by Michael Schwengel

It IS possible to have an experience in which creative expression can be boundless, inspired, and not attached to a value judgement.


My todo list is weighing me down today.

I need to finish editing the final videos from a recent one-to-one interview, make some more progress on an article I am writing for the magazine PaidActor, and work on a monologue for an upcoming audition.  But I feel stuck, uninspired.  The funny thing is, I’m actually quite inspired by the idea of all of those things, but there is something blocking me from moving forward.

I stepped outside and went for a walk, which is something I like to do to get out of my head, when even meditation isn’t quite doing the trick.  Sometimes physical motion helps to just create momentum to move outside of the current life blueprint that’s no longer doing the job.  While sipping on my bottle of coconut water and tasting the fresh spring air, it came to me that what actually feels limiting, restricting and is creating a sense of procrastination is that I still value seeing the world in hierarchies.  Let me explain:

Do you ever, after being in a creative flow or in “your zone” for days, have something show up on your radar that just suddenly knocks you over? Like going from feeling completely fulfilled and inspired to a screeching, halting, zero? For me, this oftentimes comes up in the form of a Facebook post, an Instagram photo, a YouTube video I stumble upon, or even a TV show that I’m watching.  The stimulus-response mechanism usually goes something a little like this:

  • Seeing an amazing video on a newly discovered YouTube Channel
  • Coming across a Facebook post of a friend showcasing their upcoming film or play
  • Bloggers and Instagrammers sharing their latest creations

These people are so much more talented than I am.  How the hell am I ever going to get that kind of production value?  It all just seems so effortless to them.  My work is shit.

When I take a step back, I can recognize that these thoughts and emotions come up because I suddenly feel threatened.  I believe something is being taken away, my sense of self fleeting.  Ultimately, this happens because i’ve been placing value on the DOING, and what that means in comparison to the world around me as I know it.

It’s a natural occurrence.  For each of us, our world view is constantly growing and changing, and the manifestation of our creative forces are always responding to the totality of what we have experienced and learned up to this very moment.  It’s beautiful, really.  Our creative nature is bringing us to the very edges of our living paradigm, which makes the entire experience feel completely new and unlike anything we’ve seen before.  But when we try to define ourselves based on our creations in comparison to the world as we know it, things can get a little messy.  When we feel valuable not just because we’re expressing the completeness of our being, but because that expression (to our knowledge) is better than anything we’ve yet seen, a few things can happen:

  • We try to limit the expansion of our world view in order to lessen the chance of threatening the sense of self.
  • When we’re met with a world expanding experience and see someone doing something new, we feel defensive, envious, and somewhat out-of-control.


To take things a step further, when we see our mind doing this, that we’re deriving self value in this way and comparing ourselves to others, we start to feel guilty for it.  This results in acting out in ways that makes us feel temporarily better (to suspend the guilt), but doesn’t actually heal the root cause: which is the belief in value hierarchies.

Most of us are completely inundated by a world of hierarchies.  Here are a few value scales that come to mind:

  • Social Media Popularity (Likes, Comments)
  • Skill Level
  • Physical Appearance
  • Degree of Influence
  • Level of Importance


Living under the conditions of these beliefs can feel satisfying for a time, especially when we reach a level that was previously defined as being ‘successful’ in our mind.  But the thing about these hierarchies is that they are completely subjective.  Depending on who you ask, the indicators of success and failure are completely different.  So trying to define ones self in this way will always come up short when you start looking from different angles.  And seeing the world through different angles and perspectives is what makes life so much fun.

So, i’ve got a belief in hierarchies, and the result doesn’t feel good to me.  What do I do?

Well, limiting beliefs can’t really be dispelled by trying to not believe them.  No, like I mentioned above, that just creates a sense of guilt around it that compacts the issue and creates a bit of a psychic loop.  The solution is to accept and see that the belief in hierarchies is something that is happening in the mind, and that’s okay – the mind is doing what its doing.  Luckily, you’re not just a mind.  When the heart is allowed to emerge through new space made by accepting what the mind is doing, rather than trying to fix it, it can create a new experience to emerge.  All of this happens by being completely transparent with yourself without judgement – kind of like what i’m doing by writing this blog post!  I don’t take any of it personally because I recognize that although I am having this thoughts about what does and doesn’t make me valuable, the thoughts aren’t ME, they are just images passing through my awareness.

Now, back to where I started.

How does this relate to my todo list and feeling stuck in procrastination?  When I move forward with the things I’m about to do, and I approach them without concern for how the outcome fits into a pre-established hierarchy, then i’m free to be creative, to express my uniqueness into whatever it is that i’m about to do.

  • I’m editing the videos down for OneMichael in connection with what feels the most free and loving to me, rather than doing it out of concern for some future outcome.
  • The article that I continue writing for PaidActor comes from a truthful place, rather than being influenced by what I think people want to read.
  • The monologue that I find and work on feels inspired and is a real expression of me, not a self-concious portrayal of what I think is going to be good.


When i’m in this place of true expression, and I come across people and friends doing amazing things, I just feel gratitude and happiness for them.  Because there’s enough room for us all to thrive and prosper.

Thanks for allowing me to share these thoughts with you.  Doing so freed up space in my mind to move beyond.  And thank you to my beloved Homeopath and RCT Practitioner Jake Kiakahi for his wisdom in bringing these ideas to awareness and being a mirror for healing.

<3 Michael

Does this musing hit home for you? If so, please comment below – i’d love to start a conversation 🙂

Michael Schwengel

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