Dorothy: Well, now which way do we go?
Scarecrow: Pardon me. That was is a very nice way.
Dorothy: Who said that?……Don’t be silly, Toto. Scarecrows don’t talk.
Scarecrow: It’s pleasant down that way, too.
Dorothy: That’s funny. Wasn’t he pointing the other way?
Scarecrow: Of course, people do go both ways!
Dorothy: Why – you did say something. didn’t you? Are you doing that on purpose, or can’t you make up your mind?
Scarecrow: That’s the trouble. I can’t make up my mind. I haven’t got a brain, only straw.
Confirmations and redirects! That’s the name of the game! Or at least the name of the time of year. This is always a strange time for me because it is hard to know what is my ego or my will talking and what is the voice of the Universe telling me what to do. In The Real Magic (Free PDF Download here) and CUSP (Climbing Up the Spiral Pathway), Eric and I detail the spiritual path we developed and have used for the past seventeen years to bring about positive manifestation in our lives following the ancient agricultural year. In short, we have found that if you follow the natural path of planning, planting, cultivating, harvesting, and fallow that our ancestors used, our own natural rhythms respond. We use the growth cycle to “grow” positive and rewarding life changes and it has literally never failed us. That is not to say that things always turned out the way we expected or even the way we wanted, but it always turned out the best way and was responsive to our original seeds we planted.
The year is divided up into 8 sections, based on the activity, or lack thereof, that would normally take place during that time period. From March 21 – May 1, for instance, is the planting phase. August 1 – September 21 is the first harvest, and so on. The time we are in now, Feb 1 – March 20, is the time of confirmations and redirects when the Universe tells us whether what we plan to plant next month is or is not best for us.
Between December 21 and January 31, we consider what we want to plant in the coming harvest year. These are usually bigger life changes that need time to fall into place and allow us to adapt to the changes they bring. We do not plant little things like “I want $150 to pay my electric bill.” We plant significant, life-changing shifts. We meditate on the ways we want our lives to be different in the Fall and create a wish list. We do not concern ourselves with how these things will come about. That is part of the journey that lies before us. We focus on the end result: How can my life be upgraded in the coming year?
By February 1, we have our list finalized after a great deal of thought. We consider our goals carefully and visualize how we will feel with those goals completed. Last year, for instance, one of the items on my list was I will publish a book into mainstream publication. I published sixteen. I also planted I will create an addition income stream into my family’s budget. The first planting created the second. Some plant relationship changes. Others, a new car or a new home. For some, a job change is desired. No matter how happy we are with our lives, there is always something that we know can improve and this process not only gives us a means for doing that, but also makes time for an annual life review, sort of a State of the Union address between ourselves and Deity.
On February 1, we finalize our input to the planning process. We submit our list to the Universe, usually by burning it. We like to burn things. For the next six weeks, it is up to us to pay close attention to the guidance we receive from the Universe in the form of confirmations and redirects. Every year, we are shown whether or not what was on our list is a good thing for us to plant. Sometimes, what we submit is a good thing, but the timing is not yet right. We might need more information before proceeding or maybe other factors that we do not know about need to unfold before what we want can come about. (“This is not a good time for you to change jobs because you are about to get a promotion that is going to change everything for you.”) Sometimes, we are redirected from a goal we put on the list because it is already so far into the works that our energy toward that goal is not needed. When we submit our list, we trust God/Goddess/The Universe to know more and better than we do what will take us closer to our own manifest destiny and life’s purpose, as well as our own greatest joy. We work from the premise that the Universe very much wants us to be happy, but that our pain comes through either our lessons we must learn to get to the other side or simply getting in our own way and demanding our own will be followed rather than the way of the Universe. The natural flow, inevitably, is toward our own greatest good and greatest joy.
During this six weeks, the guidance is sometimes subtle and other times like a two-by-four blow to the head. It might be as simple as we “forget” one of the goal on our list. We know we had four, but can only remember three. Information we did not previous know may suddenly come to light that changes how we feel about the goal we submitted on February 1.
