When your calling is scary and 3 tips to help you over come your resistance so you can just start

Photo by Ian Schneider.

Photo by Ian Schneider.

Today I have everything and nothing to say. So much has unfolded in my life in the last week.  There are so many things I could write about: the secret tricks of resistance, the gifts of cleaning up my act, the intelligence of the body, the unexpected joy of following a green mono-diet for the last week that was not hard at all contrary to what my mind had to say before I started.

My mind has been flipping between all the options I could write about, not sure which one to choose. So I decided to just start writing and see what emerges.

Sometimes you just have to start and see where you end up.

 The path isn’t linear or set in stone.

All roads lead to Rome. Although in years gone by, pilgrims may have walked the same route to Rome for safety and to access amenities, which is why it became the preferred pilgrimage route in the first place. There are in fact innumerable routes to Rome depending on which way you personally choose to walk. Your path is yours and yours alone. Don’t walk someone else’s (unless you feel called by your soul to do so.)

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I didn’t know I was going to write all that. It just came out as I was typing. See. This is this joy of turning up to a blank page to see what wants to emerge and be expressed.

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Sometimes we think we have to know where we’re going or how to do something or how it’s going to turn out before we start but the truth is we don’t really know until we start.  

So just start with a small step or if a small step is too much just a small movement or gesture.
Find your way.

On the weekend I bought and almost completely devoured Stephen Pressfield’s latest book, The Artist's Journey: The Wake of the Hero's Journey and the Lifelong Pursuit of Meaning upon the recommendation of my women’s circle leader, Grace Funk of Priestess Your Life, who described it asa game-changer.”

 Similar to Grace, I have spent most of my life exploring why am I here? What are my gifts? And in recent years, what is my subject? What is the underlying theme of my writing? Who am I here to serve?

 I realise as I was reading that my writing has dwindled away (again). The poetry has stopped. My instagram posts have a sentence or two at most. Sometimes I journal. I write my weekly blog post…so that’s something.  But overall, I have been writing very little.

I don’t feel inspired.
I have nothing to say.
I have to focus on finalising and marketing my book.
I’m too tired.
I don’t know what I want to write about yet.
I’m not clear on the subject yet.

These are some of my most common reasons…I mean excuses…I tell myself that stop me from writing.

Yes…they stop me from writing which because I tell myself means I stop myself from writing.

 Guess what’s really at play here?

 Resistance. I’d write it in invisible ink if I could because that’s how it often shows up in my life.

Stephen explains that writing or creating requires that we go from Level #1 - our everyday reality into what he calls Level #2 -“that is the Unconscious, the Soul, the Self, the Super-conscious.” You might also think of it as the Universe or unlimited creative field.

 “Resistance is a min-Refusal of the Call” (to adventure, to create, to take a risk or specifically in my case to sit down to the blank page to write.)

 But why?

 It’s simple.

 “The Call is scary,” writes Stephen.

Resistance is “the terror the psyche experiences at the prospect of encountering the Self, i.e. the soul, the unconscious, the superconscious.” 

I’d also offer that the psyche experiences this terror when venturing into the unknown whether it be to go and walk a pilgrimage route on the other side of the world, quit your job without another one to go to, take on any challenge you’ve never done before where you risk failing or change your life in some way that the psyche fears may be irreversible.

Stephen says that the first skill the artist must learn is how to start.  However, he does not tell you how to start. This is something the artist must discover for herself.

 At the end of the day you must discover what works for you but I will share a few things that have worked for me:

1.    When I don’t know what to write about, I ask for inspiration

I discovered this early in my Via Francigena journey. I noticed that I had been receiving writing inspiration constantly as I was walking then one day there was nothing.  I heard nothing.

I asked the universe why I wasn’t receiving inspiration and a small quiet voice said I didn’t ask. So I asked and it soon came flooding in.

To ask is to open to receive.

2.    Grow your creative energy anyway you can

Dance, walk, cook, paint, draw, colour, write, sing, play, walk, take photos, make love, go to an art exhibition or a performance.

Do something that gets you out of your head, that is fun and makes you feel excited.

