I woke up this morning into a place of pure bliss. The bed covers were cozy, my body was relaxed, and my mind was safe. It was an hour yet before I had to start my day, and I was in no hurry to push it.
As I lay there, simply noticing the peacefulness in myself, thoughts began to emerge with astounding clarity. They brought with them a richness of details, images, patterns, examples, and a kind of whole-body “knowing” in a way that is rarely accessible to me. I was in a state of pure creativity.
I have been here before, and I knew I wouldn’t make it to my coffee cup before 99% of this was gone.
Capturing the clarity of moments like these is an ongoing challenge, even with time and bedside pen and paper. Like a child at Christmas, it is so easy to move in the dream from one enlightenment to the next, to feel it and know it and keep following the threads until it is too much for my mind to hold.
It is so easy to get lost in a dream state and travel through it all until we lose it without capturing a single word. In moments like these, how do we move ourselves – and our creativity – from a place of quiet clarity to one of action where we can write and build on what we have seen without losing the experience of it? How can we keep ourselves from being lost in the dream until we have to just blink open our eyes and start our day?
I believe that in these moments of dreamlike clarity we are at a crossroads and the difference between “using” our wisdom and “losing” the moment is in our own hands. I believe it has to do with focus.
It isn’t enough for us to want to capture and write about an experience or idea. It also requires that we make an intentional shift between the essence of the idea and its usefulness for someone else. Without losing sight of the feeling or the dream, we have to engage our rational mind and ask ourselves, “How can this insight help someone else heal or grow, and how can I best express it to them so they will understand it the way I do?”
When we are in the dream, we need to pick one thread, and instead of following it as far as it will go, take one inch of it – or one mile – or perhaps just the tip and make the shift.
“How can I express this piece of wisdom outside of the dream in a way that will be useful to others?”
Then, bam, all of a sudden there we are, pen in hand, furiously writing!
It is the left brain/right brain skill of the writer, the ability to move like a shaman between two worlds – the intuitive dream state and rational, directed thought – that allows us to write well and with power. It is learning and practicing this shift that allows us to write with ease. And in what seems to be an element of human nature, it is our focus on the reader, rather than ourselves, that propels us into action, takes our words into the larger community, and allows them to work and grow.