When I’m at my desk, sitting in front of my journal, scissors and glue and paint close by, I am content. I know that I am about to participate in a process for which we were naturally designed. In fact, we are doing it all the time but here, I am aware, I am conscious, I am creating.
In the very best of times, I am able to put aside my personal thinking and let my innate wisdom guide me. My hands move without thinking. Ideas come from nowhere. And something new appears before me.
This is the magic of life. This is the power of creative thought. This is how we were designed to work.
This is not about becoming an artist but about showing you an effortless path to freedom.
Stay with me here because this is all going to make a whole lot of sense very soon.
When asked how he created such magnificent sculptures, Michelangelo explained that he just took away all the stone that was not the sculpture. What remained was the figure inside that had been waiting to be revealed.
Visual Journal Page ~ Linda Hough 2015
The same is true for us. Underneath all of our rules, beliefs + conditioning there exists an essence that is untouched by our habits, thoughts, + behaviors. Our inner design contains within it an innate intelligence, an infinite creative power that is always there, always available and ready to be accessed.
When we allow our thoughts to move and flow as they were designed to do, we experience our essential nature. There is nothing we need to change or fix. Innate well-being, love and happiness already exist within us.
The one and only real problem we have in life is that we cut ourselves off from this essence, our true self.
Imagine that your thoughts are like clouds floating in the sky. They are designed to pass through, sometimes slowly, sometimes quite quickly, but passing through is natural to clouds. When there is a storm, the clouds can stick around for days, making the weather gloomy and heavy.
You are designed this same way, to let your thoughts flow through your mind. Critical thinking has its place. It is invaluable when it comes to math, science, language etc. But when you get caught up in a repetitive thought pattern that creates bad feelings, you end up in a thought storm.
You feel horribly stuck.
You’ve cut yourself off from your own wisdom.
Daily Quick Collage ~ Linda Hough 2016
This does not feel good. To seek relief, to feel better, you decide to engage in a quick fix. When you repeat this action enough times, your brain recognizes this as your activity-of-choice and creates an auto-play. So now, every time you begin to feel bad, your brain releases an urge, a craving for you to do whatever you’ve been doing to feel good. Now you have a habit.
You believe that your habit is the problem. But actually it is the solution. Your habit is the signal that you are stuck in a low state of mind, that your thinking is off or caught up in a thought storm. When the craving is triggered, even though it may not feel like it, you are at choice.
Will you obey the craving? How will you decide?
In every moment, you are always doing the best you can, given your current level of thinking and your desire to feel good. You are not broken and don’t need to be fixed.
All you need is the understanding that you are caught up in a cycle of thought that is not serving you. A craving has been issued for an action to be taken. Obeying the craving provides relief.
Daily Quick Collage ~ Linda Hough 2016
Can you feel the tension there? You don’t want do your habit but you do.
Instead of seeing that your brain is issuing a command to act in an unhealthy manner, can you see that it is actually sending you a signal that your thinking is off?
Now you are at choice. You can continue to follow the old path and give in to the craving. OR you can see the craving as a signal and….do nothing.
Yes, this is the effortless part.
What you are really looking for when you do your habit is that feeling of home, to reconnect with your essence, your true self. That space where clarity and well-being reside. But you don’t know how to get there.
The path home does not lie in any habit. It does not lie in controlling your thinking, changing your thinking or reframing your situation.
The path home lies in a state of no thinking.
Daily Quick Collage ~ Linda Hough 2017
You enter into the same empty state of mind I described when I am visual journaling. But instead of practicing something, you are doing nothing. Your thoughts are relaxed, passing through like the clouds in the sky. You are not making any effort. You have simply understood the way your mind was designed to work and are not interfering with the process.
When your mind is quiet, your inner intelligence takes over. Well-being is your natural state.
In the beginning, you will feel the craving demand that you take your habitual action. Depending on your particular habit, the craving may seem intolerable. At best, it will be uncomfortable. Let it have its time…while you are doing nothing.
I won’t lie. There have been times when the craving won out. If this happens to you, don’t get caught up in that thinking; thoughts of guilt, shame or beating yourself up. Remember that you are doing the best you can in the moment, just wanting to feel good.
As you continue to choose relaxing over reacting, your habitual thoughts will lose their power over you. As your thoughts begin to flow more easily and your wisdom shines through more often, you will have access to new and higher levels of thinking that will create higher levels of feeling.
Life begins to open up. Because you are now directed from your inner wisdom instead of any outside influences, you feel freer than you ever thought possible.
This has been my own experience and it can be yours as well.
If you feel a resonance with what I’m saying, if you feel a deep inner YES and would like to dive deeper into this understanding with regard to your personal situation, I’d love to talk with you. Simply contact me here and I’ll get right back to you.
Visual Journaling Page ~ Linda Hough 2015