Let Go: How I Learned to Step into My Dreams #MotivationMonday #SiezetheDream #Creative

Perfection has a price, but I cannot afford to live that life. It always ends the same; a fight I never win. Oh control. It’s time, time to let you go.” -JJ Heller

A few years back, on my birthday, I woke up after having an incredible dream. The dream was prophetic for my personal future. It hit straight to the core of some inner struggles I had been having. It gave me a greater hope for the future that I am now living.

For several years I had felt like I had fallen into a dark well or a completely lifeless creative downward spiral. Sure, I had been making art, commissions, and though I was pleased with the outcome of each, I have to say they were indeed lifeless … to me.

I was so detached from these paintings that I didn’t even really bother archiving them for my own portfolio. That says something. It says a lot.  My writing was like swimming through mud.

I had gone on a rampage to control everything in my life that I could. My art was controlled. There could be no mistakes in it, which meant I hardly ever created anything. My writing had to be flawless. And because it wasn’t, because I couldn’t really control it, I began to grow duller.

Spiritually, I felt like I had been traversing a craggy wasteland, always walking forward in the direction of the sun (Son), waiting for this storm of torrential rains and floods to come, but I was always waiting, always walking, and there was never a drop of rain in sight nor a cloud in the sky.

I began to grow used to the desert, both the spiritual and the creative. Oddly enough, my inner spirit man never really felt like it was in a drought, just thirsty, content, but never satisfied. No matter how much I fought to be satisfied.

As years past in my reality, circumstances not changing, my hope for a better future, for the flood rains in my creative life and spiritual life to come, became like an old plane ticket in my hand. It had no expiration date, but neither did it have a date of departure, and so I ceased looking for one.

I was a desert wanderer. This was my reality. But on my 31st birthday, waking up from that hope-reviving dream, remembering other dreams that partnered with it, I began to smell the scent of rain in the air again. A change was coming and it was right on the horizon. Messiah Yeshua Jesus even led me to a verse in the Scriptures to solidify this newly revived hope and expectation.

Isaiah 43:19 “See, I am doing what is new, let it now spring forth. Do you not know it? I am even making a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”

Now, for several years I had been having a connected series of dreams about living in a trash bag tent in the desert amongst many others who were fearful of a coming flood.  So when I read this verse, and the images of those old dreams of my desert lands being flooded out with enough water to fill the oceans,  I knew it was a Word of life for me from Him.

This, however, is where faith gets tricky. People of faith LOVE a word about CHANGE and BREAKTHROUGH, but they never take into consideration what CHANGE and BREAKTHROUGH really mean.

Simple analogy, think of how a child who has come to the end of his or her stay within the womb feels when they are are BREAKING THROUGH to their new place. It is not a comfortable transition.  The very fluid they had been thriving on for nine months is squeezed out of them as they pass through from one existence to the other.

Isaiah 43:19 is awesome, but there is a verse that comes before it. This verse was the training breakthrough verse from me.

Isaiah 43:18 Do not remember the former, nor consider that of old.”

STEP 1: Confront your past disappointments.

In order for me to move forward out of my desert, I had to forget the things that were behind. I had a lot of disappointments and false starts,  a lot of heartaches, a lot of wounds, and all of those things not only blocked my creativity but stifled me spiritually and emotionally.

Art doesn’t thrive in a box. Creativity is organic and grows how it grows.

I was in agreement with ‘forgetting’ all of those things. I had buried them for a reason, but I had not healed from them. I was still carrying them with me, and the load was rotting lot gangrene and affecting every creative part of me.

I began to think I was a failure because I could not make myself forget these things that Messiah Yeshua-Jesus had let out of the bag. I cried. I didn’t understand until He gently and lovingly told me a simple truth.

In order to forget what is behind, you have to confront it, heal from it, so that it never has power over you again.

You know what it is like when a clogged pipe has been treated and all that grime comes out before the clear water flows? That is what had been taking place with me ever since. I began to allow my pains to be redeemed, and I am talking about those old pains, the-school-bully-that-scared-you-when-you-were-nine kind of pains.

STEP 2: Embrace your unique path and timing.

The pains of not feeling good enough and trying to achieve those superficial plateaus that society has put in place, but failing every time. And why was I failing? Because these things are not part of His design or rather they were not part of His design for my life back then. Striving for those things (marriage, children, nest, 9 to 5 job … not really on the 9 to 5) at the WRONG time was creative suicide.

