This post is the first of it’s kind… I have always had vivid dreams, those that rock my world and could be taken from head to the screen with all the colours and faces and plots, required, but I’ve not ever shared them before.
As a professional writer, it seemed best to be less messy, more polished, more considered than raw. But I’m taking a new-way out for a spin. It has been said that folks want to get real, that they relate better to you when you reveal the humanity of you, share the common pitfalls and truths of your life. And recently I’ve been met by writings that ask me to do just this, one by my dearest writing mentor and BFF (although she may only feel that in her spirit), Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way and, the one I read now, The Sound of Paper.
She tells me, all of us really, “Write from where you actually are, not from where you wish you were.”
I have not known how to do this most of my life. Truly. I have always followed the premise, “Fake it til you make it” and believed what Ella Wheeler Wilcox wrote in her poem Solitude, “Laugh and the world laughs with you; weep, and you weep alone…”
Oh the things that shape us through the years…
I feel it is time to test life anew, bust out of the box of my own making, and so … I’m gettin’ real n’ raw and sharing with you a dream that I had just last night and the revelations it brought. Comment if you will, or not, but know that insights to add to the mix are always welcome. But if I am to encourage you to be YOU in any and all circumstances and tell you that the world needs Your Authentic, Mad, Desirous Ways and Voice, then I guess I best get busy myself.
And so I begin… InJoy, jenni
I pulled myself from the fitful sleep that left me sobbing and flooded with gratitude for my reality in my waking. Rolling into my husband’s familiar shoulder, his arm lifted and I sank into the place that treats all life’s ills and somehow unwavering and instantly reveals a knowing of the miracles of my life. He held me until I could share in words the dream that would rock my world to the core and lead to a legacy of Xtraordinary Game-Changing work to honour the truth revealed to me.
The room was suffocating with thwarted dreams and silent, simmering fear. The group of revolutionaries who had entered with me, to the room that would house our bodies and our last thoughts before death, sat behind me together. I sat alone, consumed by a deep loneliness I had never thought possible. Suddenly our rising up against the systems of government that wreaked havoc on the masses, seemed pointless. The irony, of fighting for the freedom of all only to be incarcerated myself and face a solitary death while our captors lived, was not lost on me.
I stared down into my hands, these fingers that had intertwined with those of my soulmate and fellow pilgrim Todd, held my Liam as he cried for the first time, bandaged the knees of my sweet Nathaniel a thousand times. What of them now? They would never know their touch, the work of household chores, the weight of a pen to trail my truth across a page, again, ever.
What had my life been about? Why had I been hell-bent on the betterment of all, when at the moments before my passing all I truly cared for were my beloveds, who would now journey without me because of the ideals I held and the purpose I had pursued?
I remembered the gentle Venetian breeze that met me one October day so many years ago, as I stood captivated by the Bridge of Sighs. Our tour guide shared the story of the fates of men, who upon their conviction would be moved from the courtroom, across the bridge and toward the cells where they would serve out their sentence. The tiny holes that formed the ornate windows of the bridge would be the last glimpse of sky they would ever see. I felt the pang of a thousand lost dreams, the pain of their awareness of the finality and perhaps futility of it all.
And here I was, never having guessed that we would share a common, agonizing sigh and fate. I wondered if the way that Venice and its famous bridge had overwhelmed me in those moments had been an omen of things to come.
Suddenly a shouting from a balcony above jarred me from my vision – A man yelling at us “heathens” who had somehow single-handedly undermined the work of Christ and mocked his death for our sins. I tuned out at the word “repent” and in to the God I’d walked with all my life.
“Are you there God? What now? I suppose our time has come sooner than I’d understood, before I’d done all you’d inspired me to do? God? What if you aren’t all I imagined, all I believed?”
I stopped myself from thinking on that; He and I would have plenty of time. But the clock in the room where we awaited the final move seemed to speed up and I knew I had moments not hours or days, and years on this planet were mine no longer.
So I scrambled for a pen and paper in my bag. Neither seemed to work, the ink was faded and the paper scraps I found littered with dark colours that would not reveal my marks. The guard approached, shaking his head. Tears filled my eyes and silently pleaded. The only words I could form were, “For my sons.”
I must have stirred sympathy from somewhere deep in his heart, for he mouthed, “Hurry” and then turned on heal and walked away.
I used what I had and scribbled my final thoughts of love and hope to my boys. The urgency I felt was consuming, for them to know the unwavering love I felt for their unique angelic ways and feisty spirits, to understand why I had taken the stand for their futures the way I did and to encourage them to always, always listen to the callings of their hearts and follow, wherever that may lead. And to have them know, that I would be with them forever. To Todd I whispered from afar. I knew he knew the love we shared was beyond the language of this age and time…
Hot tears streamed, the minute hand’s tick rattled my mind. This was more than I could bear. I grappled for my consciousness and lunged for my release, and woke.
There seemed no rhyme or reason to this dream, other than the divine gratitude I felt for being alive to the life I live. This would have to be enough. So, in calm, as Todd held me, I drifted back to sleep.
We strolled the boardwalk at sunset, those fingers once again entwined. A boat was settling in alongside and I recognized the man who was tying off. One of those who’d shared the mission and fate of the last dream I’d had.
