I dove into January, (somewhat) bright eyed and excited at the prospect of a new year. Not unlike the beginning of a new school year, it felt ripe with potential. I had lovely visions of transformation. I thought of instantly rearranging  my schedule and morphing my habits into ones that are at once productive, efficient, creative and inspired. I fantasized about getting rid of work I dislike and concentrating on work I love. I had a picture of myself as calm, collected, happy, vibrant, rested and downright giddy. Giddy, dammit; 2011 was going to be the year of giddy.

I jumped on the bandwagon of some amazing journeys. My longing for scrapbooking and getting my hands dirty with ink and glue drew me to Big Picture Scrapbooking’s One Little Word course with Ali Edwards. My desire to  uncover what I look like under all this extra padding spurred me to join another BPS class with Lisa Cohen about healthy living. My blog lust for Kelly Rae Roberts made me (almost) salivate but definitely click ‘purchase’ when she offered her amazing resource book at a special price and Twitter led me to the wonderful women who are making a conscious effort to be mindful everyday (#mindful52) and to stretch daily (#365yoga). Then there’s the left-over questions from Reverb10 that I’d still like to finish, a continually growing stack of books on my bedside table and the incredible course Mondo Beyondo that I also couldn’t wait to start.  Not to mention the cherry on the top of this monstrous, melting, hot fudge sundae: working with Stefanie Lee Thompson.

So here I am, January 21, signed up for cool classes and having accumulated all this information. But where AM I, really? Sadly, still stuck in the ruts that I was trying  to break away from. Not finished with projects I’d like to forget, not journaling every morning like I said I would, not stretching like I thought I wanted to. Not one layout or entry made for One Little Word. In the dumps a bit, even though as I talk to friends I realize how incredibly blessed I am. People I love and admire are being hit with deaths of loved ones, financial devastation and legal battles. I’m not. I have absolutely no excuse. So why is it that their attitudes seem more positive and uplifting than mine?

What hit me this morning is that all my life I thought I’ve been paying attention. You know when people say things like they see signs, or the universe gave them a nudge, or whatever language they use to try to explain how a higher power tries to lead them on whatever path they might be on? I thought that for these past 40 years I’d been paying attention. I thought that the signs just weren’t there. I thought that I wasn’t worthy of the signs. I was wrong.

The signs I’ve seen/heard/finally realized over these past 21 days: I lie to myself. Not intentionally, of course, but I lie nonetheless. I do that by not challenging those old, tired, wrong voices in my head that keep me stuck in my rut. Case in point: working with Stefanie Lee. She analyzed my color. Seems like a fun, frivolous, light hearted exercise, no? And it was, in some respects. She is absolutely lovely. Inspiring. Seriously cool.  But when she told me I should be wearing red and yellow I almost asked if she was high. Me….wearing red and yellow? Yeah, whatever. Since I can remember I’ve been told that I can’t wear red (clashes with your hair, Lisa) or yellow (makes your skin look like  a pock marked pizza, Lisa).  But she put those colors on me and–voila–almost a totally different Lisa. (In a GOOD way!).

As I drove home, I thought about the colors and how she taught me a life lesson through them. I thought about why I allowed those voices dominate my thoughts all these years. I mean, really, the voices belong to people I don’t trust and haven’t even had contact with since my teen years. So why do I still LIVE them? Brought to mind some very wise advice from Diane, the lovely lady who graced me with an angel reading at the end of December. She told me that I was clinging to old belief patterns that no longer serve me. I didn’t see it then. I’m starting to catch a glimpse now.

There’s more, but that’s the biggie. That’s the one that I don’t even realize that I struggle with and I’m not sure how to overcome. Those voices that have taken up residence in my psyche, have settled in and become comfy where they are (kinda like that gross Mucinex commercial….that’s how I see them now. Slimy, unwelcome, icky). Sometimes they’re stronger than me. They have more energy, more determination, more drive than I do. So I’m going back to that ridiculously amazing list of resouces that are–RIGHT NOW–at my fingertips just waiting for me to use them. This morning I was trying to follow one of my new goals, which is to read for 20 minutes in the morning. Before I check email, before I make breakfast, before anything else I am striving to read for 20 minutes and journal for 20 minutes. This morning, this sign popped out at me while I was reading: You can’t always get what you want. Sometimes we have to let go of what we think we want in order to make space for the Universe to deliver what we need. There is a fine line between clarifying what we want (love, happiness, fulfillment) and becoming rigidly attached to our wishes (I need to meet him before Valentine’s Day, and he must be at least six feet tall and have brown eyes). (From the book The Soulmate Secret by Arielle Ford)

Even better, my email alert dinged at that very time and a new Mondo Beyondo lesson had arrived. Its title?  Lesson Five: The Difference Between Goals and Dreams.

Shut the front door! If that’s not a sign, I don’t know what is.