I like those big claims. Don’t you? I wanted to write an article about how I made a videotape last year as some of the lessons I learned seem applicable to pretty much anything else that anyone would ever want to do. I’ll organize this using the TEN SUGGESTIONS from my video, Goddess Grace, which gives A to Z instructions on how to be a goddess in only 30 minutes a day. In case you’re interested.
#1. Do Only What Feels Right. This sounds easy and obvious but if you look around you’ll notice a lot of people who are struggling through lives they don’t enjoy and doing work they have no interest in. They skipped the step of figuring out what they want to do. This is absolutely the most important one. Give it some time and thought. Let your dreams and imagination guide you. Listen to the voices and urges you generally shove to the back of your mind. I found a book called Wishcraft by Barbara Sher to be extremely helpful in this process. You may be surprised at what calls to you. Don’t let any “reality considerations” censor what comes up here. You can deal with “I don’t have the money, I don’t know how, What would my parents think” and any other forms of “It’s not realistic” later. Right now the task is to ferret out your essential self. What enlivens you? Why are you here?
#2. Expand Your Awareness. Declare your intention to the universe and of course to everyone you meet. This will bring all sorts of information to you that you never needed before. All humans have this filter type thing called a Reticular Activating System which basically screens out everything in your environment that is not either a threat or of value to you. You have just adjusted your RAS to search for and allow in a whole lot of information you never noticed before. Now you can use it too.
#3. Create What You Need. I needed an empowering, fun thorough warm-up for my bellydance classes that used goddess imagery and included all the affirmations I would ever need. Guess what? I couldn’t find one. So I made it up. Then since nobody could remember the whole thing I made a video of it. I needed music for the video and since I couldn’t afford to pay anyone for it, guess what I did. I needed a company and a logo and costumes and artwork and on and on and if I couldn’t do it myself I got someone else to. So can you.
#4. Enjoy Yourself. I never had more fun, excitement, satisfaction and creative juice than I did in the course of doing that video. I made some great friends and had some intense and wonderful times. I also had anxious times, plenty of frustration and did more work than I thought I was capable of. Contrary to popular opinion, work and fun are not mutually exclusive. Nor are joy and anguish. Any project worth doing will present obstacles. Scream, cry, beat a pillow, (maybe eat some chocolate) and get on with it. Mark the milestones, especially the small but hard ones with a special treat for yourself. After making a particularly dreaded phone call, take a nice bath or a long walk. Throw a party for the people who help you. Be sure to surround yourself with people who love and support you and like to laugh.
#5. Know You Are Wonderful. You can’t follow your dream if you don’t think you deserve to have it. Consider that you may be the only person on this earth with the capacity to do the exact thing you are itching to do. What if that thing is a crucial link in a chain of events which will ultimately undermine the patriarchy. And what if you think you aren’t good enough to do it or you don’t know if you’d succeed or you really should do this other thing that somebody else wants you to do? Choose to do what you want to do. This may sound flaky or new age but it’s actually hard work and requires that you take full responsibility for your life. You don’t get to blame anyone else for stopping you. But you do get a life that’s uniquely suited for the wonderful person you are.
#6. Expand Your Potential. If you’re taking on anything new and/or challenging you will have no choice here. Whether you intend to or not, if you want to accomplish anything you have to learn something along the way. This does not have to be painful. But it probably will be sometimes. Help yourself out here by trying to learn the painful lessons the first time around. Next time it might even be fun. And remember if you’re not growing, you’re dying.
#7. When In Doubt, Breathe and Relax. When your willpower and vision are at a low ebb, take time out to notice how beautiful the world is and celebrate how much you love the people in your life. Fanatically pursuing any goal, even the dream of your life, can become a way of postponing your life till some future when things will be set up right. Ground yourself firmly in the present and draw the future to you. At those times when you’re frustrated, tired, and you can’t remember why you’ve taken this on in the first place, your old life was just fine, take a break, have some fun (see #4) and let yourself re-vision your goal. Is it still what you want? Then get back to it.
#8. Honor Variety as the Spice of Life. Involve your friends. Ask for help. This is the key to life. People are dying to help each other but most of us are afraid to ask. Help will come from the most unexpected places and in forms you hadn’t imagined. You’ll receive an unbelievable wealth of emotional and physical support if you tell the right people. (The P.S. to this is that some people will not only be unsupportive they will actually try to talk you out of it. This is their own fear of risking security – as if there were such a thing – being projected onto you. Don’t buy it.) This step will also provide you with a powerful backup motivator when you just can’t do what you said you would. Don’t knock it. It works.
#9. Use Your Imagination. Find out what is at the core of your need to do whatever it is you want to do and figure out ways to include that thing in the process of getting or doing it. For me the product was a videotape designed to empower women. The process I used to produce it included sharing power with and drawing on the unique abilities of the people who helped. If you want to write a book or build a bridge or be a professional baseball player or bellydancer ask yourself why and make sure the process of getting there includes regular doses of what turns you on about doing those things. You’ll be presented with innumerable obstacles that would stop a less committed person from reaching her goal. View them as opportunities to be creative. Brainstorm with your friends.
#10. Remember YOU Are The Goddess. So Is Everyone Else. Celebrate! You’ve already done the hardest part by choosing to do whatever you’re doing. Still, the best ideas in the world are only that without a plan and a course of action. Use your goddess sight to envision the end accomplished and work backwards from there. Put it in writing. Use a calendar and timeline. What will it take to get to the goal? Write it down. Now, what will it take to get there? Keep thinking it through and working backwards and eventually you will get to a few small do-able tasks that can be done today. Then do them. There are no substitutes for this. The Goddess helps those that help themselves. If you don’t act on your own behalf why should anyone else? The feeling of empowerment that comes from doing what you say you will is tremendous and not obtainable through any other means. It’s also the perfect expression of a goddess to manifest her will. Once you’re comfortable with that you can have a lot of fun helping other people recognize their goddess nature.My best wishes go out to anyone who takes this on. I would love to hear your success stories. If you follow these steps you will undoubtedly be successful (though it may not always look the way you expected it to). You will be among the blessed who live a life they love.