Following Your Highest Excitement: An Experiment

Following Your Highest Excitement: An Experiment

At the end of 2017, I had a firm conviction to take all  I learned during the year and begin integrating it into my daily practices. It's great to have head knowledge, but it's a whole other level of alignment when we take that information and integrate into our way of being.

 

Part of my integration involved taking what I learned about aligning with my higher self and sharing that information with others.  So many of us are living our lives on auto-pilot that we don't even realize how out of tune we have become.

 

I connected with Rachel Archelaus and began to study Intuitive Art using the Archeleus® method.  I was delighted to see how this modality opens a channel of communication with our higher selves and shows us answers in a way that there is no misunderstanding.  Along the way, I have found one truth that overlays almost  every answer to every question:

 

Following our highest excitement is the fastest path to aligning with our higher self.

 

We can step out of that alignment when we become derailed with the messages of our parents, teachers, media. and more.  I know, that's a hot button, but let me explain.  People present the sum of all their parts to the world.  I'm not saying our parents were terrible to us; I'm saying that a mom who has learned to be afraid of taking chances will naturally influence her children to take the safe route.  A teacher that was emotionally abused and is afraid to speak up for herself will present her students with a way of approaching life that is stifled and fearful.  Children are learning and absorbing everything around them.  These ingrained learnings influence us every day until we learn to break from those former patterns, following us well into our adult years.

 

There is good news.  We can unlearn these habits.  We can break cycles.  We can return to following our greatest excitement.  I do have one disclaimer:  this way of living isn't for wimps.  It requires courage, and it demands faith in our own truth.

 

I'd like to share a real-life example of the integration of this principle. Recently a young woman shared with me that she received an opportunity to do additional work for her employer in an area that she didn’t have a great deal of experience. When she asked my opinion, my first thought was admittedly, my old-school response. I instantly thought, “Well, you need to make more money, so maybe you should just say yes for the time being.” I suggested that she might consider trying the project on a trial basis only. If it didn’t fit well, she had the opportunity to pass. I  shared my first thought with her but also that I needed to replace that knee-jerk response with a suggestion to instead, consider what would bring her the most excitement.

 

Several days later, she shared with me that she decided to pass on the project altogether. It turned out that she, too, had the same initial reaction. She needed to bring in more work and thought about taking on the new job even though she wasn’t confident in her skills. Instead of saying “yes” right away, she sat with the feelings a while longer, asking questions and digging deeper. The more she investigated, she realized it wasn’t her inexperience that held her back, it was her lack of excitement about the project. She would pass on the offer, not because she didn’t believe she could do it, but because the opportunity didn’t align with her highest excitement.

 

Not only did her boss understand and appreciate her honesty, she quickly responded with a different work opportunity that she knew aligned with her assistant’s interests.

 

So, there it is; a real-world, real-time confirmation of a Universal principle.  May we all be able to apply this in our own lives as we have new opportunities to make active choices in our daily decisions.

 

The theories and realities of following our highest excitement are so expansive; we're going to dedicate an entire series to the possibilities that open once we start to align ourselves more consistently in this manner.

Want to know more about how to tap into the knowledge that our higher self has to offer?  Click here for more information.

Please follow and like us:
The Gateway To Find Your Glow

The Gateway To Find Your Glow

Why might this be the perfect time to begin working with a transition/creativity coach?  We are about to enter a magical time for self-transformation, and we have six months to enjoy astrological intensification of our efforts.

 

As a woman, you spend most of your adult life in service mode.  You care for others, you care about others, and you do for others.  Most of your time is spent in your head, not in your heart.  Even though you are a feeling, compassionate woman, you are doing, planning, and preparing all day, every day and that keeps your focus much more up in your head than in your heart center.  You spend your time pleasing others and being the person that you believe others want you to be.

 

If you have undergone a major transition in your life such as the death or major illness of someone close, a job loss, divorce or other major life shift you may have come out of that time feeling as if you have no solid foundation.

 

Many of you, in fact, most of you have completely lost sight of what it means to be uniquely YOU.  Who are you at soul level? 

 

Enter the new moon solar eclipse in Aquarius on Thursday.

 

This eclipse opens the portal for six months of power-filled freedom.

 

This is a rare astrological event that leads us all to experience opportunities to be pushed to a greater level of self-expression.  Have you been hiding your light?  Are you a closet freak-flag-flyer?  (Aren’t we all?)  Here’s the time to fly your flag proudly.

