change, fresh starts, growth, letting go, receptivity, surrender

Avoiding the Void

void9

artwork: the void by ice pick lodge

“There is a Buddhist term that beautifully describes this stage — Sunyata,
which literally means “the value of the void” or “to strive after the void”…
value the time between for what it truly is– a primal state of pure energy,
the natural beginning of all creative acts, a fertile field of infinite possibility.”

– Barbara Stanny

I had some great plans when I finally got so many admin tasks off my plate, thanks to the support of my new assistant, Hannah.

Prior to hiring her, I had hit a wall with productivity, my creativity was constipated. It seemed most of what I was spending my time doing was administrative tasks. I had no energetic space left for creating, innovating and inspired actions. I dreamed of a time when I could clear space where new ideas would magically rain from the sky and soak me up in magic creativity juice. The Next Big Thing was coming, I thought; I knew. But I also knew that first I needed to create space for it.

As Hannah got up and running, my plate did start to feel clearer. Even more powerful than the time that was being freed, I began to feel an energetic shift that seemed like an inner opening. It was a strange sensation. I was spending less time doing, doing, doing and more time just being. And umm, yeah, it felt incredibly awkward and uncomfortable.

The Doer in me quickly started guilting me, judging me for not being busy enough, loving to brand this new clearer space as “laziness”, scaring me about money and/or my inability to create it, if I wasn’t overwhelmingly swamped. But mostly the new void I had created– with the intention of finding inspiration there– was utterly and painfully unfamiliar to me. And sitting still in it? Wow… that was asking a lot.

So I scrambled to fill that empty space, telling myself a new story- a bullshit story- that I had actually created the void so that I could DO MORE. Yes, that’s it! More, more, more!

Blank space for recycling old creations, for making more happen, more events, more commitments, more money, fill, fill, fill that empty space…. quickly! Before I die. before I die of what? Insignificance? Before I die of non-productivity? Before I die of invisibility or obsolescence?

Okay, that may be a little melodramatic, but here’s the fact of the matter. I know I have reached a place in my life and work where surrender and pause is as necessary as winter is to spring.

I have been in nonstop output mode for the majority of the last decade. I have reached a point (I’ve been reaching it for a year or so, reluctantly) where a “creativity sabbatical” of sorts is required, where I can sit and be, and actually allow the blank space, without the mad, panicked reflexive impulse to fill it up.

Ohhh, this is no easy feat for me. As an entrepreneur who has been constantly creating “something out of nothing” in order to create my living, this “nothing” seems to begging for “something”.

And as “Destiny” (or God, as I sometimes also like to call her) should have it, I’m reading a most amazing book, Sacred Success: A Course in Financial Miracles by Barbara Stanny, (as quoted from, at the beginning of this post) and happened to fall on the chapter “Receptive Surrender.”

This entire chapter seems to be speaking directly to me, with its perfectly perfect timing, and oh, am I listening!

“Our frightened Ego, tasked to protect us, needs perpetual motion as a pretense for control. The Soul however, as our guide to Greatness, requires stillness so we can hear the secrets it yearns to share…” 

And then, she goes on to say this…

“Without endless activity, we’re left with empty space. And empty space gives way to painful feelings. Fear, self-doubt, anger, jealousy,shame– all those viscous demons we’ve been artfully dodging– will inevitably rear their ugly heads. Rather than experience the pain, we fill up the spaces.”

I can say that I am not consciously aware of any painful feelings that I have been avoiding. I am mostly pretty courageous when it comes to feeling it all. But I bet there’s something there for me. I bet there’s something that needs to be felt. And creating a clearing for it will lead me to the other side.

Then there’s this yumminess…

“Buried under the intensity of raw emotion lies a cornucopia of wisdom, freedom and ultimately, healing. On the other side of fear is where your power (and pleasure) lies.”

Yummy, right?

So here is my promise, to you, to myself. I will stay in this uncomfortable space, trusting in its divine perfection, and I’m learning how to be very choosy with how I fill my time, what I output, how I input, and mostly focus on being receptively surrendered.

What does that mean for you?

Less events on the calendar. Maybe less blogs or emails. Less yes and more no, perhaps.

But I dare you to join me, in whatever way your soul calls you to do so, to create some space in your own life, as a sacred surrender, receptively awaiting further instructions, to be with the void, to allow it, to stay in it, without the impulse to fill it with busyness and activity, and see what happens.

I will continue with private and group coaching, as well as the Burlesque Experience. But that might be all, for now. And I am willing to be okay with that. (Not that I’m okay with it yet, but I’m willing to be.) When the waves of guilt round “laziness” or panic around money arise, I will remind myself that I am receptively surrendered, and I need not worry or fret in the presence of the void.

It’s where the next me is gestating.

It’s where the next chapter of my life’s work will be born.

I have no idea what that will be. (Gulp!)

But I (think I can) be okay with not knowing.

And I absolutely trust, without a doubt that whatever it is, it’s going to be great…

if I can stop avoiding the void.

 

 

2 Comments

  1. Thank you. This speaks to me so strongly. I too, guilt myself when not busy, busy, busy.

    I needed to hear this.

    Blessings,
    Faelind

    • Thank you, Faelind! Something I have to rein in and do some more healing around, no doubt, as it continues to come up! Glad it spoke to you! XO

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