We all have an innate motivation toward growth.
This drive toward growth is easily observable in an infant’s will to master walking, basic motor skills, and language.
But what do we observe in most adults? In some adults, this drive for growth is still observable: we find curious individuals who remain committed to improvement of their brains and bodies, developing skills for both work and play. We find self-actualizing people in virtually every field of interest, including business professionals, artists, musicians, philosophers, painters, doctors, psychologists, athletes, and martial artists.
Many adults aren’t committed to continuous growth and development, but many of us are. We simply become consumed by life’s countless demands.
Sometimes, we give ourselves excuses to forego our developmental path. We say things like I don’t have time or I’m too tired or I’m just not sure what I want. But is there something else driving us away from growth, blocking our personal evolution?
Two Powerful Forces: Growth and Safety
There are two powerful sets of forces within the human condition: a drive for growth and its opposing force, a drive for safety.
Growth propels us forward toward wholeness of Self to discover our own uniqueness (what Carl Jung called the process of individuation).
An opposing force leads us to defend our current self, clinging to safety out of fear of the unknown. The force of safety keeps us where we are now, clinging to the past and afraid to take chances in order to improve our current conditions (internally and externally).
This safety seeking side is afraid of independence, freedom, and separateness—the very things our growth side is demanding.
If nothing else, you might find it helpful to consciously observe both of these opposing forces within yourself, especially when the call for higher growth is felt within you.
The Delight of Growth and the Anxiety of Safety
What we focus on tends to guide the direction of our lives. If we focus on the dangers of growth, our need for safety wins the day. But if we minimize the dangers of our emerging uniqueness and fuller expression of Self while enhancing our attractions toward growth, a world of new possibilities presents itself.
Maslow points out that we are confronted with an ongoing series of choices throughout life between safety and growth, dependence and independence, regression and progression, immaturity and maturity.
We grow when the delights of growth (and anxieties of safety) are greater than the anxieties of growth (and the delights of safety).
There is a valid reason to fear growth. In addition to the rewards and gratifications, growth also brings pain. Each step forward brings us into the unfamiliar, into possible danger. Each step forward requires us to give up something familiar and satisfying. Growth can imply a separation, a death and rebirth as well as the grief and mourning that comes with loss of the old.
We grow toward greater complexity. This means when we grow, we might have to give up something easier and simpler. The path of growth often means taking on more demands and responsibility; it can mean a more difficult life.
Is there any wonder anyone would avoid such a path?
Safety Is Important Too
Does this mean we must throw aside our concern for safety in the service of our development? Absolutely not. Safety is a more basic human need than growth. In the absence of a feeling of safety, the will to grow is not generally present.
Consider, for example, a young child clinging to her mother’s leg while she attempts to walk for the first time. If the mother abruptly exits the room to answer the phone, the child would likely terminate her herculean effort.
Sometimes, choosing safety is wise and appropriate when it helps us to avoid more pain than we can bear in that moment. But ultimately, we know that if we consistently choose safety over growth, in the long run, we find ourselves in a state of disappointment.
If we cling to safety for too long, we wake up one day and look back on a life that never was—an unconscious life filled with regrets and missed opportunities. Moving in the direction of safety, we deny our unique destinies.
Checkpoints on the Road to Growth (and Safety)
How do you know when you’re on the road to growth?
There are numerous subjective indicators: you’re more likely to experience feelings of happiness or euphoria, of a zest in living, serenity, joy, and calmness. You feel confidence in your ability to handle the inevitable problems along the way and the stresses and anxieties that accompany them.
When the force of safety dominates us, we show signs of self-betrayal and regression and we become fixed and rigid out of fear. Here, we are consumed by a different set of emotions: anxiety, boredom, despair, inability to enjoy, aimlessness, emptiness, a lack of identity, intrinsic guilt, and intrinsic shame.
Crafting Your Plan for Self Mastery
What then can we do to promote our continual growth and development?
Start by becoming acquainted with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Human Needs. All of our lower needs—biological, safety, love/belonging, and self esteem—must be gratified before growth can become a central focus. If you’re mainly wrestling with what other people think of you, for example, it’s difficult to channel energy into self-growth.
Next, become conscious of the areas you would like to grow in. If you don’t know where to start, try the Wheel of Life exercise. Categories may include: physical health and wellbeing, mental health, emotional mastery, professional development, conscious relationships, compassion (open heart), contemplative development, skill building, artistic self-expression, and cognitive growth.
Then, envision a compelling future for yourself. (Even if your life is great right now, challenge yourself to see a more integrated, more developed Self.) Imagine what your life could be like if you commit to growth in specific areas. Make it compelling. Give the vision color, movement, and sound; bring it to life in your mind.
Consider the following questions:
- What will this new future self mean to you?
- How will realizing it bring you greater purpose and richness to your being?
- How might growing in this area enrich other parts of your life?
Right down your answers in a journal. Make it real for you. Get inspired to pursue growth for growth’s sake.
Fear and the need for safety won’t go away, nor should they. The drive for safety helps support our survival. But courage and the need for growth are also part of what it means to be human. In courageously walking the path of growth, we can realize our true potential and live a uniquely meaningful life.
What does it mean to be a self-actualizing person?
Abraham Maslow drew a line between people motivated by growth needs and those motivated by basic needs. If you recall from Maslow’s Hierarchy of Human Needs, the first four levels of the pyramid—physiological, safety, love/belonging, and esteem—are basic needs. He also called them deficiency needs. In their absence, we feel that something is missing in our lives, leading us to experience tension and exhibit neurotic behavior. Without a roof over our heads, for example, our need for safety is threatened.
Until these basic needs are gratified, our attention is focused on gratifying them. But once gratified, we can shift our attention to growth needs. Whereas basic needs are external, growth needs are internal.
Maslow called these growth-motivated folks self-actualizing people. He defined self-actualization as:
- Ongoing actualization of potentials, capacities, and talents
- Fulfillment of mission (or call, fate, destiny, or vocation)
- A fuller knowledge of, and acceptance of, the person’s own intrinsic nature
- An unceasing trend toward unity, integration, or synergy within the person
Think of self-actualization as the need to become what one has the potential to be. One realizes this potential for its own gratification—not for any external gain or concern of what others will think or say (external esteem needs).
Characteristics of Self-Actualizing People
How do you know if you’re on your path toward self-actualization?
Maslow observed thirteen characteristics of self-actualizing people:
1) Superior perception of reality
Self-actualizing people possess an unusual ability to judge others accurately and detect dishonesty in the personality. With superior perception comes the ability to determine what’s good for the person and make effective decisions.
2) Increased acceptance of self, of others, and of nature
Maslow found that these mentally healthy people had less overriding guilt, crippling shame, and severe anxiety. Self-actualizing people can accept their own nature, including their shortcomings and contradictions, without feeling real concern.
3) Increased spontaneity
They are more spontaneous in their behavior as well as in their lives, thoughts, and impulses. Their behavior is marked by naturalness and simplicity.
4) Increase in problem-centering
They are more focused on problems outside themselves as opposed to personal problems (ego-centered). They often have missions in life and tasks to fulfill that demand much of their energies.
5) Increased detachment and desire for privacy
They are comfortable being by themselves without the neurotic need to always be around people. They positively like solitude and privacy to a greater degree than the average person.
6) Increased autonomy and resistance to enculturation
They are relatively independent from their environment. Motivated by a drive for internal growth, they are dependent on their own development of their potentialities as opposed to being dependent on social or cultural forces that motivate the average person.
7) Greater freshness of appreciation and richness of emotional reaction
They have a beautiful ability to appreciate, freshly and innocently, the basic elements of life with awe, wonder, and pleasure long after these elements become stale to others.
8) Higher frequency of peak experiences
Maslow originally called this a mystic experience or oceanic feeling. He found that these mystical experiences are more intense forms of experiences where there’s a loss of self or transcendence of it. According to Maslow, everyone has access to peak experiences, but self-actualizing people have them more often.
9) Increased identification with the human species
This has been confirmed by later research in developmental psychology; humans develop from being identified exclusively with themselves (egocentric) to identification to a group, whether it be family, religious, or political (sociocentric) to identification with all of humanity (worldcentric).
10) Improved interpersonal relations
Capable of greater love and more obliteration of ego boundaries, they have deeper relationships than other adults. But they may only form these deeper bonds with a select few individuals, maintaining a relatively small circle of friends.
11) More democratic character structure
They are friendly with anyone of suitable character regardless of class, education, political belief, race, or color. Because they are more identified with the human species, they are less determined by (and often unaware of) any of these classifications.
