Sunday, June 16, 2013

Fueling the Creative Fire



“There are always flowers for those who want to see them.”
                                                                                            -Henri Matisse


When we finally get to the root of our issues, there is one main issue that all others connect to like the spokes in a wheel.  This core issue colors everything about us.   Throughout our lives, we keep learning about this core issue in different ways and through different lessons.

My core issue has to do with feeling like I am not enough and that I am not valued.  I think this core issue had something to do with my career choice and most everything I have chosen in life until I became aware of it and how it was affecting me.

When we become aware of our core issues and work with them in a positive light, we open ourselves to being our passionate selves and fueling our creative fire.  If we are blind to our core issues behind many of our thoughts and actions, we diminish our life force and the energy that gives us our passion and our creative fire.

Something that happened in my life recently is a perfect example of how we can dim our creative fire.  As I shared in a previous posting, I am working with a creative writing coach and I was getting into a rhythm of writing and even having some fun with learning new ways of expressing myself.  Then one day my writing coach told me, very gently and clearly, that she can tell when the Muse isn’t with me while I am writing because what I write needs more revising. There was nothing wrong with her insight and while the advice may be true and helpful, at first, it had the opposite effect.  I stopped writing altogether.

Oh, I had lots of excuses: I don’t have enough time, I am tired, it is too late, and I have nothing to write about.  But what really happened inside of me is that I started to doubt myself and think that if I don’t have something I am clear and excited about writing, then I shouldn’t write at all.  I closed myself down, lost my passion for writing, and my creative fire dimmed. 

At some point I realized what was going on and gave myself a little self-talk.  I started digging around and got honest with myself.  I acknowledged I had stopped writing and was making excuses for myself.  Then I dug a little deeper and saw that I was influenced by the words of another; even though they were gentle and true.  Then I dug deeper and saw that I often am susceptible to others words and points of view; sometimes to the point of misplacing my own.  Then I dug a little deeper and saw that at the base was my darn old core issue again; in a slightly different form.

Our core issues and egos can be very sneaky.  My issue says that I am not of value and therefore not good enough.  Ooh, how powerful that old message is.  And even though I know it is not true, I had temporarily succumbed to its old power.  Then I did my work (and it is work) and realized that I am good enough and of value.  My writing is good enough and has value.  And what my writing coach said was true.  

I went back to my creative Muse and to those things that motivate and give life to my writing.  My creative ideas began flowing again and now I am sitting here writing and sharing my feelings, thoughts, and recent learning about how we can all unintentionally dim our own – or someone else’s – creative fire.

At the core of the matter for all of us are old beliefs that we internalized from someone else.  These beliefs and issues that we live with can take away from who we are, from living our true lives, and from living with passion for what we do and who we are.  These old beliefs can smother our creative fires, but only if we let them.

We all have core issues.  It is part of being human.  By taking the time to identify and learn from those core issues, we can see how they influence our lives and our decisions.  We can give ourselves permission to look within and keep what is ours and let go of what is not; only then can we live passionately and creatively.
Small Lifestyle Changes that Promote Big ResultsFind a daily time and place to give yourself ten minutes to commune with yourself.  Some people call this daily meditation.  No matter what you call it, by giving yourself this daily time and space to look within you will come to know yourself better.  As you look inward, ask yourself these questions:
·      What is going on in my life right now that I like?
·      What is going on in my life right now that I don’t like?
·      What do I like about myself?
·      What don’t I like about myself?
·      What do I like about my parents?
·      What don’t I like about my parents?
·      What issue am I dealing with right now in my life?
·      What beliefs do my parents hold that I might not agree with?
·      What beliefs do my parents hold that I do agree with?

If you feel like it, write down your answers.  As you do this meditation/exercise daily you will find a pattern emerges.  You will also find answers to some of your questions and issues that previously alluded you.  As you discover your primary issues that color your life, you can then begin asking yourself if these issues are your issues or if they are someone else’s.. As you let them go, you will find that you have more energy for what does fuel you and your creative passions!