Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Releasing blocks to creativity - 3

Conversations with Failure - Part 3

I had gone past avoidance, almost without realizing it. I was in deep relationship with failure. It felt like we were exploring each other intimately. And curiously, the more I explored failure, the more I learned about myself.

I learned about how the trappings of success can be so seductive, that they lure us into doing whatever it takes to be successful. Unfortunately, for me that meant staying within a narrow comfort zone to ensure that I would keep on being ‘successful’. Paradoxically I was limiting myself, and my experience of life, for this kind of success. I also got to glimpse another reality. One where there was such an expanse of experience, unfettered by fear or limitation. It was this glimpse that hooked and reeled me in completely. There was no going back.. I had to get to the other side and roam free.

There was a distinct change in the tone of my conversation with failure from this point on. I was no longer resisting and constricted. Check out this snippet:

Me: I am learning a lot and it’s not easy by any means but I want more.
Failure: I see that.
Me: I want to go to that place of freedom, of fearlessness.
F: Great, tell me more about that.
Me: I’m scared you know, but I want you to shine the light on the darkness, the hidden stuff inside me – because I can see that that’s what is keeping me from that field of freedom. And somehow all this is a relief.
F: Go on.
Me: Well I’m thinking it’s kind of paradoxical. I mean I am willing to face fear in order to be fearless! Having glimpsed the possibility to be free has given me courage.
F: What will you do with this courage?
Me: It’s more like what the courage is doing to me…
F: Yes. That’s good.
Me: I feel open, and receptive. And I am writing again. And I feel this surge of creative energy. And it’s all coming through me almost as if something else was driving it.
F: Fantastic. So where will this lead you, do you think?
Me: I don’t know.
F: Maybe you’ll be a successful writer?
Me: Maybe… Oh I see what you’re doing. You’re testing me aren’t you?
F: Let’s say I am. Do you mind?
Me: Not at all. Bring it on.
F: What is driving you now? Is it still success?
Me: Wow. (Long pause) Yes, but a different kind of success. I want to be who I am, unreservedly. And I sense that it will be a journey of self-discovery. In other words, I accept that it will be a process and will take time.
F: Good. What if you look like a failure even as you are on this journey?
Me: How do you mean?
F: Well, what if you don’t have much money, status, prestige and whatever else you think constitutes success?
Me: I don’t know. What I do know is that I can’t be chasing after those anymore, not for their own sake. They don’t hold value for me on their own, without the freedom to be me.
F: You’ve come a long way kid.
Me: Thank you. And I mean thanks to you.
F: What about me then?
Me: Huh?
F: How do you feel about me?
Me: Well, I don’t love you. But I value you immensely. Does that make sense?
F: Sure does. So when I call on you again, you’ll let me in?
Me: Oh, I will welcome you in. And it’s great to know that if for some reason I don’t, then you’ll still find your way in anyways! Please keep it that way.
F: Deal.

I still have conversations with failure. And I learn something new every time. But the lessons are getting gentler and milder. I sometimes wonder whose door my friend is crashing open right now…


Copyright 2006 Ameeta Kaul


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