Reflections on Creativity & Personal Mastery

My empty bucket started as a blog, back in 2007. It started while I was a teaching assistant for a course called Creativity & Personal Mastery at the Rao Institute. Over this last year, I returned as a coach for the online version of this course. It’s an experiential program to help you create your own journey of profound wellbeing and fulfilment.

I joke to people that the course certainly helped me find my own fulfilment… I’m just slow, and it took me 15 years. Although in all honesty, it’s a course that’s helped me at all stages of my development. I originally took the course when I was studying for my MBA at the London Business School. At the time, I was 28 years old, and in general, just trying to figure out how I was going to get a job in a field other than medical robotics. I was confused and overly confident of my capabilities to do anything – while not really knowing much.

At the time, Creativity & Personal Mastery gave me a framework for my own personal development – for the inner work that I needed to do. I had started learning Vipassana meditation but hadn’t learned how to sit and meditate daily. I wanted a meaningful job, but after so many dead ends, I took a meaningless job in Finance IT (which was definitely not my cup of tea).

I kept applying the principles of the program – understanding how my mind works, examining the stories I create about my reality, developing gratitude, and living more in an “other-centered universe”. And over time, change does happen.

Ultimately, on July 10th, 2014, I started a daily journaling practice (in the form of Julia Cameron’s morning pages) – a practice that has stuck with me since. (I wrote my 2443’rd morning page today.). A year later, I faced the incongruency of calling myself a “meditator” who never meditated, and committed to sitting 5 minutes a day for a year. In 2016, I was sitting daily for an hour in the morning. In 2017 I realized I needed more information to figure out what I was passionate about, and started the People Helping People Podcast. I recently posted my 100th episode, with an awesome social entrepreneur, Joe DeLoss, founder of Hot Chicken Takeover. In 2018, I launched a social enterprise side-hustle, Wild Tiger Tees, working with youth experiencing homelessness.

Fast-forward to 2021, and I’m in awe at how these pieces fit together. There is this calling that flows through me. It doesn’t mean that “I’ve arrived”, but opportunities flow naturally into my life that are connected to this higher purpose. Oddly, there is also a sense that it’s not about me… as if I’m just a vehicle for what is unfolding. I have this deep sense of gratitude for being that vehicle.

And while amazing conversations and connections flow effortlessly to me; there is still much which is hard, frustrating work. (I still try to balance too much, and sometimes it feels like I’m barely holding on.) But beneath the surface, there is a sense that I know this path is unfolding.

And there is only one thing I can do to make it easier: stay intensely aware, right here, right now, with whatever this moment holds. The more I let my thoughts take me into time and drama and the entanglement of thought, the more likely I am to drown. So, I find myself in a new place, where my practice is largely reminding myself to wake up to this moment.

In essence, that’s what I learned from Creativity & Personal Mastery. It’s a concept I learned 15 years ago, but it feels like I’m just scratching the surface on realizing that in some capacity. But it’s from this space that I return to this blog; to share stories of my own development and insight, in a way that’s more personal than my deep dive into social entrepreneurship over at People Helping People.

Not sure anyone sees this blog. But if you do, and you’re on a similar journey, let me know. I’d love to connect.

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