As a creative entrepreneur with a decidedly philosophical/spiritual view on Life, I'm not sure how I would have survived here (on earth) if I didn't possess these four things: meditation, a sense of humour, curiosity and hope.
If I weren't so curious to see what tomorrow may bring, filled with hope on a daily basis through meditation and couldn't laugh at myself and Life regularly - I would probably have said" cheerio world!" a long time ago.
While having one of many deep and meaningful chats with my wise mumsie of 77 years, the following - probably not new - concept dawned on me. Let's explore it here and you decide if it works for you.
I'm seeing that depression or simply feeling down, comes in cycles. The good thing is that the cycles are connected in a spiral.
Why is that a good thing? Because that means, we feel down just before we are about to move onwards and upwards. My pen-friend, Sam, once said this to me, in reply to a sorrowful email - and it lifted me instantly. Always a sure sign of A Truth.
Why do we feel down? Because, as creative beings, we thrive at the edge of our learning curve. Not on the open flat plains before we get there.
Here's an illustration:
Let's break it down.
THRIVE = to progress toward or realize a goal despite or because of circumstances.
EDGE OF = the area or part away from the middle; an extremity
LEARNING CURVE = rate of learning, especially a graph of progress in the mastery of a skill
When we are not there, at the lovely, scary, thrilling edge, we are on a plateau - between the last learning curve and the one to come. Creative minds thrive on curiosity - of the new, the challenging and the unknown - when those factors seem to be out of the picture, we feel emotionally bored! Boredom for a creative mind can quickly turn to feeling low and just as quickly turn into depression.
Why is this? Because if you are anything like me, the first thing you do when you are bored is generally not the best thing for your creative soul. Instead of feeding the soul, we tend to feed the senses; Food, drink, sex, internet surfing, social websites, movies, parties, gossip, endless phone calls, sleep - to name a few. I'm sure you could add more...
Since learning this, the plateau time for me, is a time for going DEEPER. Going inside for a while, instead of racing forward. The key is knowing that you are at a going deeper stage and not simply stalling on taking action, out of fear.
"If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you." - Gary Zukav
In an illustrated e-book I am working on, I show you how I determine where I am at on my spiral and the ways I have found to go deeper and make the most of that time. Interested? Let me know here, and you will be one of the first to receive it. It's FREE.
Understanding that when you feel down, you are in fact on a spiral of learning that expands outwards and upwards, liberates you from feeling like you have reached the end of the road. Think galaxy in all it's star-lit beauty. It is completely natural to feel " in limbo" or "stagnant" when you are on the plateau. Just remember that progress is inevitable - as long as you keep feeding your soul.
How I deal with the plateau stage of my learning curve:
1. Accept that it is a necccessary stage on the spiral.
2. Look back at what I have learned and pass it on.
i.e. To stop feeling discouraged: Encourage others.
3. Use the time to prepare for the inevitable craziness that comes with my imminent arrival at the new edge.
4. Give thanks (find things to be grateful for) and celebrate my gains.
Isn't there a possibility that you are or could be sliding backwards down the spiral?
Yes. If you get caught up in feeding the senses. You will never be able to fulfill the needs of the spirit with things of the world. Temporary distraction, yes. Enriching fulfillment, no.
This is a capital letter Truth. Regardless of how many spiritual leaders have stated this, you already KNOW this to be true. Why? Because you ARE spirit and you KNOW what feeds you. Feeding only the senses, leads to a low quality state of mind. As Michael Neill puts it so wisely: In a low quality state of mind, you are likely to turn everything into a crisis.
Catch your thoughts from going down while you are in plateau mode. Be still, be at ease. Find a way to feel good thoughts. We are experiencing our thinking, afterall.
If you think you are only your body - then this post is not for you : )
If you are a spirit conscious creative entrepreneur and my writing speaks to you, you'll enjoy my book. Let me know if you'd like to read it. Its FREE. I'd love to share what I've learned up to now and hear back from you!
"It is only when you stand in the world and wave your dream around, feeling all the while like your pants are around your ankles, that you are finally connected to your greatest power source, your vulnerability. Those scared, tender feelings are your signal that you're truly off on the right foot, because now your heart is fully engaged. And turning your dream into a business has the ability to push that button quite powerfully. For the process of starting a business is the defining stroke that somehow signals your soul - and the Universe - that you are, indeed, ready to cook."
- from Suzanne Falter-Barnes
Got your apron on? ; )
My son, Jude, and I joined Tess ( Vanessa Berlein ) and her son Stephan on a little Karoo adventure...
