Letting go of what you think life should look like

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For years, I leaned forward into a life I never arrived at.

I was preoccupied with everything I thought would make me happy and that would eventually make my life mean something important – like a successful career, financial security, overseas holidays, a home, a husband and family.

Then one day, during a prolonged period of extreme unhappiness, I quit.

I left a long-term relationship that I had over-stayed.

I quit my job without another job to go to.

Eventually I packed up my belongings to travel and be free for a while.

Unshackled from routine and my never-ending planning and doing, I found myself in wonder at this life and what it truly means to be alive.

Free of ties and blindfolds, free of commitment and expectation, I sank into the invitation to move the way my spirit moved me instead of the way I thought I should move through my life.

I began to see the magic all around:
in the blossoming of flowers,
in the setting of the sun,
in the kind and gentle touch of a lover,
in the sting of being misunderstood,
in the flow of following my intuition and the surprising terrain it guided me through.

I let go of what I thought life should look like and how it should unfold by becoming open and free and willing to see what could be possible.

I became a blank canvas for the universe to write on and through.

I began to experience the rapture of living in the aliveness that is only available now and cannot be deferred or chased.

Your life might not look like mine. You may not be called to the same adventure, to quit a job, to leave a relationship, to travel or to change careers. But there will be times during your life that you will be called to adventure in your own unique way.

You may resist or deny the call. Making life changes can be thrilling for some but scary for others. Resisting that step for too long can lead to pain and suffering or even a dulling of vitality or complete loss of joy.

My wish for you is that you don’t stay stuck in the resistance for too long.

May you gather your courage and your allies and supporters who really want the best for you and can hold space for your change.

May you find your way to let go of whatever may be holding your back, or find the energy of your tipping point to move you forward.

There is no formula for letting go and moving forward and it’s usually never as simple as just letting go as some people may tell you, although they may mean well.

There can also be a lot to learn from our resistance if we unpack and explore it, but staying stuck for too long can be unnecessary and unhelpful.

If you find yourself stuck and need some support to help you move forward, send me an email to kym@kymwilson.com.au. I’m here and ready to help.

With love and courage,

Kym xx

Why you should slow down and take your time

Sometimes it seems this world is in such a rush to get somewhere and especially to cram as much as possible into the short time we have to live this human incarnation.

But doesn’t rushing feel like skating on the surface?

And doesn’t cramming it all in feel confining and stifling and like there’s no space for joy to wrap around the experience?

In our efforts to realise our dreams, we skip over uncertainty, and we don’t mine the gifts of our procrastination, fears, avoidant tendencies and other blocks.

I’m a proponent of slowing down and taking your time.

In my work place, I see time and time again how too much focus on getting the job done often in a rush and not enough focus on the unfolding journey called process causes errors, sub-standard work and re-works making the journey take twice as long and a whole heap of frustration and lost goodwill. A lot of business studies have shown that slowing down is the way to speed up.

As a scuba diver, swimming too fast has two implications:
The first is that you will suck your tank dry of air quickly and your dive time will be greatly reduced;
The second is that you won’t see all the camouflaged, hidden and tiny creatures as you swim right past them. You might see more of a big site but really you will see less.

As a pilgrim (or hiker or every day walker), walking through the world brings you into direct contact with the world around you, the ground, the sky, the weather, the sounds, the smells, the textures, the small and hidden details, in a way you can’t experience it in a bus or train or car.

As a meditator, your experience of life slows right down to this moment, this breath, this inhale then exhale, the thoughts floating through like passing clouds and all the sensations that are here to be noticed and felt fully.

There’s a time to leap and jump and swing through life, and there’s a time to bust through your procrastination and other blocks that hold you back, but mostly I think we need to slow down.

The fullness of life is not in how much we do or how far we go or how much we achieve but in how deeply we experience and treasure each moment that it presents, even the ones we want to bypass or reject.

With love and courage,

Kym xx

What do do when you don't know what to do

There will be times on the journey when you lose your way, lose your vision, become directionless, disoriented, confused and you don’t know what to do, who or where to turn to.

Don’t panic.

Don’t rush to take the first step that comes to mind to get you out of your experience and away from where you don’t want to be unless the house is on fire or you are in some other kind of immediate danger.

You don’t have to scramble to retrace your steps to find out where you went wrong to end up in this place for nothing is wrong despite what you may think.

Instead, take a deep breath and rest exactly where you are.

