Archive for Inner Journey

Apprenticing to your Great Work

The unseen. The invisible world. The Qi field. The Force.

If you are searching for your own Pole Star outside, stop. You are looking where it will never be found.

Sunset, West Placitas, by Bobbye Middendorf

Sunset, West Placitas, by Bobbye Middendorf

Do you deal with what is invisible? Powerful, foundational, yet invisible? The formless and energetic precede form, yet are also within the form. We’ve been taught to hunt far and wide in the outer world for hidden treasure. You are one who guides your people to find it within.

Let me ask: If you do this kind of work for and with others, who helps you hold the space for your own deeper dives?  The deeper you go, the more challenging it can be to do for yourself and by yourself. You can’t hear what you can’t hear, nor see what you can’t see.

None of us are supposed to travel on this energetic upleveling journey alone.

The energetic shifts in our world are palpable, at least to those of us with heightened sensitivity and cultivated presence of deep empathy. The seemingly irreconcilable polarities are being played out with startling regularity, with the space between the poles seeming to exponentially expand, the time between polarizing events now ever shorter.

What has looked like the “way we do things” is breaking down. It’s easy to want to follow a model, especially when things are breaking down. And that’s exactly the time that the model no longer works, especially if you are looking to rebirth a world that works for all.

From this confusion and crumbling, I want to help wise women like you to connect — and stay connected — to your own North Star, your own inner blueprint — the one that is urging you forward. It’s the core essence of your Great Work, the new story that you are compelled to give birth to in our complex and convoluted world.

The emerging new paradigm in business is calling all of us to show up and partner with it and all the disparate parts in a wholly different way. It calls us to live in a way that regenerates ourselves (in body, mind, and spirit). I sense that this is part of what you are doing, or aiming to do. The work calls to be done in a different way, and in so doing, we become apprentices to this new work, this new way of working, and to ourselves as the Co-Creator.

It, the work, shapes us as instruments for its highest expression and most potent unfolding. That’s not how things have been done in the past. We are walking at the leading edge of new ways of working, including this partnering collaboration and co-creation, all of which is coming forth in unimagined ways.

And the new story that you want to shape and share also includes embracing your people while raising them up– your Divine Audience, your soul tribe. These are the people who will appreciate and resonate with the “honing” that has been done on you through your lifetime(s).

[A Sidebar: Today’s #Quest2016 with Jeffrey Davis’ Tracking Wonder Community features Jennifer Louden with this question to unfurl your 2016:

Your Quest2016 Prompt today:

What’s the story you most desire to bring to life in 2016?   

What’s the story your just-right client most desires to bring to life in 2016?

Where do your two stories overlap? #2Stories

For more details on #Quest2016: trackingwonder.com/quest-2016]

I regularly inquire into these two stories, even creating Venn Diagrams to visually map the overlaps.

Your Shero’s Journey

We are hospicing an entire way of life,  we who are the midwives of new visions, Way-Showers to many who are taking up the Shero’s Journey (a concept I learned initially from Tamora Pierce and then also via Jen Louden).

Light-Bringers, Path-Seers, Wisdom-Sharers: We are unveiling the new in a way that shares its foundational roots with ancient, long-forgotten paths.

Put your dreams and visions to work, for now is the time. We are being asked to collaborate and co-create in resonant and regenerative community. Are you ready to articulate the song deep in your heart? To tell the new story?

Let us together bring forth from the heart of co-creation YOUR truest inherent value to be of service in creating a world that works for all beings and all life.

Happy Solstice, following the path of the return of the light. Merry Christmas, where the Light of Divine Love is reborn within your soul. Happy New Year as the path unfolds under your feet for another trip around the sun.

In whatever ways you celebrate at this sacred time, I wish you many blessings as you journey.

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Creator’s Vision Quest By Train

Are you being called to create some space in your life this summer to move a dream forward? Is it time to create, to give yourself permission to explore what is longing to be born through your creative self? I’d like to invite you into the year’s Creator’s Vision Quest by Train!

 

Some of the wisdom teachers who will accompany us ...

Some of the wisdom teachers who will accompany us …

 

 

Do you remember the spell of possibility every time you connected up with track nine-and-three-quarters? It was the Hogwarts Express, and magic was afoot. This summer, step into your own magical, liminal creative space.

 

In summer 2014, I did a workshop for creators in transition, getting all of us started on Creating What Matters. This year, we are taking to the rails to continue and grow those dreams of creation.