The two of us snapped endless photo's, laughed a lot and ate a lot - while the 8 year old ruffians chased piglets all around the garden....
After many, many months of NO INSPIRATION to paint - It's BACK!
Cannot wait to see what Tess does with her gorgeous photo's...I am brimming with ideas for mine.
Watch this space.
Take a look at this check-list and tick off one or more of the following:
2. You don't know HOW to go about getting it.
3. You haven't taken any steps in the direction of achieving it.
4. You've taken some tentative steps. Waited. Had no results - and given up.
5. You want 'it' because someone else has it - not because you really truly want it.
6. You have un-named fears around getting 'it'.
Note that many of these points are about taking ACTION. Meditating and affirming what you want may sound like an action - but it's not. It's a mindset tool. So you've set your mind right. Good. Now, get on with it!
Stopping at mindset is like saddling the horse and not getting onto it for the RIDE.
In an illustrated e-book I'm working on, I've broken these points down to show you how I work through each of them.
Interested? Let me know here and you'll be one of the first to get it. FREE.
Why do some people seem to 'manifest' more than others?
Let's break it down. What happens when you really truly desire something? You first imagine it. Your imagination involves your whole body. You feel it. That feeling is so intense and good that you lose yourself in imagining it. You start feeling restless to get moving on it. That is true 'dreaming'. When people say, 'your dreams can come true', those are the dreams they mean.
Then, when you get back to reality, the distance you feel between 'not having' and that state of 'having' results in a pull or call to action.
How you react/respond to that call to action, is what determines your success as opposed to the person next to you. How soon you act will ascertain when, if ever, you get what it is you want.
Even if your path to that destination isn't exactly clear yet, you start taking steps towards finding the path.
10 ways you can judge if you are going to achieve your dream:
Can you tick off all of the following?
1. You've identified a vision and think about it daily.
2. You clearly see yourself reaching your destination.
3. You just as clearly see the next few steps you need to take to get there.
3. You aren't put off by the length or difficulty of it.
4.Your determination to achieve 'getting' it outweighs any obstacles that come in your way.
5. Other people's opinions of your desire have no bearing on your progress or vision.
6. In fact, you don't consult other people when it comes to your vision. On practical matters regarding your plans to achieve it, yes, but not on whether you should be trying to achieve it or not.
7. You only speak about your vision to people you know have your best interests at heart, and usually only when you're far enough along your journey to achieving it already.
8. You have worked backwards from a position of 'having' it to the present and identified the actions you need to take to achieve your vision.
9. You have written out your vision in detail and keep updating it as you progress.
10. You have a system to keep you accountable; a diary, coaching buddy or mentor or all and maybe more - ways to keep you on track.
These actions will lead to you reaching goals, that all lead to your achievement of your vision.
When I read through these, I can clearly see how doing them will get results.
On the other hand; Sitting around hoping and dreaming...? Not so much.
Keeping your vision alive by writing it out and updating it is necessary for two reasons:
As you align yourself more and more with your vision (what) and purpose (why), things tend to speed up. Coincidences start looking more like synchronicity. Obstacles fall away and new possibilities show themselves.
Keeping your vision uppermost in your mind along your journey, keeps you from being easily sidetracked as your sense of what is possible increases in scope and your network of like-minded people broadens.
Where the Law of Attraction comes into it - from my experience- is when the focus is on the optimism and opportunities while creating the dream, not on the possible pitfalls and obstacles. What you focus on you seem to see more of.
Tell me if you'd like my free e-book when it's done : )
I want to share what I've learnt up till now and hear back from you!
It's true! When we focus intently upon a thing it seems to multipy - whether it's feeling overweight and everyone including your jeans commenting on it or coming up with an original idea, then seeing it suddenly appear in the latest Visi magazine, in a movie and on your best friends wall!
I'm thinking, the same applies to MONEY : ) Yes! It works in good ways as well as a bad.
Trying to manipulate the Law of Attraction by focusing on a thing in order for it to multiply, will NOT work, however. This is a Truth that has been written about, in Spiritual terms, throughout the ages in various quaint stories, lovingly told. This is more about Surrender and Faith. There is an element of Grace that comes in to play...and you play with Grace and you both get lost in the moment and suddenly - there you are - in the Secret Garden : )
The thing is, we can't try and fool the System. With a capital 'S'. It is, afterall, The Universe, God, the Creative Power or any other name you feel comfortable calling It, to which I refer. I believe this Power deserves our respect and awe.
