Are you living the dream? Does your life feel like it is on track, on fire, lit up? We’re taking another look at wholeness this week, specifically because I know that most people actually DON’T feel this way. So I wanted to take another look, and rather than this being yet another sugary cheer for success, my hope that this goes deeper and helps you discover what makes you whole so that you can totally avoid the “success” madness all together. Success can just flow naturally through us, but for most of us it does not.
If you are anything like me most of my life has felt more or less that I was falling far short of what was possible for me. My life has been pestered by a low grade disappointment as I attempt something with great fanfare and then soon die with a sad little whimper. Or a frustration at all the things I know I COULD be doing, but am not. And I know not only is this experience of mine common, it is far more common than the enthusiasm and joy we know we should be experiencing in our lives. See that’s the thing. We KNOW in our bones that joy, peace and passion are not just possible but that they should be our most natural state. So if we actually stop to think about it, it can be very confusing to compare what we are experiencing in life (rushing, worrying, fantasizing, stressing) to what our gut tells us that we were born to experience. We were born to live in the heart of God, yet somehow. We find ourselves here, outside of the kingdom, out in the cold.
So what if we stopped settling for disappointment? What if we actually started living into our natural birthright? In episode 34 of the podcast I talked about how we can start escaping out of the cultural zombie trances that we often shufftle along in. This week we really shift gears into wholeness by creating something with our lives. The times when my life is full of enthusiasm and purpose is when I was busy creating something that I believed in. Not only have I experienced this many times in my life, but the great stories of faith are mostly about creating something new. Moses, David, Jesus, Martin Luther King Junior they were all part of establishing new covenants between God and man. One of the key pieces of living the dream, is learning how to take something imaginary and create it. We have to step out of being passive consumers in life, and move into being creative forces in our world.
Where does creativity start? I think most people get distracted by artists too much when thinking about creativity, so lets expand the definition to include anything that you do that is bringing something imaginary into reality. That could mean anything, being an amazing student, a great friend, a world changer or even just finding a new job. They all start with an inspiration in the mind, an idea. And if it is our idea, or an idea that resonates very strongly with us, that is a good indication that we are already on the right track. If your body feels excited, maybe even scared, if your heart starts beating when you think about it, even the thought “wow that is so awesome, but I could never do that”…all of these are the scent of possibility. You see the possibility, but not necessarily the way to make it happen. Because if you did, you wouldn’t be fantasizing about it, you would be doing it!!
The three beginning attitudes of creativity
1) be curious – Curiosity shows up in many forms but for me I often look for what has me feeling excited (maybe even terrified). Own that excitement/fear/anticipation/desire/longing. Feel it in your heart, let it pervade your being. If you are not enthusiastic about starting, how in the world are you going to be enthusiastic about finishing? That’s not to say there aren’t surprises in life when we started off hating something and then ended up loving it, but we are being intentionally creative about something here, and the bonus of being intentional is that you can start at a high frequency. You can start with something that really turns you on (or at least you think it turns you on, you have to try and see!)
2) be humble – recognize how much you do not know, not in a despairing way, but the resolute willingness to pursue something you are passionate about even, no, especially when it looks like it is going to be a very long road. Most things in life worth creating start from very small places, and take a lot of time to build. Just look at the diversity on this planet, we are talking billions of years of research and development into what works. The amount of natural intelligence alive today in our own bodies and in the rest of the natural world is staggering, yet it all started from very simple places. Arrogance, on the other hand is assuming that things are going to be easy or assuming that things are going to be impossible, or assuming much of anything really. You might have hunches, which you can test, but try not to let arrogance make you continue to miss the beautiful solutions right under your nose, and do not let arrogance make you continue to make the same mistakes over and over again. Humility is the willingness to learn, adapt and grow as new insights reveal themselves
3) be grateful – this is the art of recognizing what you have at your disposal. THIS IS THE KEY and this is where most people fail. You have everything that you need to succeed right now. Let me repeat that, you have everything that you need to succeed right now. How else do you think you will create anything? You have to start with what you have and if you do not understand the beauty, worth and potential of what you have now, how in the world do you expect to create something that is completely imaginary?!!? It is not going to arrive with a few magic words, some happy thoughts and the wave of your fingers. It is going to happen by taking what you have now, and turning it piece by piece into what you want to create in your life. That reality is childlike in its simplicity, but this exactly what every creative person does. Figure a way to take what is available RIGHT NOW (not what you WISH you had right now) and turn it into what you want to see in the world. Gratefulness is the willingness to be as attentive to the journey as you are to the end result with the realization that if you aren’t paying attention to the value of who are, what you’re doing and the resources you have right now, you won’t pay attention even when you achieve your dream and it will feel like a giant waste of time and energy.