Fun Ways to Minimize the Torture of Naming 2015’s Brilliant Plan

SAM_3274January is kind of a see saw at times. Looking back, looking ahead. Completing things, starting things. There is a desire to improve life, hence resolutions. But resolutions often fall by the wayside.

So, how can you go beyond that, and get a plan, a brilliant plan, for 2015? One that inspires you to actually keep working it through the year?

NAME THE BIG ROCKS

Have you heard the big rocks story? You’re in science class. You have a five gallon glass mason jar with a lid. Alongside you have say six or eight hand size rocks, a big bunch of pebbles, and a big fat pile of sand. Scientifically, this is all supposed to fit in the jar. Most would intuitively to fill the jar with the sand, then pebbles then big rocks. But this doesn’t work.

The secret to making this experiment work? Start with the big rocks. Then all the smaller rocks, pebbles and sand will fit around the big rocks. This is also true with life. If you name the big rocks – i.e., your big projects for the year, the most meaningful areas of life you wish to improve, create, or devote your attention (i.e., love) to, all the other pebbles and sands of life will just sidle in alongside them big rocks.

OTHERWISE, THE SAND AND PEBBLES BOG YOU DOWN

It’s often counter intuitive to name the big rocks and attend to them first thing. It’s easy to spend a lot of damn time playing with the sands and pebbles, e.g., the distractions or mundane bits of life. But when you make a special effort to wrestle your attention to taking care of the meaningful things first? Often the other pieces of life start to fall into place.

Naming and clarifying your soul mission can be challenging – it keeps evolving! There is a lot of noise and static that try to thwart you, and lots of planetary and personal history that discourages blatant naming of the dream. That’s OK – this torture is short lived. Let’s cover a few other things that can make this process fun, as well as more integrative of spirit and sand, of right and left brain, of the realistic and the imaginal.

HOW TO BEST NAME YOUR BRILLIANT PLAN for 2015

1) Review the last year for wins and suckiness (see last article for more on how to do this, and visit Soul Savvy’s Resources page for the End of Year Review page). Therein lie clues for what to change.

2) See if you can switch some areas you’ve mastered to auto pilot and a “foundations” zone. For example, finances this year for me won’t need too much time because of last year’s work. Now I have room for a new focus area in this year’s plan.

3) Don’t use your left brain/analytic mind alone. Include visualizations – where would you like to be ideally in 5 or 10 years? Meditate and center, and ask your guides/inner wisdom, or your right brain and creative side for symbols of possibilities. Ask before sleep for a dream to give you input. Pull some cards or divination apps. Then craft your focus from these zones. Example: Doing this ideal visualization, I saw a later life where creativity work loomed large. That inspired me to shift my creativity project in terms of priorities for the year.

4) Simplify your target or focus zones to three or six areas, and give them cool names that capture the essence of what you hope to gain through them. These can be called projects, but your name is better.

5) Make a weekly or monthly plan for your “foundations” zone, i.e., the auto pilot areas essential for your success. Scheme how to keep these happening. I know I need to balance my checkbook and check in with my spending plan weekly to keep the money peace foundation strong. Other foundations zone might include fitness, meditation or scheduling fun and social time.

6) Imagine you have one year to live, and 2015 is it. Scan your plan with this in mind to see if it still resonates. Life is short, though it can seem endless when you’re not on board with your soul serving purpose. When you are on board with the soul mission, life’s challenges get easier, as does your work.

Wishing you playfulness as you get your soul squeeze on for 2015!

Warmly,

Denise

How to Properly Exhale a Year ’round the Sun – Farewell 2014

January looms large as a cornerstone of the year, doesn’t it? There I was today, so proud of myself as I was pulling into the Rec Center for water aerobics. Then realized – I’d totally spaced my gym bag! I had to laugh as I turned the car for home. Well, just a little redirect I imagine, to get me penning this newsletter a bit sooner. And tonight I’ll just have to dance harder to make up for the lost swim. Let’s say already the universe is helping me out with my scheduling, eh?

Overly ambitious resolutions aside, why do we feel that pull to reflect on life with the turning of the year? Part of it may be passing through the sacred time of the year where the deep stillness of winter beckons. Stillness makes way for more truth. And as hard as it can be to get still, and come to grips with our joys and pains, it is always worthwhile to face the music. Usually not as bad as you fear. Doesn’t have to take forever either.

Other reasons for reviewing the year? If you don’t clear the past, sometimes it will keep repeating. Or, if there are areas you are really not happy with, it will likely take some focus and attention to change it. Also, you often don’t realize how far you’ve come. I know at times it’s like hair growing – you don’t notice it because you are so close to it. Yet, that shi* is growing friend, and so are you. It’s crucial, and a big abundance practice, to take time to notice progress, and celebrate it.

Especially if the year has had tough sections, as I experienced and hear from many, take a moment for noting, you have survived. Still curious and caring about your evolution and that of this world? Huge.

So here are a few steps for the big exhale of 2014, as you transition into 2015. Take some time to do this – take 30 minutes, or take an afternoon at the café. Reviewing and clearing the past is a crucial step to setting beauteous and accurate intentions for the coming year.

1) First, Review the Year

Speaking for myself, memory isn’t always flawless. To review a year, you can just look at your calendar for help remembering key events. This year I re-read my journal – thank goodness, that is not a daily practice yet! Enlightening, to say the least.

Sometimes you want more structure – for that desire, see this link for a Completion form. Or you can set up a few questions for yourself beforehand. What were your biggest accomplishments of the year? Biggest regrets? Biggest service? What did you learn from each of these? What would you like to be your biggest accomplishment of 2015? Etc.

