Conscious Creation Journal – an aspect of consciouscreation.com – published by Kristen Fox and John McNally
Printed in the Conscious Creation Journal
Not “Making Do” Any Longer
by Kristen Fox
When I was a kid, I was often told to “make do” with what I had, or that I didn’t REALLY need certain things that I was asking for. Being the creative individual that we all are, I did learn to work around these limitations, quite well actually. In fact, I became a master at work arounds and “making do”, so much so that it became a matter of pride, a badge of honor, that I could so much with so little. In my first post-college job, I was hired as a technical writer into a department that was still in the process of forming and so we didn’t yet have a working computer for each person. I, most admirably, stepped forward and said that I didn’t NEED to have a computer all to myself and could very well share it with another person. I still remember the “what are you, nuts?” look my manager gave me when she said, “No, you need your own computer.”
Now, limitations can serve to introduce us to new avenues we wouldn’t have considered otherwise. For instance, if you don’t have the correct ingredients for a recipe you were wanting to make, you might instead look at what you DO have in the refrigerator and pantry and put together other diverse ingredients to create a new dish. You might also find new ways of creating what you want when you don’t have enough money to buy it outright. Working within accepted limitations or guidelines can be a rewarding experience – just think of what opportunities the guidelines of “time” and “space” create for us in physical reality!
One of the key factors however, is being able to discard old limitations once they
become too confining. (I certainly don’t want to HAVE TO play only “Checkers”
my entire life!) And to do that, a good thing to do is to find out exactly what you think is confining you.
I had noticed that when I focused on certain things that I wanted to create, the energy and excitement would dissipate quickly and I would only be left with feelings of frustration. A while ago I made a mental note that “frustration” meant that I wasn’t allowing a part of myself to “be” – the frustration was me restraining or disallowing my energy in some way.
So, what was frustrating me, exactly? I performed a mental “tracer” to find out
where my thoughts were going and how they were getting there from here.
And suddenly it was RIGHT THERE in front of me. First, I’d focus on what I wanted. Then, even before I was able to really feel anything for it, my thoughts
slid off into the “you don’t NEED this” and the “you can make do with what you have” zone.
“Use It All;
Wear It Out;
Make It Do;
or Go Without!”
My partner John calls it the Depression Era Mentality and reminded me of the
slogan that President Roosevelt (I believe) endorsed, “Use It All; Wear It Out; Make It Do; or Go Without!”
Even though my parents were born a while after the depression, that belief system was still extremely present in my family, even though I didn’t grow up “poor”. My training had probably begun when I first started to ask for things, and was told, as I mentioned in the opening paragraph, that I didn’t need it, couldn’t have it, and could make do in some way with what was already there. In effect, what I learned to do was to VERY QUICKLY dismiss my desires if they were outside of the realm of limitation that my family had adopted, and go about finding some “acceptable” way of at least partly making my desires areality.
Later in my life, when I came up on the ideas of reality creation, I also ran into a lot of “spiritual” ideas as well. I didn’t have a problem with the concepts of simplifying your life, and I did understand that thinking in terms of needing money to accomplish things was a severe limitation unto itself. BUT, I always bristled inside on some level when I’d confront these attitudes on email lists and in essays and such. To some degree I also continued my pattern of making do and working around the ideas of not having money and the like. But my discontent was growing.
Apparently, I had inadvertently but very concisely reproduced my early training to convince myself that I did NOT really want something, with my projections and interactions with many lists’ members (god bless ‘em! *grin*). Even though I felt frustration, I still dutifully TRIED to find a way around things…. but it wasn’t going to happen. Seems it was time to stop flowing around the obstacle and dissolve it instead.
The funny part was that no matter how old or used or ragged or filled up things became, I continually found ways of “making do” and of accepting things that I truly did NOT find acceptable anymore. Silly things like, telling myself that I didn’t NEED to buy new towels, no matter how ragged or frayed they became, because you could still MAKE DO with them. I even found ways to “make do” with less and less money, sort of. I deleted things off our computer’s hard drive when it became full. Anything to keep me within this old framework of limitation, particularly when it came to ‘new things’ or ‘more space’.
There were certain parts of my life that I did NOT “just make do” though – particularly in my writing or my art. I couldn’t let a paragraph go unedited if I felt it was only “making do” or “good enough” – I had to have the exact wording I wanted. And I wouldn’t accept navy blue paint if I was trying to achieve indigo, for instance, or use pancake mix instead of wheat flour when baking. I considered things like that a matter of artistic integrity to get things “just right” so that my final creations came out with me smiling and satisfied.
So when I learned to deny my desires, I learned to toss away my integrity. I could “demand” that I get art and “creative” projects just right, but that’s as far as my integrity was allowed to stretch within that old system. However, the
more I brought the “you create your own reality” ideas into more areas of my life, the more intensely I began to need my integrity to come with me. You can’t create what you want without connecting with your true self in those areas – that’s what creates what we call EFFORT and HARD work.
So… I sat down and took a good, long look at all the “reasons” that I had to deny myself: It was for the good of the whole (the family) if I didn’t demand too much because we could only have so much. There’s a limited amount of resources on the earth and so it’s really selfish for you to demand things like new towels when yours still, in effect, works. But none of this old thinking meshed with my new frame of mind as a conscious creator, and it was certainly time to let go of them! And, after all, I really DID have standards, and a big chunk of my life was not yet MEETING these standards of satisfaction.
Next, I went back to my initial desires. I stated that things were different now and that it was now quite acceptable for me to have these desires that were outside the old framework of limitations. The first thing I felt was a reconnection with EXCITEMENT. In a past issue of the Conscious Creation Journal, I wrote an article called, “Swimming Pools and Inner Passions” where I created a swimming pool for our family by, er, swimming in the feeling of excitement I had whenever I thought about it. That knowing came back to me once again – this time when I reconnected with the excitement of the new things I wanted to create, I didn’t even seem ABLE to go that old route of discounting my desires or trying to “make do” – my brain couldn’t even consider it anymore. I once again had contact with my true self, my integrity – why go anywhere else?
A few days has passed since my initial turn around with this whole issue. I find that with the understanding that my desires were “okay” or “perfectly acceptable and fine”, I am now truly TRUSTING myself to create these things I’ve wanted for so long but kept denying myself. I’m not worrying about how or when they will come about – the essence of that is really doubt or disconnection from the self. The nonchalant and playful “everything will work out just perfectly!” attitude that I used to pride myself on has now flowed to fill in this ‘void’ as well. I am fully able to immerse myself in the excitement of something I want to create or experience, without kicking myself out anymore. Once again, I’m the one directing my energy in this area instead of “default reality” beliefs. Oh, what a feeling! *grin*
©2001, Kristen Fox. All Rights Reserved. Printed in the Conscious Creation Journal. (Feel free to duplicate this article for personal use – please include this copyright notice and the URL.) http://www.consciouscreation.com