Jody feels stuck. She is a creative, artistic person and has more than fulfilled her duties as a wife and mom. She now has free time and is feeling the urge to spread her wings a bit. We toss around ideas about what she could do. One suggestion is to rent a space of her own, away from her family home, to use as a creative art space; to indulge her creativity uninterrupted and more importantly, privately. Jody gets a faraway, dream-like look on her face and there is an energized pause while I watch her visualize that space. Then suddenly the shutter comes down over her eyes and she declares she can’t do that, her husband would never allow it. I feel sad as the energy dips. I toss out a few more ideas, which she quickly shoots down. Finally, I suggest she entertain the idea of making a room in her house a creative work space and she could spend a small amount of time in there whenever possible and try a few things. She agrees this is doable and thinks she might explore painting.
The Greatest Tool to Realizing Dreams and Visualizations is the Mind
It is also the greatest barrier to dreams and visualizations coming to reality. On one hand, the imagination is brilliant at conjuring possibilities. Our greatest inventors and innovators were excellent at imagining possibilities. On the other hand, part of our brain is wired to keep us safe and alive. Anything new and unfamiliar is greeted with reaction ranging from suspicion to out and out panic. When it comes to entertaining possibilities for our future we far too often dismiss them because of this part of our brain—the future picture just does not fit with our current view (mindset) of familiarity—therefore, precluding some wonderful experiences.
As I outlined in the last post, You Cannot Get There From Here, we simply can’t know what will happen when we set do decide to venture out. Our creations may not be what we think they will be. Chemist Dr. Spencer Silver intended to invent a super powerful adhesive, but instead made a weak one. Turned out that there was a use for a low-tack adhesive that could be repositioned many times without losing it’s sticking ability. That use became Sticky Notes. Often we don’t know the purpose of what we create until a good while later, if ever. We need to create while letting go of having to know why.
We All Have a Mindset and are Unaware of Our Filters
It is my job to toss around possibilities with my clients. It is also my job to spot a mindset that is keeping one stuck. I watch, always in amazement, how we automatically shoot projections into the future and arrive at conclusions without taking one single step. Our thinking mind gathers and searches for all past data to convince us of a reasonable future outcome. But, we leave out infinite possibilities by not at least entertaining creative imagination. Our logical, survival brain jumps in with why things not possible and especially points out that your actions will disrupt the lives of others. This is keeping us safe, but it is also keeping us stuck.
Jody might have encountered some wonderful experiences in her creative work space away from home. She might have even created a beautiful masterpiece, but for now, she is continuing to experience what she’s always experienced.
Maya Angelou went to a rented hotel room every morning and smoked cigarettes and drank whiskey and wrote. Those writings became, books of poetry, autobiographies, essays, plays movies and television shows that touched and changed peoples’ lives. Do think she set out to “change peoples’ lives?” What if she had believed her many doubts and not rented that space?