Todd spoke to him plainly, as if he’d known him all his life. Relief moved through me as I hazily recalled how we’d been pardoned, but details eluded me as we talked. It seemed more essential that we just enjoy the freedom we now knew. We spoke to him of how he’d filled the years that had passed. He shared his vision openly and I heard both the minute and hour hands begin to tick once again, not with dread, but with hope …
He talked about how, after his release, his desire for revolution had taken on a different, more peaceful form. He spoke of the thousands of conversations he had had with those in the final days of their lives, on death-row, with disease, considering taking their own lives – what they feared, what they longed for, what they wished they’d known, understood, done differently.
Handing me a piece of paper with the highlights of his research he said,
“Here Jenni, I do believe this is how we change the world.”
I held the paper in my hand, felt its crispness, and scanned my eyes down, down, down. On it I read things like, “Live in the moment”, “Spend more time with those I love”, “Notice others and give of myself more”, “Listen to my heart”, but the one that leapt off the page, was written in huge bold writing, was “Where do I get a YES! Map? How do I Begin to Set the Course for My Life so I have no regrets?”
I woke again and was instantly flooded with visions of the 30 Day Xtraordinary Game-Changer Adventure to kick-start Heroic Living for self and others. I recognized in practical terms how we must live with the end in mind, and begin by creating a Map that draws from our soul, from our innate wisdom the truth of what we long for, what our purpose is, to be practically created and shared, for not only the betterment of our own lives, but this, THIS is for the evolution of our planet. The simple, practical daily steps to be taken to reveal and ignite the hero within all whom we meet and fuel heroic action in the world.
For years I have used these YES! Maps for creating the life I envision and with my clients as they build their desired, magnificent lives, but Mapping seems to have almost become commonplace, a thing done by many, by many names. What this dream and vision made me realize is, this piece of the puzzle is essential to the whole as a foundation from which to leap into life from. Its importance cannot be overlooked and like every sailor needs a compass and a new map for each and every adventure, this is an ever-evolving process that must be undertaken again and again and again.
A YES!-Life Map revealing our Truth and Way, Living with the End in Mind and Taking Daily Action can indeed ensure a life of no regrets. And in this, as As Xtraordinary Game-Changers:
- We will consciously and purposefully live our lives, day-by-day. Ultimately, it is not about the war we wage on others that will inspire the winds of change to reveal a brighter day, but the daily action we take in our own lives, in our seemingly small corner of the world. It takes millions of grains of sand and stone to be shaped and formed to build a tower to the sky. Just a few out of place threatens the whole to tumble to the ground.
- We will reveal the love we hold. Nothing is to be gained by keeping the love we feel a secret, from ourselves or those who tug at our heart strings. Think of Writer, Actor and Producer of the movie Life Is Beautiful, Roberto Benigni, as he was called to receive his Oscar. He first leapt up onto his chair and with unabashed JOY, shouted to the rooftops, “I Love You! I Love You all.” We may believe the Hollywood scene is one fraught by a need to up-keep image, but each face in the crowd celebrated his innocence and authentic bursting. (And maybe felt envious in a way they’d never quite known before).
- We will Step In to the Silence. We will become still so that we may be moved by the whisperings of our soul, of the innate wisdom known by many names, sharing a common desire… to reveal our highest purpose and the path by which to travel to achieve it.
- We will own our heroic nature and Suit Up to take action. We will no longer play small. We will see our role in the whole of humanity and seek out ways to deliver kindness and compassion, to speak up, protect, inspire and delight our fellow human beings, so that we may all remember and celebrate the heroes we are and soar together. We will engage in Missions that address the needs within and in our families and those that serve our communities and our global brothers and sisters.
- We will engage in community and form a League of Xtraordinary Game-Changers – learning and taking action together, understanding the power and practicality of the premise “The Value of One; The Power of Many!”
- All of this will begin with the YES! Map, we will create from our place of innate wisdom, that will guide us and empower us to set sail and navigate from a port of pure purpose and limitless potential.
- And finally, to use the overflowing energy, magic and love spilling from Roberto Benigni, we will live in Joy and Love because… “He who kisses the joy as it flies, lives in eternity’s sunrise.” As Dante said (as paraphrased by Roberto), “Love will move the sun and the other stars…Love is Divinity and sometimes if you have faith, like all the Divinities it can appear.”
So begins the next phase of creation and delivery of the XG Adventure to Ignite heroism within, Fuel heroic action in the world and ensure that our loved ones know they Matter and we in turn Matter in the world.
To find out more, to link your Xtraordinary actions in the world to those who share your vision, or be inspired and empowered by our creations, programs and sharing –
To join a League of Xtraordinary Game-Changers –
visit www.xtraordinarygamechangers.com ,
sign up for our blog www.thephoneboothproject.wordpress.com or
click here to get your free copy of The Mad Hero’s Manifesto and connect with On A YES! Note – heroic infusions for your XG Living.
And keep an eye to the sky for the Launching of our 30-Day XG Adventure program and, soon to be published in 2016 The Mad Hero’s Handbook.
To taking visions to action and in honour and celebration of
The Cape and the One Inside It (that’s YOU!),
Finally… I would be remiss if I didn’t attach this AWESOME and soul-igniting video of Roberto Benigni’s Oscar speech. If you are looking to give your day a lift and fuel your JOY and LOVE anew, watch on…