First off Happy New Year. For me, 2014 was a great year. It was a year characterised by creation without struggle – an idea that not that long ago would have seemed totally alien to me.
As I reflected on why 2014 seemed so effortless in some ways, it dawned on me that it was because I was in a space of wellbeing far more than I ever have been. And as my understanding deepened, I began to see that the more we are in this space of wellbeing, the greater access we have to a space of creativity and fresh insight – where outcomes seem to get created without stress and struggle.
But what is wellbeing?
Well take a look at the flip below:
Now I realise that I am not going to get any prizes for my drawing skills (or even my photography skills)! But if I was to say to you that the blue line in the diagram represented a continuum of negative to positive feelings (from -10 to +10), where would you say that wellbeing lay on this continuum?
Now if you are like most of the people I have shown this too, generally they tend to put a mark in the middle right section of the flip. There’s a perception that wellbeing is a function of moving ourselves from what we might label as ‘negative’ emotional states like depression and sadness to ‘positive’ emotional states like happiness and joy.
But there’s a problem with this. Our mood varies with our thinking, and our level of awareness. No matter what happens, all of us will find ourselves in a low mood from time to time as our thinking and awareness ebbs and flows. If we hold onto an idea that our wellbeing is a function of being in some perpetually positive state, it’s no different than thinking that it is a function of the car we drive, the job we do, or the amount of money in our bank account.
And this was me not that long ago. I felt bad about my life, and thought it had something to do with my circumstances. I thought that I needed to feel more positive and make my circumstances, and ‘me’, better.
And this is the space that many of us can get caught up setting our New Years Resolutions from. A space of anxiety or fear. Or at the very least a space where we are trying to fix or ‘perfect’ something about our lives thinking that if we do it will somehow be ‘better’.
But my experience is that not much of use ever gets created from this space. Or if it does, it requires a real struggle and a lot of effort and motivation to make ourselves feel bad about ourselves so that we can keep up momentum. It’s also very exhausting.
But as I continued on my journey in understanding the Principles behind my day to day experience, I began to see that wellbeing was actually this:
It’s a space of understanding that is beneath the fluctuations of our day to day experience. A space where we see how our experience is created and that our feelings have nothing to do with our circumstances. They are just simply a barometer for our level of thinking in any moment.
The more I began to really see this, and that all of my feelings were a legitimate part of my experience, the less impressed I became with needing to fix how I felt. I actually found a space where I was now much more okay with the entirety of my experience.
As I said to the client who I first showed this diagram too – this, for me, is the deeper ‘feeling’ that Syd Banks alluded to in his many writings and talks.
But here’s the kicker. This is actually the space of deeper potential! It’s the space where we get new and fresh insights, where ideas just seem to come to us from out of the blue. It’s the space of creativity. It’s not a state that we have to try to get ourselves into. It’s actually a space that is innate. We seem to sink back into it more with understanding. In fact it looks to me like we can only ever take ourselves away from this space to the extent that we get caught up in our thinking that our lives need to be perfected!
The less we end up doing that (as our understanding increases), the more insights and fresh thinking tends to flow. On a personal level, the more I have seen that this is true, the quicker I tend to snap out of being so annoyed at my life and trying to fix it, because I know that there is this space (which is my true nature) where I just know how to navigate my life and where much fresher and more inspired ideas seem to come from.
So as we enter 2015 and many of us set goals for the year ahead, my challenge to you is this. What is the space you are creating from? Is it a space of ‘perfecting’ something that looks wrong or broken to you? Is it a familiar New Years resolution that you have tried (and failed) many times to create? Or is it the space of deeper wellbeing and potential? The space, as my mentor Michael Neill calls it, “where miracles happen” and where things seem to get created with far more ease and grace? If it’s the former, I would encourage you to look within – to where your experience is coming from and to where your wellbeing really is. When you see that it is always here in every moment, not only will you not need to perfect your life anymore, but you will actually find your ability to create will be far more expansive and powerful, as you will be creating in alignment with the creative force behind life itself. And it just knows a bit more than you or I!! 🙂
Wishing you a very happy 2015.