The Paradox of Passion...Stirring Your Creative Juices

Submitted by Richard W on Fri, 12/14/2018 - 06:02

For the last week I’ve been high. Not from any artificial stimulant or even a wonderful experience. It’s simply from having the space to express my passions and finally seeing that expression manifest in the physical world – an expressing that will touch the world in a positive way. Now, after a week the high is coming back down. Not that it will be replaced by a low as with so many artificial highs or even the after effects of wonderful experiences. This high has come about simply by letting the energy that is ‘me’ flow out into the world, from which I know there is an infinite source.

So where does true passion come from?

You can't Initiate True Passion by Imposing Will on It

For the past 2 years I’ve been writing a book. It’s been a dream of mine ever since I was first asked the question, ‘what would you like to be when you grow up’ to which my answer was always ‘an Author’. Now, there are a number of ways you could look at this – firstly you could notice that 2 years is a heck of a long time to be working on one project, and I would agree with you. There have been times where it’s seemed like a marathon task that would never be complete. However, if you see that there is only ever this moment, then I can reflect to you that it was never a chore because it flowed when it needed to.

There were parts of it that I didn’t enjoy, for example the endless edits to eliminate errors and make sure the thing actually made sense. However, I only ever did this when I was feeling wilful and motivated. The point that I’m trying to make is this: there is so much talk of passion and commitment that you’ll be forgiven for judging yourself when you don’t have it. But, the truth is trying to force these feelings only leads to the opposite feeling and thus to procrastination. Trust me I know.

I had months of deep inner processing – my personal journey seemed to coincide with the book, forcing me to live what I had written about. In these periods I did nothing towards the book. And that was ok. However, if you allow your passions their fun when they arise, then you’ll find that commitment, will power and focus arise as a natural consequence. Thus, one feeds the other in a continue loop, stoking the fire. That’s the paradox – you can’t initiate passion by imposing will on it, only from surrendering to the flow and then allowing commitment and will to naturally arise.

Self-publishing - Start Somewhere!

Self-publishing a book can seem like a mammoth task. Honestly, I had little to no clue how to do it when I started out on this journey. It was a steep learning curve but I quickly found out that the flexibility it offered (as opposed to traditional publishing) allowed me greater self-expression and thus a more free-flowing movement of soul. Yes, there’s less security and more investment of energy, but I’m sure everyone reading this is aware that these are the fires in which the soul is forged!

For anybody who’s interested in writing and self-publishing a book, there’s a wealth of information out there. However, as I always found personal reflections more interesting and useful than generic lists, here are a few pointers:

  • Start somewhere – if you have an idea, even if it’s just a vague one, but you have no idea what to actually write about it, then I would advise you just to start writing anything. For me just writing the initial idea onto a piece of paper led by itself to further ideas, which lead to an initial outline of what I wanted to do, which led to writing my own story in accordance with the main theme of the book (change). One thing naturally leads to another, and if it doesn’t then stop and come back to it another time.
  • Research the process of self-publishing but don’t get too bogged down in the details. For me, I needed information but I found that over a certain point I was becoming tight. There is so much advice and information that it’s easy to get overwhelmed especially when a lot of them are posted as ‘the thing you must do to succeed’. Honestly, it’s only after finishing the process (and not doing half of the things I apparently have to do if I don’t want my book to ‘fail’) that I’ve realised how basic the process is when you simply do one thing at a time.
  • Here was my basic process – write the book, edit the book, send off to a professional editor, send to proof reader, format the book (or send to a pro), get the cover designed, publish on Amazon. When you see it like this instead of all the many sub-steps each basic step will require then it’s really ok (especially when stretched out over a long period of time).
  • Give yourself time for everything. The beauty of self-publishing is that there is no pressure from a publishing company.

Awakening through Change

If you can balance having enough will power and commitment to keep at it, but enough surrender to allow those in-between periods and not put any undue pressure on yourself, then you’ll give yourself the best chance at having that high feeling when you see a physical book, your creation, coming through your letter box.

So, what is this book actually about?

‘Awakening through Change: A practical guide to self-discovery and liberation in times of transition’ will show you how to embrace the flow of your soul and the universe as a whole and discover yourself in the process.

Many of us experience identity loss in times of great change. Or, we know that change is needed but are afraid or have no idea how to go about it. This book shows you how identity and attachment are created, how to step beyond them into the light and fire of your soul, and finally how to live from that place.

