Friday, August 30, 2013

Listening to SARK and having my own personal AHA! moment.

Do you know who SARK is?

If you don't that's OK, because I didn't either until I took Andrea Scher's online class called MONDO BEYONDO. In that class, I listened to a conversation with SARK (Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy), and this one phrase changed my thinking dramatically: "Dreams never stop. Dreams never end. Creative dreams never go away."

Anyways, months have passed since then, when I received an email saying: "Join SARK here to awaken and achieve your personal power." How could I not resist?

So, for the past several days I've been listening to the three videos she has up and several things have really spoken to me that I will share with you because as SARK says we shouldn't keep them to ourselves.

In session one she shared this poem:

You are inspiring!
Our creative dreams love inspiration!
And I want to share how inspiring you are to me!

You are inspiring to me especially when you're stuck, hiding, or quitting.
We need all the parts of us in our creative dreaming;
Not just the fun, easy parts.

Willingness is the ability to move without proof.
Willingness is the cupcake maker for yet another FUNdraiser.
Our creative dreams thrive upon applied willingness.

What are you really willing to be or do for your creative dreams?

After that, she asked her listeners to fill in the following:

I will use my creative dream courage to:


I am inspiring because I:


I am willing to:


The nice thing about doing these exercises over and over again is that you are actively connecting to your inner wise self. The answers can and will change every time you do this exercise. There are no right or wrong answers. Just be your loving self.

Then the next challenge is to write a love note from your inner wise self; as it is endless, eternal, and always there for you - just the way you are. Again you can write this many times over and it will always be different.

However, it was session two that made me have my own personal AHA! moment. In this one SARK talks about INNER CRITICS! This is something I have been battling for years, so to hear her say it so openly confirmed a lot of thoughts that I've been having lately, and let me know that I am not alone.

So, there are five categories that these voices fit into and they are:

  • Pusher or Over Achiever
This aspect pushes you to do more of anything. More is always the key and you're always behind or not producing as much as what you expected or hoped.

  • Perfectionist
Everything is constantly being polished and assessed for being better or needing to be better. Nothing is ever good enough or quite good enough to share or show anyone! 

To be honest, this is a HUGE one for me. I'm slowly overcoming it by entering writing contests and maintaining this blog.

  • The Comparer
Everyone else's activities, writings, outputs, processes, or successes are better than yours. Every comparison you do, finds you lacking in some way, often in excruciating detail.

  • Procrastinator
If you complete anything: writing or any other creative project, it can and will be judged! So, it's better to not start or to start later. Later, rarely, if ever, arrives. Rehearsing and planning incessantly, thinking without even moving are the trade marks of this one.

Yes! this is me as well. I fear rejection or bad words regarding my creative projects,  but I know I can overcome this by showing up and doing a just a little bit each and every day until it snowballs into joy and awesomeness. I will never give up.

  • Hopeless
What's the point?
Why begin at all?
Who would ever buy it, read it, or do it?
I tried before and failed.
Nothing will ever work.
It's all hopeless.

I know everyone has this voice.

So what can I do to get my inner critics to become my allies?

The answer is easy: redirect them and give them new assignments. For this you will use your imagination and come up with the perfect job description for each one. For example my perfectionist is a great manager. She manages a group of bankers and makes sure their spreadsheets are accurate each and every day. Another example is that my hopelessness has becomes a nun.

I also physically chop the air and say no to my inner critics when they arrive. For example while I'm writing this blog, I keep hearing "Nobody cares about this." So, I take a deep breath, karate chop the air with my hand and say: "No, you're not going to get me today." I know it sounds weird, but it really works. The more I do this, the less these pesky voices have infiltrated.

Remember your inner wise self ALWAYS knows what you need.

The part about the inner critic has also helped me navigate through these voices and into more joyous moments in my life, as well as my writings, and creative projects. I hope these fun exercises can help you unleash your creative potential, if it's something you feel passionate about as well.

In conclusion, SARK has been an unforeseen beacon of light that has called out to my creative soul. I look forward to hearing more from her in the future for sure.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

A Series Of Very Strange Events

It was a gray and rainy day when I left the comforts of my home office and walked to Sign Express in Oak Park to pick up my new business cards, which look very professional by the way:

When I passed not one, nor two, but three funerals back to back from three different funeral homes - all moving down Roosevelt Road - one behind the other. All I could do was stand in the rain under my purple umbrella, bless myself as each one went by, and say out loud, "I'm sorry for your loss," as each car drove past.

I know this is spirit giving me a message, but I'm not sure what it is exactly. So, I looked up the word 'funeral' in a dream book I have just to see if it would provide any insight and it said that funerals can mean transformation, and I'm definitely going through a personal transformation this year, so I'd like to think this is what it means. I'd also like to think it means that life is too short, so why not do something you love everyday?

Anyways, after I finally made it across Roosevelt Road, I looked down and saw a penny. I picked it up and put it in my pocket. Now I KNOW this was a sign from all my loved ones who have passed before me saying, "We're with you," which to me is a very nice and comforting sign, I must admit, especially after the weird occurrences I experienced that afternoon.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

What We Missed At Lollapalooza

This past weekend was Lollapalooza in downtown Chicago. Both Dave and I toyed with the idea of getting tickets to see Friday's line up, as we're HUGE fans of Nine Inch Nails (which will be lovingly referred to as NIN from here on out). However, at the last minute we decided not to because the money we would of spent on tickets would benefit us more if we put it towards more house repairs - we're in the midst of getting our basement de-molded, finding the cracks, repairing, and remodeling; a huge undertaking that has taken up almost all of our summer and will probably go into the fall.

Luckily for us, we didn't have to stand in a mud pit (as it rained that day), we didn't have to be part of the large crowd, nor pay an astronomical amount of money to see it live. The whole set can now be seen from the comfort of your home here. I'm watching it on my iPad while I type it and it's just fantastic! The resolution is amazing and the sound quality is outstanding. For reasons like this I absolutely love technology.

Of course I'd LOVE to see NIN live with my own eyes in a smaller setting, but if this is the closest I can get to the real deal for the time being, I will take it since Trent Reznor and his band mates still have it after all these years! I'm proud to say NIN has been and always will be my favorite band.