 

On Sunday, August 2, I am leading an intrepid group of bold creators on a 25-hour creative deep dive on Amtrak’s Southwest Chief, traveling from Chicago to Albuquerque.

 

For me, it’s a long-time dream, to lead a group of dreamers, creators, truth-tellers on a train journey — an intensive immersion into dreams, creativity, and bringing forth the purposeful great work inside you. Do you feel called?

 

 

At Wolf Prairie, Cook County Forest Preserve, just outside Chicago. Connect to the sacred land as we travel through it.

At Wolf Prairie, Cook County Forest Preserve, just outside Chicago. Connect to the sacred land as we travel through it.

We will consider both landscape and dreamtime, though they are not separate. We’ll connect with the inner child who loves adventures. We’ll examine what gets in the way and how to consciously partner with blocks, obstacles, and stuckness. There will be a pre-journey playbook, time for 1-on-1 conferences about where you’re stuck or where you want to take your next body of work, opening and closing ceremonies, playing the Lightning Dreamwork game, and much more.

 

You’ll experience a spacious and regenerative deep dive into the heart of your own creations. It’s a chance to jump-start your creative process and get traction on a project: new body of work, course, workshop, or book. You might even decide to shape your life and its next phase as a work of art!

 

Here’s the invitation: Allow yourself to surrender into a creative dream world with the gentle click and motion of the train. We’re adding movement to the sacred container for generating a palpable momentum, infusing your creations with new energy. 25 hours (If the train’s on time…)

 

The investment is $225.00 for the immersive workshop (Train fare not included). Please email me at jasbjm(at)earthlink(dot)net to set up a phone conversation to see if this is the best step for you. OR text me at 773-263-7914 for more details.

 

A few words from your guide, Bobbye Middendorf:

I journey with sage-hearted collaborators, evolutionaries, messengers, visionaries, and change-agents as a powerful voice and advocate for the practical results they get through deep dives.

 

We walk together through the chaos of reinvention to co-create their evolving core messages, giving voice to the vision of their purposeful Great Work while revealing their wisdom in words they didn’t know they knew.

Bobbye Middendorf, Poet of Pure Potentiality, is your visionary (yet grounded) guide, a combination sounding-board and wordsmith.

Bobbye Middendorf, Poet of Pure Potentiality, is your visionary (yet grounded) guide, a combination sounding-board and wordsmith.

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Savor the Silence

Lily of the Valley

Listen into the silence of the white bells of the Muguet. Photo by Bobbye Middendorf

Dear One,

Savoring silence and appreciating
the ambient sounds — sounds that
happen around you in your environment
wherever you are — can be a
beautiful practice as you develop
your “inner listening” muscles.

Note to yourself:
*What are you listening to?
*What are you attending to or
paying attention to?
*Are you connecting with your
own still, small voice?

This inspired nugget called
out to be shared. Take it in.
It’s for you to consider.

“The silence is as important
as the noise. What gets left
out is as important as what
gets included.”

–Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot
Author, “I’ve Known Rivers

*What are you leaving out?
*What are you leaving in?
*Are you noting the space
between the notes?
*Can you read what is between
the lines?

Ponder well and deeply, my
sweet friend. If you feel
called, use this quote and
these questions to travel
deeply within. Travel with
your pen and a journal on
the waves of sacred silence.

Let me know what emerges
for you in this exploration.

With blessings from your friend,

 

Bobbye

 

P.S. On July 20, I am offering an
in-person workshop in the Chicago
area. It’s a chance to connect to
your inner gifts and discover what
is in the way of bringing more of
them into the world. Mark your
calendars! More details coming soon.
Email me if you have specific questions.

 

 

 

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Your ONE Thing

ONE Thing

What is your ONE Thing…
The gift not yet given,
and its ache of hidden yearnings?
What longs to be expressed,
What you fear to reveal
for so many reasons?

What is this ONE thing,
the voicing of which makes ALL the difference?

What is the ONE thing,
the being-witnessed-for-which ignites new neural pathways
and opens up undiscovered fields in your heart?

What is your ONE thing,
that,  expressed in words, shatters the wall of glass you’ve been simmering under?
Yes, marinating under that glass for lifetimes.

What is that ONE thing,
for you, when taken into the public sphere,
shifts the cosmos on its axis?

What is the ONE thing you dare not release into the world?
Its fragility, its beauty, its preciousness living so close to your bones for so long that to expose it risks exposing everything. Everything!

What is your ONE thing
(indeed it is your greatest gift, invisible still)
hiding its brilliance where you dare not look?

