The first part describes the natural progression in a project from inspiration to the demise of inspiration. And the second part describes the insight that set me free: No thing and no one is more or less important.
This post is relevant to you if you sometimes feel struggle and stress in your work and/or life in general. More importantly, this post will be of interest to you if you too are looking for answers that go beyond finding happiness as a temporary emotion; if you are looking to find the Truth that goes beyond positive stories spun by your mind.
The Natural Progression and The Demise of Inspiration
I have been feeling some stress recently. What started out as projects I am excited and passionate about started to feel stressful. This is the natural progression for my inspired project, which I am sure many of you identify will with:
1) Birth of an idea: Good ideas come from strategic thinking but great ideas are inspired. And I am talking about inspired ideas here. This is an exciting time as it presents an opportunity to engage creatively. There are endless possibilities and I am in the flow.
2) Initial stages of development: This is really exciting - collecting information, connecting with people, getting positive feedback from people. This is still an idea so I collect information that can help me make this dream a reality and I connect with people who can take it forward. Finding the right people and information escalates my excitement.
3) Taking the right actions: Now I have the people and information to carry forward the project and I need to start working on the project. I start to take the necessary actions and it feels good.
4) The Ego: All the positive feedback and my own imagination of how important this project is, how this can impact many lives and the culture at large is creating the Righteous ego in me – how this project deserves to be supported.
5) Feeling invested: I begin to realize there is more work than anticipated, because the project became bigger than I anticipated initially and just because life presents the usual obstacles. What started out as an organic idea that I was passionate about is now a big investment of my time and resources. Of course I will not settle for anything but the best.
6) The burden: I have created the highest expectation from myself now. And of course I have shared my excitement with so many people, so can feel the weight of their expectations (most if not all is my imagination). The project is no longer fuelled by inspiration but my drive to make this a success, by my expectations of making this a huge success. I have so many people involved, all the promises I have made. No this is really big and I am in charge here. So this is all my responsibility.
7) The demise of inspiration: Now all the creative juices have dried up with the weight of expectations and the righteous ego. All actions feel like a struggle and causing stress. A stressed out mind is not very helpful. It picks on all the negativity in the environment and makes it the only reality you experience and hence magnify.
I am left wondering, what happened to my inspired thinking, what about my mindfulness practice, all those years spent in understanding the deeper truths, why am I encountering struggle and negative thoughts about something I know to be fun and creative. If I don’t get it after all that I have experienced in my life (and lives if you believe in that), then what hope is there for me, especially when that is my work – mindful marketing? And if I am feeling stuck in my own mindful marketing, then how can I tell people about it. I feel fake.
One thing I do have is persistence – the persistence to understand my own mind and know my Self. Once I started to feel the stress and have thoughts of self doubt, I started to observe my mind. Not to get into the discussion of who is observing who, lets just say, I started to stay with my feelings and not resist or try to find an escape through positive thinking, which I am very good at also. But I wanted to find out the nature and origins of my thoughts so I stayed with the discomfort of these thoughts (as did my husband and am grateful to him for letting me be).
Today morning as I was multitasking to get done with my breakfast so I can move on with other "more important" activities, I dropped the honey bottle and there was sticky mess all over the kitchen shelves and floor. I wet a cloth and started cleaning. All the stress I had been feeling came out in this moment and I gave up resisting the stress. In that moment there was a Knowing - No thing is more or less important. No one is more or less important. There is only this moment Now.
Are you thinking, how can all actions and all people be equally important? For example is cleaning dropped honey from the floor as important as lets say working on my big project to change the whole business paradigm? And my answer is YES. Because in that moment what was needed is cleaning the floor or it would attract ants and the cats would be all over it and making the whole house dirty. So what was most important in that moment is cleaning and not the project to change the world. How we decide what is important is relative to what is needed Now, in the present moment. So no job is superior or inferior. And similarly, no person or identity is more desirable than others, because we are all needed at different times in our lives.
There was an immense release in that Knowing. The burden that we carry of doing something important, of becoming someone, it all went away. We are all the same, just doing what we need to be doing, going about our lives. As long as we stay with that reality as the only reality - of doing things to take on a desirable identity, we will go through the highs and lows that go with the game. And you may choose to stay in that game as long as you like.
I have lived through enough games and am bored and tired of these games. I am choosing out - I am choosing to see beyond the games our mind plays. I am choosing to See what Is beyond these mind games. I am choosing to relax and Be in this moment fully. Any desire to be an identity is relinquished because I know it is only an illusion I am chasing. I Know that I already Am just as every One is, That...
This doesn’t mean that I don’t do what needs to be done. On the contrary, it only means I do what needs to be done NOW without any resistance and with more ease, because now there is no pressure to become someone or something. I am at peace with what Is.
I also understand that ego continues to exist as long as we have a physical form and it will try to take over from time to time, which is its nature. I accept that as part of my Self. And the next time that happens, I will listen to what else I need to learn about my Self and learn to move with even more ease.
What does this mean for you?
We are all the same and yet we each need to find our own Truth. Surrounding ourselves with wise people and wisdom is good, but not enough, if you want to break out of the mind games and move with more ease. You will need to do the work of really living and learning for yourselves. What I know is that where this is a will there is a way – even to finding your Self.