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The Unboxed Brain is a monthly ezine bringing you innovation, spirit and creativity.  We feature articles by coaching professionals and others working on the creative frontier.

Creative Destruction: Fire in the Soul

 by Susen Fagrelius, CPCC         

 

Creation/destruction. Creative/destructive.  The words imply opposite and polarities.  Yet when combined together as a process of creative destruction,  these words become the immutable life force energy that forges life within us.  Creative destruction is the essential alchemical process by which we become who we truly are. It is the way that the soul fuels itself.  This alchemy, this magic, goes right to the heart of the human experience of being and doing, learning and growth.  And what’s amazing is to discover that this is how life works—really! My flowers are a great example.

Mother Nature As Teacher. Last I remember a moment when I noticed that the butterfly weed plants ( a native prairie flower the color of monarch butterflies) had all finished blooming. I went into mourning. “My beloved flowers….gone. All dried up. It will be another year before I see these beauties again,” I thought wistfully. Two weeks later I looked at them again and stood with my mouth gaping wide, in awe. A tender pod, silken seeds within, had formed from the dried up flowers. They were delicate at first, then grew larger and larger. The plant had withered and ensured its future! I laughed out loud. This flower had just taught me the lesson of creative destruction. That wise plant “knew” that the end of its flowering would create the seed pod that guaranteed its future life. And it knew just how to do it.

Another example of this larger, infinite process of birth/growth, maturation, decay/death and rebirth/restructuring is compost. Yup. Compost. The peelings of my vegetables become the resource of organic garbage that begins to decompose and releases gases… You got it.  Smelly, ripe, and …yuk!  But when you turn it, water it, work it and “restructure” the compost pile to speed up decomposition, over time you get gold.  Black gold.  This creative destruction turns into rich soil for my plants in two vital steps: 1) releasing the resource and 2) restructuring the transformed resources to create new ground for growth.

What feeds the fire in humans?  Just like the plants, we have a unique, innate way that we are, which is our essential nature.  Our authentic Self.  Our soul is alive and vital at the center. There is an inner fire in the soul.  But what feeds the fire? It is the transformational, alchemical process of creative destruction.  We constantly create “con-structs” from our experience, and we “de-struct” the structures within us that we don’t need, or no longer serve us. The process provides a constant source of fuel.

What are constructs and how do they work? Unlike plants, from infancy our family and the society around us influences us.  We take on ideas, imitate emotional responses, ways of being and behavior that we are taught are “good” and “right”.  We think, “This is how it’s done.” During childhood and adolescence these ideas or constructs begin to form what we think of as our identity. And eventually, we’ve con-structed a wardrobe, filled with various “robes” or personas that we put on “to meet the faces that we meet” (T.S. Eliot).  Or meet the circumstances we meet. Often based in fear, we develop ways of meeting life that protect aspects of ourselves from a myriad of things.   Sometimes it actually gets to be like backstage in a vaudeville theater! Lots of voices, lots of robes telling us what to do, how to think and what to feel.  And that’s when the soul rebels. It feels stifled.  It longs for what it longs for.  It says, “That’s enough! Hey You in there! I’m about ready to destroy these fandangled ideas of who or what you think are and what you think you’re doing! We’re going to get back to what’s real, to what I love, just cuz I love it! So, I’m lighting a fire under your butt.  Poof!” . And just as with wood, when the resource of energy locked up in the wood is touched by flame, the firewood transforms itself into heat, light and magnificence. And so it is with the human soul.

One day my soul did just that.  A spiritual guide I’d been to see a few times said, “Susen, it’s time you dealt with your belief system.”  “What?,” I gasped.  (Nobody, not even me, messes with my beliefs,” I thought.)  When I went home, I sat down to meditate.  My thoughts raced, my heart pounded, I could feel the adrenaline coursing through my veins. I was flushed.  On fire.  “What’s happening? This is weird,” I panicked. Then I remember what my guide had said about beliefs.  I settled in and let them come up, right out of my belly, one after another.  Beliefs like: “You have no worth unless a man says so.” And, “ The moment you step into adulthood you will die.” (Now that’s enough to keep anybody from challenging that belief!)  When I’d released four or five core beliefs, I was rolling on the floor laughing belly laughs.  “Oh my, this is funny.  I’ve been afraid, and these beliefs, have run me all my life! And they’re not even true.  And they’re certainly not ME!”  Like firewood, much of my energy resources were bound up in these beliefs. When touched by my soul-fire, they ignited in creative destruction, and I was able to create new beliefs that mirror the core of my soul.  I felt light and free.

The Infinite Immutable Process of creative destruction, or the fire in the soul, is one of four stages in an infinite, renewable cycle.  The first is belief.  Once we have internalized a belief or agreement, we form emotional habits, thoughts and behaviors that become a part of our identity developed from the agreements we took on.  As we take on more agreements that are fear and protection-based, our identity, or who we think we are, actually becomes all bound up, constricted and brittle.  Any little thing can set us off.  When the soul ignites the old beliefs, initiating the creative destruction process, it rapidly burns off the persona’s “wardrobe”, releasing pent up energy and clearing the way for reorganization of identity.  We become more of who we are.  Anchored by new beliefs that serve us in being who we are in our core, we begin to live a more soul-full life.

Embracing a Soul-Filled Life happens by choice.  Just as fire creates light, the fire of the soul, creative destruction, generates the power of who we truly are.  I invite you to work with these questions to ignite your transformation, engage your own creative destruction process and begin to claim your soul-filled life.  1) What are my thought-images of my Self?  Who do I think  I am?  What are my attachments to my identity? What identity do I choose?  2) What are my emotional habits?  What keeps them in place?  What do I want to choose instead?  3) What behaviors are not in keeping with what my soul tells me I want? What do I choose to do differently?  4) What beliefs keep me weighed down?  And most importantly, what beliefs do I choose that will serve me now?

With this kind of increased awareness of your choices, you can discern your soul-longings and move toward what you long for and be-long to.  May creative destruction bring you much joy and fulfillment!

 © 2003. Susen Fragelius, all rights reserved

 

 

Susen is the founder of Roots and Wings Coaching which focuses on being “rooted in what is life-giving, and soaring on the wings of your dreams.” As a student of Earth Wisdom teachings passed on through keepers of oral traditions of indigenous peoples of the Americas, Susen incorporates her love of nature and her passion for human transformation into her coaching work. And with delight, engages her “wardrobe” daily, intent on living from soul--consciously! You can reach Susen at 651-430-9525 or susen@rootsandwings.us

 


 

 

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