Fluidity Is (for Some of Us) More Effective than Focus
I work fluidly, moving in tandem between painting and writing, yoga and client calls.
Last year I mused:
“I often do my best work in tandem, moving back and forth fluidly between projects: paint & outline signature talk; yoga & write copy; hold a client call bookended by painting. In fact, the only time I don’t work best this way is in honing a final draft of written work.”
I burn a lot of food because writing comes when I cook. Or when I re-paint kitchen chairs. Or settle in to watch a movie. Or fold laundry.
It’s not multi-tasking: I’m not trying to get three things done. I’m not even trying to “make good use of time.” It’s the way I most naturally work—in flow and in motion.
This is, come to find out, the nature of creativity.
Neuroscientists have documented what they call incubation in the process of creativity: a break in work, often turning to a different task, that incubates an idea or problem without directly thinking about it and leads to original, unusual or deeper insight. (The “best ideas in the shower” adage.)
Amazingly, spatially-related tasks during an incubation period benefited verbal fluency and creativity and verbally-related tasks during an incubation period benefited spatial acuity and creativity. So, no wonder I attribute my best work to moving in tandem between the two. (Right now, I am dying to get back to painting. . .but we’ve got to build the studio first.)
But it’s not just about variety. My rhythm literally has motion to it. I am in flow physically when I am in flow creatively, moving from standing to sitting, sitting to standing, from one side of the room to the other. Moving on the mat. Pacing while I talk. Stepping in close to the canvas and stepping back for a wider view.
The movement is not frenetic. It is not unfocused. I do not have ADHD. (Although the fact that it occurs to me to tell you that shows perhaps how “abnormal” our culture finds the creative brain.) The movement is not even random. It is a dance in the rhythm of my nature.
I have this relationship with anything I create—anything that goes from energy to form—art, business, money. It’s probably most accurate to say that
I have this relationship with all of Life.
It was a surprise to me (and yet not) how deeply, primally satisfying it was for me to be mobile. I miss it. I want a place to call home. I want a resting spot certainly. (I actually like a lot of rest and contemplation time.) But from that home, I want to be mobile. Not go-on-a-vacation mobile, but lifestyle mobile, and at a particular rhythm, say, 3 locations a year rather than the move-every-other-day pace of our cross country trip.
What was more of a surprise to me was how easily money flowed. We had everything to support us on our journey. We had everything to support us in our move. And then, the travel ended, the house projects were finished, and the weather got too cold for kayaking (yes, already!)—and stagnation set in. Money coming into my business slowed way down. There was a swell and then a tension, a waiting at the crest of the wave.
What was it? I wondered. What was missing? What shifted? Trust? Detachment? Mercury retrograde? (New business always goes dark in Mercury retrograde. Maybe because my financial flow is related to my voice. I literally drew a throat chakra for a money symbol during a shamanic journey last year.)
But the key piece that strikes me now, that I’d never considered before, is this: I stopped being in motion.
Motion is my very nature.
Through my 15+ years of practicing of yoga, I’ve studied the Ayurvedic doshas—our divine chemistry and biology, our innate biological and physiological nature—and what I’ve learned is that you want to be the nature of your dosha. Embody the very best of it. Climb inside it. Tune yourself. So it’s dance is your dance.
My first recognition of this—after nearly a decade of exposure to Ayurveda and the doshas—was during a physical practice for each dosha I filmed with yoga teacher Alison Mahadevi Hastings for The Yoga of Entrepreneurship Satsang. The practices were influenced by the work of Mukunda Stiles, author of Ayurvedic Yoga Therapy. And they called us into the nature of each dosha—at its best—allowing us to feel it, to understand it physically, and embody it.
The more I’ve worked with this understanding of my dosha—that I am to attune to it, not hedge against it coming unhinged—the more I’ve come to understand that the “goal” is not to counterbalance your dosha, but to become it incarnate—because you are it incarnate. It’s qualities are most natural to you—and how you are at your best.
I am a Vata dosha. One of it’s key qualities is: it is in motion. It is movement. Vata is responsible for all movement: all movement in the body, and all movement in nature. So, part of my innate nature is to be in motion.
Movement, variety and creativity are all qualities of the Vata dosha. What traveling, moving and renovating did for me was put me in sync with it. They attuned my external experience with my internal nature. Working in tandem does the same thing.
Any fruitful relationship I have with creativity, business and money is fluid, detached, curious and indirect—consistent with my most natural way of being and working. Watching this, experiencing this, has been fascinating. I’m excited to share it with you, because it is contrary to (nearly) all the messages I’ve ever received and (nearly) everything I’ve ever been taught about work, business, and money: focus, consistency, results-oriented, directness.
I invite you into an exploration of the characteristics of your relationship with money, energy and exchange, as it flows from your innate nature.
I’ll be hosting 3 weekly live exploration calls, Friday’s at 2 ET:
October 21: Your Energetic Foundation: Security, Power & Flow
October 28: Your Innate Nature
November 4: Your Right Relationship with Resources
We’ll continue the conversation between calls in a private FB group.
This exploration is experiential. We’ll use movement and sound, art and words.
I invite you to explore. I invite you to experiment. I invite you to embrace your own unique relationship with money and exchange.
There’s no email opt-in. Just click here to join the private FB group.
There is no charge. There is, however, an exchange. (After all, that is what we’ll be exploring: the energy and forms of exchange.) I ask that you share with me what the exchange is for you: what are you contributing and what are you receiving.
This is a deepening of my work and a deepening of our relationship. I’m not selling you into a program. We’re literally exploring where this takes us.
Click here, and I’ll see you in the FB group.