Melt into this place of stuckness, confusion, unknowing, uncertainty and visionlessness, deeper and deeper with each breath you exhale.

Another breath will come without you having to do a thing.
You are alive and life is supporting you exactly where you are.

The discomfort you feel isn’t a sign that anything is wrong nor is it something you have to escape or even figure out.

The flow that you may have had and lost doesn’t need to be rediscovered right this very moment.

Slowly you will adjust to what at first felt uncomfortable and made you want to scramble to find your way again.

You will find that you can look around at where you are now with curiousity, love and compassion; the fog will lift, the mountain may dissolve.

You can listen more intently and hear more clearly what is arising from within you.

You will discover that you are standing on sacred ground, that being stopped in your tracks or the way forward disappearing beneath your feet came to serve a sacred purpose: a time for rest, renewal, reconnection or redirection.

This sacred pit stop may help you strengthen and recommit to your vision or allow a new one to arise along with a new path to walk. Or may be you discover that you really did take a wrong turn and you can retrace your steps to that point and continue on, but not before opening the gifts of your wrong turn.

Don’t jump ahead and miss this step.  

Don’t be in a rush to carry on and arrive.

If you were really meant to be there already, you would be there.
If you were meant to know what to do, you would already know.

The fruits are always in the journey not the destination.

Slow down and just be here where you are, with your palms open in gratitude and receptiveness for the knowing to arrive in its own divine time and way.

The secret to blooming

Photo by Leanna Cushman

Photo by Leanna Cushman

 

Soft, gentle blooming —

every flower blossoms

and surrenders its petals

in its own time

and its own unique way.

No pushing, no striving,

just the creative force of life

moving through you

like a river, ever onwards.

Humans industrialised the world, 

yet nature is wiser than we.

The hardest thing to do is

to step away from a way of life

you may have chosen or inherited or fallen into,

to trust and live the life

that wants to unfold through you.

But it can be done

when you trust in you

and the ever evolving wisdom

that emerges through your own intuition.

With love and courage,

kym2 copy.png
 

PS Rest is an essential part of nature’s creative process. I’m on holidays for the next two weeks. I’ll be back on the 24th June.

Before you dismiss that crazy idea you have, read this…

Photo by Austin Chan

Photo by Austin Chan

Some 15 years ago when I was committed to my career and worked as an executive manager in a listed financial services company, I suddenly started feeling the urge to paint (as in art not house walls or fences.)

It was easy to dismiss at first as a “crazy” idea. I wasn’t great at art in high school. I got a C-grade in the last ever art class I took in year 8. That made it go away for a while.

But it came back, like a little kid tugging at my pant legs trying to get my attention.

Go away, I told it annoyed that it was there again.

I’m not an artist. I’m not good at art

And that made it go quiet for a while.

But it came back again and again and kept nagging at me no matter how many times I tried to dismiss it until it became pretty insistent.

So I became curious about this urge to paint and inquired within myself. Why was this urge here? What did it want of me? What did it want me to know?

I discovered that I didn’t want to learn the techniques of painting but that I wanted to explore with paint and have fun with it. Although I didn’t really understand why I had the urge to paint I stayed open to the idea.

Eventually I found an intuitive painting workshop just down the road from me. My inner painting urge (aka my inner child) was pretty excited about the idea of this workshop, jumping up and down with glee. Although I felt a bit scared and nervous, I signed up and went.

It was subtly life changing.

The intuitive painting course reintroduced meditation back into my life as each session started with a gentle breath meditation that I loved. It was calming, loving and kind.
I rediscovered my creativity. I had actually always been a crafty child.
I remembered how to have fun again.
I learned to risk making mistakes and that any mistake I made in a painting just helped the painting to evolve in a different way.
Most importantly, I reconnected with my intuition that had gone AWOL for a while as I had overridden and ignored it so many times with my fearful and rationalising mind.

Just like we can override and dismiss our inner callings, we can also override, ignore, dismiss or rationalise the unexpected opportunities that life presents us.

Here is a short excerpt from my book, The Path We Make: a journey of the heart on the Via Francigena—in fact it is the opening paragraph of the book.

 

“Oh no! I’m not interested in walking that far. Ever!”

That was my response several years ago when my employer asked me to join a team that would walk 50 kilometres to raise money for the Leprosy Mission. I can’t help but laugh kindly at that younger version of myself who scoffed at the idea and was adamant that she would never walk that far. I don’t believe everything in our lives is predetermined, but there are some things that life wants us to experience. If at first we turn our backs on those things or head in a different direction, life has a miraculous way of finding an alternative way in or choosing another way to speak to us so that we hear and understand. It calls us forward again and again to come down the path it wants us to follow, until finally we say yes and take those steps.

