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November 25, 2010
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coin

As I’m packing up my studio and readying Duirwaigh Studios for a new adventure, I catch myself repeating “I am an awesome receiver.” Not a doer. Not an achiever. I open up my palms and breathe deep to remind myself that opening up and letting go are key to living my dreams.

Funny how we are so geared toward accomplishment in this culture. We see something, we want it. It’s natural. We dream. We plot. We plan. But so many times we forget that it’s the receiving muscle that allows our dreams to find us. It’s the other side of the wishing coin.

I dropped a coin in the wishing well five years ago when I pulled a small, portable art table into my home office in Georgia. The room was already full, but I was determined to make a space just for art. I spent my days and nights wishing for a studio all my own, a place untouched by business and logic and sense; a place just for me and my unfolding creativity. My wish brought me to Taos and opened up not only a gorgeous dream-come-true studio, but a brand-spanking new life. And once that space got cramped, I started tossing larger and larger coins into my wishing well, until it was full. I want space! I want room to grow! I want private intimacy and wide open expanse.

Well, it took me a few years to get out of my own way. I stumbled around this wish. A lot. Suffering spiritual amnesia (forgetting all I had already learned) I kept trying to make it happen. And when we apply pressure to our dreams, it’s fairly impossible to have our energetic hands open, our lives poised to receive.

A few months ago, I gave up. In a good way. Maybe we should call it surrender, but I just quit clinching so hard, trying to mold and make and materialize my dream. I read a book about receiving, (The Power of Receiving) and it reminded me that receiving is not a mark of weakness, but a radiant power all around us in nature. The author uses the example of butterfly bushes, the ones that grow fragrant flowers year after year and attract butterflies to their blooms. She said if those bushes acted like we do, the girl plants would all be gussying up their blooms, trying to prune themselves into brighter, thinner, more palatable shades, and the boy plants would be competing with one another trying to get bigger, grow taller, become the most stable plant for the butterflies. And all the plants together would be scurrying around the planet, trying to track down the butterflies.

And yet. Nature doesn’t operate that way. In its very essence, the butterfly bush produces what it needs to attract the butterflies. It emits the essence of itself, and the winged beings are compelled. It can be this way for us. You toss your coin in the wish fountain and then it’s not up to the Universe, or God, or someone in the position of authority to decide you’re worthy, you’ve earned it, you are somehow justified and rightly deserving. It’s up to you. It’s up to me. Not to make it happen, but to allow it to happen.

And there’s really only one way to do that. Let it go. Let it be. Relax. Find enjoyment where you are. Indulge your true nature. Sniff out and enjoy all delicious things blooming in your life and, like blossoms, turn those palms out and up. The coin is already in the fountain. Magic is already brewing. Our wishes are growing wings. And perhaps if we can just be still, and emit a fragrance of appreciation and happiness, those winged beings can find us.