As much practice as I’ve had in being creative, conscious, and courageous, I too can feel the tug and pull of the media and the collective mindset. It says, “Be scared.” “Recession is here.” “Things are bad. You should feel bad, too.” “You’ll never be able to fill your gas tank again.”
Even for those of us who don’t watch television, the message is everywhere – airports, the post office, grocery stores. I make it a game to see how well I tune it out. But still I sometimes feel the tug of negativity.
And I’m tempted to shrink.
We all know that feeling. It’s an imploding. It’s holding our breath. We believe that if we constrict and contract enough, then we’ll protect ourselves from any external damage. This is why companies lay people off, restrict the flow, and consequently, stop all creativity — almost guaranteeing a loss of vitality and new ideas.
Of course, it’s not just money that can make you want to shrink. It’s also any situation where you take a risk, or try something different, or put yourself out there. I remember performing many shows where the audience wasn’t very big. I always had to make the choice to expand – even if I wanted to shrink or be embarrassed.
Shrinking restricts flow — and flow is life force and energy. Shrinking says, “I’d rather believe the collective mindset than exercise my own power to choose my thoughts and actions” – and our power to choose what we think is one of the few things we actually can control. Shrinking says, “Mine mine mine. You can’t have any.” – and our connection and flow to each other is what generates wealth.
Here’s a story for you:
My acupuncturist once said to me that when he’s feeling scared about getting patients or having enough money, then he knows it’s time to expand. He says he does the opposite of what his fear wants him to do. He held his arms out wide and looked up at the ceiling. “This is how I want to live,” he explained. He said that when he’s tempted to shrink or contract – that he always chooses to give. He tithes money, he treats a patient for free, he takes someone to lunch, he hires extra help. Need I say that he’s quite successful?
How are you tempted to shrink right now? And what would expansion look like?
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