Sometimes our callings will come in the form of inner urgings, curiosities, recurring thoughts and ideas. Sometimes they will come as opportunities, invitations, signs and coincidences from the world around us.

Often we will push them away, ignore or dismiss them and/or rationalise why we shouldn’t pay attention to them because they are foreign to the life that we know and are currently living and we aren’t yet ready to accept them into our field of possibilities.

Sometimes they scare us and we might not even recognise we are scared.

Often they will keep coming back—especially the ones that really want our care and focus.

When something flirts with you or you become aware of some recurring theme, sign, thought, urge or other pattern in your life— pay attention and get curious. At first they may seem irrational, crazy, foreign, silly, out-there, nonsensical or irrelevant, but you also don’t know what rich gifts they have for you or where they may lead you.

I’d love to hear your stories about what has called to you that you have dismissed until you finally had to listen and say yes.

Leave a comment below or send me a private message. And if ever you want some support to explore what is calling you, I’m here. Just reach out.

Autumn blessings

Image by Timothy Eberly

Image by Timothy Eberly

 

Blessed Autumn,
you break open my heart
with your brazen beauty.

You ripple across this land
in shades of red, orange, 
amber, yellow and tan
until you fade
into the darkness 
of winter’s waiting arms.

You offer your bounty,
and I drink it all in
until I am satiated in bliss.

I could die right now
and feel content with my life.

Absorbed in the fullness
of this moment 
I know nothing I’ve strived for
truly matters, 
but everything I’ve surrendered to
has been richer in meaning
then anything earned.

Swallow me whole
and if you must spit me out
transform me into the golden light
of the end of days.

Witnessed by many or none
it does not matter,
my purpose will still be complete.

When your calling is scary and 3 tips to help you over come your resistance so you can just start

Photo by Ian Schneider.

Photo by Ian Schneider.

Today I have everything and nothing to say. So much has unfolded in my life in the last week.  There are so many things I could write about: the secret tricks of resistance, the gifts of cleaning up my act, the intelligence of the body, the unexpected joy of following a green mono-diet for the last week that was not hard at all contrary to what my mind had to say before I started.

My mind has been flipping between all the options I could write about, not sure which one to choose. So I decided to just start writing and see what emerges.

Sometimes you just have to start and see where you end up.

 The path isn’t linear or set in stone.

All roads lead to Rome. Although in years gone by, pilgrims may have walked the same route to Rome for safety and to access amenities, which is why it became the preferred pilgrimage route in the first place. There are in fact innumerable routes to Rome depending on which way you personally choose to walk. Your path is yours and yours alone. Don’t walk someone else’s (unless you feel called by your soul to do so.)

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I didn’t know I was going to write all that. It just came out as I was typing. See. This is this joy of turning up to a blank page to see what wants to emerge and be expressed.

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Sometimes we think we have to know where we’re going or how to do something or how it’s going to turn out before we start but the truth is we don’t really know until we start.  

So just start with a small step or if a small step is too much just a small movement or gesture.
Find your way.

On the weekend I bought and almost completely devoured Stephen Pressfield’s latest book, The Artist's Journey: The Wake of the Hero's Journey and the Lifelong Pursuit of Meaning upon the recommendation of my women’s circle leader, Grace Funk of Priestess Your Life, who described it asa game-changer.”

 Similar to Grace, I have spent most of my life exploring why am I here? What are my gifts? And in recent years, what is my subject? What is the underlying theme of my writing? Who am I here to serve?

 I realise as I was reading that my writing has dwindled away (again). The poetry has stopped. My instagram posts have a sentence or two at most. Sometimes I journal. I write my weekly blog post…so that’s something.  But overall, I have been writing very little.

I don’t feel inspired.
I have nothing to say.
I have to focus on finalising and marketing my book.
I’m too tired.
I don’t know what I want to write about yet.
I’m not clear on the subject yet.

These are some of my most common reasons…I mean excuses…I tell myself that stop me from writing.

Yes…they stop me from writing which because I tell myself means I stop myself from writing.

 Guess what’s really at play here?

 Resistance. I’d write it in invisible ink if I could because that’s how it often shows up in my life.