This year, I planted increased physical health and strength, a deepening and greater understanding of my interpersonal relationships, and a stronger income stream to bring greater financial prosperity. For each of my goals I submitted, so far, I have received confirmations and no redirects. In regard to the stronger income stream, I was blessed with clear ideas for the books I will write this year and was shown specific ways to increase my market reach. I was told directly to be more public, work more festivals, teach more workshops, and extend myself out of my home more often. This is not easy for a hermit like myself to hear, but hey, if that is what it takes,I am in it to win it.
Regarding my interpersonal relationships, all I had to do was open my eyes and ears and see that people are constantly showing me exactly who they truly are and that too often,I provide excuses in my head for when they are behaving badly rather than just accepting that perhaps this is a person that I cannot have in my life, regardless of how much I care about them, or that I need to have in my life on a more limited basis. I talk a good game in this respect, but when it comes to it, this particular lesson is very much a challenge for me. I do not trust myself and what I am being shown and tend to push the benefit of the doubt a bit too far. To deepen my interpersonal relationships, I need to have relationships with people who are moving in the same direction I am going and who are an asset to my life rather than a distraction from my destiny.
Lastly, the increase in physical health and strength has been the most obvious confirmation I have received. A friend of mine, out of the blue, began asking me to walk with her on the nearly 5K path that is popular in our deep, deep woods. I do not walk unless I have someone to go with me, so that was a blessing. I discovered Daily Burn, which is a low cost online daily workout that I enjoy very much. To top that off, Eric got a line on a free Bowflex that will arrive tomorrow. Those things could have happened at any other time of the year, but they came now, during this one six weeks, so I think it strongly qualifies as a confirmation. Time to get in shape!
Usually, I submit 4-5 goals and receive at least one blatant redirect of NO, this is NOT what you need to do. I am excited to have all of my goals for the year green-lighted and to start ramping up for the active part of the year that starts on March 21. The past year was so rewarding and joyful that I am now struggling to find ways that life could be better! That is a very unusual place for me to be since my approach to the planting for years in the past has been more of “Where do I START?“
It took many years of building on the successes of previous years before I could get to a place of total joy and gratitude. People, usually self-help folks, talk about how it is just a matter of perception or a change in your thought processes. I do agree that is true to a tremendous extent, but is it easier for a knight who is swinging swords and axes for his life on a battlefield to welcome joy and miracles or for a priest sitting safely in a monastery with all of his needs met? When you are on the battlefield of life, you spend so much time fighting that it is impossible to see when the line of attackers has dwindled down to nothing. Sometimes, the last opponent that is trying to kill you is more of a challenge than the first one who had a hundred more behind him. It’s like beating the “Big Boss.” You’re tired, you are running on adrenalin and instinct only, and you can’t see that behind this one guy who wants to murder you, probably for a cause not even his own, there is nothing but blue sky and sunshine. What you know is that you are fighting for your life.
That is why you have to trust the Universe… The Universe can see the panoramic view, can see you struggling so hard and can tell that your battle is almost ended or say, “Charge left!” or “Quick! Duck!” Triage is everything. We must pick something, usually the most pressing issues, and work on them for a season, for a year, until they are resolved. Then, building on that success, we move on to the next goal, and the next. It is all very strategic and systematic. Soon, like that good knight fighting the good fight, we have vanquished all of the problems and actually created a life we want to live. It took me years of hard work and focus to get here and I will never say it was easy, but I will tell you I got here a lot faster than I expected and that it feels a lot better than I ever would have imagined.
Another hint in the triage process: Make sure the battle you are fighting is for YOUR cause and not someone else’s. Live YOUR life, fight YOUR battles, reduce YOUR dramas and let others manage theirs. That is part of the “letting go of the rope” from my previous entry. Too often, we equate our own worth with how much we can help others and in doing so, collapse ourselves into their problems, dramas, and battles. That is not to say we should not be a good friend or help others, but that we should not make it our life’s purpose and should never give anything away that we are going to resent investing.
And yes, that is another reminder from my own confirmation process. Once again, I find myself in awe of this incredible system that revealed itself to us so long ago. I am excited for what the year will bring and look forward to watching it unfold.
What would YOU plant in your life if you had a blank check for the coming year? What do you want to change? What would be different in your life in the Fall if you could have anything?