Romancing the Struggle

romancing the struggleIn my work with creative and healing business owners, I’ve noticed that some people really enjoy experiencing struggle. Where none exists, they’ll create some to ensure there is plenty to go around.

For these people, struggle makes them feel more alive, satisfying their need to complain, push against someone/something, and ‘have an enemy’ to confront.

Some are wired this way, and those who are not have subconsciously succumbed to the belief that there is no other choice—and they don’t question that thinking. Fighting amid the struggle allows them to justify the belief that nothing good comes without a struggle.

Romancing the Struggle

I know because a while back, I was among the unconsciously struggling group. I didn’t enjoy the struggles, but everyone around me was parroting that ‘life is hard’, ‘making money is a struggle’, ‘we all have to settle; no one can get what they want’. I listened to and believed their complaints and worries and fears, and never once did I question those thoughts.

At the time, I didn’t even realize I had a choice! I didn’t realize my own power to create struggle or create ease.

It took me a long time to realize that life was merely mirroring what I claimed to be true. I not only had a choice, but I could question the ‘life is a struggle’ thinking, and I could make room for ease and flow in my business…and every area of my life.

Bottom line: Your life and your business are only as difficult as you decide they are.

We decide each time we observe ‘what is’ and label it ‘the way it will always be’. Or observe others in struggle and claim ‘that will happen to me, too’. We can decide something different at any point, but only we can do it for ourselves.

If you enjoy romancing the struggle, then I’ll leave you to it. This post isn’t really for you, so you’re excused..carry on and have fun.

Ready to Start Romancing the Ease?

Here’s what you can do if you are ready to experience more ease and flow:

1. Decide to let go of your struggle romance. – Nothing can change until you decide you are ready to let that go. Write your struggle romance a break-up letter. Thank it for what it has taught you, and tell it goodbye. Then, get ready to make a new commitment. From time-to-time, you may benefit from re-committing to this decision when you find yourself slipping back into bad habits of struggle.

2. Make a new commitment. – Intend to experience more ease, flow, fun, and joy. Some people find it supportive to craft and use affirmations every day reminding them of that ease, which helps them move forward. Become a regular visitor to Easy World. Visualize the ease you’d like to experience. Tune into how you’d like to feel when all is said and done.

3. Question your thinking. – Once you’ve made the decision and commitment, start consciously choosing to shift your thinking into alignment.

What’s ‘in alignment’ mean?
• Thoughts that feel good are in alignment with committing to more ease and flow.
• Conversely, thoughts that feel bad are not in alignment with committing to more ease and flow.

When you find yourself spinning on a subject, getting caught in struggle, look at the underlying belief and apply The Work: Is this true? Can I absolutely be sure it’s true? How do I feel when I think this thought? Who would I be without this thought?

4. Increase your awareness of the physical feelings in your body. – The body compass can tell us way more than our mind, if we’re willing to listen to the messages. If you are stuck in your brain, chances are very good that you are obsessing rather than resolving your struggles.

Get still, become aware of your breath, feel your arms, hands, legs, feet, chest. Notice your heartbeat. As you sense your body, the thinking centers of the brain turn off. Notice where the tension is, and let it go. Notice where you feel tight, or have sensations like aches or pains or itching. Awareness of these sensations is not only healing, but opens space for old, stuck issues to come to the surface. This is an ongoing practice.

5. Find time every day to meditate and relax. – Brain science shows us that our best thinking happens when we’re relaxed, not when we’re stressed. Just 5 minutes a day of relaxed awareness on the breath begins to rewire our brain to be less reactive. There is a reason some successful companies require their executive staff to meditate regularly. You will be amazed by the health and mental well-being benefits of this one step, alone!

6. Look for ways to romance the ease already existing in your life. – Some people find it helpful to keep a gratitude journal, or an evidence journal, or a hybrid of both, to record the good, the ease, the miracles showing up in their life…and it’s a good way to become more aware of the ease already flowing.

7. Talk, Write, Think, and Act As If. – Put your new story of ease and flow into practice. Talk about the ease in your life. Write about the ease and flow. Think about (and give thanks for) the ease and flow in your life and business. Walk, drive, eat, and behave like a person who is immersed in ease. Be the business owner who embraces ease.

Now it’s your turn: Are you ready to let go of the struggle and begin romancing the ease? Have you already made the shift? Share your stories below…

Image credit: niserin

Is Your Business on the Creative Plane?

The Creative Plane is felt and known

In the Autumn of 2006, I was contacted by a Silicon Valley design firm, a potential client, to work on a new project. They requested that I go with them to one of their client’s offices to meet with the executives.

Once we entered the conference room, there was one thing that was really clear to me: The executives at this company neither liked or agreed with each other on a number of topics. Although they were not speaking when we entered the room, they were glaring at each other and the energy of the room was thick with un-ease.

