Saturday, January 30, 2010

What's Blocking You?

Winter is an excellent time to retreat, to nourish our inner lives, to withdraw and make plans, whether it be for a new project, a new garden in spring, a new writing schedule, or a new self-care program you want to begin.  Our energy is naturally centered near the hearth, near the warmth of indoors, at least for the solitary non-skiers amongst us.  My favourite activity is curling up with a good book beside the fireplace or a sunny window when it's minus 20 outdoors. The dogs and cats have it right - find a spot in sun, on top of a comforter or quilt, and nap.

But sometimes the lack of sun in winter can create a lethargy or winter blues in us northern climate dwellers. A lack of energy that translates into resistance to doing the creative work you usually love. Or from starting that creative project you've been dreaming about. Or maybe it's not that the lack of sunlight, you just feel blah and uninspired and blocked and you don't know why.

As I was surfing my favourite inspirational websites this week, I came across a post on resistance that really spoke to me. I have several writing projects on the back burner, and not sure why I'm blocked about getting started on the next stages, so I've been journalling about it, asking my guides for clarity. Here's the post on resistance, by Marjory Mejia.

"Are you feeling the pull towards expression but are encountering some resistance in your life? Do you wish you could do something you have always wanted to do but somehow you can’t get started? Are you afraid to fail? Scared of criticism? Do you doubt yourself? This is resistance, which can happen around anything and everything.

We may be tempted to see resistance as our enemy. As the Dalai Lama states, “The enemy is a very good teacher.” We can envision this resistance as a demon and start feeding it to satisfaction until it finally releases its grip on us and we reclaim this energy to do our work.

We can look at resistance in terms of forces of nature. Just like there is a force that is expansive and propels our blooming there is another that is shrinking and contracts our spirit. For all of you facing some blockages around creative expression, it might help to realize that all those fears are a measure of how important it actually is to do the work you came here to do.

What is waiting to be born within you? Can you nourish it this winter? Author Steven Pressfield in his book The War of Art, states that resistance is the block between “the life we live, and the unlived life within us.” Let’s not wait all our lives to start living."
posted by Marjory Mejia on Owning Pink.

What this may translate into practically is sitting down and doing some journalling around the question, why am I feeling stuck? or what is blocking me? how and where does resistance manifest itself?

List the ways you feel stuck, starting with how it feels in the present moment to be stuck.
Then add another column of What I want to feel - instead of feeling stuck.
and a third column of What fulfilling that want will look and feel like, practically.
(excercise borrowed from Writing down the Soul)

Ask yourself also, do I deserve to have a creative, fulfilled relationship with my work? Are you feeling a tiny bit unworthy or undeserving of help from the universe? Explore that feeling in your journal.

Do you value your work?  What came up for me this morning was how little I value the time and effort I put into my writing and teaching work.  I say I value it, but deep inside, I allow it to be belittled by my inner critic or pushed aside by other priorities.  I don't stand up for it.  I don't always make time for it, put it at the top of my list.

So, in facing the demon, accepting the lessons of what being stuck means and feels like for you, you may be able to turn it around into a self-nurturing moment of understanding.  With a little quiet nurturing of your soul/spirit, a little rocking of the injured self that feels not capable of advancing instead of beating yourself up about being lazy, you might just feel more open to getting started on something.

have a creative weekend, even if it's curled up the fire reading a good book,

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