Lesson #6: Flow is in the sweet spot

Lesson #6: Flow is in the sweet spot

This lesson comes from my aikido practice but it is true for many things in life. So, when I am practicing a technique in aikido against a person who is using some resistance, if I am not correctly aligned, responding to their action will be difficult and require me to use strength. It is one of the advantages of being a female aikidoka. Males, being generally stronger, can often use strength to get techniques to work, and consequently not take advantage of the full magic of the practice.

One of my favourite experiences during training is when I am struggling to do a technique, and then the tiniest, subtle adjustment can shift things from feeling really hard, to completely effortless. This is the magic of aikido. This can also be true for life — which I’m in the process of making happen. There are a lot more variables in life, but the principle is the same. I’ll let you know when I get there :).

ai — harmony

ki — spirit

do — way/path

The way of harmony with spirit. The way of effortless action. I believe this experience of the ‘sweet spot’ demonstrates the essence of aikido.

Lesson #5: Say yes to your universe

Lesson #5: Say yes to your universe

This lesson comes out of the book ‘Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway’ by Susan Jeffers, though I’ve heard many variations saying the same thing.

Saying ‘Yes’ to your universe invites you to not only accept everything that happens to you, but to welcome it. It requires you to trust that you live in a loving universe.

In a similar vein is the idea of ‘loving the ropes’ — the ropes being those things that you feel are restricting you or causing you pain. When you ‘love the ropes’ they disappear.

Essentially, this all points to the power of our mind in how we experience any situation. Byron Katie’s book ‘Loving What Is’ and practice of ‘The Work’ gives a structured approach for turning around your thoughts and seeing what feels like your reality differently.

“The most important decision we make is whether we believe we live in a friendly or hostile universe.”

― Albert Einstein

Lesson #4: Together We Rise

Lesson #4: Together We Rise

‘A rising tide lifts all boats’

As we move toward a more healthily balanced society (as opposed to the imbalances of the patriarchy) I am seeing, particularly with women, how as we lift up others, we all rise. Many women have grown up not trusting other women and experiencing jealousy, comparison and destructive competition. Perhaps it goes back to the times of witch burnings where women were encouraged to dob in each other, or maybe it goes back even further to women being all but written out of sacred texts such as the bible. Female genital mutilation is still today done by females. Women can be vicious with each other. But this is an old paradigm that is finally starting to fade. It is time to lift up our sisters and celebrate their success, rather than see them as a threat or competition.

This support and uprising of women offers hope for both humanity and the planet.

Lesson #3: Wealth Dynamics

Lesson #3: Wealth Dynamics

Doing the Wealth Dynamics quiz I came out as a Dynamo / Creator type. This process was very validating and inspiring to me as I had done so many jobs that did not use my strengths. This test has helped me to to focus more on my strengths and to see the jobs that are out of alignment.

Wealth Dynamics (AKA Talent Dynamics) is a system that shows you where your natural talents lie. When you are operating from your natural talents you are able to be in flow which is where you are able to have the biggest impact, feel the most joy, and experience ‘wealth’.

This system overlays many different systems including the I-Ching, the seasons, the five Chinese elements, and much more.

Apart from describing where your strengths lie, it also describes the two other profiles you need on your team to operate most successfully.

I highly recommend this system to understand yourself better.

Lesson #2: The Enneagram

Lesson #2: The Enneagram

In 2014 I was early in my journey of setting up a business, but I was struggling. I came across a free ebook that described the nine personality types of the Enneagram in terms of being a business person. I printed off the ebook and started reading through the descriptions starting with ‘type 1′. When I got to ‘type 5’ — the investigator — I was blown away. I read about aspects of myself that i had felt were what was wrong with me — the things I’d felt ashamed of, like holding back, being a loner, endlessly studying and searching .. and realised I wasn’t alone — that there were huge numbers of people who thought and felt like I did.


This was the start of a deep journey in which I learnt about all of the types and for the first time I started to understand people. As I lay in bed at night, thinking about all these types, and piecing together a lifetime of interactions and confusion, I felt like my life was a massive puzzle that was falling into place.

One of the biggest gifts of learning about the Enneagram was that, in understanding myself and others more clearly, I could feel love and appreciation for what each person, including myself, was experiencing.


