The sweet Spot
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The Art of Finding Your Sweet Spot
Polishing up the completed texts for The matter of consciousness book has been an interesting process. The last two texts in particular were both powerful experiences of feeling like there was no end to the amount I could continue to polish them. So, in today’s article I thought I would do something a little different and reflect on the writing process, but through the lens of “finding the sweet spot” as a further exploration of our relationship the feeling of perfection. This whole subject became clear yesterday as I worked on the book text perfection through imperfection. It, more than any other text, kept evolving, refining, and just outright changing.
For those who aren’t aware, the text for The matter of consciousness book started life as my first book The Messiah Seed. I haven’t overly brought this to people’s attention because I do not see The matter of consciousness as an expansion or extended edition of The Messiah Seed and feel that if I promoted it as such then fans of that book (it remains my best-seller) may feel disappointed because the texts feel and read so differently. For myself, they feel like two very different books that happen to have the same message at their core.
SIDENOTE: For those interested, The Messiah Seed is 70 single page (or shorter) readings and The matter of consciousness will be 88 double-page spreads and I expect about a quarter of the text in it will be from The Messiah Seed.
What is interesting about this is that it means there are various versions of the texts in existence. For example, there is the original Messiah Seed text of perfection through imperfection (which I have included at the end of this article) — there is also the first draft of the new version for The matter of consciousness — then when I started releasing articles, I used that text as the basis for the What You hate about yourself Is A gift article (which I expanded to include a section about disliking my own voice at school—included at the end of this article). And now, we have the recently finalized book text that I just released (which took an additional two days of polishing).
For myself, what these different versions of the texts show is not a sequence of more superior polished versions, but different texts that each offer a slightly different perspective on the same subject.
Now, I do see how someone could look at the different versions and say they each contain different levels of complexity, but what I want to most point to is how they each have a different feeling. For example, I imagine some people may see The Messiah Seed as more poetic and The matter of consciousness as more cerebral, whereas the article version — with its mention of my voice — is more personal. I feel this says something about the idea of “truth”, as each article is essentially saying the same thing. Indeed, they share many of the same sentences, and yet I know from experience that different people will respond to — and resonate with — them differently.
For me personally, this reaches a whole new level when it comes to the spoken work in which I speak a spontaneous stream of consciousness from my spirit / wider knowing / state of Gnosis. Here the The Neverending story — how everything Is circular and eternal article is probably the most powerful example. The basis of this article was a spontaneous 10-minute opening I gave at the beginning of a broadcast. Some people really loved it, whereas it just didn’t make sense to others — that was until I put it into an article and suddenly it seemed to make sense to the majority of people.
What is significant about this is that — regardless of whether it is spoken, poetic, personal, or cerebral — these different forms of expression are each unique ways of saying the same thing. So, it really is fascinating to experience how differently each of these forms — which I perceive as conveying the same information — are perceived and reacted to differentlyInformation is not just information; it matters how you present it, and perhaps this is amplified when it comes to spiritual literature.
I think the difference between hearing someone speak and reading it in writing is fairly easily understood. What I would like to share here is more about the difference that comes from working with a text and how it changes. For those who are particularly interested in this, I encourage you to read The Messiah Seed version of perfection through imperfection, the article version of the text (What You hate about yourself Is A gift), and the finalized book text (all included in this article).
The more time I give to it, it can be hard to articulate exactly how each text evolves (read and compare them to see for yourself), but it does. I experience it weaving additional golden threads into a tapestry to highlight and help illustrate what is being described. I do not know if this will be surprising to people or not, but one of the hardest things I find is that I do not experience a solid end point to any text. EVERY time I read a text, I see ways in which I believe it can be improved. The finalized version of perfection through imperfection went through dozens of versions — each of which felt potentially final.
There really is no end to how any definition can evolve.
Obviously, I do eventually get to a point where I stop changing the text in order to release it, but whereas I used to believe this represented polishing it up to its final form, I now understand there is no final state. Where I used to say, “It is done!” I now understand that this is much more a case of me closing down my creative side and doing the last read-throughs from a cerebral “proofing” standpoint (such that I stop altering the text and instead just correct it).
I think artists often have a similar dilemma of when to stop with a painting as it is very easy to just keep going. This really came into focus for me yesterday when — because of how this text kept evolving more than usual — I became aware that I was going down some “tunnel of endlessly perfecting something” while writing a text about accepting imperfections!