To buy the book and for more information, please visit...

With love,


Richard is a Spiritual Facilitator with Openhand. He is a carer, psychologist, spiritual coach and writer. He has worked close to death for 7 years and is passionate about helping people to move on in a conscious way, even though society is geared to fight against death. He offers services in Spiritual Facilitation and Conscious Dying on his website Back to the Source and writes regular articles on his blog.

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From where I’m at, it’s very heartening to hear you say this about grief and excitement happening simultaneously:

 I would say if ever someone was looking for a sign that they're moving forward on the spiritual path, it would be this feeling!

The Gaia transitioning mirror is something that resonates very strongly with me. The phrase “urgency, not haste,” came to mind recently.

If we can just be urgently surrendered empathic communicative thoughtfully inspired diplomatic warrior magicians ... then no worries, right! Smiling Face with Closed eyes

Hi Paul,

Thanks for sharing your story!

One of the things that stood out for me the most in what you wrote was a sense of experiencing both grief at letting go of the old and excitement for what's to come. I know exactly what you mean and have experienced this quite intensely, especially over the last year or so. I would say if ever someone was looking for a sign that they're moving forward on the spiritual path, it would be this feeling! It's a sure sign of activating soul and alignment with the flow.

I found your observation about leaving your job currently feeling like purgatory very interesting symbology. This seems to be the case quite often with conscious transitions - there seems to be a kind of winding down phase that can seem very weird and even unbalancing when you already feel like a big part of you has moved on. But, of course you are not the only one involved in this process and it seems like the smoothest way to transition, to enable as many people to process it in a conscious way as possible, is to put on the brakes slightly. 

I would also say that these observations you've made can also be seen in the transition that Gaia will be making and those who are processing this consciously will be experiencing very similar things no doubt. It's a great mirror! Thank you


Hey Paul - I've been tuning in from the 'sidelines' in your exchange with Rich.
I've stood on the edge a fair few times where you are.
The only place to go is deeper in!

This song came to mind. Last time I jumped off a cliff, it kept me breathing...

Open voltage emoji iconThe Sun EmojiPraying Emoji

Anytime and you’re very welcome. 

Sure I’ll share how it’s going for me - right now feels very... “purgatorial.” I gave notice on Friday and my company has asked me to stay on for the next two to three weeks to help out during the transition, and I’m willing to do so to help smooth the transition with my coworkers. A formal announcement has not yet been made regarding my departure and I’ve been asked to keep mum about it over the short term,  so that’s added another layer to the sense of purgatory as well.  

There are conflicting feelings - on one hand a massive sense of excitement and trust and relief that I’m finally going to get to live my Real life, and on the other hand there is a sad feeling of abandonment, of “leaving people behind,” as well as the natural uncertainty that goes with the unknown. 

But I can feel in the three conversations I’ve had so far that my authenticity is really catalyzing the field in a way I didn’t expect. I was really anticipating judgment and maybe even some resentment - instead people have opened up and shared their own vulnerability with me, showing support and even admiration.

There is a sense of oddness to my experience now too - it feels even more like a waking dream.  There has been so much energetic processing over the past several weeks - months now that I think about it - that by the time I actually left, it almost felt like an afterthought. Like it wasn’t really a decision - in order to continue down the Path step by step in front of me, I HAD to keep releasing ballast. It also feels like I haven’t properly celebrated yet.

And the guidance and synchronicity was very strong that it was time to leave, and while that didn’t make it much easier, it helped simplify it into a choice: to align now, or not.  It now REALLY feels like these events are being specifically orchestrated in order to give me and those around me the exact experiences necessary for deeper and deeper processing.

More than I thought I was going to write; thank you again for the stimulus Rich!





Dear Paul,

Thanks so much for the feedback loop. It's good to know what is working for people and it makes me smile. 

Wow, hats off to you for taking that step to leave your job. It must has taken a fair bit of courage. Would you like to share how it's going for you? How are you feeling about it? I'd love to stay in touch and here about how it goes for you if you feel to. 

Warmest wishes,


Dear Rich,

I recently finished your book and have been feeling the pull for several days to reach out and let you know how your creation landed with one of your fans out here in the ether.  I haven’t had the chance yet to experiment with the practical exercises, but I gotta tell you – I found them to be very well explained and structured.  And that eyes closed exercise is something I’ve been doing my own version of for a while now - it never disappoints!

