Chain Yourself Free

As creators, we are both attracted to and repelled by creating within a committed routine.

In many ways it feels anathema to inspiration… that the proper relationship to creation is to work only if and when the muse moves us to.

When we give in to that wistful arrangement and leave our creating undisciplined, the powers latent in us go untapped:

We live as potentialities, always wondering what we are capable of but never disciplining our creative lives in a way that will ultimately reveal that to us.

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Why Men Are Addicted To Sacrifice

Photo by ladydragonflyherworld [cropped & flipped]

Photo by ladydragonflyherworld [cropped & flipped]

You stand there shivering in the rain:

Ankle deep in a muddy field, your belly empty save the weedy scraps of yesterday’s meager gleanings.

You are the work horse, set grimly to rocky pasture.

Your entire life, the message: “your place in the world… it’s here, unfeeling and unflinching in the field… your gift to the world your ability to self-deny, self-deprecate, self-annihilate.”

In a world of lower order problems… a world of tooth, claw, ice, darkness, blood… these gifts may well be your full extent: survival via stoic resolve the highest order of problem your bleak life can aspire to solve.

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How To Get Your Fire Back

I sat on the couch in the dark, hating myself.

I felt so stupid:

College-educated, “creative,” visionary… with a wife and kids looking to me to provide not just food and shelter, but to LEAD them into a life of love, adventure, joy…

And I was FAILING.

I felt more a slave at my *business* than I had felt at my day job.

Each passing day shredding my confidence, our bank account steadily draining out like a severed vein in the neck.

All around me, it seemed, men less creative, less educated, less visionary were succeeding wildly… creating the life of wealth and abundance that I craved…

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Year Of The Gut

You have at your feet a new year fresh and unblemished:

A blank canvas yet unmarked by the blood of failure, a fresh snow not yet stained by despair.

So here you stand, poised on the fork: a part of you planning out another year’s goals and resolutions, another part hissing to yourself: “fuck these goals, fuck this charade of ‘creating my future’… this illusion that I will someday break through.”

These paths you’ve inherited, you are right to doubt them:

You’ve tried the path of cold, solitary reason…

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You Are The Gift

You’ve worked hard to make today special:

To make her dream of the perfect Christmas come true…

To give your children the gifts they’ve pined for, to see the wild delight in their eyes…

To please and appease the relatives and all their little plans for you.

And meanwhile, you expect little for yourself.

No grand gifts, no great gratitude…

All you want it to make it through un-criticized, to tip-toe through the gauntlet of expectation un-bloodied.

And in that respect, today is much like the others:

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Why Modern Man Lies

We drift to sleep warm in our beds, never further from the jungle, yet never more afraid.

It is not the lion’s jaw we fear, of the flash of some blade in the dark:

It is the disapproving look.

The public derision.

Exile from the land of the “correct.”

And so…

Glib and cheerful: THAT is how we go into the day.

THAT is the stance proven to buy some toleration.

Speak freely, and you risk social annihilation.

But you are not here to smile and bob:

You are here to speak hard truths.

You are here to live and love untidily.

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How To Sell Your Wife On The Dream (Part 2)

This is a followup to a previous post on the same topic.

You see the future so clearly:

The business you’ll build, the money you’ll make, the wild freedom you’ll unleash in your life.

You share the vision with your wife:

Instead of joy in her eyes, you see… fear.

Fear of it all going to shit.

Fear the so-called “family adventure” you describe will be, in fact, your own solitary, alienating slog.

“Wait, what?” you say. “Don’t you see? This is for US!”

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The Illusion Of (No) Choice

You wake to routines that numb you.

You stumble to the kitchen for your morning hit of sugary-something.

You smile with your mouth at the kids as they walk blinking to the table, your eyes blank.

You dress for work, slack-faced to the mirror, preparing again to offer yourself in daily sacrifice upon the altar.

“Choices.”

A word that no longer sparks anything in you.

You *know* that choices are the key to creating a better life.

But when it comes to actually pulling the trigger… to actually making game-changing choices… there are so many compelling reasons why you in fact “can not.”

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Honor The Animal

In times of danger, they love the beast inside you:

The adrenaline-junked strength by which you pluck a drowning child from the torrent.

The pulsing veins as you rack the 12 gauge at the break of glass.

But outside of these rare emergencies, they beg you: “bury that beast inside you. Bury it so far down we never have to look at it.”

And so you come to believe the beast in you–that animal power–is some kind of horrific, cataclysmic weapon, to be unleashed only as a means of last resort.

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The Man In The Forest

A man stood transfixed in a clearing.

He looked out through the forest at the lake a stone’s toss away.

He listened to the loon call echoing over the water.

He smelled the vanilla sap of the pines.

He imagined the cabin he would build: the fieldstone fireplace, the wide-plank floor, the skylight that would open upon the wind-cleaned stars.

His heart beat in his chest as though to burst, the vision whirling until he could no longer contain it… until he was compelled to begin the building, to make it manifest.

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