I am pleased to be seeing this so clearly in myself because it shows me how far I have come with my writing process. When I started my career as a spiritual author, all my writing was book writing; I was so precious about it as it just had this feeling of writing words that were going to be immortalized — without the possibility of change — in a physical paperback. I remember proofing the original Messiah Seed text in 2003 and there being this feeling that any mistake I made would be one I would have to live with FOREVER in the first edition of that book (eBooks weren’t popular then).
Having a strong article writing schedule since this summer has really evolved me as a writer in how it has forced me to produce a certain quantity of content. This has been made easier by the fact that I don’t need to be as precious about it because it is being released in digital format and I can make corrections as I go (including the ability to update published kindle eBooks). But it has still been a challenge on a mental and emotional level as I know that every single article could be improved by spending another day (or more) on it. So there has been this evolution of stepping away and saying, “This is enough — move on”.
What has become clear in all this is how this decision is a choice. I could produce one book a year (the equivalent of about forty articles) and have it be polished to a fairly high level, or I can release much more without that same level of polish. This is a choice we each face in many different guises and it touches on perfectionism, allowance, spontaneity, and caring about how we want to be perceived. I have found that the answer to this question, for each of us, needs to come from a place a feeling more than a place of thought; that feeling is all about locating where the “sweet spot” is for us personally.
“how much time shall I give this?” is such a powerful question because of how it causes us to weigh things against each other that have very different levels of meaning and feeling. For example, I would love for my articles to be as polished as my book texts, but would I rather have that polish and write half as many articles? In this, it is seen that there cannot be a “perfect” answer because the answer is always going to be a balance of two or more qualities.
Years ago, when I used to read about living life as a writer, I came across stories about how the most brilliant writers would spend an entire morning debating whether or not there should be a comma in a particular sentence. I remember marveling at this incredible level of perfection and craft. I am clearly now a different person, as my reaction to this idea today is to find it pretentious (which I acknowledge is a judgment).
I wonder how scared of criticism that writer must be to be immobilized by the idea that a comma could possibly be that important in the grand scheme of life. I find myself wondering if they must fear how few creative ideas, they have to offer that they would only write a handful of books in a lifetime rather than choosing to be more prolific (but less precise).
This has been made particularly clear to me by my desire to continue to use my 700+ hours of audio recordings to create articles. As it stands, at the age of forty-six, I don’t know if I’ll get through all that material even if I write every day until my dying day! This thankfully gives me a much more balanced perspective on the value of being less of a perfectionist and also the joy of conveying a broader range of ideas through less polished writing. It really comes down to where do I place the balance of value.
ANALOGY: For anyone having difficultly seeing an analogy in your life, just look for any decision that concerns how much time you give something. Take a relationship for example — maybe even with your own children. Is it better to have less time with them that is higher quality or more time of lower quality? In this there clearly is not a “perfect” answer; it has to be a balance, as there is only so much time in the day. This is a judgment-call we have to make on every relationship in our life.
To close, I invite you to see the comparable situations in your life. Where do you have the choice of how much time to give something? What is the balance of factors / qualities that you assess when choosing how much time to give? Is there anywhere in this where there is fear / perfectionism in operation instead of following your joy? What if you did some things in your life less well but quicker? What if you took more time to do certain things such that what you create is of higher quality? Where is your personal sweet spot on this issue?
My personal conclusion has been that I am happiest when I am moving between different levels of polish. In this I recognize that there is no right or wrong to it, there are just different experiences and I enjoy mixing things up. So, my current pattern of writing an article every few days and polishing book texts in between is currently my sweet spot (but I am open to that changing). I love that I am producing regular articles that have a wide scope and which will be collected into compendium books every few months, while at the same time producing more polished book texts.
A part of this for me has been finding practical solutions, and this process of releasing the book texts to patrons is perfect for helping keep me focused, on track, and productive — as well as allowing me the joy of sharing the texts as they are completed (and even having some proofing help from kind patrons).
So, even though having patrons is very much about creating financial support for me to work as a writer, I have also found practical ways to make it part of my sweet spot and give me the kind of working structure that can be hard to find for book authors who release one book every year or two.