What followed was a journey back to the world, as I had removed myself from the world and ‘society’ to an extreme degree.


The best way to learn about the Enneagram is, much like I did, to read the descriptions of each of the types and to see what resonates.


The Enneagram describes a path of spiritual evolution.


In the past year I have started to learn a completely different way of understanding the Enneagram that precedes the personality structure approach. This is Fourth Way teachings and the Enneagram describes a process of evolution which I am beginning to study as ‘an objective way of awakening’.


This ancient symbol has a lot of depth and is something I expect I will be studying my whole life.


Anyway, this is a very simple (overly simple) introduction. I LOVE the Enneagram and I recommend it as a powerful tool for self awareness and guidance.

Lesson #1: It’s okay to change your mind

Lesson #1: It’s okay to change your mind

I used to be really rigid when it came to decisions. I valued reliability and liked to see myself as reliable. When i made a decision I would stick with it, regardless of the pain or the clear signs to stop or change direction.

In some ways this served me. I stuck with things until I learnt the lesson, allowing me to experience completion. But mostly it served to keep me stuck. It also contributed to a fear of commitment and a difficulty with making decisions.

I’ve learnt over the past couple of years in particular, and particularly thanks to two of my teachers, that not only is changing my mind okay, it can in fact be admirable. We risk being judged, feeling stupid, wasting time or money, disappointing other people, and taking responsibility for our life when we make a decision and change our mind.

Changing our mind means feeling into what is right for us, and adjusting accordingly. My tenacity and unwillingness to let go of an idea / decision in the past was because I was living mostly in my head. My decisions were generally a response to thinking and not feeling. I didn’t even know HOW to feel for most of my life. Bringing consciousness to my feelings is something I now practice every day. It is an important part of my process of awakening.

What about you? What is something you have ‘decided’ to do (or not do). Can you entertain the opposite? And when you make a decision, how much do your feelings play a part?

Let me know.

Thanks,

Orly

Lessons for Life

Lessons for Life

At the start of this year I set myself a challenge to get me up and running. I committed to ‘A lesson a day’ (though I didn’t set for how long) and for the first two months I did just that. But then I got a new job and other parts of my life needed attention so I let myself off the hook, and have been doing them sporadically now.

One thing I was happy to discover through this practice is that I have enough lessons to last a lifetime .. particularly considering I continue to learn every day.

I’ve been writing my lessons on the Medium platform which I love for the ease of both writing and publishing and subsequent editing. But in the meantime my blog has been languishing and my friends who want to hear what I have to say get locked out from my account after a while unless they sign up.

So it’s time for me to start sharing my lessons here on my blog (as well as Medium).

I’ll start with Lesson #1.

Stay tuned.

Orly x

Waking up to a new year

Waking up to a new year

I wrote and sent this to my email list (and Medium) so I am putting it up here rather belatedly since it sets the scene of what is to come.

—–

We’re ticking over. The big clock is shifting from 2021 to 2022. Numbers feel significant to me. They mark a passage .. make a stamp.
Each year I choose a word which forms a framework for that year. It creates a significance. We create our meaning. It becomes an exploration through all aspects of life. A focus. A holding space.

This year my word was determined as I drove north for a holiday with my sister and sister-in-law .. our ritual connection, debrief and dreaming time of magical creation .. and a word I have had some resistance to became my focus — GODDESS.
2021 has been my year of the GODDESS which included the appreciation of the many amazing women in my life, both near and far. The goddesses of this world give me hope. Living into Goddess felt like living into abundance and creation and possibility. It felt like a healthy sense of empowerment and lifting each other up. It felt like an uprising.
As we click over into 2022 I am considering the word to carry my through next year. I don’t have to make any definite decisions, but it feels good to consider.

Right now I’m sitting with AWAKEN. I love this in lots of ways. It feels like an opportunity to feel more alive, to be more present, to become more conscious, to rise up, to fully embody my life. And to share all the things I’ve been studying (SO MUCH!) these past few years.

I’m thinking of doing a #365day challenge of A Lesson A Day, where I share something I’ve learnt every day. It can be like a ‘decluttering’ so that I can get clarity on my lessons and share them as a gift to others.

I start tomorrow. Eek!

