Working Through What Comes Up
June 29, 2011 § 7 Comments
Another analogy from the weekend that’s stayed with me was David’s observation of the practice’s effects in our lives. He said (and I’m paraphrasing), “(By committing to a daily practice) It’s like you’re an African tribe and you’re praying for rain, doing everything for it to rain: beating drums, dancing, singing, etc. And then it happens, it finally rains, and you go ‘WHOA! Wait a minute, that’s not what I want after all.’ We do the practice because we want change, and when change happens, we want to run away when we need to stick with it and work through what comes up.”
In my life, it’s fear that’s coming up and more often than not I find myself wishing it didn’t even though I know that this is part of the process, the catharsis of letting go.
In the past few months I’m beginning to reap the fruits of my work for the past year and a half or so. Getting recognized and having my name out there, having people approach me to do work and interviews, etc. Funnily enough, when it started happening, I was elated but also scared and dreading it. As if I was rejecting the recognition I was previously striving so hard for. Counter-intuitive isn’t it? Running from this ‘rain’ that I wanted to happen, fueled by a fear of failure, of disappointing expectations. I’m an anxious person, always worrying about what others think about me, so the recognition I’ve been getting is as much a source of stress as it is a joy. I find myself in a place of discomfort, seeing the structure of fear beneath each thought and impulse to shy away from opportunities that present themselves. A paralysis of sorts has set in – I’m afraid that my next image will not be as good as the last one and feel crippled in my creativity. I see all this happening and I don’t quite know what to do except to observe it and keep practicing, and maybe, it will go away.