Thursday, January 28, 2010

Befriending Dragons

As long as I can remember, I’ve had a fascination with dragons. As a child with a big imagination, my favorite genre was fantasy – stories about magic, witches, fairy godmothers, trolls, elves and the more dragons the better. I always wished I was Samantha on "Bewitched" so I could twitch my nose and clean up my messy bedroom. Even still, I am a Harry Potter fan - devouring each new volume days after each was released. Thoughout my adult life, I seem to have amassed a small collection of dragon sculpture, pottery, candles and even a few stuffed animals which feature prominently.

There are many different definitions of dragons. From Wikipedia, “dragons are legendary creatures, typically with serpentine or otherwise reptilian traits, that feature in the myths of worldwide cultures.”

Some depict dragons as breathing fire or even poisonous. According to Wikipedia, “They are sometimes portrayed as having especially large eyes or watching treasure very diligently, a feature that is the origin of the word dragon (Greek drakeîn meaning "to see clearly").

But dragons are not seen as evil everywhere. In many cultures, they have a great spiritual significance. For instance, in Asian cultures dragons are often thought to be magical creatures, representative of the forces of nature, religion and even the universe. There, they are associated with wisdom.

I like the Asian view of dragons. All of my dragons are nice, friendly dragons – most of whom are obviously smiling not hurting anyone. Two of my most favorite ones are bejeweled wrought iron friendly types warming my hearth that I picked up from a wonderful artist whose studio I visited in Boston, MA many years ago. Since she didn’t sign her work, I can’t point you to her unfortunately but I can show you her gorgeous pieces!

I never thought much about my dragon fascination until I read a piece by Tammy Vitale, a wonderful raku artist we met at Christine Kane’s Wide Awake Weekend. Tammy recently posted an article about dragons on her blog that really resonated with me. Like me, she is a big fan of dragons and creates some gorgeous representations of the ones that live in our imagination. Being the dragon fanatic that I am, I jumped at the chance to commission a few amazing pieces from Tammy which will soon take their rightful places among my collection.

Although they have been given a bad rap as evil, mean and nasty fire-breathing creatures that have to be slain to get at a treasure, I prefer to think of them as the manifestation of our own power – and that it is our dragon selves who are guarding the treasures of our deepest thoughts and desires.

As Tammy puts it:

Dragons are creatures of the imagination. Perhaps even guardians who push us to prove that we indeed do want to go there (wherever “there” may be and wherever that may take us). Dragons help us move toward higher levels of consciousness and out of our comfort zone.

As my readers know, I have been working through Christine Kane’s Uplevel Your Life program and attacking some of the deepest stuff that has been zapping my energy. I like to think of it as befriending my dragons to get at the treasures – my deepest desires, my own wisdom, and clues to my essential self – that I have hidden deep away behind obstacles (a.k.a dragons) to protect them from even myself. It has been an enlightening experience to tap into some of this stuff, befriend those dragons, and clear away the obstacles that have been keeping me from achieving my true potential.

So now I look at my collection of nice friendly dragons as evidence of the achievements I’ve made in my life. Each befriended dragon has opened new doors, exposed new treasures, and is helping me harness my own power.

I encourage you to befriend your dragons too and consider Tammy Vitale’s dragon definition and call to action….

Perhaps the Dragon is only yourself that you don’t yet recognize. Take on her power. Take on her fierceness. Take on her willingness to protect that which she loves – the things that sparkle and shine and make her life beautiful.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

What happened when I Listened this week

Lori Koop, an amazing wabi sabi ceramic artist that we met at Christine Kane's Uplevel Your Business program this fall, has come up with an ingenious way to continue the upleveling dialog with an Upword of the week.

I have so much amazing self-discovery with choosing a "word of the year" instead of a resolution (or what Christine Kane calls a Resolution Revolution) that I jumped right on this. With an additional word to focus on during each week in addition to my word of the year (this year it's SUCCESS) I am sure to achieve even more depth and self understanding.

I am keeping an online Upword journal now The Upwords come out each Sunday so on Saturday morning I have decided to dedicate some creative time to blog about my experience with each one and share them with you.

Lori's Upword this week was LISTEN.

As a Type 7 on the enneagram personality scale, I tend to be a doer - trying to fill my life with things, sounds, projects, multitasks, too much stuff. One of my friends jokes that all you have to say to me is "Kathy do you want to..." and I say yes. A focus on the word LISTEN helped me to hone in on what’s important, what’s begging to be heard amidst my usual self-created din.

Usually I have something rolling in the background no matter what I’m doing – TV at home, radio in the car. I thought it would be interesting to see what I can hear when those things are off. I decided that I to listen better to my heart, my surroundings, my loved ones, my mentors I needed to turn off the TV, news, negativity, gossip.