I’m preparing to share a ’system of evolution’ that I have created. I am calling it a Framework for Creative Evolution and it contains five elements that together form a catalyst that can help you get unstuck and rise up in your life.

Sharing this system, my creative work and holding mastermind groups for inspiration, motivation and connection is part of a multi-dimensional transformational journey.

Jump on board and I will support you on your own transformational journey.

Anyway .. the Green Goddess is inspiring me right now.
I am facing a fear and practicing one of the 5 elements in my system — Courage — taking the leap so to speak. I’ll never get this right and if I hold onto it it would never get finished. I know that I kill things when I edit .. and turn them from vibrancy to a dull order.

This is my new challenge. (maybe ..)
A post a day.
The thought terrifies me.
I can see the exposure, the pressure, the shame.

It’s almost midnight. 11.26pm as I type, here in Sydney time.
At 4.00am in the mountains of the U.S one of my favourite goddesses is holding a ‘Rebirth’ call. I’ve been in lots of magical spaces that she has held for the past few years — not all of them in real time — and she has inspired and delighted me on my journey of rising up.

It feels perfect timing for being in the Rebirth Portal right now.

The planet is awakening. The goddess is stepping up. This is such a privilege.

We’re all in this together.

Thank you for being here with me right now!

Amen.

The Witness

The Witness

I wrote the following poem at the start of this year .. a stream of consciousness exploration. After randomly clicking on it I decided to read it to my writing group, intending first to tidy it. As it happened I couldn’t bring myself to even look at it before our meeting, and jumped into the vulnerable sharing of it in its imperfection and despite the fact that one of our group members features in the poem.

Acting despite my fears, walking into the fire so to speak, is something I’m finding is liberating and expansive and it is how I am currently approaching life. My desire is to continue to bust through my fears and expand in my experience of life. And with that said, here is my poem.

12 January
Eight years since Ian died
Waking up to strange dreams
A group of us in Bellingen
The ‘rescuers’ taking over
Mum driving my car too fast and off the road
Kathy taking charge of dinner plans
I got quite annoyed with the game last night.
Apparently we’re playing tonight
But I didn’t agree to that
And Vanessa agreed to the opposite
She specifically said ‘one night only’
And I’m with that
Drinking and playing card games
If fun for some
Let them have their fun
Even though they will think the more the merrier
This ‘rescuer’ dynamic is toxic
Or at least unpleasant
It creates a victim
Fuck that
Bloody James Bond
Got me angry the other night
And dreaming of snakes
He’s a snake.
I’m losing interest in Peter more and more
Which is quite a release
I meant to say relief
But it is a letting go
It is a relief
It’s the pattern I grew up in
Learning to give up my power
In exchange for being rescued
This victim creation .. the helpless, hopeless, confused,
Defenceless, surrendered creature
Was the result
Reliant on my captor for help and support
Until I broke free on my own
But I still couldn’t function
In ‘normal’ circumstances
I’m seeing it more and more clearly
And still, she tries to win me over
To buy her way into my affections
To be needed and for me to need her
But I’m getting stronger
The rescuers can take their big capacity
They can take their desire to jump in
They can take their bullying tactics
Disguised as love
But the love is not love
It’s an unconscious pattern
A desire to receive love

I will only disappoint a rescuer
When I reject his desire to help
Because it puts me down
And assumes I can’t do it myself
So what do I do
To meet someone I desire
Without the pattern being activated.
It wasn’t activated with Ian
Perhaps we were both victims
Who had turned into loners
Rejecting the desires of others
To take control and be our hero.
Instead we became each others hero
With neither the victim
And neither the judge
And both accepting of both the other
And the self
We did it. It worked.
We slipped out of that dynamic.
But I fell into the hole with Peter
For way too many years,
Prepared to give up everything
To be his slave and disciple
In return for love.
I made it back to me
Back to Goddess
To Earth Mother.
Which is where I am now.,
Yes, I’m back to the Goddess
This is where I needed to be
Not wanting rescuing
From a snaky spy
Or a capacious and distracted
Uncommitted and unfaithful
Self centred and rejecting
Lover
For that is no lover at all
I would have been miserable
It took me so long to see it.
But it’s getting clearer.