After the introductions, the discussion began about what kind of help they needed and how we (my potential client and myself) could be of service to them. As they began to speak, and disagree with each other, I had a flash of insight.

To explain this insight, I first have to mention that over that previous summer, I had watched the movie The Secret (first version with Esther Hicks) and purchased several DVDs for myself and family. I had the chance to re-watch the move and the DVD extras that included a conversation about Wallace Wattles’ book, The Science of Getting Rich, which inspired the movie.

In his book, Wattles explains the difference between the Competitive Plane and the Creative Plane. The competitive plane is contentious, fraught with difficulties and antagonism, while the creative plane is heart-centered, filled with ease, focused on service and win-win solutions for all involved. When I read this part of the book, I could see it as two overlapping dimensions of reality. Both are invisible, yet undeniably felt in our bodymind and heart. We get to choose which one we play in.

You see, we are ALWAYS creating…whether we are conscious of it, or not. Whether we believe in the Law of Attraction, or not. We are creative beings and the Universe is always assisting us in creation based on our vibration. Wattles knew this, and he knew that those who choose to run their business in the Creative Plane look for ways to be of service and benefit greatly from that choice:

Wallace Wattles wrote:

“When you enter upon the creative plane of thought you will rise above all these things and become a citizen of another kingdom.

But remember that your thought must be held upon the creative plane; you are never for an instant to be betrayed into regarding the supply as limited, or into acting on the moral level of competition.

Whenever you do fall into old ways of thought, correct yourself instantly; for when you are in the competitive mind, you have lost the cooperation of the Mind of the Whole.”

—excerpted from The Science of Getting Rich, pg 145, 1915  edition

So, back to this contentious business meeting in the conference room and the insight I received…

As the executives resumed fighting among themselves, I realized they were all (unconsciously) playing in the Competitive Plane! As I sat there observing them, I consciously CHOSE to be in the Creative Plane. Although I said nothing, I changed my own energy from what I was feeling in the room to one of appreciation, and I wrote on my note pad “Creative Plane”, establishing my commitment and as a reminder of where I was choosing to be.

Within moments, the heated argument settled down, and one of the executives turned to me for input. From there, I expressed ideas that bridged the ideas expressed by the executives in the room. They began agreeing, nodding their heads, and I felt the shift in energy in the room. I knew, in that moment, that they had been receptive to my suggestions because I was speaking to them from within the Creative Plane. They might not have been able to articulate that, but they clearly felt it…and were responding accordingly.

By the time we left, we not only had consensus, but the energy of the entire project had shifted to one of cooperation and satisfaction.

Abraham has often said that it only takes ONE positively focused and clear individual to shift the energy of thousands. On that day, in that conference room, I was the one who chose to shift the energy.

When you have business meetings, make business decisions, and take actions in your business, are you functioning in the Competitive or the Creative Plane?

Here’s how you know from which plane you are operating:
• If you and others around you are in the Competitive Plane, people are jockeying for position and recognition. Everyone’s feeling un-ease, decisions are difficult, frustration abounds, and the whole experience is draining.

• If you and others around you are in the Creative Plane, everyone feels heard, ideas are flowing, there is a fun feeling of cooperation, ease abounds, decisions are easier, and the whole experience is uplifting.

Just from reading these descriptions, chances are good that you’ll recognize where you spend most of your business time. If the Creative Plane is sounding a lot like ‘Easy World’, you’re right…both are an alternate reality where everything is easier and more relaxed.

If you are spending more time in your business in the Competitive Plane than you’d like, and reading this post has encouraged you to consider shifting into the Creative Plane, it’s easier to do than you might think.

A. Start with the clear decision to operate in the Creative Plane. It sounds simple, but making the decision is part of the shifting process, and it sends a strong signal to the Universe that you are changing course. When you really make this decision, it makes it easier if/when you are tested to remain in the Creative Plane.

B. Find the feeling in your heart of love, appreciation, and enthusiasm for your business, and everyone affected by your business including your clients, your vendors, business/joint venture partners. Let the positive feeling for your business and all the people it touches overflow in your heart.

C. Know that you are in the Creative Plane when you are functioning from your heart, then ask yourself: What could I do in this moment to be of greatest service?

Whatever answer you receive, do it even if the answer surprises you. The answer to this question might be solving an existing problem, or it might be something like ‘go meditate’, or ‘take a walk’, or ‘take a nap’, or ‘call that customer and offer them an olive branch’. When you are in the Creative Plane, even the tasks that previously felt draining will now feel doable and good-to-do in this moment.

Have you had experiences running your business in the Creative Plane? How about struggling with your business in the Competitive Plane? Share your experiences in the comments below…

Image Credit: Composite image created
by Barry-Jansson & Associates, from
images by Igor Goncharenko (sky)
and Mark Grenier (pattern)
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