A few months ago I decided to offer growth-work classes around developing a peace practice. I had a great first showing, multiple people interested and several who expressed continued desire to pay for such inspiration. During the weeks that followed I observed how I unconsciously denied myself the joy of receiving that interest, money and continued creative expression. I sabotaged my intention to create additional income streams and offerings that helped people heal to peace. And even though I knew that I was doing this, I couldn’t seem to choose differently. I was running away from my own potential. I was avoiding doing the work. I created all kinds of other priorities to convince myself that I couldn’t possibly have the time to attend to my dream.
It wasn’t until I observed the same behavior in a beloved whose creative genius feels light-years beyond my own, that I began to recognize what I was doing. The fears, negative self-talk, doubts and pain about truly trusting these creative gifts have such a strong-hold around us that its challenging to see beyond them. I know so many artists and entrepreneurs whose vast library of new ideas, products and services would heal the world in a moment, yet the self-critic continues to hold a monopoly on the loud speaker. And no matter how beautiful the art piece, stunning the melody, eloquent the sentence…it all will birth and die in the coffers of our minds unless we regain control of the microphone and declare a new possibility.
I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for a new experience. I’ve lived under the drones of fear long enough. I’ve listened to my self-critic for decades and it’s time for her to take a back-seat (if she’s not willing to bounce altogether). If you are serious about getting out of your way here are five things I suggest you do TODAY to open up to your worthiness and express the powerful Light that you are.
I write about gratitude a lot because I find that it is such a powerful mental tool to recondition our minds to harmony, abundance and peace. I start my day speaking out loud what I’m grateful for. Then when journaling I write out what I’m grateful this day will create for me to express. Throughout my day I am actively looking for things to appreciate. I’m asking others about what they are happy about more often than I listen to their complaints. At the end of the day I express gratitude for my life, simply for the exquisite opportunity of being alive.
There are so many ways to practice gratitude. Just google gratitude practices and you’ll discover tons of new ideas. For artists in particular we can be pretty harsh on ourselves when the end product doesn’t materialize as we want it to. This is a particularly good time to practice gratitude. There is ALWAYS something to be grateful for. Even in a challenging situation. Especially in a challenging situation. Begin to train your mind to focus on what is working more often and you will experience the abundance you seek.
Sun Soak or Earth Touch Boost
When I’m feeling frustrated or disappointed about my creative stagnation I often rediscover that simply being outside refreshes me a new set point. Think of it like a battery recharge. Humans need to touch the earth, to listen to birds, appreciate flowers, feel wind in their face and sun on their skin. Poets from all cultures write about this need from the beginning of our-story. It is required. Don’t imagine for a second that our technical revolutions have computerized this necessity out of us. Go on that hike. Take the dog on a walk. Make the effort to sit under the tree, walk on the beach or play in the snow. Soak in sunlight and delight in the rain again (like this little girl). Feel the abundance of this magnificent planet that has provided for your every need, every moment or every day. And while you’re outside, say Thank you.
Another powerful tool for shifting out of our complaints-habits towards gratitude-discipline is to visualize that which you want. But don’t get it twisted, this isn’t a daydream fest. None of that “wouldn’t it be nice” shit. This is powerful, dynamic, focused mental work! Here is an excellent guided visualization tool for manifesting abundance. And here is one for expressing creativity.
Creating the vision is only step one. After discovering clearly what you want, you must not allow the critic to talk you out of it. I like to use the scene from Lord of the Rings, of Gandolf declaring to the fire demon that: “You Shall Not Pass!” I imagine his staff Light protecting my dream from the snarls of dragon hell (which is just another word for my negative self-talk). Find whatever is useful for you. The point is to clarify the dream, protect it and feel worthy of its immediate manifestation.
Forgiveness isn’t often thought of as a prerequisite for creative abundance, but I think it’s critical. How can you express your creative genius if you continue to hold onto people or experiences in your past that did you wrong? Pause and read that question again. There is someone in your life right now that you need to release. You don’t need to communicate anything to them, simply decide right now that you are ready to let it go. It might even be that you need to forgive yourself. Recognize how it is blocking you from the good that you want to experience in your life. Why carry it any longer? How is that burden serving you? Is being right really that important?
I’ve spent a lot of time and effort on forgiving people from my past. It’s hard work and not something that comes easy to me. I also find that it has to be a continued commitment, because something will happen that will make me think about them and how much I used to hate them and how bad they made me feel about that thing they did or didn’t do and…and…and… You get the idea. What I know now about forgiveness is that it goes hand in hand with worthiness. As my sense of worthiness increases, my ability to forgive is enhanced. And the more I’m able to let go from my past the more I feel worthy of receiving good in the future.
There are so many influences that tell us to take care of others that most folks (especially those with creative passions) are terrible about self-care. I don’t mean the level of care in buying that salted dark chocolate bar because you had a bad day or splurging at the spa with your tax refund. I’m referring to a deeper level of deliberate acts of kindness and acceptance towards yourself. My best friend and I call these self-love practices.
This can look like many things:
- drinking a green smoothie
- going on a run outside
- calling that great listener friend about the issue that’s been nagging you for days
- taking a long hot soak in the tub after de-cluttering your closet
- pulling out those dusty chalks and a sheet of paper and drawing for the pure joy of it!
It’s less about the actual activity and more about how you’re feeling during it. Directing kindness towards your body, mind and spirit will produce feelings of relief, ease and refreshment. We need to practice self-acceptence before we can experience it fully from others. You have the best insight on what creates joy for you. So stop giving your power away and take your bliss into your own hands!
Gratitude ~ Forgiveness ~ Sun/Earth Boost ~ Self Kindness ~ Visualization
None of these should take more than 20 minutes of your day (except for forgiveness – if you’re choosing the right people and it’s your first attempt to let them go). Follow your gut as you experience these activities and gift yourself the freedom to really deeply feel each and every one. I welcome comments and additional links that you’ve found helpful in getting out of your way to simply allow creativity to flow.