Most likely as you read these words, I will be flying overhead on my way back from Frankfurt, Germany, to my home in California… and my beautiful wife… and my beautiful cat… and my beautiful house. I have been a little homesick this time! If you live in America, go look out the window right now, and if you see a jet flying overhead, it is probably me.
I have been teaching in many different locations in Europe around the theme of Radical Brilliance. It is actually where everything finds its fulfillment, where everything falls into place, when the light that is inside of you—that is inside everyone—gets switched on, and it emanates through you as your own unique flavor of brilliance. In these seminars and trainings, we have been exploring the amazing and wonderful relationship between awakening and the emanation of this brilliance. If you read my writing here regularly, you are going to hear a lot more about this cycle over the coming weeks. Let me explain to you the four phases of the expression of brilliance, which I call the Brilliance Cycle: Awakening, Flow, Action, and Letting Go.
The first phase of the Brilliance Cycle is Awakening. You may have heard that Einstein came up with the theory of relativity while resting in the bathtub. Jack Canfield came up with the title for Chicken Soup for the Soul while resting in meditation. Original, great ideas arise not from imitation or “trying,” but from knowing how to let go so completely that you enter into a state of consciousness without boundaries. Traditionally, this has been thought of as the realm of mysticism, but actually it is extremely practical. It is something like plugging an appliance into an electrical socket, if you expect it to work it needs juice.
The second phase of the Brilliance Cycle is Flow.
This is the most pleasurable part of the process. For many people it comes after states of deep meditation or rest. It is that time when ideas are bubbling on their own, and you can hardly keep up with them. You may have heard that William Blake would stay up all night with his pen never ceasing to move; it was a kind of automatic writing. His work never needed editing because it just flowed through him—it was perfectly alliterated, it all rhymed. Leonard Cohen speaks about creating his album Ten New Songs in the same way.
The third phase of the Brilliance Cycle is Action. If you want anybody to eventually hear your music, or read your book, or try out the amazing new gizmo you have invented, it is going to require bringing it out of the clouds and onto the earth. This requires collaboration with other people, meeting deadlines, and often facing unexpected obstacles. It is also the realm where we have to start dealing with money. Because it involves limitations, and working within time, if you stay in this phase for very long you are going to start to experience some degree of stress.
The fourth phase of the Brilliance Cycle is one of Letting Go. This is the whole idea of taking Sunday off after being productive all week. The key thing to understand (which very few people successfully anticipate) is that this phase of the cycle almost always feels horrible. I am sure you know about postpartum depression, which is when a woman feels depleted and hopeless after giving birth, rather than elated. Many creative people experience their own form of postpartum depression with a project. Just when you have met all the deadlines and completed everything, you feel empty and burned out. But if you are willing to wait patiently through the layers of discomfort, the letting go phase will naturally bring you back into your true self again—into limitless consciousness.
So the cycle continues. You can live through this Brilliance Cycle over the life of a project or on a daily basis, over months and years.
There is a lot more to understand about this cycle and I am excited to share it with you, both here on the blog in writing and videos. I will discuss how we can get stuck in each phase of the cycle, and why we have motivation to resist each phase of the cycle (and so lose the flow of moving through the cycle).
Exploring this model with creative people throughout Europe has been very exciting, and I am looking forward to sharing it soon in Vancouver, Canada, and in Truckee, California. You can register for these events on my site here.
As always, I would love to hear your thoughts about all of this in the comments below.
You can continue reading about brilliance in my recent blogs here: