ARC: THE ART OF CREATION

The ultimate human attribute is the power to create. We all have the magical ability to envisage possibilities and bring them to life. 

When we are focused on creating our lives or giving our greatest gifts, we are well served by Einstein’s paraphrased advice: “the thinking that got us where we are is not the thinking that will get us where we want to go.” 

If we operate from our established patterns or unconscious beliefs it can be all too easy to function on autopilot, have blinders on our vision and miss amazing possibilities. 

But, bring awareness to limiting patterns or beliefs and the possibility of transcending them occurs. Release them effectively and a new space and new capacity for creation are born. 

We call this process of Awakening Awareness, Radically Releasing and Consciously Creating, ARC. 

You can do it in a moment or it can be an intentional process carried out over longer timescales. In fact, you do it all the time already….we’ve just used a neat little acronym to describe a natural human process. 

The ultimate human attribute is the power to create.

Stop, breathe, listen. What do you want to create?

AWAKENING AWARENESS 

One of the greatest limitations to creation are the limitations we unconsciously impose upon ourselves. These can come from personal experience or from the established norms of our culture. I’ve experienced both. 

Personally, when I was 11, my teacher highlighted that I was singing flat on a couple of occasions. And that was that. For the next decade I crawled into a vocal cave and lived in semi-mortal fear of being heard singing. Still, I would croon at max volume when I knew no one was around!  

Then I fell in love with a singer and realized how much I too wanted to share my voice. I realized it was my old story that was in the way and went to work on releasing it. In the process, new possibilities came to life and within a few years of picking up a guitar, I was the lead singer of a band playing at music festivals. 

I may not have the golden pipes of Frank Sinatra but I have opened up new worlds of self-expression, created countless wonderful friendships, had so many amazing experiences and heightened my confidence. 

On the cultural front, I remember as a 16 year old in France hearing my host parents say over and over, “ç’est pas normal ça!” as if normal was what we should aim for. I instinctively recoiled at the limitations encoded in this oft-repeated phrase, already sensing the truth of Joseph Campbell’s counsel, “where there is a path, it is not your path.” 

When we bring awareness to our personal and cultural beliefs we can choose whether we want to keep living them out – or let them go. The same principle applies to unwelcome emotions, thought patterns, behaviors and so on.  

This brings us to the art of release.  

“where there is a path, it is not your path.”

— Joseph Campbell’s

RADICALLY RELEASING

I first encountered the phrase Radical Release from Arjuna Ardagh in his wonderful book, Better than Sex. I realized this is what I’d been practicing for many years and that it was already a key aspect of what we do with people in our work. 

In essence, to radically release we redirect our focus from a fixation on the beliefs of the mind and their emotion triggering stories, and simply relax into the moment. We bring our attention to our body, senses and energy.  

This process of becoming present and opening to the moment naturally dissolves internal tensions. The story or belief, the thinking and attitude that we are releasing may continue as an echo of its former self. However, the power of its grip will become feeble, radically diminishing in the light of our embodied presence. 

Among many other techniques, we teach a core practice called Open Center that works magnificently for moving from contraction to expansion. When we do this we shrink our thoughts back down to size. 

As we realize that our thoughts or beliefs are only one aspect of a much vaster moment we move from identifying as the contents of our mind to being able to relate to them with a sense of spaciousness. And into this space we can bring our creative power. 

Simply relax into the moment.

CONSIOUSLY CREATING

When we have brought awareness to our unconscious processes and released their grip there is only one thing left to do: create! 

The simplest way of stepping into conscious creation is to be present and ask, “What is being asked of me?” Put more simply, you could simply ask yourself, “What do I want?” 

If you want to explore the process of conscious creation a little more deeply, I love Otto Scharmer’s process of creation called Theory U. ARC closely mirrors Theory U’s three core elements. 

  • Opening the Mind Awakening Awareness 
  • Opening the Heart Radically Releasing 
  • Opening the Will Consciously Creating 

This final aspect of Open Will has profound depth and implications. It points to interbeing or our interdependence. It asks us to transcend the ego and provokes us to be present to the transpersonal dance between self and Self. 

Thinking about it from this perspective, conscious creation can most effectively be approached through questions such as “What seeks to emerge in this situation?” or “What do I truly want taking all factors into consideration?” It also asks us to be deeply present as we listen to our deeper wisdom and to trust our intuitive insights. 

SIMPLE RECAP

So, you’re facing an internal or external challenge or opportunity. 

Step 1: Awaken awareness of the dynamics at play. 

Step 2: Radically release the grip of limiting emotions and thoughts by becoming present to more than the mindstream. 

Step 3: Consciously create by being available to what is being asked of you….then turn your insight into action.