For under the wound
in the most painful place
where you will never, ever go (you vowed it)
what if your ONE thing resides there?
What if you look there
only to discover your light
shining all this time —
white hot fiery cascades on a scale immeasurable
illuminating a shadowy storeroom
its door sealed by the accretions of time and metavows of protections.

This ONE thing
the awakening to,
the saying of which,
renders all else null.

The void beckons and black holes are star nurseries
Embracing darkness as womb of creation.
Your ONE thing invites you home here.

What is your ONE thing,
the knowing of which
will set you free?

copyright (C) Bobbye Middendorf
9 August 2012

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Chrysalis: Emergence At Hand

Turnarounds 1:

Chrysalis: Emergence At Hand

 

Pre-emergence before the chrysalis

Photo by MK Salovaara

This is the first in a series of life lesson stories that illustrate the powerful and invigorating TURNAROUNDS that we are all capable of creating for ourselves, in the sacred circle of our words, reflection, and inquiry.

 

Your Journey

Have you been on a journey of personal growth, spiritual development, and profound transformation for awhile now? Maybe you feel like something just isn’t happening; it’s incomplete; OR you feel like you should be there already?  Maybe you’re tired because you feel like you have been on this journey your entire life. “There has to be a better and simpler way,” you think to yourself.

Like you, I feel as though I have been journeying long and often alone. It’s been a precious voyage of inner discovery. And it has seemed like things have been “so close.” It’s like the mathematical asymptote: The line approaching the curve and never arriving.

A Puddle of Ineffectiveness

One day, I confided to my coach, Alan Hickman, that I felt exactly like a little puddle of ineffectiveness that wasn’t going anywhere. Thanks to Alan’s deep listening, reflecting, and training in inquiry, he stood with me in the sacred circle to turn it around.

First, I owned that, “Yes. It’s true. I’m right now in a space of being not very effective.”  Deeper inquiry told me a different story from what I’d been judging myself about and beating myself up for.

(You know, the old riff of “I’m stuck. What’s wrong with me and why can’t I move?”  And I’m sure you’re familiar with the “WHY AM I NOT THERE YET????!!!!” conversation.)

The Caterpillar Turnaround

The metaphor that arose in our discussion was the caterpillar. It had felt for so long like I was melting down from the inside, and I didn’t know who I was or what I was about. Everything seemed to be shifting and changing.

Then the Ah-Ha.  Suddenly I realized that I was indeed looking at the inside of the chrysalis.

Here’s what I could now see: By loving and embracing the stuckness, the ineffectiveness, the right-where-I-am-ness, I was able to acknowledge myself for exactly where I am — like the butterfly looking out from inside the chrysalis. Observing myself with love and compassion, I can see that I am right where I am supposed to be.

Butterfly on my Ankle

A few weeks after my conversation with Alan, this chrysalis narrative continued, as I continued to “notice what I notice.” As I practiced Qi Gong meditation in the garden on two separate days, a butterfly landed gently on my ankle. That was my signal to share this narrative. The butterfly wings are flapping to strengthen themselves for emerging from the chrysalis and getting ready to fly.

(Interestingly enough, I also observe that my drops of essences from Jane Bell, called synchronistically enough, “Emergence,” are nearly complete.)

The Message from Ovo

Another message reaffirmed my understanding. A visit to Cirque Du Soleil’s brilliant “Ovo” show, provided the image of the chrysalis in an aerial interlude. Pressing against the sheer fabric, the butterfly finally emerged high in the air, flapping its  (her?) gossamer wings.

Affirming Our Shared Emergence

These words too emerged. “Share this story and this image. For many are in the chrysalis and can use a guide, the powerful validation  that where they are is just where they are meant to be.  Help them to understand they are seeing from inside the chrysalis, and that their time of emergence is at hand.”

And so, for midlife, best-half-of-life creators of all kinds, global transformers of consciousness, messengers, change agents, thought leaders, awakeners, authors, and healers: I send greetings and encouragement from the chrysalis.

I’m with you when I say I know you are longing to step into your potential, to create transformative projects, businesses, creations, books, messages, ventures. I know you’ve been feeling for a long time stuck, stalled, scared, not good enough, or like you should be there already. Maybe you feel like you are trying to push the river to MAKE SOMETHING HAPPEN.

Emergence — Not Emergency

Allow yourself in this moment to relax. Know that you are enough as you are; and you are where you’re meant to be. Allow yourself to just BE in the soup of transformation. Be willing to flap your wings to strengthen them for your own emergence.  (Try practicing in this safe space by bringing your story from your chrysalis into this community of comments.)