Because of my wounds, the ones that were sneaking up on me even though I had pressed them down, I had gone on a rampage to control everything in my life that I could. My art was controlled. There could be no mistakes in it, which meant I hardly ever created anything. My writing had to be flawless. And because it wasn’t, because I couldn’t really control it, I began to grow duller.

STEP 3: Divorce yourself from perfectionism.

Art doesn’t thrive in a box. Creativity is organic and grows how it grows. I was trying to control all of these things because I could not control the pain that I refused to confront. But now I know better. I was blessed with the chance to journey far way from home, away from the noise and get a glimpse of the creative woman I once was and am in the process of becoming.

I leave you to take another listen to the song that makes my heart dance. It’s one of my new anthems. It comes from the “When I’m with You.” Album by JJ Heller. The song is called “Control.” I have let go of the control now. I have ceased to clip my own wings out of fear and the need to control something, anything, just to feel secure. I gave Yeshua Jesus permission to heal my hidden hurts and to draw out the creativity that had been backed up.

BONUS: LET GO OF THE NEED TO CONTROL!

I gave up control and I am getting to know me again and you don’t need control for that. It’s actually best to let it go.

COMMUNITY QUESTIONS:

  • What steps have you taken to walk into your creative dreams?
  • What were some things that were holding you back?
  • What advice would you share with others who have struggled to take hold of or regain their footing in conquering their dreams and goals?

Please share your wisdom and advice in the comments below.

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

How to Achieve Your Dream Part 2: Keep it Simple #MotivationMonday #Creative #SeizetheDream

Everything in life should be as simple as possible, but not simpler.” ~Albert Einstein

When it comes to doing anything, especially taking a dream and birthing it into the tangible, keeping things simple is a very crucial admonition to keep in mind.

For most of us, our knee-jerk reaction to anything new is to overthink it. We begin to compare our ‘pearl’ with oyster farms of others with similar dreams already up and running. We begin to add extra bells and whistles to our end products and we haven’t even actually ‘made’ them yet.

We take precious ideas, born in a moment of genius, and think it from the mustard seed it began as, and transform it into craggy, dark mountains that we feel ill-equipped to climb.

Yes, most dreams, especially those that will involve creative income, do come with seeming miles of information that needs to be learned. All of it is important, but none of it is necessary at the very beginning of the dream.

What is important is to take the first step.

With whatever we aim to do, whatever we have taken the step to believe to do, we must remember to keep it simple. It is so easy to overcomplicate things and make what should have been an enjoyable task or journey something loathsome.

But at the same time, as we are keeping things simple by not overcomplicating them, we need to remember NOT to make them simpler.

To me, this means to not dumb down our dreams to the point that they have transformed into cheap counterfeits of our original visions. Don’t cut necessary corners of the process in order to catch up with the so-called competition.

Simple means, again, to be uncomplicated. Choose to Believe without all the complication.

You don’t have to have all the answers yet. Let your seed be a seed, then a sapling, and then tend it until it grows into a tree. Step by step. Worry about ‘racking the leaves’ the moment your tree is big enough to produce some shade.

Keep it simple. Allow your dream to grow in stages. Each step counts. Things only get complicated when you try to leap over more than one step at a time.

Simply write your first draft, create your preliminary sketch, sing your song until the notes come naturally, build your business by creating a starter plan, live your life…simply.

Our dreams are developed by means of a process. There are steps to climb but we do best taking one step at a time. Simple.

* Read How to Achieve your Dream Part 1: Believe you Can

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

How to Achieve Your Dream Part 1: Believe You Can #MotivationMonday #SeizetheDream #Creative

Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” ~Theodre Roosevelt

One of the most glorious things about life is that even though it can be considered a canvas, it certainly is not a ‘paint by numbers.’ Life is not a one-size-fits-all even if certain ideas and concepts may mirror that of another’s. There still, and always, remains the glory of uniqueness in each person’s life and creation.

I believe that Yeshua Jesus has a plan for each of us, a perfect design that He wants us to be co-workers with Him upon. He gives us dreams for a reason. Some dreams we take hold of and bring to manifestation, while others, sadly we leave to float away like feathers in the wind.

Many times, the dreams that get away from us are the dreams that we can’t seem to muster the faith for or we allow our faith to be choked away.

But how do we cease to do this?

We have to make a connection with faith and hold on to it. The Lord tells us that all we need is faith the size of a mustard seed and nothing will be impossible for us (Matthews 17:20) The glory of such a small seed is that it becomes very large when placed in the right soil and environment.

