How to Actually Manifest Your Dream, Part 6 of 7

Pushpin
In the last post, we used different hats to have your inner creator, appreciator, and editor work with you.  Today, it's time to look at the logistics of your project.  Is it an album?  A one-person-show?  We'll take a break from the "inner work" to look at a checklist of possible things you might to do help the world receive your gift more fully. 

Take note that as you come close to fruition, you will be likely to find ways to self-sabotage all the great work you've done so far.  Keep in touch with your daily action partner, and keep posted somewhere the purpose why you're doing this to help stay powerful in the face of obstacles.

The creative part:

  • Is your work "on track?" Have you been spending the right balance of time creating/editing/planning?
  • Have you gotten feedback from people who gave constructive information about your piece without criticism?

The event:

  • Have you sent emails?  Put out a press release?  Sent the info to lists and groups and social networks?
  • Have you created images or video to let people see a preview so they can get exciting about the event?
  • Have you been letting everyone you know and meet how excited you are and how they can participate?
  • Have you asked people to support you by helping at the event?
  • Have you checked on the venue?  Have you checked on the people putting together any external part of your project?
  • Do you have to pay for services?  Let people know about your preferences?  Have someone host or introduce you?  Will other people perform/exhibit/etc at the event?

This is the time to cull all of the work you've done into what feels like a "finished piece".  It's likely that it won't "feel" finished.  Don't worry.  As my friend Brian says, "Better done than good."  You'll always have time to improve upon it or make something even better with all that you've learned from this experience. 

Before you present your material to the public, make sure that you've presented it to a good friend who can give you feedback with enough time to re-vamp anything that needs clarification.

In the final post on actually manifesting your dream, we'll get to the best part: celebration!

"Action that is inspired from aligned thought is joyful action.
Action that is offered from a place of contradicted thought
is hard work that is not satisfying and does not yield good
results. When you really feel like jumping into action, that
is a clear sign that your vibration is pure and you are not
offering contradicting thoughts to your own desire. When you
are having a hard time making yourself do something, or when
the action you offer does not produce the results you are
seeking, it is always because you are offering thoughts in
opposition to your desire."

-Esther Hicks

How to Actually Manifest Your Dream, Part 5 of 7

Hat
In the last post, you were in the "creation" phase.  Creation is always happening, but it can get blocked, so we did a lot of exercises to make a safe container for the creative part of you to unfold.  As you move into the next phase, keep taking time to be intentionally and spontaneously in creation–free of criticism. 

And now, very gently and clearly, we're going to begin the process of editing.  Many people consider editing to be the most important part of art because this is where we begin to turn toward the idea of our work being received.  Many people consider art incomplete until it is in fact received–that seeing, hearing, or experiencing the work is its last phase of creation, "closing the loop."  I agree with this, but I also feel that for some art works, the maker can also be the best audience.  If we don't please ourselves in our art, we're not doing anyone else any favors!

So here's an exercise to transition yourself temporarily from creator to editor, feeler to thinker: 

Get three actual hats.  Really do this…  Maybe your "creator" hat is big and silly, your "appreciator" hat is beautiful and flowery, and your "editor" hat is like a newspaper editor's? 

Have your "creator" hat on while you're brainstorming, writing, drawing, singing…  After your allotted creating time, take off your creator hat, and put on your "appreciator" hat.  As the appreciator, you will talk to the creator for a few minutes and let her (or him) know how thankful you are to her for being so open and uncensored.  Tell her how it felt (fun? silly? exhilarating?) to be with her, and how happy you are that she has come to play with you.  Tell her that the next step you are going to take is to gather, organize, and edit what she has delivered so you can deliver this gift to the world!  Ask her if she has any requests of how you shape the material.  Ask if she will stay as an observer of the process to help keep the integrity of the work.  When you are done, take your appreciator hat off and put on your editor hat. 