I’ve done whole life reviews as part of death and dying training and regrets work, so one little year can seem relatively simple. Still it is big work. As you review the year, noting struggles as well as big shifts, ask the question, how will these insights and lessons learned serve me in 2015?

Example: Rereading my journal made me aware how much time I spend in distraction. There are the basic life areas, like fitness, health, food, completing my daily spiritual practice, etc. Then there are the doubts, fears and procrastinations about what really matters. Ugh! Sometimes I can’t believe the things I still struggle with! Perhaps they’re just old friends at this point. Yet, the progress feels huge too.

The answer for me, re: question, how will this serve me next year? I am already entering this year much clearer and stronger than last; I can see that. I want to keep that platform for the basic self-nourishment strong this year. For me that means making time for the spiritual practice and health practices of fitness and healthy eating – getting that to automatic. Just do it. Make the weekly plan, get up early as needed for playful prayer time, whatever. Get this done, so I can then move to the important things.

2) Clear any Regrets

You often find some level of regrets with a year review. Coming to grips with these is important. Key steps include a) realizing you were a different you at that time, and made your best guess based on all of that. You can also b) make any amends or apologies, changing anything that needs to be changed so you don’t repeat this. And finally, c) forgiveness – of yourself and others, so you can start fresh. For more assistance with this work, try the great book, No Regrets, by Hamilton Beazley.

3) Finish the Outstanding Thingies that Still Need Doing

There may be other things that occur to you to clear the year, and to celebrate it. Don’t worry, you have time to do this. I still have some healing packages to get to loved ones that predate the holidays – those will finally go out this week. What do you need to do, so you can be ready to bless and bid farewell to 2014? Clear the decks as best you can. Doesn’t have to be to the Nth degree, or I know I’d be at it all year!

So then, just review and clear the year enough so you’ll be ready to full-body breathe in the amazing year that will be 2015. Let’s get ready. There is time; you can create sacred time for this. Whatever you can do, just make it work for you in this important crossroad.

AND EXHALE!!
So whatever you can do to exhale this hairy year, do it. When you’re done, light a candle. Take a big breath, and exhale that mother! Dance and shake it ALL OUT with a few more breaths. Thank the bastard for all it gave you, all it taught you – and let it go. Give it a big AMEN and AHO. Add a laugh with a little “horse lips” fart noise – whatever! It is done, amen. Aho.

Blessings on your day (Epiph! Epiph!) and your month of January two fifteen.

Yours in the soul warrior path,

Denise Barnes

P.S. I am taking applications for three new wonderful clients. Visit my calendar here to set up a free 30 min consult.

The “No Mercy ‘til Done” Syndrome

meditative&nature

A quickening of your development is indicated here. Yet even when the growth process accelerates, you will have reason to halt along the way, to reconsider the old, to integrate the new. Take advantage of these halts. 

Book of Runes, by Ralph Blum
Rune: Thurisaz, Gateway – Place of Non-Action

So many times when working with clients, there is that resistance that comes up before a next step. Or after many steps. Things have been going along smoothly, even uber productively. And then, boof, a block appears. For some godforsaken reason (good word for this, it sure feels that way) – there’s a halt. Or a serious slow down. Maybe it’s just the exhale after the inhale – the pause between breaths.

Darn. Just when I was getting somewhere, you might think to yourself.

Pauses and rest stops –well, not so easy for most. That’s that there meditation, isn’t it, or that there mindfulness stuff, right? I don’t think that option is covered in the Puritan ethic. No, that tells you to keep working hard at all costs. It tells you idleness is the devil’s plaything – I mean c’mon! Get in gear pal!

In some families, unoccupied young ones were thought to be a big problem, and everyone would brainstorm until SOMETHING, anything, was found for them to do.

Maybe Space really is the final frontier… Read more

Right and Left Brain Fun with Goals

There is a great goal debate going on in some quarters, at this time of year when resolutions are attempted. Do goals work to help you create the life you want? Or do they just get you all obsessed and rigid, not paying attention to the moment?

When it comes to growing wealth, for example, the same advice will not apply to those who are in different points of the “fulfillment curve” – say in survival mode versus those in a more luxurious point of the fulfillment curve (google Dominguez, Robin – fulfillment curve, from Your Money or Your Life). Similarly with goals, it’s good to keep in mind where the goal advice is coming from. Is this human already enlightened? OK then. Or, if I hear someone dissing goals after they’ve already used them for a decade to get to their hilltop, I wonder a bit. So, good to check the context of the advice or debate, and check for relevance.

The other thing to keep in mind is that much advice may need tweaking to work for sensitive, creative types – you will have to name your own colorful method and adapt techniques. Personally, goals work for me but I’ve developed a creative approach, using analytic and intuitive styles to create my goal palette. I will take a good day or two of time at year’s end to review the last round around the sun, and set my intentions for the next. It’s a deep process and I will spread it out over a few weeks until it’s finalized.

So fare thee well, black water snake year, and hello wood horse (Chinese new) year! Yin to yang, here we go. And now, a few more notes on key points to make fun and effective goals, for the soul savvy sailors aboard spaceship Earth.

KEY POINTS FOR CREATIVES, SENSITIVES, AND OTHER HUMANS re: GOALS

So goals goals – why do we love thee? Let’s count the ways they can be helpful – because those seasons seem to be speeding up, and you know there is something to be done here, something very important…

It is easy to get distracted, and, it can be easy to get obsessive at times. If you have a business for example – and I suffer from this ailment – it might be the default position to give that most of your time and attention. There are endless tasks, and there is always more to do. Goals can help you remember to make time for other important areas that will enhance and diversify your life. Can we say balance? Read more

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