The Dreaming and the Doing

I often feel that my life is largely a negotiation, a dance between the dreamy and amorphous planet Neptune and the responsible, get ‘er done vibe of taskmaster Saturn.

Both bring gifts and limitations.

Neptune is our inner canvas, where we pour the paint of our ideas or draw the fuzzy details of last night’s dream. It is where we sit on our inner shore, gazing out to sea, lost in a profound reverie. Where it may appear that not much is happening, from the outside. But inside, oh, so much.

 

We need Neptune time. We need time to gestate, to germinate, to stare out the window, to lie fallow while we wait for the light to appear, for one path or another to illuminate and we see our next best steps.

And yet, it’s a fine line between holding space for our dreams to grow and falling into listlessness. From gazing out to sea, to floating out there, aimless, and in a way, drowning.

Neptune becomes a fog when we find ourselves caught in addiction – from actual substance abuse to partaking of one too many cupcakes or binge-watching old episodes of Friends.  That’s how we know we have left the true dream, and must go back inward to find it.

Neptune is a gift when we honor the dream space. We do this by consciously carving out time for dreaming. To imagine the life we truly desire, to envision it in living color on our inner landscape. The key is to recognize when the dream is ripe, and ready to become a reality.

Reality is Saturn’s territory.

Saturn lives fully in this world. He is the responsible elder, the time-keeper, the hard worker. He rules earth-based Capricorn. His main interest is in keeping us grounded in the reality of this world.

He is a taskmaster, but his gifts are abundant. Most of all, they are evident. There is nothing amorphous in Saturn’s territory. It is drawn with clear boundaries, and the results of focus, patience, and diligence are clear.

 

Saturn is the voice that tells us whether our dreams are feasible. Not always something we want to hear, but it’s a necessary balance to dreaming the dream. This can also help us gauge how important the dream is to us, when we are challenged. Saturn's voice appears as an authority - which is why we tend to rebel against it. As we claim our own sense of authority, we see how this energy only wants to help us fully actualize ourselves. We are then acting on our own behalf, in the most powerful way.

Yet Saturn fails us when he drives us to work for work’s sake. When we are up at 1:00 a.m., bleary-eyed and compulsively intent on finishing a project – not because we are feeling alive and inspired, but because we don’t want to address relationship problems that await us in the other room, or we are avoiding some other issue, and that is why we’ve lapsed into workaholism.

As much as our Neptune dreams need Saturn to make them real, our Saturn’s ability to manifest those dreams only happens when it stays in touch with the inspiration and the magic of the creation itself. Saturn needs the dream as a spark for authentic motivation.

Consider the fragile balance between the dreaming and the doing right now in your life.

Are you taking time to feed and foster your dream? Do you need to carve out more space for imagining, scribbling notes, painting pictures?  Are you feeding your inner images, or are you being passively fed by “outer images” – social media, TV, web browsing? In this info-laden world, we all do this. It’s a fine balance.  We know we’re truly feeding our Neptune when our reverie time feels expansive, enlivening, and filled with possibility - not uncomfortably aimless, depressing, and without inspiration. If the latter, the remedy is to dive deeper, to reconnect with the heart of our dreams.

Saturn can kick us when we’re down in that lost place, because it gets frustrated that we’re not living up to our potential. That’s when we’re both immobile on the couch and also beating ourselves up for not getting on with our lives. How helpful is that? Not at all. That’s why the best we can do is anything that inspires a reconnection to our buried dreams. Draw, write, knit, meditate, walk through a quiet wood… our heart knows what will help us find our way back.

 Fueled by the awakened dream and sparked with our inspiration, Saturn says, “okay, let’s see what we can work with here.” Saturn will help us edit, restructure, and hone in on the core of what we have to offer. And then it will place a gentle hand on our back and push us forward to offer it up.

I invite you to sense into this inner dance… what part of you is dreaming, and what part is doing? 

May Neptune’s flowing waters, which hold your most cherished dreams, come to the solid ground of Saturn’s shores to create the living reality of your heart’s desire.

 

With love,

Lauren-Miranda

A Spiral of Inquiry For the New Year

I do love a good question.

What makes a good one? Questions that liberate us instead of shut us down, inspire us instead of shame us. Questions that are openings, not locked doors.

Below is a self-inquiry by way of a spate of questions. A gentle uncovering to the heart of what is working me now.

Rainer Maria Rilke says to be patient towards all that is unsolved in your heart, and try to love the questions themselves.

But posing this series of questions, for me, is not an act of impatience. It’s a kind of meditation, a peering into inner corners. Not necessarily in fervent search for an answer. But simply by posing the questions, I trust I will live my way into the answers (thank you, Mr. Rilke).

I invite you to explore your own questions. This is your personality asking it of your soul. Your soul has the answers. And it will offer clues in oblique ways:

  •         when you’re having a conversation with a friend about something else
  •         when you’re taking a long shower
  •         weeks from now, when you’ve nearly forgotten you asked the question

 The soul comes in the side door.

So, what are the questions on your inner horizon? Start with the first one that arises, then work your way in. Or even just start with one, and live with it a while.

Here are mine… for now:

 The dream for my life keeps morphing.

Am I current with my own dreaming?

Is the current dream built on others expectations, or my own true desire?

What am I striving towards?

Does it feel like striving?

Does some part of my dream actually feel dead?

What part is the striving? What part feels dead?

 Is there a part of the dream that is still surrounded in light and airiness, or a sense of delight and electricity?

Can I extract that aliveness from the striving or the deadness?

Does this create a new dream?

Can I release the old dream, and step into the new?

Is there an internal journey that I need to take, a mourning, before I can step into a new dream?

