“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 firstname.lastname@example.org . 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.
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! 🙂
Maple Leaf Viburnum, by Cheryl
Today we’re knuckling down and clearing out some files….Trust me the pain doesn’t last long and then you feel soooo good!
Here is how I quickly (because some tasks should be quick) clear a file drawer
First I choose one file drawer or area (it could be a bin or box, etc.) – JUST ONE. This is key.
Next I assemble my supplies:
- Music (This is the most important thing on this list – good tunes.)
- A refreshing beverage. (If it’s alcoholic, I’m not judging!)
- A paper shredder
- Recycling bin or bag
- Trash bin or bag
- A pen
- File folder labels to re-label all of those file folders you liberate
- A snack (This supposed to be quick so you shouldn’t really need one, but why not??)
Well, actually, first I like to have a goal for this clearing out session – it helps me when I’m not sure what to do with something. Otherwise, I can get lost in “but what if…” land. My goal today was to clear all of the old papers and files from one file drawer. And by old I mean anything at all that I don’t need anymore. That could be files for companies I no longer work with, health files that no longer have relevance, information I saved but have never looked at again, even old tax returns (if they are past the 7-10 year window). You can find guidelines online for how long to keep certain types of documents (just Google it – here’s one now.)
OK, now we can start!! Go through each file quickly assessing anything that you want to or need to keep. Put the keepers back in the file cabinet. There will be things you don’t need or want to keep, as well – things you no longer need to carry around with you. My test for this is: Do I need it now? Will I need it in the future? Is it important to me? File the papers that don’t pass the test in a “to shred”, “to recycle” or “trash” pile. I shred anything that has my name and address on it (and, of course, any other sensitive information). When you have questions refer back to your goal. Keep going until you’ve gone through the entire drawer, (naturally while taking frequent sips and dancing a bit to “Rockin’ Robin”), Shred the papers in the shred pile (this is my favorite part!) And then STOP and celebrate!! You’re done!
Easy right? Well, it can be, but also you’re bound to come across things that remind you of times – good and bad. And that can be a bit emotional. The insurance company that treated you badly – yep – you get to shred the heck outta them. Today, I finally got rid of the file with all of the information on the many health problems of my dear kitty friend Mulligan, who died a few years ago. Going through that was a trip through time and while it made me sad, mostly I’m happy we had so much time with him. I shredded old diagnoses that no longer belong to me (yahoo!), and insurance files for houses I no longer live in. All quite cathartic. I now have about 20 “new” file folders too! And a lot more space in my file cabinet – and in my life.
If you have a clear out I’d LOVE to hear about it! Contact me with questions too – just drop me a line at email@example.com. I also have custom program called The Makeover that offers lots of help for more in-depth clearing and redesigning projects.
I hope your day is full of space for new adventures as we head into March!!
Love to you,
Purple and Orange Pansies, by Cheryl
I love to journal…
To write, and just let the pen and the page accept my thoughts and feelings – it’s a beautiful thing! But there are times when a bit of a nudge will allow me to access insights I don’t get to when I’m free writing. For this I like to use prompts or mini-scripts to help. I’ve answered each of the below prompts in numerous ways, just allowing my intuition to speak out. The results are pretty amazing! Things I didn’t consciously know I wanted to address, or things I really wanted to do but had been ignoring will show up. Or I might discover how I truly, deeply, honestly feel about something, but have been suppressing. Helpful insights that bring new ideas and plenty of “ah-hah’s!”
Here are a few prompts I made up (and especially like) that you might like to try too. Set aside a bit of time, grab a pen, your journal or a sheet of paper, and just write what comes up. Naturally, all answers are correct! Write as much as you want – involve your senses and imagination. Choose just one prompt or several. One word answers are just fine, but won’t give you as much insight as longer ones. I also like to set the scene with a delicious beverage, a cozy chair, and a quiet space.
- I thrill to the sound (scent, touch, sight, taste) of ___________.
