Do this quick experiment with me:
- Place your hand on your heart.
- Take a deep breath.
- Call to mind the image of someone, or something or someplace you love.
- Imagine that the image has a little message for you right now.
Just let yourself feel that love for a second.
Notice how you feel.
Do you feel yourself smiling a little?
Did you relax a bit?
Now keep thinking about that love….and the message….really let it permeate this moment completely….sink into the love-feeling…
Now, I have noticed that from this mental and physical space of love, you might:
- have good ideas
- feel a little bit more confident
- be in “flow” state
For the sake of this conversation, I want to call this state of being: SOBER.
When you are calm, relaxed, smiling a little smile, and in touch with the abundant flow of love in the world, you are sober.
Sober people are calm, awake, capable. They are humble to the work. They are willing to be a channel for the divine.
And when you are sober, you can do anything.
Want to know what DRUNK is?
Drunk is self-doubt.
Drunk is second-guessing yourself.
Drunk is vicious self-criticism, hopelessness, fear, paranoia, perfectionism, procrastination and giving up.
And honey….you can’t afford to be drunk anymore.
I see this over and over again – you probably do, too – tell me if this sounds familiar:
You get a great idea and you are all lit up about it. Lots of exciting possibilities.
And then the “who do you think you are?” voice kicks in and everything goes to shit.
It’s like you get a good idea and then you immediately pick up a bottle of rotgut and swig it until all your motivation is gone.
When you are drunk, you say horrible things to yourself. Sneaky, insidious, poisonous things designed to ruin everything. You are full of rage and self-pity.
And if you do this often enough, you start to dwell in the cloudy world of self-abnegation. Your light dims. Bitterness takes over. You sacrifice your whole life to the false comfort of your addiction to fear.
I lived that way for years.
And it took everything I had to change.
Because getting sober from the bad habit of chronic low self-esteem is just exactly as hard as quitting any other drug or bad habit.
What’s weird is how people seem to think that their self-criticism is “just being realistic” and any optimism is “unrealistic.”
When the opposite is true.
The true nature of the world is love.
The true nature of YOU is creativity.
Love + Creativity = Productive Sobriety
The false nature of the world is ego.
The false nature of you is shame & guilt.
Ego + Shame = Paralyzing Drunk
Do you see where I’m going with this?
Do know how often you have a great idea and then end up in the gutter?
Do you see how your drunkenness drives away the people who could support you?
Are you aware of the hours you have spent wallowing in a drunken stupor, refusing to stop dosing yourself with self-loathing, spiraling down until you no longer have any faith in yourself at all?
I realize this language is harsh.
I am using it on purpose, though, because I want you to be fully aware that your fear and inactivity has a price.
If you want to stay sober, then you have to do what people in recovery do:
– stay focused on your sobriety every day
– get into a supportive community
– find a sponsor, mentor or teacher you can trust
then stick around for the miracle.
Because when I say that the world needs your art, I am not speaking abstractly. I am being quite literal.
There is someone in the world who could be saved by your song, your book, your print, your photograph, your joke…
In the same way that YOU have been saved by someone’s song, book, print, photo, joke…
So don’t allow your self-doubt to rob both you and them of that opportunity.
Stay connected to the love.
Stay connected to the world of possibilities.