Sharing the story within my book Rainbows Over Ruins has taken over my free time. It speaks of the creative process I have been learning since the landslide, and I have been contemplating all manner of ways to tell people about it. Since finishing the manuscript, I have been writing a companion workbook for readers to go through the process as they read. As that has developed, it has naturally led into thoughts about how to coach them through the exercises as well. This natural progression is the result of what Noah St. John calls “imperfect action taking.” We don’t wait to try something until we become perfect at it. We start where we are right now and let the results emerge through us.
It is as if we are all wired to become the best “Me” that we can be. I couldn’t help thinking about babies and small children who are willing to try and try again until they master life’s basics. As infants, they want life’s comforts and master the communication skills that get adults to bring it to them. As they observe others in their environment, they begin to desire what they see around them. They want some control over their ability to have these things and the freedom to get them when they want it. They want to do what they see others doing. Those desires fuel their relentless attempts to roll over, crawl, stand and walk. They make no excuses for their tiny failures and naturally persist in doing whatever it takes to get what they want. Along the way, they develop likes and preferences and a sense of who they want to be when they grow up. They play and pretend, using whatever resources surround them to create the environment they believe makes up the adult experience. They mimic.
But something else can also happen to us. As we grow older, the cumulative effect of failure, rejection and loss can lead us to become more risk adverse. The mind numbing effect of too much information overload and the drug like, hypnotic effect of media may stop us from seeking to expand our circumstances and surroundings. More complacent, we may be content to follow familiar routines and habits regardless of whether those actions contribute to future dreams. It begins to feel too hard to change, adjust or rebuild after a loss. Sometimes we don’t remember what we wanted to be when we grew up or care about becoming the Best Me I Can Be anymore.
The results are not good. We get bored, depressed or overwhelmed by even the smallest problems. As a young woman, I remember asking myself “Is this all there is?” Our thoughts are filled with negative questions, doubt, worry and fear. We whine and complain, resent others for having better lives, and often look for ways to dull the memories of distant childhood dreams. Some would rather stay stoned or become addicted to blot out the pain and frustration.
After the landslide, I experienced some of those feelings. I had no idea of how to rebuild after losing the house, and in its aftermath, we didn’t even have the comfort of familiar routines. Feelings of doubt, worry and fear threatened to drown me. Peter and I could easily have given up because at first it looked as if there were no answers. But we got through it. We dealt with the problems one step at a time, daily, as the next presented thing and moved from disaster to dreams coming true. We both enthusiastically continue to pursue our Best Me I Can Be every day.
So how did we turn the situation around? That is the subject of my book as we unknowingly lived the creative process in order to rebuild. I’ve come to believe that everyone has the ability to express this creativity to improve the circumstances and events in which they find themselves. We started by taking an inventory. We looked at the resources we had left, acknowledged the contrasts and conflicts around us and began to dream of what could be better.
If you are serious about improving your life, you need to make room in your daily schedule for more dream time. Use daydreaming, mind movies, meditation, journaling or centered prayer, but allow the well spring of creativity deep within you to emerge so that you can feel how good you feel in those dreams. It is key to getting what you want. If you can find one thing that makes you feel good or one action you can take every day, you can use the power of your mind to ask for what you want as part of your daily routine. It may not happen overnight, but you will be amazed how much can shift in a positive way. Try it. I think you’ll like the results.