On Removing Blocks and Creating Space for Clarity
“Although our intellect always longs for clarity and certainty, our nature often finds uncertainty fascinating.” Carl von Clausewitz
My commitment to growth has taken a focused direction. I’m going for a ‘mindset of clarity.’ It has risen to mission status. Clarity is about to be my new best friend. I want to intentionally see it and sit in it, rather than waiting for it to fall on me like a building. I want to intentionally walk into it, rather than stumble over it. I want it to be my new peak experience, rather than riding the waves of life as it unfolds before me. That has been fun, admittedly. And useful. It has built in me a deep and solid resourcefulness and resiliency.
But it’s time to approach my brief appearance on this planet from a new way of being. I’m looking to step into my full-on, unlimited creator-self. My life isn’t going to go on forever of course, so I am declaring that the rest of it is about seeing how far I can go with it. Being a pro at finding clarity is my new priority. Because clarity leads to certainty, certainty leads to determination, and determination results in consistent action-which is what creates!
“Of mystery there is no end. Of clarity, there is precious little.” Leonard Michaels
The what of my mission is simple; get very, very good at continually making space for clarity. If clarity loves a clean slate, a place free from clutter or ‘contaminants’, then vigilance toward clearing the things that block it is what I will have.
Before I set out to clear blocks and make space, I wanted to create a frame for myself around what I mean by clarity. There are 3 types of clarity in my view, each one a different experience, yet each with the potential to be enormously profound;
The ‘Aha’ Moment:
This type of clarity is my preferred ‘dopamine hit’, in the form of a spontaneous insight. This moment of clarity is anywhere from delightfully fun to breathtaking to mind-blowing. It is about making new connections. A sudden comprehension, a solution to a problem, a new interpretation, the split second you ‘get’ that joke or a brand new creative idea.
The ‘Awe’ Moment:
This one is well described as “that sense of wonder in the presence of something vast that transcends our understanding of the world.” From Awe, the Small Self, and Prosocial Behavior,” led by Paul Piff, PhD.
It’s a relatively common experience. It happens in those moments when we’re ‘awestruck‘ by the majesty of nature, or have a religious or spiritual experience or any number of other peak experiences as the result of flow or a close call perhaps. It happens witnessing people performing amazing acts of altruism or good will. It can happen anytime something jolts us out of a habitual mindset.
These awe experiences bring the clarity of connectedness, a reminder of the magnificent and the mysterious. We remember that we are all part of something unfathomably greater than ourselves, and that truly, we don’t ‘know’ anything.
“There is a poignancy in all things clear, in the stare of the deer, in the ring of a hammer in the morning. Seeing a bucket of perfectly lucid water, we fall to imagining prodigious honesties.” Richard Wilbur
‘Seeing the forest for the trees’ Moment:
This idiom describes a trap easily fallen into if you are a human being. The moment we focus on, attach to or decide we’re right about something, the bigger picture shrinks, and everything else in it. This is the kind of clarity I want to cultivate. Relaxing focus on the micro, to be rewarded by the comprehension of the macro. Asking, what is the larger context? What is also happening here? What might I be missing?
The inability to see what is right under my nose is happening all the time to me, to one degree or another. After all, my brain is looking to filter for the bits of ‘data’ it thinks it needs to keep me ‘safe.’ My built-in biases are always on duty. And my personal life-conditioning would have me believe what it tells me ‘is the way it is.’ There are times when my intuition feels like no match for all that.
So I’m all in for much more of ‘seeing situations as they are’, in the moment, sans the personality’s interpretation.
Designing the Plan:
So how do you find what you can’t see, but you know is there? You make a plan and you gather your tools.
The how of this mission, the plan, is also simple. Put together strategies to experience what will create a laser like focus on my inner life. Use each one of these strategies to ‘mine’ for clutter or energy blocks of any and every kind, that I may be unwittingly cultivating. Use each strategy to consciously release what I find. This is how I will create clean space. This will require honesty, tenacity, an open mind and heart and the willingness to get damned uncomfortable, I’m sure.
Where to start ? There is an endless array of approaches I could use. Does it matter? No. What matters is that I start and I keep going. The only parameters I will put on this initial plan is that the experiences, strategies and behavioral practices (my tools) are readily available in my environment. So available in fact, I would be hard pressed to find any excuse to avoid following through.
Choosing My Tools
“If you want something you’ve never had, then you’ve got to do something you’ve never done.” Anonymous
Out of the endless choices of tools available for this plan, I picked 4 things I have experience with but never maintained a consistent practice in, 4 things I’ve never tried but have wanted to, and 2 things that I’ve never tried and don’t really want to. They all have one thing in common-the potential to shake things up and create movement.
In the first category, tried but never maintained a consistent practice in, are a few familiar ones; yoga, meditation, and journal/free writing. There are different versions of each I’m interested in trying for the first time. I also included nature. While I spend a good deal of time in nature, I’m going to take this one to a whole new level (something I’m calling Dark Walking).
In the ‘never tried but always wanted to category is floatation; the sensory deprivation float tank. There’s a new one in town. Also hyper-oxygenation (a higher than usual concentration of oxygen, through a specific, guided breathing technique I want to try) and voice opening.
In the never tried and don’t really want to category is Ecstatic Dance. A bit of a personal hang up, but nothing that can’t be released. And fasting. For a week.
Why a Series of Weekly Articles?
Well I just created some fairly stiff accountability for myself. Participation in each of these activities will be with the express intention of clearing blocks and making room for clarity. My goal is to dig as deep as possible, find some nuggets and write about the growing expertise in creating greater clarity that I plan to achieve. I suspect that when it comes to my desire for clarity, I will get out what I put in.