I just finished reading The Alchemist by Paula Coelho. I loved this book so much and think that every person who has an open heart or who has ever sought answers should read at least once in their lives.
This is the story of a boy who is in search of his personal legend and the lessons he learns along the way. Through his travels and experiences, he learns that if he is in search of something, the universe will conspire to make it happen. Also, that God is always talking to us and sending us signs if we only look. We are all one and we all have a purpose. We can choose to settle and stay in one place (figuratively and literally), or we can journey on.
There are so many quotes and lessons that I could discuss here, but I think it is better if everyone read it for him or herself. If you do read it, please let me know and we can compare notes. It is an easy read but a profound message.
2016 was a HUGE year for me.With the spiritual awakening I've been going through in the past few years, I have been full of different perspectives. I see life and approach situations totally differently than I ever have before. 2016, as it turns out, was my "year of yes."
First, let me just say that I didn't even realize I was having a "year of yes" for several months into the year. I was having lunch with my friend Lauren and we were talking about all of the new chances I was taking and it came to me that that's what I was doing. And I'm kind of glad that I labeled it that way because then I was accountable to keep it up. A few times, I started to shrink a little and that same friend would say, "Nu-uh girl. This is your year of yes. You can't analyze the yesses. You just have to say yes to what opportunities come to you." And she was right. Isn't it important to have girlfriends around us? We push each other to have bigger lives. To really live inside of our lives.
Anyways, as most of you know, the year started with me making a bold decision to leave Paul (after six years of being together) and move across country back to my home and family. These were neither easy nor cheap decisions. But, I knew I wasn't happy and I knew I needed to go where the love was.
I had NO IDEA how I was going to do this! Honestly, I was broke. I added up all of the funds that I would need for a rock-bottom, no frills move and it came to $10,000. I had been praying about it and knew that I felt peace about going, so I just decided to take the leap. I made the decision that I was moving and started acting and planning as if I already had the money. And you know what? The money came.
I kept being told that the universe conspires for our happiness. That's how God created it. He wants us to be successful! And once we set our intention on something, He will provide for it unless it is completely not good for you. Well, this was proven to me in spades. Checks began arriving in the mail...rebates, refunds from student loans, etc. When it was all said and done and all the totals added up, know how much I had? Just about $10,000. Yep, God moved me home. If that isn't validation that I was making the right decision, I don't know what else He could have done.
Since I knew I was moving home, I began visualizing and daydreaming about what an awesome life I was going to have. Get-togethers with my family, little dinner parties, going out to eat with friends, museums, Cedar Point... you get the picture. Emma and I would talk all the time about what our new life would look like and the things we were going to do. It was so exciting! I could see it in my mind and I could feel it in my bones. Our new life was going to be magic.
One of the barriers to this is that by nature I am an introvert. See, I know I'm capable of all kinds of things. Actually, I really don't know that there is anything I couldn't accomplish if I set my mind to it. But, my problem is inertia. Once I'm home and comfortable, it can take Heaven and Earth to move me out of the house. And I don't really like people in my space...so I tend to be alone a lot of the time and I love it that way. But even though I love it, it's not really good for me. So, I decided to live in an entirely different way than I have before.
Once we got here, we dove right in and it's been great. By saying yes to the opportunities that have come my way I:
- Moved across country
- Took a new job someplace that I would normally have turned down because of the long commute, and consequently have been blessed to meet some of the most awesome people I've ever met. They are truly from my tribe.
- Went to the theater and the orchestra
- Have gone to lunch and caught up with many friends
- Gone to some museums (some of them many times)
- Gone for drives in the country
- Agreed to go on vacation to another country/continent (although this may be on hold for a little while)
- Joined a book club
- Had several family dinners
- Applied for a job that is well out of my comfort zone. I didn't get the job because I haven't been in my current position long enough to be allowed to transfer, but at least I didn't turn down the opportunity because I was afraid to try.
- Traveled out of state to see family.
- Went to a painting class with a friend and had a blast.
So, I finally finished Big Magic!