A bit ironically, I identified Smiling With Sweat Emoji with a lot of your journey.  Several of our fear manifestations line right up, especially musical performance and public speaking.  And I totally resonate with your sharing of Open’s tale of waiting for a thread to drop at the beginning of a presentation, and nothing whatsoever coming through! That’s one of my favorite stories of his.

Your sense of humor was also sprinkled around perfectly, and it always seemed to hit when I wasn’t expecting it.  My favorite:

“Perhaps, your heart is telling you to do the bloody housework!” Tears

The Scientist in me loved the identity equation:

“Identity = (Past Conditioning + Future Desires) X Intensity of Emotion Involved.”  That same Scientist also gave a good bit of grudging admiration to your comment on intuition:

“It can often be completely against logic, but logic is so often born of fear anyway.” 

The most entertaining parts for me to read were the stories your shared that breathed real life context into the philosophy and practical applications.  These alone were worth the price of admission.

But the absolute best part for me, and the one constant I felt throughout every combination of words: was YOU. That same essence of authentic frequency you aptly described many times in your book…  It was unmistakable and honest and grounded and humble and strong.   

And so I want to leave you with a feedback loop of your words that inspired me the most. 😊 As these things luckily tend to go, I read your book at the exact right time. It was special because I could feel you unveiling your own unique expression of Ray 1 within your creation, and it totally mirrored my own Ray 1 as it was initiating significant change in my life. 


“I’m not attached to any outcome.  I know that my essence doesn’t change whether 10 people read it or 10 million. I’m writing it because there’s an upwelling of creative expression which wants to manifest itself.”

“All that is required is a leap of faith.  Once the process is in motion it will build its own momentum. Know that whatever happens you will come out of it with an outer situation that reflects your inner world.”   

This one lit me up so much!  I just left an 18 year career in the business world a few days ago. Talk about synchronicity – as I was reading your words, my wife and daughter spontaneously began singing “Free Fallin’” by Tom Petty at the top of their lungs the next room over.

“And if that mountain just seems overwhelming and unclimbable, remember this: You only need to know the next step!”


With gratitude,


Hey folks,

I just got onto this thread and have been greatly encouraged to step out by you all.

I have been writing poems for the last few years after much encouragement from my Ma. I never thought they were much good but I have had alot of pos feedback and the idea of publishing a book of poems for survivors of sexual abuse to encourage them, so they dont feel so alone in their journey, has been niggling at me. Things keep popping up re publishing but the idea was so overwhelming I have shelved it, till now. After reading your experiences I think I am being nudged and I may just give it a crack, gulp! Its the journey thats important afterall, right? I have put a couple of poems on this site (which is a safe place) just to be brave and not hide. The feedback hasnt been important but the stepping out has been, as it's helped release something inside me.

So thankyou for being YOU and so willing to share your journeys freely.

What a fab bunch of peeps you are! I'm so grateful.

Lots of love and big hugs to you all. xo

Hi Megha - your collaboration sounds like a wonderful project, and your novel, just go for it! As they say, feel the fear and do it anyway.

I've often found when the sense of fear arises, it's representing the exact gateway to walk through. I remember writing the book DIVINICUS, countless 4am starts, fueled by a passion to get the material out there. But then I recall the night before I released it, thinking about the challenging and contentious nature of the content, specifically around the intervention, and I thought this is just like opening Pandora's Box, you can't close it once you've opened it! But I just knew I had to do it anyway. It took the work deep through the density, no longer a mere general (comfortable) awareness raising project. And.... I've never looked back!!!

For you and anyone out there reading, if you have the passion, for speaking, painting, singing or writing poetry, just do it for the sake of it. Not to be successful in a numbers or monetary context, just as a means of self-expression. You'll be amazed at what you unleash...

I have recently been part of a wonderful collaborative effort by 13 women each of whom have contributed to writing stories or personal essays . The story I wrote explored abandonment as well as a boy who is transgender , finding himself.I was very lucky to be part of this project especially because it was self ,published ,proof read ,publicized ,everything with just the collective energy of these ladies .So Rich, I have experienced how empowering self publishing is . 