It has been a very interesting experiment to turn all the background stuff off! I did hear things! I was able to listen better! Here's a partial list of what happened.

• I focused better on my Uplevel Your Life lessons and homework.
• I remembered more of my dreams and had the aha moment in my previous post.
• I listened more carefully to my husband, my dog, my coach and my colleagues
• I was more fully present to whatever I was doing.
• I connected to my thoughts while walking on the treadmill or sitting quietly in between tasks
• I noticed resistance to certain thoughts (i.e. going to the gym) - first resistance, then a turn around to an urge to do that very thing I was resisting.

And it all showed me I need to do this more. I can walk to perky Irish step music or Christine Kane's Wide Awake CD on the treadmill but if I walk in silence I hear more of my own thoughts coming through.

If I turn off the background noise during the day and LISTEN better I more effectively accomplish what I am working on with fewer distractions making me more SUCCESSful.

As an enneagram type 7, I tend to keep busy so I don't have to acknowledge my negative thoughts, the things I am resisting. Seven's rarely admit they have any problems. Or more likely - admitting there might be a problem, but we don't have it.

This week, my coach, Tonya Leigh Williams author of the great JustBLiving blog, helped me reach in there and first listen then explore the thoughts I was resisting and see how listening to them and really understanding them would neutralize them, even turn them positive. So by giving myself the gift of listening to the thoughts that were “swimming around in there” I am working to acknowledge the negative ones and turn them into positive ones.

In searching for the appropriate image to include with this post, I came across the image and "The Story of Tapihritsa" on Kabir Kadre's web site whose message is "Listen carefully and do not be distracted." Taphritsa is obviously talking directly to me!! And maybe to you too.

This Upword stuff really works! I am excited to explore 51 more of them this year and share my experiences with my readers each Saturday. Why don't you sign up for Lori Koop's free Upword service and share how these words are helping the comments here or on your own blogs.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Today's Aha Moment

I am finally doing Christine Kane's Uplevel Your Life Program - I am on Day 18 of 49 wonderful days of it. When I started it I knew I would get some useful systems, tools and techniques because I already get some of those from Christine's blog posts and ezine and I knew this program had them in even more depth and would fire me up to do them one step at a time. But I was skeptical that I'd get any real aha moments. I kind of knew what was in there being a groupie all these years. Boy was I wrong!

Today's lesson is about Being the thing that you most want. My "word of the year" is SUCCESS so I supposed to Be Success. I'm supposed to start thinking thoughts that successful people think and feeling as I already am successful. Hmmmm....this is exactly what my weight loss coach has been telling me too. This means I have to stop old habits and look at things from a new perspective, find a new pathway. Banish those negative thoughts that "I can't do it", "I am a failure", "I don't have any willpower", "I never can commit to systems, " "this won't work for me" and instead think thoughts that a successful woman would think, imagine I am feeling the way a successful woman feels.

Christine uses an example in today's lesson of imagining that you have a big steel door in your home that you go out all the time. It opens to scenery you know, a perspective you are familiar with, the way you go every day. She asks us to imagine ripping it out and moving that door to a new place in the house - opening up to a whole different set of scenery, a different perspective, a new path out.

My aha moment is that this is exactly the recurring dream I've had for many many years. This must be my subconscious/the universe trying to tell me to try a different path, look at things differently! All this time and I've not been listening to it. At least not understanding what it was trying to tell me.

The dream always is that I am starting somewhere familiar - a house, an airport, a hotel - but forgot something I have to go back for before I can go where ever it was I was headed (to a flight, a bus, a meeting). This might be a bag, a person, my purse, a favorite jacket. The problem is that all the doors and pathways back are different and I can't get back to where I left the item - I open a door I've never seen and there is a pool there I didn't know existed and people I haven't seen in a long time. I get in an elevator but it goes somewhere entirely different than where I thought it went. It's not a scary dream so much as a frustrating one.

I think what I need to do in my dream and in my life is explore these new pathways, these different perspectives. Meet the people in the rooms I didn't know existed and let it roll the way the universe (and ultimately I) intend it. Stop worrying if I miss the flight or am late for the meeting and open up to whatever else is out there.

So hold on - this is going to be one heck of a ride!!

p.s. If you haven't heard of Christine Kane, go check out her blog, listen to her music, sign up for her ezine or one of her Uplevel Programs. I'm only one of the people she is helping to uplevel and the testimonials from hundreds others are equally as powerful. Feel that vibration in the universe? It's Christine calling you.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The devastation in Haiti from the earthquake and it's aftermath is bad and getting worse day by day. Please join us in supporting the WineForHaiti initiative by donating wine and/or participating in the wine auction. Details can be found at Palate Press's web site at