Flowing Downstream

+ Flowing Downstream canoe Muse May 1115860253_sAs I begin writing this Muse, it is the last day of April. I am aware of my self-imposed deadline to send out Spiral Energies News and Muse by the eighth of the month, a deadline which feels very soon, given that I am just starting the multi-step process of getting it out. There’s the Muse to conceive, to write, to edit, the News to gather, my greeting letter to compose, and finally the formatting to “pretty it up.” It’s a lot, and I both look forward to the process and feel a little anxious about getting it done on time – all of which translates into feeling a little resistant to even starting.

Things come up for us all the time that we resist doing. Sometimes, as I’m experiencing now, it’s a little bit of resistance that is, more often than not, nervousness. Other times, we have a LOT of resistance – perhaps to taking a close look at our finances, to changing jobs, to challenging a relationship – and we hold back on taking action. We can get royally stuck, use up a lot of energy, and miss deadlines and opportunities that are crucial to our well-being.

How can we get un-stuck? How did I get going on this News and Muse? I applied three techniques that I’ve been working with lately. Perhaps they’ll help you the next time you’re resistant or stuck – or when you just want things to flow more smoothly.

  1. “Flowing Downstream” – this imagery exercise uses envisioning and insight to shift troublesome issues, problems or projects that we’re resisting working on. Begin by thinking of something that you’re having difficulty with, something that is effortful for you, in which you feel yourself trying but not making headway, as if you are rowing upstream but not getting anywhere. Ask yourself and your Self (your Highest, Unlimited, Best Self) to give you a sense of what this situation would be like if you were to turn your boat around and flow downstream with the current, rather than paddling mightily against the flow. Stay with the image, let yourself be shown what being in a different position with this issue would look and feel like. You might find yourself exhaling, sighing in relief and smiling with pleasure as you imagine this problem from an effortless, easy place. You might get some insights about how to help that happen. Call all of that in and invite it to manifest. I did this exercise before I began working on my Muse. I saw the words and ideas gently coming through me onto the page, I saw myself having fun communicating this message. And then, I found myself using the second technique for transforming resistance…
  1. “Wouldn’t it be nice if …” – “Wouldn’t it be nice if…” formalizes the imagery of Flowing Downstream. In my case, I finished the sentence this way – “Wouldn’t it be nice if this vision of ease and fun was my actual writing experience?” After a picture comes into our minds of a better way of being with our issue, situation or project, a desire is born to experience it that way. That desire can be formulated as an intention. Intentions are the memos we send out to the Universe requesting that our desires, wishes, preferences, and choices be met. When we are grounded in our highest well-being, we manifest our intentions as we align ourselves, release conscious and unconscious resistance and allow in what we’ve asked for.
  1. The third technique I used to begin my News and Muse was “Give It Twenty.” Twenty-minute segments sound fairly inconsequential in our long and intense days, but twenty minutes of focused work can bring some pretty satisfying results. (I credit my friend Pam Kristan with the idea of using small segments of time to make a start on a project. You can read about this technique and others in her wonderful book, Awakening in Time: Practical Time Management for Those on a Spiritual Path.) Instead of waiting for the two-hour block of time I thought I needed to work on this month’s Muse, I did the two previous exercises, then took the third step and dedicated twenty minutes to writing it. It might seem too short a time to be achieve anything, but, twenty minutes later, I’d written a few paragraphs, felt connected with my topic, gotten the wheels turning, and, most importantly, shifted my outlook from, “I’ll never get the Muse written!” to “I’ve got a start on May’s Muse!” This encouraged and inspired me so much that I worked again later for another twenty-minute shift. The Muse progressed (as you can see!) and I finally finished it. So, twenty minutes paid off. Whether it’s writing, exercising, or paying bills, give it twenty! It’s a start!

These are the three steps that can help transform resistance: visualize, intend, and do! As the resistance to doing what needs to be done dissolves, our ability to act is, well, activated! And, by doing preliminary work that calls in our Highest Selves, we are acting from Right Intent and Right Alignment.

And that is flowing downstream at its best.

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