One of the easiest ways to close the doors of ones Creativity Closet is to form a mindset that doesn’t allow for new possibilities. A mindset is a habit of thought. Just as we have physical habits that make us feel comfortable in a lot of the areas of our existence, we also have thought habits, ideas that keep us from any forward movement. We engage in them when we don’t want to rock the boat in which we are sitting.
If we think that boat is leaky, we certainly won’t take it far from the shore where it is anchored. It is our mindset that keeps it anchored. Keeps us feeling ‘comfortable’ and actually allows us to think we still retain some form of movement, even though we might actually be slowly sinking, unaware of the danger to our further existence.
A year ago, my circumstances changed. It didn’t appear to be a huge or elaborate change, although it did somewhat ease some of my immediate concerns. At least, that was the way in which I viewed the change, that it allowed me to relax a bit more. But, only a bit. I forgot that any change, even minor ones, cause a ripple affect. I stepped carefully into this slightly wider space and got comfortable again.
In other words, I went about my business as usual, aware of the added space, but not seeing it for what it really was: an opportunity for far greater changes. I was well anchored into a mindset that meant accepting limitations. It had become my way of life. And I had gotten quite comfortable with it. So much so, that I almost missed the boat that came with those changes. The boat that would and could make those limitations a thing of the past, and me free of the chafing at those boundaries.
I have written about the Push and Pull necessary to bring about movement and thus, change. That Push/Pull came to me in the form of words spoken by two very different individuals. One set of words was an extremely negative push from behind, while the other set of words were absolutely positive with possibilities I hadn’t even considered. Together, they created enough friction to get me moving. Movement that took me completely outside of that mindset I had been inhabiting, and the leaky boat I was still clinging to.
And I can be, and am, grateful for both. The deep anger that resulted from the negative Push, fueled the movement that Pulled me into all those positive possibilities and a solution that eclipsed most of those limitations. Actually put me on a new plane of existence with the eagerness to explore this much bigger and better boat. And no, that doesn’t mean I’m looking at happily ever after. However, I am seeing a whole new set of ripples that extend much farther than they did just a month ago.
By the way, this new, bigger, sturdier boat does have some leaks. Life is life, and continues to hold many surprises. I have been able to find creative solutions to the leaks I have encountered so far, and keeping my Creativity Closet open and functional, will allow me to find even more. Bending myself around the changes hasn’t been easy, but so far, it has certainly been entertaining.
Changing a mindset is work. Simply realizing that I can now do those small things I couldn’t do before makes it far more interesting and even joyful. Those little shocks of awareness are part and parcel of the change. And I am finding that it is the smallest of these things that seem to bring me the most joy.
Knowing that I can go and get myself an ice cream cone, if that is what I want, is absolutely delightful in a way that it might be hard to explain. The funny part is that I don’t need to get the cone, just think about the fact that I can, and I know a sense of satisfaction I haven’t known in years. It is those small bursts of delight that mark this new path I am on, and also help to unravel that old mindset, making it a thing of the past.
Opening the doors of my Creativity Closet created new paths for me to explore and examine. But it also opened new paths for my thoughts to explore that had little, or nothing, to do with what my hands were physically engaged in creating. That in turn, had me facing off with that old mindset, and I found myself saying quietly, “But, I can’t go there.” Only slowly realizing that not only could I go there, there were ways and means of accomplishing that, that simply would not have occurred otherwise.
Do you have a mindset? A habit of thought that keeps you from moving forward, or beyond the place you might be stuck inside of? Are you sinking in that algae infested pond in which you are anchored for no other reason than that is the only place you know how to be? What one small step might you take to begin to erase that no longer helpful mindset with one that holds other possibilities? Remember, if you can imagine it, it is very possible you can do it, create it, make it feasible, changing your reality.