12) Greatly increased creativeness
A universal characteristic of all self-actualizing people Maslow studied was an increase in creative expression. This is not a special-talent creativity that takes years of devoted practice to cultivate, but rather a more innocent, playful, and spontaneous creative expression found in young children.
13) Certain changes in the value system
With their philosophic acceptance of the nature of their selves, of human nature, and of physical reality, they establish a firm value structure. With an appreciation and acceptance of human nature, many of our so-called “problems” are seen as gratuitous and fade out of existence.
Maslow did his best to isolate the characteristics he observed in his self-actualizing subjects, but he was quick to point out how interconnected these qualities are.
Accessing Your Level of Development
Reviewing this list, can you assess the progress in your own development? For example, are you more spontaneous than you were 10 years ago? Are you more autonomous now? Are you more comfortable being alone? Do you have a more democratic character structure? Have you improved your ability to form deeper bonds? Are you living a more creative life?
Your Path to Self Mastery
In the weeks ahead, we’ll explore various ways to walk the path of self-actualization and self mastery. We’ll look at the common roadblocks that can hinder our progress and find strategies for overcoming them.
An exciting journey lies ahead. Stay tuned!
When we can’t see the circles and cycles in our lives, we simply aren’t paying attention.
Today, with this blog post, I begin a new circle (or rather, a new level of a spiral) in my writing development.
In October 2012, I completed two books that consumed my attention for over six years. Combined, these two works represented over 125,000 words with over 300 references. My brain hurts just thinking about it.
When I completed these projects I felt a sense of relief, but I also felt physically exhausted, emotionally drained, and creatively depleted. I felt like I would never want to write again. This feeling persisted for an entire year.
But as the great psychologist Abraham Maslow observed, “A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself. What a man can be, he must be.” The absence of writing over this past year left me feeling unsettled. Maslow is correct.
And so, without further delay, we resume our journey to realize more of our human potential, to the further reaches of our development, and to a transformation of our total being on the path to self-mastery, healing, and wholeness. That is, I shall now begin blogging again.
A meaningful journey to all of you!
Standing on solid ground provides an inherent sense of security. We tend to take this for granted except perhaps for a few seconds after disembarking from a plan or a boat.
Just as our bodies find stability on solid ground, our minds seek their own form of stability. A primary way our minds attempt to achieve a sense of stability is through the cultivation of conscious and unconscious belief systems.
A belief is something a person accepts as true or real. Beliefs often come in clusters or constellations, which is why we often call them belief systems. Some belief systems are held as absolutes, as in the case of religious fundamentalists. Other belief systems are held more loosely but are still accepted as true or valid.
Belief systems can provide us with a sense of meaning in an apparently chaotic world. They give our minds something to stand on. Even if we’re only standing on something as unstable as a Frisbee soaring through the air, any stability feels better than no stability.
This helps explain why we tend to cling to our belief systems: they give us a sense of safety even if the belief isn’t true. A belief can help us feel grounded even if the belief ultimately prohibits our growth and development.
Transcending Belief Systems
Letting go of our cherished belief systems can be frightening because it means being willing to float in emptiness with nothing under our feet. The notion of emptiness isn’t too compelling when we cling to our belief systems. Resting in emptiness means sleeping with the unknown, trusting in forces beyond our understanding (hence, it has been called the unconscious).
Transcending our beliefs means setting aside the very foundation of our previous sense of existence, letting go of a false sense of security we once enjoyed. In so doing, we learn to accept inherent paradoxes and live with contradictions found within others, the world, and ourselves.
Courage is a prerequisite for the daring adventurer. But even more important than courage is the need to understand the true nature of our suffering and the role our belief systems tend to play in masking our suffering.
The price of holding onto old beliefs—even those that provide us with a false sense of security—is our freedom. Liberation only comes to those willing to challenge that which we hold most dear. It’s a wild adventure, definitely not for the faint of heart.
With clarity of heart and mind, we can examine what we believe to be true—even what our most esteemed teachers and guides have told us. Our perception of truth is always changing. A lesser truth will always be replaced by a greater truth; such is the evolution of Spirit.
If we’re courageous enough to challenge what we “know” to be true, we can set those beliefs aside that no longer support our development. We can be flexible and grow, or we can remain stagnant and wither away. The choice is always ours.
