Survival vs. Creation: When you’re creating, you’re in the present.
When you’re creating, you’re on offense. When you’re surviving, you’re on defense.
There’s the well-known Survival vs. Creation states of being with the simplest example being the deer being stalked by the lion so the deer is in survival mode. On the human front, we have all kinds of fears (that we believe we need to survive) which make creation near impossible. The goal, in case those examples aren’t clear enough, is to try to be in creation mode as much as we can.
If I hear (or read or experience, etc.) something 3 times within a short period of time, it’s time to write about it. This was also a reminder that popped up on my phone that I had taken notes to write about this topic something like a year ago.
I see clear relevance in the world of meditation (or sports or writing or anywhere you’re trying to achieve a new, higher level). If you’re thinking about your grocery list, that you forgot to pay the water bill and that you need to pick up Billy, oh, and you also need a new job and … then you’re not in creation mode, you’re clearly surviving–and barely doing that as well.
How do you get from Survival to Creation mode?
Taking the meditation path, the best tool I ever heard was the Ticker Tape Method. On news programs on TV (if anyone even watches those anymore!) there is often a scrolling bar (or 2 or even 3) of news flashes that scroll from right to left at the bottom of the screen. Think of the main part of the screen as your main idea or even your brain or your mind and the ticker tape as the junk that you’re thinking of but don’t want to be thinking of.
Rather than stop the ticker tape and fight it or try to make it go away, just let it scroll. Yep, you have to pick up Johnny from soccer practice. Yes, you need to pay the water bill. All of those things will be there and you won’t forget them. But the present moment is the main screen, the big attraction and that’s where you want to focus your attention. Also, when you manage to focus there, the ticker tape tends to whither away and eventually disappear.
Writing is Creating
Yes, I’m biased. I’m a writer. But when you’re writing, you’re creating. You’re taking a blank line or paper and you’re putting something there that wasn’t there before. It’s as simple as that. If you’re adding to the void, it’s no longer empty. I’m pretty sure it’s impossible to create and be in the past or the future. Your mind is right there where you want it: in the present.
Any creation will do: a new thought, practicing something (and improving), a new attempt at something you’re not so good at. Any of it turns something you didn’t quite know into something you now know–you’re creating something out of nothing.
If you don’t believe me, I challenge you to try to create and remain in a state of the past or the future. Try to create something and remain exactly who you are without changing. Through creating, we are learning, growing and improving. I don’t think it’s possible to not.