- While I was sleeping last night I learned________________.
- Home is where I______________.
- ________________ feels so fresh and delicious to me right now!
- My perfect health is supported by_________________.
- Today I really love__________________and I feel it (how, where, why)_________________________.
- My perfect path for… _________ (you can be specific here if you want) appeared today! It looks like___________. It feels like___________. It tastes like_________. It sounds like_________. It smells like___________.
- I realize it’s time to ____________, because now I know______________, and I can express this desire in my life by ______________.
- I recall that time _________________ (something you want to have happen, written as if it has happened). I was just so scared, but I tried anyway because I ________________. And it was perfect, a dream come true for me because _________________ (why what happened is/was so amazing for you, and how). And now I’m so grateful, and also proud of myself!
My answers might appear completely random at first! But with a little stepping back I can see what it means to me. Some responses may even seem metaphorical instead of an obvious and logical answer. But your intuition can frequently show up in signs and symbols, so that make sense really. Play around a bit with the answers if this occurs and see what is there for you to learn. Other times the insights are as clear as a bell – and just as attention getting! When you’re done you’ll likely have new information about yourself, your wishes, and dreams, and needs; or perhaps you’ll find reinforcement for taking those steps towards something you’ve really been wanting to try.
I often follow this practice up with some type of action. When I answered “My perfect health is supported by rest” I knew that I have been pushing too hard and it’s time to, you know, rest! No matter how many amazing ideas I have for things to create, or ways to help, or cleaning and painting projects I want to tackle right now – my best health is supported by rest at this time. I sincerely hope you find these prompts are of help to you too, and that you discover the insights that are waiting for you.
Love to you!
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!!!
Narcissus Blooms, by Cheryl
As I begin the week I like to take an intuitive “look out”.
I imagine myself on a big hill looking out over the landscape that is my week to come as I see it from here. I often see sparkles, gatherings of images, bright light and shadows. I see life.
Today when I looked it was pretty much just a grey, dim and sad view. Some weeks are like that. This is when I know I need a break! And a shift – of thinking, of timing, of doing. A break will allow the shift to happen and the shift helps me enjoy a break! And all of that will bring light to my week that I can’t see right now for the dimness. When we focus on a day, or an hour, or a week we look at what needs to be started, accomplished, done, etc. We make a list, plan, schedule it, take steps, be diligent. Be responsible. And that’s just fine when we’re feeling rested, enthused, and in charge. But then we aren’t actually here to do JUST “work”, are we?
We’re also here to love ourselves and others, to enjoy our bodies, to play and create, to explore new ideas and pleasures. We are here to LIVE. But often only one part of living makes it onto our to-do list – the part where we “work”. There’s nothing wrong with work, but there is something exhausting and diminishing about a life that’s heavily focused in just one life area. Then instead of responsibility being an honor and delight, it becomes a misery, a shackle, an anchor. So here is what I’m going to try this week – and if you’re feeling a bit mashed and tied down you might want to try it too!
Two Steps to a Better Week:
Step 1: Find the Time to Rest
This may mean setting things aside. And that’s good! When you’re feeling all washed out and grey it’s not the best time to tackle that big project any way. Rest is so important when things look dark. It allows you to feel your emotions and honor them, to let them flow as they’re created to. It allows you to untangle thoughts, gain perspective, let those shoulders drop, set the burdens down. You know – to REST!
How will I rest, you may ask…and I say in any way that works for you. I like a nice nap, or a walk among the trees, or by water. A coffee shop visit with just my favorite magazine to accompany me is always good, or creating a collage. You may like a day on the lake, a nap on the beach, to write, to go to a dance class, to bake, or to play a game of basketball with friends. We may both want to do absolutely nothing at all. (Yea!) Whatever it is – squish it in! You know you can if you see it as a priority. Most of the above can be done in less than an hour. And isn’t this at least as important as cleaning out the fridge, or going to that meeting (the one you know you can move to next week…)? Your health, and outlook, and your very life depend on how you care for them.