Shift the DNA of Your Experience

What has been most surprising for me in this turnaround is that by embracing the stuck, stalled, scared puddle of ineffectiveness, I’ve literally changed my patterns and shifted the cellular experience of myself.

It starts with an honest acceptance of, and even surrender to, exactly where you are right now. Realizing and embracing that you are still taking shape  — you, your project, your creation, all together inside the chrysalis — creates a powerful self-recognition. More powerful still is to embrace your whole seemingly stuck self  — completely free from judgment, and with love, appreciation, and gratitude.

And so you can. It’s the best prayer and meditation ever.

Emergence complete

Photo by MK Salovaara


 

 

 

 

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Solstice Greetings from Shangri La

2010 Pre-Solstice

Brilliant
SunSparkles on snow
mingling my tracks with squirrels’
Fluffed robins drunk on fermented berries
Crows sing raucous verses
The passing V of Canada geese honking refrain
And the gibbous moon
rising midday spectral ghostly blur
waxing toward Solstice full
in blue firmament
Magic is airborne
riding currents of
short days with mid-afternoon dusks
punctuated by window candles
Holiday lights like multi-hued
stars of an earthbound universe

Energies of Divine Feminine
a Shakti blossoming
within perfect
circle of protection
Embracings within yin and yang
the balance unspoken
yet profound
Festivities foretold unfold
celebrating rebirth
of love alive
illuminating
the innermost sacred
center of the heart
Divine Love ignites
whisperings soul to soul
Missives of grace

17 December 2010
Bobbye Middendorf
The Write Synergies Guru

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Shangri-La in Autumn

Chicago’s extended autumn, with mild-ish weather for much of November, has allowed extra time for being in our garden (aka Shangri-La). I wrote in late June, in my Missive from Shangri-La experience, all about a retreat that literally opened my eyes to, as they say, “the diamonds in my own back yard.” That is, Shangri-La is present just outside my door. This outdoor space is where and how I’ve been rooted on many a day of inner journeys — whether writing, dreaming, dining, or conversing.

In this month for gratitude, with so much to be grateful for, I wanted to share some of the special gifts in my life. Our Shangri-La garden is one that I’m looking at with grateful (and grace-full) eyes. I’ve been out there most days barefoot and doing a simple Qi Gong practice, soaking up the beauty and energies from the earth, the trees, the sky, and crow flying over.

It looks different in autumn. The trees shed their leaves. The Tree of Heaven, also known as the ailanthus, loses its leaves first. The copper beach will be the last, hanging onto golden crisp leaves through the winter, only to release them once the new growth starts. Without the leaves, even with the sun arcing low in the Southern sky, the garden glows in the light. At least on the days when clouds don’t get in between us and the sun.

A climbing hydrangea, its leaves brilliant yellow, stands like a small sun against the fence. Virginia creeper on the fence and side of the house always fades to a delicious pale pinky yellow with bright red stems. Crunchy leaves under foot mark one of passages of the autumn symphony.

Past mid-November in Chicago, the autumnal symphony is in its final movement. With deep gratitude and appreciation, I say Mahalo to all that has unfolded so that this particular humble little garden Shangri-La is now passing its grace through my life.

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Seeing with New Eyes

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes.”
–Marcel Proust

What makes you “see with new eyes?”  In late June, I returned home from a week-long retreat just a short couple of hours’ drive from home.The retreat, in a beautiful, sacred space, was filled with radiant and divine people. It was a magical time out of time.

(And did you know that yesterday, July 25, was Day Out of Time Day, courtesy of the 13 moons, Mayan calendar?)

So from this June 2010 time out of time retreat, with people I’d never met, and yet who became like long-lost family to me, I hesitantly returned to my ordinary reality. But I returned with new eyes that saw the blessings in my life for what they were: true gifts of support in every way.

Somehow when I returned to our cozy house and expansive, lush garden, I saw what had been there all along in a totally fresh, and yes, radiant, way. Where we’ve lived, rooted, for more than two decades, shines with a renewed vigor and magic, visible through my newly polished eyes. I said, while on the retreat, that I lived in a Shangri La, although in the middle of urban Chicago. When I came home, that is indeed what I experienced.

In seeing with new eyes, I strive for maintaining consciousness, for appreciating the blessings, for stepping into each day as a gift. It is easy to appreciate. What is harder, at least for me, is to take the mindful action steps necessary to expand my presence within this holy, sacred space of my life.