Mythologist Joseph Campbell observed that we can write from one of two spaces: intention or inspiration.
Intention requires conscious effort, a stepping forward into the writing process. Inspiration arises from letting go, a stepping back from the conscious, rational mind.
Both forms of writing are valid and useful, but inspirational writing is decidedly more rare. Inspiration requires a great deal of humility—a high degree of self-honesty, where we admit that we don’t have all the answers, that life is still a mystery to us, and that we are confused and ignorant about more things than we care to admit.
Inspiration and illumination also require periods of reverie, as creativity researchers have consistently found. Our culture, with its incessant drive to stay preoccupied both at work and at home ensures that few of us get to taste inspiration with any frequency.
Taming the Ox, Quieting the Mind
With the help of modern science—developmental and transpersonal research as well as neuroscience (I’m thinking in particular of the work of neuroscientist Richard Davidson)—the West is beginning to awaken to the value of meditation, conscious breathing, and mindfulness. These practices help us find greater inner stillness, soothing the mind’s endless chatter.
These practices, it turns out, have multiple benefits: reducing muscle tension, lowering our resting heart rate, improving concentration and memory, heightening our senses, enhancing our self-control, increasing our level of energy, and much more. The sum total of these benefits is greater awareness of ourselves and our environment. And this awareness helps us increase the probability of realizing our creative potential.
Thankfully, none of these practices require us to retreat from an active mode of living. They can be practiced a little bit each day. The more we learn to quiet our minds—to “tame the ox,” as it is described in the Zen Oxherding pictures—the more we open ourselves up to the light of illumination, the messages proceeding from the unconscious.
Only then do we have a chance of becoming whole, accessing and integrating reason and intuition, the conscious mind and the unconscious, the masculine and the feminine. Then we can operate from both intention and inspiration, fluidly shifting from one to the other depending on the needs of the moment.
♦ ♦ ♦
P.S. For those interested, Doctor of Truth: The Life of David R. Hawkins is available on Amazon.com for pre-order. The book is expected to ship out next week.
Those who have learned the Tao of Results—the way of realizing meaningful objectives—often find attainment effortless.
Effortless attainment occurs in the state of flow. Effortlessness is our natural state that unfolds when we remove the barriers to flow.
Desire is a primary barrier. It is the root of all suffering, Buddha said. The energy of desire pulls our attention out of the present. Flow can only be experienced in the present.
Desire implies lack. Abundance implies the absence of lack. We can’t have and lack simultaneously. As like goes to like, lack goes to lack; that is, scarcity tends to breed more scarcity. Therefore, if you desire a result, you may be energizing lack, not the result.
Striving toward results, therefore, isn’t the answer, but neither is complacency. Complacency arises from either apathy or pride. Sad is the soul who lives a complacent life.
What Buddha called the Way is found in the harmony of opposites. The Way is positioned between striving and complacency: One can have clarity of purpose, holding a result clearly in mind, while remaining detached from it.
There is no contradiction here: Identify what you want, but let go of wanting it. Disciplined thoughtful action, or desireless right action, is the Way.
Desire leads to suffering because the energy of desire doesn’t dissipate when the object of desire is attained. The desire simply shifts to a new object or to the fear of losing the object once attained. Those who haven’t achieved their desired results are skeptical of this truth. Many who have achieved their results have found this to be so.
Ultimately, some results you aim for will manifest. Others will not.
Some things that you think you want, you’ll later discover are not in your best interest.
Other things you think you don’t want you’ll later discover are best for you.
Accepting all possibilities brings one closer to wholeness.
Realizing both sides gives way to the Tao.
Learning, we might say, is the process of removing our resistance.
In performance terminology, the goal of learning is to reach unconscious competence, where an action is done effortlessly (and effectively) without conscious effort. We can call this the state of flow, being “in the zone,” or the released state.
Galileo noted that “You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him find it within himself.” The peeling away of ignorance—of resistance—is the process of discovery, the art of learning.
Resistance is a consequence of the part of us that tries to control or change everything in its environment. When the self is trained to perform well, we call it conscious competence. But unconscious competence is a selfless state.
For most of us, it takes years of effort to reach the effortless and selfless state of unconscious competence. Few people, in fact, ever realize this potential outside of rare moments. But the adept in any field have learned how to eliminate their resistance on a continuous basis. Those who live in this space we call masters.
