Ooh!! This is a juicy one! This is where the good stuff happens…
This is what I know: following our dreams is a path that brings us back to our wholeness.
That’s right, and you can’t go on this journey, or even bring a new creative project into the world, without undergoing the process of transformation. It can be messy, challenging, pull-your-hair-out frustrating, and scary. But that’s because something is happening deep within us. Our path wants to bring up all the unhealed parts of ourselves and to heal them.
So…every time I direct a show, I know that show has come into my life to teach me something, and to help me to change, grow, and evolve. There is absolutely NO WAY that I’m going to be the same person that started that project. In fact, I know I HAVE TO GET BIGGER every time I give birth to something new.
Now, this isn’t exactly an easy process… Think about birth itself: it ain’t clean or painless, but it is a miracle.
This is the week where we acknowledge that as we move through the process of creation, we better be prepared for things to change.
It’s the Butterfly Process. In order to become something new, we have to let go of what we have been…
The Feminine Principle behind Step 4:
The 3 R’s: Reprogramming, Reaffirming and Reframing
“We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thought. With our thoughts, we make our world.” –The Buddha
Often, to manifest our dreams we are going to have to let go of an old way of thinking. We all have old mental patterns that are keeping us stuck. When I talk to people who are feeling like they can’t break through, they usually have a list of reasons why their dream can’t work (lack of resources, time, age, etc). The truth is, the only limitations are the ones in our minds. We may need to change our neuro-pathways to rewire how we look at the world and ourselves in it.
This means Reprogramming our thoughts, Reaffirming the vision of our Best Selves and Reframing the context of how we see our world.
What do these words mean? I’ll tell ya!!
To describe this whole “3 R” process, I’m going to take you through my weight-loss journey, and describe how I used these methods to transform myself physically….
Okay, I’m 25 years old, I just got my undergraduate and masters degree in under 5 years, produced and directed the original production of “bare” and sold my first film…but guess what I wasn’t doing? Taking care of my body! I had gained A LOT of weight. And I mean, A LOT. It was stress, over-working, hiding, and overall just not thinking enough of myself or my body. But inside, I knew this wasn’t me. I had a VISION of who I really was as my best self, and in my best body…
And I had NO IDEA how to get there.
So, I decided that I was just going to try to “point in the direction” of who I really was…I knew if I pointed in that direction long enough, I had to get there.
One of the first things I had to do was “reprogram” my thoughts. These are all the fearful, ugly thoughts that rattle around in our brain. The egos little lies about what we can and can’t do. I knew that underneath all that extra-weight were “untruth’s” about myself that I had to change in order to have the slim, healthy body I desired.
Examples of negative core beliefs that I had:
“I will never have the body that want”
“I don’t have any discipline”
“I’ll make some progress, but then I’ll sabotage myself”
“I’m not a great athlete”
“I just wasn’t born with good genes”
So, this is when I first discovered the Flip Exercise. Basically, you take the negative core beliefs (the fears inside you) and you flip them to its opposite, see below…
“I don’t have any discipline” flips to “I have amazing self-discipline and I can do anything that I set my mind to!”
“I’ll make some progress, but then I’ll sabotage myself” flips to “I am determined to reach my goal, and if I have a minor set-back, fine. I will get up and try again. If I keep trying, I MUST get there!”
“I’m not a great athlete” flips to “I was perfectly and divinely created and my body has capabilities that are just waiting to be discovered!”
“I’m lazy” flips to “I am full of energy, focus, and determination. I am unstoppable!!!”
“I will never have the body that want” flips to “Exactly what I want is on my way to me right now. My body is self-correcting, and if I nourish it correctly, it will respond in kind! It’s on the way right now! I feel myself getting more healthy this very second!”
I like to flip the fear it to its biggest opposite. I also like to use powerful words that have an emotional feeling behind it.
Now, some people have told me that if the flip is too big — too opposite — they have a hard time believing it. So if your fear is “I never have enough money” and “I’m a magnet for abundance and money comes to me easily and effortlessly” feels like too big a stretch, find the flip that works for you. Some like the phrase “I’m willing to believe…” So you could flip to “I’m willing to believe that I’m abundant and that money is on its way to me now.” Experiment until you find what works for you!
You can use this for your writing, or getting your movie made, making money, or really ANYTHING that you want to create. But if you investigate your thoughts, you’ll find that there’s often little stories hanging out in your psyche that are untrue and they want to be healed.