I am also ,through this thread gathering the courage to write the novel swirling in my head about a woman learning to navigate a post apocalyptic world . Even thinking about writing something so ambience ious brings out all the ' You can't ' Gremlins 😀. 

But let's do it anyway ! Lots to everyone on this thread . Speaks to me deeply ! 


In reply to by iamdurga

Hi Megha,

Thanks so much for sharing your experience. It really touches me that there are so many people here expressing their inner being and insights through writing!

I remember as wrote the book and went through the whole process of publishing I had mixed feelings. On the one hand I felt no reservation about sharing my story and my perspectives. On the other hand there has been a slight niggling feeling of wanting as many people to resonate as possible. And when I pressed the 'publish' button on Amazon the first thing that happened was a sinking feeling in my stomach and a though, 'oh bloody hell, now anyone can view this book in which I've actually been quite vulnerable in places'. 

But I wouldn't change the expression itself for any of those feelings. 

Much love


Hi Sandrs,

No worries at all that you've already been 2 years in the writing. The first Openhand book, Breakthrough, that started was the last to finish, several years after the beginning! And for the very reason you mention here...

Where I am now is looking at successful writers and how they begin each book, each chapter so as to draw the reader into it from the start.

Bang on. A lot of consideration needs to go into this. Breakthrough began as a very simple journal of events that my predecessor Chris wrote. Through the ether he asked me to complete it. My task was to work to bring people into the events and circumstances as if they were in them themselves. And I think that's the key - to write from the situations. So I had the memories buried within - it was necessary to activate those and write from the energy of the moment itself. Writing in present tense helped. And when you get into action situations, to write short punchy sentences to convey increase in tempo. Rather than having a long description or build up for each chapter, it was straight into an event...

Suddenly I found myself in the stroke seat of a fast racing eight. It’s early morning on the river Isis, the sun is rising gloriously over the meadows; dew is still clinging precariously to bending grass, and the river is lightly shrouded in cloaking mist. I’m leading the crew, all eight perfectly in time, as one with each other, the blades echoing a crisp ‘chunk’ in the quiet hush, as they slice into the water and a ‘whoosh’ as they leave, the crew floating deftly forwards across the finely balanced shell, readying for the next stroke. One of the great benefits of leading the crew, is that you get to see past the cox, to the glass-like water and the ripples gently bubbling from the stern, as, like a deep morning breath, the boat rises and falls with each majestic stroke. At Oxford, I had discovered a renewed passion for rowing, a sport I’d been deeply seduced by in my earlier years.

Go for it Sandrs - put yourself in the situation and write from there!

Much love



Oh how wonderful.  This article by Richard and Open is exactly what I need.  I have been writing a book for over 2 years now and it's in bits and pieces on my desktop. Time out for a hit from the autoimmune disorder that lasted for months, more time out to learn how to walk again, talk,  play the organ/piano again, learn how to write again, clear out the cloud of brain fog....only recently have these things gained recovery and restitution.  Meanwhile, through it all the Spirit Cinsciousness kept on revealing, more and more.   The book is focusing on the manifestations of Ascension ...the prophetic, the energies, the dimensions, the general process, the events in December 2012, the disapplontments, the collapse of the 3rd dimensional matrix on earth,  the process of karma, and what we who have entered the higher fields are discovering.  Huge!! Basically, who, what, where, when and how...a history of evolution of the soul.  And if you will excuse what might be misconstrued as arrogance, feels like a beginning of a 3rd Testement.

Where I am now is looking at successful writers and how they begin each book, each chapter so as to draw the reader into it from the start.  I joined a book club for that very reason...what compelled them to read through a work?  Whst drew them into the story and kept their engagement?  

Your essays and the responses are going to be so helpful.  Many many thanks and praises.  And Richard,  I will be ordering your book today!

Please, may i send you both pieces of mine as it manifests ? I know I want feedback but the first effort sort of feels like my kindergartener bringing home a drawing he made at school....he trusts my love and enthusiasm.  At this point, what I don't need is someone who is "brutally honest''.  Often they can be more brutal than honest. No worries with the two of you, and maybe a few others. 





In reply to by sandrajaneenah

Hi Sandra,

Wow your book sounds really interesting and certainly something that needs to flow out organically. 

Respect to you for coming through all those challenging situations and continuing. I often found that I was worried after long breaks that the flow wouldn't be there any more. But in fact I was now looking at it with fresh eyes after integrating consciousness. 

