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KNOWING vs. BELIEVING

A conversation is recounted in the book # Shantaram  in which the character, Khaderbhai, says: “There is no such thing as believing in #G...

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Saturday, 24 August 2013

WHO GETS THE STILLFACE TREATMENT FROM YOU?

In the linked video Dr Edward Tronick runs the Stillface Experiment with a mother and her baby girl.  See what happens when the mother interacts with her baby, and then when she makes no response to the child's overtures. When the mother shuts down her responses and emotions and stops reaching out, the baby carries on reaching out, but eventually gives up and gets distressed.

The question is: do you do stillface to anyone?  And how long do they keep reaching out before they become distressed about you no longer reaching out?

The other question is: how much richer could your relationships be if you were to be fullly engaged, responsive and reaching out?


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=apzXGEbZht0&feature=player_detailpage

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

THE CREATIVE PROCESS (Step 5)

In the previous step you generated a matrix of ideas and thoughts.  What to do with them?

Firstly, remember that you just allowed the ideas to come.  You weren't editing them, so they emerged from your sub-conscious.  Although you were in a space of not knowing as you allowed your creative juices to flow, at some level you always knew the answer, always knew what you were being called to create, and how.

Some of the words in your matrix will have spoken to you, had a feel of  "Yes, that feels right" about them.  The chances are that those which felt right formed a thread with a number of other words and ideas, creating a pattern.  Look for the patterns in your ideas.

Look for the flow in your ideas.  The flow might not be the easiest route for you, but who said that creating anything was ever a quick fix?  Creation is a combination of inspiration and perspiration.  For instance, the modern camera allows you to point, click and get a reasonable photograph.  However, if you want to create a photograph that takes your breath away, seeing how it might look is only 10% of the job.  Setting your light, focus, position, frame, shutter speed, depth of field, and, and... is the other 90% of the job.  All of it is part of the creative process.

One thread of consciousness will inform your creation.  How will you know which it is?  It will feel right.  The solution will be gracious.  It will also tick the boxes of:  Alignment with your greater purposes - Ethically correct - Making a difference - Nourishing you.

Your remaining steps are to give life to your creation.  There are two parts to this.  One is to hold your intended creation  with reverence: make it part of your greater purpose in life, because that will give you the emotional fuel to make it happen.  The other is the perspiration part.  Engage in the 'doing' with the same reverence with which you hold the rest of the process and your creation is assured.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

THE CREATIVE PROCESS (Step 4)

So you've woken up to Life's call, set aside any negativity, determined what it is that is being evoked from you and now it's time to bathe in your creative juices.

Perhaps the most important piece at this moment is to be completely open to the fact that you may not  immediately have the solution.  Be open to the possibility that there may be numerous solutions.  Even if you think you know where you need to go to meet the challenge, Life might have different plans for you.  Often the less obvious or more scary paths offer more gracious solutions than the path seemingly offering the least resistance.  So be open to any and every possibility at this time.  Being comfortable with not knowing the answer is what opens up the creative space and allows guides you to a true knowing of what path to follow.

Your process now is to let the possibilities come to you, rather than you rushing out to find them. The way to do this is to take some quiet time, a meditation (or whatever else you want to call it) and clear your mind of pre-conceptions, existing solutions, fears and dogmatic direction.  The invitation is not to let your mind interfere with or edit the process, but rather just to allow yourself to bask in possibility, even if it does not represent reality for you at this time. Then start writing.

When I do this I often do a mind map, just allowing one thought to flow from the previous one and on to the next. I don't edit or try to direct my thoughts or the direction of the map.  I might write down the basic issue, such as: 'Increase business revenue'.  Then I just let thoughts come in and write them down as they manifest: 'More work - New work - Old clients - New clients - Where are they? - Who are they? - More to be done - Open channels - More channels - Tap reservoirs - Partnerships - Core/non-core - Flow - Intention - Purpose - Open space - Force/don't force - Visibility - Service levels - Add value - Nurture - Gratitude' and so on.  Keep on writing and extending your mind map in every direction until the words stop coming to you.  The magic of the creative process lies in your openness to every possibility.

