Category Archives: Life Blog

How To Conjure Up Self-Confidence When You’re Feeling Self-Doubt

If you’re like me, your greatest challenge to expressing yourself honestly, and thereby living your most authentic life, is your own lack of confidence. Most people are uncomfortable with conflict, especially within family relationships, so they “go along with things” they may not believe in or support for the sake of keeping peace between the people with whom they are the closest.  As our culture evolves, and people learn that suppressing their truth causes everything from mild depression to addiction to disease and death, we are finding ways to get support to live our truth and stand our ground, making our lives happier, freer, and healthier, but this can be scary. Sometimes even the best support fails to keep us steadfast when the pressure to go along with something we don’t agree with is strong.

Living my truth is tested regularly as politicians promote agendas that harm people, drug addiction causes upheavals in families, and systems of belief vie for our attention.  I have found that these days more than ever I need to embrace confidence in my truth, or my self-doubt will destroy me.   Situations where my self-confidence wavers often leave me full of fear, anxiety, fatigue, anger, sadness, you name it, all because I simply lack the self-confidence to take a stand on what I believe in, and hold to it no matter how things turn out.

Defining self-doubt and confidence can be tricky, so it’s important to understand clearly what they mean.  Self-doubt actually stems from a good quality, as it leaves us open to changing our view on something when we are lacking the information needed to understand it fully, but too much self-doubt can leave one empty as we dismiss our opinions to please others.  Confidence should not be confused with stubbornness which stems from the fear of changing a belief.  True self-confidence is having the courage to align yourself to what your quiet voice is telling you is true despite how painful, uncomfortable, or scary it may be.  It is a fluid state of mind, open to adjustments that new information brings to the situation, but secure in the current point of view.

During one particularly sleepless night as I was struggling to release my fears and relax, I decided to imagine I was completely confident about everything I was doing in my life.  I didn’t have to believe I was confident, I just had to imagine it.  As soon as I did this my self-doubt vanished, and I was completely relaxed.  I realized that both confidence and self-doubt could not exist within my psyche at the same time, and wondered how I could fill myself completely with confidence, leaving no room for self-doubt in the future.

As I lay in bed pondering this dilemma, the idea came to me to actually try to conjure confidence for myself from cosmic energy, and to do it by creating a painting.  It is common to state an intention before doing things like yoga, so why not do the same using paint and canvas to harness the energy of self-confidence from the universe into our souls.

Equipped with paint brush, paint, and canvas, I dove into it with enthusiasm, slashing the canvas with bold colors, dotting it obscurely, dripping water by mistake, pounding out patterns, throwing caution to the wind, and all the while asking this action to capture energy from the universe and fill my soul with the confidence I was born with, the confidence that had eroded as life took its toll me, as it does us all.

It worked!  Not only did the act of creating the painting instill confidence in me, but now every time I look at the painting I am reminded to be confident.  It started as a simple feeling of pride of my accomplishment, and grew each day, as I became clear and secure in my feelings.  The painting became a strong visual image I could use to connect with the truth deep within.

An amazing thing about self-confidence is that once you feel confident about something without wanting reassurance or validation from anyone or anything, you become a magnet for circumstances and assurances that support your view.  It’s as if the act of becoming self-confident causes the situation to go your way.

So find a way to conjure up some self-confidence for yourself by setting it as your intention when you do something.  You can do it when you do yoga, paint a picture, go for a hike, whatever works for you, because believing in yourself can move mountains.  Don’t be surprised if you experience strong emotions as your confidence grows because confidence is built on truth, and truths that can be hard to accept are often realized during acts of intention.  You know what you know, and believe what you believe, and living that truth is not only the best way to live, it honors your soul and purpose on Earth.  You heal yourself as you heal the world by listening and respecting the quiet truth of the universe.  Of that, I am confident.




How To Use Your Dreams To Solve Problems & Improve Your Life

Painted by Amy Swen,

Most of us have dreams without understanding the message exactly.  We can be scared by them, entertained by them, embarrassed by them, you name it, but imagine they are messages sent to help you with your life.  imagine they are the very key to finding the answers and paths to creating a life your soul has longed for, a life that fulfills your special purpose in this world.

