Archive for Life Unfolds
It’s day 4 of ’30 Writes in 30 Days’ and the more discerning among you will have noticed that there didn’t appear to be a “write” for Day 3. Except, of course, you probably never gave it a thought, your having your own lives and all that.
This is what I was aiming for myself, not having to “give it a thought” but simply letting the writing arise. However, yesterday I fell off the wagon, so to speak. Suddenly I was thinking and thinking about needing to write something. The whole experiment had become an object in it’s own right, a “thing” to be thought about and controlled. And, not surprisingly I found no inspiration. Maybe I’ll put that on a painting:
“Thinking is an Inspiration Killer!”
I even woke up in the night thinking about what not writing or writing meant and thinking about thinking. First thing I dashed off an email to a friend who has joined in the challenge saying:
“I seem to have turned this ’30 Writes in 30 Days’ into a thing. Kept waking up in the night and thinking about it. It’s not supposed to be like that at all. It’s just supposed to flow!
I seem to be trying too hard to think of something to write. Dog with a bone stuff.
Am going to have a shower and wash my hair. Then breakfast and then maybe a bit of vacuuming and, hopefully, it will lose it’s grip and I’ll feel inspired again. But I guess the trick is being Ok with not feeling inspired . . . except that’s just a load of different thinking. Sigh!
Back to basics . . . I seem to be stuck in my thinking but it’s OK. It will pass.”
That last sentence is the key. It’s one of the valuable lessons I have learnt from the Three Principles:
- once I really get caught up in thinking about a particular problem/situation I won’t find a way out through my thinking and
- if I just let it be, the thinking frenzy will pass of it’s own accord and peace and inspiration will return.
This morning I have shown that to myself again. Just the shower was long enough to let my thinking settle. I didn’t need the breakfast or the vacuuming! Inspiration has returned and “write” number 3 has pretty much written itself.
This is what I’m noticing more and more. It really is OK to let things just unfold. Inspiration is always there, waiting to be acted upon. More and more I’m noticing how simple, wonderful and exciting life can be when I pay less attention to the thinking that’s accompanied by stressful feelings and more attention to what I feel inspired to do when my thoughts are calm.
Oh my goodness! It’s been over 2 years since I last wrote a blog post. It’s fun to be back!
I find myself writing again because there are a couple of really interesting things going on that I think are worth sharing. One is my experience of working with The 3 Principles or living from the inside out and the other is my experience of starting to play around with paints, collage and creative stuff generally.
I’m not so good at explaining the former so I’ve put up a Three Principles resources page where you will find links to loads of good stuff and good people who are far more eloquent than I on the subject. At this point, suffice it to say, that The Principles have had a huge impact on my life. Nothing has changed but everything is different and I’m the happiest I’ve ever been.
And then there’s the painting etc. I’m finding that the way I “do Art” is turning out to be a brilliant metaphor for the way I’d like to live my life.
And here’s how it all began . . .
A good friend of mine is a professional artist. One day when looking at her art I thought “I fancy having a go at that”. So the next time I visited her I asked if I could give it a try and found myself playing around with all her lovely paints and mediums and beads and stamps and wire and . . . and . . . all sorts of yummy goodies. And I loved it. And that was interesting to me. This seemed to be an experience where it was easy for me to play. No ‘tortured artist suffering for her art’ stereotype for me.
I definitely had an opinion about whether or not I liked what I was producing but I noticed that it seemed to change. One evening I’d think “that looks like something a kindergartener would do” and then in the morning I’d think “I quite like it”.
Art is not something I’ve spent much time thinking about – other than to think I’m no good at it! And, before my visit to my friend’s studio I hadn’t picked up a paintbrush since I was at school. I’d never painted on canvas. Consequently, I don’t have a lot of internal rules or structure around what I should do, or how it works, or what it means, and I’m finding the whole experience incredibly liberating.
And this is how I’m living life more and more. Letting go of preconceived ideas, dropping rules I’ve made up, learning to live with not knowing and being OK with that. Just showing up and watching it unfold.
And this too is incredibly liberating . . .
This week I am noticing a certain low grade anxiety arising – sometimes when thinking about specific things and sometimes it’s just in the background. I am waking in the early hours of the morning, feeling fearful.
As I continue to take action on the Internet Marketing project I am aware of an inner unease. There is change afoot and it’s challenging the safety of how I have lived for a number of years.
It feels like I’ve been on an ice rink, surrounded by a perspex barrier and, for many years, I have wanted something on the other side. But whenever I skated towards it I was held back by something I couldn’t see.
Sometimes I felt frustrated, trapped and depressed and at others, I just got on with my life. But throughout I felt safe. It was familiar and comfortable.
