Stop Struggling and Start Creating

Recently, on an afternoon walk I noticed that I had started to struggle with virtually everything around me. In particular I was resisting the work that lay ahead of me and focussing on other things that I wasn’t happy with. Not surprisingly, until I saw this all I felt was difficulty, stress and tension. It doesn’t take long for mental stress to get to the point where it can be felt through the whole body. I had started to get headaches and feel all kinds of tightness in different places like the chest, back and arms. Having observed these things for a while now, it’s quite obvious that the physical symptoms  are just the manifestation of my internal tension. And when I looked at the kinds of thoughts I had been giving my attention to they were mostly to do with anticipation of conflicts, of fears and anxieties, the mindset that is perfect for creating stress physiology. I might call this the Don Quixote mind!

But I also noticed something else. Most days, even with this tension and ‘noise’, at some point I would just start moving forward with my work. In fact, I think on these days I allowed myself to go forward party because I would just exhaust myself with this internal struggle. Resistance takes a huge amount of energy, much more than that required to do what we are resisting. It’s like driving a car downhill with the brakes on or swimming against the waves.

Anyway, I would sit down and start writing, or get on with the tasks that needed doing. Doing this, I realised something powerful.

I start winning when I stop fighting.

I start winning when I start creating.

I start winning when I allow myself to act.

It is so profoundly simple, and it’s a thought that I want to share with you.

Let go of the brakes a little, and just allow yourself to roll with life a bit more.

The situations life throws at us can’t be won by negative thought, especially by thoughts that are founded in our inability to accept what is. And it is this acceptance, regardless of whether things are ‘good’ or ‘bad’, just acceptance, which is necessary so that we can look at things as they are and move to forward with clarity, taking efficient and effective action. The alternative, fighting and resisting what is, and even what isn’t, is no basis for health, happiness or progress of any kind. After all, how can we change anything if we cannot accept that it is real in this moment.

If you relate to this, just put down the weapons of war, take off some of the armour, relax, and begin creating rather than fighting. If you do, you’ll notice another thing. To face life directly, without all our defences and weapons takes even more courage. But when you do this, you might discover that you’re more courageous than you ever dreamed possible.

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5 thoughts on “Stop Struggling and Start Creating

  1. You’ve presented an excellent case study for the difference attitude makes in your approach to life. Reading your blog post made me think of a quote I read years ago that has stayed with me. It is from Chuck Swindoll: “The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past… we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you… we are in charge of our Attitudes.” We all need to be reminded of this truth from time to time. Thanks for the reminder!

    • Thanks very much Jerry. That’s a great quote also. Have you read the meditations of Marcus Aurelius? By the way, I love your blog. Great stories and great writing. Looking forward to the next post.

  2. To me, when I open up to creative, I connect with the Divine. That Force, which manifests through me, is life giving and leaves me serene regardless of what media I am using to create. I must create, it is who I am, a co-creator creating with the Creator. This is not just a lovely idea, but an actual way to live. You are right that the first step is to surrender. I spent a year meditating and thinking about what it means to surrender. It was a profound experience, that year. Thank you for this well written piece. It is an important message to us all. hugs, pat

  3. Wonderful and well written!!! I have learned that you have to let go and surrender. As a creative individual, I remember one of my toughest fights of my life was: Art and my Spirituality. My God, they would just clash with each other. There was always this fight of who wanted to take over me 100%! This went on for a long time, I would even say a few years and it was so frustrating. Until one day I said, this is it, you guys! And slowly I let go completely of the fight and now they are best buds! lol lol.. For me creating and my spirituality are my inner connections to my soul! My photography connects with my spirituality and with nature. Once they bonded, I knew that together the can heal obstacles and your soul…

    • Thanks for sharing this, it’s a great example of transformation. Art and spirituality are such a wonderful duo. Indeed, I would go so far as to suggest that every great work of art has at its core the deepest spiritual centre. Whether it’s a mesmerising Monet or a humming Rothco, they manage to see through and celebrate the essence of life. I’m so glad you managed to make them work together, and to integrate these elements within your self. JS

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