My friend Carylanne Willow Spirit recently surprised me with the gift of an oil painting she created. Titled “Envision,” it’s become a companion in my workspace.
I love the colors and movement. I appreciate its textures – peaks, valleys and a raised vortex that descends to flat canvas. Gazing at it, I sometimes see a bird. Or an angel. Or simply wings. Inscribed on the back:
intuitively guided ~ divine energy ~ vibrational healing ~ beauty ~ unconditional love for body, home, mind and spirit
Sign me up for that!
Accessing Inner Awareness
Maybe you, too, feel pulled right now between acceleration toward the end of the year and a yearning for silence, self-reflection and downtime. It’s the season. And too often, the busy-busy wins out. It’s easy to ignore the call for inner solitude.
I encourage you to resist that temptation, and carve out time for deep relaxation. Now, that’s different from “relaxing” by, oh, binge watching Homeland or going out to a movie or futzing around on Facebook. Deep relaxation is meditative. It’s true inner time.
If you’ve never tried a deep relaxation, give it a whirl with this podcast – guidelines included.
If meditation sounds too prescriptive for you – too “woo-woo” – think of it as a simple focusing exercise. Find a beautiful image such as a painting or photograph you really like. (I also love using a candle or fireplace.) Gaze upon it steadily until you feel your eyes just begin to tear up. Then close your eyes and hold the image in your mind’s eye until the image dissolves. Do the cycle again.
Meditation quiets the mind, the soul and the heart. Only from this space can we hear what calls to us on a deep level.
For many of us, this is a forgotten level of awareness. If we don’t take time to turn down the volume, we’re apt to miss the messages – subtle, sweet and profound – that our deepest selves offer up every day.
Are we happy? Are we as healthy as we desire? Do we enjoy the work we do? Can we be kinder and a little more patient? Do we need to set clearer boundaries? These are worthy questions year round, but especially meaningful at this time of year.
Your One Wild and Precious Life
Taking my cue from Carylanne’s painting, I invite you to “Envision” what 2015 might look like for you. What do you desire for yourself in the year ahead?
Imagine as many things as you can, and put them on paper. I like to do it as a vision map, putting the year in the middle and then drawing lines outward from the center, putting each of my dreams into a circle at the end of each spoke. You can put your dreams into this form – or any form that feels comfortable and right for you. Some people call it a “bucket list.”
I’ve done this practice for many years now, and it’s rewarding to reflect at the end of each year on how many things have manifest.
And remember: Keep it simple. Even if you have many dreams – a wonderful thing! – I recommend picking the top three you would most like to see transpire in the New Year. Make those your goals. Work toward them. If you suspect or know you won’t do it without support, recruit or even hire someone to help you. You’re worth it.
In the words of Mary Oliver,
Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?
No one else can do it but you.