We’ve all been there.
Spending a few weeks, months, and most-often years drifting about waiting for some sign or an opportunity to arrive directly before us.
Sometimes this happens. Sometimes it doesnt. And sometimes if you wait long enough, inspiration will strike.
However, as any professional artists knows – inspiration is for amateurs. In the simple act of sitting down to do the work, you learn, grow, change, and find inspiration. There’s a beautiful, yet confronting saying by Chuck Close that touches on this point:
“Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just show up and get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightening to strike you in the brain, you are not going to make an awful lot of work. All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself.”
This morning, I listened to the the “Daily Calm” meditation on the Calm app for my phone. This feature is usually 10 minutes where the first 8 are silent or guided meditation, and the last 2 minutes are comprised of a thought-provoking story, concept, idea – something to challenge our normal ways of thinking.
Today’s was on guidance and it was powerful in it’s differentness from the way we traditionally think about the world around us and our lives. I’ve shared it below for you to read. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
“There are times when life can feel directionless.
Perhaps, we’ve tried to pursue one career for many years, yet it hasn’t worked out the way we’d hoped.
Perhaps, we’ve been seeking inspiration or purpose, but it hasn’t become clear.
Life can stall and the grip of stagnation can affect our relationships, career, or entire life.
It’s as though we’re on a raft, rocking in the waves, adrift in the ocean, forgetting how we ever got there. We want to set off and chart a new course, but we feel lost and aimless.
So how can we find new momentum after years of drifting?
Well there’s no magical map to help us find land, but the principle of Beginner’s Mind can help us discover new sources of direction.
Beginner’s Mind teaches us that in every moment lies and opportunity to see something new. When we’re stuck, it helps us see things with a newfound openness and child-like curiousity.
If we bring Beginner’s Mind to our stagnation, we can rise above the regrets and judgments that might be keeping us stuck.
We can see beyond the things we’ve been told are imossible. The narratives we tell ourselves about our limits. We become unecumbered by our past, so we’re able to imagine fresh ideas and new strategies to get us moving.
As Thich Nhat Hanh said, “For things to reveal themselves to us, we need to be ready to abandon our views about them.”
And that includes abdonding the idea that where you are right now is wrong, because it may be an important part of your journey.
There are times when we drift, maybe even for years, and in that time we learn, we change, we grow. Drifting can feel scary, but it can also be viewed as exciting when viewed with a curious mind and a boundless sense of newness and possibility.
And now, take one last deep breath….”
If you are drifting:
- Find solace that everyone drifts at one point or another.
- Consider this part of your life a beautiful chapter in your autobiography in which you can refer back to many times for it’s learnings and what it provided to you at this point in your life.
- Rise above the regret and judgement and try doing the work (as Chuck would say), approaching your current situation with Beginner’s Mind.
And if you’re new to the of Begginer’s mind, below are 11 ways to develop Beginner’s Mind (or as the Budhists call it, Shoshin), found from this Inc article:
- Take one step at a time.
- Fall down seven times, get up eight times.
- Use Don’t Know mind. Don’t pre-judge.
- Live without shoulds.
- Make use of experience. Don’t negate experience, but keep an open mind on how to apply it to each new circumstance.
- Let go of being an expert.
- Experience the moment fully.
- Disregard common sense.
- Discard fear of failure.
- Use the spirit of enquiry.
- Focus on questions, not answers.
When you’re ready to start a new chapter, I want to help. I’ve written a guide to help you navigate your way to the the job of your dreams. If you’re seeking more, please reach out in the contact form and tell me how I can.