Have you ever had a great idea for a story or novel... you jot down a few notes, you put it on one of your backburners -- your To Do List, your One Day | Some Day List, your Once Something Else is Done or Completed or Perfect List -- and then, some months later, around the time you originally imagined Some Day to be, you discover it faced-out on a New Releases shelf in hardcover glory, bearing another author's name? Or you're flipping channels on TV and there it is -- Your Story -- in a "Coming Soon" trailer, or maybe even the scenes playing out before your eyes...
You'd swear to God someone has read your mind; someone has telepathically "stolen" your idea. It's not exactly the same, but it's SO close, so similar -- enough that your own "original" idea would now -- Some day, One day, if and when you get around to it -- look like an obvious derivative.
Maybe you've had one of those inspired moments of conversation where you speak out loud to your witness (your friend, your partner, whoever's with you at the time it comes through):
- "Hey, wouldn't it be cool if..."
- "You know what Someone should make?..."
- "Somebody needs to invent..."
- "... Wouldn't that be awesome?"
It seems absolutely surreal how soon after naming it that you run across your invention, already patented and for sale.
Maybe you are the one who's telepathic, picking up on someone else's Big Idea, like it's being broadcast across some common airwaves.
Those of you who have researched potential business names and web domains know the frustration of just how many people have already beat you to that perfect name or concept. With some, you're not surprised -- they seem inevitably destined to exist; if not already, then soon. But with others you can hardly believe it.
"What are the chances?!" You wonder out loud.
It's one thing for a dot-com to be registered; it's even more disappointing when you travel to that page and find a fully developed site, business, or collection of content. Beyond new, beyond born -- already breathing, alive and kicking, walking and talking, all grown up, fully mature.
Six months before I started Shift Your Spirits, I showed a few pieces to an editor friend over lunch. This was before I'd decided to do a blog; I wasn't even sure at that time that it wasn't a book outline... He said "It feels like some kind of column; what would you call it?"
My guides whispered, without hesitation "Shift Your Spirits." It probably sounded like I'd given it some thought. I had not. I heard it. I brought it through, automatically, instantly, hearing it tumble out of my own mouth in the next breath.
Three people have contacted me to say that they felt compelled to Google the phrase "Shift Your Spirits" for no apparent reason; that's how they discovered my site.
On the one hand, this can be such a disheartening experience. It pains me to even think about the projects I've "lost" to some other, faster, more productive creative channel. The Muses must be fickle -- even promiscuous -- shopping their seeds and sparks around the ether... (In publishing, this scattershot manifestation technique is called simultaneous submissions and it's usually unacceptable when we want to do it.) You might begin to wonder just how special and creative you really are... were you chosen or polled? Do the Muses say it to all their prospective partners -- "You're the only one"? After all, it's Man who invented arranged marriage, reproductive science, and selective fertilization -- Nature just likes to spray.
Has this always been the case, but the speed and spread of our communication technology only now makes it so apparent? For hundreds (thousands?) of years there were only a few Books and a handful of authors to physically bring them through. Now our Story doesn't require oral history, it has millions of mobile mouths and feeds.
But then there is a Bright Side -- there are other, more positive, potentially wondrous aspects to consider:
- The awareness that you DO receive great ideas. Good enough that someone else has been willing to invest creative blood, sweat, and tears, too. If nothing else, you should feel affirmed by that.
- The awareness that there is a Collective Psychic Wisdom, and you ARE connected to it. You DO have access.
- The awareness that there is a Creative Source, and that you ARE one of its potential vessels.
I feel that Ideas choose to incarnate, much as any form of Spirit. I feel that an Idea Whose Time has Come, will come. I may be called to be the channel through which it makes its way into the world; or you may be. Or that Ideas Whose Time Has Come may be beating down all the potential doorways at any given moment, and many of us may rise in the night to answer and let them in.
I feel Creativity ascends, and Consciousness evolves, beyond competition toward increasingly complex collaboration.
Who knows what combination of factors makes us, as individuals, the perfect vessels -- maybe our intellectual frames of reference, our training, our preparation, our practice; maybe where we live, or when we occupy that space. Serendipity, synchronicity... Being in the Right Place, at the Right Time, you may be called.
Do you answer? And having answered, do you commit to nurture your inspiration? Do you commit to bring creation through? Or do you only half-rise to the brilliant idea that wakes you at the Monk's Hour? Do you falter soon after your initial enthusiasm?
I do believe that an Idea Whose Time Has Come will find a way into the world. These ideas are not Mine or Yours; they are Ours. I don't feel nearly so responsible for Making Anything as I feel responsible as a parent for the Thing That Will Be Made. (I can only imagine how those of you who have human children must feel in this regard... Interestingly, the facets of your chart that indicate your likelihood to reproduce human beings also govern your creativity in general; there is really no distinction.)
Make Me a Vessel The one prayer I say before every reading I perform, or every message I voice, or every story that I tell is "Make me a vessel."
In place of your aspirations "I want to..." reframe your intentions with this simple request of Spirit -- "Make me a vessel." The power and grace that can accompany this commitment replaces the most industrious To Do List. The wonder of it is quite humbling, really, even as it makes magic of your life.
Image by Curious Expeditions via Creative Commons on Flickr
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