I was struggling along like everyone else, trying different avenues in life, changing course when needed, learning from my mistakes, as I made my shaky way through life.  One night, however, I had an amazing dream after I had summoned the courage to stand up to my overbearing mother like never before. In the dream I was walking through the hardships of life with a small band of fellow explorers.  We were learning things that only we were capable of learning, and bringing our knowledge to the masses to help them. I had a tan back with a geometric symbol on it.  Later I slid through a dark wet tunnel with my friends, and ended being greeted by a large leopard face as we entered a world that was always dark as night. I was in my mid-fifties at the time, yet still struggling with issues involving fear and anger. By finally having the courage to calmly stand up to my mother, it was if I had earned the right to join the ranks of this special group of soul warriors.

During the next few months, I continued to have amazing vivid dreams, mostly occurring in the early morning hours.  In one dream a man with bright blue eyes that seemed to be lit from inside him, approached me.  At the time I was unemployed and longing for a fulfilling job of some kind.  He was dressed like a world explorer too, and seemed to have full knowledge of the world.  He looked at me intensely and asked me what I liked to do the most, and I told him that I liked to do my crafts more than anything.  He then walked to a closet door, opened it, and showed me it was filled from top to bottom with grey pieces of metal piping.

The man then looked at me with more intensity than I have ever experienced.  He pointed to the grey pipes and said that I was to do with them what I do with my crafts, and then he left.  I didn’t understand what he meant at first, but the intensity of manner made the dream stick with me as I thought about what it could mean.

A few days later I realized what it meant.  The door to the closet represented the door to the new path I was longing to enter.  The grey metal pipes were symbols of difficult, cold, hard things I would have to deal with on my new journey.  He was telling me that to go down a path that will bring fulfillment, I would encounter things I find hard and unpleasant, and to approach them the same way I do working on things I enjoy like crafts.

I realized that when I work on a craft project, I pick something that appeals to me, I work on it when I genuinely want to, and when it is finished I don’t worry about.  I display it or put it for sale, and enjoy it.  What if I did everything that way?  What if I did everything from cleaning my house, to working at a challenging job, to doing home improvement projects the same way I work on crafts?  I realized I could do this, and approaching anything like this would make everything I do part of an enjoyable adventure rather than a dreaded chore.  Doing everything like this would energize me, and make me more invested in what I was doing, enabling me to be more productive in ways of greater significance.

As the weeks passed, and I had more dreams like this, and realized more and more about myself.  For example, I had a dream where I was arrested because I was riding in the passenger seat of a car.  I told the officer that it wasn’t fair, and he said, “no it wasn’t.”  This dream made me aware that I often sit in the passenger seat of life, and let others call the shots, and that this isn’t being fair to myself, and I needed to step up and take charge of my own life.  As dreams like this empowered me, things in my life began to change.  I found a job I loved, my craft creations evolved into bigger and better things, my relationships were easier and more joyful, I worried less, and things I had always wanted began falling into place.  I had become more honest, courageous, insightful, intuitive, calm, and was sleeping better, all because of my dreams.

I began by asking friends and family to tell me their dreams, and helped them to understand.  Then I became a Certified Dream Therapist, read some books by dream shamans like Robert Moss, and attended several of his workshops.  By embellishing on the Lightning Dreamwork Process created by Robert Moss, I came up with the following easy way to understand my dreams, and get the most of out them.  I invite you to see if it works for you.

  1.  Put effort into remembering your dreams.  This can be done by writing parts of dreams down during the night or in the morning, or by laying in bed just a minute when you wake up as you focus on whatever dream you had been having.  Start having conversations about dreams with others, make dreams a part of your world.
  2. Ask and answer the following questions about your dream:
    1. What happened?  Tell or write down everything that happened in the dream.  Describe details that stand out, everything.
    2. How did you feel about what happened in the dream?
    3. What do you think the dream meant?
    4. Was the dream related to anything going on in your life at the time?
    5. Could the people or animals in the dream be parts of yourself?  For example, could a cat traveling beside you represent your vulnerable self?  Could babies or old people be you as an infant or the older version of you yet to come?  Imagine for a minute that everyone in the dream is you, and what meaning could come from that.
    6. What positive message could the dream be trying to give you?  What guidance?  Think up a slogan that captures the meaning of your dream.
    7. What is an action you can take because of the dream?  The action can be a physical act, or a change in attitude or thinking about something.  The action can be researching something that appeared in your dream, or purchasing an item related to something in your dream.
  3.   If you don’t dream much, do things like practicing yoga, walking in nature, taking naps, and setting an intention at night to get guidance on something specific in your dreams.

