarot deck – I consider the cards as helping energies then. It’s all up to you and what you want and feel good about. Your choice may vary by the topic you are asking about, as well.
For example, I have an Advisory Circle for my business – the circle changes as my concerns and needs change (though I do find certain cards show up over and over – I love that!). I tend to use either The Goddess Oracle, Goddess Guidance Oracle cards (by Doreen Virtue), or The Keepers of the Light deck (by Kyle Gray) for this spread. For other questions or life areas my favorite guides are often animals and I have several amazing decks for that (Animal Allies by Jessica Swift, The Spirit Animal Oracle by Colette Baron-Reid, and Messages From Your Animal Spirit Guides by Steven Farmer). But again – use what you have – they’re all helpful! SO, let’s get to that spread, shall we?
Sacred Circle of Advisers Oracle Spread:
- Consider your question or area of concern. I like to write mine down.
- Choose a deck to use. Get comfortable, you can sit anywhere you like that feels good and you have a bit of a surface to shuffle and set cards down. If you like to write out your insights include paper and pen. For this spread the book suggests sitting on the floor and placing your adviser cards in a circle around you. That really is a nice touch! But not necessary. I think comfort is important too
- Now shuffle and choose your cards in whatever manner you prefer. You can just draw cards until you feel you have the right number of advisers – or you feel “done”; or you can determine the number of cards you want to choose before you draw cards. For a quick answer I often choose one adviser – that can become a very nice and close relationship then with that guide. For other concerns you want more input – for my business Circle I draw 6-7 cards. I want a broader base for that.
- Look at your helpers! Who has come to give you a hand? The cards/guides offer information for you right now about your question. What do they have to tell you? But they also can offer help over time just by considering their messages. For example, Eagle has shown up for me many times! She has certain messages for me at certain times. She may be telling me to take a larger view one day, and asking me to be open to opportunities on another day. You can continue to ask your guide what messages and help they have for you and call on them for clarity and insights.
Sacred Adviser Circle with the Animal Allies deck by Jessica Swift, (photo by Cheryl)
Above is my Circle for a big change I’m looking at making in my life. Lots of really fabulous helpers for me here and their advice is already guiding me to a better solution – and helping me feel a lot more clear. I hope you discover a Sacred Circle to help you too! Let me know how it goes at email@example.com ,or if you have any questions, drop me a line! It is always wonderful to hear from you!!
Note: I often share links to books or oracle cards, etc. – I am not an affiliate for anyone – these are just provided for your information.
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.
- 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.
Our wisest Self communicates with us on a regular basis – sometime She uses music and lyrics! I hope you find insights and delight from the music that plays in your head.
Lots of Love,
Note: This is a re-post from 2016 – I hope you enjoy it – this still one of my favorite insight tools of all time! 🙂
This year we lost an amazing voice in this world. I’m just so grateful we got to read (and can still read) her beautiful and true poetry. What a gift she has left for us. Here are a few quotes from the fabulous Mary Oliver.
Gluebook page by Cheryl, quote by Mary Oliver
(I’m sharing the quotes in gluebook style – I was lucky to be a part of an Instagram gluebook gathering the day she died and together we made pages about her words and shared our love for her. And you can join a gluebook party tonight on Instagram at 8pm Eastern – just search for @the.butterfly.artist, follow her, and then go to #margluebookparty19 – Fun!)
Gluebook page by Cheryl, quote by Mary Oliver
Gluebook page by Cheryl, quote by Mary Oliver
Gluebook page by Cheryl, quote by Mary Oliver
With love to you!