If your creator lives mostly in your second chakra (the pelvis), your appreciator lives mostly in your heart chakra.  Your editor lives in your throat and "third eye" chakras.  Sitting with your back straight so all of your chakras are aligned, begin to look at your work with a warm, clear head.  Look at it as if it's not in fact your work at all, but the work of your best friend.  Begin to sort, clarify, and solidify what's there, seeing the best in it, and looking for places to chip away the extraneous pieces.  Do more cutting than adding.  Finish off your session with a quick flip of the appreciator hat and remind yourself how much great work you've just done and what your purpose in doing this is!

"The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful
servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has
forgotten the gift."

-Albert Einstein

How to Actually Manifest Your Dream, Part 4 of 7

Blueheron
In the last post, we discussed having a daily action partner and dealing with the inner critic.  At this point, you're ready to let your creativity soar!  If you're still finding it a challenge to let go, try this exercise, and then return to Part 4.

This is it!  Find your magic creative place, plunk yourself there, and get into it!  You might find you work best at night or during the day, standing or sitting, at home alone or surrounded by lots of people.  If you're writing, instrumental music can help put you in the mood.  A study found that people exercise 25% longer when they listen to music.  I would bet the same principle works for creative work. 

This is the time for you to create and create and create.  Your inner critic is not needed here.  Everything you need to create is in you now.  

"Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it/ Boldness has genius, power and magic in it."

-Goethe

How to Actually Manifest Your Dream, Part 3 of 7

Friends
Find a daily action partner.  This will be the person who you check in every day with about the plan you made in Part 2. Call them every morning, state what you will do for the day, what might get in your way, and what you will do about it.  Your action partner should be someone you can discuss your logistical issues with as well as emotional issues that may come up in response to the new level you're working on.  Let your action partner know that what you'd like from them is to listen and be supportive and to call you out when you're off-target.  Know that just taking the action to call another person who really gets what you're working toward will bring you strength. 

Each time we move up to a higher level of productivity, creativity, or integrity, the part of us that has been stuck can get scared.  You can address that part of you by actually talking to it, respecting it's concerns, and giving it a voice.  Once you've done that, "mine" what your inner critic has told you.  (Don't bother arguing with it; it's not reasonable!)  Is there anything your critic said that you can use creatively?  Sometimes our greatest treasure is the same thing that holds us back.  If your critic were giving you a gift, what would it be? 

After you've listened to and mined your critic's message, move on.  You can even set a timer for, say, five minutes, to listen to you critic.  When time's up, set it aside and begin your creative work.

"Friendship improves happiness and abates misery, by the doubling of our joy and the dividing of our grief."

-Marcus Tullius Ceicero

How to Actually Manifest Your Dream, Part 1 of 7

Lightbulb
A reader of this blog has expressed some interest in hearing more details on how to create a one-person-show (also sometimes called a "one man show", a monologue, or a solo show.)

So, over the next few weeks, I'll explain a bit more about each step in detail from the perspective of a creativity coach.  I want you to really get that while I may be writing specifically about creating a show, you can apply this process to any creative project, whether you're wanting to exhibit your paintings, write a sitcom, or record and album, or illustrate a children's book. 

Part One: On paper, write your higest vision for your show.  Close your eyes, take some deep breaths, connect with your heart, and find your center.  When you're there, write down what your vision is–just like The Secret–how does it feel?  how does it smell?  where does the light fall?  how does it look?  get specific.  who is there with you?  what has changed now that you've accomplished this?  what is your life like now?  what have you learned about yourself? 

Here's the key that most people miss that will blow this exercise up and bring it to the next level: you need to let your mind know that you mean business.  So take the vision you've written, and find a magical way to show yourself your commitment.  Perhaps you post it on your wall where you look every day.  Perhaps you light a candle and dedicate yourself to your vision each morning.  Perhaps you distill the vision into a word and wear that word around your wrist or neck as an amulet.

Coming up next in Part Two: the first step to making your vision a reality.