Learning still requires remembering and that we let go and surrender to the process—whether it’s playing sports, music, drawing, painting, writing, singing, strategizing, or anything else.
The more we surrender to the process—to allow the Way—the less resistance we create. And without resistance, learning becomes infinitely more enjoyable; it can become, in fact, effortless.
Patterns exist throughout nature. We see them in seasons and tides as well as in animal and human behavior.
Patterns are generally observed after the fact. To identify patterns in advance is the science and art of prediction. Predictions are probabilities or likelihoods, not absolutes. For instance, what is the likelihood that it will be sunny tomorrow? Or what is the chance (that is, probability) of rain?
In order to predict patterns in nature, we create models. Models are representations of what we are studying or trying to predict. The better a model corresponds to the reality it represents, the more its predictive power. Effective models enable us to peer into the future.
A sports coach’s playbook is a model. The playbook illustrates a series of positions, maneuvers, and scenarios that have—assuming the coach has done his homework—been tested to be successful in various situations. A well-engineered playbook can’t ensure victory, but it can provide a superior competitive advantage against even the toughest opponent.
Models are used in most fields. All sciences use models; in fact, models are the core element of the scientific method. Models are used in the natural sciences, mathematics, technology, psychology, and so on.
Modeling in Business
Even modern business is beginning to awaken to the power of prediction. Take, for example, a major retailer like Target. The task of Target’s chief executives is to responsibly and consistently steer their organization toward sustainable growth and profitability—no easy task in today’s competitive landscape.
Executives are often forced to guess what their customers want and hope that the market responds favorably to their offers. Millions of dollars are placed on these educated guesses every day in what might be called the world’s biggest casino: the commercial marketplace.
Of course, executives at major brands don’t simply guess what their customers want. To make informed decisions, large brands conduct consumer and market research: surveys, focus groups, and so on. Some businesses, however, have too little information about their customers while other organizations have too much, leading to a sea of confusing statistics and averages. In any case, to make sense of the data, businesses need effective models.
In BJ Bueno’s new book, Customers First, readers learn how any business can build an effective model around the lifeblood of every business: its best customers. If you’re an executive, a manager, or a small business owner, this book can help you stand out from the crowd by opening your eyes to a fresh approach to business.
The deadline was fast approaching for a book I had been working on for five years. But I was stuck. I couldn’t write anymore. I simply couldn’t complete it.
My conscious mind exerted itself as I deployed every technique I had learned, calling forth every ounce of self-discipline within me, but to no avail.
It’s a troubling experience for a writer, and it’s all too easy to beat yourself up about the matter, which I did. Perhaps it’s similar to a painter losing his inspiration to complete his canvas.
The problem feels pervasive, but it’s not. The “stuckness” is often a signal to merely step back—to let the unconscious go to work (or rather, play). Doing this, of course, takes courage and faith (especially when you’re on a deadline).
Although allowing one’s mental faculties to recede into the background is a very natural thing, for most of us adults, it’s a challenge. Learning how to drift into reverie and listen to the unconscious—something second-nature to a child—is difficult for most adults.
If we’re successful in letting go of wanting to change our stuckness, we discover that we are the source of our feeling stuck. We are in our own way, through the interference of a particular attitude, a limiting belief, or an inflexible position.
In stepping back, we open ourselves up, relaxing our position. Our perspective often changes as a consequence, redirecting the flow of creative psychic energy back into our work.
Finding Psychic Wholeness
If we’re intellectually-minded, this brings us to the question: why do we get in our own way in the first place?
From a Jungian perspective, we can say that it’s because we’re not integrated—that we lack psychic wholeness. What is psychic wholeness? A harmonizing of opposites: conscious and unconscious, rational and non-rational, masculine and feminine principles.
Numerous scholars including Carl Jung, Joseph Campbell, and Ken Wilber demonstrate that, especially in Western civilization, we have been dominated by the masculine principle since classical antiquity (if not prior), reinforced by our Judeo-Christian mythology.
Simply put, we live in a hyper-rational world that doesn’t value the non-rational, the intangible, the feminine, the dream, the mystery, the miracle. We’ve suppressed instinctual forces, a divine power found in the natural world. We are cut off from this power, split into animal and spirit—an artificial dichotomy that must be healed if we are to realize psychic wholeness.
