DreamingOutloud is a way of questioning all the funky things you've come to believe about yourself. Dragging out those falsities, taking a sexy look at them and then getting rid of what is no longer serving you. The room that this clearing out gives you is mindblowingly awesome (yes, i just made that up).
You can't make new shit with old garbage in your way. Once you get rid of beliefs, assumptions about what you're capable of out of the way and everyone else's "shoulds", then you free up space for your heart to actually start talking to your brain about what makes you happy. By the way, anything that you 'should' be doing did not originate with you. It's someone else's agenda. So next time you think I should do this or that, stop and get present, right here and right now. And ask yourself:
If you've tried to set goals over and over again, to no avail or you get overwhelmed and cannot focus on anything. Then some DreamingOutLoud is order. It consists of 3 steps:
1. The morning pages
3. Asking the Questions
The Morning Pages
Today, I'm going to talk about the morning pages.The morning pages are Julia Cameron’s brainchild. You sit and write 3 pages longhand every morning without stopping. There’s no agenda, no right or wrong and no one will ever see them but you. When I started these pages were everything from complaints, rants, prayers, secret wishes and dreams that I would never tell anyone. Within these wanderings was the key to my heart’s desire, the goals I wanted to achieve, but thought were impossible.
I learned that my dreams were blocked by a bunch of outdated beliefs. I wrote down everything that I believed about myself especially the negative stuff: I’m depressed, I’ll always be depressed, and I’m chubby, sort of oddly cute, but not pretty. The best thing about me is my brain; no one really cares so much about that. I was brutal. Because you have to look the ugly stuff in the face before you can destroy it. I was operating from a set of self-defeating beliefs. I was buying into the world’s idea of pretty, skinny, and smart instead of how I felt when I walked in the world. When you honestly write down what you believe about yourself, go back several days later and read it Outloud. You have to ask yourself, would you let someone talk about your best friend like that?
I had to redefine these negative beliefs by writing down the moments when I felt beautiful and fierce in my body. And focus on creating more moments like that. When I connected with people who I found beautiful inside and out, I realized that the reason I was connecting was because that’s how I was feeling inside. I made dream boards with juicy, voluptuous, beautiful women. Serena Williams, Sophia Loren, Christina Hendricks, the real Wonder Woman, Lynda Carter and the incomparable Monique were pasted all over my apartment. I’m drawn to these women because they are comfortable in their own skin. You can’t wage battles if you’re hungry. These women don’t define themselves by the world’s standard of beauty. They think they’re beautiful and powerful just the way they are.
So while I was writing down my complaints and then my dreams in those morning pages, everytime I found myself beating up on myself, I would take out that things that was beating me down and take a look at it. Instead of worrying about when I felt fat, I began to write down times when I felt fierce in my body. See how that works? Then I would cut out photos of fierce women being fierce. I have an amazing photo of Maggie Smith in the prime of Miss Jean Brodie that I stuck in my journal. Then I re-watched Monique's solo show on HBO where she did an hour long stand-up routine for a facility that incarcerated women for long-term. Instead of her standard stand-up, she took her routine off of the women's stories. She celebrated them that evening and helped them see what was possible.
The very weekend that I stuck that photo there and watched Monique's show, the following Monday, I booked a speaking gig, a TV show guest star and a weeklong workshop with The Acting Company. And peep this, when I went in for my costume fitting, (it was for Gotham), I was told they were expecting a plus size gigantic "Shelly Winters type" woman not a little curvy woman. But the trick was, when I went in for that audition or to rehearsal or do the speaking gig about dreambuilding, I was focusing on connecting with other people fully and deeply. Because I realized that those are the times I feel beautiful. I feel connected and powerful. I was focused on the times when I felt powerful and sensual in my body, and that is what the world received from me. When you show up with that kind of intent, the world gives back to you what you're sending out.
(Want to see a clip from me on the set of Gotham? Scroll all the way to the bottom to see the dress that stopped time...lol)
Ever notice, how you want to stand closer to the beautiful, self-composed man or woman on the train. It's not just lust, it's the sense that they are content with who they are and that is contagious. We want some of it, we want to touch it, feel it, catch it like it's the flu. We are drawn to people who are good within themselves.
And we all are starving for that kind of rebellion. Once you start writing morning pages daily (don't skip a day, it's too hard to get back in the groove when you do). After a fews, just skim through the pages and highlight recurring themes. For example: fear, motherhood, love, intimacy, anger, shame, joy, proud and begin to look at the circumstances under which these things come up and make a list of the recurring themes and what triggers them.
Hold on to that list, I'll be back shortly with another exercise where we start to examine some of those themes, flesh them out, decide what to keep, what to get rid of how to focus on what you love and getting closer to living it.
We're making room, people, making room....
Ache' y Luz,
Love, Light & Power,
April & TheDreamingOutLoud Team
Click HERE to get April's FREE DreamingOutLoud handbook
How to Set Goals that You'll Actually Accomplish in 2016
Did you know that April's TED Talk won For Harriet's Shine Award:
32 INCREDIBLE TED TALKS BY BLACK WOMEN THAT WILL INSPIRE YOU?