And I now see the guilt
And where it comes from
For all I gave to you
Feeling obliged and dutiful
To my rescuer
Feeling resentful and rejecting
Of my captor
For where is the love
When we become a possession
Where is the love
When we aren’t truly free
Yet she’s done so well
She insists that she loves me
Even when I’m not the obedient servant
Even when I free myself
Does she understand what I write
Does she reflect
Does she have regrets
She was acting on autopilot
She believed she was doing good
Just as I did also when
I let Joey make decisions
That were not his to make
Turned him into my rescuer
And my judge
Can I make amends
Now as I step out of the victim role
And rewrite my life
Now as my life
Begins again.

And as for tonight
My final night in this house
Before a new life begins

I still have the decision
Do I perform my duty
Or do my own thing
The jury needs a voice
It needs an answer
Does Joey need me there?
Or can I tell him of my experience
That might be more an education
I’ll write out the two lists
And get clear on my answer.
Do I dare
Disturb the Universe.
Rescuers be damned
We’re all in this together
And now I’ve written
And gotten some clarity
And I’m feeling a bit better
And my poem is very long.

Time to finish my email
And send it out
Onwards and upwards
I join the Goddess
And save first my own life
And then the world.
Amen.

Save first my own life
For I had given it up
It was no longer mine
It’s time to take it back
To not allow the ‘boss’ to feel
He is doing me a service
For this is my life
And I rescue myself
I’m obliged to no-one.
The judges can judge.
It step out of the triangle
And become the witness.

Your soul wants to evolve

Your soul wants to evolve

“I feel like I’m turning a corner” I said to my friend on our coffee date .. realising as I said it that I’d said it before. I was following a new teacher, studying something inspiring, FEELING like I was evolving.

I’d been on a mission to improve my life for years with constant learning and studying .. getting glimmers of hope through the process. And yet, I still seemed to be ‘stuck’. As we chatted, one of us had the thought .. yes, I WAS turning a corner .. because I was going round in circles. My ego had outsmarted me. While my soul was striving for expansion, my ego was helping me FEEL like I was expanding, but I was in my comfortable old pattern of gathering information, with dopamine hits from each spark of insight. This was how I’d always been .. a lover of learning .. my ego was smack bang in it’s happy place.

The battle between the soul and the ego

Your soul desires evolution
But your ego wants nothing to change.
Your soul desires freedom.
Your ego desires safety.
Your soul operates on love.
Your ego operates on fear.

This is the push-pull of life as a human.

A matter of life or death

So what does it take to expand into our potential? How do we break free of the limitations of our thinking and our past patterns? How do we transcend our everyday reality.

The answer is simple (but not easy). We need to LEAP.

The big leap

The soul’s expansion feels like death to the ego .. a break from the way things have ‘always’ been. But being caught in the web of attachments and patterns created by the ego is like death to the spirit. So .. how do we break free of the clutches of ego, of the old patterns? It takes leaping into the unknown .. listening to the nudges of the spirit .. and TRUSTING that you will be okay .. a ‘leap of faith’.

The hero’s journey

Most book and movie plots revolve around this leap into the unknown and the transformation that comes out of it. Following the spirit’s ‘call to adventure’, the ‘hero’ of the story at first refuses the call (our ego knows it isn’t ‘safe’ and resists). In life that’s often where the story ends and we go back to doing the same old same old. But if we follow the call, and jump into the unknown, now we’re on our ‘hero’s journey’.

My latest leap

Just over two months ago, determined to find clarity, direction and focus in my business ventures, I set a ‘launch’ date, and announced it to my coaching group and on my Instagram feed.

I chose the full moon two months ahead as my date. This made sense since I’ve been using the new moon each month to set intentions and reflect on that month’s progress. I figured two months would give me time to really dive into creating and exploring in order to develop my mould making skills and produce some pieces before I needed to get serious about how to make money.

Enter the free fall

Setting the date was a leap into the unknown with the fear and exhiliration of the free fall but at that point plenty of time before I would ‘hit’ the end. What I’d given myself, and my spirit, was SPACE and PERMISSION.

I set to creating without regard to sale-ability or practicality. Starting with tiny pieces and low risk I built up in size and complexity as the weeks went on. With YouTube as my teacher, Spotify as my inspiration and my credit card as my funder I gave my spirit full rein.

