Health is the ability to stand in the spaces between realities without losing any of them. This is what I believe self-acceptance means and what creativity is really all about—the ability to feel like oneself while being many.
—Phillip Bromberg, Standing in the Spaces
A Mentor Coaching client I’ll call Lynda is a well-known film writer who initiated a session with me by presenting two exciting, though quite different possible courses of action. Both were great opportunities for her: a series of retreats in Caribbean resorts, and a sequence of international speaking engagements arranged by her agent. The retreats were a particular love of hers, an extension and application of ones that she had done throughout North America. Both required energy and travel that took away from her primary love of writing screenplays.
The retreats and speaking engagements appealed to her sense of adventure, and both were especially lucrative. She had worked very successfully to have such elite choices. She, and then we, had examined all the benefits and drawbacks of her various options, and she was very clear about what each entailed. She was drawn to the significant money she would make, yet something still felt unsettling to her, as she acknowledged that she did not really need the money.
I recommended for her current decision that she schedule an appointment with herself, a protected time without interruption. I suggested that she begin that time with a progressive relaxation exercise. Once she was totally relaxed, to move beyond the competing voices of the options of exciting opportunities, enjoyment of fame, and creative pleasure of solitude. To move underneath her conscious role, identity, and successes to resonate with her true self: her emotions, needs, and ideals. To listen to the loving, caring essence and to the deep, intuitive wisdom of her Wise Self.
Lynda reported at our next session that she found the exercise revealing. Accessing her Wise Self closely paralleled the state of mind and reverie of her writing.
She discovered a clarity to her deep knowing: that she needed to say no to both the retreat and speaking projects, and to engage her deepest desire, her writing. As she embraced this decision, her dilemma melted away, and she experienced her full, authentic enthusiasm and creative excitement.
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