I once read that Creativity flows just under the surface, like a river, and if you are open minded and willing, that river of Inspiration can be tapped into at any time. People who go looking for Inspiration will often return empty and disappointed. This experience, for most of us, is often followed with thoughts or statements like, “What was I thinking? Who am I kidding anyway? I can’t (paint, dance, sing, act, write …)!!! It’s silly; I need to prioritize, take care of myself (my family, my partner, my pet, my parent(s) …), not fill my precious time with stupid things like Creativity!” Sound familiar?! That is your inner critic (see Step 1), otherwise known as your Ego. While the Ego’s function is to protect you, it often sabotages you because you no longer need protection in those same ways you once did. Your Ego never got the memo.
The quality of one’s life is in proportion, always, to the capacity for delight. The capacity for delight is the gift of paying attention. If you can learn to pay close attention to your Ego and what it is trying to do, you will likely be able to check it (and yourself), and allow yourself to move forward towards the Life you have always dreamed. For example, all you perfectionists out there; what purpose does perfectionism serve for you? How does it help you live a happier, healthier Life? I’m almost sure your answers are something like, “None and it doesn’t” in short.
Perfectionism, that cynical inner critic who judges every stroke, every line, every note belted, is your own refusal to let yourself move ahead. This is based in FEAR (False Evidence Appearing Real). It is not a quest to be the best; in fact, it is a pursuit of the worst in ourselves, the part that tells us that nothing we do will ever be good enough – that we should try again. But let’s be real here, we know we won’t try again! Why set ourselves up for another disappointment? Usually, when we say we can’t do something, what we mean is that we won’t do something unless we can guarantee that we will do it perfectly. Our Ego has succeeded once again!
If you can listen closely, you can hear your Ego nudging you towards Self-sabotage. If you can learn to recognize those negative patterns, you can stop them in their path to Self destruction. It is only then that you can begin tapping into the flowing river of Creativity and Inspiration will find you.