One of my mentors says that when you plant a seed, the first thing that comes up isn’t the perfectly formed sprout. The first thing that comes up is dirt. Same thing with setting intent. Same thing with shifting your thoughts to create a better reality. Same thing with new habits and patterns.
In other words, when you embark on a new path, the resistance comes up first so you can push through it and get stronger in that process.
This past weekend, I facilitated another women’s retreat. On the first night of the retreat, I led a series of exercises designed to create a powerful intent. And eventually the whole question of creating reality came up. One of the women expressed frustration with the movie The Secret. It seems that she has been working with the whole idea of thoughts and positive thinking. And she has been dealing with old patterns, old thoughts, and old beliefs coming up regularly. She wanted to know what to do when all that resistance comes up. What do you do about all that dirt?
I’m not sure if it’s a “girl thing” or if it’s an authenticity thing or if it’s an artist thing, but I’ve heard this same thought expressed over and over again. I’ve actually been the one to express it in other settings. There are times when, no matter how much you try, walking around proclaiming, “I feel GREAT! I feel GREAT!” isn’t going to cut it. To some, that feels like suppression. Like they are pushing down something that might really need to be examined.
The notion of positive thinking has been likened to spreading pink icing on top of a whole big pile of poop. It is considered phony and deceptive. (Not to mention smelly.) On the other hand, you might be starting to understand that what you focus on grows. So, you don’t want to focus on the poop, but you don’t want to be in denial either.
And there’s the proverbial fine line.
I no longer dismiss the idea of creating reality with your thoughts as inauthentic or “being in denial.” I do, however, believe that much of the teaching around this truth neglects to include the process of this truth. For instance, I remember being on tour and listening to Deepak Chopra‘s The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success One of the directives he gives is “Release the need for approval from others.” As if it was as easy as, “Oh! Okay! Well, since you put it that way!” (I think I might have even flipped the bird at my stereo.) Stating something so simply might make it hard for some people to grok. The concept is a simple one. In fact, most of these concepts are simple. But, an entire how-to book could be written on that one idea alone!
I now know many people who have walked on this path, and are consciously aware of the power of their thoughts and words, as well as being aware of the poop. And the poop is there to be dealt with, but not necessarily dwelt upon. They challenge themselves to simply “not go there.”
I used believe every single last one of my emotions. I was very into the poop side of the equation. Now, I’ve learned much from recognizing that my emotions are not the truth. That the truth is so much deeper and better than feelings. In other words, I’ve gained a lot of wisdom by working through this practice and by being in the process with my eyes open.
So, in the spirit of poop and dirt and sprouts and icing, tomorrow I will post a list of 10 Things to Do when The Dirt Comes Up.