In the book ‘Big Magic,’ Elizabeth Gilbert, defines creative living; ‘The universe buries strange jewels deep within us all, and then stands back to see if we can find them…Do you have the courage to bring forth the treasures that are hidden within you? … The hunt to uncover those jewels—that’s creative living. The courage to go on that hunt in the first place—that’s what separates a mundane existence from a more enchanted one.’
Perhaps you live your life constantly turning your back on fear, constantly listening to your intuition, embracing your passion and creative impulses. If that’s the case, then most likely you feel empowered and fulfilled in your life. But if you’ve let the discouragement, criticism or disbelief of others, the heart aches, and the basic hardships in life, remove you from your creative source, if you are too focused on what is broken and all of the reasons why you don’t have a chance in fulfilling your dreams, then you most likely are living a life of routine, a life of checking off the to do’s with very little passion, joy and sense of empowered fulfillment. As Elizabeth Gilbert says, ‘creative living isn’t for everyone.’ It’s for the brave, it’s for those that wish to dive deep within themselves and listen to their inner compass. It’s for those that aren’t afraid to question the status quo and live for their own ideals.
I believe that creative living is the only way to live a life that is in sync with our true selves. We all know what it’s like to be in disharmony with ourselves. This discord reveals itself in lack of motivation, confusion, anxiety or depression. As I’ve mentioned before, these are all signs that we are ignoring or shutting ourselves off from our inner guidance.
I am so fortunate to have yoga as my occupation. But even a job as rewarding as yoga can become a drag. I’ve spent most of my career as a yoga teacher too exhausted to engage in activities simply for myself. Those of you who are in occupations such as nurses, counselors, caretakers, teachers, know what it feels like to give so much of yourself to your patients, clients, students, that there is nothing left for yourself. And then throw in the roll of a parent on top of that. No wonder most of us have forgotten our dreams, desires and creative goals. With that said, I am an undying idealist. I know we can have our cake and eat it too.
As with all things, it is our belief systems that are holding us back from fulfilling the main reason why we are here on this earth in the first place, to live a creative life. We know that this is the only way to really be there for everyone else in our lives. If we don’t listen to our inner guidance first then we become a dried-up version of ourselves, always unconsciously or consciously resenting everything else that we ‘have’ to do in our lives. Every little challenge becomes a form of punishment when we know challenges are meant to be reminders of our strength, teachers, guides drawing us to a better version of ourselves.
Over this past year I’ve made what I see now as a meager effort at tapping back into my creative source and honoring the importance of self-care. But that small step towards myself was enough to open a new perspective that drew people and opportunities into my life that have reinforced my belief that self-respect and surrounding myself with people that nurture that creative loving space are crucial to reinforcing my drive to living an impassioned creative life. My goal for 2019 is to continue along this path with all my heart. Call me selfish, but not only do I have more energy, more clarity, more motivation but I can offer more of my focused heart centered attention when I live my life from the guidance of my passionate desires and dreams.
So you ask why didn’t I do this before? Because I was basing my decision on limiting beliefs. I had many conversations with people who saw my struggles and asked why? And I could rattle off all of the reasons why my life was just so hard. I reinforced those reasons daily because that was my belief system and as much as I desired a change I refused to look beyond my present reality, to the belief systems that created it.
How do we get rid of limiting beliefs and embrace healthier more empowering ones? There are many ways to do this but one that I go back to everyone once in a while comes from the book ‘Code of the Extraordinary Mind,’ by Vishen Lakhiani. He calls our outdated belief systems Brules, bullshit rules. He says that we need to update our belief systems just like we update computer software. We can’t expect to live our daily lives based on outdated beliefs. Vishen suggests that we assess what areas in our lives we are living based on out dated, limiting belief systems by rating how we feel about them. He breaks it down into ‘The 12 areas of balance.’ The areas of our life that we feel weak and unfulfilled about are in need of a belief system upgrade. He calls this process ‘consciousness engineering.’ Once you uncover the areas that are in need of an upgrade, take an honest deep dive into your mind in order to uncover the limiting beliefs associated with each area. Your own personal self-talk about these areas is also very telling. Honestly take note of your thoughts and words associated with these areas in your life. From there we work on embracing a more empowering more honest belief system.
One of my limiting beliefs was that ‘I am alone.’ You can imagine how this limiting belief has negatively impacted many areas of my life. This limiting belief created a neediness in me that not only attracted people that I allowed to manipulate me from this space of insecurity, but I also pushed away people that could actually give me the healthy assistance I needed in my life. I’m actively working on asking for support and help when I need it and embracing people in my life that motivate me, empower me and help me remember that I am always loved exactly as I am, inside and out.