“Do what’s good for you or you’re no good for anybody”
The Creative Fire: 10 weeks to Emotional and Creative Fitness is a transformational, educational, how-to book about finding and living your authentic life. Clearing up our addictive patterns and finding a strong vision is part of the process. Here’s an excerpt:
Visions vs. Goals
Many of us were told that being a dreamer was somehow to be avoided and a stronger focus on practical matters, like goals, was much preferred. I am hereby making a strong stand for dreams, visions, and fantasy as windows to what is important to us. However, when clarity is found through the visions process, goals can be useful allies.
Goal setting is an important supplement to the process of visioning because it moves toward measurable specificity. Any basic sales training can teach you the elements of the goal setting game. But remember, if the goal doesn’t emerge naturally from a deeply held personal vision, then we will find ourselves focused on accomplishing someone else’s goals and wondering why our little miseries are still with us.
The visioning process gives us the opportunity to regularly dredge below the programmed mind and bring our genuine wants and desires into the present. Goal setting gets us into action toward creating our dreams.
How “selfish,” right? Exactly! I‘ve spent much of my life being “other-ish”.
How self-centered, right? Yes, where else should we get centered?
Some may say, “I should only be centered on God.” Then, perhaps, just for this process, try to find this entity somewhere within.
Goals have also been called “deadlines” or “drop-dead dates.” I like to call them Life Lines instead, a point in time when I expect to come even more fully alive as my carefully nurtured dreams, visions, and fantastic fantasies come into being. Life Lines should be realistic and measurable. If the vision is to own a beach house on a tropical island, then the one-year goal might be to take a five-day vacation to a tropical island. If the vision is to write a book, a one-month goal might be to sign up for a writing class. A one-week goal might be arranging to have coffee with another writer.
This part of your Spiritual Rhythm Section will take about 10-15 minutes each week (or more if you choose to share it with a trusted group or ally). There is a worksheet in the book called “Visions and Life Lines” which is a guide to work on it once or twice a week. After a few weeks, you will see some repeated themes. And, don’t be surprised if you see some things that you thought were important slip away.
Important: Your visions may seem grandiose, even impossible and unrealistic. If it feels that way to you, you’re on the right track. Visioning clears the muddy waters as you cast your line toward unknown, uncomfortable possibilities. The Life Line (goal), on the other hand, is more realistic and specific but should not be used as a mallet to beat yourself with if you don’t meet it exactly. It’s simply an identified time and place toward which to move with enthusiasm.
“If at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it.”
The Visions/Life Lines process is infinitely more powerful when shared by/with others. If you are in a Creative Fire group, buddy up with someone you feel connected to. It is important that you do this with someone who can really set his/her own limited thinking aside and put caring attention on the images without comment. This is usually someone who is also actively engaged in visioning.
This holds true for all our creative birthings. A newborn needs special care, so be sure to create the same safety for your art and your visions. If you post your visions and Life Lines on your mirror or computer, or want to display any experimental art (is there any non-experimental art?), be sure your environment is free of shame throwers. Even the folks that love us most, if not engaged in clearing and expanding their own visionary screen, will make comments, however veiled or subtle, that can put water on your creative fire. Be diplomatic with them but TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF! Create a support network that is a safe nursery for your transformation.
by Dr. Bob Beare, Ph.D.
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