"We are limited, not by our abilities, buy by our vision."

Testimonial – Creativity Coaching

"Alicia is a heartfelt, deep, vibrant, and creative soul who brings a new flair to life coaching.   Merging her stand up comedy, her spirituality and her deep wealth of life experience Alicia stands out as life coach ready to dig deep into the heart of the matter, while encouraging you to step beyond your own fears to do what it takes to have the life you love.  

Through coaching with Alicia, I was able to start painting again and got back in touch with my creative side.  She is a deep listener and helped me sort through the chatter in my head giving me focus and clarity around my life path.  

If you're looking to spark your creative side or simply looking for someone to help get you back on track Alicia is a wonderful coach!  I've met a lot of different coaches in my day and I highly recommend her as one that stands out amongst the others."

~Suzette H.

Compare and despair? Or just be you.

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It's so easy to look at others who have "succeeded" in their careers or their creative work, and compare ourselves and feel like we're not good enough in comparison.  But hindsight is 20/20.  Look at how each of your hero's choices brought them closer to their goal.  Where they are today shows how obvious and clear their path was.  And yet, at the start (unless your hero is Arnold Schwarzenegger) they had no idea where their path would take them.

I like to look at Woody Allen, for example.  I love the trajectory of his career.  He began writing for television, then did standup comedy for a few years, then he began writing, directing, and acting in his own films.  He's in his 70's, and he's still making a new film every year.  But I don't compare myself to him anymore, because I've realized I want to carve out my own path. Each of us, especially people whose creativity is at the center of their lives, makes a beautiful and unique meandering toward our deepest truth.  And we do it without knowing if or when or how it will "all come together".  This reminds me how we're part of the great mystery of life! 

I'd like to propose that the people you admire were not actually aiming for Success or Getting Things Right or Looking Good so much as really being curious about and exploring themselves and the world around them.  They were becoming themselves, and the opportunities that arose came out of a willingness to take the risk of really knowing who they are.  And things "all come together" at exactly the moment when you decide you're ready for it, and when you decide you really really want it.

So, take a moment, look around, and recognize that you have chosen (consciously or unconsciously at a deep, soul level) exactly who and where you are in order to learn something at Earth School.  And relax into the knowledge that you are exactly where you need to be on your very own path.  And then, make some new choices.  Take some new risks.  Make some new mistakes!

     "The Path that leadeth on is lighted by one fire-the light of daring burning in the heart.  The more one dares, the more he shall obtain."

     -Helena Petrova Blavatsky

The Possibility Tree

Treeinhand
So, you've got a clear vision and a CPR (a statement of the results you want from your work , what your purpose is, and the context you'd like to pursue your results in.) Now, what, Ms. Creativity Coach? If you're at all like me and like to create big visions for yourself, you can get awfully excited and awfully overwhelmed by it all.  Questions arise, like, "Where do I start?" and "Which is the best, most effective task to perform at this moment?"  The intensity of the wonderful vision you have created for yourself can become another block to having what you want if you let it overwhelm you! (It's easy in moments of overwhelm to lose sight of goals and get lost in distractions like over-checking email…)

So, take some time to brainstorm the steps that will bring you from where you are now to where you want to be breaks everything up into manageable chunks.  And if you are someone with a lot of different goals and a lot of different projects all in play, drawing a tree of possible courses of action can be really helpful in visualizing what steps you need to take to arrive at your aims.  Then, you can choose which "branch" you want to focus some time on, take specific actions, and see measurable results.  And whenever necessary, you can re-assess.  Perhaps you're a violinist, and you know you want to get more work playing the violin.  One possibility branch for getting more work would involve networking with other musicians at parties or at the symphony…  Another possibility branch would involve building a website, posting examples of your work online, and attracting customers through internet searches.  Yet another possibility branch could be learning new pieces of music and auditioning in different cities.  Of course, the knowledge of your tree branches will evolve as you grow, but you will create a great picture of how to achieve your goals.  And then you can build a treehouse.

