I have been wondering how you learn to live a new way of thinking or insight? For example, I love your idea of being gently pulled forward by vision to reach your creative goals rather than being propelled by fear. And the concept of thinking about time as flow rather than scarcity is so perceptive but so challenging for me. How do you live these heart-changing ideas and not go back to old habits of fear and scarcity? (Just a small question for you!)
Yes, indeed a ‘small’ question :)) But a very important one, so thank you for asking. I’ll do my best answering it.
First of all, it’s a process. It has taken me years to break the habit of pushing. Years, and a million small steps. I’ve been starting new habits, moving forward, forgetting, reminding myself, sliding back, getting lost, finding trust again, dropping habits that don’t work and deepening others, forgetting, reminding myself. And on and on it goes.
When we’re dealing with deeply ingrained habits and beliefs, it sometimes feels like things will never change. But they do, in the midst of this messy process of reminding and forgetting, things shift and we live our way into the new.
In my own process of learning to rely on flow instead of pushing in my work, as well as letting go of the belief that time is scarce, these four practices have been game changing for me:
- To notice how I actually feel, while working.
To over and over again check in and notice what my energy is like. Am I tense? Have I stopped breathing deeply? Am I worried that the result won’t be good enough, or that I won’t make it on time?If yes, I relax my muscles, take a deep breath and remind myself that whether or not the result of my work will be “good enough” is none of my business. My job is just to do the work at hand, as best I can, and then to let it go.And whether or not I will make it ”on time” is a question I can never answer in advance, so I don’t waste precious energy fretting over it. I just come back to the only thing that’s ever in my power to control: the task before me right now. I bring my attention back, over and over again. I stay focused and do my work, and leave it to the laws of divine timing to take care of the rest.
- To not get involved with my thoughts. At all.
The tricky thing about fearful thoughts is that we feel compelled to deal with them, to “work them out”, to solve the problem in order to be rid of it. That’s how we get ourselves lost in the maze. We take the bait of that stressful thought and off we go.The truth is (and in spite of some popular messages on ”positive thinking”) we have very little power when it comes to changing our thoughts. They’re not really ours in the first place, and they come and go as they please.Luckily, we don’t need to change them. Only leave them be and return our attention where it belongs: to the work at hand. To our breathing. To our bodies. Stop paying attention to your thoughts and you immediately break their power over you. You may have to remember this a thousand times a day in the beginning. That’s ok. Each and every time you remember, your awareness is strengthened and peace is restored.
- To commit to some kind of meditation and/or prayer practice, so that I am available to receive guidance.
This is crucial. It can be five minutes, but it needs to be devoted time where I show up fully and pay attention. And then to act on whatever guidance I receive. Everytime I do, I learn to trust more and more. I trust myself and my ability to do what needs to be done, and I trust the powers that support me in this work.
- To actively relate and interact with the creative project I’m working on, on as many different levels as possible; intellectual, emotional, intuitive, spiritual.
I get to know the soul of the project (I use meditations for this, like the guided ones I share in The Creative Doer and the Creative Library), I take time to feel into how this particular project wants to be expressed (not just how I think it should be expressed), what the perfect timing looks like, etc.
Doing a collage helps me see things from a different angle. I meditate, like I mentioned above. I do free-writing, paying attention to when something lights up on the page. I use my Tarot decks. This way I get really intimate with my work, and I am reminded that it doesn’t come from me, but through me.
Over the years, I’ve noticed what happens when I trust only in my own powers vs. when I recognise my place as a co-creator involved with powers infinitely greater than my own, and the difference is huge. Both regarding result and process.
I trust that experience. I am not alone in this, and that is the best discovery I’ve ever made.
Hope this helps, Karen