The blessing for us is that anything that we put in the hand of the Master has the potential to be greatly multiplied beyond what we can even hope or imagine! (Matthew 14:13-21,  Ephesians 3:14-21)

We have to see more opportunities than obstacles.  We must no longer minimize the potential of the seed of the dreams we have and stop polluting the soil of opportunity with weeds of fear and doubt.

In order to do this, we need to remind ourselves of the great love that Yeshua Jesus has for us. He is the one who has given us the dream and He loves us. Fear, however, is the opponent of love (I John 4:18), and not only are you greatly loved but you have not been given the spirit of fear, but love, power, and a sound mind! (2 Timothy 1:7)

We also have to use our creative imagination with faith-filled courage and not fear-filled conjecture. We must focus on the potential truth of imaginative vision instead of the frailty of tangible sight.

The book of Proverbs tells us that as a man thinks in his heart so he is (Proverbs 23:7)These thoughts which soon become reality began as a seed of imagination. They can either be based out of fear as well as incomplete information or fuelled by faith.

To be ruled by conjecture is similar to looking into a pool and concluding that the waters are not deep because they ‘look’ to be shallow, only to find out you were wrong once your head is under water.

Operating in the truth of imaginitive vision is to step out in faith and we are encouraged in the Word that Faith is the substance of things not seen and the evidence of things hoped for (Hebrews 11:1). Evidence is not conjecture. Evidence is truth!

Faith it out!

The beauty in this is that the greatest push for us to accomplish those dreams that make our hearts flutter is to first believe. Believing, making the commitment to take the step, is the greatest part of the journey.

It is the first step toward your dream, and believing enough to step out means you are already halfway there!

*Join me next week for Part 2 of this motivating series.

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

Steps & Leaps: A Quote on Faith #Quote #Inspiration #Encouragement #Faith

 

faith-in-stepsNo matter how big or small the step you take toward accomplishing your dream, celebrate the courage that you displayed in the step that you took and the ones that are sure to follow. Each stone you put forth is one more to add to the foundation of your future. Be grateful for your progress and keep moving forward!

~Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

The Change in the Waiting: The Purpose in the Process

changes

God often requires us to change while we are waiting.” ~Wendy Pope, Wait and See, 2016, p.114  

Wait. It is a word that makes the average person cringe especially in the face of something your soul longs for. I don’t care how you spell it, weight, wait, the word just hurts. But more so than wait or its twin sister weight, change can be a doozy as well.

change-and-waitChange is the process that takes place in the cocoon of waiting. Change is what is required within the space of promise to manifestation. Some of us hear that we need to change and we think, ‘Hey, I’m a pretty good person. Why do I need to change?’

The reality is, that our level of ‘goodness’ (which only comes from Christ living in us anyway) has nothing to do with why we must change. A little girl must become a woman before she can bear a child and properly raise it. A boy must become a man before he can become a strong and sound husband, provider and father.

The beauty is that the promise given unto us, the dream of becoming is born from the potential that is already alive in us. It just needs to be cultivated and that takes time. That requires the change born out of the wait.

You decide you want to be a doctor. So you go to school for several long years and change while you wait for your graduation, the proof that you are ready to practice medicine. You have dreams of being a pilot, so you change by way of learning how to fly.

Wait. Process. Change. Promise!

The simplest example of this is found in the life of the caterpillar. The caterpillar is born with the potential and the promise of flight, but he cannot take to the skies unless he changes into a butterfly first. He must wait so that he can change.

In order for him to do this, he must yield to the process of change, and wait so that he can take hold of the promise.

3 Things Required in order to Change in our Waiting

  1. Boundaries: (Psalm 16:6) “My boundary lines fall in pleasant places
    —surely my heritage is beautiful.“~TLV. When God sets our course, He does so with a path in mind and this path is designed to get us to His and our desired location in Him and in our place within the Kingdom. But, we can only reach this place of inheritance when we submit to the ‘boundary lines’ set before us. Just like the caterpillar must yield to the confines of a cocoon, so too must we yield the boundaries set by our loving Father during our time of wait if we expect to change for the promise.
  2. Pressure: (II Corinthians 4:7-16, I Peter 4:12-13) The cocooned habitat of the caterpillar is comfortable for only a while. Soon as wings and other appendages begin to form, the boundaries become tighter and the pressure is put on. The same is true for us and praise the Lord God Yeshua Jesus for it! When certain situations become too comfortable our desire to leave them begins to decrease. That dream of flying starts to pale in the comfort of being securely suspended. But when the pressure is on, when the changes that have taken place in us and in our friend the caterpillar become evident, the desire for the promise increases. The blessing of the pressure can also be seen in the transformation of dusty coal into diamonds. No pressure, no change. The right amount of pressure for the proper amount of time and we end up with bling instead of coal!
  3. Struggle/Resistance: (Romans 5:1-5) Becoming a butterfly is a great and glorious result of change, but wings and legs unused and untried are useless. They are not strong enough to take to the promised sky. In order for the butterfly to survive in its new level of existence and promise it must have proven the strenght of its wings and legs. It is in teh struggle to be released from its cocoon that his legs adn wings develop the needed strenght for walking and flight.

