Dream Life: Guest Jenny Clarke

We’ve just completed the third week of 2019.  The time, it is said, most people drop or lose sight of their resolutions, intentions, and goals for the new year. 

As I lament this pattern of losing focus on what matters most to us, I am reminded of how important it is to have points of inspiration in our lives to sustain the drive it takes to make changes and reach for big, bold goals.  An inspiration point could be an uplifting book you read regularly.  It could be a role-model that you keep your eye on. It could be a trusted accountability partner.  It could be surrounding yourself with people dedicated to living creatively and beneficially.

I have an inspiration point I would love to share with you:  writer Jenny Clarke and her blog T{He}art of Healing.  You can find out about Jenny and the many modalities she works in at NourishCreateTransform.com. But take my word for it, this is one powerful writer, one I depend on to offer deeply thoughtful, insightful, and inspiring words that lift me and urge me to “step forward boldly.”

Jenny has agreed to let me share her December 9 blog, designed as her “love letter to this year.”  In it you will see so many ideas that resonate with the LifeArt curriculum.  She speaks of creating a new foundation, of the importance of inner work, of getting rid of distractions, of noting attachment to certain versions of the self, of reaching for potential, and of “stepping forward boldly.”  She is beautifully inspiring to me, and I hope, as we head into week 4 of 2019, that you will find her a singular “inspiration point” in your life, too. It’s called “Dream Life.”

What is the power of a woman who has opened to the sacredness and Divine truth of herself? What happens when she has the courage to bring the inner light outwards? What transpires when she softens her hard edges, plants her bare feet on the soul of the earth, opens her sacred channels to the Ancient Ones and declares, ‘Yes, I am ready to be seen?’  She changes everything.
— Sophie Bashford

Dream Life

by Jenny Clarke

2018 has been a year of great change. Its theme has been re-building after the dismantling of my life the previous year. This was my year of "Hope" as I sought to listen to the longings of my heart and follow their promptings into a new chapter of my life.

And called I was: much deeper inside myself. I was assigned the task of completing the healing work left over from the pain of divorce. I was invited to step more fully into my power as a woman and single mother; to embrace solitude rather than relationship and become intimate with my singularity. I had to unplug from old paradigms of struggle and suffering to feel worthy and push my way out of the constraints of too small boxes that no longer fit my expanding self. From the outside it may have appeared that very little was happening but the truth is that everything was being reorganized. It's what I would call a "root" year where I had to attend to the establishment of a new foundation for my life. It was underground work. This entire process reminds me of the vital importance and equal value that our inner/invisible work is to our outer work in the visible world. I learned to not judge my life based on just the "fruit" when some months or years are all about the roots.

I gave much time and attention to simplifying my life down its most essential elements: self-care, my children and developing my mission through my work in the world. Simplifying our overly complicated lives is an art and science. It requires both the imagination to envision more space and ease in our days as well as the formulas for making that a reality by letting go of the things that distract us, noisily crowd our lives and insist on their value. Once I committed to shedding the excess on a regular basis it opened me to a spacious joy that has been here all along. I vow to protect this sacred simplicity with my life.

Confession: I have been having a love affair with freedom. I am learning that freedom isn't just about doing anything I want, when I want, but rather in choosing how I most want to live. It isn't offered without a certain price either--it costs me everything that no longer holds precious value for me: relationships, things, beliefs, old programs and habits. Freedom has become the daily choice to remain loyal to the intimacy of my direct relationship to life and to trust my own knowing to lead me forward. As a result, one of the most freeing realizations I have experienced is that when I give up being overly attached to any one version of myself (mother, teacher, woman, yogi) I gain access to much more of my range as an infinite being with untapped potential and possibility. Expressing that range is, for me, what true artistic freedom is about. It is the core value with which I am more deeply aligned. 

The greatest gift I was given this year was in the power of having a dream. I've experienced how stepping boldly forward, stumbling and even getting lost can reveal the way to our dream life. I know that the dream will call us outside of our comfortable stories, beyond the safety nets and enmeshed limiting beliefs. It will shake and wake us to recognize all that we possess that isn't being utilized fully. It will reveal the fears that have become elaborate excuses to keep us from making a change. A dream will inspire and invite you but it won't force you to act on it--that's up to you. The dream will leave if you ignore it long enough. But like everything in the universe it will circle back around and flash its starry smile while you're still stuck in that job, relationship or survival strategy that drains your energy and causes your soul to wither. The dream is magnanimous; it understands your fear but it's also relentless in its desire to get you to pay attention to it.

This year I met my dream with all that I have and asked that it make me into a new creation. I want the dream as much as it wants me. A dream entered into this way contains everything needed for its fulfillment. That's because the dream is alive inside of us; woven into the fabric of our soul. We have to decode the messages, follow the clues, and learn the language of our dream.

What's the dream that won't go away for you? The one that's always knocking, whispering, speaking its sign language everywhere you turn in the world? 

I feel the gates of 2019 wide open and the adventure of the unfolding dream beating its drums for me and you. Can you hear it? Let's enter the dream and allow it to awaken all that we are.

This is the power of a dream.

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Lezlie Laws