Creativity takes Courage
Wilderness has a trail.
In quantum physics it was a revelatory discovery to note that objects appear only when the subject looks and disappears when the subject is not looking. Applying that to our creative life, when we take a step into the wilderness, into the unknown, the trail appears. The next step is revealed. And then the next, and the next as we continue.
Wilderness. It may conjure up images of chaos, jungle, thick forests and wild untamed places. But there is a trail. One could say creative wilderness IS our trail.
The trail is not straight and, more often than not, it isn’t apparent and the trail doesn’t appear until we start walking into the wilderness.
Like quantum physics has shown us, we only see the trail when we look and and when we look we may see the trail appear one step at a time.
Our mind, however, is programmed to keep us safe and wants to see the whole trail first before we step. First show me the trail is there before I start walking. Where is it going? Where will I end up? These are the questions that bubble up and pop into our awareness. It’s a safety feature in our human design to ensure we are safe walking into unknown places.
If we don’t recognise that our mind is trying to keep us safe we tend to believe in and react to the thoughts of fear. And fear in action means we are either going to run, freeze, or fight (resist). And this is not just physically running, freezing, or fighting like when we really needed to do that back in the early days of humanity.
However, its still programmed in us and on an emotional level we run from the feeling of fear by numbing out in various individual ways to escape the feeling. We freeze by dulling our senses, rationalising and finding excuses to stay put, don’t change. We fight in the form of resisting and going against the natural flow of life. Most of the time we are not conscious of these well-intentioned programmed behaviours.
Yet life is not just about being safe all the time. How boring, repetitive that would be. Life is happening and expressing creatively all the time and the unknowns are an integral part of a creative pilgrimage into the wilderness. Its so mysterious and wondrous when we let go of the fear reactions.
Fear blocks us from discovering things about the nature of who and what we are.
Whenever there is a sense of deep tiredness, overwhelm, foggy brain, frustration, feeling stuck, to name a few symptoms, you are most likely in the grips of some form of fear that is blocking you from stepping onto the wilderness trail of unknowns and seeing what appears as you look.
FEAR TO CURIOSITY TO COURAGE
How do we take a step into an unknown wilderness to see the trail when fear crops up and is experienced like a tense grip in the physical body? One way is to begin to gently shift from fear into curiosity. Practice becoming aware each time you sense a discomfort and contraction taking place in your body. Normally the fear response is under the radar and we aren’t always aware that a fear has gripped us until symptoms of overwhelm, exhaustion, unease, stress, panic, overthinking take over.
As you start to become more aware of when you start feeling the sensations of tightness, contraction and discomfort in the body you can begin to shift from fear to curiosity:
Explore where feel this discomfort in the body. Where is it? Remember, you’re not trying to get rid of it. You want to become more aware of it.
Name the fear. Stay with the sensation of fear in the body. Your mentality will want to take over and try to immediately get rid of the sensation that fear creates in the body. Acknowledge the sensation and give it a name, the more ridiculous the better. “Madame Belly Butterfly is present”.
Recognise the automatic safety response of wanting to run, freeze, fight. Identify which (maybe all) has been activated and notice if you are overthinking, trying to work it out in your head. Notice if you feel drawn to use substances like comfort food, or alcohol, or Netflix to zone out and not feel the gripping sensations in the body. Noticing helps you become more aware of unconscious fear driven responses.
As you become more aware of fear’s presence, start to ask questions. What is it afraid of? What does it wants to protect you from? How you can make it feel safe? You become curious as to why it’s there. This shifts you from the grips of fear and your automatic fear response into a place of curiosity. You are now a detective looking for how it feels in the body, and why its present. Instead of trying to get rid of fear, you thank it’s being there to protect you and through investigating you get answers that show you a trail.
Let curiosity replace fear and reveal answers, insights …. the trail. The answer is like a small step that you can take into your creative wilderness and that step reveals a part of the trail.
Courage is needed to take the step. What helps tremendously is sensing you have a spiritual connection. A sense of connection with a flowing energy that moves through all life, all things, and connects us all. A field of pure creative potential. This energy is a mystery, a wonder. Sensing this connection, gives us courage to trust, to surrender, and recognise stepping into our creative wilderness IS the trail.
Please let me know how you go, and if anything particular in this blog was helpful do let me know.
[Be mindful that the suggestions offered are not intended to be a substitute of any kind for professional medical advice. If you suffer trauma and fear is overwhelming you, seek help from your healthcare and medical professionals.]
With love and gratitude,