Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Power of Yes

How many times when we are presented with a new opportunity have we hesitated before saying yes?

In my own life, there have been many times in my life when someone suggested I try something new and different and saying yes to something out of the ordinary opened up a whole new world for me.

A situation many of us have faced is in pursuing career opportunities. Because of our experience may be in a certain field, we may be expecting our opportunities to follow a certain path. In the past, that was the normal, reasonable expectation. Today it may not be. A person may ask if we would like to do something we had not thought of, and thus, a whole new opportunity is opened.

Way back when I was in college, one of my teachers was the vice president of one of the largest public relations firms in Chicago asked me if I would like to be an intern at his firm. I declined, telling him that my goal was to be a reporter. When I reflect back on that now, I smile and think how different my life would have been had I said yes to that.

Then I look back on other opportunities that presented themselves when I was working at a corporation and they offered me an opportunity to move around the country and work for them in different cities. Then I said yes, and it changed my life forever to experience living in different places for years at a time, having different responsibilities, meeting lots of new people.

Some of the changes were not obvious, because you see, in each place I was transferred, I had no friends or relatives, or any other connection, just a job. So in one place, looking for something to do, I joined Sierra Club and found new friends by going hiking on frequent weekend excursions into the mountains. That connection lasted through two different regional moves.

In another city, I found myself on weekends with nothing to do an no connections outside of work, so I looked at the free entertainment news weeklies and started to go to art fairs and art galleries to mingle with new people and expose myself to new art.

Then on another weekend, I saw an ad for a psychic fair. I had never been to one of those before and had no idea what went on at one of those, so I went to see what it was about. I got readings from a couple of people, including a tarot reader and an astrologer and was quite amazed at what they had to say. And that prompted my interest and inspired me to investigate further. A whole new world just opened up to me.

Subsequently, as my career evolved, I went back to my earlier path and became a professional freelance writer, doing things like writing brochures, ads, fliers, annual reports, letters and press releases for companies. I even worked for a while writing those on hold messages for companies. You know, those prerecorded things you hear when you call a business and they put you on hold.

Then there came a time when I wanted to put a little variety in my writing, so I wrote and published a book of poetry in combination with an artist I met at one of those art fairs. So I did a ton of public readings and performances and sold my books at performances and had them on sale in stores. I freelanced articles for all kinds of magazines that focused on art, literature and music. And then one day, the artist suggested that there was a metaphysical newspaper that needed writers. So just for the pure variety of it, I went and met with the publisher. She told me that she did need writers but that there were no paid positions available, that all the writers were volunteer contributors. So I agreed to write one article a month for the paper for free. That was in addition to the freelance business writing jobs I was doing.

It was an eye opening experience. I said yes to every assignment she gave me. I was sent out to interview a wild variety of healers, artists, musicians, famous authors, all kinds of people. Most of them I never heard of before I was sent to write about them, so every subject started with a clean slate. Eventually, I was offered the position of editor for the paper and was given a small salary and a commission for selling ads. That person got cancer and so the business folded.

So I went back to focusing on business writing until another woman who was a customer of the previous publication called me and said that the community really needed a new publication because there were all these people doing things, but no publication was paying any attention to them. She asked me to help her start a new paper, and my first answer was no, because my business was supporting me and I saw no reason to do something different. But she kept coming back and asking me questions about how to publish a periodical because I knew how to do that and she didn't. So, for free, I wrote up reports for her and explained to her how to do it. Then she came back to me again and asked me to help her do this. Finally I said yes, and my life changed in a big way, as I transitioned from being a business writer to the full time editor of a monthly metaphysical magazine. I learned more and more about psychics, alternative healing techniques, alternative spiritual paths, environmental issues and all kinds of things along those lines.

As the editor, I got invited to a lot of workshops, concerts, presentations and author interviews. Our publication co-sponsored major metaphysical fairs and it was all a big success. But I decided after seven years that I wanted to do something different, so I got a job in a small mountain town at a retreat center. But that was too isolated a place for me. Even a trip to the grocery meant a drive up and down the mountain, and there was not even a neighborhood bar where you could go and relax and have some fun. The place was so small that even getting an internet connection was a sketchy thing. You could only get TV if you had a satellite dish and only a couple of radio stations were available. So after a few months, I decided that I really need to live in a more populous environment, and went back to the city.