As children of God, destined for promised lands and beautiful inheritances, we must do more than ‘look the part’ for our new positions within the Kingdom.

Our faith and trust in the Lord God Yeshua Jesus must be developed inorder for us to survive the attacks and temptations that will come our way even before we cross the threshold into our promised lands.

We have to encourage ourselves in the truth that there is treasure in our transitions of change. Their is purpose in our process of waiting. Our waiting is never wasted if we do it with Christ at the center and our faith yielded to His way. I Peter 5:6-7 says,

Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you.~NKJV

Our Heavenly Father knows that the waiting can get rough at times, but He also knows that it is worth it. Even He waited for the right time to come in the form of a baby, born of a virgin to redeem a sin stained world to eternal life and everlasting relationship with Him (Galatians 4:4-5, Romans 5:6).

Had King David not waited in the pastures where no one saw him fighting against lions and bears, living under the likely mocking and christcism of his seven older brothers, while developing his devotion to God the Father, his capacity to lead and care for a multitude, and his skill as a marksman, he would have never had the faith to defeat Goliath or the trust in God’s faithfulness to keep him while he overcame the harrassment and threat of death that came from King Saul during the many years that followed.

All of these things, the boundaries, the pressure, the struggles, were the very things that caused King David to change from shephard of sheep to the whole of Israel. It was in the process that his ‘wings’ developed the tried and trusted faith and ability to fly!

You and I are given the same opprotunity in our faith walk, to change in our wait to be ready for the promise. I pray that if you haven’t already, you would humble yourself under the loving hand of the Father, allow Him to guide you in your change and trust that at the right time your wings will have the strength to fly into your promise!

SCRIPTURES OF ENCOURAGEMENT:

~Poiema, Poetry in Motion

Dream. Imagine. Believe. Do. CONQUER!

~Candice Coates
Words done by Candice Coates
Words done by Candice Coates
Philippians 4:6-7, 13Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;  and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus…I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:4-13) …Every now and again we need the reminder.

The Long Road: Flash Fiction Results For Monday’s Muse November 16th 2015

Happy Thursday, ya'll! Here are my results for Monday's Muse writing prompt November 16th. To take a look at the original Prompt and Rules, you can do so by clicking HERE.

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The Long Road

 

“The dour expression that had molded her face, courtesy of aching feet from too much walking in high heeled shoes, suddenly washed away as she came around the bend. It was far better than she had imagined. 

The winter cottage now washed in the glow and fresh dew of summer peeked back at her from behind climbing vines and wild berries. Her pace suddenly quickened, all thoughts of calloused toes and aches, gone as a sudden excited urge caused her eyes to mist.

She batted away the tears, happy as they were, but she didn’t stifle the childish skip and giggle that escaped her lungs. Had anyone else been around, she might have restrained her joy, a glitch she had mastered for most of her life. People, even the best intended, seemed to suck the joy right out of a bodies’ dreams as soon as they caught scent of it.

Gillian reasoned long ago that it wasn’t a personal affront from others. It was simply the reality that people feared what was foreign to them and most of the world had long since forgotten how to dream.

She never had.

Dreams were what had kept her going when her once dainty blonde curls bounced right out of her scalp in clumps by the Alopecia that had come unbidden. Gillian had always dreamed of being a princess, even when children teased her that there were no such thing as “bowling ball head” princesses.

It hurt, those beginning years of hairless wonder. It had been a long road climbing out from the waves of tears onto the mountain of love, love for herself just as she was, and love from another in her adult life.

Haddon Cray.

Haddon Cray had not only kissed her bald head once she removed her short-cut strawberry blond wig, but he even proposed, surprising Gillian with a greater surprise than she had given him.

Now three years married, still trudging down a longer road of near hits and misses with pregnancy, Haddon had done it again. He had made her feel like a princess, his princess. He had surprised her again with the cottage he’d gotten her as a gift. He’d definitely been paying attention as she mooned over the pictures in the Summer Living Magazines.

Nibbling her lip and readjusting the raven-esque wig she had donned solely for her husband, she pushed open the door to the summer cottage and rushed into his waiting arms.

THE END