The 12 Days of Creativity… Day 3
Station 3 of the Wheel of Creativity is what I call Anorexia.
Anorexia made a name for itself in the world of eating disorders, where it describes a person’s compulsion to starve herself. For me, it describes our compulsion to say No to whatever nourishes us. In the face of the Appetite we have identified in the first two stations, Anorexia leaves us paralyzed. And it is a hurdle we must all clear in order to fully live.
You could say the voice of Anorexia is, “Don’t you dare!” It is the automatic No within. Whether you hear its doubts and fear outside your from the people you love – “You can’t do that!” – or within – “Who do you think you are?” or “What right do you have…?” – it is a habitual pattern of self-deprivation.
For most of the people I work with, this station offers the biggest wake-up call, as they come to identify how and where the automatic No occurs for them.
- For one client, it is always leaving the good fruit for her children.
- For another, it is refusing to smile to strangers on the street.
- For another, it is giving so much time and attention to his partner that he has nothing left for himself.
Best-selling author Stephen Covey uses the phrase in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, “Exercise integrity in the moment of choice.” This station reveals our tendency to do the contrary. And it plays a powerful role in the creative process.
Each time we come up against this No in ourselves, our suffering is just a little greater. We recycle back Home (“Couldn’t I be okay with the status quo?”), through Hunger (“But this isn’t it!”) and Appetite (“Now I know what I want!”). The cycling between Yes and No creates friction, and energy, and eventually torque.
As Steven Covey so eloquently reveals, we are required to make a choice here. In the face of the No within or without, we are invited to choose what we love. And that choice launches us from the shores of others’ agendas back into the center of our own lives.
From the time I heard my own deepest longing in 2001, until the point when I was actually ready to set out on my life-changing journey, I recycled through these stations many times. Finally choosing to take the risk and trust my inner truth brought paralyzing fear as well as exhilaration. It was all part of the process.
Station 3 invites you to live in integrity with what you now know. With the awareness and the direction won by listening to your own longing in the first two stations, it requires you to choose what you love.
- Where is the automatic No in the area you’ve chosen to look at?
- Where is the love here that you’re denying yourself?
- What is your life asking of you?
That path of love unfolds through the next 9 stations; but it here where you step onto it.
Have you chosen an area to work on during these 12 days of Creativity? Email me via the CONNECT tab above and let me know!