Stephen explains that writing or creating requires that we go from Level #1 - our everyday reality into what he calls Level #2 -“that is the Unconscious, the Soul, the Self, the Super-conscious.” You might also think of it as the Universe or unlimited creative field.

 “Resistance is a min-Refusal of the Call” (to adventure, to create, to take a risk or specifically in my case to sit down to the blank page to write.)

 But why?

 It’s simple.

 “The Call is scary,” writes Stephen.

Resistance is “the terror the psyche experiences at the prospect of encountering the Self, i.e. the soul, the unconscious, the superconscious.” 

I’d also offer that the psyche experiences this terror when venturing into the unknown whether it be to go and walk a pilgrimage route on the other side of the world, quit your job without another one to go to, take on any challenge you’ve never done before where you risk failing or change your life in some way that the psyche fears may be irreversible.

Stephen says that the first skill the artist must learn is how to start.  However, he does not tell you how to start. This is something the artist must discover for herself.

 At the end of the day you must discover what works for you but I will share a few things that have worked for me:

1.    When I don’t know what to write about, I ask for inspiration

I discovered this early in my Via Francigena journey. I noticed that I had been receiving writing inspiration constantly as I was walking then one day there was nothing.  I heard nothing.

I asked the universe why I wasn’t receiving inspiration and a small quiet voice said I didn’t ask. So I asked and it soon came flooding in.

To ask is to open to receive.

2.    Grow your creative energy anyway you can

Dance, walk, cook, paint, draw, colour, write, sing, play, walk, take photos, make love, go to an art exhibition or a performance.

Do something that gets you out of your head, that is fun and makes you feel excited.

This weekend I got my easel and paint out for the first time in months and intuitively painted.  When I paint, sometimes I have an idea of what I’m going to paint but it usually changes as I paint, often completely such is the way the creative process works through me. I also “make mistakes” e.g. put paint on in a way that doesn’t match my expectations, but somehow I always find a way to cover it, change it, blend it, correct it, morph it into something new or accept it.

I loved my painting so much, I have called her Mary the Angel and framed her and hung her on the wall behind my desk to reflect back at me my own creativity as I work. I am now super excited to paint more. I even ordered a book on intuitive painting for inspiration and learning. This excitement is flowing over into my writing and other areas of my life.

Here’s Mary the Angel….

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Can you see the luminous lizard creature hanging around her head aura? Well that was unintentional (which you could call a mistake) but as one of the many things lizard symbolises is teaching us that there are untapped powers in us, I think it was divinely intended and created.

3.    Be curious

 High expectations are a killer. Take the pressure off yourself. You don’t have to create something perfect. You don’t have to get it right.

Just start with curiosity and see what emerges and where you end up. Maybe it will be a mess.  Maybe you will fail.

Or maybe it will inspire something else or another part of your life.

Maybe it will be truly amazing.

Maybe that’s the real fear here that your amazingness exceeds what you have previously known/thought about yourself.

You may still feel resistance. Fear may come up.

Just feel it and send it some love.

See if you can find the excitement in your body for creating, make it bigger and bigger in your body so that your excitement is greater than your fear. Your excitement will help you step over the edge again and again.

“The artist is not expressing himself. He is discovering himself.” - Stephen Pressfield

And isn’t that just it? We get focused on outcomes: achievements and progress and getting somewhere and making it some place. But the journey is about discovery and there’s so much to discover in this world, and especially within yourself in the short time we have here on this planet in this life.

I just started writing this blog unsure of my starting point or where I was going and it showed up as I wrote. This also happens to be the longest blog I have written in a long time, which could be good or bad depending on your attention span and/or personal preference [insert cheeky face emoji that doesn’t exist on my laptop keyboard so you’ll have to imagine it.]

In writing this, I have discovered more about myself, primarily that I’m actually quite clear on how to get myself out of resistance. I just needed to write it down to remind myself.

I’m also feeling the creative fire inside my heart burning even more brightly, a combination of writing this blog, creative cooking, and painting on the weekend that has triggered a whole heap of ideas for books and insights and clarity around what I’m here to teach in this lifetime.

 So what do you say? Want a make a commitment to yourself to just start? To have a go? To give it your best shot?

Your adventure, your art, your book, your poetry, your song, your dance, your [fill in the blank] is waiting to come through you.

I hope you’ll say yes.

With love and courage,

Kym

xx

PS If you need some help to overcome resistance, checkout how we can work together on my service page and/or send me an email to kym@kymwilson.com.au or through my contact page.