Exploring Where It's Uncomfortable
Exploring what feels uncomfortable about your dream is tricky work so I thought I would share my process today in exploring that voice that says that I AM NOT DOING ENOUGH.
I posted it right here on my blog and I'm copying it below.
This voice has been getting louder lately.
And I have been assuming it’s because I am in this big creative expansion and I don’t really know where this process is leading me to. I just have so many ideas I want to do them all at once. This part of the creative process is always confusing for me.
I have been assuming this voice comes from my creative process.
But I just remembered – hey! Fears are TRICKY!
They like to dress up as reasonable responses and ideas. They know when they show up as fears they are treated differently than when they show up as reasonable voices.
Oh shit I fell for it.
This voice isn’t a part of this creative expansion I am in.
This voice is a fear that is coming up in response to the creative expansion I am in.
So, ummm, hello voice? Can we talk?
Voice shows up as a GIANT rainbow caterpillar, about 6 feet long, floating about 3 feet in the air, cool as a cucumber and says “Oh sure we can talk”
I stand there for a few minutes, just getting used to being here with the caterpillar.
And I notice that the caterpillar isn’t real. It’s a costume. There is a person standing there wearing a caterpillar tied around their waist.
“So could you take off the costume?”
The caterpillar is furious. They rip off the costume. Now it’s a very angry person.
I shift my weight around a bit, feeling very uncomfortable all of a sudden.
“You want to know why I’m angry?”
- You work so hard for so little.
- You’re sharing your heart out there, day after day and people ignore it.
- You take the work so seriously and no one else takes you seriously.
- You are not properly seen or understood.
I am feeling bowled over by the intensity of the anger, which I had not noticed was there!
“This is why I have been pushing you to share more do more be more. To get the recognition that you deserve.”
I struggle to find a balance between acknowledging the voice of anger and also wanting to rush in and remind it of all the good…. that I am not wealthy but have a good life and there are people who listen and take me and my work seriously and that I love my students and my work.
But I know I need to give this anger space. It doesn’t need to be right it needs to be heard.
So I sit down and let my anger know I’ll sit and listen for as long as it wants to talk.
Anger mumbles “Yeah I know actually we have it really good. We have amazing people in the Circle. We have a fantastic life with enough money to enjoy it.”
Then anger asks “But still, can’t I just be pissed about how hard this is sometimes?”
“Oh of course. How can I help?”
“Well I was thinking if you would just work harder at doing the right things then everything would be easier and I wouldn’t be upset anymore, but now I can see that that’s not right.”
So I say “Right. You’re upset and you need to be heard and respected. Once you have enough space then we’ll know what to do about this.”
OK something is really shifting in my heart. I’m not sure what it is, but this feels like a good spot to stop our meeting and give this a chance to marinate.
This is the mess of exploring the uncomfortable parts! You just don’t know where it’s going to lead.
But right now I am feeling immense relief to have seen the anger for what it is and have given it some space.
THE NEXT DAY.
Exploring this stuff is a daily practice.
This morning when I meet with the anger it shows up as a candle burning in the darkness.
So, hello candle. How are you today?
"I feel really good that you listened to me yesterday and that when you listened to me it also helped me see the bigger picture a bit better." The candle is speaking calmly and seems genuinely happy to see me and goes on...
"I was stuck on my resentments about how hard you are working - how exhausted you are most nights and how you're not going out to play as often as you used to."
Yeah - you know I don't think I had acknowledged for myself what a long hard road it's been lately. I mean I know I've been talking about working a lot and being tired but to compare my life this summer to my life the last few summers I see how this looks awful.
But my creative muse has been so awake! And my dreams have been so demanding! And I want to follow them, I want to live in tune with my own truth and I accept that that's hard sometimes.
I know I love summer and usually work less in summer to enjoy being outside more and that this really fuels me and my dreams.
But thought I was OK with giving that up for one summer - especially considering I am going to Mexico at the end of October so I'll have a week of full-on summer playtime then.
I did not stop to think that some parts of me may get resentful about "missing" summer right now - or about squishing it into weekends instead of having regular playtime.
"Thank you, I am glad you are acknowledging where I'm coming from. I think a lack of acknowledgement caused me to get petty and get all upset that you were working so hard and not getting any rewards for it. I get it - you are doing this work to do this work and if external rewards will come they'll come later."
The candle starts to smile - like it's a pillar candle and the bottom splits and each side goes up into a smile but then the wax keep stretching into a circle and then forms a ball of light, handing in the darkness.
Then it starts to shine brighter and it's not so dark anymore.
A few hours after writing the first part of this yesterday, I felt totally liberated.
I was suddenly feeling loads of creative energy flowing. I wasn't confused about where to direct it I was just in the flow.
It's amazing how that anger, deep beneath the surface where I couldn't see or feel it was getting me all tangled up. And it's amazing how much space was freed inside my by siting that feeling space to express itself.
So there are blessings and gifts and even miracles in the uncomfortable feelings that come up on the path to a dream.
Sometimes it just takes longer for the blessings to show up but what I have found is that I can get at the blessings faster and faster now - after years of practice.