WEEK 12 - The Long View
WEEK 12 - THE LONG VIEW
Many of us are still busy taking our cues from THE OUTER WORLD.
If someone says they don’t like what we did, we assume TRUTH rather than seeing AN OPINION.
If we get rejected we begin to doubt.
If we hear NO we begin to question.
Creative living is not about SUCCESS. It is about PROCESS.
Liz, about mid way through her book BIG MAGIC talks about rejection. I love how she talks about it.
Rejection as the norm.
Rejection as a constant.
Rejection as a part of the process that she could see as a hinderance or just not give a shit about.
She could let it define her. Or she could redefine it.
She decided to take:
“the long view: the intention to spend her entire life in communion with writing, period.”
What happens when you take the long view?
If you are Michael Jordan taking it for basketball you miss 900 career free throws. If you are Einstein taking it for inventing the light bulb you find 1000 ways that don’t work.
And you just keep showing up.
And you stop fighting with it.
It isn’t personal.
It’s how creative living and mastery work.
Liz describes getting rejection after rejection....
“Whenever I got those rejection letters, then, I would permit my ego to say aloud to whoever had signed it: ‘You think you scare me off? I’ve got another eighty years to wear you down! There are people who haven’t even been born yet who are gonna reject me someday — that’s how long I plan to stick around!”
That’s the game, friends.
I observe it fairy frequently on the good old social media.
When someone is being “rejected”, not getting bookings or auditions they get pretty quiet. Or they complain. Or they say “life isn’t fair”. Or they get outwardly or secretly jealous and competitive with others. They compare. They feel down. They think “what am I doing wrong?” They wanna give up. They subtly beg for help or validation. They “like” all the posts of the successful people while eating their feelings. They let their “rejection” define them.
On the other hand when they book something — well! It is all “you can do it everyone” and inspirational quotes and “I knew not to give up!!!” The truth is had you not gotten this recent booking you would probably be questioning exactly that.
Liz suggests a different way...
“No way was I going to give up on my work simply because ‘it wasn’t working.’ The rewards could not come from external results — I knew that. The rewards had to come from the joy of puzzling out the work itself, and from the private awareness I held that I had chosen a devotional path and I was being true to it. If someday I got lucky enough to get paid for my work that would be great, but in the meantime, money could always come from other places. I was happy, and I was a nobody, and I was happy.”
It strikes me that a happy nobody is worth far more than an unhappy “somebody”.
Are you busy defining your creative life by results or devotion? Your answer will determine how long you last.
The Yogi’s tell us that in order to have SUSTAINED joy we have to practice our tools for growth. If we are more interested in collecting credits then who we become in the process of being an artist our creative spark may just burn out.
SAMADHI is the Sanskrit word for ABSORPTION.
Where there is not longer any separation between you and your creativity. You ARE the very source of creative energy.
And it only comes through meditation.
Through time spend.
Outside of result.
It is the ever deepening relationship and romance with your dream.
Not whether it comes “true” but for the joy of knowing it.
Can you own and even write out where you attach to result over process?
Can you see where your mood or devotion is impacted by “success” or lack of?
Can you write a letter to your creativity declaring your devotion, regardless of what you may get out if it?
That kind of love moves mountains. The mountain of YOU.