Step 2: See Things in a Different Light
Those things you decide to do anyway this week, and those you really cannot put off – can you see them in a different way? I know I make things in my life a burden just by how I see them. Heck! That’s the easy part! But I can also make them a pleasure. It’s all about how I choose to see and approach them.
For example, I have a tax appointment this week. That could be stressful! But I can see it another way too. Honestly, it’s an area where I don’t feel very capable or safe – but what if I am quite capable of being prepared (actually, I am mostly prepared…), or of being prosperous (certainly prosperous enough to pay taxes…); or capable of being joyful, of being safe? What if I have faith in my very capable tax accountant? I can even be happy I’m being so responsible! I really have lots of options.
I can definitely choose stress for each task and project I have on my list this week, or I can choose something else. Thoughts aren’t facts. I’m not even sure facts are facts when we can give each one such a slant. I can see the spaces in my schedule this week instead of focusing on the blocked out areas. Then I can also choose to see the opportunities available to me in each blocked off space. I can see it all as play, and none of it as work. I can let something go and choose not to do it at all. Ever.
We often see ourselves as stuck, but the truth is that the only thing that sticks us in a place is our choices. We may still choose to be “stuck”, but we can also see that we are choosing it – and why. That really makes such a difference!
This week I choose to light up my week with rest, and revitalized tasks, and joyful responsibilities! When I look out over the week now I see lots of sparkles! And that’s how I like it.
To a sparkly week!!
Lots of Love to You,
PS And if you’d like some help with those grey times, in finding time for rest, or in seeing things in a new way I have openings in my schedule for life coaching clients. You can find out more right here. I’d love to help. <3
Each morning (OK, most mornings…) I ask myself this question:
“Dear Higher Self, how do you want me to show up today?”
Then I get quiet and listen. Spirit never lets me down, and it’s always just what I need to know for a great day. Today I woke up decidedly flat, and slow, and lacking in luster. So, when I sat down with my journal and asked my daily question I was pretty surprised to hear the word “vim”. My Higher Self would like me to show up with VIM! I had to laugh at first, and then I asked Her if She was sure. Yes, indeed, show up with vim.
I’m not sure about you, but this isn’t a word I regularly use. I know it hangs out a lot with the word vigor. I like how short and decisive it is. I had a good sense of what it meant, but of course I needed to look it up. Do you do that, look up words? I love to look them up, read the definition and then look at the synonyms. And just like that, I fell in love with the word “vim”. It means energy and enthusiasm, but what really got me were the delicious synonyms – what amazing words we have made! Words like zest, brio, punch, moxie, pep, ginger, esprit, juice, gusto, oomph, zing, and verve. Wow!! I find I’m feeling better already! Ironically, the antonyms of vim were exactly how I felt when I woke up: lethargy, listlessness, torpidity.
What a difference a word makes – really!! In A Course in Miracles it says that words are symbols of symbols. So, they’re basically a couple of steps from the truth of something. And yet, they definitely have the energy of the things they represent. They’re guideposts to the realization of some inner truth. At least that’s my take on it. I think we learn the word, or hear it, or think it, and then we can feel it. And after we feel it we can be it. And I believe that all of this is ruled by choice. Our choices. Today I woke up one way (torpidity anyone??). That was a choice even though it didn’t seem like one. And then I heard a new word, I looked it up, I thought about it, I felt it, and I was given another option. A choice.
Well, I choose VIM! I love how these things work – I mean they’re like magic! I went from listlessness to gusto. It’s possible that some days listlessness is, perhaps, the better choice. I may need to rest, to check out, to not make lists! But my Higher Self knew that today I have another energy to experience. I’m really glad I asked, and listened!
Today I show up with Vim! How will you show up today?
NOTE: This is a re-post – I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as enjoyed re-reading it 🙂