The other afternoon, I had a lovely interaction with the express checker at Whole Foods. He’s a fun guy. I remember him and like to be in his line because he’s always kind and present no matter how busy he is.
Our conversation started out with me telling him, “I’m so glad I got you for a checker today. You’re always so friendly and pleasant. It’s nice to interact with you.”
His smile began to shine and his eyes grew bright. He has the nicest smile. And he replied, “Thank you. That’s nice of you to say. How’s your day been? Have you done anything fun or exciting?”
I had to think for a moment. “No. Not really fun and exciting. It’s been an okay kind of day.”
I then asked him about something he’d told me a few months back – that he had graduated recently and was looking for work in his new field. “How’s the job hunting going?”
He took a moment to pause, perhaps to consider how to answer the question. Then said, “I’m working on it. I’ve got some fear around moving forward.” or something along those lines.
I stood for a moment noticing how amazing it was to hear someone tell the truth. Just like that. With no great fanfare. No drama. Just the truth. His voice was clear as he was honestly sharing that he was feeling fear. And then he said, “I don’t know if that makes sense.”
So I told him what I do for a living. That I’m a coach. He chuckled in response. And then I told him that it makes total sense to me. I hear this all the time from those I work with. And, I know it deeply within myself. The feeling of fear when we step out into new territory. For some of us, the fear keeps us stuck – not moving. For others, we step out but with great bravado so no one will know we are afraid.
And, then he mentioned how the fear gets in the way of responding creatively. And, then, of course, my ears totally perked up and I smiled. After I told him I teach courses on this, he asked me if I had anything to share with him. And, of course, as you probably guessed, I did.
So, I did.
This is what I shared with him. I think it is good and helpful information. I wouldn’t call it advice per se because there is no way to tell him – or you – what you should do…but I can offer him/you a few ideas to develop a strong foundation for a creative life.
- Trust in your own knowing
Trust that you have the resources within you that will guide you in any moment. Don’t look ahead and worry about what will come and how you will respond. When you have faith in your own capacity to know in the moment, you are much more likely to take the next step, and then the next, and then the next. With each step, your creative resource within knows how to respond.
- The Voice of Judgment
The thing that gets in the way of trusting your own knowing is the Voice of Judgment (the VOJ). The VOJ tells you that you need it, that it is looking out for your best interests. And the more you step out, the louder it gets. But the thing is, you don’t need it. It will only keep you small. Afraid to risk. Overthinking. And swirling in dramatic emotions and fear.
- The Foundation for Creativity – Presence:
Ultimately, the trust in your own creativity, your own knowing, is the foundation you want to cultivate. Once you relax the VOJ and trust in your own ability to know in the moment, everything opens up. You become aware of everything around you, aware of possibilities, aware of resources available to you in the moment. The thing is, you aren’t going it alone. You are fully supported by unknown forces and by the flow of life that surrounds you.
- YOU are Creative
This is what it means to be creative. Creativity is much more than artistic talent. Creativity is the nature of this universe we live in. And it is our nature.
- You are not afraid
You are feeling fear. There is a big difference. One slaps the identity of fear on you, that you are a fearful being. When we do this, we begin to believe that we are afraid. But, when we realize fear has nothing to do with our identity, that it is something we feel just like any other feeling, we shift into an entirely different relationship with it. It no longer is us. Instead, we can keep moving, feeling whatever comes. Same with judgment, which is the source of our fear of being creative and taking risks. When judgment no longer sticks, it just comes and goes.
All feelings come. All feelings go. But your creativity is YOU. Your capacity to meet whatever comes is YOU.
He thanked me. And then, I realized I’d just had that fun experience he’d asked me about earlier. In just a few short minutes, we’d talked about something that lit us both up. I could feel how excited I was to share what I know. And I could see the gratitude in his smile and eyes. He was genuinely interested in what I was sharing with him.
We said goodbye, and I headed out to my car.
R I S E
All of this is so present for me as I prepare my new course R I S E. This man is not alone. I told him that. We are all facing unknown territory. It might be the current conditions in the world. It might be a new job search or a relationship breakup or an illness of someone we love. Whenever we realize we do not know what lies ahead and we wonder HOW we will navigate this unknown space, we have the choice to step into this vast unknown place of uncertainty or to retreat back to what seems like safe space.
The most important thing is that we find a trust in our capacity to be in this life, fully engaged and fully alive. This is what we came here for! To be alive. To live who we are. To be part of the human community.
Live Q&A Call
I’ll be hosting a live call to share more about R I S E and this amazing work that I’ve been teaching for fourteen years to so many different people and groups. I will share a bit of the work. Trust me, you’ll take away things you can use immediately. And, I’ll answer any questions you might have about R I S E
Saturday, Feb 4th 9-10 am PST
Participant Access Code: 1005863#