As the deadline drew closer the pressure intensified and my ego which had thrived a lifetime on the identity of ‘not knowing’ was being challenged by the threat of having to ‘make a decision’ .. I felt like an alarm was going off inside me. 

The day before my ‘launch’ date was the deadline for entries in a small sculpture prize exhibition. I’d only just (thanks to my deadline) completed a piece that I felt symbolises my ‘message’: Sprite — spirit of play, a maquette for a play sculpture. Inspired by my sculpture buddy’s entering two pieces in the competition I also submitted an actual ‘play sculpture’: Fingerboard Park, in it’s unfinished state.

The process of creating and considering the desired purpose of my work brought the clarity I had hoped for, as I started to consider the saleability of pieces and potential for making a living, in alignment with my top values of curiosity, connection and creativity. Public Play Sculpture had long been my big dream, but now I could see a clearer path to making it happen. 

Breaking the circle

The universe is always sending us messages, and on the day of launching a strange thing happened. My nephew had been trying on some rings I’d made the night before, and one became stuck on his finger. The fire and rescue was called in to help and, using a saw and leverage, cut through the ring and opened it. Given the timing and circumstances this felt like more than just a bizarre coincidence.

From my old desire to ‘close circles’ — sealing off circles in handwriting, changing my name from C to O, and constantly needing to understand things — to the feeling of being stuck in a loop .. this broken circle felt significant. One message I take from it is that, by choosing and taking action, I break out of the loop.

Enter freedom

When we leap into the unknown we open up space for spirit to enter and support us. 

What is your soul calling you to do? Is there something that feel right (but scary)?

Maybe it’s time to leap?

Speak it out loud. Make the commitment .. and then .. JUMP!

Your soul wants to evolve.

Love,
Orly

Into the Quantum

Into the Quantum

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started 
And know the place for the first time.

– T.S.Eliot

Hi and welcome to the Quantum!  It’s a place I’ve begun exploring, where anything and everything is possible.  How is your 2021 going so far?  Have you noticed any shifts?

What is the Quantum?

One of my teacher says “What is, is, all else is quantum”.  It’s taken a bit for me to get my head around this, but essentially, the Quantum is everything that doesn’t ‘exist’ (in 3D) right now but exists in the infinite possibilities.  Just because something exists in our experienced reality doesn’t negate everything else.  It could all be happening side by side.  As I see it, stepping in the Quantum is stepping out of limited thinking and into the realms of infinite possibility.  In the past this would have felt daunting to me, but right now it’s beginning to feel expansive and exciting.  

We shall not cease from exploration

With curiosity as one of my top three values, exploration is an essential part of my existence.  And perhaps for that reason, I have tended to be drawn to things I didn’t understand.  Confusion was also a natural state for me.  But happy to say I am finally shifting from confusion to clarity in multiple areas of my life and, rather than spinning my wheels, I’m finally making progress.

The end of all our exploring

I see life as a spiral process of evolution, where we return to the same lessons but each time with a new level of understanding.  In this way the process becomes meaningful and purposeful.  Perhaps its that flash of deeper insight that feels so nourishing and makes the travails seem worth it.

Three weeks ago I had a profound experience of this, when I attended a ‘Mould Making and Casting’ workshop as part of Bellingen Shire’s Arts Week.

To arrive where we started

Over the years I have done a lot of ‘model-making’ in all sorts of materials and sizes.  But apart from (and perhaps due to) an unsatisfying experience in year 12, I have not used rubber moulds.  Now, looking back, it’s like I went ‘off track’ at that point in year 12.  I remember the moment .. standing outside my art room at high school and a friend mentioning she had put down architecture as her top preference.  I’d never even thought of architecture but it struck me as fascinating.  It was the mysterious and esoteric quality of it that drew me in.  That was 33 years ago.  

At the time I was creating a sculpture out of clay for my HSC art project.  I couldn’t fire it because of the wire armature, so I had to create a rubber mould and plaster sleeve in order to cast it in resin.  I remember ringing around Sydney to find the ingredients, muddling my way through the process, with little guidance, and ending up with a disappointing result.  The sculpture was of a naked female rising in ecstasy and representing the state of enlightenment.  I saw it as a maquette for a larger than life size piece.  That was my vision.  

