Updated: Nov 11, 2022
The process of change and transition is inherently paradoxical. We want to change and we want things to stay the same. We want freedom from suffering and we also don't want to be free. Is there any wonder why changing anything can be so confusing and so hard? When I was a teenager I felt tense a lot. My mother took me to a biofeedback specialist. I remember wearing a little dot on my hand. It functioned as a mood ring did - it told me if my blood flow was restricted or if it was flowing. This tiny dot was the external indication of whether I was tense or if I was regulated. The dot would signal to my conscious mind that it was time to BREATH. My tension was caused, in part, by an unconscious paradox. I wanted to be free of the tension that was causing me discomfort, but PARTS OF ME also wanted to hold on to the tension. That push-pull caused my suffering and also my confusion. I've had MANY moments in my life where I have wondered OUT LOUD, "WHY?!!!! WHY DEAR LORD?!!!! WHY IS IT SO HARD TO CHANGE MY BEHAVIOR? WHY DON'T I KNOW HOW YET? WHY ISN'T IT CLEAR?" After my husband died, I talked to my kids about being happy and sad. We called it "Sappy," which is when we are both things at the same time. The intrinsic tension between poles is the source of so much of our suffering, but it is also essential to our renewal and CRITICAL FOR CREATIVITY. Michael Gelb, in his book, "Learn to think like Leonardo DaVinci," speaks about nurturing a "confusion endurance." Many artists are quite practiced at this particular skill when it comes to their creative process. When we are in a flow, we aren't tense or worried or anxious about the "WHYs" in our life. When we are in flow, we are able to tolerate the uncertainty of not knowing what the outcome will be. There is a magic in that space that has a lot to teach us. What it SHOWS US is that it is POSSIBLE TO BE FREE. Our PROCESS THEN is a practice of TRANSFORMING OUR RELATIONSHIP TO THE PUSH-PULL that our very human brain, and by extension, our very human nervous system, was designed to do. Below are 5-KEYS to braving creativity in our very complex lives. They are, of course, a work in process. 1. Kind connection to Self - Be gentle with yourself when you let go patterns and behaviors that don't serve you anymore. Remind yourself that those very things were created to keep you safe and grow you up!
2. Supportive connection to others - A basic human need, in addition to food, water and shelter, is BELONGING. Healthy belonging connects us to others who value our most essential selves! Seek out champions.
3. Sense of what you desire - Having a sense of what your heart desires is the place to start. You don't need a fully fleshed out action plan, vision or life purpose. Just notice what has energy for you and write it down. That's a great place to start.
4. Willingness to try new things in small steps - All roads lead to #4. Are you willing to do something differently in the service of your heart's desire for growth, authenticity and connection?
5. Celebrate Success - We must celebrate all big and small steps forward so that we can INSTALL what we have learned along the way. Exerting your courage to make a change is the start of a journey. Transitioning over time to some new beginning is a CREATIVE PROCESS. The push and pull of letting go and moving forward is an essential for growth. The way to make the process more joyful, more easeful and more effective is to EMBRACE THE 5-KEYS to BRAVING CREATIVITY!