I've been reading it for quite a while and life just kept getting in the way.
Even though it took me like a year (seriously) to read this book,
I really love it and recommend that everyone read it.
Whether you are a hugely creative person,
or you believe you don't have a creative bone in your body,
you should read this book.
First of all, I love Elizabeth Gilbert and have ever since I read Eat Pray Love.
I love her style, wit, and way of writing.
I also love that I have experienced everything she writes about in this book,
but never imagined to articulate it or look at it the way she does.
For example, she talks about the Muse or Inspiration being an actual entity.
You know, like angels or spirits.
God created Inspiration for the sole purpose of bringing creative works forth into the world.
The Muse's job is to find willing souls to contract with for particular jobs.
If the Muse gives you an idea and you think, "Yes! That sounds awesome.
I'm totally going to make/write/sew/create that...", then you have
contracted with the Muse. If for any reason you then renege on your contract,
the Muse can then cancel your contract and take your idea to someone else
that will actually fulfill the job.
According to Gilbert, this is why we see lawsuits claiming "They stole my song! I started
that song years ago but never finished it!" Well, you didn't finish it,
so Inspiration took that song to another person.
I have experienced much of this in my creative life, so as soon as I read her explanation,
it was like my soul said, "Yes!"
Years ago when I was heavily blogging, it was like I had a daily date with the Muse.
I worked nights and early in the morning toward the end of my shift,
I would start getting ideas flooding me about the blog I was to write that day.
Sometimes whole ideas and sometimes specific wording.
The key was to take notes and write down what was coming to me,
because if I waited, I would never be able to capture
the same emotion or sentiment that I was feeling at that time.
Also, there was that time that an entire book was downloaded into my head
while driving down a snowy highway.
In a matter of minutes, I had a whole idea for a book...plot, characters, setting.
I agreed to try and write this book and the words poured out of me.
I completed around 150 pages and got a whole shitty first draft completed.
But then life got busy. I moved across country, got a divorce,
got into another crappy relationship, and moved across country again.
The book sat there...and the Muse was silent. She was gone. Even when I thought
about working on the book, the inspiration was gone. I just couldn't get into it.
I think she took my idea elsewhere. Not only that, but ALL of my writing seemed to
have dried up. I didn't even blog for a few years. I just had nothing to say and no
inspiration to do it.
However, I began talking to her and to God and letting it be known that I knew
that I had not held up my end of the bargain and I would love another chance.
I asked for the Muse to please come back and give me another chance.
And I haven't fully convinced her to move back in yet,
but I think we're at least dating again.
I have little ideas and inspirations coming.
Oh, and I found a long-lost copy of my book hidden in the archives of my email.
I thought I had lost it, but here it is.
I re-read the entire thing, and the funny thing is that it has been so long
since I've worked on it that I pretty much forgot most of the things I had written.
I read it with fresh eyes... and it was GOOD!
I was so excited and kind of proud of myself.
I mean, it is only a SFD and not a finished product,
but it has good bones. Now, I am thinking of sitting down and working
on it here and there. Whether it ever gets published or not,
I can say I finished it and didn't give up.
I saw it to fruition... at least that's the plan at this time.
Remember that vacation I told you I have?
Yeah, it's WONDERFUL.
I plan to do a whole lot of laying here, watching TV,
writing, etc. Basically anything I feel like doing,
and nothing if I don't feel like it.
This is a sweet, sweet week.
2016 was an AWESOME year and a great
start to a brand new life.
This year, in pictures anyways, should be
split up into two phases...before haircut, and after haircut. lol
I had an AWFUL haircut that made it necessary to wear
my hair natural and wavy.
The waves cover a MULTITUDE of sins! ;)
Living with Paul, my bedroom was always a little more masculine.
But now, since I'm single, I wanted to girl it up a little.
I actually wanted to get a blanket in a soft dusty-purple type of color.
However, there were none to be found, so I thought this pretty plum would work too.
I still have my nice comforter that kind of matches the curtains,
but it is still too warm for that.