Finding your invincible summer

wave drawing 4

In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer. And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back. – Albert Camus

I’ve heard it said before that the effect of fear on motivation is analogous to a speeding bullet hitting a large body of water. When you fire a bullet it comes out of the barrel at a speed of one thousand feet per second – having never even seen a real gun I can’t testify to this, but it looks pretty fast in the movies. Upon hitting the water, the bullet slows dramatically and then stops within a few feet and is left to drift harmlessly to the bottom. There are two points to this story, one, if someone is ever shooting at you, jump in the nearest body of water, and two, that fear takes all the power out of your inspirational ‘bullets’.

This is absolutely the usual trajectory of my motivation. I experience the jubilant high and rush of energy when thinking about a new plan or idea, and then I hit a wall (or a body of water) when I realize I can’t just think about it, I have to actually do something. That’s when the fear arises. Fear for me is at the root of all my resistance to fully living life as I intend to. Usually the fear that I’m not good enough.

Remind yourself, in whatever way is personally meaningful, that it is not in your best interest to reinforce thoughts and feelings of unworthiness. Even if you’ve already taken the bait and feel the familiar pull of self-denigration, marshal your intelligence, courage, and humour in order to turn the tide. Ask yourself: Do I want to strengthen what I’m feeling now? Do I want to cut myself off from my basic goodness? Remind yourself that your fundamental nature is unconditionally open and free. Pema Chodron

Operation Self-Esteem–Day Fucking One. Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

After I wrote about the Creating On Purpose principles in my last post, I went from feeling incredibly inspired to feeling completely overwhelmed. It took about ten minutes after I pressed the ‘publish’ button. I tend to be an ideas person – very top three chakras: inspiration, imagination, insights, and communication. Any personality test I have ever done confirms that I am an idealistic dreamer.

Inspiration and ideas energize me. Action energises me when it’s new and inspired, but I can rapidly become demotivated at the thought of too much (repetitive) action. Or maybe it’s commitment phobia, I’m not so sure. It all seems like a hard slog, all work and no play. I feel an instant aversion to this idea.

Dreamers dream, but visionaries translate a dream into actions which can manifest potent realities. Robert Levithan

This is all completely consistent with my energy blocks in my lower chakras, which are all about will and action. If you want to get an idea of your chakras and how well they are flowing try this test, I wouldn’t rely on it solely as a diagnostic tool, but I found it was an accurate reflection for me, and it’s a good place to begin. Once you have been ‘working’ with your energy for a while you will learn to feel what is flowing and what isn’t. Or to see, some people see their chakras as colour rays, I am more sentient than visual and so I feel them.

To overcome this resistance I felt to doing the work outlined in Creating on Purpose, I made a deal with myself that I would read one chapter a week and do the exercises until I lost motivation. This takes the element of force out – put that whip away! – and gives me a definite goal. I have learned to do this over the years with any self-development work. There is always a lot of resistance and it can feel like pushing the proverbial uphill. Baby steps, just a little each day, ‘chip away’ as my friend always says. It’s amazing what you can achieve over time this way without it being onerous. I believe it’s commonly known as self-discipline, delayed gratification, or growing up…

Stop wearing your wishbone where your backbone ought to be. – Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

The Creating On Purpose process is taking me from the crown chakra down and my chakra meditation takes me from my base chakra up. Whereas in the past this would have seemed contradictory to me, now I feel that I am honouring the dual energy flows that are the natural ebb and flow of the chakra system. As much as I intend to follow the Creating on Purpose guidelines, I also intend to keep reading widely and following my intuition. So, if it seems at times as if I’m jumping all over the place, that’s because I am! I’m doing this experiment jazz improv style, baby!

(Wo)Man learns through experience, and the spiritual path is full of different kinds of experiences. (S)he will encounter many difficulties and obstacles, and they are the very experiences (s)he needs to encourage and complete the cleansing process. Sai Baba

The truth is you know your own energy better than anyone. There are no rules here. It’s about learning to tap into your inner wisdom. Most of the time all that requires is sitting still and listening to or feeling what arises. A simple way to tap into your intuition is to ask the question “What is important for me to do (notice, feel, share, see, say) today?”

The word intention shares a root with the word attention: tendere, which is Latin for ‘to stretch.’ Creating on Purpose

Intention means to stretch inward and attention means to stretch toward. So it is easy to see how these two ideas work so well together. Your intention comes from within, but until you put your attention on it, it doesn’t move out of you and toward its goal.

