At the end of one of my most recent Painting From The Wild Heart workshops I was thanked by one of my students for not being, as she put it, a "woo-woo wackadoodle."
Which I actually take as a high compliment.
I know what she meant. Like her, I greatly appreciate the qualities of being down to earth and grounded.
And even though I live at the center of the woo-woo wackadoodle universe ... the San Francisco Bay area... I am originally from the heartland of the United States.
I grew up in a working class community of Pittsburgh PA where what is valued are things like being practical and pragmatic, level headed and matter of fact.
I'm less of a Law of Attraction person... which is the belief that we can totally create our reality through the power of our thoughts alone..... and more of a Hard Work Miracle kind of a gal .... which is the belief that I can sometimes influence the course of my reality based on my willingness to take certain actions to attain a hoped for outcome.
I have gotten pretty successful in both my business and my life and I attribute that to my ability to stay focused on a goal and consistently persistent in my attempts to achieve it.
I can also be kind of ridiculously optimistic... believing that no matter how dark the day may be at the moment, around the next corner the sun will start shining again... and I have a blessedly short memory... especially for hard and difficult things.
And as much as I live my life as an intuitive person I am pretty clear that there are a lot of situations where cause and effect play a very big role.
It's plain to me that If I don't do my ongoing marketing efforts no one will come to my classes and workshops or if I don't maintain my friendships they will slowly drift away. I know that if I don't pay my phone bill in a timely manner I soon won't be making any calls at all or if I continue to eat too many chocolate chip cookies I'm not going to be able to zip up my jeans without some serious external assistance.
The great thing about cause and effect is that I can very obviously see the results of my actions. It is something that allows me to feel like I'm in control. It makes me feel strong and good and like I have some power in the world. Like my choices and my actions matter. Which is a really good thing. I LIKE feeling that way and I recommend it highly.
And yet... there are still those very inexplicable times of mystery and magic where I have a clear sense that something is going on... where I'm in the flow of some kind of energy that allows things to come into being .... but it's not anything that has a clear trajectory from A to B.
For example, right before I got together with my husband, I had just ended a long and unsatisfying intimate relationship with another man. I left because I wanted to be with someone who was capable of being open to love.
But I was 42 and was having visions of those ancient Time magazine articles that stated that a woman was more likely to get hit by lightning than she was of finding love and getting married after she turned 40.
As I made this move I found myself preparing internally for a long siege of singleness. I already had all the sad country music picked out for the grieving process that I anticipated I would be engaged in for at least a couple of months.
And yet, my sweet love turned up and unexpectedly declared his love for me not 10 days after I had moved out and was living on my own again. He was exactly the kind of man I was hoping to find .... kind, funny, open, creative and he completely adored me ... and his showing up when he did completely turned my life around.
More recently, at some point in the middle of last year I decided that I wanted to write an ebook to give as a gift to new subscribers to my mailing list. I set a tentative deadline for completion of this goal of early January 2011.
However, my life took some interesting and unexpected turns in 2010 and though I came up with an idea for a book and even started working on it, progress was spotty at best.
I was hoping that at some point during the year I would find the energy and motivation to complete it. But time ticked away and the ebook idea continued to stay in stalled mode.
As the end of the year approached it was getting pretty clear that this thing was just not happening and I had pretty much resigned myself to not having the project completed by January .... or even any time soon after that.
Then totally unexpectedly I was contacted by the lovely Laura Hollick of Soul Art Studios on December 27th. She said she was organizing a venture where she was going to interview a number of people who she saw as creative spiritual revolutionaries for an online TV program she was creating. And she wanted to interview me as one of these revolutionaries.
However, the only catch was that she wanted me to have some kind of gift to offer to folks who signed up for her offering. And she needed my gift as well as my interview by December 30th. I asked for a bit more time and she generously gave me until January 3rd.
I now had three elements that had been missing up until that point which were a motivating force, external accountability to another person and most importantly a deadline.
And within that 7 day window I wrote, designed and formatted an ebook.
It wasn't the one I had originally intended to write. But it was an ebook nonetheless. And by some holy miracle it was completed by my original target date of the beginning of January.
In both these instances I had a wish for something that I could not imagine at the time coming to fruition. And yet mysteriously, my wishes were granted in both cases.
Did I "manifest" my hubby coming into my life or Laura Hollick showing up when she did? I don't really think so. At least not in any obvious ways. In all of the books about the law of attraction you are advised to visualize what you want and to direct positive messages toward what you desire.
But when I was moving out of the place I was living with my not-working-out boyfriend my mind was filled with thoughts of nothing but doom and gloom for my future romantic life.
And when I was thinking about the ebook, my internal chatter was along the lines of " Oh crap. Look how the time is just disappearing. If you don't do something soon, you're never going to finish that damned book. What are you waiting for? God, why did I even set myself up to do this? This is never going to happen... I don't know what made me think I could get this accomplished. Where in the heck is my motivation?" and on and on.
Not exactly what I would call positive thinking.
Now yes, in certain ways I set the stage for these miracles to occur. Back when I was 40, I had made a decision that I wanted more in my love life than I was currently getting and was taking steps to at least move away from what I didn't want.
And when Laura approached me with her project I took the opportunity and grabbed it by the horns by finally buckling down and writing the damned ebook. So my participation was definitely required in order for these desires to come into existence.
But this is also where the woo-woo comes in. This place of serendipity and synchronicity, of blessing and holy windfall, where I feel I have no control at all revolves around this unanswered question.
How could the circumstances arise so perfectly to allow my longings, which were there but buried under all kinds of fear and anxiety, hopelessness and despair, to actually materialize?
I truly don't understand how it works. I can't even BEGIN to say that I have a secret passkey to making this force of bounty bend to my will.
I don't have a technique or a strategy that can guarantee a beneficial outcome every time I want one.
What I do have is the knowledge and direct experience that grace is a real thing. And the willingness ... most of the time... to say yes when it DOES show up.
And apparently, uncannily, and what often feels like undeservedly.... that seems to be enough.
You can see my Creative Spiritual Revolutionary Interview with the amazing Laura Hollick about creativity, community and the power of creative support by clicking here.
And... if you would like to get a free copy of my new ebook:
7 Heart Centered Principles, Spirit Based Practices and Simple Action Steps For Leading A Wildly Creative, Deeply Authentic And Magically Intuitive Life
all you need to do is to sign up for my bi-monthly Creative Juices Arts newsletter. Which you can easily do by clicking here.