Embodying a Nourishing, Flourishing Life
Remember my mom and her new relationship? At 83 having the openness to start a new relationship, willing to make mistakes and learn, and having the courage to leap into the unknown. Bravo mom. (see the past post here) There is no age, no boundaries to living a creative life.
Understanding the creative process and learning what that means in our lives helps us welcome change, be willing to try new things, learn from mistakes, be comfortable with the unknown, and make choices that help us feel nourished and fulfilled in life.
When I was young(er) I would stay in jobs even though they drained my energy because it felt safer than leaving. I focused more on getting ‘it’ right than experimenting because I didn’t want to fail. I dreaded being faced with not knowing, and I didn’t have a clue how to live from true motivation.
True motivation comes from the love of doing something, rather than actions that are motivated because we want to escape or avoid something (usually an unconscious driving force that calls us to action).
Think about how vast a difference this can make in living your life!
Imagine acting from true motivation rather than being unconsciously motivated into action as a reaction to avoid discomfort. This unconscious reaction is how most of humanity operates daily.
Next time you feel compelled into taking an action, question your motivation. Is it true motivation, or is the desire to take action motivated by a desire to avoid or escape a fearful uncomfortable feeling, emotion or thought that is arising within you. If that’s the case, take a moment to consciously breathe and STAY with the sensations arising within your body. Embody them fully so that the feelings, pleasant or unpleasant can flow through you as you make an intention to not personalize them into an identity of “this is who I am”.
The Practice of Mindfulness
When we practice mindfulness techniques and enquire into our reactive behavior we can shift our motivation from fear to love. We can live creatively rather than reactively.
We can learn to become more comfortable with the unknowns that are a necessary component for the creative process to flow in our lives. Being comfortable with not knowing allows new possibilities to flourish, new ideas to manifest, ability to think outside the box, and discoveries that surprise and delight and generate energy.
The Daliai Lama often says, “I don’t know” when asked questions. How refreshing is that? He’s so at ease with not knowing.
It’s taken me a while to connect the dots and understand the process of creating as an integral part of living. I first had to be fully in my body to understand it on a deeper level.
Honoring the creative process is a viscerally embodied energizing and nourishing energy if we allow it to be the central force that it naturally is.
And it made me realize that:
Just because we have a body, doesn’t mean we’re in our bodies.
I reckon that’s why I started practicing yoga those many years ago, even though I may not have known that when I started.
Yoga is a union or an embodiment of spirit and mind in the body. Being fully in the body, or embodied, is how we feel connected, safe, embrace the unknown easier, express ourselves in a more heartfelt way, understand the nature of reality, allow the full range of emotions, and have empathy and compassion in the face of human suffering.
OBSTACLE TO CREATIVE FLOW
One of the biggest obstacles to creating is that we often think we have to get our thinking and feelings ‘in order’ first before we get on with creating our lives. But creative process doesn’t care about that.
There have been many times in my life when I’ve felt emotionally crappy yet went on to teach a heartfelt yoga class, or days when I felt physically unwell and did some of my most inspired paintings.
How you feel and what you think does not dictate the creative process that is flowing through you at all times. It’s weird but creation happens in spite of how you feel.
We are not who we think, we are not what we feel.
And even our creations are not who we are.
Our creations are like children and to quote Kahlil Gibran about children:
“Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself. They come through you but not from you, And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.”
We can learn how to NOT let our thinking mind and habitual emotions override initiative and motivation that are the foundation of the creative process.
It helps to remember that we feel what we feel in any given moment.
And we don’t have to identify or get stuck into those thoughts and feelings.
We can be in REACTION or CREATION – it’s only a change in the placement of one letter “C” that makes the difference in those words but it’s a big difference in meaning. Likewise it’s only a small shift in our perspective that allows us to “C” the world as a magical place of possibilities.
Which will you choose?
Daily meditation and yoga nidra practice can help to expand your capacity to be with all the thoughts and feelings without reacting so you can act from true motivation that comes from love, the primary ingredient to creating – anything.
Love to you, you are love