Shedding Plans and Expectations

trail home

“We can plan only so much and then we must let go and trust in Kairos, the old god of synchronicity.” The Art of Pilgrimage, page 116

Phil Cousineau, the author of The Art of Pilgrimage, calls this the Way of Serendipity.

I find this a refreshing quote, and such a refreshing way to be, when I remember it! It’s in many ways very counter-cultural for us in the Western world. It’s a spontaneous way to be and I find it takes a radical trust, in the flow of Life.

I am finding myself, more and more, releasing expectations of the way I think things should go, or how they should be.

This is so freeing, and it truly does make room for me to walk lightheartedly and with a joyful spirit. And, it is definitely a practice and not a destination!

Handing It Over

Larrasona Bridge

I’m handing over the destination and the details of my pilgrimage to Spirit. As many pilgrims on the Camino have said, I’m Trusting the Camino (to give me everything I need as I go along). Handing this over clears the space for me to walk lightheartedly and with a joyful spirit.

When I don’t hand it over, my mind is filled with details about what I need to do or to pay attention to. When I walled lightheartedly, I am inspired to attend to things as they arise and there’s room for the inspiration to come in.

I was curious about how a virtual pilgrimage would work. In truth, it is very simple. I show up and meditate every day. I check in, and everything I need is given to me in the moment. I’m inspired to any action to take, or any direction to head.

The inspiration becomes the path.

It takes faith in life to move forward when we can’t see much of the path ahead. Our inner wisdom knows the next step, and we discover it by listening faithfully. And then, so often, we see the path only in retrospect. It’s always an act of faith for me, and it feels, lighthearted, joyful, and free.

Feeling Supported

zubiri

This morning as I take my first steps, I try on “walking lightheartedly and with a joyful spirit.”

Each morning before I begin my day, I meditate, and those words came to me very clearly in my meditation time yesterday. They felt so resonant, and so personal. I felt known and seen, and this, to me, is what feeling supported by Spirit feels like.

It is grace to be given something of such clarity. It is a gift, generous and invaluable.

And, as it turns out, ironically, it feels not so easy for me to be that way, on the trail, every day. This is probably why it felt so relevant to me.

I believe that we are all, at our core nature, among other qualities, lighthearted and joyful. Many people would describe their experience of me as that. But it has been a long time since I have really felt like that as my “home base” on the inside, as I move through my day-to-day life.

The other day, I heard someone say (it may have been on an audio CD, and I apologize, because I cannot place and credit the source) that we all move through our days with a mantra going through our heads, whether we are conscious of it or not.

I realized that the mantra that goes through my head most consistently is “I have to.” This is in spite of the fact that I have intentionally nearly eliminated that phrase entirely from my spoken language, because I know we are always at choice, even when it doesn’t feel that way. But, still, this mantra thing rings true: I move through my life with my to do list in the front and center of my mind, and in often living in future tense.

This is why it feels like such a miracle to be invited to walk lightheartedly and with a joyful spirit. It feels good. It feels adventurous and fun. And I feel supported.

A Surprising Turn

 

 

Roncevalles

 

“What are you listening for now? What do you hear amid the cacophony of your life” The Art of Pilgrimage, page 88

As a pilgrim, I’ve tried to be faithful to listening to “the call,” to how I am being guided to Be on my pilgrimage.

This “call” has been shifting, clarifying, emerging and evolving as I go along. This doesn’t surprise me because that’s the way life is also. How we are guided or inspired to be changes as we go along.

When I first contemplated going on a pilgrimage, there were four words that came to me immediately: Intention, Commitment, Readiness, Willingness. I had no idea at the time how those might play out, only that they felt important.

When I began my pilgrimage, it was clear that the predominant call was to Wake Up to my life. Again, I wasn’t sure what that really meant. That was just the inspiration that was coming through when I invited clarity on what I was being called to.

Then, it was To Walk, which to me means being mindful, attentive, and aware. it means living in the present moment and taking each step consciously and deliberately.

I’ve also been called to let things go along the way, especially beliefs and pre-conceptions about what I need to carry. This has been about trusting that Life will give me what I need as I go along. It’s been about Trusting the Camino.

And now, a new invitation from Spirit came through very clearly in my morning quiet time: Walk Lightheartedly and with a Joyful Spirit.

Although it resonated immediately with me, it did surprise me. I have always thought of pilgrimages as journeys of a serious nature, being characterized by sacrifice and privation.

So, I’m very curious and intrigued as to how living into this new call will unfold as I continue on my pilgrimage.

Are You a Dipper or a Jumper?

More than one client has said to me: “Why can’t I spend just 15 minutes per day checking in with my inner guidance? I know it would make a big difference in my life. Why don’t I just do it?