This weekend I got my easel and paint out for the first time in months and intuitively painted.  When I paint, sometimes I have an idea of what I’m going to paint but it usually changes as I paint, often completely such is the way the creative process works through me. I also “make mistakes” e.g. put paint on in a way that doesn’t match my expectations, but somehow I always find a way to cover it, change it, blend it, correct it, morph it into something new or accept it.

I loved my painting so much, I have called her Mary the Angel and framed her and hung her on the wall behind my desk to reflect back at me my own creativity as I work. I am now super excited to paint more. I even ordered a book on intuitive painting for inspiration and learning. This excitement is flowing over into my writing and other areas of my life.

Here’s Mary the Angel….

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Can you see the luminous lizard creature hanging around her head aura? Well that was unintentional (which you could call a mistake) but as one of the many things lizard symbolises is teaching us that there are untapped powers in us, I think it was divinely intended and created.

3.    Be curious

 High expectations are a killer. Take the pressure off yourself. You don’t have to create something perfect. You don’t have to get it right.

Just start with curiosity and see what emerges and where you end up. Maybe it will be a mess.  Maybe you will fail.

Or maybe it will inspire something else or another part of your life.

Maybe it will be truly amazing.

Maybe that’s the real fear here that your amazingness exceeds what you have previously known/thought about yourself.

You may still feel resistance. Fear may come up.

Just feel it and send it some love.

See if you can find the excitement in your body for creating, make it bigger and bigger in your body so that your excitement is greater than your fear. Your excitement will help you step over the edge again and again.

“The artist is not expressing himself. He is discovering himself.” - Stephen Pressfield

And isn’t that just it? We get focused on outcomes: achievements and progress and getting somewhere and making it some place. But the journey is about discovery and there’s so much to discover in this world, and especially within yourself in the short time we have here on this planet in this life.

I just started writing this blog unsure of my starting point or where I was going and it showed up as I wrote. This also happens to be the longest blog I have written in a long time, which could be good or bad depending on your attention span and/or personal preference [insert cheeky face emoji that doesn’t exist on my laptop keyboard so you’ll have to imagine it.]

In writing this, I have discovered more about myself, primarily that I’m actually quite clear on how to get myself out of resistance. I just needed to write it down to remind myself.

I’m also feeling the creative fire inside my heart burning even more brightly, a combination of writing this blog, creative cooking, and painting on the weekend that has triggered a whole heap of ideas for books and insights and clarity around what I’m here to teach in this lifetime.

 So what do you say? Want a make a commitment to yourself to just start? To have a go? To give it your best shot?

Your adventure, your art, your book, your poetry, your song, your dance, your [fill in the blank] is waiting to come through you.

I hope you’ll say yes.

With love and courage,

Kym

xx

PS If you need some help to overcome resistance, checkout how we can work together on my service page and/or send me an email to kym@kymwilson.com.au or through my contact page.

Riding the wave

Dear ones,

Here, it is Monday once again, and I turn up to this sacred space exactly as I am. I haven’t chosen a topic or sketched out a post or planned anything. I am empty-handed.

Isn’t it funny how we have been conditioned to believe that if we visit a friend we must bring something with us to offer, that it’s not enough to show up exactly as we are, as if our presence, time and attention alone is not a great gift to those around us, that we must always offer something more.

I am learning to trust intimately and on a deeper level this showing up without an agenda or plan: To be quiet and unknowing, unplanned and surrendered. To listen more deeply and surrender the impulse to respond. To wholly know silence as I wrote last week.

It feels raw and edgy because it goes against the grain of so much I have learned about life and business including goals, plans, strategies, schedules, busy-ness, doing, pushing, adding value, having an opinion and how to be successful.

This way of being feels more open, present, receptive and in tune with the world seen and unseen around me, flowing effortlessly and with grace.

When I show up to life without my own agenda or plan, I show up with the ears of my heart listening for what truly wants to be expressed beneath the surface. When I stop judging and posturing and controlling, I can allow what wants to be expressed through me to come through. I show up willing to be aligned to something greater than my self.  Usually I experience a great magic and mystery that I could never plan along with deep contentment in my soul.

