‘It’s too hard.’ That’s a sentence I hear a lot – in relation to creativity, to writing, to life. ‘I can’t do this. It’s too hard.’
It’s also a sentence I’ve heard myself say too often. I’ve learned enough to know that, actually, it doesn’t have to be hard. That it could probably be knock-me-down fantastic if I’d just get out of its way.
My Irish Catholic relatives used to say: ‘The Lord never gives anyone a cross they can’t bear’. I’d express it differently. I’d say: Life is always giving us precisely what we need in the moment that we need it.
If I’m experiencing creativity or life as ‘too hard’, I’m in resistance mode — attached to some outcome and unwilling or unable to see what’s really needed.
Often it’s something that I don’t know I don’t know. What the pychiatrist RD Laing was referring to when he spoke of the way we are all ‘limited by what we fail to notice. And because we fail to notice that we fail to notice, there is little we can do to change — until we notice how failing to notice shapes our thoughts and deeds’.
A struggle, an upset, a challenge — these are our pointers towards what we need to notice, so we can change what we’re creating. Transform it, even.
If you’re finding it hard at the moment to bring into being what you want to create, stop trying. And definitely stop thinking about how hard it all is. Go away to a quiet, lovely place with a notebook and a fast-writing pen and F-R-E-E-Write your answers to the following questions:
- What’s really behind this feeling?
- What opportunity is contained within this challenge?
- If I wasn’t feeling this way, what would be happening?
And if you don’t care enough about yourself to actually do this exercise – as opposed to sitting here reading about it and nodding along – well then, that’s why it’s still hard.
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