Saturday, January 10, 2009

Working With Doubt

Last night I had a bout of doubt.  Sounds like something they might advertise a remedy for on TV.  It's a tender raw, spot for me but I'm going to be brave and share it anyway.  I suspect you have your own doubts about things....

It was quiet.  I was sitting alone looking at the recent addition to my art marketing, my Etsy site.  I looked at my site which I set up in mid December and then I started cruising about looking at other people's sites.  In a very short time I was down the dark rabbit hole of doubt.  Alice and I were not drinking tea with the mad hatter, which would definitely have been more fun.  Nope.  I was comparing myself to others and finding myself coming up short.  The self talk included things like," what are you doing, maybe your stuff really is no good, you haven't sold anything.  Lots of people are selling lots of things here. Maybe you're just wasting your time and effort."  Would I ever talk to anyone else like this?  You bet not.  But there I was.

I decided to investigate my doubt which is part of the daily practice my teacher suggests, investigate what's going on in difficult situations.  Steve at fluxlife talked about getting curious about your fear the other day.  So I decided to get curious about my doubt.  Details are important in this investigative process.   What were the circumstances that caused the spore of doubt to arise and flourish, forming this little patch of mental mold?  The physical circumstances were that it was quiet and I was alone.   Thoughts were popping into my head.  (This is the function of the mind to generate thoughts, we get to decide whether we believe them or not!)  Underlying and supporting all this doubt I could see the unspoken expectations.  "Well I've waited long enough, done enough work, it's time for some sales here."  I could  see I was "attached" to a certain outcome based on "expectations" which were fueled by "comparing myself to others".  BINGO... instant formula for doubt which I experienced as a big energy sucker as I sat there.  My mind was telling me stories, (none of them suitable for bedtime) and I was believing them.

So how do you work with doubt?  For starters I could see the self indulgent, lazy quality of the doubt, the habit of doubt.  Oh yes I've gone this way before.  So it required me to do a couple of things.  One was to "grasp my will" as my teacher calls it, to make an effort to do something differently.  I made a conscious choice not to follow those thoughts, not to strengthen the neural pathways of old, unhelpful tendencies.  I thought about "Faith" which is the opposite of doubt.  I needed to remember that this is a friendly universe and that everything that happens is for my good, that there is a bigger picture playing itself out that little me is not aware of.  I needed to remember that I am really not in control (thank goodness!)  I needed to have faith in myself, that I am up for whatever comes to me and that I CAN figure out what it is good to do next and execute it.  

So here I am again with the little meter ticking up toward the faith side instead of the doubt side, remembering to relax into my life and do the next thing that needs to be done with faith and good humour.

This mixed media piece is based on a piece origami paper that I loved and has the following little words printed  on vellum and glued on "All beings are flowers blooming in a blooming universe." It is from a Japanese poem.

1 comment:

  1. This is a lovely post! Your work is beyond beautiful. Your time will be soon;-)