So while all of this unfolds and integrates, a small scared part of me wonders how will I ever successfully publish my book if I don’t do the old way of planning, strategising, scheduling, pushing, adding value, and if I don’t keep taking linear steps. But the truth is I’ve been trying to figure out a publishing plan this way for a while now and it doesn’t work for me. I just feel stuck.

I’ve spent a lot of time on and in the ocean thanks to scuba diving and my love of a tropical sea. I have been dumped by big waves and I’ve kicked against strong currents without getting anywhere. To me, bliss is floating on the ocean’s surface for hours or even better, being suspended neutrally buoyant in its blue plane.

The ocean is a powerful and beautiful thing. Merging with it taps you into something so much bigger than your small self and the oneness of all things.

We all have our own paths to walk, our own waves to ride in this life. I have no idea where this current wave I am riding is going, or where or if it will land on shore. I cannot control where the wave wants to go. And I’m not meant to. I’m just here to ride it.

With love and courage,

Kym

xx

The constant inbetween

Dear ones

This week I recommenced a regular walking practice. I call it a practice because I don’t just walk for exercise, I walk to see the world around me slowly on foot, and to invite inspiration for writing as well as for inner knowing and guidance on my life path.

A few nights ago, I left the house a little later than usual, it was very late dusk but not quite nighttime. As I walked I reflected on this particular time of day where it’s not dark, but not light. It’s an inbetween time. And I remembered this poem that I wrote while I was walking the Via Francigena pilgrimage route…

 

You see the road

stretch long before you.

Just as you begin to fall

into despair’s embrace,

you are caught by grace,

set back on your feet,

to do the one thing

you know you can do;

take one step

then one step more.

You are here

where you have

chosen to stand.

The goal is never arriving,

which of course you will

then leave again.

Accept there will always

be a long road,

a coming,

a going.

That stillness you crave

only a temporary possibility.

Let go of the clinging

and the desire

to be other than where you are.

Learn to love this life

in the constant inbetween.

I wrote this poem on Day 15 of my Via Francigena pilgrimage while I was walking from Laon to Corbeny in France. While it was only a 27 kilometre walking day, I felt like I would never make it to Corbeny and that I would be walking forever. To distract myself, I decided that I would write as I walked. I asked for inspiration, opened up a writing app on my Ipad called Textilus and this poem streamed out. With it came a deep peace and acceptance of where I was on my journey and trust that I would arrive when I arrived as I had done for the 14 days I had been walking.

For me, this simple realisation (and re-realisation) of living in the inbetween still brings me much peace and acceptance in my life now. I am inbetween leaving a career and starting a new one but I am filled with peace and faith that I am being guided and supported by life no matter how slowly things seem to unfold.

I hope that this realisation serves you in your life too.

And if you are contemplating a journey such as Via Francigena, I hope you will trust the whispers of your heart urging you to go. The calling is sacred. The insights that are waiting to be revealed to you may continue to serve you for the rest of your life too.

With love and courage,

Kym xx

After the rain comes sun (and an excerpt from my book)

Looking down at the cemetery on the way into Berceto (Italy) on the Via Francigena

Looking down at the cemetery on the way into Berceto (Italy) on the Via Francigena

It’s been a tough 6 weeks with constant stomach pain, and grief and stress all coming up to be loved and healed.

Last weekend my body voiced its need to rest, heavy and lethargic with no desire to go anywhere or do anything. So I rested at home watching a new favourite series, Call the Midwife. I adore Sister Monica Joan with her poetic, mystical, deeply emotional and wise nature.

Contemplating what I would write about today in light of my current challenges, I remembered when I was walking the Via Francigena, how the ever-changing weather and the mud that clung to my boots tested me almost daily.  And so I felt inspired to share some excerpts from my forthcoming book, The Path We Make.