We praise the waking state of the conscious and undervalue the sleep and dream states of the unconscious. And yet many great teachings and teachers extol the virtues of the dream state: Lao Tzu, Nisargadatta Maharaj, Advaita Vedanta, Jungian psychology, and Tibetan Buddhism, to name a few.
Embracing the Artist Within
Our next questions are of greater practicality: What can we do about it? How can we tap into the feminine forces of the unconscious? Here, we can take our cue from the artist.
The true artist gives reverence to the unconscious by whatever name she might call it (and many call it “God”). This doesn’t make the artist idealistic, theistic, or naive; it makes her self-aware, for it is only after she can acknowledge the source of the creative impulse—something that lies outside of conscious awareness—that she is able to dip into this eternal wellspring as needed.
And so the artist allows her mind to wander, to relax her gaze, to become, in a sense, absent-minded. Externally, it can look like the artist isn’t working, and in a culture that prides itself on constant busyness, this poses yet another challenge: not only must the artist submit herself to mysterious inner forces; she must also deal with the expectations of the conventional outer world.
The conventional world judges the artist for her unusual behavior and what it takes for her poor work ethic. The artist faces critics of her lifestyle as well as critics of her creations. As a consequence, the artist’s path is in many ways a lonely one. We come to understand why there are so few genuine artists among us.
I believe, however, that to varying degrees, the artist exists within each of us. Left unchecked, though, life has a way of beating the artist into submission. Locating the artist within calls for an inner path of discovery, requiring us to say “yes” to our call to adventure. For acknowledging the artist within is merely the first step, courageous as it may be.
My apologies for the unannounced hiatus from this blog. When I published my last post in September 2011, I intended to take the rest of the year off to complete a project, resuming with new posts in January.
That’s the thing with momentum and inertia. Maintaining a weekly workout routine is one thing; getting started and developing that routine is a different matter. An object in motion tends to stay in motion; an object at rest tends to stay at rest. Thank you, Sir Isaac Newton. You are correct, but the Hindus have known this for thousands of years.
In Hindu philosophy there are three gunas or qualities of consciousness. Tamas represents inertia, darkness, or sloth. Rajas is activity, action or change. Sattva is the principle of purity or goodness.
In tamas, we tend to get stuck, lethargic, listless, and lazy. In rajas, we thrive on activity, motion, and busyness. And in a sattvic state, we are filled with freshness and positivity; are minds are steady and calm.
There’s good reason that we project a value judgment or ranking on these three qualities. In fact, they are generally represented in a hierarchy as in the Bhagavad-Gita. Purity seems to trump activity; activity trumps inertia. But all three gunas are part of life. All three qualities serve a vital function. We aren’t any one quality; in a manner of speaking, we possess all three.
And yet, it seems apparent that we have a tendency to identify with a single quality. Highly active people pride themselves on their rajasic efforts. Tamasic people do as little as possible—the iconic couch potatoes. And sattvic folks, too, can develop a pride in respect to their tranquil ways. Every quality of consciousness has its shadow, its opposite.
Integrating the Three Qualities of Consciousness
Integration requires us to transcend and include. Moving beyond the state of inertia, we include tamas. Transcending rajas to enter a sattvic state, we include rajas.
If we think that one quality of consciousness is better than another—that we should always be active instead of inert, for instance—then we have dissociated from a part of ourselves, for surely all three basic qualities are part of us. Each quality is necessary and vital in its own way.
At times, we desire to be active but we find ourselves in a state of inertia. Our conscious minds want us to push through the inertia to build momentum and energy. But sometimes the state of inertia is exactly where we’re supposed to be.
This tamasic or inert state is associated with darkness, and darkness is associated with the unconscious. The unconscious includes all that exists outside of our conscious awareness (as such, some call the unconscious “God”).
It has been said that the source of our creativity lies in the unconscious, which is why illumination often comes after a period of reverie or mindless wandering. When we’re in a state of constant motion, as most of us in modern life inherently are, it’s difficult to tap into the wellspring of the unconscious. During periods of rest—as in sleep—dreams allow our minds to access this non-rational realm.
There are times when we must push through inertia and times when it’s best to simply ride it out. Knowing how to proceed requires us to learn to stop, to be still, to pay attention, and to listen. Amidst endless distraction and constant busyness we miss the subtle signs the unconscious gives us on how best to proceed.