How old is the dream? How has it changed since I first dreamt it? Sensing in... Of course, it has. Maybe I haven’t acknowledged that. Do I have the courage to acknowledge that my true dream has changed along with me?

Do I have the courage to be just who I am today, and be fully present to what is dreaming me now?

 

With you in the living dream….

Lauren-Miranda

 

 

 

 

Source: https://ununsplash.imgix.net/photo-1416949...

Necessary Lassitude

There are times when we seem to come to a near halt, and this is as it should be.

We just can’t seem to get anything going. Our focus becomes a roving searchlight, seeking inspiration, meaning, a landing place. Our inner eye careens from one thing to the next, desperate to recapture a sense of engagement and aliveness. Yet there is an odd sort of flatness to our internal landscape, a seeming wasteland that feels airless and beige.

We wonder what’s wrong with us. If we could just get it together, slap ourselves into shape, get a shot of adrenaline pumping zing! – we would be back on track.

When we have clarity – it is so sweet. Self-remembrance is a wonder. Knowing precisely our raison d’etre is exquisite. From all of that ideas flow, opportunities appear, synchronicities abound. We feel we are in alignment with life.

Yet I’ve come to realize that those times when we are wandering aimlessly on a barren landscape are just as crucial for our development as the creatively verdant times – maybe even more so.

If we could only recognize that when we’re crumpled listlessly on the couch, unable to focus on anything that feels like inspired forward motion, that something significant is actually happening, under the surface.

Somehow it’s relatively easy to recognize this bigger picture in hindsight. We finally rise one morning and we’re eager to dance with the day.  We look back and realize that, while it seemed all we had done in the previous three weeks was watch Downton Abbey and eat kettle corn, we were actually gestating our next steps.

Seeds were planted. On the surface, it appeared nothing was happening. Yet deep in the darkness, the seeds were growing. And all the stomping and slapping and self-flagellation did nothing to further this process.

In fact, of course, it may have slowed it down.

We need to trust in the times when we feel stuck. No, that isn’t the easiest thing. Especially when we want so badly to get going.

Deep beneath the seemingly parched places along our road of life, there is a natural river that flows within us all. If we surrender to it – heeding its direction, following the curves, swells, and the slow, meandering places… well, it all works, actually. 

And if we find ourselves caught up on the rocks for a time, maybe we are being asked to just rest there. Look around. Why do we find ourselves here, now? What is being asked of us?

Chances are, we need to simply be still for a while. Enjoy the sun and the breeze. Let thoughts and feelings rise and fall. Follow gentle nudges. If ideas come – jot them down. Paint them. But if they don’t, that’s okay, too.

Maybe we’re integrating. Maybe we’re gathering energy for a swell of activity that is just down river that we can’t yet see. Maybe we’re being asked to simply trust the ebb and flow of our own interior life.

There is grace woven into fallow times. Our task is to surrender to it. Wait for new opportunities and inspirations, which will come in their own perfect time.

Trust.


With love,

Lauren-Miranda

Reinvention, Right Timing, and the Journey Ahead

When the call to reinvention first stirs in our soul, we begin traversing a bridge that stretches across the landscape of our psyche.

We walk this bridge as we gradually shed one identity, one way of being. 

As we travel from our old life to what has not yet been born, we feel the light and the air touch us in unfamiliar ways, because the part of us that was covered by our old life garment is now open and vulnerable to whatever comes next.

So we move forward… with an idea of what wants to unfold next in our lives, and this idea is like a magic thread.  We move forward and we weave the thread that will become a better-fitting life garment. So the journey becomes a walking and a weaving one.

In all transparency, I am still on this bridge. The beginning point is a good distance behind me, as I have shed half of my former job, traveled through life coach training, and begun my practice. Soon, I will arrive at the other side and leave the job altogether, but that time is not quite here.

 It’s quite fascinating to feel myself disappearing from the workplace that I’ve inhabited for many years. I almost expect that one day I will simply be invisible to those around me. And then I will know it’s time to go. I am honoring this slow death.

No longer the Wild Child, bristling at the confinement of bureaucracy and corporate structure. Now I am the Watcher. Being in that world, but not of it. The slow departure is a healing for me of all the anger, frustration, and feelings of entrapment I felt for so many years. When I wanted something else but felt unable to create a solid shape out of my longings.

Yet the moment I stepped onto the bridge, pulled by the deep yearning for something more, I began forging a path towards creating my own empowerment and authenticity.  Taking action to bring my soul’s urgings to life was the beginning of my release, surrender, and forgiveness for what was never truly my place to begin with.

Are you feeling the pull towards a reinvention bridge? If you are yearning for something else, even something unnamable, it’s important to just set out walking.  Even if the bridge is enshrouded in fog. Or darkness.

Step out. Listen for the sound of what is calling you. Follow its gentle whisper. The words you hear will become clearer, the directive more precise as you do two things: keep walking and trust.

Each day on the bridge is new. Just keep listening. There will be times to pause and assess. You may peer behind you and see how far you’ve come. But don’t focus too much on that now. The journey itself is a gift. You are shedding what no longer fits you, and growing into your new life.

Everything has its time. I have surrendered to the flow of this, my own journey across the particular reinvention bridge that I happen to be on now. I can see the light of arrival on the other side, just up ahead.

 

 Seed Thoughts:

  • Are you currently on a reinvention bridge? And if so, are you at the beginning, middle, or near the point of arrival?
  • Consider other bridges you have traveled over the course of your life that led you to a new sense of yourself.
  • What actions make your journey easier, and what makes it challenging?

 

 I welcome your thoughts below.

With love,

Lauren-Miranda