 

All the planets are moving direct during this eclipse, providing an urgent call toward breaking free from our old habits and be our true self. 

 

I love the timing of this event.  While on the one hand, we may be having more intense feelings of romance because of the Valentine’s Day holiday, the very next day we all receive a call to be independent, strong and DIFFERENT.

 

What better time to begin a coaching relationship!  If you are reading this and thinking, “But I don’t even know what I want,” transition and creativity coaching is a great next step.  My coaching package is perfect for those that say, “How do I know what to do next, when I don’t know what to do next?”

 

Through learning how to align with your higher self and open a two-way conversation, you will soon know yourself, your TRUE self better than ever before.  Everyone has the answers within, we just need to learn how to access them.

 

In my coaching practice, I have multiple modalities that I keep on “intuitive call.”  No two sessions are alike. I pull from what I feel called to use to help you to your highest and best.  No matter what modality we tap into together, the final goal is always integration.  Learning how to take what is newly learned or experienced and implementing it into your daily walk is bringing it all full circle.

 

Don’t let the term creativity coach put you off.  No artistic talent is required.  We are all creatives.  Now, let's all go fly our freak flag.

Interested in reading more about my transition/creativity coaching package?  Read more here:

Please follow and like us:
Wall Altars, Intuitive Art, What Does It All  Mean?

Wall Altars, Intuitive Art, What Does It All Mean?

 

When my focus shifted from serving as a death doula to working with intuitive art in my studio and as a modality in coaching geared to women starting a new chapter in their lives, I got a lot of questions from friends and colleagues about some of the terms I use. 

 

I don't think anyone else uses the term wall altar, but it feels like the perfect fit for some of the three-dimensional pieces I have been creating.  When we work with vision boards, in yoga practice, or in meditation, frequently we set an intention for ourselves.  Some people set an intention for their entire year, or choose a word of intention to focus on for the year. 

 

Spiritual rituals centered around the phases of the moon also begin with setting an intention at the new moon to carry through to the next new moon.  As you can see, much of setting ourselves up to match with a higher vibration starts with the setting of intentions.

 

As I began to plan out a series of fluid acrylic paintings for the chakra system, I realized that the components that I use to set the intention for each chakra could also be applied to creating wall altars around a specific intention. 

 

For example in the photo above, Kami Posa was created with the intentions of love and abundance.  In this meditative piece of art, I used rose quartz and clear quartz gem dust as a painting element.  Pieces of nature such as shells and twigs represent the ever-regenerating elements of our earth.  The addition of gems into the painting itself represent the qualities of love in rose quartz and clear quartz, abundance is represented by citrine and amethyst. 

 

My personal process of intention setting begins as I enter the studio every day.  I clear the space with palo santo and white sage.  Pausing for a few moments, I clear my mind and intentionally center into what I will be creating, and who I am creating for when it is a commission piece.  Each and every component goes through a ritual each day.  All my tools, paints and added elements are blessed, cleared and set with the desired intention.  As a piece unfolds, I can feel the energy of the artwork build.  It's a beautiful process to be a part of, and the results are powerful.

 

My intuitive painting process is quite similar.  I utilize other mediums such as fluid acrylics and resin to create works of art that take on a life of their own as I allow what is meant to be, unfold.  It's been an interesting departure from my Type A personality, used to utilizing check-lists and flow charts to plan events for large corporations or manage Inns (just two of my former jobs that required intricate planning.)  Now I understand why there was always a certain friction present in work that was linear in nature.  Who knew I was a free-flowing artist all along?

 

One of my testimonials speaks to how transformative the energy of my artwork can be.  

 

 

 

Here is what I think of, my emotions, what I see, smell and feel when I look at this amazing piece of art you have created. I’m ❤️ so in love! Thank you for your creation!!

Shine and shimmer.
Warmth and beauty.
Sea glass, sparks childhood memories.
Seashells are footprints from Mermaids.
Glitter and Aqua, glistening phosphorescence.
I smell salty air and feel the sun on my skin, fire to my soul.
Deep Blue Love from a Sea Mother.

~~Ashleeann

 

Custom-designed wall altars can be based on a specific intention for an office space (such as creativity,) or perhaps a general intention such as aligning with your higher self for a wall near your meditation cushion. 