This is what I know, the Universe is on our side. But we can’t receive what it wants to give if our thoughts are standing in the way…
We’ve all probably heard the words: “as a man thinks in his heart, so is he.”
We create our deepest held beliefs about ourselves. One of the ways we can get into our subconscious thoughts is through affirmations.
Florence Scovel Shinn, one of my favorite spiritual teachers, talks in her books about our words as incantations. There is power in the spoken word. By our words, she says, we become creators, master artists.
Now that you have flipped fears, you have the opposite, transformative statement. I like to call these Power Statements. And when I was on my weight-loss journey, I PUT THEM EVERYWHERE. Put them in my purse, in my wallet, on my mirror, EVERYWHERE! Basically, anywhere I looked everyday.
Then, as I would come across my statements during my day, I would say them out loud, with power and purpose. I would feel the words in my body. And I would feel them as true.
Every time you do this you are REAFFIRMING. Your subconscious is listening to you. Your very cells are believing you and you are becoming what you say.
We also have to reframe experiences that we have created a negative context around. We have to shift and change our paradigm in order to grow.
There’s been many times were I’ve talked to actors, who have had such negative experiences and beliefs around auditioning, that before they even walk into the room, their bad story is weighing them down…
Maybe you have issues around trust, so collaborating is a challenge for you? Or you were taught to repress your voice, so confrontation brings up fear?
“Reframing” is when we create a new, uplifting story around something that we have an old, negative experience around. For 25 year-old Kristin, I had to reframe my experience around working out. I remember when I first started, I had to tell myself that it was my privilege to go and enjoy walking on the treadmill. I would focus on how good it felt to move my body, how proud of myself I would feel after, how the afterglow would give me extra energy in my day. I would listen to my favorite music, and enjoy the sauna after. I created the positive story so that it became an experience I looked forward to. I also had to change my story around the foods I ate, and reframe my experience around grocery shopping and preparing meals. I mentally saw myself creating a gorgeous, healthy meals and made it a luxurious experience. You see, my relationship to my body, my health, and my meals couldn’t change until my story changed.
It took me from 25 to 27 to reach my goal weight, and I kept the weight off for ten years now. I’ve had people ask me, “how did you make the weight loss permanent,” and what I say is that “I changed my thoughts.” I realize now that the weight-loss was a wonderful learning tool that taught me that I can do ANYTHING through the power of my mind and inspired action.
Once I had these tools, I applied them to my creativity and my art. I saw where fears and negative core beliefs that were holding me back in that arena, and then all sorts of exciting breakthroughs began to happen!! Whether we are creating in our life or in our art, it’s all the same principles.
The Masculine Principle behind Step 4:
MOVING THROUGH FEAR.
One of the things that makes us all the same, is that we all experience “fear.” No one doesn’t have these sneaky little lies that pop into their head.
It’s interesting, when fear is locked up in our minds — when it is private — it can feel very big and scary. I find that when I share my fears with others, and bring them into the light, they lose their power.
The truth is that fear is an illusion. Those things we worry about so deeply are not even real. And I think Life wants to teach us how “not real” they are.
When we start to act, and actually MOVE THROUGH our fears, something amazing happens. We feel totally, radically, and magically alive. Discovering that the fear is not real is incredibly empowering!
“One of the greatest discoveries a man makes, one of his great surprises, is to find he can do what he was afraid he couldn’t do.” – Henry Ford
Fear is so sweet and well-meaning. It’s just the misguided part of ourself that wants to warn and protect us from the scary things it has conjured up about the unknown. Fear wants to keep us small and safe. But something happens if we stay contained in our safety…we start to get stagnate, we start to feel numb, life starts to feel like we are going through the motions…and we often have to find a way to silence our inner voice…and we do that through alcohol, over-working, shopping, gambling, eating, obsessing over other people…whatever your drug of choice is.
Our Soul longs to grow, and it MUST. It will not let us hide behind our fears. And if you want to feel truly alive, moving through the fear is the first way I know to get there.
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” – Nelson Mandela
So, in your creativity, in your art, in your life, where are you allowing fear to keep you small? Have you shared this fear with someone else? Is there an action you could take that would push you into the unknown?
I feel like if we could all “out” our fears, we would see that we are not alone. That we are all in this together. If you feel so brave and courageous today, try sharing your fears in the comments below…or share one step you could take today to move through your fear.
As soon as you take the action, you will start to feel vibrantly alive…Fear is that cocoon we must break through – the skin we must shed – to become the butterfly.
“Always do what you are afraid to do.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson