Intuitive and creativity coach Paula Chaffee Scardamalia, that is.
I met Paula years ago, when she wrote an article about me for a magazine. We had a lovely chat–she is certainly an intuitive interviewer!
How amazing is she? Well, during the interview, I inadvertently insulted her medium, saying something like how “everybody was making x and it’s hard to stand out from the crowd when everyone’s doing the same thing.”
How did she respond? She could have been snippy. She could have been defensive. She could have seethed silently, and told all her friends what a bitch I was. Am. Never mind.
Here’s my highest praise for another human being: She did not take it as an insult, but as an observation, and an accurate one at that. She actually agreed with me, saying she’d been feeling it was time to “move on” for some time, and she was glad I confirmed that. Whew!
She said she had something else in the pipelines, something totally different. I was surprised (but not really) and delighted (totally!) when soon after, she announced her creativity coaching practice and writings, The Divine Muse
So today, from an evolved human (Paula, not me), a message that resonated with me today. If you are lost in the fog, too, take heart. Paul has good advice for you!
3 Steps to Find Your Way through the Fog
by Paula Chaffee Scardamalia
Emergencies have always been necessary to progress. It was darkness which produced the lamp. It was fog that produced the compass. ~ Victor Hugo
I woke the other morning, and saw that the rich gold of autumn leaves was dimmed by a thin layer of fog, a not unusual occurrence here.
The interesting thing about fog is that even though it is considered a type of stratus cloud, it is a cloud that is low-lying and its moisture is usually generated locally from lakes and oceans or other bodies of standing water like marshes or moist ground like swamps. And it often occurs when cool air meets warmer water.
Because I live in the back of beyond, driving in a fog at night can be a real challenge. There is nothing so dark as an overcast night in the country where houses are stretched out over miles instead of blocks, the infrequent car is going the other way, and visibility is down to 20 feet ahead.
Have you ever had that experience? Remember the feeling of alienation and hand-clenching stress? Time slows. Distances seem to stretch like taffy. And you wonder if you’ve accidentally driven off into a new episode of the Twilight Zone.
You can’t say you’re lost, because when you hit the fog, you knew where you were going and you do, really, know where you are, even if in the halos made by the car lights, and the narrow field of vision makes everything look suddenly distorted and unfamiliar.
Have you ever had this experience with your book or other creative project, or even your creative career?
As a writer and a creative entrepreneur, this is not an uncommon experience for me, but fortunately, because of where I live, I’ve had plenty of opportunity in the physical fog to teach me what to do in my creative fog.
Sometimes we get into a creative heat where words pile upon words. We’re speeding along, eating up the miles and suddenly… fog. If we don’t slow down, we run the risk of crashing. When this happens, it’s a good idea to take a deep breath and slow down. But don’t stop, either. Someone could ram into you from behind.
Dim your lights. I know this seems counter-intuitive. When our visibility is diminished, our instinct is to brighten the lights to pierce the gloom. In normal darkness, this would work, but in a fog, all those droplets of water act like mirrors, reflecting back light and making the fog appear even more dense. If we want to increase visibility in the fog, we have to be willing to dim the lights, to release the desire to see farther and more clearly. We have to be willing to allow things to get fuzzy for a while, to only focus on what is just in front of us instead of further down the road.
Keep your eyes on the road not on the shadows.
Because of the nature of fog, shadows can take on a 3-dimensional quality, distorting reality and perspective. If you take your eyes off your road to focus on those shadows, you could run off your road or not see other hazards coming up. Our fears about our creative work can turn shadows into 3-dimensional monsters, throwing us off our path and causing real damage if we aren’t careful. Another reason, too, for dimming your lights. Those shadows won’t appear so large and intimidating.
Making it safely home, moving through the fog to reach the end of your creative journey requires patience, presence and faith that you can and will get home…
Keep the image of your goal firmly in the forefront of your mind and just keep going. Don’t stop.
© Copyright 2009-2013 Paula Chaffee Scardamalia, all rights reserved.
About Paula: Paula has a passion for helping writers and others tap into their creative power and bring their creative gifts into the world. Using her unique blend of the ancient tools of dreams, tarot and other intuitive tools, Paula helps writers, creatives and spiritual entrepreneurs get inspired, break through blocks, and write that book or create that product or special event. For a free 15-minute consultation with Paula on how you can move from Inspired Idea to Creative Action, email Paula at firstname.lastname@example.org