 

If you are ready to set up a free 15-minute consultation to discuss the details, please let me know and I will get your call scheduled.  I look forward to creating with you! leslie@thevisionarypassage.com

 

 

For more information on spirit-based creativity coaching: Learn More Here

Please follow and like us:
A New Direction for The Visionary Passage

A New Direction for The Visionary Passage

(The following is a re-post of a letter that has gone out to my mailing list)

New directions for The Visionary Passage.

Many of you know that I was diagnosed with Lyme Disease and Babesia in the summer of 2015.  In December of last year, I experienced the added complication of Bell's Palsy.  It was a painful and frightening experience.  Many people never experience pain with Bell's Palsy, but I was in the camp of those that have intense, ongoing agony.  I won't sugar coat it.  There were days I thought I might go mad with the pain.  No modality or therapy or pain relief would touch it.  I was thankful beyond words when the pain finally began to lessen, and then eventually dissipate.

There was still more to learn!

I had a self-delusion going on through the first phase of my Lyme recovery.  I was a bit like a "Sunday Christian" that goes to church and mouths all the right things, but then lives the life of someone entirely different during the week.  Even now, it's not easy to admit this.  I was telling myself that the healthy changes I was bringing into my life were becoming integrated into my entire being.  I had assembled a stellar group of doctors, healers, and practitioners, and had made extreme changes to my diet.  But, there was a significant component that was missing from my healing.  I was still NOT living in resonance with my higher self.

I was giving AWAY my power; of my own free will.

While on the one hand I was "doing everything right," I was still working for a company that I allowed to run right over me.  I was working 10-15 hours a day, many times seven days a week.  I let this boundary-less relationship to run me, at the very time I knew I was to be learning the lesson of self-care.  How incongruent!

After my Bell's Palsy complication, I tried to keep pushing through, even though the pain was extreme and I only had one eye that was functioning correctly.  As all my work was done online and required a great deal of concentration, I was asking was too much of myself physically, emotionally, and neurologically.  I was experiencing many neurological symptoms from my Lyme but was doing all I could to keep on my brave face.

My "Aha"

Finally, in the spring, I reached my "Aha" moment one day when I could barely drag myself up the stairs to take my blood pressure.  I was on the verge of calling an ambulance because I was so ill; but when I viewed the numbers on my blood pressure machine, I understood why I felt the way I did.  At that moment, I realized that sudden death was a real possibility.  I had a clear vision of my daughter with a newborn baby.  She held the baby out to me, but I was not there to take my grandchild.  In that very moment, it FINALLY dawned on me that my entire life, I had been serving everyone but myself.  I had been honoring everyone but me, and the result of that was going to be missing out on being here to love on my family.

At that moment, clarity came.  I resigned effective immediately from that job, for starters.  Yay me!  Unfortunately, that story had to get a little more dramatic before I could let go of it.  The important thing is that I don't regret any of it, as it all led to my awakening.  I am thankful for every pain and discomfort.  If you want to hear more, I am taking part in an Anthology that will be published in March of 2018 with the complete story of my recovery.

Make ART

I was working on my second book, and remember continually being interrupted in my chain of thought as I was writing.  Normally, I enter a zone when writing and am very focused.  For a couple of days, I kept seeing the words, "make ART" literally swimming across my mind while I was trying to write.  As a child, I considered myself highly creative, and like most of us began to lose that connection in my middle school years.  I had dreams of art school, but after attending a boarding school with no art program, I never felt that I'd be admitted to a college level art program, so I let that dream slide off the page.  Additionally, I was always intimidated by the artistic talent of my mother.  I never felt I'd be able to live up to her ability, so why try?  Ugh...the blocks we build for ourselves!

I began to gather a few supplies and spent an afternoon creating some fluid acrylic paintings.  The energy that started to course through my body was electrifying.  I hadn't felt this alive and connected since I was a child.  As children, we didn't think of how we felt; we just instinctively did the things that made us happy.  Why do we ever un-learn that behavior??

I was so excited about how I felt and how beautiful my art was that I shared some of them online.  I was just having fun and realized that while I was creating, I was living in a state of pure, high excitement.  Can you guess what happened next?  Someone wanted to buy a piece of my art!  And then, I got a request for two large pieces of art for a commercial space.  What a crazy-good feeling.  Just as crazy-good was the massive wave of creative ideas that coincided with my time in the studio (that at that time was still an office!)  My health took a quantum leap forward, my face began to relax a bit more, and I noticed a perceptive difference in the vision of my right eye.

