Sunday, May 8, 2016

Access Consciousness and the Artist's Way at Work

Rain Maybe? Or is it sun breaking through (photo finola jennings clark, rights reserved)

Why are bad habits so much easier to get into than good habits? I mean really, usually good stuff is easy to love, right? We don’t have problems accepting affection, enjoying good food, taking an afternoon nap on the sofa…they’re all good things and they’re easy habits to integrate into the daily routine. Why not the same with exercise, writing, painting? It’s not like they’re chores that I don’t enjoy…it’s something almost intangible but very, very real, the reluctance to ‘just do it’. Is it really ingrained lack of confidence from years so long gone by?

The Artist’s Way

I was listening to The Artist’s Way at Work this morning which though I find somewhat less than captivating to listen to because of the narration, has some excellent insights into the creative, productive and non-productive nature we all have within us. I easily recognized other people who’ve been and are in my life and I recognized myself too...happily in some cases it was me seeing my reflection in the good habits, but not in every case! I could see myself in so many descriptions that were about habits that keep us back.

Yes, I would like to say I try to ‘do my best’ at my work but I know that’s not true and as for being really proactive and creative? Am I really or do I allow myself sometimes still to believe ‘my hands are tied’ by other’s bad habits, limited resources, urgent important tasks? How many of us actually really are prepared to step out of our comfortable box with walls papered with excuses and blame – aka – ‘reasons why I can’t’? How many of us consistently find ourselves saying ‘Oh I can’t because so-and-so isn’t/hasn’t/won’t/didn’t …”? But the bigger question is, what did WE do to overcome the challenges the other person’s bad habits create for us? Did we just let ourselves off the hook, comfortable in having a scapegoat to enable our failure? Or did we just dive into the wave and trust that where there’s a will, there’s a way?

Access Consciousness

Recently a bubbly young woman, Christine Caruso, came back to visit Saint Lucia and I decided to let her ‘run my bars’. I was, to say the least, astounded at the effect it had on me – I am pretty sure part of that was that I am in a space where I’m open to any kind of positive vibe – and prior to going, I had no idea about what ‘access consciousness’ was about…I just got a really positive vibe off Christine and decided to go. And it was amazing. The verbal takeaway, conceptual really, was ‘what else is possible’: when we find ourselves butting up, as we so often do, against our tired old assumptions of how things are, or when we find ourselves desperately seeking answers or trying to bend life to our wishes… just stop and ask ‘What else is possible?’ Open yourself up to allow other options to float on in to your life instead of blocking the way with old assumptions that are most often negative.

The physical takeaway for me was also amazing – during the session I didn’t experience much other than becoming very, very relaxed and gradually seeing a rainbow of colour behind my eyes and eventually just lighter and brighter white light. When I got up, I felt physically taller. Really. I really felt taller. I could not wipe the glowing smile off my face either – I felt so much lighter and a deeper peaceful, joyous openness. My friends could not believe what they saw…yes, it was the ‘old me’ but to them I also appeared as I felt.

So, I went back a couple weeks later – and this is after researching what ‘the Bars’ are and realizing it is another of ‘those franchises’ that in principle I SO don’t like (I have a build-up of negative assumptions about them!). But I also realized, whatever the tool, how good it is relies almost entirely on how open we are to letting it work. And then of course, where therapy is going on, it relies also on how genuine the ‘therapist’ is – and with Christine, it was easy to place your trust in her because she just poured out good energy. Not the fake kind of hippy-happy all is light and good kind – genuine good energy – the kind that can exist even in dark places. These two combined, I think, are of fundamental importance for a positive result.

My second experience was completely different, having very physical effects during the session and no light shows this time J It was equally, but very differently, good.
Both the Access Consciousness Bars exercises and the Artist’s Way at Work I realized, work when we are really prepared to let go of our past that is so full of all the stored experiences of failure and denial and can’ts and won’ts and don’ts, should, must, mustn’ts etc and open up and really ask ourselves ‘What else is possible?’ and then, key, key point here…do it and keep on doing it until we have picked down each and every brick of our personal walls and built ourselves a nice sturdy set of steps, climbing as we go. 

What they, and any other system are not, is magic fixes that remove the need for us to take action, so my advice for the road…Open up and step up and keep remembering to actively seek to let go of the millions of assumptions we allow to cloud our good judgement. If you want a better life then you will, at some point has to embrace asking, from the core of your being, ‘What else is possible?’

Skip Monday, Saint Lucian Band - these guys love what they do and it shows! (photo Finola Jennings Clark, rights reserved)