I promised to share more pivotal moments on my blog about my journey.
One of the most significant elements is your willingness and ability to commission yourself and your creative projects, and then put these project out into a world that doesn’t yet know they want you and your projects. This is one of the ultimate acts of self-leadership in my mind, and also one of the most generous things you can do.
Here’s a story of one of my big awakenings to commissioning myself.
In 2002, my first book The Work We Were Born To Do had been out for three years and I now had a two book contract to write two more books with Bantam books. I was finishing off the second book of the contract, and I was actually feeling very proud of myself (and slightly surprised) because I was hitting all my deadlines.
At the same time, I was also niggled. I had bought a mini disk recorder and had taken to recording most of the live talks I was giving, intending to turn them into CD’s. I wanted to reach more people and create another income stream. I was recording all the talks OK but none of them were becoming CD’s. This was bugging me. So got curious, and started asking why? What was the difference? How come I was delivering books but not CD’s?
Then it dawned on me. I was hitting book deadlines because I was being commissioned. Bantam wanted me to write and deliver the books; I was contracted. Nobody was asking me to create a series of CD’s, no-one was commissioning me. And I wasn’t commissioning myself either!
In that one moment of awareness, a new part of me that was there already began to surface and emerge even more strongly – the one who initiated himself, who commissioned himself and felt inspired to show up whether I was being asked to or not. I decided I would publish my own CD’s. I felt I was being very bold and audacious and busting a layer of my but who am I to? story.
This was a vital transition I needed to make as a Spiritual Pro. I was deeply conditioned to need permission, to do what I was told to do by those in authority, and not to do what I wasn’t asked to do. I also believed that my projects were only really valid when they are commissioned by an outside agency. Anything I commissioned I considered a “vanity” project. I even felt a little arrogant, “I can’t just do what I want to do and feel inspired to do. What would happen if everyone did that!?”
It was a supreme act of courage and self-sovereignty to choose to bring my own work into a world that wasn’t yet asking for it and didn’t know that it needed or wanted it.
So what did I do? I sat down and had a meeting with myself and turned my idea into a clear project. I appointed a part of me, “Commissioning Director” and commissioned myself to create the CD’s. I got sound editing software, I found someone who could take the audio flies and turn them into physical CD’s. I found someone to create a lovely image that could go on the label of the CD. I appointed another part of me “Shipping Director” to ensure that I actually launched the CD’s and let people know they existed and marketed them.
So over the next 24 months I created a series of 13 CD’s, and sold thousands of them all over the world. It was a great income stream, I served more people in more places and I had many people saying, “It’s great to be able to listen to you in my car now/on my MP3 player/on my computer.”
At this point in my life, early 2015, I am ready to write a new chapter about commissioning myself. In truth, it might be truer to say that I am commissioned by the Muse, and then I can choose to either say yes to or turn away from what I am being commissioned to be and do. Too often I still allow my own resistance to stop me showing up with what I have been inspired to do. I am always being commissioned by inspiration. Even though I can always listen to the voices of my ego that give me many reasons why I shouldn’t show up, but I getting better at giving myself reasons why I will show up.
Although I have published nine books, dozens of blog posts, many programmes, talks, workshops, audios and videos, I estimate that these actually only represent about 10% of my created work. The other 90% of my creations remain on my hard drive, in my heart and in my mind. Now, I am committed to getting past even more of my resistance and publishing much more of my own creativity. I am choosing to become even more prolific.
But it does require me to continually step into my vulnerability. The blog post I published last week wasn’t so hard to write, but it was excruciating to press the “Publish” button and go public with. And yet, the post received the most feedback I have ever had.
So here is the question for you: what do you need to commission to create? Or what have you commissioned yourself to create but haven’t “shipped” and shown up with in the world yet?
Don’t wait, act powerfully, commission yourself because you’ll feel better about yourself and the world is richer because you share what is in you. Your showing up is a blessing to many people, and the answer to some people’s prayers. Please don’t rob us of your contribution.