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Show Notes:

Welcome to Hello Rebecca Ray, our collective home for courage, growth, and human to human connection. I’m your host, Dr. Rebecca Ray, human, clinical psychologist, author, and educator. I know only too well how fear, comparison, and self-doubt can stifle your potential. This podcast is all about brave and meaningful living, and how you can make your authentic contribution to the world today and every day.

Lovely one’s welcome to episode number 59, co-creating with the universe. I’m about to embark on writing my next book, deep breaths. It’s always a vulnerable part of the process, when I just start, the idea’s normally been sitting in the back of my head for quite a time, because usually there’s some space between proposing an idea to my publisher, the publisher accepting that idea, and then me actually having to write the book. So it’s all fun and games during that period, when I don’t actually have to put words to paper. But now we’re at the stage where I have a blank page in front of me, and I need to do something about the fact that I signed a contract. And there is a book that needs to be written another book.

Now, I want to get a little woowoo today, because I used to hold all the responsibility on my shoulders for coming up with all the ideas when I created, whether it was writing a book or writing a piece of content, or coming up with a new product, usually all of those things, of course, writing, writing a book that is, but all of those things in requires some form of writing from me. And believe it or not, my brain is just super lazy, it doesn’t actually love the task of writing, despite the fact that that is pretty much my job now. So what I’m paid to do, I am very lucky, my 10 year old self would be jumping for joy if she knew this. And I’m always excited to be able to say that. But what I also want you to know is that, that doesn’t necessarily mean I absolutely love every step of the process. I used to make it a much, much more difficult process for myself by holding all the responsibility for coming up with ideas on my own shoulders. Now, you might be thinking Beck, this sounds a bit weird considering it’s, you signed up for it, you want to write the book, so yes, you’re the one that’s got to come up with ideas unless you plagiarise from someone else, which is absolutely not okay and not what I’m about to do. But let me explain I read, there were a couple of things that I read in my early days of writing books that really made a difference to me and still do to this day, to the point where I can write a book now without having some form of emotional meltdown halfway through like I used to. Now the process is still a small roller coaster, but it’s not the theme park of emotions that it used to be. And I put much of that down to these ideas. So what I want to do is explain these ideas to you today, and then offer you some reflection points to help you get started. If you’re also a creator out there, no matter what form of art is yours.

Now, the first idea that I came across was via Steven Pressfield, I read a book called The War of Art. He wrote that book, I’m not sure what year now, I don’t think it’s a recent book at all. And in that book, he talks about the muse. Then I also read Liz Gilbert’s Big Magic, I loved it so much. I read it twice. And in that book, she talks about the creative genius. Now both of these things are entities that we can imagine inside or outside of ourselves, to relinquish some of the emotional attachment and heavy cognitive responsibility of having to generate artistic inspiration. Not to mention the risk of judgement from ourselves and others that comes with the task of creating something. And it’s using this concept that has been transformative for how I write now. So instead of taking all the pressure on my shoulders to have to come up with the ideas, I very much use this idea that there is a part of me inside myself or sometimes I imagine it visually outside myself, whether we call it the muse, whether we call it the genius, whether we call it the universe, that will bring me the ideas that I need in order to be able to create the best book that I possibly can. Now for you, it might be the best painting, or it might be the best piece of pottery, or it might be the best form of crochet, whatever it is, that is your art. Sometimes it could also be therapy, you could be a mental health professional that provides therapy for people, you could be a coach that holds space for people, that’s also a creative endeavour. And it can be really helpful to imagine this part of yourself that you have access to that can bring inspiration to you, so that you don’t need to sit down and bring all the inspiration yourself, instead, you can trust that perhaps a little bit woowoo perhaps there’s something out there that can come to you at the right time, with the information that you need, with the tilt of your brush that you need, with just the right Mm hmm. That your client needs at that time. And you are simply the vessel for that process. So this is what I do. I now sit down when I go to write, I say a prayer to my creative genius, I often just shorten it to the genius. And I set this prayer up to be able to then go through the process of being able to create from a place of joining. Joining with the universe, joining with whatever ideas are out there that are waiting to be born through me.

Now let me make this a little more tangible by telling you what my prayer is. Goes a little something like this, actually goes exactly like this. For any of you that know that Carl Baron skit. I won’t go into it now. I can’t say it like him. But a very funny comedian, for those of you that are wondering who I’m talking about Australian comedian called Carl Baron. So my prayer to my creative genius happens like this, I sit down at my desk, I turn my computer on and I have this prayer sitting on my desk ready for me to say, I light a candle simply because I’m really stimulated by pleasant smells, I find them really motivating. Lemongrass and lime is one of my favourite scents. And then I take a couple of deep breaths. And then this is the prayer that I say and I will actually say it out loud. I don’t just read silently. I actually say this quietly, to the genius wherever that genius might be, perhaps just fluttering around me in a way that I can’t see. Today, in this moment, I have shown up. I release all attachment to the outcome and bring openness and willingness to the process of creating. I know I am not alone as I create. I invite my genius to join me here at any and all points throughout the session. I know you know better than I do. And I am a willing vessel for your ideas. And I invite my ancestors to send me their love, belief, tenacity, courage and humour to support me. I release all perfectionism. I release the desire to have all the answers before I start. I give permission for the creation of this book to unfold as it needs to. I trust that I am the person that needs to write this book because my voice is necessary. I trust that what lands on the page today is what’s needed for the greater purpose of birthing this book. I am safe. I am safe to create. I have time. I have time to create. I am where I need to be. I am where I need to be to create. And that’s my prayer to my genius.

