HOW TO GET TO WORK WITHOUT BEING OVERWHELMED BY THE WORK?
I've found this video super-useful. Now deep in a 3 year project to write my first novel: 'Mind and Heart and Bridge', I've had to deal with all sorts of mostly self-generated problems. Difficulties just getting started and problems getting into a routine and a frame of mind that works for me. I've had these issues with my creativity running in the background for large parts of my life, and it is only relatively recently that I have learned how to really open the flow. That has been a big part of my own journey to true self, and I am absolutely ok with that. It's been super cool to come out the other side. I now know the book I'm writing, I can see it, I know how it's structured, I know it at a deep level, whereas I really didn't when I set off on the project. I am at peace with that as a starting point. But a little while ago, while reflecting on this last year, I knew I needed to change my perspective to get properly into it - to turn the etheric into something more productive. Some things about the way I had been living needed to change too, but the big shift required was about perception.
My most natural mode of expressing myself comes through poetry and I love the process of creating my poems. I can embrace a poem project while living in the wild, living and working in challenging circumstances, creating with minimum kit. But this book has too often felt like its too much of an overwhelming undertaking. Getting to the point where I'm making good progress on it has required shifting out so much dust from my subconscious, and has required untying so many knots in my own consciousness through direct lived experience - about my own capabilities and about the quality of my own creative expressions. I've also had to manage the sometimes crippling perfectionism that can actually work to stop us from even starting. Perhaps most importantly, this process has involved me developing a great deal of discipline, and integrating that into my daily life.
Through Be All You Are I work closely with my clients on developing their own self-expression, and I've found that there is a lot of overlap between the issues people have with their ability to express themselves through the written word and the issues they have with moving forward authentically in their lives, careers, projects and so on. So I thought I'd share something here that came through at just the right time for me. It's a 30 minute YouTube video created by my friend, Jason Gregory, and he messaged me with the link just when I was sitting down and overthinking the whole situation with the book. His work mostly concerns applying the wisdom of various Eastern spiritual traditions to Western style lives, and he does that in a really accessible way. In this video he talks about his own experience of having his first book gestating in his mind for a whole year before he actually began writing. Hearing that from him was a great stimulus for me to get out of my head and understand, or perhaps more accurately know and feel, that a change in perception and approach was absolutely possible.
In Taoism, self-expression of one kind or another is absolutely crucial. This is certainly true about the ascension/descension process happening for so many at this time. But sometimes we find ourselves stuck, and falling victim to procrastination and this feeling that I know so well - of being overwhelmed. We may have lots of ideas, and lots of passion for the project, but nothing has actually been started, and this can be beyond frustrating. Know the feeling?
So how to get to work without being overwhelmed by the work?
Here in the video, Jason applies the principles and practices of Taoism to the art of effortless creativity in both work and life. He talks about how to write without being overwhelmed by obstacles, how to write without being attached to the fruit of your actions, how to write without stress, and how to find balance while there is friction occurring between doing and non-doing.
I've always loved this line from one of Sufi poet Hafiz' poems:
"I am a hole in a flute
that the Christ's breath
listen to this music."
As writers or artists, we are often wishing to create in such a way that DOING feels like NON-DOING, to be in the flow, in the zone. Getting to the stage where we can act like a limb of the universe, without identifying with our persona, well that's a journey in itself. Getting to the stage where DOING feels like NON-DOING, well, that's the holy grail isn't it?
Can I really bring together THE WAY with THE BOOK?
Can I switch off from the ego with all its "shoulds" and "shouldn'ts"?
Can I truly allow the flow and receive the words?
Don't overthink what you are doing
Move towards acting without thinking
Just get to work
Just start writing
Enjoy the video and I hope it helps!