We can't force ourselves to reach an epiphany or spiritual awakening, any more than we can make money manifest in our lives through WILLING it. I guess I am turning the much celebrated Law Of Attraction on its head. But only in the way I am looking at it. Making mental pictures of money or gold and trying to force them, mentally, to come our way - does not work. Success, from a bottom up viewpoint, may look that way - but I do not believe it happens that way.
How does surrender, as a money-making concept, work for you?
In a great post by Mr Michael Neill aka The Supercoach, he suggests to a client that instead of saying 'God is my co-pilot', she should consider thinking 'I am God's co-pilot'.
This is how I see it: We tune ourselves into what is possible for us, in our little worlds, from our limited perspective of what could be. Then, we walk the path towards our goal. Like little children with a candle in the dark. Feeling our way with faith and a little nervous excitement, towards what we hope we will find at the end of the journey. The attitude or state of mind we are in during that journey, will determine, not necessarily the outcome- but how we perceive and harmoniously integrate with it. In some ways, we could say, we become the end result we seek.
I've been thinking about the times I've been overweight, and how I easily I thought about 'being overweight' all day long - in the mistaken belief that thinking about it might make it go away! How could that possibly work?
The same with 'not having enough money'. It comes up in every conversation, on the car radio, on the billboard we just passed, with family and friends. We literally see it EVERYWHERE. So what does all this talk of not having enough get us? More of the same. Untill we shift focus.
The 'being overweight' doesn't stop happening - the 'not having enough money' doesn't stop happening - I just stop interacting with the thought of it. Anyone who has successfully lost weight and kept it off, has long ago left the 'being overweight conversation' and are thoroughly enjoying the 'feeling happy about life' conversation instead. Somewhere in between that transition, the weight got LOST. The money started coming IN.
The way I am seeing it, I have to do what comes naturally. Complete and absolute surrender to what is in front of me to do. My thing, done my way, with LOVE. Keeping in mind at all time's, that the RESULTS are not entirely up to me. How I do it, how much attention and love I bring to it, is all I have in my control.
It's really this simple: Taking the focus off Not Having Enough and concentrating on Making More Of. It may seem like a subtle shift in focus - but the result in mental attitude is BIG.
This could be a perfect note to self in my other post on how to get out of a slump...
So, no long-winded philosophy. No complicated strategy. 'Just follow your bliss,' Mr Supercoach says, 'and the money thing sorts itself out' This could be interpreted in a few ways.
But what it doesn't mean, is that we just forget about the money and do our thing and hope for the best. It means that we stop 'trying to sort out' the lack of money and focus instead on 'doing more of' that which we know brings us happiness and by default, more money. Both happiness and money are equally important, simply because, if we aren't happy doing what we do, it wont last long. : ) We wont be resilient through the tough times (which there will be some) and niether will we be fired up with fresh ideas and thus attractive to new opportunities.
I'm thinking the short version is: No LOVE (for what I do)= No MONEY (for what I do).
I could carry on elaborating, but I think short and sweet is more potent - like an esspresso of Truth. Down it. Feel the effect? : )
To carry me off on that high note: I just sold these 8 gorgeous textile designs from my issiMya and Natural History ranges for display on fabric at SARCDA.
These 4 from the issiMya range:
These 4 from the Natural History Range:
And then, these TOTALLY drooliscious pieces of furniture popped up in my inbox from FAB.com made by a company called The Divine Chair. The designer, Kitty McBride, is based in New York and according to Treehugger.com,
'McBride began by selling her one-of-a-kind pieces on Craigslist in 2008. Soon, however, the business grew and expanded to NYC's GreenFlea Sunday Market in the Upper West Side. She now sells her incredible chairs online (starting at US $400) and also does custom orders and rentals.'
Are they not just too damn beaut for words? I loooooove all Kitty McBride's products.
I 'saw' my fabrics on her chairs and I just went a little cuckoo with excitement. Being the do-before-I-think kinda gal, I tapped out an introductory email about my fabric designs to her - and Lo! She wrote back instantly. How sweet! The lovely Kitty thinks my fabric designs are gorgeous : )
I could be high on a happy note on just that alone. Now I am investigating getting them printed onto upholstery weight fabrics. Sooo exciting to think I'll finally get to see my creations on tangible, luxurious, thick, substantial stuff!
Fabrics - one of my earliest obsessions. I could easily spend ALL DAY walking around fabric shops, feeling with hungry hands and feasting with ravenous eyes...
OH, and I promised a video of art making. *sigh*It is coming. I have done the introduction and am still getting over the shock of seeing myself in living colour!!....Bear/bare with me : )
Also, all moral support is WELCOME : )