It is powerful to become conscious of our relationship with time and how we allocate it. I encourage you to bring consciousness of where you are coming from inside of yourself in making these decisions. sweet spots are something you have to feel for rather than pinpoint through logic. This is because there isn’t a right or wrong to them; they are — as the name suggests — recognized through how sweet they feel (with that sweetness changing over time).
I hope something in this article has given you inspiration for recognizing and evolving your own sweet spots through the understanding that life isn’t about achieving perfection, it is about finding the way to make your life work for you such that each day has the highest potential to taste sweet.
Have a wonder-filled weekend of sweetness!
This is the original 2003 book text from The Messiah Seed.
perfection through imperfection.
“I choose to experience the perfection of my chosen imperfections.”
Messiah, realize that you can teach ideas, in the very moment that you are conceiving and learning to live them inside of your self. Realize that your heart speaks to you of truths that you have not yet integrated into living; do not let this stop you sharing these ideas, even as they are forming. In this way you will realize that not only are you teaching what you are learning, but that you are freeing your self from the idea that you must be ‘perfect’ in order to teach others. Realize that it is your very imperfections that make you the ideal teacher of the lessons that you are learningImperfections are gifts that you gave to your self to help you connect with and engage life. This is a part of the process of surrendering to your self. It is accepting your self.
know that your perfection lies within your imperfection and that, through this, you will unbind your mouth and speak your truth without reservation and without attachment. You are perfect in your chosen imperfections. You are not here to be everything. You are here to be you. To run from your imperfections is to run from your self. To embrace your imperfections, as the gifts they are, is to touch the eternal light inside of your being. It is to stand in the timelessness before birth, when you chose those imperfections. To embrace the perfection of your imperfections is to touch your own soul; it is to touch God within.
remember that you are a divine expression of individuality from which God looks out to see its reflection. To deny your individuality is to deny how you chose, with infinite wisdom, to be a living expression of God in this reality. You are here to do something unique and new. You chose your flavor of individuality to serve that divine purpose. Know your perfection through knowing your imperfection. Know your imperfection by realizing that it is perfection. Know you are perfectly you and that you are perfect.
This is the 2018 article text:
discover Your perfection By loving Your imperfections.
“I choose to experience the perfection of my imperfections.”
To become confident and fearless is not about achieving a state of perfection. It is about accepting who you are right now—just as you are. You cannot do this through tolerating what you consider to be your imperfections. To love yourself is to love All-That-You-Are. Only when you love and accept what you have resisted about yourself will you see the full value it has brought to your life. Celebrate your imperfections to see them with clarity.
We are each eternal-consciousness in a mortal form and we are the one that chose everything about that form. This means we knowingly chose every aspect of who we are, regardless of whether we see that aspect as positive or negative. We give ourselves qualities that can be hard to accept because of how these “imperfections” shape our lives in powerful ways.
I am someone who has worked as a speaker for the last twelve years, and yet… I used to hate my voice. I was bullied at school for “sounding gay”. My class used to laugh at me whenever I had to read out loud. The act of speaking became a source of pain to me and I was petrified of speaking in front of people I didn’t know. Learning to appreciate our reasons for choosing the parts of ourselves that are most different (and difficult to accept) is a part of loving who and what we are.
After I released my first book in 2004, I was invited to speak at a popular event. It was my first significant opportunity to get attention for my writing, but I would have to speak in front of several hundred people. I knew I had to do it, but I was so overwhelmed by the idea of speaking that I thought about it obsessively for the next four months. I decided not to give a prepared speech because I wanted to connect with the audience by speaking from my heart.
This doubled the fear and the excitement I was feeling. I was scared I would not physically be able to speak. I don’t remember being on stage. What I do remember is that I spent the rest of the weekend feeling a level of love, acceptance and validation far beyond any I had ever received. I spoke at that event several years later in front of over 500 people and I loved every minute of it. The sound of my voice, the thing I hated most about myself, continues to be at the heart of all that I do.
imperfections are gifts that you sculpted for yourself with great love. You did this to help shape your human experience. Your birth-choice was the decision (made by your spirit) to create your mortal self.
Although your spirit determines every aspect of you, it does not determine the events that you will experience in your life—it only points to a general territory of experience.
We often resist what we are (our birth-choice) through the idea that we could or should have made a better choice. As you embrace a wider experience of consciousness, you will simultaneously embrace everything about yourself. To perceive from the level of your spirit is to step into the breadth of understanding from which it created you.