Set an intention at the beginning of each day. Write it down and tape it to your computer, refrigerator, or wall—wherever you will be certain to see it. At the end of each day, note whether you fulfilled your intention and, if so, how it occurred. Creating on Purpose

This practice could a simple shopping list to start. Set an intention, write it down and see if it happens. That’s easy, who can’t write a shopping list? Although writing it is one thing, remembering to actually look at it when you get to the supermarket is another. That’s the attention part!

In addition to this I completed the following questions from the book. Then I had to look at what they call crosscurrents,  which are areas where there were conflicts of intentions, resistance, or obstacles.

What is your intention for how you want to live your life?

What do you intend to create, accomplish, or change in the 
coming year? In the coming decade?

Name three things outside yourself that support your intention. 
(Example: “I’ve received great support from my friends and family. 
I have the education I need and the motivation to succeed.”)

What is your intention in reading this book?

What is your intention for the upcoming conversation you’re 
going to have with someone who is important to you?

What is your intention in your choice of food you eat? In 
your planned activities?

As you can see, it’s not rocket science. And yet resistance may arise to the questions themselves or even to the process of self-enquiry. If you are not used to asking yourself these kind of questions, it can bring up old emotions and ideas which can be quite confronting and painful. I learned long ago that the only time I ever want to wash the kitchen floor is in preference to this kind of self-enquiry or to helping the kids with their math homework.

Obstacles are natural, normal, and predictable. They are the world’s natural response to your creation. Whenever you decide to create something new in your life, whenever you declare a new intention or belief into existence, this act automatically stimulates all previous conflicting intentions and beliefs to reassert themselves. Creating on Purpose

Even gone on a diet? Remember how almost instantaneously every restricted food loomed large in your mind, in excruciating detail, dripping with tempting yumminess? Then, all the thoughts about how this hasn’t worked in the past flood your mind. About ten seconds after making the intention, it’s all over red rover.

Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal. Henry Ford

Anodea Judith reminds the reader that obstacles are not appearing to stop you, but rather to hone you and your intentions. They are not your enemy. You just need to learn how to work with them.

Successful people have ways of handling obstacles so that those obstacles don’t stop forward progress. Creating on Purpose

Usually what happens when you state an intention, is that it is designed to address some area of your life where you feel change is needed. As such your old intentions and beliefs will surface and seem like obstacles.

When you declare an intention and put the full weight of your commitment behind it, you initiate a magical process that works invisibly in the background of your life. But when you have conflicting intentions or beliefs, the process gets muddled. The universe doesn’t know what you want, so it gives you a little of this and a little of that. When you clear away the conflicts and hold only one clear intention with no resistance, that invisible force can work in the background to help you create what you intend. Creating on Purpose.

Writing down your intentions is a good way to draw out your mental obstructions. One suggestion is to write down seemingly conflicting intentions, for example:

I want to lose weight and I want eat whatever I like.

I want to make more money and I want have more leisure time.

I want to relax at home and I want a clean house.

I want lots of people to read my blog and I want to write authentically for myself with no concern for who’s reading.

Writing down your intentions is a good way to acknowledge that you have many competing commitments, needs, desires, and beliefs. Notice any criticism that may arise as you write down your intention. For example with wanting to lose weight, your inner critic may pipe up with “lose weight? That never works, you always end up starving and then you eat twice as much as gain more weight than when you started.”

Never look back unless you are planning to go that way. Henry David Thoreau

In Creating on Purpose the authors suggest the exaggeration technique to deal with these old beliefs that are blocking your intention.

Assert your intention. Observe the critical thoughts. Act them out, aloud, in a silly voice, exaggerate it. Imitate Bugs Bunny or Daffy Duck or Cruella DeVille. Imitate your parents or a old teacher or boss who criticised you. Really ham it up until it sounds and feels completely silly. Then assert your intention with your voice. Try it, it really works! You may have to keep doing the practice for some stubborn ideas, you may have to experiment with different voices for different thoughts, but it is incredibly empowering to make fun of your inner critic!

There are plenty of difficult obstacles in your path. Don’t allow yourself to become one of them. Ralph Marston

So for today’s affirmations, let’s focus on manifesting joy, power, and the release of obstacles. Let your inner invincible Summer sun shine! These affirmations are from The Book Of Stones by Robert Simmons and Naisha Ashian.

I am filled with the vital energies of life, and I take action with confidence and power.

I am moving through all of life’s joys and sorrows, triumphs and traumas, with serenity and grace.

I am open to the full experience of joy, releasing anything that might hold me back.

I am magnifying my passions and creative powers, directing them to fulfil my heart’s desire.

Bless!

References:

The Creating on Purpose book by Anodea Judith and Lion Goodman is available here as well as many free resources and information:

http://creatingonpurpose.net

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