Now I feel I have somehow skated through a gap. I am on the same rink but I am outside the barrier.
I having been skating forward, into new territory. But this week I feel like I’ve been holding onto the fence whilst eyeing up the gap. I’m not tempted to skate back through it but I’m loath to let go my handhold.
I’m practising being OK with that – to just take a breather. But I feel I am only delaying the moment when I will have to let go and skate free.
And right there lies the source of my discomfort. The phrase “have to”.
I am split. Part of me holding on to all that is familiar and part of me yearning for something else unseen. And with the unseen comes the feelings of danger but also the excitement of life.
How can I tap into the excitement and (not sure what verb to use here – overcome, ignore, conquer?) the fear?
. . . . . .
And . . . briefly I am there.
I am excited that change is afoot. I am aware of being in this place for the first time in my life and that the barrier isn’t perspex after all. It is ice and it is melting.
One of the rules I set for myself in creating my 28 Day Challenge is: “I will not struggle nor suffer”. Now, when I wrote that I was thinking of the times I’d gone round and round in circles, sometimes for weeks on end, trying to work something out or make something happen. And one thing I am sure of is that struggle never gets me anywhere but stressed, frustrated or feeling depressed. Hence, the rule.
So, on Day 1, everything was fresh and exciting and I was open to possibilities and very much living in the present. I set my goal and then let go of it, while I got on with the business of taking action from the moment – just doing the next thing. Eveything was hunky, dory. The next thing came and went, listening to the audio of ’Creating the Impossible’, responding to emails, putting my intention out into the world by writing about it etc.
After lunch I wasn’t sure about the next step so decided to go for a walk and then go for a coffee where I would brainstorm some ideas of what the coaching programme might actually look like. But just as I was leaving I received an email from my coach, responding to my 28 day challenge. It said:
“Gillian. For one thing, you’re a very persuasive and beautiful
writer…you can really express yourself well….SO create
a POWERFUL letter of invitation…I filled a mastermind
group of 20 people at $10,000 each, and I did this
twice, by sending a letter.”
So, there was my next step.
I went for my walk, went for a coffee and sat with my pen and paper made my first stab at a letter of invitation. Now, what was interesting was, I don’t really know what a letter of invitation is but I just settled myself down and wrote. My first few attempts weren’t good but I reminded myself that ”this is just a game”, “I don’t actually have to run a seminar if I don’t want to”, “this is all in the future and all I’m doing is playing around with an idea right now”. Then eventually a “letter” began to emerge and I had fun creating it.
So, fast forward to yesterday, when I listen to the next Impossible Challenge audio and settle down to do the next thing. But yesterday’s “next thing” just didn’t seem to flow and, I realise now, that that was because I’d unknowingly already decided what that next thing was. My invitation letter was only half written so I’d simply assumed that the “next thing” would be the completion of that. And, all day, on and off I struggled with trying to write it. But it was very subtle. I wasn’t sitting down and saying to myself “this letter must be finished” but I was, unconsciously, thinking that and, as a consequence I probably missed an easier “next thing”. And by easier I simply mean, one that flowed more. And, I didn’t get much further with the letter.
So, today I reset my commitment to enrol 10 people on my 6 month coaching programme called – ‘When You Don’t Know What You Want – Make It Up!’ and I reset my commitment to doing so without a struggle – be it little or large.
Hmmm. So what’s the next thing? . . . Breakfast. Easy!
I crack myself up sometimes. (For those non native English speakers a rough translation is – I laugh uproariously at myself).
I started yesterday raring to go. Spent hours writing a blog post as I developed my thoughts around the topic. Published it. Read something that seemed to contradict what I’d written. Came home for lunch and started feeling flat. Couldn’t work out why. Felt very wobbly about the post so took it down. Felt pissed off that I was feeling down again.
Woke up this morning and watched my mind create a story about how hopeless it all was. Decided I needed to go to a workshop that is being held locally at the weekend which didn’t feel good cuz that was coming from a place of needing to fix myself. Noticed my negative thoughts were mostly around commitment. Looked at my life right now to see what I was committed to and then – ah, ha! I’d been assuming that once I committed to something that that would be it.
I am committed to change, to enjoying my life, to discovering more of the mystery, to being a “better” person etc. I can see that because that is what I’m spending my time doing. But when I committed to consciously investigating whether or not I can create something concrete in my external world I expected that to be the end of it. No doubts, no back-tracking just clarity from here on in. A nice bit of black and white that would lead to “yes I can” or “no I can’t”. Well, seems that’s not how it is so I’ve put the post back up, picked myself up and recommitted to the project from a place of curiosity and “I wonder”.