I'd be glad to read your pieces as they manifest. Just let me know when you want to send them over. 

Much love


Hi Richard,

Thank you so much for this article. Lately, I’ve also been feeling this strong writing itch, but also the insecurity of having no idea where to start.

I really resonate with your advice of just starting with anything that wants to express, without needing it to be a certain way or a part of a greater whole. Quite often when I allow myself to just start, the story eventually begins to write itself, using me as a channel. So it all has a strong synergistic feel to it.

Open, you said 

And I would suggest to anyone whose interested in writing, absolutely go for it, 100% all in, but completely let go of the need for an outcome other than to express. 

YES! I completely agree. This is key!

Nice work, Richard! Very inspiring!



In reply to by Anastasia

Hi Anastasia,

Awesome, I wish you a fulfilling expression with your writing. 

You know a good portion of my book and also the articles that I write seem to come to me while I'm out walking or else in the shower. Just seems to get ideas flowing.

Much love


Woohoo - Rich, I take my cap off to you. Self-publishing a book is indeed a mammoth task, so firstly a huge bear hug for a tremendous accomplishment. The Sun EmojiThumbs Up SignOK Hand Sign

You are so right when you say...

There is so much talk of passion and commitment that you’ll be forgiven for judging yourself when you don’t have it. But, the truth is trying to force these feelings only leads to the opposite feeling and thus to procrastination. Trust me I know.

Halleluyah! There's such a huge body in the mainstream out there that wants to tell you how to impose passion and commitment... to graft and grind your way 'to the top'! But the point is, it doesn't last this way, or else makes you very unhappy in the end.

They say passion lies at the intersection of 3 or more interests - explore what you love doing, what fires your interests and your passion in life will be in amongst those - it'll give you purpose and direction.

For me Rich, having written three books, I can say each was quite like climbing Everest! Like you, I didn't have a clue about it, so I just took a step and kept stepping forwards. And probably like you, I had no clue how long it would take. But I knew I wanted to do it, because most importantly of all, it fired my passion simply to write about experience.

To Self Publish?

When I set out, my first approach was to get a publisher, and the Book 5GATEWAYS made it to final review with HayHouse. But 'alas', their conclusion was that it was "too specialist". I say 'alas', because it turned out the best thing that could have happened. Going through a publisher is not all its cracked up to be - the promise of big upfront payments and mass circulation. It's a veritable minefield first to get your book in front of a publisher, then if it is accepted, it can take up to two years to get into circulation, plus there can be rigidity in the content - you have to clearly spell out the content before writing (which to me, goes against the natural flow).

With self-publishing, it's your creative process that is flowing.
No one is controlling it nor trying to shoe-horn it into a box.

The real challenge with self-publishing comes with promotion. Although you're not guaranteed a big promotional budget even if you are publsihed through a publisher. With self-publishing, if you don't have a well known profile, you can't expect that loads of people will rush to buy your book! You have to find creative ways of getting it in front of people, giving talks for example, radio interviews, or writing your own blog where you're embodying and expressing what you speak about in the book - so you're providing support freely to others, but then referring back to the book where deeper exploration can happen. You might contemplate structuring a course around the material of the book. You have to see it as a slow burn investment of time and commitment - of passion.

When I wrote the Three Openhand Books, I actually didn't really care that much how many would read them. It was all about getting the expression out there. It's about the actualisation of you. And I would suggest to anyone whose interested in writing, absolutely go for it, 100% all in, but completely let go of the need for an outcome other than to express. 

Richard, this is a fine accomplishment, from one brother to another, I know what you've been through, and how it grows you in the process.

Much admiration and appreciation

Open Praying Emoji

In reply to by Open

Hi Open, 

Thanks for your feedback and for sharing your self-publishing story. I heard a number of people saying similar things about the differences between traditional publishing and regular. And most of the time even those who go down the traditional route still have to do all of their own marketing - the only difference is that it's slightly easier to get into bookstores and libraries if you have a publishing house behind you, but even then I've heard that the revenue from such things is nowhere near what comes from online. 

Another great thing is that all these things sell each other. So just by expressing yourself in one way, you attract people to other ways - people reading the book will be more likely to come to courses for example.

But ultimately as you say, the reason is self expression. For me it was the best feeling to see something that I'd created manifest in a physical way as well.

Much love