Now behold what is on the paper before you.  Some words may be meaningless in their context, whilst others will be full of meaning.  Once you are done, quietly review the words.  Which ones speak to you?  Which ones leap out and invite you to explore them more deeply?  Again, don't force this.  Just keep on beholding and feel the words that are nudging you for more attention.  Therein will lie the seeds of your next creation.

Saturday, 10 August 2013

THE CREATIVE PROCESS (Step 3)

So you've got Life's wake-up call, stilled your mind and put aside your reactivity - the scared part of you.  What comes next?

The wake-up call may have manifested as an obstacle prior to Step 2, but now it's a challenge.  Ask yourself: "What is this challenge evoking in me?"  "What is it calling forth in me?"  "What possibilities might there be for me/my family/the planet if I am able to rise to this challenge?"

Convert your fearful reaction to the wake-up call into excitement.  Fear and excitement are fundamentally the same energy.  The only difference is that excitement requires some breath. When we are fearful we don't breath fully, so our brains are starved of oxygen.  Breath fully and the fear turns to excitement, the excitement powers our minds to creative thought.

Now that Life's wake-up call has got your attention, you have seen the possibilities in it and you are awake and vital with your excitement for the challenge, it is time to get the creative juices  flowing.

Next time: Tapping into the creative mind.

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

THE CREATIVE PROCESS (Step 2)

The biggest dampner for creativity is negativity and self-doubt.  No one ever realized a creative idea by thinking:  "I'm not clever enough", "I have nothing to offer" or "No one's ever going to be interested in what I have thought of" or "They'll think I'm a fool." 

The 2nd Step in the Creative Process, after getting whatever wake-up message Life has published, is to set aside your negativity and self-doubt.  Whatever doubts you may have about your ideas, your ability and how others might receive your creative contribution to the world must be set aside.  They are, after all, only words arising in your mind.  Thank your mind for sharing, but announce to it that you're not buying into the undermining part of it right now.

Creativity requires you to transcend the small, fearful part of yourself and do it anyway. Warriors are often painted as being fearless people.  True warriors have fear, but fight the good fight anyway.

Seth Godin writes in his blog today:  "No, [the good ideas] were the result of one person, a person in a jam or a hurry or somewhat inspired.  One person flipping a coin or tweaking a little bit more or saying, 'this might not work' and then taking a leap.

Inventing isn't the hard part.  The ideas that chnage the world are changing the world because someone cared enough to stick it out, to cajole and lead and evolve.  But even though the inventing isn't the hard part, it scares us away."

Taking an unerring stand to believe in, honour and respect yourself for all that you bring to the planet by way of your commitment, creativity and willingness to make a difference in the world, no matter what, will clear your path to creative thinking.

Sunday, 4 August 2013

THE CREATIVE PROCESS (Step 1)

The trigger for the start of the creative process is always a wake-up call from Life, no exceptions.  In order to respond to messages or feedback from Life and tap into its innumerable possibilities, we are called to draw on our creative abilities.

It follows, then, that we will miss what is on offer if we miss the messages and feedback which Life is giving us.  Step 1 of the Creative Process, therefore, is to wake up and heighten our awareness to all of Life and its stimuli.

And how do we wake up?  Given that most of us run our lives on automatic, we tend to move around in a state of waking sleep.   Waking requires practice, practice and more practice.

It starts with regular meditation.  If we practice meditation we discover just how challenging it is to keep our attention for any sustained period on the stimuli which Life delivers to us.  Our minds wander off periodically, even when our only focal point is our in and out breath.  All that is required is to keep beginning again, over and over to refocus when we notice that we have drifted off into the daydream state.

This practice will in due course heighten your awareness in the rest of your daily life and create the conditions for you to start the flow of your creative juices.

Start a meditative practice now.  15 minutes a day will be the first step to changing your life.