The Second Step in these 7 Steps of Creating may seem, uh, self-evident? But the Second Step is to SHOW UP.
I know, “duh.” Right? But sometimes “showing up” is half-the-battle…
I was talking with a friend this morning about how sometimes we have to trick ourselves into working out. Like, let me just put my work out clothes on…OR I just have to get my feet inside the gym…
I think it’s because we often look at a big task and feel like we have to scale the ENTIRE MOUNTAIN. And, also — as Steven Pressfield talks about so well — our small-self, or our “ego,” has Resistence to what our Soul wants to become. And we have to push through that Resistence, or that discomfort. That’s part of “Showing Up.”
But something else happens when we SHOW UP. Magic.
This is when the character voices start talking to us. When we see what needs to happen in the scene. When the melody just comes. When you hear exactly the right string part in your song. The words appear on the page.
See, Magic…the unexpected goodies of creativity… can’t happen UNLESS we show up.
I love this quote by Thoreau…
“I have learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. He will put some things behind, will pass an invisible boundary; new, universal, and more liberal laws will begin to establish themselves around and within him; or the old laws be expanded, and interpreted in his favor in a more liberal sense, and he will live with the license of a higher order of beings.” — Henry David Thoreau
I frickin’ LOVE that! We will pass “an invisible boundary.” I know this is true! As I have said before, creating is communing with the Divine. And that is why I show up to create. I want some of that sweet other-wordly lovin’! I adore how my body feels when I know Spirit is passing through and coming onto the page, or into the scene, or whatever.
So, what’s your art? How do you show up for it? Is it sitting down at the computer? Showing up at the easel? Sitting at the piano? Our gifts want to flow through us and TRANSFORM our lives, but we have to Show Up for them. It’s a two-way street.
As Joel Goldsmith, one of my favorite spiritual teachers, said, “We are antennas for the universal human mind…”
Okay, so how do we “Show Up” in our Masculine and Feminine energies?
The Feminine Principle behind Step 2:
In downloading we use our intuition; we open and ask to be given instructions, divine ideas, or “inspired action.” It’s about getting quiet, and becoming available to receive. It can happen while we are driving peacefully through a beautiful day, on a hike in the mountains, sitting and having a cup of tea. It’s when our mind is still and empty, and we can become powerful receivers.
It’s catching the Magic.
You can hear it in Mozart’s description of how ideas would come to him:
“When I feel well and in a good humor, or when I am taking a drive or walking after a good meal, or in the night when I cannot sleep, thoughts crowd into my mind as easily as you could wish. Whence and how do they come? I do not know and I have nothing to do with it. Those which please me, I keep in my head and hum them; at least others have told me that I do so. Once I have my theme, another melody comes, linking itself to the first one, in accordance with the needs of the composition as a whole: the counterpoint, the part of each instrument, and all these melodic fragments at last produce the entire work.” – Mozart
I love how he says that he has “nothing to do with it.” I know this is true! And the thing is, a lot of times we put pressure ourselves that we have to “be good,” “be smart,” “be original,” but all we really have to do is be OPEN. Be ready to catch.
Elizabeth Gilbert, her famous Ted Talk, discusses the ancient Greek and Roman’s opinion about genius and creativity: “People believed that creativity was this divine attendant spirit that came to human beings from some distant and unknowable source, for distant and unknowable reasons. The Greeks famously called these divine attendant spirits of creativity “daemons.” Socrates, famously, believed that he had a daemon who spoke wisdom to him from afar. The Romans had the same idea, but they called that sort of disembodied creative spirit a genius.”
There was an interview with Michael Jackson where he said that melodies would come to him in his sleep, and he had to wake up and write them down or “God would give them to Prince.”
I think there’s something wonderful about thinking of our best ideas as this gift that comes from our Higher Self, or Source, or whatever you want to call it. I know for myself, a lot of my staging will come to me a visions right before I fall asleep. And when I’m directing, its like there is a voice, whispering in my ear, telling me what to say…
So, if “Visioning” is how the IDEA appears to us. Then “Downloading” is the repetitive, daily action of becoming clear and open to SHOW UP for the divine information.
The Masculine Principle behind Step 2:
TAKE THE NEXT STEP
This can be so simple! It means just what it says: take action.
So, whatever you were “given” in your downloading process. Do that. Write down the scene. Start the painting. Call the person.
And remember, you don’t have to complete the entire project here (Rome wasn’t built in a day, right?), just take that next step. Even if it seems silly or is met with resistance.
We can take the next step with an easy, light touch. We don’t need to force it, or push it. In fact, I believe in the Creative Process, when things start to get “hard,” it’s often because you are going down the wrong road. When things get “hard,” I step back, take a breath, change my scenery, and then all of the sudden, a new idea will “pop in.” A new way of looking at things…
We are not supposed to know “how to get it all done.” So, don’t worry about the “how’s.” It’s not your job. Usually, you can only see 200 hundred feet in front of you. And then more will be revealed to you as you go…I think of “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.” Do you remember, toward the end of the movie, Harrison Ford is in the temple, and then he steps out into nothingness, and the rest of the path appears? I know that is what it is like pursuing our vision…we take a step, and the next step shows up.
So, all you have to focus on right now, is showing up each day, and doing what is in front of you to do.
Hopefully, with joy and gratefulness for getting to be the Wonderful Creator that you are.
“The moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.” – Goethe
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