We are ALL creatives.

There was such a direct connection between what was happening when I was in that state of highest excitement and positive results across every area of my life that I had to chase that idea a bit more.  What has resulted from that is a new direction in my business.  I've come to realize that each one of us has a creative genius that is ours alone.  Inside that seed of genius lies our greatest gift to ourselves and therefore, our most significant gifts to the world.

Will you join me on my journey?

If you are receiving this email, you signed up to learn what is happening in my work in the end of life field.  As I shift into creativity coaching and inspiration, I understand that your needs and interests may not align with this new direction.  I respect that and will not be hurt if you chose to unsubscribe.  However, I would invite you along with me on this exciting new journey to see if there is something here to serve you in your life as it is right now.

FREE Workshop

As current subscribers, you will be getting a unique opportunity to learn a powerful tool for aligning with your unique purpose.  After the New Year, I will be inviting a small group to join me in a fun and purpose-filled workshop that will be completely free.  This tool is something that you can take with you and use every day, even in it's simplest form.  I use it consistently and never cease to be amazed and delighted with the results.  This tool opens up a clear and easy to understand two-way conversation with your higher self; and on top of all that, it's REALLY  fun!

You may notice that my website is currently on vacation-mode as I create new content.  You'll be seeing information on the connection between creativity and living our highest purpose.  No matter who you are, what you do for work, or what your interests are, you ARE a creative being!  I love watching the floodgates open when people tap into the benefits.  I hope you'll stick around and join me on this exciting journey.

Thank you for your commitment to being your most genuine self.

With a thankful heart,
Leslie Cottrell Simonds

Please follow and like us:
It’s a “Bookiversay!”

It’s a “Bookiversay!”

Just one year ago today, "I Want You to Know" was launched.

http://amzn.to/2g0ygez

Many of you may not be aware that at the time my book was published, I was actually quite ill.  Early last summer, I became infected with Lyme Disease and Co-infections of Lyme from a horsefly bite while we were on a trip in Maine.  My Mother was experiencing frequent stroke-like events that were requiring numerous trips to the hospital and were unnerving to say the least.  Thank goodness I have a background as an EMT and can stay calm in emergencies.  Her health challenges took center stage, and I pushed through my illness until last fall when I could barely function.  (Fortunately Mother's answer was a change in medications.) Then came my diagnosis and by that time it was not at all a surprise.  Just about the time we thought I may be starting to improve, I experienced a complication of Lyme Disease; Bell's Palsy.  I am still only recovered at about 70% from that.  It's been a dramatic year and one that has been full of incredible personal and spiritual growth.  I am so grateful for this experience in every way.  I wouldn't take it back for anything.

With the launch of my book in digital format and later in paperback, I was thrilled when it reached a #1 International Best Seller status.  However, I was never content with how the book read in digital format.  The company I partnered with to publish the book apparently had challenges formatting it due to all the lines, as much of it is in a workbook style. Recently I decided to take matters into my own hands and reformat the book and then do a second edition.  There is little change in content, but there are many changes in how the book looks on a computer screen and tablet.  It's much cleaner and easier to read.  The only significant content change is that I no longer endorse using 5 Wishes as a legal document.  I've heard too many stories of 5 wishes not being upheld even in states where it is recognized as a legal document.

The other goal of updating the book was to get the price lowered.  It has always been my intention to get this information into as many hands a possible.  This is a powerful tool and is meant to be put into action.  I love the idea of everyone having access to this book and putting it to work.  For that reason, I have lowered the Kindle price to only $2.99.  Please feel free to share this information with friends and family so they can begin creating their own legacy of love. http://amzn.to/2g0ygez

I do plan to have the book made into a refillable pdf booklet so the entire project can be filled out and saved to your hard drive or the cloud.  Stay tuned for an announcement for that version.

Finally, I want to thank each of you for the amazing support you've shown me and this project in the last year.  If you have read the book, please consider taking a moment to leave a review on Amazon.  That always helps in the rankings, and helps to keep the word spreading of this work.

Thank you all!

Make today signficant and be true to you,

~~Leslie Cottrell Simonds

Please follow and like us:
The Road to Resilience

The Road to Resilience

The American Psychological Association describes resilience as an adaptation in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or stress: family/relationship problems, health problems or workplace/money issues.  The Merriam-Webster definition would have us believe that resilience is an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change.  Dictionary.com points to an ability to recover readily from illness, depression, adversity, or the like; buoyancy. 

