An Itch Is An Itch Or Is It?
Ostensibly, it was your basic itch just begging to be scratched. You know—the kind of itch that can’t quite be reached so it keeps twitching and itching, demanding your attention. This itch of mine, however, proved to be even bolder than your ordinary, garden variety. This little pest seemed to have a mind of its own and was clearly intent on attaining its complete and total satisfaction, no matter how long the wait might be. Even after a few years of my attempting to ignore the vexing sensation followed by a year or two of diverting its attention with other endeavors, it persisted. In the end, completely exasperated by its relentless pursuit, I succumbed to the demands of that irrepressible itch. I will write a book!!
Although I was aware that the contents of a full-length manuscript were contained in the piles of artwork and copious notes written to myself, I still couldn’t visualize how the various elements might be transformed into a cohesive whole. However, a few nights after agreeing to pursue my itch’s wishes, my unconscious mind rewarded this new-found willingness with a dream in which the book’s framework was clearly presented and the interlocking pieces seemed to fall naturally into place. Fortunately, my conscious mind retained many of the details of the previous night’s journey into dreamland and so, the following day, the writing began in earnest. Three months later, my itch was living in a state of bliss……
And where was I? I, being aware of the fact that our greatest challenges are oftentimes our greatest teaches, was busy contemplating what, exactly, was to be learned from this experience. After a period of intense reflection, I arrived at a number of conclusions which I would like to share with you now:
1. Always scratch where it itches-the sooner the better. If you have an itch, pay attention, it might be your creativity calling. Believe me, an itch of this nature is not just your simple, everyday itch-it’s an intuitive itch and it is there for a reason.
2. Be aware of what you dream. Dreams are an ever-changing mosaic of images originating from the vastness of the unconscious. Simply by having the intention to be aware of your dreams, you open yourself to the hidden strengths and resources of the unconscious mind, thereby giving yourself the ability to gain clarity and insight into the challenges that everyday life presents.
3. Each of us is a born creator. Now I imagine more than a few of you are muttering, “I could maybe go along with number one or even number two but…I don’t have a creative bone in my body!” Well, guess what? There was a time when I would have muttered right along with you. I once believed, quite firmly in fact, that my imagination had been stashed in a very deep hole along with my favorite box of Crayola crayons, in the backwoods of my childlike mind. What I didn’t realize was that my creative imagination wasn’t buried at all. Rather, I had made some sort of agreement with myself as a child to ignore it, believing as I had been told, that critical thinking was the proof of true intelligence. So it was impossible for me to distinguish the itch for what it was-a signal from my intuition to pay attention. By honoring my dream, however, I was given the gift of understanding that although the creative self may be hidden from one’s consciousness; it is always there, just waiting to emerge.
4. I, the one I call myself, am much more than just an intelligent mind. Certainly, my mind has value as it stores a tremendous amount of information, albeit some necessary and some not so necessary. However, this particular set of challenges gave me many opportunities to explore the concept that I am also a physical being as well as a spiritual being, and so are you. Taking this awareness into consideration, it is to my own benefit that I attend not only to the information processed in my thinking mind, but also to gather whatever details I can from my immediate bodily sensations and to acknowledge the wisdom of my intuitive self. Working from a place of integration where body, mind, and spirit resonate as one, I am given a clearer sense of myself and my place in the world.
5. Life, itself is a creative process. In the same way that art is a process of creation, so too, is life. I can be present and awake each day, do what is in front of me, follow my inspiration wherever that leads, and be attuned to the challenges as they come. This is as true for my personal life as it is for my professional life. Viewing my life as a dynamic work of art, I can see and feel the creative process in action. The forces of body, mind and spirit speak, my creativity flows, and that irrepressible of mine lives in perpetual bliss!