Jour du Journal:Envisioning the Future

So, what did you think of Alpha Poems? I think they are a fun and unexpected way to access your inner wisdom while also discovering the creative genius hidden deep within. Please feel free to leave a comment telling about your experience (or share your poem, if you like).

Now, back to manifesting your future.

In order to create a path towards what you desire you have to first envision what that is.

In the process of making a commitment to discover our purpose, we need to dream. We need to make images, try on various fantasies, explore… Vision starts with a vague sense of something desired, something missing, a hole we want to fill…
Christina Baldwin

So, let’s start dreaming.

There is a path(s) before me. On my travel along it/them, I see…

Jour du Journal: Envisioning

Welcome to the first Journal-Write Wednesday!

If you have read any of my blog, j. lucy muses you will know that I am all about dreaming and envisioning what you want out of your life – manifesting your future.

Christina Baldwin writes in Life’s Companion: Journal Writing as a Spiritual Quest,

Before we can do something significant with our lives, we have to do three things: imagine it clearly so we know what we want; be willing to want it very, very much; and take action that moves us to attainment… focused vision, focused longing, and focused action.

To begin this process you must first know where you are now, here in the present. With this in mind, here is your first writing prompt:

“Where I am now in my life is….”

And to quote Natalie Goldberg, Ten Minutes. Write. Go!

Channeling my inner Madeleine L’Engle

While journaling yesterday I discovered I have an inner Madeleine L’Engle. When I picture the author of ‘A Winkle in Time’ and ‘Circle of Quiet’ (my favorite) I see a comfortably-sized lady in a African-style moo-moo, lots of large, clunky jewelry and a laissez-faire attitude about housework and bedtimes. I don’t know if I have her pegged exactly but this image of her has taken residence in my soul.

On the outside I am a jean-wearing (no, NOT mommy jeans, mine are boot-cut and come nowhere near my natural waist, thank you), anxiety-ridden, not-so-much-fun mother. I don’t know how to play and baskets of laundry piled in my office can send me into a frenzy. I don’t have the patience to do much with my brillo-pad of hair other than stuff it away at the back of my head or put more on my face than a swish of bronzer and a dash of mascara. I do “do” jewelry – my hands feel embarrassingly naked without the oversized rings I prefer, but I frequently forget to wear the many necklaces and bracelets I angle for each birthday and Christmas.

But inside there resides a different woman. This woman wears long, floaty skirts, with boots in the winter and sandals in the summer. She has bangles up her arms and huge wooden ear-rings peeking from beneath her wild hair. She raises early to walk with her large dog and comes home to a tidy, sunny, beautiful, antique and art-filled office where in perfect serenity she writes all morning. She laughs easily and plays in earnest. In her sun room she dances with abandon to Indian and African drum music.

I have had this authentic person inside for many years, I just didn’t know she had Madeleine for a muse.

Being authentic doesn’t always go over so well when you’ve forgotten the cupcakes again for your daughter’s snack day because you’ve been writing since 5AM. But through my journal I do hope to introduce and forge a relationship between these two selves. I truly believe if I can envision the life I want I will make it happen. My inner Madeleine peeks out sometimes when I am dancing with my children to a Bollywood video on YouTube or when, on a (rare) special night out I reach for the long skirt and complicated shell and bead necklace. This is the authentic, slightly eccentric me who Sarah Ban Breathnach urges us all to recognize and become one with in her book ‘Simple Abundance.’ It will take a little coaxing to get her out, she is a little shy right now, but I am working on her.

Just a quickie

No, not that kind (get your head out of the gutter).

No, this is just a quick, boastful post to say…

I GOT PUBLISHED!

In Mama Says (this is the link to their blog, not the zine itself). My understanding is it is just a small Vermont publication, but I don’t care. You have to start somewhere, right? and a homegrown zine in my own state is as good a start as any. It is an essay on talking to my children about God and religion. I can’t wait to actually see my name in print.

And, on another happy note: It is official… I will be teaching a journal workshop at the end of February. I will be listed on the Writer’s Center website with bio and everything (not that I have much of a bio).

I believe the life of my dreams is beginning to unfold. Ironically, it is happening at the same time as my day job, my dream job, is becoming a bit of a nightmare. It seems serendipity is poking in its nose making sure I am fulfilled and feeling appreciated at a time when I could be feeling far from it. And I have more proof of this.

Even though I am tired from work, battling children and housework, I have started singing again. Like Agnetha from Abba, I could sing almost before I could talk and I have been singing alone or in a group my whole adult life. My highest achievement was singing with the Vermont Symphony Orchestra chorus, which I had to leave when my unborn child insisted on sleeping on my lungs. Since then, I haven’t sung much at all (which I will also blame on my children). But recently I joined a church choir that has an amazing reputation and an even greater repertoire. A few weeks ago after the performance of Messiah, the soloist approached me and hugged me because she, amazingly, remembered me from my VSO days (over 6 years ago). She told me she remembered I had a beautiful voice and was glad I was singing with Rip (the incredibly talented director of the church choir). I don’t know where this will lead but I’ll keep singing and wait to find out.

I tell you this, not to boast, but to prove my point: DO WHAT YOU LOVE… you WILL have success!

Waiting for the serendipity to stir

I realized I hadn’t said much about serendipity or positive thinking lately. Since I started the job that was the result of a serendipitous event, life has become kind of run of the mill. Despite having not worked (out of the home) for 4 years I have slipped back into the routine and mindset of being in an office as if I just returned from a extended vacation. Thankfully this job has yet to stress me out like my last “real” job where I had publication deadlines, front-of-house crowd control issues, and the pressure of being a new, working, breast-pumping mother.

Even so, I think I’m a little down. I had finally started writing – or at least got my head in a place where I was (truly) ready to start – and now I’m wrestling The Schedule. I have marked up my planner until it looks like the departure board at Logan airport, blocking out every hour with this chore, that errand, appointments, work, and writing. But then that errand takes an hour longer than it should (due to the rice having been moved from aisle 4 to aisle 13 and pizza dough apparently no longer made) or a staff meeting and work project running over time, shrinking the scheduled writing time from three hours to one (which, of course, means no writing).

I’m glad I’m working and I especially can’t wait to write a grant. Plus, we definitely needed the extra paycheck to get through this heating season. But I also feel that maybe – once again – I have put my own dream on hold. Did I do this on purpose; subconsciously sabotaging myself because I was getting too close to actually doing what I have dreamed of?

When you no longer have an excuse to fall back on, the responsibility of a dream can loom large and scary.

I think I have stopped thinking positively and looking for serendipity because my life has become, well, normal, and a normal life – boring life – doesn’t foster spiritual thoughts. But I’m pretty sure that’s where I’m making a mistake. If I did start thinking more positively about merging my working, mothering, and writing lives into a more do-able, less scary whole, I would most likely start to see the serendipity stir.