Monday, April 8, 2013


 Creativity is not about doing. Creativity is about being.
I can't make up my mind!

How often do we see a child stand before an ice-cream counter torn with anguish? Unable to choose between an infinite array of colors and flavors?

We must first encounter our longings, in order to make a selection. 


It isn't easy to grapple with the fact that we can't 'have it all'. For my small son it was painful anguish--not mere deliberation--but cruel pressure, with no easy solution. Even while eating his ice cream, he would still be questioning his decision.

The process of selection raises issues. Choosing can appear to close doors. If we want it all NOW, the mandate to limit ourselves to just one, and one alone, can raise strong feelings, rooted in much deeper territory than we might realize.

"Even if you seem 
to have to make a choice,
don't choose based on the circumstances;

Choose whichever option 
aligns itself most
with your preferred state of being.

Your circumstances are handled for you
by a level of your consciousness
that has far more awareness
beyond time and space."


What does it really mean to choose based upon circumstance? How often do we even consider 'our preferred state of being'? Even if we have strong convictions; even if we are deeply committed to a clear trajectory--how often do we tune in to see whether or not we are ALIGNED with what we truly value?

This suggestion that our consciousness will handle our circumstances makes sense to me. I've always had an inherent trust in Life. There does tend to be an inner pattern, which operates effortlessly, when I do not get in the way. And yet this pointer reveals a subtle grey-zone, which can easily become obscured when the need to CHOOSE arises. 

To consider where we are 'choosing from' is not a crossroad that gets much airtime; certainly such a focused, intentional approach is rarely modeled, nor encouraged. It seems that Choice more often drives US,  rather than seeking to take its orders from some guidepost, within us. Our attention is quick to deliberate, but slow to decide. Our decision-making often tends to happen subconsciously, as our action responds to an irrational, intuitive urge.

This only becomes a problem IF we feel uneasy about being 'left out of the loop'. Being unable to remain fully present throughout the whole process, can leave us feeling gypped. Longing can trigger all sorts of conflict. Circumstances are designed to overwhelm and baffle us because they can be like a mirage: ever shifting, according to the angle of light and the effect an impression leaves upon our mind. When we buy into the images that shimmer in a heat wave over mesmerizing sands--this is no different than believing the mental conflict that occurs when we buy into the ideas (fears/dread) about what what it might mean to make the wrong decision.

Life/Death IS the ultimate two-sided coin. Life/Death knows that it is impossible to choose between it’s head and it’s tail. Any attempt to do so, will merely split the organism itself apart ; but such violence is, after all, responsible for the creation of entire universes, is it not?

If we cannot face the discomfort that uncertainty often brings, then we will miss the most important part of the dilemma. This torture itself, IS the hidden gift within our longing. Seeing through this will show us what truly matters. And in stepping across this threshold, we find that discovery is more precious than protection. Curiosity and yearning triumph, and suddenly it is safe to be vulnerable. It is worthwhile to admit what we really feel. Even if we can't always have what we want: quite often, just knowing what matters to us, is enough.

We do have an utterly amazing, and uniquely personal part to play, within this vast dance of Cosmic Unfoldment. There IS choice and this can be more crucial than we might have imagined, since the course of an entire life can rest upon a single leaning in this direction, or that. 

The terror a child can feel when faced with any situation, which asks them to take a crossroad—even something as seemingly small as—chocolate or vanilla ice-cream, involves a strong inner knowing: None of their moments are ‘small’ or insignificant. And knowing this (until it becomes covered over by the societal conditioning that invites doubt into their fabric of being), allows children to take such intuitive inklings quite seriously. 

Before we learn to 'give away' our own inner sense of knowingness; before we become conditioned to look outward for direction: deferring to others, and to society, for tone and direction--there is a wondrous gift, glowing within each one of us: Personal Integrity.  

Circumstances only claim ownership of our spirit if we let them. We are not our circumstances. Since I did not fully understand this, myself, when my small son grappled with the apparent weight of choice, I did not know what to do. I could not help him differentiate between the stuff we 'look at', within time/space, AND that which is always 'looking out' from behind our eyes. 

What we are looking for,  is what's looking.
~  St. Francis of Asissi  ~

Our wellspring of creativity is endless and the source of our personal integrity connects us to every aspect of creation. Understanding this can take a lifetime to grok, yet the gateway is always open. Pondering choice can show us through, at any point, but only if we are willing to stop at nothing to find out. We are cursed with the 'gift' of choice. We even have the option of choosing not to choose. Poet, David Whyte points out that, “Man is the only species privileged to refuse its own flowering.” 

How might we learn to open to each actual kernel of 'intuitive knowingness' without feeling the weight of consequence heavy on our shoulders? What if the gulf that seems to cut us off from the dilemma, itself, suddenly fell away? Opened up a space that it had been obscuring...

...I wonder what this child at the ice-cream counter, might do if we took a different approach (beyond trying to direct them, or waiting anxiously, for them to ponder their dilemma alone)? What if we knelt down beside them said something like,"Maybe it's okay that you don't know which one to choose; Maybe you don't have to figure this out, all by yourself?"

“I wonder if there might be one flavor of ice cream that really wants to be tasted by you RIGHT NOW? What if it is trying to say "choose me!! choose me!!" If you stop for a moment and if you just look at all of these different flavors behind the glass, very carefully . . . and if you listen real close, maybe one of them is trying to get YOUR attention. Maybe we might try listening for just a moment, and see?"

I wonder what might happen then . . .


  1. Very nice piece, Stephanie, and a timely reminder for me to remain connected to my longings as my most trusted guide.

  2. Thank you, so glad that you 'breezed by'!


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