Creative Intention. Know Your ABCDEs

What most inhibits conscious creation is the limits we set on what is possible. We can summarise these as our abcdeFs, the:

  • attitudes
  • beliefs
  • concepts
  • denials
  • expectations


  • Fears

we bringing into the project.

Fears get a capital F because the various forms of fear are embedded in the rest, often unconsciously.

When it comes to creating what we most truly want, our fears run the full gamut from low-level anxiety through worry, angst, unease, uneasiness, apprehension, apprehensiveness, nervousness, disquiet, misgivings, doubt, dismay, suspicion, trepidation, dread, consternation, alarm and panic, to all out terror.

We are fearful of creative failure but also, surprisingly often, fearful of creative success.


We all have abcdeFs, they go with having a brain, and they frame our experience. “Frame”, with its associations of confinement and enclosure, is an appropriate word. Our abcdeFs limit us, and what is most challenging about them is that those that are most limiting tend to be unconsciously held. We are not even aware that we hold them.

Limits are necessary to safety and survival and an inherent part of conscious creation. Limits are also inherent to form and will emerge, of their own accord, as we form whatever we are forming. At an earlier stage in the process, though, we need to dissolve them or cast them off.

Until we bring our abcdeFs into consciousness, we are not making clear choices about how to live. We can practice positive thinking or repeat a million affirmations, it won’t make any difference. For example, Johnny grew up in a house where income was erratic, at best. He remembers being hungry, and the feeling of wearing soaked socks from the holes in his shoes. Although he has long had a secure career that he enjoys, with a steadily climbing salary, he is constantly in debt.

Every time he gets some money in, he rushes to spend it. His long-ago ingrained expectations of money are driving his experience of it.


Try This: F-R-E-E-Write your abcdeFs by addressing the following questions:

a. What is my attitude to [insert your creative project here]?

b. What core beliefs do I hold about the project? About myself and my ability to see it into being? How true are these, in reality?

c. How do I conceptualise this project, in my mind? What does it mean to me? What abstract notions do I hold about it?

d. What might I be denying? What might be there that I don't know I don't know?

e. What outcome am I expecting? What can I accept? What would be awful? What might be good in the worst outcome, bad in the best?

F. What Fears lurk beneath?

F-R-E-E-Write at least one paragraph addressing each of these questions.

Sit in stillness and quiet, with your notebook open before you, your pen beside it. For two full minutes, sit with silence, letting your breathing become progressively slower and deeper. Prepare to write fast, raw and exact-but-easy. Let your thoughts rest, waiting to begin.
Take a pen and six blank sheets of paper. Draw a circle at the centre of the first page and inside the circle write the word Attitudes. On the second page, write the word Beliefs in the centre of similarly centred circle. Do the same with each of the ABCDEF headings: Concepts, Denials, Expectations, Fears.
Now, beginning with Attitudes, in a few words or a short sentence, write the attitudes you hold around money, good and bad. Put each attitude in a circle of its own, and link it to the central word, Attitude, with a line, making a Money Attitudes Mind-map on the page.
Once you think you’re finished, go on and do the same mind-mapping exercise for Money Beliefs, Money Concepts, Money Denials, Money Expectations and Money Fears. You may well find there is repetition, that’s okay, that’s something you really need to note.
The next day, F-R-E-E Write your thoughts and feelings about this exercise.
Carry these sheets of paper around with you for a few days, and whenever you catch yourself feeding yourself an ABCDEF, note it on the relevant page.

More about creative intention next time.

Comments are closed.