“After the rain comes sun. It managed to break through the clouds for large parts of the day. I welcomed its warmth on my skin, pausing to bask in the simple pleasure of it. Yet after the rain also comes wet grass and mud. Although my map showed that the canal path continued all the way into Châlons-en-Champagne, I followed the guidebook’s detour via Juvigny and trudged through 500 metres of thick, gunky mud that clung to the soles of my boots, gluing my feet to the ground. I hated the mud to the point of repulsion. I hated how it felt under my feet and I hated getting dirty. After stomping along for a time, I was relieved to turn onto a gravel path, but after 900 metres the gravel led to more wet grass and thick mud. The last 100 metres I walked through were a tangled mess of knee-high grass and blackberry bushes. The Red Beasts were wet again and so were my feet. My soles were clumped with mud and my pants smeared grey-brown. I missed the turn onto Rue St Martin that led to another field, but I didn’t mind walking along the hard bitumen for a while longer. At least my feet weren’t getting wetter or coated in more mud. Two kilometres down the road, I turned onto a gravel track back towards the main trail that became four more kilometres of clay and wet grass.

If I had to choose between walking all day in the rain on bitumen roads or walking in the sunshine on muddy wet tracks, I’m not sure which I would choose. They were both short straws: the bitumen punishingly hard, the rain a pain and the mud just plain repulsive. I tried to find something positive about mud and wet grass but couldn’t. It was annoying and gross and that was all. I was so happy when I finally turned back onto the concrete towpath and scraped the mud off my boots with a small stick. I had never spent this much time outdoors with limited shelter, exposed to whatever weather swept through, and with the need to keep moving. Unlike the week I walked through Tuscany in summer, when it was hot and hot only, I was experiencing four seasons almost every day, often numerous times each day, and it was testing my ability to accept what is.”

The Via Francigena pilgrimage tested me deeply and consistently on emotional, physical, spiritual and mental levels.  But for all the challenges, there were many gifts. Here’s another excerpt from my book from when I was walking from Berry-au-Bac to Reims in France. Kermit cloak is the name I gave to my green rain poncho.

“During the day I cursed the weather frequently. Melbourne is renowned for having four seasons in one day, but on this road it was four seasons every hour. Kermit cloak on then off, warm layer off then on again. Repeat, repeat, repeat! As frustrating as the weather was, it had its blessings too. A sudden shower forced me to put Kermit back on and then five minutes later the sun came out scorching, leaving me cursing as I ripped the Kermit off again. I rounded a corner and saw a host of yellow and purple wildflowers glistening in the sun. My cursing turned into cries of amazement.”

Amidst the frustration and trying times can be great beauty. And if there’s no beauty to be seen, don’t lose faith. The weather will eventually change, as will the seasons and the terrain you travel. Keep breathing.

With love and courage

Kym xx

Asking for inspiration and showing up

Asking for inspiration and showing up

It’s 5.43am. Between the gap in curtains the slate grey pre-dusk light mingles with the dark amber glow of the fluorescent street light. A deep silence fills my bedroom, the house, the immediate world around me. But in the distance I can hear a stream of traffic on the freeway already.

I’m not an early riser but this morning, I can’t get back to sleep and my usual tactic of lying still and ignoring my state of sleeplessness until I fall asleep again is not working.

This morning I feel the pull the to get up and write, a pull I haven’t really felt for some months: my blog has remained frozen in time and my newsletters have fallen into silence.

My outer life has been busy in changing ways.

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Rediscovering the thread: an urban pilgrimage

Rediscovering the thread: an urban pilgrimage

"For in their hearts doth Nature stir them so, Then people long on pilgrimage to go."
—Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales

From the silence beneath the noise, I feel it—a tug from the unmet mystery to wander out into the world, and a push from my desire to meet it.

My mind starts trying to formulate a plan: starting and end points, how long and far I want to walk, what time I will leave.

But this call asks for none of that.  It is not about duration, exercise or a final destination. The call just asks me to get out of my chair, get dressed and follow where it leads without needing to understand where, why, how or when.

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Life: a masterpiece of curiosity

Life: a masterpiece of curiosity

“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls.”—Joseph Campbell

At the moment my writing is going through another phase of floating through a snow dome and so I have been quiet on the blog. There has been some significant change in my inner and outer life and more injury so I must simply wait for the mud to settle before I can write about it. However, I feel inspired to share a small timely insight.

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