The Creative Fire: 10 Weeks to Emotional and Creative Fitness is an informational, transformational, and how-to book for people in recovery from being stuck. It starts with four parts of health and compares them to a jazz combo. Our true gift is like the soloist who steps forward boldly. Here is an excerpt:
The solo line in a jazz group, if supported by a quality combo, moves and transforms the listener and the player alike. With a plan to be emotionally grounded (Soul), a rhythm of transcendent intention (Spirit), and a vision of health (Body), we are preparing the way for our unique Solo. When we care for and bring forth our personal Gift, the free and expressive life of which we’ve only dreamed, need not be a fantasy. It is, in fact, reasonable, practical, and very possible to manifest. Our Solo line is the pure un-obscured expression of soul.
Joseph Campbell hit a lot of chords with his “Follow Your Bliss” directive, which you can now find as memes, gifs, refrigerator magnets, and bumper sticker art. Yes, it is a catchy cliché, but “What the hell is my bliss?” and “How do I follow it?” After several years of exploring these questions for myself and fielding them from my students, I have come up with a few questions of my own that may point toward a temporary answer. Unlike the dramatic question in that TV show Who Wants to be a Millionaire, the soul seldom asks for final answers.
What Is It?
For some, the nature of personal bliss is obvious, and this exploration will be a confirmation exercise. For others, this process is a long overdue excavation that will be supplemented by a weekly rhythm of visioning.
Don’t worry if your secret dream is to be a Broadway stage actor and you have never acted. You need not learn your monologue and fly to New York this week. That comes in week two … just kidding! We’ll continue this process at your pace and the steps will be incremental, keeping you as far out of your familiar zone as you care to tolerate. Yes, the road to bliss is seldom purely blissful.
How Do I Follow It?
With support! That is the short answer. The longer answer is the one that most people are looking for in therapy, church, monasteries, sacred traditional ceremonies, and unfortunately through the use of mind/emotion altering substances and activities. The answer is within you – right next to that ball of anxiety that you would much rather avoid than engage directly.
Following your bliss will involve direct movement toward and then through your fear and excitement. Each day and week of this program will support one or more of your Solo Lines by putting your attention on it and committing some time.
If one of your Solo Lines is singing, you may choose a daily commitment to listen to, and maybe sing along with, a favorite singer at least once per day. Your weekly Solo Line commitment may be to make two phone calls to find a singing coach. Later, it may be to go to your weekly lesson or to choir rehearsal.
Make sure your commitment is specific and not so difficult that you will avoid it. At first, the daily commitment can be less than five minutes and the weekly less than ten. You can play with more than one Solo Line at a time if you wish, but keep it as simple as possible.
Are you worth a few minutes? The answer is YES, whether that was your response or not. Your creative and emotional fitness is worth some time. Whatever is inside you that tells you otherwise was handed to you by someone with an agenda that did not include the development and expression of your true gift.
by Dr. Bob Beare
See the Creative Fire on Amazon to get started on the full program of expressing your true Gift.
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