"Shoot for the moon.  Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars."  -Les Brown

Your Daily Action Partner

Integrity
In my creativity coaching work, one of the most common things I see is that people have a vision, but they sabotage themselves in carrying it out.  Your integrity with yourself, that is, your ability to think, act, and speak in alignment with your vision is your magic key to carrying out your vision.  When you make an agreement with yourself to do something in line with your vision, you need to guard that agreement with all of your being.  (Therefore, don't make agreements you aren't willing to keep!)  When you break an agreement with yourself, there is a breach in your integrity that must be repaired.

You have to do this for yourself, but you don't have to do it by yourself.  One of the best tools for staying aligned with your integrity is having a daily action partner.  This is a person with whom you make an agreement to call every morning (set a time to call by) and outline what your actions will be for the day.  Each of you take five minutes or less letting the other person know what steps you are taking today.  An action partner can inspire you, fire you up, and hold you accountable for following through on your dreams.  Take turns listening and be compassionate when there is a break-down.  All that needs to happen when you break a commitment is that you speak what happened, what the cause of the breakdown was, and a statement of what you are re-committing to.

        "When you are impeccable, you take responsibility for your actions, but you do not judge or blame yourself." 

        -Don Miguel Ruiz, The Four Agreements

Dressing the Part

In order to illustrate a few points, I'll tell you a bit about me today…  When I was in high school, I dyed my hair every color of the rainbow.  Green was my favorite.  I pierced my ears, my nose, and eventually I even pierced my lip. As a filmmaker and standup comedian, my image was a powerful statement.  It certainly helped me on stage at a time when I wanted to feel assertive and commanding.  My punk aesthetic was a way to stake my claim for freedom and individuality and playfulness.   

Circusoh
Several years ago, I started a circus and took it on tour across the country.  My circus's gypsy aesthetic of the motley tribe of wanderlusts sent me fishing through antique clothing stores to invent my ringmaster costume…  It was another avenue for creative expression that was powerful and unique in a new way. 

Aliciaindia_headshotRecently, I traveled in India for several months.  I spent time at ashrams, learning yoga, meditating, meeting new people.  I packed one pair of jeans and a few t-shirts from home.  It was with a delicious contentment that I gathered beautiful, flowing scarves and punjabi pants at each stop along my dusty journey.  I had removed my lip ring and let my hair grow, and it's now past my shoulders.  For many years, I enjoyed playing with people's perceptions about appearance, knowing all along that the essence which radiates from deep within is more true than what clothes I put on, what shape my body is, where wrinkles have settled in from smiling, or what color my skin is.

Alicia_headshot
And today, I enjoy a sense of confidence, creativity, and freedom that I wear along with my long hair, high heels, and a new brown jacket.  I am having a ball dressing in a commanding way, and fully inhabiting this new space.  My interactions with people feel unfamiliar.  Along with a sense of power, I also feel a sense of responsibility with the power I'm commanding, and a desire to increase my humility, my grounding, and my compassion to root myself. 

How we present ourselves is a manifestation of how we see ourselves, and a wish for how others might see us.  I encourage you to experiment with your appearance.  Step outside of your comfort zone. If you always wear suits or dresses, try putting on a crazy hat and wearing your clothes backwards to the park.  Creativity is about exploring possibility, and it's fueled by your willingness to be in the unknown. Are you ready?

        "When one lives with concepts one never learns.  The concepts become static.  You may change them but the very transformation of one concept to another is still static, is still fixed.  But to have the sensitivity to feel, seeing that life is not a movement of two separate activities, the external and the inward, to see that it is one, to realize that the inter-relationship is this movement, is the ebb and flow of sorrow and pleasure and joy and depression, loneliness and escape, to perceive nonverbally this life as a whole, not fragmented, nor broken up, is to learn.

        -Krishnamurti