I ask a different question: What would make it easy for you to do?

Changing habits reminds me of swimming.

Some people like to get into the water gradually, acclimating to the water a bit at a time, until they are all the way in. Those are “Dippers.”

Others prefer to jump in. I call them “Jumpers.”

Think about the times when you have been successful changing a habit or making a new one. Did you do it a little bit at a time, until it was fully implemented? Or, did you “just do it,” full blown, right out of the starting gate?

When it comes to changing or making habits, are you a Dipper or a Jumper?

Both of them work really effectively, and when I think of habits that I have changed or made in the past, I’ve actually used both strategies. But I think I am more naturally a Dipper.

Tip for Dippers: Commit to a very small amount every day, something that is possible, rather than what you think you “should” be doing. It doesn’t matter if you connect with your inner guidance for only 5 minutes per day. Consistency is what you are going for, and that is your measure of success. It will build it’s own momentum as you do it consistently, and then you can increase the time.

Tip for Jumpers: Ask yourself: “If I say ‘Yes’ to connecting with my inner guidance for 15 minutes a day, what am I saying ‘No’ to?” And then make sure that your new habit is important and meaningful enough to “trump” the thing that you are saying No to. It helps to be consciously aware of what we are saying No to, rather than just adding one more thing to our plates.

Whether you are a Dipper or a Jumper, I’m wishing you many blessings on your journey of implementing habits that will be nourishing, exciting, and meaningful for you.

 

The Woman Breadwinner’s Wheel of Life: Remembering the Spiritual Nature of Our Lives

 

 

 

In the rush of life, especially when we are the Women Breadwinners, I think it is so easy to focus on all the practical, essential details of life. And in that focus, it is equally easy to forget that our lives are a spiritual journey.

I offer this Women Breadwinner’s Wheel of Life to you as one way of remembering the spiritual nature of our lives.

 

Productivity Police

This morning I’m in a dispute with my inner Productivity Police.

I’m a solo-preneur, like many of you. Daily meditation and weekly strategy sessions are not optional. Not only do they nourish and inspire me, they are the essential component that gives my work leverage, momentum, and focus. Without these “right-brain” creative practices, I may get a lot done, but there is no assurance that I am doing the right things.

And, yet, 20 years after starting my own business, here I am still fighting with my inner Productivity Police, who think that such things are a colossal waste of time and that I should be Working the List Immediately.

One of these days, I am hoping that I reach a tipping point on this game, and that the evidence convinces my inner gremlins of the efficacy of these essential practices. Or not. Whatever happens, I’ll just keep on doing them.

I guess that is what is at the heart of meditation. Showing up and doing it.

 

What Do You Long For?

I think most of us Women Breadwinners long for a connection to our true selves, a reunion with our souls.

What else do you long for?

We work so hard and we are so busy, that our deeper connection to who we really are often gets lost in the shuffle. And when we feel disconnected, it’s hard to know what we long for, or what’s calling us, on a deep level.

I have a lot of personal experience with this, having spent many years working in a big city, which wasn’t aligned with my own nature, and struggling with my work and my relationship. I felt so disconnected and disillusioned. Everything felt out of balance, but I didn’t know what to do about it.

So I searched. I wanted a practical way to tap into the wisdom of my true self, and something that didn’t take a lot of time, given the time pressures in my life.

I couldn’t find anything except self-help books and long spiritual programs that required more of a commitment than was possible for me at the time.

Many of the self-help materials had a lot of good ideas, but I really needed to be actively engaged in my own inner connection rather than reading about it.

In all that time, I never saw an interactive kit that engaged me effectively with my own inner guidance. So now I created one. This is a kit that is based on my own “tried and true” process, developed from my own daily practice over the last few years.

My “Inner Compass Daily Orienting Kit” is now available for purchase.

My intention for this product is to give you a methodology and a simple process that will help you orient to your inner compass daily. I wanted it to be powerful and effective, and also in a doable amount of time, for anyone who wanted to make this connection a priority in their life. And, I wanted it to have the sacred nature of this kind of a spiritual practice.

Here’s a bit about it; if it resonates for you, you can find more information on this page of this website.

The Inner Compass Daily Orienting Kit is designed to give you a simple 4-step process that will take you 20 – 25 minutes per day to tune into your own true north. It’s about nurturing a relationship with your true self that’s accessible and reliable. You tune into your source of guidance, clarity, energy and inspiration, and you navigate your life from there.

The Doors of Our Choosing

 

 

 

 

 

It’s mid-January, and most of us are probably back into the routines of our life and work.

I’m curious about the new doors that you would like to open this year.

What’s behind the doors, or over the threshold?

Are the doors already open?

If they are not, what will it take to open them?

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