Several weeks after my return from the retreat, we (husby, teenage son, et moi) ventured to the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, a preserved segment of Mother Earth tucked in between heavy smokestack industries on both sides. Lake Michigan was still cold, but the day was hot enough that the chill felt refreshing. I spied hawk flying over the beach twice, bent on some mission. The smell of pine tickled my nose as we walked along hot sands to the dune succession trail boardwalk through the preserved wild lands inland from the beach.

Counting my years along the shores of Lake Michigan, I realize it has held my heart for more than three decades, as I bask still in her flowing and liquid magic, a grateful acolyte to these central waters of Mother Earth.

I’d love to hear how you are seeing with new eyes. Take a look into your own life, your own backyard or treasure closet. What do you see when you look with new eyes? Where can you gain renewed energies from looking anew at what is familiar?

My friend and mentor Susan Castle is leading another magnificent, eye-opening retreat, this time within the sacred space of Sedona, Arizona. I’ll be there. I’d love to have you along! Retreat spaces are very limited. To learn about Susan and this opportunity for learning to “see with new eyes,” I invite you to step into her circle. Click here to learn more.

I wish you Abundant Blessings that are available when you are willing to see with new eyes.

Warmest regards to you,
from Bobbye Middendorf,
the Write Synergies Guru

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Build Momentum — 30 Day Blog Challenge Post 20

Building momentum is an interesting concept on the Write Synergies journey.  We need momentum both in the inner sphere (as in building our inner foundation for our ongoing awakening awareness), AND in the outer sphere, building momentum around creating our creations or ventures or projects.

According to Merriam Webster, momentum is “strength or force gained by motion or through the development of events.” Building that force of forward motion, or momentum, is most often seen as an outer process, and it certainly does come into play as we create the body of work  in the manifest world.

But let’s consider for a moment, the very important role that “building momentum” plays on the inner path.   It is the strength of that inner motion, strengthening the inner part of our work and our selves.  At the same time, that inner forward motion is the key to creating a strong foundation on which we  build the castles of our creations following the Write Synergies Path.

Building a foundation from the momentum of forward motion and strength of the inner journey requires the tools of self reflection, discussed in the writing to awaken self awareness post. Just as the foundation of a house is invisible once the house is built on top of it, so too the foundation built by our inner journey is unseen on the outside.  Yet it is the most critical part of the entire construction.  Without a solid foundation, nothing will stand up. This is why I say, “The inner journey IS the journey.”

This journey begins with a single step, and once taken, the momentum builds, step by step.

By the time we have arrived at 20 posts in a 30-day/post blogging challenge, the small steps of daily blogging has created substantial momentum. Check out the 30 Day Blogging challenge on Twitter at #blog30 and the 7-day mini challenge at #mini7.

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Writing Your Inner Journey–Blog Challenge Post 14

I came across marketing expert and coach, Tara Kachaturoff, on Connie Ragan Green’s 30-day blog challenge.  Her post today, “Marketing Your Book – The strategy may be in “why” you wrote your book,”  suggests that authors and would-be authors look at the reasons why writing a book was important in the first place. Tara explains, “You can often find hints of marketing strategies that might be a good fit.”

She concludes, saying,  “I believe there is value in taking time to explore your original intentions as you may find some highly aligned and inspirational strategies that are perfect for you!”

Tara’s insights are right on the money. What she opens the door to here is the deep dive, what I call the “inner journey.”  In particular for conscious creators, visionaries, thought leaders, and paradigm-changing authors, writers, messengers, healers, and soul-preneurs, this sort of reflection creates the foundational inner work that strengthens the creator and the project. But why, you may ask, does that matter?

What I have discovered and observed over my time in corporate book publishing and a decade-long self-employment journey helping all kinds of clients with their words,  is that all the fantastic outer stuff is great.  But using those juicy marketing tools alone can result in “bright shiny object syndrome” without the foundational grounding of this inner journey.  Both creator and creation become like a tree without roots, and just as unlikely to thrive.

Think about it. Without examining your underlying motivations, your vision, aspirations, and goals, without the inner clarity that comes  from envisioning your path and ultimate destination (or at least the next few steps), then you risk traveling the road that old saying describes: “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.”

Ideally this inner work and inner journey takes place before the book is published.  But as Tara observes, it can be powerful at any point in the process. I like to point out the importance of this by saying “the inner journey IS the journey.”

Safe travels to all!

Post 14 in the 30 day blogging challenge. Follow the great collegiality on Twitter at #blog30.

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