Do you find yourself shutting down creative ideas outright? Responding reflexively with, “No that won’t work.”
Is it difficult for you to just “wait and see” or “give it a try”?
Do you “get busy,” or feel pressure to "race to do more" because you believe you don’t have enough time or space to "get there?"
If this resonates, you are not alone. It is hard to stay open. Many of my clients struggle with staying open EVEN WHEN they are on track to meet their big goal. Whether beginning to move toward your big vision or already are on track, STAYING OPEN is a practice. Staying open makes three things possible: 1. Allows your creative energy to flow 2. Opens your mind to new options 3. Reminds you that you have the power to make a choice about where you put your attention If you are contracting out of fear that you don't have enough of something, then you are in a "gremlin" storm. Your beliefs and thoughts have wrapped you in blinders and you can't see a way out. Stay calm! Because I see this so often - and because I experience overwhelm too- I want you to know that: a) overwhelm like this is a normal response to big change b) you can come back to the open state that set you on your path in the first place.
When you learn to STAY OPEN: You will become empowered to receive the opportunities that you are working hard to put in motion. You might need some help along the way -- help to take the blinders off; help to make requests or set boundaries to make your space and time work for you. But all of that is strategy - which is work we do in the mind. The practice of staying open is work that begins in your body and heart. Staying open makes it possible for you to RECEIVE the goodness that will arise from your effort. You don't want to miss the good stuff because you are contracted with fear. Yesterday, I completed the manuscript for Braving Creativity; Artists who Turn the Scary, Thrilling, Messy Path of Change into Courageous Transformation. If I did not practice Staying Open every single day over the past ten months of this project - I would have suffered more (and everyone around me would have suffered more too) and completed less. I would have tired myself out with worry, fear and hopelessness. But that is not what happened. By staying open:
A) I finished my first book!
B) I accepted and cared for that part of me that was afraid (feeling like an imposter is my #1 fear).
C) I stayed flexible with myself (and kind) when I missed a deadline, when the work sucked (which is also part of a process), when I was overwhelmed. D) I discovered so much more about myself and my topic!
Most importantly, when you STAY OPEN you develop the fortitude to navigate the imperfections that threaten to derail your effort. My book is imperfect, this newsletter is imperfect, I am imperfect. And, so what? Really, so what?
Should we hold back our courage, our light, our effort, our sweet longing to shine our light into the world because we are afraid of failing? Come on now.
We won’t live long enough, even if we had nine lives, to put anything out into world if we strove for perfection in our work or in our personal lives (and having enough time and enough space goes in that bucket).
Work with what you have with an open mind, and you'll see a way; stay contracted, and you won't see past the blinders you have on. Accept that work you are doing is hard - because it is - and then practice STAYING OPEN. That is the way to real growth and discovery!