And know the place for the first time

And so, three weeks ago, in the midst of a lot happening and very little forethought, I went along to the workshop with artist Jim Hood.  Jim created a sculpture I fell in love with and purchased three months ago, and it turns out he lives in the same street as me but I’d never met him.  I was so blown away by the techniques he shared and the possibilities I could see that my journey suddenly started to make sense.  And the workshop space I’d created under my house before I moved up to Fernmount, with my vision of working from home creating sculptures, suddenly started to feel like a possibility.

The end of all our exploring

And so it is that tomorrow I begin a new journey as I start the New Enterprise Incentive Scheme (NEIS) program and begin to put together a business plan for this new iteration of my business.

My plan is to create moulds and replicas of my sculpture pieces, and to offer this as a service to others.  And I’ll continue to work towards the first (and subsequent) Cloudscape sculptures.  

The peace of clarity

Searching for work I could do that felt inspiring and aligned and that I could do until I die has been a mission of mine for most of my life.  And I feel like I have found it.  The peace that comes from this ‘no longer searching’ is huge.  Finally, the energy I’ve spent searching can be put into creation.  I feel as though I can finally relax – and this makes possible so much else in my life.  Thank you Universe!!

 Magical journeys

There’s more I could share about various other journeys I’ve been on lately including Quantum Magic, Money Manifestation Magic, and Lifebook – all three of which have been powerful, mind-blowing and inspiring.  But this ‘arrival’ of sorts in terms of my career is the biggest breakthrough by far, so I will leave it at that for now.  

How about you?  Have you had any big shifts?  Is there anything you like to share?  I’d love to hear from you.

Thanks for being here.

Love,
Orly

Goddess Power

Goddess Power

You are the universe in ecstatic motion 
– Rumi

Hello and Welcome to 2021.

How do you feel about this year so far?  Are you setting any goals or are you simply in for the ride?  It looks like being another wild one.  

Goddess energy

My word for 2021 came out of left field .. GODDESS.  It’s a word I’d have felt uncomfortable with in the past but feels perfect for now.  GODDESS is a celebration of nature, the divine, connection, creation, cycles, devotion, beauty, power, joy, adoration and wildness.

The joy of creation

This is my year for creation – starting with writing a new story for my life.  Most of our lives are repeated patterns, rehashing past beliefs and experiences.  But they don’t need to be.  We have so much power to create our reality.  Science continues to prove this.  We can be the author of our destiny .. and this is my intention this year.

You can be the author of your life

I’ve joined a program called Lifebook on the Mindvalley platform in which, over six weeks, you write your vision, beliefs, purpose and strategy for your life.  The program breaks your life down into twelve categories and moves through the envisioning process one category at a time, culminating in the twelfth category of Life Vision.  So far I’ve looked at Health & Fitness and Intellectual Life and I can see how interconnected the parts are.  I’m inspired to take charge of my life, to become aware of blind spots and to be more conscious.  And I’m particularly excited about getting clarity on my Life Vision.  I’ll keep you posted.

Learning to let go

As I write my story I’m aware one of my strengths, tenacity, has also been debilitating.  Hanging on and not letting go has enabled me to push through on things that required endurance (like my two architecture degrees) but also stopped me from letting go at times when that might have served me better.  

Where I’m particularly seeing the benefits of holding on less tightly is decision making.  Making decisions has felt overly significant to me when I felt I couldn’t change my mind and was stuck with whatever I chose.  But as I re-envision my life I’m giving myself permission to change things as I go.  I can now see my tenacity as a form of rigidity and fear.  I’m shifting instead to flow and trust.  Phew.

A Year of Miracles

Finally .. this year, I’m reading the daily prompts for the 365 day ‘Course in Miracles’ – a process of shifting your perceptions.  I started off with reading a simplified adaptation with a book  by one of my teachers who published ‘leave this book in your bathroom’ last December.  Then yesterday I felt compelled to look at the original text as well to compare.  I’ll let you know how it goes .. next year if not before.  Have you read (or heard of) A Course in Miracles?

How about you?

Where are you at?   What are your thoughts or plans?  I’d love to hear whatever you’d like to share.

Wishing you miracles, creativity and goddess energy for an amazing and successful year in 2021.

With love,
Orly

PS
I’ve now done three weeks of #apoemaday on Instagram.  Check it out HERE.

PPS
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