Guidance from the other side is powerful magic, and by practicing a little awareness, and having the willingness to act on a message, you can take advantage of this resource designed especially for your soul.  Wake up to your dreams!



How To Find Your Spirit Tree

Have you ever wondered how certain people connect with trees?  I had heard folks talk of spirits of trees, how they felt love for trees, and identified them by gender, and although I had always been fond of trees, I never felt a strong connection with them until I noticed something one day.

In my mid-fifties I thought it was high-time for some real peace and joy in my every day life, and started doing things like attending a yoga class regularly, eating more greens and natural food, and regularly walking in parks.  The more I immersed myself in activities that fed my body and soul, the more peaceful I was, and the better I was at handling life’s ups and downs.

I decided to try a walk in a secluded area of a park near me one day, when I was feeling a bit low, thinking that the more immersed I was in nature, the more benefits I could reap.  As I entered the area, I felt scared.  I was completely alone, no cell phone or way to protect myself against an attack by someone in the woods or an animal.  As I tried to focus on the trees, I realized my fear was keeping me from fully experiencing what was around me, and I wanted the blockage to be gone.  So I thought about it, and realized that the worst thing that could happen is that I would be attacked somehow, and die.  I realized that if I died, I would simply become part of nature, so there was really nothing to fear.  I also decided I would walk this secluded part of the trail only one time during my walk at the park, so if someone spotted me and had bad intentions, they wouldn’t have the chance to approach me.

As my fear left me, I began to notice every tree, wild flower, brush, grass, you name it.  The trees were mainly enormous Sycamore trees, and as I rounded the back corner, and worked my way toward the entrance, I felt an enormous feeling of love for myself, somber and strong, yet so deep, that I could feel my heart lifting as my mood changed, and I walked out of the area feeling sure of myself in the universe like I had never felt before.

What was that, I wondered!!  My spirit was healed simply by walking alone in a wooded area that day, and the sadness I had left earlier was gone.

As the weeks and months passed, I continued to walk in this area of the park when time allowed.  I walked there during all weather conditions and seasons, and each time I approached the bend in the path, I felt the same enormous love for myself, walking out with a renewed sense of purpose in the world, and profound respect for my soul.  I wondered exactly how this was happening, slowed down, noticing everything along that trail, and realized the feeling came when I looked at one particular huge Sycamore tree.  I had found my spirit tree!

To summarize the steps to finding your spirit tree:

  1.  Find a secluded place you can walk alone in a wooded area.
  2. Take a minute to feel any fear or other feelings blocking you from opening fully and experiencing what is around you at that moment, and imagine a way to free yourself from the feeling.
  3. Connect with nature around you by using five senses.  Touch the bark of a tree or a flower, smell the air, taste your lips, listen to the sounds of bird or leaves rustling in the wind, and look at everything, noticing colors, any water or moisture, textures, shapes, everything.
  4. Open your soul to feel whatever is there, and let your emotions surface until you feel love for yourself.
  5. After finding a place that makes you feel loved, return to that place periodically until you can identify exactly the source from which the love is radiating.
  6. Touch that tree, say thank you, and acknowledge it each time you walk there.

Finding your spirit tree, or a place in nature where you feel love, is a great way to get perspective on your life, dissolving negative emotions, and creating happiness.  My connection with trees has evolved to the point where I feel all trees are aware of me, as I acknowledge them, aware of their connection to each other and all of life.  It is easy to get caught up in the stress and worries of modern life, forgetting where we come from, and the purpose of our lives in the big picture of life.  Finding a quiet place to feel the peace of nature, a place that you can go to anytime can be the best form of therapy.  Pure and real, peace and love just for you from the universe and beyond, transmitted to you by a magical tree.