Then I as offered another opportunity by another woman who had a newsletter that she wanted to turn into a magazine. So she hired me to do that. And I got that running and after a few years wanted to take time off of that to write books. The books never got published, but now I was on a different path. I got married and divorced for the second time and then moved to Colorado because I have two sisters who live out here.

I worked in corporate for a few more years and then struck out on my own to make my full time living doing readings and healings and teaching people who want to learn things I know.

So I did get to be a reporter after all, after a very long interval since college. If you had asked me years ago where I would be later in life, I never would have guessed living in Colorado making a full time living this way. Saying yes to unusual opportunities opened many doors for me and changed my life in ways I would not have imagined.

So there were times I said no to new ideas, but the times I said yes opened my life in extraordinary ways. Think about this next time someone offers you an unusual opportunity. There is a power in saying yes that can open your life to magnificent adventures and experiences that can enrich you beyond your wildest dreams. If I had not said yes, I would not be here now. I am glad that I am.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Spring Cleaning, Nurturing You

Spring cleaning is really about clearing out old energy to make way for new energy. So in your garden, we need to clear away debris and turn the soil before planting the seeds.

Spring cleaning in our selves means letting go of what no longer serves us including old thoughts that no longer serve us, relationships that no longer serve us, looking for work that suits us better, clearing old debts or making progress on them, old hobbies or activities we are no longer really interested in, and clearing all these so that they can be replaced by positive thinking, new goals, inspired actions and better relationships.

Spring cleaning of things in the house relates to all these goals.

When we look around our residence, it should be filled with things that fill one of two criteria. What surrounds us should have value because it is something we use or it should be something that is just so beautiful that it adds aesthetic value to our space, so that in essence, our space always serves to support us, nurtures us and helps us recharge our batteries.

As part of doing this, we need to get rid of mementos and things that have emotional energies that pull our energies down rather than lifting them up. This could be a picture of an old relationship that is clearly over, but it could also be that arts & crafts project that we bought supplies for and started a few years ago and never finished. One spring, I noticed that some old sporting gear I never used any more. Every time I looked at it, I would think "I used to be a good ball player but I can't do that any more. So I put the gear in a yard sale and sold it to one of the next few people coming by. 

Sometimes space can be refreshed by rearranging rooms, changing the flow of traffic and also making plenty of room for what we want to do next.

The extreme of course, is hoarding. I have seen some of these disasters first hand. Hoarders are afraid to let go of anything. Their lives are full of fear. Fear that they might need that stuff again sometime, although that never happens, so the house just gets congested, and the energy of the person and the place is congested.

So if we become more highly aware of who we are and what we want to do. That is why purging book and music collections can be much harder than other tasks. But as we go through phases in life, art one time we read a lot of one type of literature, then moved on to another. So keeping only what resonates most strongly with us, helps us focus and move forward. It also leaves room for new knowledge to come in.

Think of this whole process as giving you a fresh start. New energies, new ideas, new actions, devoting more time to what we feel is most important.

See yourself as a garden where some things get pruned, some get pulled out and some bloom and bring us great joy, strength and many healthy gifts. So maybe old thoughts & things you took out left room for a new focus of energy, and maybe giving more time to something we only did a little of lately. Now that area can grow, just like plants with room to expand. We are constantly adjusting and evolving, and now we ask ourselves the important questions. What do I want more of in my life? And what do I want less of in my life? And then the answers to those two simple questions reorients our schedules and activities to reflect these realizations.

The seeds we plant now bring more beauty into our near future. Today's garden started out as a dream, either ours or nature's.

I can help you with any of these tasks, what ever you want to let go of and what you want to bring in, it is a good time to tackle this seasonal challenge. Readings? Reiki? House Blessing? Aesthetic questions? Soulful questions? Help you with decluttering? Help you refocus your energies on your current goals?

Go ahead, ask me.