As you embrace your spirit, you will come to agree with all of its choices, including the decision to create you—just as you are—including your so-called imperfections. It has to be this way because YOU are your spirit in mortal-form. The separation between what you perceive as your spirit and what you perceive as your human self is the illusion that creates the human experience.
What we have called perfection lies within what we have called our imperfection.
You are perfect in your chosen imperfections.
You are not here to be everything.
You are here to be you.
To run from your imperfections is to run from yourself. To embrace your imperfections, as the gifts they are, is to touch your spirit. This is to stand in the timelessness before birth when you chose to create your human self. To embrace the perfection of your so-called imperfections is to touch your eternal-infinite-self / God / the Tao / source / the one eternal-consciousness / whatever else you would like to call it.
You are a divine expression of individuality from which eternal-consciousness looks out to see its reflection.
Now compare with the finalized 2019 book text:
perfection through imperfection from The matter of consciousness.
The realization of perfection lies within the liberation of what we have judged to be our imperfections. To become confident and fearless is not about being perfect. It is about accepting who you are right now—just as you are. This is because to love yourself is to love All-That-You-Are. You cannot love yourself by denying, minimizing, or tolerating what you consider to be your imperfections (as these are states of resistance). Only when you love and accept the qualities you have judged about yourself, will you see their gifts. Learn to celebrate your imperfections to see them clearly.
We are each our spirit in human form and—in alignment with our intention for this life—we create every detail of that form. Therefore, regardless of whether you see a particular personal quality as positive or negative, you knowingly chose to experience yourself through it. These so-called imperfections shape our lives in powerful ways by causing us to engage with life through the characteristics that make us most different and unique. Learning to appreciate your reasons for choosing your most challenging aspects is a part of accepting, surrendering to, and awakening the potential of your human self.
Your imperfections make you the ideal teacher of the lessons you have learnt—and are still learning—through them. By standing in the freedom of this understanding you can release your fears, unbind your mouth, and speak the dream that flows through your heart without reservation or attachment. To run from your imperfections is to run from yourself. To appreciate your idiosyncrasies—as the gifts they are—is to touch your spirit, because to love your imperfections is to appreciate the wisdom of your spirit’s choice to be you.
The intention of your birth was not to be everything or please anyone. You are here to be YOU, and that is to know—without doubt—that you are perfect in your chosen imperfections. You are a free expression of individuality from which your spirit looks out to see its own reflection through a human focus. To deny any aspect of your individuality is to deny how you chose—with infinite wisdom—to experience yourself as a mortal, embodiment of eternal-consciousness.
“I choose to experience the perfection of my chosen imperfections.”
Your birth-choice is your spirit’s decision to create your human self. Within this intention, what we call our imperfections are gifts of focus we each sculpted for ourselves—with love—in the timelessness before our physical birth (in order to shape our human experience).
Although your spirit determines all your aspects and qualities, it does not predetermine the events you will experience in life; it does however point to a general territory of experience. Your birth-choice includes predetermined aspects such as your genetics and birth circumstances (such as the choice of your family which is done with full knowing of their mortal and spiritual intentions, characteristics, and probable paths in life).
Even after accepting our human form is a choice, we still tend to resist what we are—our birth-choice—through the idea that we could or should have made a better choice. This resistance changes as you awaken because, as you recognize and embrace the experience of your spirit, you will find you are simultaneously embracing your human self (and thereby your birth-choice). This is because to perceive from the level of your spirit is to step into the breadth of understanding from which it created the focus of consciousness that is YOU.
As you integrate your spirit, you will come to agree with all of its choices, including the decision to create you—exactly as you are—including your so-called imperfections. This is inevitable because you are your spirit in mortal-form. There is no separation between YOU and the choice to be you. The separation between what you perceive as your spirit and your human self is the perceptual illusion that the human experience of individuality is founded upon.
“Having confidence in myself—and being fearless in my self-expression—has not been about first achieving some state of perfection; it has been about accepting myself as I am now. I did not find the freedom of self-confidence through tolerating or reluctantly ‘not-hiding’ what I have seen as my imperfections; I did it by re-evaluating what I disliked about myself such that I could see the value those qualities bring to my life. Through this wider acceptance of All That I am, I have seen that my greatest potential lies in what makes me unique—and not necessarily in the qualities that society says are most valuable.”