In the show notes, this prayer will be included and you are more than welcome to use it and adapt it for whatever creative process that you encounter on a day to day basis, whatever your art is. What it allows me to do is to remember that it’s not just me that has to do this, I don’t need to carry that responsibility on my shoulders. Now, you might also want to engage with your genius, or the muse or the universe, whatever you want to call your source of inspiration. And I want to leave you with some really helpful questions that can enable you to connect in with that inner voice or feeling or nudging. I’ve done this when I’ve been unsure about what the books going to look like. I’ve also done this when I’ve hit brick walls, a third of the way through, halfway through, nearly all the way through the book, it doesn’t matter. Brick walls show up invariably, at some point, usually at some point in every single chapter, actually. And some of these questions can be incredibly useful. I don’t use all of them at once. But in this list might be the question that you’re looking for to be able to activate your inspiration. Question one, what would you like to tell me today? Two. How can I support us in this creative endeavour? Three. What have you been trying to tell me that I’ve not yet heard clearly? That one’s particularly useful if you can be stubborn like me, and don’t want to hear what your intuition is saying. Four. What do I need to be reminded of to feel safe during this process? Five. Which direction should we go next? Six. What is missing from this project that I need to include? Seven. Who will this creativity serve? Eight. Why do you believe in me? A really, really important question, because sometimes your muse will come up with a whole series of answers, about your strengths and about your skills and about your talents, that you won’t hear from yourself. But when it comes from a place of inspiration, it can be easier to hear it. Nine. Please give me a sign that I’m on the right track, you can then choose what the sign that is. So you can ask inspiration to send you a butterfly or to send you a particular coloured flower, or to send you, I don’t know, whatever it is a dragonfly, or a coin that you find on the ground. And ten. Do I need to rest right now or keep going. And this is for those of you who have very defined needs for rests like I do, and also have very clear struggles sometimes with that need for rest.

So if you’re like me, I’m not actually made to work nine to five, five days a week. It’s just not how my body’s made. It’s certainly not how my brain is made. If I have to do something laborious or effortful from my brain like writing, then I’ve really only got about two to three good hours in me in the day, and those hours normally occur in the morning. And so sometimes, though, in the morning, even I don’t feel particularly motivated to write and that question can help me check in with is rest required? Have I been ignoring my rest needs? Or do I actually need to push through at this time, which is important for me as well, because sometimes I like to cop out. So those questions can be really useful for helping you to engage with your inspiration.

Now, I just want to remind you of a few things to note as you engage with your inspiration, just watch for any answers that you receive from your part of inspiration, piece of inspiration, your muse, your genius, the universe, whatever you want to call it. Watch for any answers that you receive, that you want to argue with. That’s usually a sign that you’re trying to be the boss of the process and take control over it, you know, kind of white knuckled grip. I was always in that place when I first started convinced that I knew better and I must know the answers from the very start. And what that did was it really blocked me from allowing the process to unfold as it needed to in which case whenever I leave it space to be able to do that, it’s always less effortful. So it’s a more beautiful and easier process. I also want you to watch for any answers or messages that you receive that make you feel strong, negative or uncomfortable emotions. That’s really stuff to look at, especially if it triggers resistance in you, and you don’t want to hear it. So for example, when I first started writing and had this kind of white knuckled grip over the process, I would often receive a message that I was meant to be writing this, and I would fight against that with all my might with thoughts like, that’s not true, I can’t write a book, I don’t know what I’m doing who, who on earth is going to want to read this, etc, etc, etc. So I really let my fears argue with my inspiration. And that just kind of muddied the process. So please watch where there’s resistance, because it’s likely that’s the place where you need to allow yourself to relax into the process and understand that you don’t need and nor are you meant to control every part of it. I want you to also be mindful of your level of willingness and openness when you start the conversation with your inspiration because if you go in there with a particular, what we might call already listening, then it can stop you from hearing things that you might need to hear but don’t particularly want to hear. So just make sure that you stay open. I really encourage you to use visual reminder reminders to help you to remember to connect with your inspiration, especially when you’re starting out because this can be a difficult thing to remember.

I have on my desk this tiny little Samoyed figurine. They’re the dogs that look like white fluffy clouds. My nan, my dad’s mum had a samoyed when I was young, and her name was Flossie. Not my nan, but the dog. The dog’s name was Flossie and Flossie was a Samoyed, and I absolutely adored her. And my nan had this tiny little figurine and she passed away when I was about 22 I think, and I’ve had this Samoyed ever since and this Samoyed sits on my desk as a reminder of something bigger than me. It’s a reminder to connect in not only with my ancestors, like my grandparents, but also with inspiration. So I don’t know what it is for you, it could be a post it note something as simple as a post it note on your desk, or it could be a certain crystal or it could be a certain coloured pen or whatever it needs to be for you. To help you remember might be even just a word that you have printed somewhere that reminds you that you can connect into something bigger than you.

And finally, I want you to allow your inner control freak to stand at ease. Because come on, be honest, we’ve all got one. I especially have one. But to really make the most of this process, then it is about letting go, detaching from the outcome and allowing your control freak to just give up for a moment just to let go. And let the process unfold as it needs to. And promise you it’s just so much easier when you do it this way. So if you go to the show notes rebeccaray.com.au/podcast, episode 59. You will find the notes for this particular episode where I’ve got that pray written out and these questions and I really hope that they help you to create next time you sit down or stand up whatever form of art it is that yours takes. I’ll catch you very shortly for the next episode of Hello Rebecca Ray.

Lovely ones. Thank you so much for listening to Hello, Rebecca Ray. If you’ve got something meaningful from this episode, then the most meaningful thing you can do is jump on over to wherever you listen to your podcast episodes and leave a review. Because it’s those reviews that help this podcast stay here. Make sure to subscribe, and if you’re generous enough to share this episode, thank you so much. I love seeing your shares on social media. So please tag me, catch you next time.