Interestingly, I find my closest resonance with my ongoing health crisis not in the dictionary, or in spiritual writings, but in words from the Harvard Business Review.  Resilience was defined there as the ability to recover from setbacks, adapt well to change and keep going in the face of adversity.  Diane Coutu eloquently explains in her writing “How Resilience Works,” “Resilient people possess three characteristics — a staunch acceptance of reality; a deep belief, often buttressed by strongly held values, that life is meaningful; and an uncanny ability to improvise. You can bounce back from hardship with just one or two of these qualities, but you will only be truly resilient with all three.  Resilient people and companies face reality with staunchness, make meaning of hardship instead of crying out in despair, and improvise solutions from thin air. Others do not.”

Though the study of resilience is fascinating, I'm not sure we will ever truly understand all that true resilience means.  This could be in part because based on the course of our individual journeys, resilience can mean different things to different people.  Many people believe that optimism is the foundational block of resilience, but only to the extent that it shapes your ability to go on....not when your optimism blocks the facts and reality about your current situation. 

I can assure you that there has been nothing buoyant or elastic about my expedition from illness to recovery from Lyme Disease, Babesia, and now Bell's Palsy.  I looked to see if perhaps pissed off could be a synonym of buoyancy...... but alas...no.  Horror, frightened, exhausted, pain-ridden, memory impairment, air hunger?  No....none of these things are synonymous with "readily adaptable" or "buoyant" or "easy to adjust." 

However, at no point during this time have I come even close to throwing up my hands and giving up.  If you feel despondent at yet another health setback, does that mean you are not a resilient person?  I think not.  I believe feeling the depth of despondency and hanging on to understand there is a deeper meaning to all of our experiences even when we do not understand every nuance is a definite quality of resilience. 

As someone who was raised in the Christian faith, I've had some interesting comments from some well-meaning (?) Christians and also from some from the belief system that we bring on our own illnesses.  Those comments alone could cause a downward spiral of self-doubt and self-punishment.  It is discouraging to do everything right in terms of recovery and still suffer a major setback.  It's sad to look into the mirror and over the course of less than 24 hours experience a quantum leap from a normal face to one that is completely paralyzed on one side.   But the thought that I brought this on "myself" is ludicrous. I've never believed in the theory that we are "blessed" when we do good and "punished" when we are lacking.  I feel there are many people of faith that wield their faith like a light saber or magic wand.  Faith is not being "saved" from adversity.  Faith is how we respond when we are in adversity.

I do believe there is meaning in all of these experiences.  I believe there are lessons to be learned and many lessons that I have already learned from this journey.  I believe that I better understand the depth of my "fierceness" and the breadth of my faith.  I know that there is a grace in relaxing into the flow of the unknown and strength in learning when to say no.  I face clear choices each step of the way.  Here's just one tiny example.  In November I had the pleasure of hosting a five-day virtual summit for caregivers.  I videotaped interviews with 14 caregiving coaches before the summit.  During that experience, I realized I had fallen head over heals with the interview process.  My intention was so start highlighting video interviews on my website right after the first of the year and began lining up coaches and consultants to interview.  My health put a temporary hold on that idea, and then Bell's Palsy brought it to a screeching halt.  Now, I could have ranted and lamented the "why me Lord, why me?"  Or, find other things to accomplish in the meantime. 

My Spiritual journey has certainly changed throughout my adult life.  There has been a shedding of some things that no longer serve me and an embracing of new truths.  These truths are literally all around us all the time, but we need to test them to find out if they are absolute truths or only truths for certain situations. I've gained in strength and inner clarity throughout this process.  Teachers come to us as they are needed AND as they are desired.  Our interactions with each other can teach us about ourselves and who we truly are, and if we allow it can ultimately guide us to our truth.  I become ever more comfortable with my intuitive process as I navigate this journey.  I've learned to slow down, be more intentional and less the perpetual multi-tasker.  Whether these will be permanent lessons for me or not will be shown with time.  What I do know is that it will all unfold, just as it should.

 

{I have been asked by several people to please speak to the specifics of how I am approaching my healing journey.  As intentional as I am becoming generally in my life, I am intentional in my healing process.  I'll be posting later this week to start to address some of the steps I am taking to repair the damage of the Lyme, Babesia and of the Bell's Palsy.}

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please follow and like us: