We Get to Define Our Success

The Hearth in my Studio, with Plaster Walls and Rainbow of MandalasThe Hearth in my Studio, with Plaster Walls and a Rainbow of Mandalas

My daughter has been away on a field trip this past week, and so my mornings have been filled with the ease that school holidays sometimes provide mothers. I haven’t necessarily been sleeping in, but I have been moving into the day with an easier pace.

Yesterday I dreamt long into the morning. When I woke I wrote this is my journal:

18 May 2016, Wednesday
bedroom, 8:11

All my life I’ve told myself I’m lazy. By which I meant, undisciplined. The primary example of this is how I like to sleep in, like I was this morning, until someone walked into my room and said, “Stephanie, get up,” and that person was myself, in a half-dream. So I got up and now I”m writing this.

I then went on to write down my dream–another house dream, I have lots of those–but I found this one particularly interesting. The house, which was plain and unassuming, had foundation issues, but the most beautiful room in the house, which had a painted ceiling, a decoratively-tiled hearth, and stairs leading up behind the hearth, was draped in yellow tape because the foundation issues were so bad.

I rarely go online to dream interpretation sites because I find them lifeless and trite, but I did this morning, on a whim, search “old houses.” Houses are representations of self,  etc. Check. But then something caught my eye, and resounded with truth for me: “side rooms indicate how you connect with the world.” This sunroom was most decidedly a side room.

I had some space in my day. So I decided to journey back into my dream to see what I might discover.

For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about when I say I “journeyed” back into my dream, it’s actually pretty simple and amazingly cool. I formulated a question that I wanted to ask about the dream. In this case I wanted to know the meaning behind the foundation of the sunroom. I wanted to know why it was marked with yellow caution tape. I put on my headphones with a track of shamanic drumming, laid a black cloth over my eyes, and then went back into the space of the dream using my superpower, the one that everyone has. Imagination.

I actually really love practicing shamanic journeying. Bringing my whole awareness to another reality. What does it feel like when I touch the wall? What does it smell like? What am I seeing? Sometimes everything is cloaked by black static, but I just feel my way into it. What colors am I feeling? What textures? What energies? What emotions?

I’m not going to relate the whole journey here, because it took me three pages in my college-ruled journal to write it all down. But I will share that the old house in my dream bore some curious resemblances to my studio that I did not notice at first. How when I touched the wall, I realized it was cool plaster, with wainscoting beneath, just like in my own studio. How the dream hearth, which was in the sunroom, is without a chimney, just like my own hearth. With stairs behind it. These are clues to the meaning of the house. It is the house of my creativity.

This is entirely unsurprising. It fits perfectly. I’ve been taking a fantastic business class by Tara Gentile on Creative Live. I’ve been thinking A LOT about how my creativity relates to the world. I’ve been envisioning a far more successful career. By which I mean I’m actually making money. This has been excellent work. But in my journey, I was reminded otherwise. In fact, I was literally knocked on the head, with quartz no less, as a reminder that my foundation is in Spirit. 

This morning I read a blog post by Lisa Congdon titled “What Makes a Good Life?”. Lisa is an artist and public speaker, among many other things, and she was interviewed by Tara Gentile in the aforementioned business class. In the interview, Lisa appeared to me to be robust and driven while being immensely creative and productive. But in yesterday’s blog post she admits that this has come at a price. She describes her current state as being bone-tired, suffering from fatigue and malaise.

I appreciate so very much her sharing this very intimate and honest aspect of being a creative business owner. I mean seriously. So. Very. Much. Because all this time I’ve been challenging myself. Be more productive! Be driven! Why are you so lazy (sleeping until 8)?

But that is not what I really want. That is not inline with who I am. I want the creative stamina to keep painting and writing my whole life long. The turtle is my creative guide. We move pretty slow. And more than money, I want the spiritual richness of a deeply creative experience. It would be nice to make a little money, but not at the price of this beautiful, good life I am already living.

We get to define our success. Never forget this. Society has its own definition and it will never fit yours. Never exactly. My success is rooted in Spirit. I don’t know where it might take me, but I know it will be unbelievably rich.

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Yes indeed. I relate so closely to all you've said here, that I could have written it myself. With life barreling along and the society we live in, clamoring its demands and dictates, it is so easy to forget that our lives are our own, to define as we will. Wonderful how Spirit is always there, whispering in our ears.
Thank you for reminding me.
Also, lovely to see 'Ecstasy' sitting on your mantle. :)